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OCCUPATIONS IN TRANSPORTATION ACTIVITIES
Transportation offers a wide range
of career opportunities. Jobs in air,
rail, highway, and water transpor­
tation vary from those that require
only a grade school education to
technical positions that require at
least a college degree.
Although this field has many
kinds of jobs, most employees
drive trucks and buses, fly air­
liners, operate trains and ships,
and keep this equipment in good
working condition. Some examples
of these workers are locomotive




engineers, airplane pilots, and
truck drivers; and track main­
tenance workers, aircraft mechanics,
and truck mechanics. Employees
who provide services for customers,
such as flight attendants and reser­
vation agents, account for most of
the remaining transportation jobs.
As our economy expands and
population grows, demand for freight
and passenger service will rise,
and more transportation workers
will be hired. Employment trends,
however, will vary by type of busi­

ness. Employment in most air and
highway transportation jobs will
increase, while employment in the
merchant marine and many rail­
road jobs will decline. Even in
declining occupations, however,
new workers will be hired to re­
place those who retire, die, or
transfer to other fields.
The transportation occupations
mentioned in this introduction, as
well as many more, are described
in detail in the sections which fol­
low.

285

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

More than 500 thousand work­
ers helped operate the Nation’s
fleet of civilian aircraft in 1972.
Some, like pilots, flew on them as
crewmembers, while mechanics
made sure all equipment operated
properly. Others took passenger
reservations and sold tickets. Still
others, like air traffic controllers,
helped safeguard the planes.
Air transportation offers excel­
lent opportunities for young per­
sons with varied types of skills and
training. Working conditions are
generally good and the pay is fairly
high. Many employees will enjoy
traveling and meeting new and
interesting people.
Through the mid-1980’s, em­
ployment in air transportation oc­
cupations as a whole is expected to
grow as the number of planes
flown increases. In addition to
th o se
e m p lo y e d
b eca u se
of this
growth, many new employees will
be hired to replace those who retire,
die, or stop working for other
reasons.
The individual statements that
follow cover pilots and copilots,
flight engineers, aircraft mechanics,
airline dispatchers, air traffic con­
trollers, ground radio operators and
teletypists, and traffic agents.

ordinate flights to prevent accidents
and minimize delays in takeoffs
and landings. Some regulate air­
port traffic; others regulate flights
between airports.
Airport traffic controllers work
in a tower near the runway to keep
track of planes that are on the
ground and in the air nearby. They
radio pilots to give them permis­
sion to taxi, take off, or land. To
assure safe conditions, they must
consider many factors including
weather, and the number, size, and
speed of the planes in the area.
They also must keep track of posi­
tions of planes both on the ground
and in the air to control several air­
craft simultaneously.

After a plane takes off, airport
controllers notify air route control­
lers to take charge. Route control­
lers communicate with pilots by
radio and use radar and other elec­
tronic equipment to help keep
planes on course. They also warn
pilots about nearby planes and
other possible hazards. Each route
controller is assigned a certain
amount of airspace. One, for ex­
ample, might be responsible for all
planes that are 30 to 100 miles
north of the airport and flying be­
tween 6,000 and 18,000 feet. As the
flight progresses, one air route con­
troller after another takes charge
until the planes have safely ar­
rived at their destinations and air­
port traffic controllers are again
in charge.
Places of Employment

Almost all of the 20,000 air traf­
fic controllers who worked for the
Federal Aviation Administration

AIR TRAFFIC
CONTROLLERS
(D.O.T. 193.168)
Nature of the Work

Air traffic controllers are the
guardians of the airways. They co­
286



Traffic controllers identify airplanes by radar.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

(FAA) in 1972 were men. Almost
all worked at major airports and
air route traffic control centers lo­
cated near large cities. A few were
assigned to control towers and cen­
ters outside the United States.

trollers is expected to increase
rapidly through the mid-1980’s. In
addition to jobs that result from
growth, many openings will arise
as experienced controllers retire,
die or transfer to other jobs.
As the number of aircraft in­
creases, the skyways will become
Training, Other Qualifications,
more congested. To prevent colli­
and Advancement
sions, the FAA has created spaces,
Air traffic controller trainees are near certain airports and above cer­
selected through the competitive tain altitudes which require all
Federal Civil Service System. Ap­ pilots to receive directions from
plicants must be less than 31 years air traffic controllers. If, as ex­
old and must pass a written test pected, the number and size of
that measures their ability to learn these spaces are expanded, more
and perform controller’s duties. In controllers will be needed despite
addition, applicants must have 3 the greater use of new, automated
years of progressively responsible control equipment.
work experience that demonstrates
Under the provisions of a new
potential for learning and perform­ labor contract, controllers may
ing air traffic control work, or four now retire with a pension after
years of college or a combination working 20 years. Many eligible
of both. Applicants must be in ex­ employees are expected to retire
cellent health, have vision correc­ over the next few years and create
table to 20/20, and must be able to an unusually large number of open­
speak clearly and precisely.
ings. However, because the num­
Successful applicants receive a ber of applicants is large, compe­
combination of on-the-job and for­ tition is expected to be severe.
mal training to learn the funda­
mentals of the airway system, Earnings and Working Conditions
Federal aviation regulations, con­
In 1972, experienced air traffic
troller equipment, and aircraft
performance characteristics. All controllers earned between $14,000
receive intensive training in simu­ and $19,700 a year. Depending on
lators at the FAA Academy in l e n g t h of s e r v i c e , they r e c e i v e 13
Oklahoma City. It usually takes to 26 days of paid vacation and 13
two to three years to become a days of paid sick leave each year,
fully-qualified
controller.
Each l i f e insurance, health benefits, and
year controllers must pass a phys­ a more liberal retirement program
ical and twice a year must pass a than other Federal employees.
Controllers work a basic 40job performance examination.
Controllers can transfer to jobs hour week; however, they may
at different locations and advance work additional hours, for which
to the job of chief controller. Some they receive overtime pay or equal
advance to more responsible man­ time off. Because control towers
agement jobs in air traffic control and centers must be operated 24
and a few to top administrative hours a day, 7 days a week, con­
trollers are assigned to night shifts
jobs in the FAA.
on a rotating basis.
Air traffic controllers work
Employment Outlook
under great stress. They must keep
Employment of air traffic con­ track of several planes at the same



287

time and make certain all pilots re­
ceive correct instructions.
Many controllers belong to the
Professional Air Traffic Control­
lers Organization.
Sources of Additional Information

A pamphlet providing general
information about controllers is
available from any U.S. Civil Ser­
vice Commission office. Addresses
of these offices are available at all
post offices.
Inquiries about job opportuni­
ties should be addressed to the per­
sonnel department of the nearest
FAA regional office. Addresses of
regional offices are available from:
Personnel Operations Division, Fed­
eral Aviation Administration, 800
Independence Ave. SW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20591.

AIRCRAFT M ECHANICS
(D.O.T. 621.281)
Nature of the Work

Aircraft mechanics keep compli­
cated jet airliners as well as small
aircraft in good operating condi­
tion. These skilled craftsmen per­
form preventive maintenance and
make repairs. They also make in­
spections required by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA).
Many aircraft mechanics do
routine preventive maintenance.
They change engine oil, grease
wheel bearings, replace sparkplugs,
and make other minor adjust­
ments. Other mechanics specialize
in engine work. Periodically,
planes are brought to maintenance
shops for major repairs and for in­
spections required by the FAA.
Mechanics may take engines apart,
check the pieces for wear, and re­
place bearings or other parts as
needed. Some mechanics work on

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

288

Mechanic works on airplane engine.

airframes. For example, they may
measure the strength of control
cables or check for cracks in the
fuselage and wings. Still others spe­
cialize in maintaining aircraft in­
struments.
Aircraft mechanics occasionally
make emergency repairs. After ob­
taining a description of the prob­
lem from the pilot, they locate and
correct the faulty equipment. They
must work quickly so that the
plane can be placed back in service.
Mechanics use many different
tools ranging from simple handtools such as screwdrivers and
wrenches to power tools such as
drills. They also use test equipment
to locate flaws in parts, electrical
shorts, and other problems.

Federal government. Most of the
rest worked in small independent
repair shops.
Most airline mechanics are em­
ployed in the larger cities on the
main airline routes. Each airline
usually has one main repair base
near a large city for each type of
airplane it operates. More than
half of the airline mechanics work
in New York, Miami, Chicago,
Los Angeles, San Francisco, and
Dallas. Many other mechanics
work in small repair shops located
at airports throughout the country.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most mechanics learn their
trade primarily through informal
on-the-job training or through for­
Places of Employment
mal apprenticeship programs. For
About 123,000 aircraft mechanics aircraft mechanic trainee or ap­
were employed in 1972. Over 40 prentice jobs, employers prefer
percent were employed by air­ high school or trade school gradu­
lines, and about 25 percent worked ates between 20 and 30 years of age
in aircraft manufacturing plants. who are in good physical condition
About 20 percent worked for the and who have had courses in math­



ematics, physics, chemistry, and
machine shop. Experience in auto­
mobile repairs or other mechanical
work also is helpful.
The larger airlines train appren­
tices in carefully planned 3- or 4year programs of instruction and
work experience. People who have
aircraft mechanic experience in the
Armed Forces usually are given
credit towards the completion of
apprenticeship. Many small shops
do not have apprenticeship pro­
grams; new employees learn the
trade by working with and observ­
ing experienced mechanics. Other
mechanics prepare for the trade by
graduating from an FAA approved
mechanic school. Most of these
schools have an 18- to 24-month
program.
Aircraft mechanics must be able
to do detailed work. Average
strength and agility are needed for
reaching, and climbing, and lifting
parts and tools.
To complete inspections re­
quired by the FAA, a mechanic
must be licensed by the FAA as an
airframe mechanic, a powerplant
mechanic, or both. Airframe me­
chanics are qualified to work on
fuselages, wings and landing gear;
powerplant mechanics are quali­
fied to work on engines. A me­
chanic licensed for both the air­
frame and the powerplant can work
on any part of the plane.
At least 18 months of work ex­
perience is required for an FAA
airframe or powerplant license,
and at least 30 months of experi­
ence working with both engines
and airframes is required for an
airframe and powerplant license.
Applicants also must pass a writ­
ten test and give a practical dem­
onstration of their ability to do the
work. Applicants who have gradu­
ated from a mechanic’s school ap­
proved by the FAA do not need
mechanic work experience to take
the test for a license.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

As aircraft mechanics gain ex­
perience, they can advance to more
responsible jobs. The line of ad­
vancement is usually mechanic,
lead mechanic (or crew chief), in­
spector, chief inspector, shop fore­
man, and maintenance supervisor.
In airline companies, a few ad­
vance to executive positions. With
additional business training, some
may open their own repair shops.
Employment Outlook

The number of aircraft mechan­
ics is expected to increase very
rapidly through the mid-1980’s. In
addition to job openings that result
from employment growth, many
openings will arise as experienced
mechanics transfer to other fields
of work, retire, or die.
Employment is expected to grow
as a result of a substantial increase
in the number of aircraft in opera­
tion. Assuming no continued signifi­
cant fuel shortage, increases in
population, personal income, and
business activity will spur the de­
mand for more airliners and small
planes used by businesses and
individuals. Opportunities for air­
craft mechanics in the Federal
government will fluctuate with
changes in defense spending.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, the starting pay for air­
line mechanics trainees was $4.19
an hour, and could reach $6.55 an
hour for experienced mechanics ac­
cording to union contracts. The
hourly rate for experienced me­
chanics was about three-fourths
higher than the average for nonsupervisory workers in all private
industries, except farming.
As a rule, airline mechanics and
their immediate families are en­
titled to a limited amount of free or
reduced fare transportation on
their company’s flights. In addi­




289

tion, they may fly on other air­
lines at greatly reduced rates.
Mechanics usually receive from 2
to 4 weeks of vacation with pay,
depending on their length of ser­
vice. They also receive paid sick
leave, and retirement and medical
benefits.
Mechanics usually work in
hangars or in other indoor areas.
However, when repairs must be
made quickly, they may work out­
doors. Mechanics sometimes must
stand or lie in awkward positions
when making repairs. Work areas
are noisy when engines are being
tested.
Mechanics employed by most
major airlines are covered by union
agreements. The principal unions
in this field are the International
Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers and the Trans­
port Workers Union of America.
Some mechanics are represented
by the International Brotherhood
of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Ware­
housemen and Helpers of America.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about jobs in a par­
ticular airline may be obtained by
writing to the personnel manager
of the company. Addresses of air­
line companies are available from
the Air Transport Association of
America, 1000 Connecticut Ave.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
For information on jobs in a
particular area, contact local em­
ployers or the local office of the
State employment service.

AIRLINE DISPATCHERS
(D.O.T. 912.168)
Nature of the Work and
Places of Employment

Dispatchers (sometimes called
flight superintendents) are em­

ployed by the airlines to coordi­
nate airline flight schedules and to
make sure that all regulations of
the Federal Aviation Administra­
tion (FAA) and the airline com­
pany are observed. After checking
on weather conditions, the dis­
patcher makes a preliminary
decision as to whether a flight can
leave safely and on time. If any
change takes place from the sched­
uled departure time, the dispatcher
must arrange for the passengers
and crew to be notified.
In preparing for the flight, the
dispatcher confers with the captain
about the quantity of fuel the plane
needs, the best route and altitude
for its flight, and the alternate air­
ports that may be used if bad
weather prevents landing at the
scheduled airport. The dispatcher
and the captain must agree on all
details of the flight before the plane
is allowed to leave the airport. In
some instances, the dispatcher also
keeps records of matters involving
the company, such as the avail­
ability of aircraft and equipment,
the weight of cargo, the amount of
time flown by each aircraft, and
the number of hours flown by each
crew member.
In 1972, airlines employed about
800 dispatchers and assistants. Most
of them worked at large airports
near metropolitan areas.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Dispatchers are selected from
employees having 5 to 10 years
general experience with the com­
pany. They are required to have an
FAA dispatcher certificate. To
qualify, an applicant has to work
at least a year under the super­
vision of a certified dispatcher or
complete an FAA-approved dis­
patcher’s course at a school or an
airline training center. Applicants
who do not have this schooling or

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

290

experience may qualify if they have
spent 2 of the previous 3 years in
air traffic control work, or in air­
line jobs such as dispatch clerk,
assistant dispatcher, or radio oper­
ator, or in similar work in military
service.
Applicants for an FAA dis­
patcher certificate must pass a
written examination on subjects
such as Federal aviation regula­
tions,
weather
analysis,
airnavigation facilities, radio pro­
cedures, and airport and airway
traffic procedures. In an oral test,
they also have to demonstrate
ability to interpret weather maps
and information, and familiarity
with airline routes and naviga­
tional facilities. They must know
all operating weight limitations,
landing and cruising speeds, and
other
aircraft
characteristics.
Licensed dispatchers are checked
periodically by their employers to
make sure that they maintain the
skills required by Federal regula­
tions and the company. Airlines
give qualified dispatchers addi­
tional training to keep them up to
date on new flight procedures and
the characteristics of new aircraft.
For assistant dispatcher jobs,
which may not require certifica­
tion, airlines seek persons who
have at least 2 years of college or
who have worked an equivalent
amount of time in some phase of
air transportation, such as the dis­
patch clerks in ground operations.
Preference is given to college grad­
uates who have had courses in
mathematics, physics, and related
subjects. Some experience in flying,
meteorology, or business adminis­
tration also is helpful.
Employment Outlook

The number of workers in this
very small occupation is not ex­
pected to change much through the
mid-1980’s. Most openings for new




workers will develop as exper­
ienced dispatchers and their assist­
ants retire, die, or transfer to other
occupations.
The need for some additional
dispatchers will result from the in­
crease in air traffic, the addition
and extension of routes, and the
extra difficulties in launching jet
aircraft. However, these factors
will be largely offset by improved
communication facilities and re­
lated computer technology which
allow dispatchers at major termi­
nals to dispatch aircraft at other
airports and over large geographic
areas.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning dispatchers earned
between $1,000 to $1,200 a month
in 1972. As a rule, dispatchers and
their immediate families are en­
titled to a limited amount of free
transportation or reduced fares on
their companies’ flights. In addi­
tion, they may fly at greatly re­
duced rates with other airlines. Dis­
patchers usually receive from 2 to 4
weeks of vacation with pay, de­
pending on length of service. They
also receive paid sick leave, life and
health insurance, and retirement
benefits.
Most dispatchers are represented
by the Transport Workers Union
of America and the International
Association of Machinists and Aero­
space Workers.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about job oppor­
tunities in a particular airline and
the qualifications required may be
obtained by writing to the person­
nel manager of the company. Ad­
dresses of companies are available
from:
Air Transport Association of America,
1000 Connecticut Ave. NW ., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.

FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
(D.O.T. 352.878)
Nature of the Work
and Places of Employment

Flight attendants (also called
stewardesses and stewards) are
aboard almost all commercial
passenger planes to help make the
passengers’ flights safe, comfort­
able, and enjoyable. Like other
members of the flight crew, they
are responsible to the captain.
Before each flight, attendants
find out how many passengers to
expect and how long the trip will
take. They then see that the pas­
senger cabin is in order, that sup­
plies and emergency equipment are
aboard, and that food and bev­
erages are in the galley. As pas­
sengers come aboard, flight attend­
ants greet them, check their
tickets, and assist them with their
coats and small luggage.
In addition, flight attendants use
the public address system to in­
struct passengers in the use of
emergency equipment and check to
see that all passengers have their
seat belts fastened. In the air, they
answer questions about the flight
and weather, distribute reading
matter and pillows, and help care
for small children. On many
flights, they serve cocktails and
precooked meals.
Places of Employment

About 39,000 flight attendants
worked for the airlines in 1972.
The vast majority were women,
though men now receive equal con­
sideration for available jobs. Most
flight attendants are stationed in
major cities at the airlines’ main
bases. A few who serve in inter­
national flights are based in for­
eign countries.
Airlines generally carry 1 to 10

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

291

operate schools generally send new
employees to the school of another
airline. Before enrolling in a pri­
vate school, young people should
check with the airline of their
choice to make sure the school’s
training is acceptable.
After completing their training,
flight attendants report for work at
one of their airline’s main bases.
New flight attendants usually fill in
on extra flights or replace flight
attendants who are sick or on
vacation. Because assignments are
based on seniority, experienced
flight attendants usually get their
choice of flights.
Opportunities for advancement
are limited; however, some flight
attendants may advance to cus­
tomer service director, instructor,
or recruiting representative.
Employment Outlook

flight attendants, depending on the
size of the plane and the propor­
tion of economy to first-class pas­
sengers. Large aircraft like the
Boeing 747 may have as many as
16 flight attendants.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The airlines place great stress on
the hiring of poised, tactful, and re­
sourceful young people. As a rule,
applicants must be 19 years old
and from 5 feet 2 inches to 6 feet
tall, with weight in proportion to
height. They must be in excellent
health. They also must speak
clearly and have good vision.
Applicants must be high school
graduates. Those having 2 years of
college, nurses’ training, or ex­
perience in dealing with the public




are preferred. Flight attendants
who work for international airlines
generally must be able to speak an
appropriate foreign language fluent­
ly
Most l a r g e a i r l i n e s g i v e n e w l y
hired flight attendants about 5
weeks’ training in their own
schools. Transportation to the
training centers and an allowance
while in training may be provided.
Training includes classes in flight
regulations and duties, company
operations and policies, emergency
procedures and first aid, and per­
sonal grooming. Additional courses
in passport and customs regulations
are given trainees for the inter­
national routes. Towards the end
of their training students go on
practice flights.
The few airlines that do not

Employment is expected to grow
very rapidly through the mid-1980’s
as a result of the need to provide
services for more airline passengers.
For passenger safety, the Federal
Aviation Administration requires
one flight attendant for every 50
seats on an airliner. More attendants
will be needed as airlines increase
the number and size of aircraft
in operation. In addition, many
openings will occur because of the
need to replace experienced flight
attendants who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations. Continued
fuel shortages, however, may ad­
versely affect employment growth.
Earnings and Working Conditions

An examination of union con­
tracts covering several large do­
mestic and international airlines
indicates that earnings of beginning
flight attendants ranged from $600
to $665 in 1972. Experienced flight
attendants earned $875 to $925 a
month.

292

Since airlines operate around the
clock, 365 days a year, flight at­
tendants may work at night, on
holidays, and on weekends. They
usually fly no more than 80 hours a
month but they may devote up to
35 hours a month to ground duties.
As a result of variations in sched­
uling and limitations on flying
time, some flight attendants may
have 15 days or more off each
month. Of course, some time off
may occur between flights while
away from home. Flight attendants
may be away from their home
bases about one-third of the time
or more. When they are away
from home, the airlines provide
living accommodations and an
allowance for expenses.
As a rule, flight attendants and
their immediate families are en­
titled to a limited amount of free
or reduced-fare transportation on
their airline. In addition, they may
fly at greatly reduced rates on
other airlines. Flight attendants
usually receive 2 to 4 weeks’ vaca­
tion with pay. They also receive
paid sick leave, life and health
insurance, and retirement benefits.
Flight attendants have the op­
portunity to meet interesting
people and see new places. How­
ever, the work can be strenuous
and trying. Flight attendants may
stand during much of the flight.
They must remain pleasant and ef­
ficient regardless of how tired they
may be.
Most flight attendants are mem­
bers of either the Air Line Stew­
ards and Stewardesses Association
of the Transport Workers Union of
America or the Stewards and
Stewardesses Division of the Air
Line Pilots Association, Interna­
tional.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the qualifications required may be
Places of Employment
obtained by writing to the person­
About 7,000 flight engineers were
nel manager of the company.
employed in 1972. The Federal Avi­
Address of companies are avail­
able from the Air Transport Asso­ ation Administration requires flight
ciation of America, 1000 Connecti­ engineers to be on most threecut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. and four-engine aircraft and some
two-engine jet aircraft. As a result,
20036.
most engineers work for airlines
and are stationed in major cities
at the airlines’ main bases.

FLIGHT ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 621.281)
Nature of the Work

Flight engineers are members of
flight crews who make sure the
mechanical and electrical devices
aboard airplanes work properly.
After attending a general briefing
with the pilot and copilot to obtain
weather information and other de­
tails about the flight, they check
maintenance records and may check
the tires and other outside parts of
the plane. If any faulty equipment
is located, a mechanic is called to
make repairs.
From their station in the cockpit,
flight engineers assist the pilot and
copilot in making preflight checks
of instruments and equipment. They
make sure each fuel tank has been
filled, adjust the electrical power,
and check the engine instruments.
After take off, flight engineers
watch instruments and operate con­
trols to regulate the performance
of the engines, air conditioning,
and other equipment. They also
keep records of engine performance
and fuel consumption. They report
any mechanical problems to the
pilot, and if possible, make emer­
gency repairs in flight. At the few
airports where there are no me­
chanics, flight engineers may make
Sources of Additional Information
minor repairs, and those employed
Information about job oppor­ by smaller airlines may assist in
tunities in a particular airline and refueling.




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most scheduled airlines now re­
quire applicants for flight engineers
positions to have a commercial pi­
lot’s license. This license requires
skill, training and experience as a
pilot. (See the statement on pilots
and copilots elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)
Before applicants can fly as crew
members, they also must have a
flight engineer’s license from the
Federal Aviation Administration.
They can qualify for a flight engi­
neer’s license if they have had 3
years of experience in repairing or
overhauling aircraft and engines or
experience as a pilot or flight
engineer in the Armed Forces. In
addition, applicants must pass a
rigid physical examination and a
written test on flight theory and
engine operation. They also must
pass a flight check of operating pro­
cedures for the type of plane they
will be assigned. Completing a
private course of ground and flight
instruction which is approved by
the Federal Aviation Administra­
tion is the most common method of
qualifying for a license.
Airlines generally prefer appli­
cants who are 21 or 35 years of age,
from 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 4
inches tall, and in excellent physi­
cal condition. They must be able to
cope with the pressures and respon­
sibilities that are part of the occu­
pation, and must be able to work as

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

293

part of a team. Good eyesight, in­
cluding normal color vision, is
essential. All airlines require a
high school education, and they pre­
fer at least 2 years of college.
Although airlines favor appli­
cants who already have a flight
engineer’s license and a commercial
pilot’s license, they may train those
who have only the pilot’s license.
Advancement opportunities usual­
ly depend on qualifications and
seniority provisions established by
union contracts. The flight engineer
who has pilot qualifications, gen­
erally called the second officer, ad­
vances on the basis of seniority to
copilot, and then follows the regu­
lar line of advancement open to
other copilots. Flight engineers who
do not have pilot qualifications can
select more desirable routes and
schedules as they gain seniority.

As a rule, flight engineers and
their immediate families are en­
titled to a limited amount of free
or reduced fare transportation on
their company’s flights. In addi­
tion, they may travel on other
airlines at greatly reduced rates.
Engineers may be away from their
home bases about one-third of the
time or more. When they are away
from home, the airlines provide
living accommodations and an al­
lowance for expenses. Airlines
operate flights at all hours of the
day and night, so engineers often
have irregular work schedules.
Flight engineers usually receive
2 to 4 weeks of vacation with pay.
They also receive paid sick leave,
life and health insurance, and retire­
ment benefits.
Flight engineers who are qualified
pilots (Second Officers) are repre­
sented by the Air Line Pilots Asso­
ciation, International. Most others
belong to the Flight Engineers’ Inter­
Employment Outlook
national Association or to the Inter­
national Brotherhood of Teamsters,
Employment is expected to in­
crease rapidly through the mid- Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and
1980’s. In addition, several hun­ Helpers of America.
dred openings will occur each year
as experienced flight engineers trans­ Sources of Additional Information
fer to jobs as copilots, retire, or
Career information and a list of
die. Assuming no significant con­
schools offering flight engineer train­
tinued fuel shortages, growth in
airline traffic will create a need ing are available from:
Flight Engineers’ International Associa­
for more airplanes and more engi­
tion, 905 16th St. NW., Washington,
neers.
D.C. 20006.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Monthly earnings of beginning
flight engineers ranged from $650
to $690 in 1972, according to infor­
mation from several union contracts.
Monthly earnings of experienced
flight engineers ranged from $2,000
to $3,000. Earnings depend on size,
speed, and type of plane; hours- and
miles flown; length of service; and
the type of flight (such as night or
international).




Information about job opportu­
nities in a particular airline and the
qualifications required may be ob­
tained by writing to the personnel
manager of the company. Addresses
of airline companies and details on
physical and educational qualifica­
tions for flight engineers may be
obtained from:
Air Line Pilots Association, International,
1625 Massachusetts Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.

GROUND RADIO OPERA­
TORS AND TELETYPISTS
(D.O.T. 193.282 and 203.588)
Nature of the Work

Ground radio operators and tele­
typists transmit weather and flight
information between ground station
personnel and flight personnel. Radio
operators use a radio-telephone to
send and receive messages. Opera­
tors may occasionally make minor
repairs on their equipment. Tele­
typists transmit written messages
only between ground personnel.
They operate a teletype machine
which has a keyboard similar to
that of a typewriter.
Flight service station specialists
employed by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) have jobs
similar to those of radio operators
and teletypists. They give pilots
weather and navigational informa­
tion during flights, and relay mes­
sages from air-traffic control facilities.
Places of Employment

About 5,700 ground radio oper­
ators and teletypists were employed
in air transportation in 1972. Flight
service station specialists employed
by the FAA made up about twothirds of this total, and airlines
employed most of the remainder.
The FAA’s specialists work at
stations scattered along the major
airline routes; some stations are in
remote places. Ground radio opera­
tors and teletypists for airlines work
mostly at airports in or near large
cities.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Applicants for airline radio oper­
ator jobs usually must have at least
a third-class Federal Communica­
tions Commission (FCC) radio­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

294

telephone or radio-telegraph oper­
ator’s permit. However, a secondclass operator’s permit is preferred.
They also must be high school grad­
uates and have a good speaking
voice, and a basic knowledge of the
language used in weather reports.
Teletypists must have training or
experience in operating teletype
equipment and must be able to type
at least 40 words a minute.
To qualify for entry positions as
FAA flight service station special­
ists, applicants must pass a written
test and meet certain experience
requirements. Permanent appoint­
ments are made on the basis of
Federal civil service examinations.
Radio operators, teletypists, and
FAA flight service station special­
ists serve probationary periods
during which time they receive onthe-job training. Skill gained in
communications is helpful experi­
ence for transferring into higher
paying jobs such as airline dis­
patcher.
Employment Outlook

Employment in these occupa­
tions is expected to decrease slowly
through the mid-1980’s. Employ­
ment will be limited by automatic
centralized communication systems
and improvements in two-way radios
that permit direct communication
between pilots and air-traffic con­
trollers. However, each year a few
openings will result from the need
to replace experienced workers who
transfer to other occupations, re­
tire or die.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The beginning salary for airline
radio operators ranged from $775
to $1,000 a month in 1972. The be­
ginning salary for teletypists was
$540 a month and ranged up to
$815 after 5 years. Beginning FAA




flight service station specialists
earned from $640 to $790 a month,
and experienced specialists earned
from $1,170 to $1,390.
As a rule, airline radio operators
and teletypists and their immediate
families are entitled to a limited
amount of free or reduced fare
transportation on their companies’
flights. In addition, they may fly at
greatly reduced rates with other air­
lines. Radio operators and tele­
typists usually receive 2 to 4 weeks
of vacation with pay, depending on
length of service. They also receive
paid sick leave, life and health
insurance, and retirement benefits.
Flight service specialists for the
Federal government receive 13 to
26 days of paid vacation and 13
days of sick leave a year, as well
as retirement, life insurance, and
health benefits.
Radio operators and teletypists in
a number of airlines are unionized.
The major union for these occupa­
tions is the Communications Work­
ers of America.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about job opportu­
nities in a particular airline and the
qualifications required may be ob­
tained by writing to the personnel
manager of the company. Addresses
of companies are available from the
Air Transport Association of Amer­
ica, 1000 Connecticut Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
Inquiries about job opportunities
with the FAA should be addressed
to the Personnel Officer at FAA
regional offices. Addresses of the
regional offices are available from:
Personnel Operations Division Federal
Aviation Administration, 800 Inde­
pendence Ave. SW., Washington, D.C.
20591.

PILOTS AND COPILOTS
(D.O.T. 196.168, .228, .268, and .283)
Nature of the Work

Pilots and copilots are skilled,
highly trained professionals who
have been carefully selected for
their ability to fly safely. They
transport passengers and cargo and
perform other tasks such as crop
dusting and inspecting power lines.
The pilot (called captain by the air­
lines) is in charge of the plane, and
supervises all other crew members.
The copilot assists the captain in
air-to-ground communications, mon­
itoring flight and engine instruments,
and in operating the plane’s controls.
Both captain and copilot must do
great deal of planning before taking
off. They confer with the company
weatherman and, in cooperation
with the airline dispatcher, choose
a route, speed, and altitude that
will give a safe, smooth flight. The
captain then coordinates the route
with air traffic control personnel.
Before takeoff, the captain and
copilot “preflight” the airplane,
checking the engines, controls, in­
struments, and other components to
make sure everything is working
properly. During the flight, they
radio to ground control stations
to report their plane’s altitude, air
speed, weather conditions, and other
flight details. The captain steers the
plane to each point on the flight
plan and changes altitude and speed
as necessary. The captain and the
copilot watch instruments that indi­
cate the amount of fuel and condi­
tion of the engines, and provide
navigation information. If visibility
is poor during the landing approach,
they may rely on instruments such
as the altimeter, and air speed and
course indicators. After parking
the plane, they go to the airline of­
fice and complete flight records
required by the company.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

Some specially trained airline
pilots are evaluators. They fly with
each pilot at least twice a year to
make sure Federal Aviation Ad­
ministration (FAA) and company
regulations are obeyed. Another
group teaches pilots and copilots
to fly new airplanes.
Although pilots employed by
businesses usually fly smaller planes
than airline pilots, their preflight
and flight duties are much alike.
These pilots, however, usually are
not assisted by flight crews, and
may perform minor maintenance
and repair work on their planes.
Places of Employment

About 54,000 civilian pilots and
copilots worked full-time in 1972.
About 50 percent worked for large
airline companies and most were
stationed near large cities where
major airports are located. Most of
the remainder trained student pilots
or worked for large corporations
that use their own airplanes to trans­
port company executives. Others
performed a variety of services for
many different employers through­
out the country. Some flew air taxis
or crop dusting planes. A small
number inspected pipelines or pro­
vided sightseeing trips. Federal,




295

State, and local governments also
employed pilots and copilots.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Commercial pilots and copilots
must be licensed by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA). All
must have a commercial airplane
pilot’s license, and airline captains
also must have an airline trans­
port pilot’s license. Ail pilots and
copilots also must have a rating for
the class of plane they can fly (single­
engine, multi-engine, or seaplane),
and for the specific type of planes,
such as DC-9 or Boeing 747. In
addition, airline pilots and copilots
and others who fly in bad weather
must have an instrument rating.
To qualify for the commercial
pilot’s license, applicants must be
at least 18 years old and have at
least 200 hours of flight experience.
For an instrument rating, appli­
cants must practice instrument fly­
ing for at least 40 hours. Applicants
for an airline transport pilot’s li­
cense must be at least 23 years old
and have a minimum of 1,500 hours
of flight time during the previous
8 years, including night and instru­
ment flying.
Before pilots may receive any li­

cense they must pass a strict physi­
cal examination and a written test
covering subjects such as princi­
ples of safe flight, navigation tech­
niques, and FAA regulations. They
also must submit proof that they
have completed the minimum flight
time requirements and, in a prac­
tical test, demonstrate their ability
to fly a plane. The license remains
in effect as long as the pilot can
pass an annual physical examination
and the periodic tests of flying skills
required by Government regulation.
However, pilots may not fly an air­
liner after age 60.
A young person may learn to fly
in the military or in civilian flying
schools. Either kind of training satis­
fies the flight experience requirements
for licensing. Graduates of private
schools must pass a FAA flight check
in a plane of their choice and a writ­
ten examination on FAA regulations.
Applicants who have appropriate
military training and experience
are required only to pass a written
examination and physical examina­
tion if they apply for a license
within a year after leaving the serv­
ice. Those trained in the armed
services have had the added oppor­
tunity to gain experience on large
aircraft similar to airliners.
As a rule, applicants for a co­
pilot job with the airlines must be
between 20 and 35 years old. They
must be 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 4
inches tall and weigh between 140
and 210 pounds. All applicants
must be high school graduates; most
airlines require 2 years of college
and prefer to hire college graduates.
Physical requirements for pilots,
especially in scheduled airlines, are
very high. They must have cor­
rected vision of 20/20, good hear­
ing, and no physical handicaps that
prevent quick reactions. The air­
lines use psychological tests to
determine an applicant’s ability to
make quick decisions and accurate

296

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

judgements under pressure.
Applicants hired by the scheduled
airline companies usually start as
flight engineers, although they may
begin as copilots. An applicant for
a job with an airline often must
have more than the FAA minimum
qualifications for a commercial pi­
lot’s license. For example, airlines
generally require 500 to 1,000 hours
of flight experience, whereas only
200 hours are needed for the com­
mercial license.
All newly hired airline copilots
go through company orientation
courses. Trainees receive classroom
instruction on subjects such as
flight theory, and weather as well
as FAA and company regulations.
In addition, some airlines give be­
ginning copilots or flight engineers
from 3 to 10 weeks of flight train­
ing in classrooms and simulators
and on company planes before as­
signing them to a scheduled flight.
Beginning copilots generally have
limited responsibilities, such as
operating the flight controls in
good weather over a route that is
easy to navigate. As they gain ex­
perience and skill, they handle
pregressively more complex assign­
ments. Copilots who have enough
skill and experience and have
passed the test for an airline
transport pilot’s license, can ad­
vance to captain. A minimum of 2
or 3 years’ service is required for
promotion but, in actual practice,
advancement to captain takes 5 to
10 years or longer.
Employment Outlook

A very rapid rise in the em­
ployment of pilots and copilots
is expected through the mid-1980’s.
In addition to jobs that result from
employment growth, several thou­
sand openings will arise as experi­
enced pilots and copilots retire, die,
or change occupations.
Assuming no significant con­




tinued fuel shortage, growth in
airline traffic will create a need
for more airplanes and more pilots
and copilots to fly them. Employ­
ment in business flying also is
expected to increase as the Nation’s
economy expands.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Pilots and copilots are among
the highest wage earners in the
Nation. In 1970, those who worked
full time averaged $17,206 a year,
more than double the average for
male workers as a whole. Pilots
and copilots for airlines earn more
than those employed by business
and government. In 1972, a union
contract with a major airline in­
dicated that copilots earned from
$17,500 to $40,000 a year, and
pilots from $37,000 to $60,000.
Earnings depend on factors such
as the type, size, and speed of the
planes, and the number of hours
and miles flown. Airline-captains
and copilots who have at least 1
year of service are guaranteed min­
imum monthly earnings which are
about four-fifths as much as the
maximum they could possibly earn.
Extra pay is given for night and
international flights.
As a rule, airline pilots and their
immediate families are entitled to a
limited amount of free or reduced
fare transportation on their com­
panies’ flights. In addition, they
may travel at greatly reduced rates
with other airlines. Airline pilots
may be away from their home bases
about one-third of the time or more.
When they are away from home,
the airlines provide living accom­
modations and an allowance for
expenses.
Airlines operate flights at all
hours of the day and night so work
schedules are often irregular. Under
the Federal Aviation Act, airline
pilots and copilots cannot fly more
than 85 hours a month. Most actual­

ly fly only about 60 hours a month,
but their total duty hours, including
layovers before return flights, usual­
ly exceed 100 hours a month.
Pilots and copilots employed by
airlines usually receive 2 to 4 weeks
of vacation with pay, depending on
their length of service. They also
receive paid sick leave, life and
health insurance, and retirement
benefits. Those who work for the
Federal Government receive 13 to
26 days of paid vacation and 13
days of paid sick leave a year, as
well as life and health insurance,
and retirement benefits.
Although flying does not involve
much physical effort, the pilot often
is subject to stress and must be con­
stantly alert and prepared to make
decisions quickly.
Most airline pilots are members
of the Air Line Pilots Association,
International. Those employed by
one major airline are members of
the Allied Pilots Association.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about job opportu­
nities in a particular airline and the
qualifications required may be ob­
tained by writing to the personnel
manager of the company. Addresses
of companies and details about
physical and educational require­
ments for pilots may be obtained
from:
Air Line Pilots Association, 1625 Mass­
achusetts Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.
20036.

Inquiries about jobs with the
Federal Aviation Administration
should be addressed to the person­
nel department at the nearest FAA
regional office. Addresses of the
regional offices are available from:
Personnel Operations Division, Federal
Aviation Administration, 800 Indepen­
dence Ave. SW., Washington, D.C.
20591.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

TRAFFIC AGENTS AND
CLERKS
(D.O.T. 912.368, 919.368)
Nature of the Work

Traffic agents and clerks include
ticket or reservation agents and
clerks, operations or station agents,
and traffic representatives. They
sell flight tickets, reserve seats and
cargo space, and supervise the load­
ing of planes.
Reservation agents and clerks
give customers information on flight
schedules and fares over the tele­
phone. After making a reservation,
they report it to a central computer
or to clerks in other cities so that
the same space will not be sold
twice. On the larger airlines, com­
puters are used to keep track of
flight space information so that per­
sonnel at all reservation offices
know immediately if a plane has
seats available.
Ticket agents sell tickets and
fill out ticket forms with informa­
tion such as the flight number and
the passenger’s name and destina­
tion. They also check and weigh
baggage, answer questions about
schedules and fares, and keep rec­
ords of tickets sold.
Operations or station agents super­
vise the loading and unloading of
the aircraft and sometimes do this
work themselves. They see that the
weight carried by the planes is dis­
tributed properly, prepare a list of
cargo, and keep records of the num­
ber of passengers carried. They also
may make arrival and departure
announcements. Traffic representa­
tives contact business customers to
promote greater use of their air­
line’s freight and passenger service.
Places of Employment

About 60,000 traffic agents and




297

clerks were employed in 1972. Most
worked in downtown ticket and
reservation offices and at airports
in or near large cities, where most
airline passenger and cargo busi­
ness originates. Some are employed
in smaller communities served by
airlines.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Because traffic agents and clerks
must deal directly with the public,
airlines have strict hiring standards
with respect to appearance, per­
sonality, and education. A good
speaking voice is essential, because
these employees frequently use the
telephone or public address sys­
tems. High school graduation gen­
erally is required, and some col­
lege training is preferred.
Traffic agents may advance to
traffic representative and supervi­
sor. A few eventually become city
and district managers. College
courses in transportation, such as
traffic management, improve the
chances for advancement.
Employment Outlook

Employment of traffic agents
and clerks is expected to increase
very rapidly through the mid-1980’s.
In addition to the jobs that result
from employment growth, many
openings will arise as experienced
workers retire, die, or transfer to
other jobs.
Assuming no significant continued
fuel shortages, more traffic agents
and clerks will be needed because
of the increase in passengers and
cargo traffic. Although airlines are
installing machines to process res­
ervations, keep records, and per­
form other routine tasks, machines
cannot replace the personal contact
that is an important part of a traf­
fic agent’s or clerk’s job.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning salaries for reservation
and ticket agents ranged from $600
to $690 a month in 1972, based on
information from union contracts
covering several airlines. Beginning
salaries for station and operations
agents ranged from $625 to $700 a
month.
Traffic agents and clerks and
their immediate families are en­
titled to a limited amount of free
or reduced fare transportation on
their company’s flights. In addition,
they may fly on other airlines at
greatly reduced rates. Traffic agents
and clerks usually receive 2 to 4
weeks of vacation with pay. They
also receive paid sick leave, health
and life insurance, and retirement
benefits.
Many reservation and transpor­
tation agents belong to labor unions.
Four unions cover most of the orga­
nized agents: the Air Line Em­
ployees Association International;
the Transport Workers Union of
America; the Brotherhood of Rail­
way and Steamship Clerks, Freight
Handlers, Express and Station Em­
ployees; and the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chaffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers
of America (Ind.)
Sources of Additional Information

Pamphlets describing the duties
of traffic agents and clerks are
available from:
Air Line Employees Association 5600
S. Central Ave., Chicago, 111. 60638.

Information about jobs in a par­
ticular airline may be obtained by
writing to the personnel manager
of the company. Addresses of com­
panies are available from:
Air Transport Association of America,
1000 Connecticut Ave. NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.

MERCHANT MARINE OCCUPATIONS
The American merchant marine
is a vital link in the Nation’s trans­
portation system. It transports
America’s exports and, in turn,
brings imports from the rest of the
world. In time of military conflict,
it carries troops, arms, and supplies
to combat areas. Seafaring employ­
ment offers a variety of interesting
and rewarding careers as well as
travel and adventure.
About 32,000 officers and seamen
worked aboard U.S. oceangoing
vessels in late 1972. The work
aboard ships is divided among the
deck, engine, and steward depart­
ments. The deck department is re­
sponsible for navigation, maintenance
of the hull and deck equipment, and
the supervision of loading, unload­
ing, and storing of cargo. Personnel
in the engine department operate
and maintain the machinery that
propels the vessel. The steward’s de­
partment feeds the crew and main­
tains living and recreation areas.
Although employment in mer­
chant marine occupations is ex­
pected to decline moderately through
the mid-1980’s, some job openings
will arise from the need to replace
experienced workers who retire, die,
or quit the sea for other reasons.
Competition for these openings,
however, will be severe because the
number of people seeking merchant
marine jobs is expected to be much
greater than the number of openings.
Due to higher labor and shipbuild­
ing costs the U.S. merchant fleet
finds it difficult to compete in the
world shipping market. To insure
that our country has a fleet operat­
ing in regular or essential trade
routes, the Government subsidizes
298



many ships and in 1970 passed a law
to subsidize the construction of 30
new ships annually over a 10 year
period. The number of ships built,
however, is expected to be about the
same as the number of older ones
taken out of service. Therefore, the
size of the U.S. merchant fleet
probably will not grow, and because
newer ships are larger and faster
and can be operated with smaller
crews, fewer officers and seamen will
be needed.

MERCHANT MARINE
OFFICERS
Nature of the Work

In command of every ocean going
vessel is the captain (D.O.T. 197.168)
or master who is the shipowner’s
sole representative. He has complete
authority and responsibility for ship
operation, including discipline and
order, and the safety of the crew,
passengers, cargo, and vessel.
While in port, the captain may
serve as the shipowner’s agent in
conferring with custom officials, and
in some cases, act as paymaster for
the ship. Although not technically a
member of a specific department, he
generally is associated with the deck
department, from whose ranks he
has been promoted.
Deck Department. Deck officers
or “ mates” as they are traditionally
called direct the navigation of the
ship and the maintenance of the
deck and hull. They maintain the
authorized speed and course; plot
the vessel’s position at frequent in­
tervals; post lookouts when re­

quired; record information in the
“log” of the voyage; and immediate­
ly notify the captain of any unusual
occurences. Deck officers must be
familiar with modern navigational
devices, such as sonar and radio
directional finders, to operate ships
safely and efficiently.
The chief mate (D.O.T. 197.133),
also known as the first mate or chief
officer, is the captain’s key assistant
in assigning duties to the deck crew
and maintaining order and discip­
line. He also plans and supervises
the loading and unloading of cargo,
and assists the captain in taking the
ship in and out of port. On some
ships the chief mate also may be in
charge of first aid treatment.
By tradition, the second mate
(D.O.T. 197.133) is the navigation
officer. He sees that the ship is pro­
vided with the necessary navigation
charts and that navigating equip­
ment is maintained properly.
The third mate (D.O.T. 197.133),
the most junior-rated deck officer,
is responsible for the care and the
maintenance of the navigating bridge
and the chartroom. He acts as the
signal officer and is in charge of all
signaling equipment. He also assists
in the supervision of cargo loading
and unloading. The third mate fre­
quently inspects lifesaving equip­
ment to be sure it is ready for use
in fire, shipwreck, or other emer­
gencies.
Engine Department. Marine en­
gineers operate and maintain all
engines and machinery aboard ship.
The chief engineer (D.O.T. 197.130)
supervises the engine department,
and is responsible for the efficient
operation of engines and other me­
chanical equipment. He oversees the
operation of the main power plant
and auxiliary equipment while the
vessel is underway and keeps record
of equipment performance and fuel
consumption.
The first assistant engineer

299

MERCHANT MARINE OCCUPATIONS

periodically receives and records
time signals, weather reports, posi­
tion reports, and other information.
The radio officer also may maintain
depth recording equipment and elec­
tronic navigation equipment.
Some freighters and all passenger
vessels carry pursers (D.O.T. 197.
168). The purser or staff officer
does the extensive paperwork re­
quired to enter and clear a ship in
each port, prepares payrolls, and
assists passengers as required. In
recent years, the Staff Officers Asso­
ciation has established a program
to train pursers to act also as phar­
macists’ mates. This instruction is
designed to improve the medical
care aboard freighters and tankers
and facilitate Public Health clear­
ance when a ship arrives in port.
All passenger ships must carry li­
censed doctors and nurses.
Places of Employment

Chief mate directs speed and course of cargo ship.

(D .O .T .
room

1 9 7 .1 3 0 )

p erson n el

s u p e r v is e s
and

e n g in e

d ir e c ts

opera­

t io n s su c h a s s ta r tin g , s t o p p in g , a n d
c o n t r o llin g
e n g in e s .
th e

sp eed

w ith

g in e e r ,

of

oversees

lu b r ic a tio n

g en era to rs,
and

th e

He

of

and
th e

d ir e c ts

a id
a ll

th e

and

e n g in e s ,
o th e r
of

p u m p s,

m a c h in e r y ,

th e

ty p e s

m a in

in s p e c t s

c h ie f

en­

o f r e p a ir s .

The second assistant engineer
(D.O.T. 197.130) has charge of the
boiler and associated equipment
such as the water-feed system and
pumps. He makes sure proper steam
pressure and oil and water tempera­
tures are maintained. He also super­
vises the cleaning of boilers.




The

th ird

assistan t

engineer

(D.O.T. 197.130) supervises the
operation and maintenance of the
lubrication system and a variety of
other engineroom equipment. Some
third assistant engineers are respon­
sible for the electrical and refrigera­
tion systems aboard ships.
Other officers. A ship keeps con­
tact with the shore and other vessels
through its radio officer (D.O.T.
193.282), who also maintains radio
equipment. A passenger ship carries
three to six radio officers; the
average cargo vessel employs one.
The officer sends and receives mes­
sages by voice or Morse code. He

Nearly 8,500 officers were em­
ployed aboard U.S. oceangoing ves­
sels in late 1972. Deck officers
and engineering officers accounted
for more than four-fifths of the
total, and radio officers made up
most of the remainder.
About 65 percent of the officers
were aboard freighters and 32 per­
cent were aboard tankers. The re­
maining 3 percent manned passenger
vessels.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

People applying for an officer’s
license in the deck and engineering
departments of oceangoing vessels
must meet certain legal require­
ments. Captains, chief and second
mates, and chief and first assistant
engineers must be at least 21 years
old. The minimum age for third
mates, third assistant engineers,
and radio operators is 19. In addi­
tion, applicants must present proof

300

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

of U.S. citizenship and obtain a five State merchant marine acad­
U.S. Public Health Service certifi­ emies: California Maritime Acad­
cate attesting to their vision, color emy, Vallejo, Calif.; Maine Maritime
perception, and general physical Academy, Castine, Maine; Massa­
condition.
chusetts Maritime Academy, HyanIn addition to legal and medical nis, Mass.; Texas Maritime Academy,
requirements, candidates must also Galveston, Tex.; and New York
have at least 3 years of appropriate Maritime College, Fort Schuyler,
sea experience or be a graduate of New York, N.Y. About 550 stu­
an approved training program. Deck dents graduate each year from these
officer candidates must pass Coast schools; about one-half are trained
Guard examinations that require as deck officers and one-half as
extensive knowledge of seamanship, marine engineers. Entrance require­
navigation, cargo handling, and ments are very high. Admission to
deck department operations. Marine the Federal academy is through
engineering officer candidates must nomination by a member of Con­
demonstrate in-depth knowledge of gress, whereas entrance to the other
propulsion systems, electricity, plumb­ academies is made through written
ing and steam fitting, metal shaping application directly to the school.
and assembly, and ship structure.
Most of the academies offer 3To advance to higher ratings, of­ or 4-year courses in nautical science
ficers must pass progressively more or marine engineering, as well as
difficult examinations.
practical experience at sea. Subjects
For a Coast Guard license as a include navigation, mathematics,
radio officer, applicants must have electronics, seamanship, propulsion
a first or second-class radiotele­ systems, electrical engineering, lan­
graph operator’s license issued by guages, history, and shipping manthe Federal Communications Com­ aagement. After Coast Guard
mission. For a license to serve as examinations are passed, licenses
the sole radio operator aboard a are issued for either third mate or
cargo vessel, the Coast Guard also third assistant engineer. In addition,
requires 6 months of radio experi­ graduates may receive commissions
ence at sea.
as ensigns in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Unlike most professions, no edu­
Because of their thorough ground­
cation requirements have been es­ ing in theory and its • practical
tablished for officers. A seaman application, academy graduates are
with 3 year’s experience in the deck in the best position to move up to
or engine department may apply for master and chief engineer ratings.
either a third mate’s license or for Their well-rounded education also
a third assistant engineer’s license. helps qualify them for shoreside
However, because of the complex jobs such as marine superintendent,
machinery, navigational, and elec­ operating manager, or shipping
tronic equipment on modern ships, executive.
formal training usually is needed
A number of trade unions in the
to pass the Coast Guard’s examina­ maritime industry provide officer
tion for these licenses.
training. These unions include the
The fastest and surest way to be­ International Organization of Mas­
come a well-trained officer is ters, Mates and Pilots; the Seafarers’
through an established training pro­ International Union; the Brother­
gram. Such programs are available hood of Marine Officers; and the
at the U.S. Merchant Marine Acad­ National Marine Engineers’ Bene­
emy at Kings Point, N.Y. and at ficial Association. Most union pro­




grams are designed to upgrade
experienced seamen to officer rat­
ings, although some programs accept
inexperienced young men. For ex­
ample, the National Marine En­
gineers’ Beneficial Association
(MEBA) operates the Calhoon
MEBA Engineering School in Balti­
more, Md., which offers high school
graduates a 3-year apprenticeship
training program in preparation for
a third assistant engineer’s license.
The program consists of both class­
room instruction and sea experience
and provides free room, board,
medical care, and text books in ad­
dition to a monthly grant. Trainees
must agree to serve at least 3 years
in the U.S. Merchant Marine after
the 3-year training period.
The U.S. Merchant Marine
Academy now selects 10 percent
of the approximately 300 men who
enter the academy each year to be
trained as “omnicompetent” of­
ficers. They are taught both naviga­
tional and technical skills so they
can work in either the deck or
engine department.
Advancement for deck and en­
gine officer's is along well-defined
lines and depends primarily upon
specified sea experience, passing a
Coast Guard examination, and lead­
ership ability. Deck officers start
as third mates. After 1 year’s
service they are eligible to take a
second mate examination. A second
mate may apply for a chief mate’s
license after 1 year of service, and
a chief mate may apply for a cap­
tain’s license after 1 year of service.
An officer in the engine department
starts as third assistant engineer.
After 1 year of service, he may
apply for a second assistant’s license
and finally a chief engineer’s license.
Employment Outlook

Employment of ship’s officers is
expected to decline moderately

MERCHANT MARINE OCCUPATIONS

through the mid-1980’s. Some job
openings will arise each year, how­
ever, due to the need to replace
experienced officers who retire, die,
or take shoreside employment.
The number of ships in our mer­
chant fleet is not expected to in­
crease in the years ahead (See
introduction on merchant marine
occupations). Older vessels will be
replaced by larger, mechanized
ships equipped with the latest laborsaving innovations. A central con­
sole in the newest ships, for example,
controls engines, boilers, and related
propulsion equipment, so the need
for officers in charge of such equip­
ment is reduced.

371/2 percent of their monthly rate
of pay. Those who have 25 years
of service are eligible for $425 a
month or 50 percent of their monthly
rate. Officers forced to retire pre­
maturely due to a permanent dis­
ability receive partial pensions.
Comprehensive medical care and
hospitalization are provided for
officers and their families through
union programs.
The workweek aboard ship is
considerably different from the
workweek on shore. At sea, most
officers are required to stand watch.
Watchstanders work 7 days a week.
Generally, they work two 4-hour
watches (shifts) during every 24hour period and have 8 hours off
Earnings and Working Conditions between each watch. Some officers
are day workers. They work 8 hours
Earnings of officers depend upon a day, Monday through Friday.
their rank and the type of ship. Both watchstanders and day work­
Wages are highest on large ships. ers are paid overtime for work over
The accompanying tabulation shows 40 hours a week. When the ship is
monthly base wages for officers in port, the basic workweek is 40
aboard an average freighter in 1972. hours for all crew members.
Additional payments for overtime
The duties aboard ship are haz­
and assuming extra responsibilities ardous compared to other industries.
generally average about 50 percent At sea, there is always the possibility
of base pay. For example, a second of injuries from falls or the danger
mate with a monthly base pay of of fire, collision, or sinking.
$955 may regularly earn about
A number of labor organizations
$1,433 each month.
represent merchant marine officers.
The two largest are the Inter­
B a se p a y l
national Organization of Masters,
C aptain..................................
$2,443
First m a te .....................
1,347
Mates and Pilots representing deck
Second m a te ................
955
officers and the National Marine
Third m a t e ...................
858
Engineers’ Beneficial Association
Radio officer ........................
1,056
representing engineering officers.
P urser...........................
772
The Brotherhood of Marine Of­
Chief engineer ......................
2,253
First assistant engineer . . . .
1,347
ficers represents deck and engine
Second assistant engineer ..
955
officers on some ships. The Staff
Third assistant engineer . . .
858
Officers Association represents pur­
1 East Coast wages in June 1972 aboard a
sers aboard certain freighters. Radio
12,000-17,000 power ton single screw ship.
officers are represented by the
Officers and their dependents en­ American Radio Association and
joy substantial pension and welfare the Radio Officers Union. In addi­
benefits. Vacations range from 90 tion, a number of independent
to 180 days a year. Officers with unions organize officers on tankers.
20 years of service have the option Officer’s unions may require initia­
of a monthly pension of $325 or tion fees as high as $1,000.




301

Sources of Additional Information

General information about mer­
chant marine officer’s jobs may be
obtained from:
Office of Maritime Manpower, Maritime
Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20235.

Information about job openings,
qualifications for employment, wage
scales and other particulars can be
obtained from local maritime of­
ficers’ unions. If no maritime union
is listed in the local telephone
directory, information may be ob­
tained from:
International Organization of Masters,
Mates and Pilots, 39 Broadway, New
York, N.Y. 10006.
National Marine Engineers’ Beneficial
Association, 17 Battery Place, New
York, N.Y. 10004.

MERCHANT SEAMEN
Seamen make up most of a ship’s
crew and do most of the manual
labor. Employment is along craft
lines with varying skill levels. Each
worker is assigned to one of the
following departments: deck, en­
gine, and steward’s.
DECK DEPARTMENT. Ordi­
nary Seamen (D.O.T. 911.887), the
entry rating in the deck department,
scrub decks, coil and splice ropes,
paint, clean personnel quarters, and
do other general maintenance work.
Ordinary seamen also may relieve
able seamen who steer the ship and
act as lookouts. All freighters and
tankers customarily employ three
ordinary seamen.
Able Seamen (D.O.T. 911.884)
represent about one-fifth of all sea­
men. They must have a thorough
knowledge of all parts of the ship
and be able to handle all gear and
deck equipment. They act as helms­

302

men or quartermasters to steer the
ship. Usually, they each take 2-hour
turns at the wheel, and as lookouts
report sightings to deck officers.
Freighters and tankers usually have
six able seamen.
Able seamen also are responsible
for rigging, repairing, and stowing
cargo-handling and other gear.
They must be able to tie common
knots and handle mooring lines
when the ship is docking or depart­
ing. In addition to their more
skilled tasks, they do general deck
maintenance work similar to that
done by ordinary seamen.
Because of the ever-present dan­
ger of fire at sea, able seamen
must be familiar with fire preven­
tion and control methods. They
participate in periodic boat drills
and are trained in all operations
connected with launching lifeboats
and life rafts.
The boatswain (D.O.T. 911.131),
or bosun, is the highest ranking able
seaman. As foreman in charge of
the deck crew he relays the deck
officers’ orders and sees that these
orders are carried out. The boat­
swain assists the chief mate in
assigning work to crew members
and directs general maintenance
operations such as cleaning decks
and polishing metalwork. When the
ship docks or anchors, he super­
vises the deck crew in handling the
lines used for mooring.
Most cargo vessels carry one to
three deck utilitymen (D.O.T. 911.
884), who maintain the deck depart­
ment under the supervision of the
boatswain. They determine the con­
dition of bilges (compartments in
the bottom of the hull) and do gen­
eral maintenance work.
Some vessels carry a ship’s car­
penter (D.O.T. 860.281) who se­
cures cargo hatches and ports, and
braces (shores) cargo. He may oper­
ate winches that hoist and drop the
anchor and seal the hawsepipes




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

(steel pipes through which anchor
chains pass) when anchor and chains
are not in use. Because of mechani­
zation, newer ships are sailing with
fewer carpenters and deck utilitymen.
ENGINE DEPARTMENT. The
engineering staff consists of a variety
of occupational specialties requiring
varying degrees of skill from the
entry rating of wiper to specialized
skilled jobs such as reefer engineer.
Wipers (D.O.T. 699.887) keep the
engine room and machinery clean.
Most cargo vessels carry two or
three wipers. Oilers (D.O.T. 911.
884) lubricate mechanical equip­
ment. They make regular rounds
of ship machinery to check oil
pressures and flow. Oilers also may
help overhaul and repair machinery.
Firemen/watertenders (D.O.T. 951.
885) check and regulate the amount
of water in the boilers, inspect
gauges, and regulate fuel flow to
keep steam pressure constant. They
also check the operation of evapora­
tors and condensers and test water
for salt control; clean oil burning

equipment; and clean strainers used
to Filter dirt from oil.
The ships’ electrician (D.O.T.
825.281) repairs and maintains elec­
trical equipment, such as generators
and motors. He tests wiring for
short circuits and removes and re­
places fuses and defective lights.
Many vessels have two electricians.
Automated ships carry deckengine mechanics who replace the
oilers, Firemen/watertenders, and
electricians on conventional vessels.
Certain types of ships require
workers who have special skills,
such as refrigeration engineers
(D.O.T. 950.782) who maintain
proper temperatures in refrigerator
compartments for perishable car­
goes such as meat and vegetables.
STEW ARD ’S DEPARTMENT.
The chief steward (D.O.T. 350.138)
supervises the preparation and serv­
ing of meals and the upkeep of liv­
ing quarters aboard ship. The chief
cook (D.O.T. 315.131) and assistant
cooks prepare meals. The chief cook
also supervises the other galley
(ship’s kitchen) workers and is
responsible for keeping the galley
clean and orderly. Utilitymen
(D.O.T. 318.887) and messmen
(D.O.T. 350.878) complete the crew
in the steward’s department. These
beginning jobs require little skill.
Utilitymen carry food supplies from
the storeroom and iceboxes, pre­
pare vegetables, wash cooking uten­
sils and scour galley equipment.
Messmen set tables, serve meals,
clean tables, wash dishes, and care
for living quarters.

Places of Employment

About 23,500 seamen were em­
ployed aboard U.S. oceangoing ves­
sels in late 1972. Nearly 64 percent
were aboard freighters, and about
32 percent were aboard tankers.
The remaining 4 percent manned
passenger ships.

MERCHANT MARINE OCCUPATIONS

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Although not required, previous
sea experience in the Coast Guard
or Navy is a good background for
entering the merchant marine. Ap­
plicants must have health certifi­
cates. In addition, they must obtain
seaman’s papers from the U.S.
Coast Guard. Seaman’s papers,
however, do not guarantee a job.
They merely qualify a person to be
considered for a job when the sup­
ply of regular workers has been
exhausted. To get a job, a person
must be present at the hiring hall
when the opening becomes avail­
able. In good shipping times, an
opening may come within a week;
in less prosperous times it may take
much longer.
Hiring halls are located in the
chief ports of the country. They are
operated by unions for commercial
vessels and by the Navy’s Military
Sealift Command (MSC) for gov­
ernment operated ships. In most
ports along the Atlantic and Gulf
Coasts and Great Lakes, the Na­
tional Maritime Union or Sea­
farers’ International Union operate
hiring halls. The Sailors Union of
the Pacific operates hiring halls in
many ports of the West Coast.
MSC employment offices are lo­
cated at Brooklyn, N.Y.; New
Orleans, La.; and Oakland, Calif.
The jobseeker is given a shipping
card when he registers at the hiring
hall. The shipping companies send
job orders to the hiring hall, and
the seaman who has been unem­
ployed the longest gets first prefer­
ence on any job for which he is
qualified. The applicant must be
present at the hall when the job is
announced and he may lose his
place if he is not present, or has
turned down three job offers.
A seaman advances in the deck
and engine departments by serving
a designated period in a rating, and




303

by successfully completing a Coast
Guard examination that tests the
seaman’s ability to use and main­
tain the equipment in his depart­
ment. For example, after serving
a minimum of 1 year, an ordinary
seaman may apply to the Coast
Guard for limited endorsement as
an able seaman. For full endorse­
ment, the applicant must be 19 years
of age and pass an examination to
test his knowledge of seamanship
and ability to carry out all the
duties required of an able seaman.
Seamen who have the ability to
supervise may advance to boatswain
after years of service.
Advancement to higher positions
in the steward’s department is by
recommendation of the chief stew­
ard to the captain. A messman or
utilityman can advance to third
cook, to cook/baker, to chief cook,
and finally to chief steward.
Most training programs in the in­
dustry are designed to help experi­
enced workers upgrade their ratings.
However, the Seafarers’ Interna­
tional Union of North America
operates the Harry Lundeberg
School for seamanship at Piney
Point, Md. that accepts and trains
in general seamanship skills a
limited number of young people
who have no sea experience. Up­
grading courses for seamen are
offered by the Seafarers’ Union;
the National Maritime Union of
America, and a number of other
organizations.
Employment Outlook

Employment of seamen is ex­
pected to decline moderately through
the mid-1980’s. Some job openings,
however, will arise each year due
to the need to replace experienced
seamen who retire, die, or quit the
sea for other reasons.
The number of ships in our mer­
chant fleet is not expected to in­

crease in the years ahead (see
introduction on merchant marine
occupations). Older vessels will be
replaced by larger ships equipped
with features that reduce manpower
requirements. The size of the deck
crew, for example, is being reduced
by technological improvements such
as automatic tension mooring
winches that assist in docking and
undocking.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Crew members of American mer­
chant ships enjoy excellent pay and
fringe benefits. Earnings depend on
job assignments and type of vessel.
Basic monthly pay for a cross sec­
tion of ratings on a typical freighter
in 1972 is shown in the accompany­
ing tabulation:
B ase p a y 1
Able seam an...................................
$528
Ordinary seam an ...............................
413
Deck utilitym an............................
590
C arpenter.......................................
639
Electrician .....................................
817
Oiler .....................................................
528
Fireman/watertender .......................
528
Wiper ...................................................
491
Chief stew ard.................................
694
C oo k /b a k er........................................
601
M essman/utilityman.........................
410

' East Coast wages in June 1972 aboard a
12,000—17,000 power ton single screw ship.

Monthly wages are supplemented
by premium pay for overtime and
other factors. On the average, pre­
mium earnings are equal to about
50 percent base wages. For example,
an oiler with a monthly base pay
of $528 regularly earns about $792
each month.
Liberal employer-financed fringe
benefits are provided. Vacations
range from 90 to 180 days a year.
Seamen may retire on pensions after
20 years of service. Seamen and
their dependents are covered by
comprehensive medical care and
hospitalization programs.
The workweek aboard ship is con­
siderably different from the work­

304

week on shore. At sea, most seamen
are required to stand watch. Watchstanders work 7 days a week.
Generally, they work two 4-hour
watches (shifts) during every 24hour period and have 8 hours off
between each watch. Some seamen
are day workers. They work 8 hours
a day, Monday through Friday.
Both watchstanders and day work­
ers are paid overtime for work
over 40 hours a week. When the
ship is in port, the basic workweek
is 40 hours for all crew members.
The duties aboard ship are haz­
ardous compared to other indus­
tries. At sea, there is always the
possibility of injuries from falls or
the danger of Fire, collision, or
sinking.
A person working in the engine




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

room must be able to withstand
high temperatures. A deckworker
must adapt to both the bitter cold
and hot sun.
Accommodations for seamen
aboard U.S. vessels are generally
good, but not luxurious. Meals are
served in a mess hall, which often
doubles as a recreation room where
the crew can read, write letters,
play cards, and socialize. Crewmen
generally share quarters aboard
older ships and have little privacy,
but most new ships have single
rooms.
Seamen are represented by a
number of labor organizations; the
two largest are the National Mari­
time Union of America and the
Seafarers’ International Union of
North America.

Sources of Additional Information

General information about mer­
chant seamen jobs may be obtained
from:
Office of Maritime Manpower, Maritime
Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20235.

Information about job openings,
qualifications for employment,
wage scales and other particulars
can be obtained from local mari­
time unions. If no maritime union
is listed in the local telephone
directory, information may be ob­
tained from:
National Maritime Union of America,
36 Seventh Avenue, New York, N.Y.
10011.
Seafarers’ International Union of North
America, 675 Fourth Avenue, Brook­
lyn, N.Y . 11232.

BRAKEMEN
(D.O.T. 910.364 and .884)
Nature of the Work

RAILROAD OCCUPATIONS
People, food, and industrial
materials all move along the more
than 200,000 miles of railroad
tracks that crisscross the Nation;
and the railroads, in 1972, provided
jobs for about 575,000 people. Rail­
road jobs are found in all States ex­
cept Hawaii; the greatest number is
at terminal points where the rail­
roads maintain control offices,
freight yards, and maintenance and
repair shops. Chicago, the hub of
the Nation’s railroad system, has
more railroad wokers than any
other area. Large numbers of
workers also are employed in New
York, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh,
Philadelphia, Cleveland, and St.
Louis.
Although railroads vary greatly
in size from the large, well known
roads to small terminal and switch­
ing companies, most are organized
in the same way. They usually have
three major divisions in both freight
and passenger operations—transpor­
tation, maintenance and repair, and
administration.
In the transportation area are
three groups of employees—operat­
ing workers, passenger attendants,
and communications and some of­
fice workers. In 1972, about onefourth of railroad workers were oper­
ating employees, such as locomotive
engineers, conductors, and brakemen. Communications and office
workers, including station agents
and telegraphers, towermen, and
telephonemen, coordinate the move­
ment and direction of trains. They
make up another fourth of all rail­
road workers. Railroads employed
only a small number of porters, din­




ing car waiters, and other passenger
service attendants.
Equipment maintenance special­
ists, such as machinists, electrical
workers, sheet-metal workers, car­
men, boilermakers and blacksmiths,
repair locomotives and cars. Rightof-way maintenance employees
build and repair tracks, signals,
bridges, and other structures. To­
gether these maintenance workers
accounted for more than one-third
of railroad jobs.
The remaining workers were in
the administrative division. These
professional and clerical people, in­
cluding clerks, accountants, and
statisticians, handle ticket sales,
freight receipts, personnel records,
and other company records in sta­
tions and offices.
Discussions of the work, training,
outlook, and earnings for most ma­
jor occupations in railroads are pre­
sented in the statements that follow.
Information on employment also is
available in the statement on the rail­
road industry elsewhere in the Hand­
book. Details about specific jobs
may be obtained from local railroad
offices, and general information on
the industry can be obtained from
the Association of American Rail­
roads, American Railroads Build­
ing, 1920 L St. NW., Washington,
D.C.20036.

Brakemen work on passenger and
freight trains and in railroad yards.
Each train crew includes one brakeman stationed in the rear of the
train who displays warning lights
and signals to protect it while mov­
ing or stopped. For safety, all pas­
senger and many freight trains carry
at the front of the train another
brakeman, who sets out signals to
protect the front at unexpected
stops.
Before
departure,
brakemen
make sure that brake equipment is
functioning properly and that tools,
flares, and lanterns are in place.
While under way, they regularly
look for smoke, sparks, and other
signs of sticking brakes, overheated
axle bearings, and other faulty equip­
ment. They may couple and uncou­
ple cars and air hoses and help
switch cars at sidings. In passenger
service, brakemen (also known as
trainmen) regulate car lighting and
temperature; they may help the con­
ductor by collecting tickets and as­
sisting passengers. Yard brakemen
(also known as switchmen or
helpers) help assemble and disassem­
ble trains by throwing switches, cou­
pling and uncoupling cars, and oper­
ating car handbrakes.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Beginning brakemen make sever­
al trips with an experienced brakeman or conductor to become
familiar with the job duties. New
brakemen are then put on the extra
board and given assignments to sub­
stitute for workers who are absent
for vacations, illness, or other rea­
sons. Usually they work a year or so
before they learn the job thorough305

306

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ly, and several more years before
they gain enough seniority to get a
regular assignment.
Employers prefer applicants who
are high school graduates or the
equivalent. Good eyesight and hear­
ing are essential. Physical stamina is
necessary for the standing, walking,
climbing, and exposure to all kinds
of weather. Mechanical aptitude is
helpful.
With sufficient seniority, brakemen may become conductors. These
jobs are always filled by promoting
experienced brakemen who have
qualified by passing written and oral
tests on signals, brake systems, time­
tables, operating rules, and other
subjects. Since promotions are con­
trolled by seniority rules, brakemen
may wait 10 years or more to be­
come conductors. Advancement is
limited by the number of conductor
jobs, and this number has been de­
clining for many years.
Some brakemen in freight service
may move to passenger service,
usually considered more desirable
because it is less strenuous. Some
brakemen take positions as baggage­
men, who tend baggage cars on pas­
senger trains.
Employment Outlook

Employment of brakemen—who
numbered nearly 73,000 in 1972—is
expected to decline slowly through
the mid-1980’s. Some opportunities
for new workers, however, will de­
velop as experienced brakemen re­
tire, die, advance to jobs as conduc­
tors, or transfer to other work.
Employment will continue to de­
cline along with overall railroad em­
ployment. Employment will also be
affected by increasing mechaniza­
tion, as in automatic switches and
automatic car identification systems
using special labels that are read by
wayside scanners. Changes in the
size of train crews, eliminating one
brakeman where there are now two,




may further reduce job opportuni­
ties. The employment decline, how­
ever, may be less than antici­
pated if fuel shortages continue.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, brakemen had average
monthly earnings of $940 in yard
service, $1,190 in freight road ser­
vice, and $1,190 in passenger road
service. These earnings were about
twice as much as the average for nonsupervisory workers in all private in­
dustries, except farming.
Brakemen usually work a 40-hour
week, and receive premium pay for
overtime. They often work nights,
weekends, and holidays. Brakemen
assigned to extra board work have
less steady work, more irregular
hours, and lower earnings than
brakemen with regular assignments.
Yard and freight service brakemen
face greater accident risks than
most other railroad workers.
Most brakemen are members of
the United Transportation Union.

BRIDGE AND BUILDING
WORKERS
Nature of the Work

Bridge and building workers con­
struct and repair the tunnels, bridges,
stations, shops, and other structures
owned by the railroads. Included
are carpenters, masons, bricklayers,
plasterers, plumbers, painters, and
ironworkers. (Details about the na­
ture of work for these craftsmen
can be found elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

New employees usually begin as

helpers. As openings occur in
skilled jobs, qualified helpers who
have the necessary seniority are
promoted. Skilled bridge and build­
ing workers may advance to fore­
men, inspectors, or bridge and
building supervisors.
Employment Outlook

Employment of bridge and build­
ing workers—who numbered about
10,500 in 1972—is expected to de­
crease slowly through the mid1980’s because of the continued
decline in railroad employment.
Additionally, productivity of work­
ers will increase through the use
of improved building materials that
need less maintenance and of power
tools and other laborsaving equip­
ment. A small number of job open­
ings will arise each year for new
workers to replace those who retire,
die, or transfer to other jobs.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, railroad carpenters in
bridge and building work averaged
$4.50 an hour. Masons, bricklayers,
plasterers, and plumbers averaged
$4.75; iron-workers, $4.82; painters,
$4.52; helpers, $4.14; and foremen,
$5.02 an hour.
Bridge and building workers
work a 5-day, 40 hour week and
receive premium pay for overtime.
When they are on jobs away from
home, they usually live in camp cars
supplied by the railroads. Most of
these jobs are active and strenuous
and involve stooping, climbing, and
lifting.
On most railroads, the Brother­
hood of Maintenance of Way Em­
ployees represents bridge and build­
ing workers.

307

RAILROAD OCCUPATIONS

CLERKS
Nature of the Work

Railroad clerks handle paper­
work to keep track of the company’s
cars and business with shippers and
the traveling public. Clerks work
in railroad stations, freight houses,
yards, terminals, and company
offices and make up the largest
single group of railroad employees.
Most railroad clerks handle busi­
ness transactions, such as collecting
bills, adjusting claims, and tracing
shipments. They use computers and
other business machines in much of
this work. In small offices and sta­
tions, a clerk may have many duties,
but in large offices they tend to
specialize in a few.
Other clerks are secretaries, ste­
nographers, typists, and operators
of calculating, bookkeeping, and
other office machines. Their work
is similar to the same occupations
in other industries. (Information
about these clerical occupations
may be found elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Railroad clerks in higher grade
jobs do more responsible or techni­
cal work. Some prepare statistics
on employment, traffic, and other
matters relating to railroad opera­
tions. Cashiers deal with customers
on matters such as uncollected
freight bills. Still others account
for their company’s use of jointlyowned terminals and other facilities.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most railroads require applicants
for clerical jobs to have a high
school education. They sometimes
give clerical aptitude tests. Appli­
cants who have training or experi­
ence in working with figures are
preferred. In some clerical positions
—yard clerk for instance—begin­




ners may be assigned to extra
board work until regular assign­
ments become available. Extra
board workers substitute for regular
clerks who are absent because of
vacations, illness, or other reasons.
In many offices, a railroad clerk
may advance to assistant chief clerk
or to a higher administrative posi­
tion. In others, a clerk may move
to jobs requiring special knowledge,
such as accounting or statistics,
and many eventually become an
auditor or statistician. Some clerks
are promoted to traffic agent,
buyer, storekeeper, ticket agent, or
station agent.

Employment Outlook

Employment of railroad clerks—
who numbered nearly 83,000 in
1972—is expected to decline moder­
ately through the mid-1980’s, as
railroad employment continues to
decline. Computers and other laborsaving office equipment will in­
crease the productivity of railroad
clerks, and enable fewer clerks to
do as much or more work than in
the past. However, some job open­
ings will arise as experienced clerks
retire, die, or transfer to other
fields of work.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, hourly earnings for rail­
road clerks who handled business
transactions averaged $4.63, about
one-fourth more than the average
for nonsupervisory workers in all
private industries, except farming.
Secretaries, stenographers, typists,
and office machine operators aver­
aged $4.59 an hour; senior clerks
and specialists averagqd $5.32 an
hour; and supervisory and chief
clerks, $6.23 an hour. Railroad
clerks usually work a 40-hour week,
and receive premium pay for over­
time.

Most railroad clerks are mem­
bers of the Brotherhood of Railway,
Airline and Steamship Clerks,
Freight Handlers, Express and Sta­
tion Employees.

CONDUCTORS
(D.O.T. 198.168)
Nature of the Work

Conductors are in charge of train
crews and are responsible for the
safety of passengers and cargoes.
Before the train leaves the ter­
minal, the conductor gets train
orders from the dispatcher and
makes sure that the crew under­
stands them. During runs, conduc­
tors periodically inspect each car.
If problems occur, they arrange
either for repairs while under way
or for removal of the defective cars
at the nearest siding. At stops, they
signal engineers when to depart.
On passenger trains, conductors
collect tickets and provide informa­
tion to passengers. On freight trains,
they keep records of each car’s con­
tents and destination and see that
cars are added and removed at the
proper points along the route.
Yard conductors, or yard fore­
men, supervise the crews that as­
semble and disassemble trains. In
many yards, they electrically con­
trol the track switches that are used
to automatically classify cars on
sidings.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Experienced brakemen who have
passed tests covering signals, time­
tables, operating rules, and related
subjects are made temporary con­
ductors until a regular opening
occurs. Those who have the great-

RAILROAD OCCUPATIONS

308

est seniority become conductors.
The availability of these positions
limits promotion.
Most railroads maintain separate
seniority lists for road service and
yard service conductors and con­
ductors usually remain in one type
of service for their entire careers.
On some roads, however, conduc­
tors start in the yards, then move
to freight service, and finally to
passenger service.
Conductors who have direct con­
tact with the public must serve
effectively as the railroad’s repre­
sentative. Those who show special
abilities in this area may advance
to managerial positions, such as
trainmaster.
Employment Outlook

Employment of conductors—
who numbered about 38,000 in
1972—is expected to decline slowly
through the mid-1980’s. Some
brakemen, however, will be pro­
moted to replace conductors who
retire or die.
Employment of conductors will
continue to decline in line with de1creased industry employment, par­
ticularly as a result of reduced
passenger traffic. Although some




additional conductors will be needed watch track signals that indicate
for increased freight service, the track obstructions, speed limits, and
number for yard service will decline special instructions. Engineers must
because of widespread use of electric have a thorough knowledge of the
and electronic car classification sys­ signal systems, yards, and terminals
tems and communications equip­ along their routes, and must be con­
ment. The employment decline, how­ stantly alert to insure safe, efficient
ever, may be less than anticipated operation of trains.
Before and after each passenger
if fuel shortages continue.
and freight run, engineers check
locomotives for mechanical prob­
Earnings and Working Conditions lems. Minor adjustments are made
In 1972, conductors had average on the spot, but major defects are
monthly earnings of $1,120 in yard reported to the engine shop fore­
service, $1,350 in freight road ser­ man. Engineers must follow time­
vice, and $1,337 in passenger road table schedules and consider
service. These earnings were more passenger comfort and safety.
than double the average for nonTraining, Other Qualifications,
supervisory workers in all private
and Advancement
industries, except farming.
Conductors usually work a 40Openings in engineer jobs are
hour week and receive premium usually filled by training and pro­
pay for overtime. They often work moting firemen according to sen­
nights, weekends, and holidays. iority rules. Firemen qualify for
Temporary conductors frequently promotion by demonstrating their
work irregular hours totaling less ability to operate locomotives and
than 40 a week and, therefore, earn by passing written and oral tests on
less.
mechanical and electrical equip­
Many conductors are members of ment, fuel economy, safety, time­
the United Transportation Union. tables, train orders, and other oper­
ating rules. A few railroads train
brakemen and inexperienced work­
ers for engineer jobs.
New engineers start as extra
LOCOMOTIVE
board workers and temporarily re­
ENGINEERS
place regular engineers who are
(D.O.T. 910.383)
absent because of vacation, illness,
or other reasons. Extra board en­
gineers frequently wait many years
Nature of the Work
before earning enough seniority to
Engineers operate locomotives in get a regular assignment. Seniority
passenger, freight, and yard serv­ rules also may determine the en­
ices according to train orders or gineers’ type of service; for instance,
other instructions. Most run diesel from a first regular assignment in
locomotives; a few run electrics. yard service, they may move to
To start the locomotive, they release freight service, and finally to pas­
the air brakes and pull the throttle. senger service.
During the trip, they may operate
Engineers take periodic physical
other controls, such as light switches examinations to determine fitness to
and windshield wipers, and watch operate locomotives. They must
gages and meters that measure fuel, have keen eyesight and hearing.
electricity, and air pressure. They Those who fail to meet the physical

RAILROAD OCCUPATIONS

309

reach the limit are replaced by extra
board engineers for the rest of the
month.
Extra board engineers may work
irregular hours since they may be
called at any time. They are likely
to have less work and, therefore,
lower earnings than engineers on
regular assignments.
Most engineers are members of
the Brotherhood of Locomotive En­
gineers; some are members of the
United Transportation Union.

LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN
(D.O.T. 910.383)
Nature of the Work

Locomotive firemen work with
and under engineers in both yard
and road services. Before each run,
Engineer checks track conditions by radio.
they check the locomotive’s working
condition and supply of fuel, sand,
standards are restricted to freight
Earnings and Working Conditions and water. They may also have to
or yard service or transferred to
make sure that emergency signaling
other jobs with lower physical
tools and equipment, such as flares
standards.
The earnings of engineers depend and lanterns, are ready to use.
During the train run, firemen
on the kind of locomotive and type
of service. In 1972, monthly earn­ watch for track obstructions and
Employment Outlook
ings of engineers averaged $1,321 observe trackside signals that in­
Employment of locomotive en­ in yard service, $1,635 in freight dicate speed limits, obstructions,
gineers—who numbered about 35,000 road service, and $1,540 in pas­ and emergencies. As the train rounds
in 1972—is expected to show little senger service. Engineers earned curves, they look back for smoke,
or no change through the mid- two to three times as much as the sparks, fire, and other signs of
1980’s. Nevertheless, some openings average for nonsupervisory workers defective equipment, which they re­
will arise from the need to replace in all private industries, except port to the engineer. They also
farming.
make minor electrical and mechani­
engineers who retire or die.
Yard engineers work 5 or more cal adjustments in the locomotive
The number of engineers has been
declining for many years owing to days a week, depending on the rail­ and operate the equipment that
reduced passenger service and tech­ road. They receive premium pay heats the passenger cars.
nological developments, with more for working more than 8 hours in
powerful locomotives pulling longer any day.
Road service engineers often work
trains. These developments, how­
Training, Other Qualifications,
ever, appear to have about run their nights, weekends, and holidays at
and Advancement
course and will affect employment regular pay. On many railroads,
less in the future. Employment also their earnings are limited by the
Firemen are trained on the job
may be favorably affected if fuel maximum number of miles they by experienced engineers. During
shortages continue.
can cover per month. Those who the training period, firemen make a




310

series of trips to learn their duties —who numbered about 14,900 in
and railroad rules and regulations. 1972—is expected to decline rapidly
The training lasts from one to six through the mid-1980’s. Some open­
weeks and includes orientation ses­ ings, however, will develop as
sions. After passing tests as required experienced firemen retire, die, or
by individual railroads, they are are promoted to engineer positions.
assigned as firemen on regular jobs.
Employment of firemen will
If no regular job is available, they decline faster than railroad em­
may be assigned as extra board ployment as a whole. Although
workers to substitute for firemen the outlook for this occupation
who are absent because of vacations, has been uncertain, recent laborillness or other reasons.
management agreements provide
For firemen positions, railroads procedures for hiring, training, and
prefer applicants between age 21 advancing firemen to locomotive
and 35 years, who have a high school engineer positions. As of July 1972,
education. Applicants must have each railroad, depending on its
good hearing, eyesight, and color number of engineers and miles
vision. Good eye-hand coordination, covered, must have a minimum
manual dexterity, and mechanical number of firemen available at all
aptitude are also required.
times. New Firemen may have to be
Firemen are placed in engineer hired to meet these minimums.
training programs within one year
following their initial hiring date.
They must then successfully com­ Earnings and Working Conditions
plete an engineer training course of
Earnings of Firemen depend on
six months composed, in the most
the kind of locomotive and type
part, of classroom and on-the-job
of service. In 1972, for example,
training in locomotive operation.
monthly earnings of Firemen aver­
They then become eligible for pro­
aged $960 in yard service, $1,262 in
motion to engineer in a maximum
freight road service, and $1,292 in
of 18 months after their first hiring
passenger road service. Firemen
as firemen. They take qualifying earned about twice as much as the
tests covering locomotive equip­ average for nonsupervisory workers
ment, air brake systems, fuel econ­ in all private industries, except
omy, timetables, and operating rules
farming.
and regulations. As engineers are
Yard Firemen work a 40-hour
needed, qualified Firemen who have week and receive premium pay for
the longest seniority are placed on
overtime. The earnings of Firemen
the engineers’ extra board. Extra
in road service are limited by the
board engineers who do not have
maximum number of miles they
regular assignments substitute for
are allowed to cover per month.
regular engineers who are absent
Those who reach the limit are re­
because of vacation, illness, or other
placed by extra board Firemen for
reasons. Obtaining a regular posi­
the rest of the month.
tion as an engineer may take
Because trains run at all times,
several years depending on avail­
firemen often work nights, week­
ability of jobs.
ends, and holidays. Road service
keeps them away from home for
varying periods of time. Extra board
Firemen are likely to have less work
Employment Outlook
and, therefore, lower earnings than
Employment of locomotive firemen firemen on regular assignments.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Many Firemen belong to the
United Transportation Union. Others
are members of the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Engineers (Ind.).

SHOP TRADES
Nature of the Work

The skilled workers who build,
maintain, and repair railroad cars
and other equipment may be classi­
fied in six main shop trades: carmen,
machinists, electrical workers, sheetmetal workers, boilermakers, and
blacksmiths.
Carmen (D.O.T. 622.381) build
and repair freight and passenger
cars, tank cars, and locomotives.
They remove and inspect locomotive
or car parts, such as wheels, brake
assemblies, and air cylinders. They
may also repair car interiors. Car­
men use both power and handtools.
Many carmen inspect cars for
defects that might lead to accidents
or delays.
Machinists (D.O.T. 600.280)
service and overhaul locomotives
and other equipment. Electrical
workers (D.O.T. 721.381) install
and maintain wiring and electrical
equipment in locomotives, cars,
and railroad buildings. Some lay
and maintain power and communi­
cations lines. Sheet-metal workers
(D.O.T. 804.281) install and main­
tain sheet-metal parts on loco­
motives and other equipment.
Boilermakers (D.O.T.
805.281)
service and repair stationary boil­
ers, tanks, and other parts made of
steel plates. Blacksmiths (D.O.T.
610.381) repair metal parts and
tools. Other craftsmen include
molders and oilers. (More informa­
tion about most of these shop
trades can be found elsewhere in
the Handbook.)

RAILROAD OCCUPATIONS

311

Shop workers repair locomotive engine block.

chinists, $5.04 for electrical work­
ers, $5 for sneet-metal workers,
$5.05 for boilermakers, and $4.98
for blacksmiths. Most shop workers
have a 40-hour work-week, and
receive premium pay for overtime.
Most shop work is done indoors.
Some minor adjustments, inspec­
tions, and emergency repairs are
done outdoors. Shop work is active
and strenuous, involving stooping,
climbing, and lifting.
Most shop workers are union
members. Among the unions in
this field are: Brotherhood of Rail­
way Carmen of the United States
and Canada; International Asso­
ciation of Machinists and Aero­
space
Workers;
International
Brotherhood of Electrical Work­
ers; Sheet Metal Workers’ Interna­
tional Association; International
Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, For­
gers and Helpers; and the Inter­
national Brotherhood of Firemen
and Oilers. These unions usually
negotiate labor-management agree­
ments through the Railway Em­
ployees’ Department of the AFLC IO .

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Although apprenticeship train­
ing is the most common way to en­
ter shop trades, some helpers and
laborers are upgraded to these jobs.
Apprenticeships last 3 to 4 years,
depending on how much previous
work experience the apprentice
has.
Most apprentices are between 16
and 21 years of age, although some
are older at the start of their train­
ing. On some roads, apprentice ap­
plicants must pass mathematical
and mechanical aptitude tests.
Some workers in the shop trades
advance to positions as foremen in
shops, engine houses, and powerplants.




Employment Outlook

Employment
of journeymen
shop trades workers—which in
1972 included about 42,000 car­
men, 17,000 machinists, 11,000
electrical workers, 5,000 sheetmetal workers, 1,500 boilermakers,
and 1,900 other craftsmen—is ex­
pected to decline slightly through
the mid-1980’s. Job openings, how­
ever, will develop for new appren­
tices or helpers as experienced
workers retire, die, or transfer to
other fields of work.

Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, hourly earnings aver­
aged $4.96 for carmen, $5 for ma­

SIGNAL DEPARTMENT
WORKERS
(D.O.T. 822.281 and .884)
Nature of the Work

Railroad signal workers install
and repair the communication and
signaling systems that control train
movement and assure safety. Sig­
nalmen construct and install new
signals. They travel with work
crews all over the railroad, wher­
ever construction is underway. In
erecting signals, these crews make
forms and mix and pour concrete,
weld metal, and do electrical work.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

312

ment workers—who numbered
about 11,000 in 1972—is expected
to decline slightly through the mid1980’s. Improved signaling and
communications systems that re­
quire less maintenance and repair
will increase the productivity of
signal department workers. Never­
theless, some job openings for new
workers will arise as experienced
workers retire, die, or transfer to
other fields.
Earnings and Working Conditions
Signal workers must have good
knowledge of electricity to keep
signals working properly.

Signal maintainers keep wires,
lights, switches, and other control
devices in good operating condi­
tion. They must have a thorough
knowledge of electricity and elec­
tronics.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

New employees are assigned as
helpers to experienced workers.
After about 60 to 90 days of train­
ing, helpers may advance to assist­
ants. After another 2 to 4 years,
qualified assistants may be pro­
moted to signalmen and signal
maintainers. Seniority rules con­
trol these promotions.
When hiring helpers, railroads
prefer young applicants who are
high school graduates or the equi­
valent. Applicants should have me­
chanical skill and a knowledge of
electricity.
Both signalmen and signal main­
tainers may be promoted to signal
inspectors or testmen, gang fore­
men, and higher supervisory posi­
tions. A few eventually become sig­
nal engineers.
Employment Outlook

Employment of signal depart­




In 1972, signalmen and signal
maintainers averaged $5.06 an
hour, about one-third more than
average for nonsupervisory work­
ers in all private industries, except
farming. Assistants averaged $4.25
an hour and helpers $4.13 an hour.
Most signal workers have a 40hour week, and receive premium
pay for overtime.
Signal maintainers must make
repairs regardless of weather con­
ditions or time of day. Both signal­
men and signal maintainers often
climb poles and work near highvoltage wires.
On construction and installation
jobs, signalmen and other crew
members usually work away from
home, and frequently live in camp
cars provided by the railroads. Sig­
nal maintainers usually live at
home, and service signals over a
limited stretch of track.
Most signalmen and signal in­
stallers are members of the Broth­
erhood of Railroad Signalmen.

at railroad stations. Most agents
work at small stations and sell
tickets, check baggage, and com­
pute freight and express charges.
They also may telephone or tele­
graph train orders and other mes­
sages to train crews. At larger sta­
tions, many of these tasks may be
done by clerks, telegraphers, and
others who work under the agent’s
supervision. At major freight and
passenger stations the agent’s
duties are primarily administra­
tive and supervisory.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Station agents rise from the
ranks of other railroad occupa­
tions. With sufficient seniority and
ability, telephoners, telegraphers,
towermen, and clerks may advance
to agents in small stations or assist­
ant agents in larger ones. Agents
may be promoted from small to
larger stations. They also may be
promoted to supervisory positions
such as station master or inspector.
Employment Outlook

Employment of station agents—
who numbered about 8,700 in
1972—is expected to decline mod­
erately through the mid-1980’s as
more passenger stations are closed.
Nevertheless, a limited number of
jobs will arise to replace experienced
agents who retire, die, or stop work­
ing for other reasons. The employ­
ment decline may be less than antici­
pated if gasoline shortages continue
and passenger travel by rail in­
creases.
Earnings and Working Conditions

STATION AGENTS
(D.O.T. 211.468 and 910.138)
Nature of the Work

Station agents serve the public

The earnings of station agents
vary. In 1972, agents who also
served as telegraphers and tele­
phoners averaged $4.70 an hour,
about one-fourth more than the
average for nonsupervisory work-

RAILROAD OCCUPATIONS

313

pass them on to train crews.
Towermen operate controls that
throw track switches and signals to
route traffic. To some extent, the
three jobs are interchangeable. For
example, many towermen also
transmit orders or operate signals.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Station agent checks list of train’s cargo.

ers in all private industries, ex­
cept farming. Agents in small sta­
tions who were not telegraphers
averaged $4.98 an hour. Agents in
major stations averaged $5.83 an
hour. A 40-hour workweek is
standard, and time and one-half
is paid for overtime.
Station agents, except for some
supervisory agents, are members
of the Brotherhood of Railway,
Airline and Steamship Clerks,
Freight Handlers, Express and Sta­
tion Employees.

TELEGRAPHERS,
TELEPHONERS, AND
TOWERMEN
(D.O.T. 236.588 and 910.782)

New telegraphers, telephoners,
and towermen get on-the-job train­
ing that covers operating rules,
train orders, and station opera­
tions. On most roads, trainees must
pass examinations on train oper­
ating rules and demonstrate ability
to use the equipment before they
can qualify. Newly qualified work­
ers usually are assigned to the
extra board to work as substitutes
for telegraphers, telephoners, and
towermen who are absent for vaca­
tions, illness, or other reasons.
After gaining enough seniority,
they generally can bid for regular
assignments.
Most railroads prefer applicants
who are high school graduates or
the equivalent. Good hearing and
eyesight, including normal color
vision, are required. Applicants
should be responsible, alert, and
capable of organizing thoughts and
actions in emergency or pressure
situations. They must be able to
work in confined areas.
Some telegraphers, telephoners,
and towermen may advance to
positions such as station agent or
train dispatcher.

Nature of the Work
Employment Outlook

Telegraphers, telephoners, and
Employment of telegraphers,
towermen control movement of
trains according to instructions telephoners, and towermen—who
given by train dispatchers. They numbered about 11,000 in 1972—is
work in towers located in yards, expected to decline rapidly through
terminals, and other important the mid-1980’s. Nevertheless, some
junction points.
new workers will be hired to re­
Telegraphers and telephoners place experienced workers who re­
get orders from dispatchers and tire, die or change occupations.




Employment in these fields will
continue to decline as technologi­
cal developments increase worker
productivity. The wider use of
mechanized yard operations, cen­
tralized traffic control, and other
automatic signaling systems will
continue to reduce employment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, hourly earnings for
telegraphers,
telephoners,
and
towermen averaged $4.64, about
one-fourth more than the average
for nonsupervisory workers in all
private industries, except farming.
A 40-hour week is standard, and
time and one-half is paid for over­
time. Under Federal law, railroad
telegraphers generally cannot work
more than 9 hours in any one day,
except in emergencies.
Most telegraphers, telephoners,
and towermen are members of the
Brotherhood of Railway, Airline
and Steamship Clerks, Freight
Handlers, Express and Station Em­
ployees.

TRACK WORKERS
(D.O.T. 182.168, 859.883, 869.887,
910.782, and 919.887)
Nature of the Work

Trackmen construct, service,
and repair railroad tracks and
roadways. Many work in section
crews that patrol and maintain a
limited section of the railroad’s
right-of-way. Others in more mech­
anized crews cover longer stretches
of the right-of-way. Extra crew
members hired in the summer re­
place rails, and do other work that
is difficult to do in winter.
Track workers regularly inspect
the right-of-way, and look , for
cracked rails, weak ties, washed

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

314

Employment Outlook

Employment of track workers—
who numbered about 53,000 in
1972—is expected to decline slowly
through the mid-1980’s along with
overall industry employment. Pro­
ductivity of track workers will in­
crease as machines do more and
more of the work. Although several
thousand workers will be hired
each summer to do maintenance
jobs that cannot be done during
winter, few people will be hired for
year-round jobs.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Track maintenance worker drives spikes with pneumatic hammer.

out places, and other track and
roadway defects. When laying, re­
pairing, or replacing track, they
operate small equipment, such as
spike-driving machines, and use
power tools as well as the familiar
hand picks and shovels. Some
operate large machines, such as
cranes and bulldozers. Welders
also are employed on track work.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most track workers learn their




skills through on-the-job training
that lasts about 2 years. Machineoperating jobs are assigned to
qualified trackmen by seniority.
Railroads prefer applicants be­
tween the ages of 21 and 45, who
can read, write, and do heavy work.
Applicants may be required to pass
physical examinations.
Some trackmen who have the
necessary seniority and other quali­
fications may advance to gang or
assistant foremen, then to positions
such as track supervisor.

In 1972, track workers averaged
$4.17 an hour, about one-seventh
more than the average for nonsupervisory workers in all private
industries, except farming. Equip­
ment operators and helpers aver­
aged $4.54 and crew foremen aver­
aged $4.69 an hour. A 40-hour
workweek is standard, and
premium rates are paid for over­
time.
Most track workers live at
home. However, some crews travel
from place to place, and live in
camp cars or trailers provided by
the railroads. Track workers have
strenuous and active jobs. Much
of the time they use moderately
heavy tools and work in bent and
stooped positions.
Most track workers are mem­
bers of the Brotherhood of Main­
tenance of Way Employees.

INTERCITY BUSDRIVERS
(D.O.T. 913.363 and 913.463)
Nature of the Work

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS
Nearly 2.8 million truck, bus,
and taxi drivers moved passengers
and goods over highways and city
streets in 1972. Some drivers are
behind the wheel practically all their
working time. Others spend part of
the time loading and unloading
goods, making pick-ups and deliv­
eries, and collecting money. Still
others, like the routeman, are com­
bination drivers-salesmen. (Routemen are discussed in the chapter
on Sales occupations elsewhere in
the Handbook.) The individual
statements that follow cover long­
distance and local truck drivers,
intercity and local bus drivers,
parking attendants, and taxi drivers,
They do not cover school bus
drivers, chauffeurs, ambulance driv­
ers, or employees whose driving
is incidental to their regular duties.
Through the mid-1980’s, employ­
ment of long-distance and local
truck drivers is expected to expand

as more and more freight is moved
by trucks. Employment in other
driving occupations is not expected
to change much, but many new em­
ployees will be hired to replace
those who retire, die, or stop work­
ing for other reasons.
Driving jobs offer excellent op­
portunities for young persons who
are not planning to attend college.
The pay for most drivers is relative­
ly high, and working conditions are
fairly good. Many young persons
also will enjoy the freedom from
close supervision and the frequent
contacts with people, which are
characteristic of most driving jobs.

M o re Than H alf of the 2 .8 M illion
Drivers Are Local Truckdrivers___________

16

W ORKERS 1972 (in hundreds of thousands)

0

8

16

24

32

Intercity bus drivers
Other drivers
Total drivers
i
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.




In many smaller towns and cities,
buses provide the only public trans­
portation to other communities. In
large cities, they are an alternative
to railroad and airline transporta­
tion and in many cases, provide
more frequent service.
Drivers’ duties generally begin
when they report to the terminal
for their assignment. Before begin­
ning their trips, they inspect the
buses carefully. They make sure the
brakes, steering mechanism, wind­
shield wipers, lights and mirrors
work properly. They also check the
fuel, oil, water, and tires, and make
certain that the buses are carrying
safety equipment, such as fire ex­
tinguishers, first-aid kits, and emer­
gency reflectors. Drivers also pick
up tickets, change, report blanks,
and other items needed for their
trips.
For scheduled service, drivers
move the buses from terminals or
garages to the loading platforms,
where they take on passengers. They
collect fares—tickets usually—from
the passengers as they board the
buses and announce destination,
route, time of arrival, and other
information concerning the trips.
Drivers may also either load or
supervise the loading of baggage
and freight.
If safety permits, drivers operate
buses at speeds which will enable
them to arrive at stations on time.
At some stations, they stop only
if they see passengers waiting or
if they have been told to load or un­
load freight. They announce major
stops and rest or lunch stops.
Drivers also regulate lighting,
heating, and air-conditioning equip­
ment for the passengers’ comfort.
315

316

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

In an emergency, they sometimes
are required to make minor repairs
such as changing tires.
Upon arriving at their final desti­
nations, drivers may unload or su­
pervise the unloading of baggage
and freight. They prepare reports
for their employers on mileage,
time, and fares, as required by com­
pany rules. They also keep a log
of work hours as required by the
U.S. Department of Transporta­
tion. If an accident or unusual de­
lay occurs, drivers must make a
complete report.
At times drivers operate char­
tered buses. In these cases, they
pick up a group of people, take them
to the group’s destination, and re­
main with them until they are ready
to return. These trips frequently
require drivers to remain away from
home one or more nights.
Places of Employment

Approximately 25,000 intercity
busdrivers were employed by about
1,000 bus companies in 1972. Few
were women. Intercity busdrivers
are employed throughout the Na­
tion. Some work out of terminals
in the many small communities
served by bus, but most report for
work at the major terminals in
large cities.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

All intercity busdrivers are re­
quired to meet minimum age,
health, and experience qualifica­
tions established by the U.S. De­
partment of Transportation. The
minimum age requirement is 21
years. Applicants must be ablebodied and have good hearing and
at least 20/40 eyesight, without
glasses, corrected to 20/20 with
glasses. One large company re­
quires 20/30 vision corrected to




20/20 with glasses. Applicants can­
not be hired who have serious heart
trouble or other physical problems
that could endanger passengers.
Drivers must be able to read and
speak English.
Many intercity bus companies,
however, have considerably higher
requirements. Most prefer appli­
cants to be at least 24 years of age
and to have a high school educa­
tion or its equivalent. Applicants
often must pass comprehensive ex­
aminations to determine their driv­
ing skill in the type of bus they will
operate.
An even temperament and emo­
tional stability are important quali­
fications because busdrivers work
under considerable tension when
they operate large vehicles in heavy
and fast moving traffic. Since they
represent their companies in deal­
ing with passengers, busdrivers also
must be courteous and tactful.
Although previous experience in

driving a truck or bus is not re­
quired, it is preferred by some em­
ployers. In many States, the trainee
for a busdriver’s job must have or
obtain a chauffeur’s license, which
is a commercial driving permit.
Most intercity bus companies
conduct training programs for new
drivers. These programs, which usu­
ally last from 2 to 6 weeks but can
extend to 3 months, include both
classroom and driving instruction.
In the classroom, trainees learn
about the company and U.S. De­
partment of Transportation rules,
State and municipal regulations,
safe driving practices, ticket prices,
timetables, and conduct in dealing
with the public. They also learn
how to keep records, inspect the
bus, and make minor repairs.
After completing classroom work,
trainees ride with regular drivers
to observe safe driving practices
and other aspects of the job. They
also make trial runs, without pas­

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

sengers, to improve their driving
skill. After completing the training,
which includes final driving and
written examinations, new drivers
begin a “break-in” period. During
this period, working under strict
supervision, they make regularly
scheduled trips with passengers.
New workers start out on the
“extra board,” which is a list of
drivers who are given temporary
assignments. While on this list,
they may substitute for regular
drivers who are ill or on vacation,
or drive chartered buses. Extra
drivers may have to wait several
years before they have enough sen­
iority to get a regular assignment.
In almost all companies, beginners
must serve a probationary period
that lasts from 30 to 90 days.
Opportunities for promotion
generally are limited, particularly
in small companies. Experienced
drivers may be promoted to jobs
as dispatchers, supervisors, or ter­
minal managers. For most drivers,
advancement consists of receiving
better assignments with higher
earnings as their seniority in­
creases.

317

Earnings and Working Conditions

Drivers employed by large inter­
city bus companies had estimated
annual average earnings of $12,500
in 1972, or about two-thirds more
than the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. The wages of inter­
city busdrivers typically are com­
puted on a mileage basis but short
runs may be on an hourly rate.
Mileage rates ranged from 16 to 18
cents a mile in 1972. Most regular
drivers are guaranteed a minimum
number of miles or hours per pay
period. For work on other than regu­
lar assignments they receive addi­
tional pay, customarily at premium
rates.
Extra drivers usually are paid by
the hour when they are on call but
not driving, and are paid the regu­
lar mileage or trip rate when actu­
ally driving. They generally earn
slightly less than regular drivers
but, if enough work is available,
they may earn as much or more.
Extra drivers usually receive a
weekly or biweekly guarantee
either in minimum hours, mileage,
or earnings.
Most drivers who work for the
large companies average less than
Employment Outlook
39 hours of work a week. Driving
Little or no change in the num­ schedules may range from 6 to 10
ber of intercity busdrivers is ex­ hours a day and from Vh to 6 days
pected through the mid-1980’s. a week. U.S. Department of Trans­
Several hundred job openings, portation regulations specify that
however, will become available intercity drivers may drive no more
each year because of the need to than 10 hours without having at
replace experienced drivers who re­ least 8 hours off.
Most intercity busdrivers belong
tire or die. Additional openings
will arise as some drivers trans­ to the Amalgamated Transit
Union. The Brotherhood of Rail­
fer to other occupations.
Because of competition from air­ road Trainmen, and the Interna­
lines and private automobiles, tional Brotherhood of Teamsters,
intercity bus travel is not expected Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and
to grow significantly. Moreover, Helpers of America (Ind.) also
new and improved highways make have organized these workers in
it possible for drivers to make runs some areas of the country.
Union contracts covering many
in less time, thus reducing the need
intercity busdrivers provide for
for additional drivers.




health and life insurance paid by
the employer; pension plans under
such agreements are usually fi­
nanced jointly by the workers and
their employers.
Drivers receive paid vacations
ranging from 1 to 5 weeks, depend­
ing on the company for which they
work and their length of service.
Many also receive a minimum of 8
paid holidays annually. When
away from home overnight, drivers
receive pay for food and lodging,
or accommodations may be pro­
vided.
Driving an intercity bus usually
is not physically difficult, but it is
tiring and requires steady nerves.
The busdriver is given a great deal
of independence in his job, and is
solely responsible for the safety
of the passengers and bus. Many
drivers like working without direct
supervision and take pride in as­
suming
these
responsibilities.
Some also enjoy the opportunity to
travel and to meet the public.
Among the less desirable aspects
of this job are weekend and holiday
work and the need for being away
from home for varying periods.
Also, extra drivers are on call at
all hours and may be required to
report for work on very short
notice.
Sources of Additional Information

For further information on job
opportunities in this field, contact
intercity bus companies or the local
office of the State employment
service.

LOCAL TRANSIT
BUSDRIVERS
(D.O.T. 913.363 and 913.463)
Nature of the Work

Local transit busdrivers transport

318

millions of Americans to and from
places of work and various other
destinations every day. These drivers
follow definite time schedules and
routes over city and suburban streets
to get passengers to their destina­
tions on time.
The workday for local busdrivers
begins when they report to the
terminal or garage. There, they
receive assignments, transfer and
refund forms and obtain their buses.
Drivers check tires, brakes, wind­
shield wipers, and lights before
starting their runs. Those who work
for small bus companies also may
check the water, oil, and fuel.
On most runs, drivers make
regular stops every block or two.
As the passengers board the bus,
they make sure the correct cash
fare, token or ticket is placed in
the fare box. They also collect or
issue transfers. Drivers often answer
questions about schedules, routes,
and transfer points, and sometimes
call out the name of the street at
some are employed in almost every
each bus stop.
city in the Nation.
At the end of the day, busdrivers
turn in trip sheets which usually
Training, Other Qualifications,
include a record of fares received,
and Advancement
trips made, and any delays in
schedule. In cases of an accident or
Applicants for busdriver positions
unusual delay, drivers must make should be between the ages of 21
out a report on its nature and and 40, be of average height and
cause.
weight, and have good eyesight—
with or without glasses. Applicants
must be in good health and must
Places off Employment
pass the written and physical ex­
aminations given by most em­
About 68,000 local busdrivers ployers. Because drivers often work
were employed in 1972; a small under pressure and deal with many
proportion were women. More than different personalities, emotional
one-half of the total worked for stability is important. Although
publicly owned transit systems and educational requirements are not
most of the remainder worked for high, many employers prefer appli­
privately owned bus lines. A small cants who have a high school
number worked for sightseeing education or its equivalent.
companies.
A motor vehicle operator’s li­
Although many drivers are em­ cense, and generally, 1 or 2 years
ployed in large metropolitan areas, of driving experience on some type
such as New York and Chicago, of motor vehicle are basic require­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ments. A good driving record is
essential because the busdriver is
responsible for passenger safety.
Most States require busdrivers to
have a chauffeur’s license.
Most local transit companies con­
duct training courses which may
last several weeks and include both
classroom and driving instructions.
In the classroom, the trainees learn
company rules, safety regulations,
and safe driving practices. They also
learn how to keep records and how
to deal tactfully and courteously
with passengers. Driving instruction
consists of supervised trips both
with and without passengers. At
the end of the course, trainees may
have to pass a written examination
and a driving examination.
After passing the examinations,
new drivers are often placed on an
“extra” list to substitute for regular
drivers who are ill or on vacation
and to make extia trips during

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

morning and evening rush hours.
They also may drive charter or
sightseeing runs and other extra
runs such as special buses for taking
passengers to sporting events. They
remain on the extra list until they
have enough seniority to get a
regular run, which may take several
months or more than a year.
Opportunities for promotions
generally are limited, although ex­
perienced drivers may advance to
jobs such as instructor, dispatcher,
and sometimes bus company execu­
tive. Promotion in city owned bus
systems is usually by examination.
Employment Outlook

Employment of local busdrivers
is expected to increase slowly
through the mid-1980’s. Most job
openings, however, will result from
the need to replace drivers who
transfer to other occupations, retire,
or die.
The increased use of privately
owned automobiles in cities and
the population shift to the suburbs
where most people drive their own
cars has caused a decline in bus
passengers and driver employment.
However, in urban areas the auto­
mobile is now recognized as the
main source of air pollution and
traffic congestion. To reduce the
number of cars used by commuters,
local bus service is being improved
in many cities. Express lanes re­
served for buses on city streets,
more convenient routes and more
comfortable buses reflect the im­
pact of Federal, State and local
government interest and expendi­
tures in providing better bus service.
As service improves, bus passengers
and driver employment are both
expected to increase.
Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a survey of union
contracts in 65 large cities, local




319

busdrivers averaged $4.62 an hour employment, and work without
in 1972, about one-fourth more than close supervision.
the average for all nonsupervisory
Most local busdrivers are mem­
workers in private industry, except bers of the Amalgamated Transit
farming. Hourly wages were highest Union. Drivers in New York City
in the larger cities. Wage scales for and several other large cities belong
beginning drivers were generally 5 to the Transport Workers Union
to 15 cents an hour less.
of America. The Brotherhood of
Most local busdrivers have a Railroad Trainmen and the Inter­
standard work schedule of 8 hours national Brotherhood of Teamsters,
a day, 40 hours a week. For addi­ Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and
tional work, drivers usually receive Helpers of America (Ind.) also have
1V times their hourly rates. In many organized some local busdrivers.
i
companies, drivers often work over­
time, thereby increasing their week­ Sources of Additional Information
ly earnings. Drivers on the extra
For further information on em­
list generally are guaranteed a
ployment opportunities, contact a
minimum weekly salary.
The workweek for regular drivers local bus company or the local
usually consists of any 5 consecutive office of the State employment
days; Saturdays and Sundays are service.
counted as regular workdays. Some
drivers have to work at night.
To accommodate the demands of
LOCAL TRUCK DRIVERS
commuter travel, many local busdrivers have to work “split shifts.”
(D.O.T. 900.883, 902.883, 903.883,
For example, a driver may work
906.883, and 909.883)
from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., go
home and then return to work from
Nature of the Work
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Drivers may
Local truck drivers move goods
receive extra pay for split shifts.
from terminals and warehouses to
Other assignments are “ straight
runs” which are unbroken except wholesalers, retailers, and con­
for meai periods. Some union con­ sumers in the area. They must be
tracts require 50 to 60 percent of skilled drivers who can maneuver
all assignments to be straight runs. trucks into tight parking spaces,
through narrow alleys, and up to
Nearly all local transit bus- loading platforms.
drivers are covered by laborWhen local truck drivers report
management contracts that provide to work at a terminal or warehouse,
for life and health insurance and they receive assignments to make
pension plans. Also, drivers are deliveries, pickups, or both. They
given vacations with pay ranging also receive delivery forms and
from 1 to 5 weeks or more, depend­ check the condition of their trucks.
ing on their length of service, and Platform men generally load trucks
usually 6 or 7 paid holidays a year. and arrange the items in the proper
Driving a bus is not physically delivery sequence for minimum
strenuous, but busdrivers may suffer handling. At customer’s places of
nervous strain from maneuvering a business, drivers generally load and
large vehicle through heavy traffic unload the merchandise. If there
while dealing with passengers. Local are heavy loads such as machinery,
busdrivers enjoy steady year-round or if there are many deliveries to

320

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

make during the day, a driver may
have a helper. Drivers of moving
vans usually have crews of helpers
to assist in loading and unloading
household or office furniture.
At the delivery points, drivers
get customers to sign receipts and
freight bills, and may receive money
for the material delivered. At the
end of the day, they turn in receipts
and monies and records of the
deliveries made. They also report
whatever maintenance or repair is
needed before their trucks are used
again.
Some of these workers drive
special types of trucks, such as dump
or oil trucks, which require the
operation of mechanical levers,
pedals, or other equipment. If they
haul large or heavy items, they
operate mechanical hoists to load
and unload the trucks.
Places of Employment

1.0 million worKers were
employed as local truck drivers in
1972, mostly in and around large
metropolitan areas. However, they
work in all localities.
Most local drivers work for busi­
nesses which deliver their own
products and goods—such as de­
partm ent stores, meatpackers,
wholesale distributors, and con­
struction companies. Many others
are employed by local for-hire
operators—trucking companies that
serve the general public or specific
companies under contract. Some are
employed by the Federal Govern­
ment, the Postal Service, and by
States and municipalities.
A large number of local truck
drivers are self-employed. Drivers
who own one or two trucks account
for a sizeable proportion of the
local for-hire trucking business.
A

doui

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Qualifications

for




local

truck

drivers vary considerably, depending
upon the type of truck and tne
nature of the employer’s business.
Some employers prefer those who
have completed 2 to 4 years of high
school. Applicants must be able to
lift heavy objects and otherwise be
in good health. They should be 21
years of age and have good hearing
and at least 20/40 vision, with or
without glasses. Since a driver often
deals directly with the public, the
ability to get along well with people
also is important.
An applicant must have a chauf­
feur’s license, which is a commercial
driving permit. Familiarity with
traffic laws and safety measures is
necessary, and some previous experi­
ence in driving a truck is helpful.
Young people may obtain such ex­
perience by working as a truck
driver’s helper. Employers also give
consideration to driving experience
gained in the Armed Forces.
An applicant may nave to pass a
general physical examination, a

written examination of driving reg­
ulations, and a driving test. Em­
ployers generally check applicants
for traffic and police records.
Training given to new drivers is
often informal, and may consist
only of riding with and observing
an experienced driver. Additional
training may be given if they are to
drive a special type of truck. Some
companies give a 1 to 2 days’ in­
doctrination course which covers
general duties, the efficient opera­
tion and loading of a truck, com­
pany policies, and the preparation
of delivery forms and company
records.
Although most new employees
are assigned immediately to regular
driving jobs, some start as extra
drivers, covering the routes of
regular drivers who are ill or on
vacation, or making extra trips
when necessary. They receive regu­
lar assignments when openings
occur.
Local truck drivers may advance

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

As a rule, local truck drivers are
paid by the hour and receive extra
pay for working overtime, usually
after 40 hours. Some drivers are
guaranteed minimum daily or week­
ly earnings. Local truck drivers
frequently work 48 hours or more
a week. Night or early morning
work is sometimes necessary, par­
ticularly for drivers handling food­
stuffs for chain grocery stores,
produce markets, or bakeries. Most
drivers deliver over regular routes,
although some may be assigned dif­
ferent routes each day.
Employment Outlook
Local truck drivers generally have
A moderate increase in the em­ paid vacations of 1 or 2 weeks
ployment of local truck drivers is after a year of service, and of up
anticipated through the mid-1980’s. to 4 weeks after 15 years. In addi­
In addition to the job openings tion, they usually receive pay for
from growth, many openings will seven or more holidays annually.
result from the need to replace ex­
Among unions organizing local
perienced drivers who transfer to truck drivers are the International
other occupations, retire, or die.
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauf­
The rise in total business activity feurs, Warehousemen and Helpers
anticipated in the years ahead will of America (Ind.). Some local truck
increase the amount of freight. drivers employed by private carriers
Since trucks carry virtually all local are members of unions that repre­
freight, employment of drivers will sent the plant workers of their
grow but not as fast as the increase employers.
in freight. In many cases, trucks
Practically all unionized local
are not fully loaded when they make truck drivers and their helpers are
deliveries; thus, more goods can be covered by life and health insurance
handled without increasing the num­ and pension plans provided by the
ber of trucks or drivers. In addition, union from employer contributions.
the trend to large shopping centers When uniforms are required, the
rather than many small stores will cost usually is paid for entirely
reduce the number of deliveries re­ or partly by the employer, who also
quired. The use of radio telephones may provide for their upkeep.
to instruct drivers enroute will also
Local truck drivers, because they
reduce the time needed for deliveries. drive in heavy traffic, are subject
to nervous strain. Truck driving
has become less physically demand­
Earnings and Working Conditions
ing because of power steering, more
On the average, hourly union comfortable seating, and other im­
wage scales were $5.49 for local provements. However, when local
truck drivers and $4.90 for helpers drivers make many deliveries dur­
in 1972 according to a survey in 68 ing a day, their work can be
large cities. This is about one-half exhausting. Some drivers may devel­
more than the average for all non- op physical disorders, such as back
supervisory workers in private in­ strain and hernia. Local truck
drivers, however, do have certain
dustry, except farming.
to supervisor, dispatcher, manager,
or to traffic work—for example,
in planning delivery schedules. How­
ever, these jobs are relatively few.
For the most part, a local truck
driver may advance by driving heavy
or special types of trucks or by
transferring to long distance truck
driving.
Experienced truck drivers who
have business ability can start
their own trucking companies when
they have enough money.




321

work advantages. Employment is
steady and, unlike long distance
drivers, they usually work during
the day and return home in the
evening.
Sources of Additional Information

Information on career opportuni­
ties may be obtained from:
American Trucking Association, 1616
P St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

For details on truck driver em­
ployment opportunities, contact
local trucking companies, or the
local office of the State employment
service.

LONG-DISTANCE TRUCK
DRIVERS
(D.O.T. 903.883, 904.883, 905.883,
and 909.883)
The drivers of the big trucks on
highways and turnpikes are skilled
and experienced professionals. They
operate large tractor-trailers that
carry goods hundreds or even thou­
sands of miles.
Typically, long-distance truck
drivers report to the terminal early
in the evening and receive assign­
ments to take a truck to a terminal
in a city hundreds of miles away.
Night travel is preferred because
the roads are less crowded and trips
take less time. The truck trailer al­
ready has been loaded and the trac­
tor serviced with fuel and oil.
Before moving from the terminal,
drivers inspect the trucks to make
sure they will operate safely and
that they contain a fire extinguish­
er, flares, and other safety equip­
ment. They also make sure the cargo
has been loaded safely and will not
shift while trucks are moving.

322

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Drivers must be careful when
going through narrow spaces to al­
low enough room in turns for the
long trailers. Since truck seats are
higher than seats in most cars,
drivers can see far down the road.
They seek traffic lanes that allow
trucks to move at a steady speed,
and when going downhill they
may increase speed slightly to gain
momentum for a hill ahead.
Enroute, drivers may stop to as­
sist motorists who are involved in
accidents or who have car trouble.
They frequently put flares along
the road to warn other drivers of
danger. After several hours, drivers
may stop for fuel or for rest and
conversation with others. In the
early morning when drivers have
reached their destination and parked
at the unloading platform, they
complete trip logs and reports on
the condition of the truck. Both are
required by the U.S. Department
of Transportation. When drivers
have an accident, a detailed re­
port is required. Drivers are general­
ly off-duty the evening before they
pick up another truck to drive back
to their home city, or in some cases,
to another city.
Long-distance truck drivers spend
most of their working time behind
the wheel, although some also han­
dle freight. For example, a driver
may have to unload a store’s cargo
at night when receiving crews are
not available. Helpers assist drivers
of long-distance moving vans in
loading and unloading furniture.

The majority of long-distance
truck drivers work for large com­
mon carriers—trucking companies
that serve the general public. Most
others work for trucking firms that
haul goods under contract or for
private carriers, such as steel com­
panies, which use their own trucks.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The U.S. Department of Transpor­
tation establishes minimum qualifica­
tions for long-distance truck drivers
engaged in interstate commerce. A
driver must be 21 years old and pass
a physical examination which the
employer usually pays for. Good
hearing, 20/40 vision with or with­
out glasses, normal use of arms
and legs (unless a waiver is ob­

tained), and normal blood pressure
are the main physical requirements.
Drivers must be able to read,
speak, and write English well
enough to make required entries
on reports and records. They must
have a good driving record. Before
being hired, drivers must pass a
road test to show they can operate
a vehicle of the type and size they
will drive in regular service. In
addition, they must pass a written
examination on the Motor Carrier
Safety Regulations of the U.S.
Department of Transportation. In
most States, truck drivers also
must have a chauffeur’s license
from the State Motor Vehicle De­
partment.
Many fleet operators have higher
hiring standards than those de­
scribed. Many firms will not hire

Places of Employment

An estimated 570,000 long­
distance drivers were employed in
1972. Very few were women. Most
live near cities and manufacturing
centers which have many truck ter­
minals. Drivers who specialize in
transporting agricultural products
or minerals may live in rural areas.




Driver ties down cargo.

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

drivers under 25 years old; some
specify height and weight limita­
tions; many require at least a high
school education; and others re­
quire 2 years of high school. Some
companies employ only applicants
who have had several years’ experi­
ence driving long-distance trucks.
Young persons may begin as
helpers to local truck drivers, assist
in loading and unloading, and occa­
sionally do some relief driving.
Most drivers have had experience
in local trucking before attempting
long-haul driving which is a senior
driving job. Then, after gaining ex­
perience, they drive larger and more
complicated trucks.
Driver training is a common
method of preparing for truck driv­
ing jobs. Most training authorities
and employers recommend high
school driver-training courses. If
such courses are not available, driv­
ing schools in most large cities are
recommended. A high school course
in automotive mechanics helps the
driver to make minor roadside re­
pairs and to know when a truck is
not operating properly.
A small number of private
technical-vocational
schools
and
some State and community col­
leges offer truck driving courses
which
emphasize
safe-driving
practices. In these courses, stu­
dents learn to care for equip­
ment and freight, to drive large
vehicles in small spaces and in
highway traffic, and to comply
with Federal, State, and local regu­
lations.
All employers are interested in
obtaining good, safe, reliable driv­
ers but the method of selection
varies. Some use aptitude tests;
others hire on the basis of personal
interviews. New drivers are usually
given a brief indoctrination course
covering company policy and the
preparation of various forms used
on the job. They then make one or




323

more training trips under the super­
vision of an instructor or an experi­
enced driver.
Drivers employed by common
carriers frequently start on the
“extra board,” bidding for regular
runs on the basis of seniority as
vacancies occur. (The extra board
is a list of drivers, assigned in ro­
tation, who substitute for regular
drivers or who make extra trips
when necessary.) Drivers for pri­
vate carriers are more likely to
begin with assigned regular
routes.
Opportunities for promotion in
this occupation are limited. A few
drivers may advance to jobs as safe­
ty supervisors, driver supervisors,
and dispatchers. However, such jobs
are often unattractive to long­
distance truck drivers, since the
starting pay is usually less than the
pay for driving jobs. Most drivers
can only expect to advance to driv­
ing runs that provide increased
earnings or preferred schedules and
working conditions.
Employment Outlook

Employment of long-distance truck
drivers is expected to increase
moderately through the mid-1980’s
as the volume of intercity freight
grows. In addition to jobs from
employment growth a large number
of openings will be created as ex­
perienced drivers retire, die, or
transfer to other fields of work.
The general economic growth of
the Nation is expected to increase
the amount of freight carried long
distances by truck. In addition,
many new factories, warehouses,
and stores are being located in sub­
urban or semirural areas where rail
facilities are nonexistent or ex­
tremely limited.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Drivers employed by large com­

mon carriers of general freight
had estimated annual average
earnings of $15,800 in 1972,
about double the average of all
nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate
industry, except farming.
Pay rates are fairly uniform
because this field is highly union­
ized, and union contracts are gen­
erally master agreements covering
all employers within a multi-State
region.
The
earnings of anindividual
driver are affected by mileage
driven, number of hours worked,
type of truck and the weight of
loads.
Earnings also are affected
by the nature of the cargo; premium
rates are paid for flammable or
otherwise hazardous commodities.
Some private carriers pay drivers
on the same basis as other employ­
ees—a monthly, weekly, or daily
wage. Generally, such a wage is for
a specified number of hours, and,
if the driver works additional hours,
he receives extra pay.
Motor carriers engaged in inter­
state commerce are subject to the
U.S. Department of Transportation
rules governing hours of work and
other matters. These regulations
limit the hours intercity drivers
may work and assure a reasonable
amount of time for rest. For ex­
ample, no driver may be on duty for
more than 60 hours in any 7-day
period, and no driver may drive
more than 10 hours without being
off-duty at least 8 hours. Many
drivers, particularly on very long
runs, work fairly close to the maxi­
mum hours permitted. A workweek
of at least 50 hours is very common.
Most drivers receive 8 or more
paid holidays each year, and 1 to 4
weeks of vacation with pay depend­
ing on their length of service. Most
employers contribute to employee
health insurance and pension plans.
Long-distance truck drivers often
must spend time away from home.

324

In such instances, the company pro­
vides lodging either in a company
dormitory or a hotel. Some com­
panies use two drivers on very long
runs. One drives while the other
sleeps in a berth behind the cab.
Although earnings on sleeper runs
are the highest in the field, few
drivers stay with this type of run
very long. The work is very tiring
and requires being away from fami­
lies and friends for days and even
weeks.
The earnings of drivers of long­
distance moving vans are quite high,
but their hours are long and the
work is strenuous. They drive more
miles than the average long-distance
driver and also work more hours
in loading and unloading goods.
The physical strain of intercity
truck driving has been reduced by
more comfortable seating, better
highways, and more stringent safety
regulations. Sitting in one place for
hours at a time, however, is tiring
and the nervous strain of sustained
driving is fatiguing.
Intercity trucking has a lower
accident rate than in other forms
of motor transportation largely be­
cause of intensive safety programs
and skilled drivers.
Most long-distance drivers are
members of the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauf­
feurs, Warehousemen and Helpers
of America (Ind.). Some drivers of
private carriers belong to the unions
that represent plant employees of
the companies for which they work.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

PARKING ATTENDANTS
(D.O.T. 915.878)
Nature of the Work

Parking attendants move cars in
and out of parking spaces at com­
mercial and private parking facili­
ties. At commercial lots, the attendent meets incoming cars, records
the time of arrival on a numbered
claim ticket, gives the driver part
of the ticket, and puts the other
part in some clearly visible place on
the car. Some establishments use
a three-part claim ticket. In such
cases, the attendant notes the car’s
parking space on the third part
which is filed in the office. This
procedure eliminates the attendant’s
looking for the car when the cus­
tomer returns. Still other facilities
use a “time plan” for handling cars.
Under this system, customers are
asked the time they expect to re­
turn, and parking spaces are allo­
cated to reduce the number of cars

that must be moved when the cus­
tomer returns.
In both commercial and private
lots, the attendant drives the car to
a vacant space or tells the driver
where to park. At multilevel park­
ing garages, some attendants may
drive cars up and down the ramps;
others park and retrieve cars on a
particular floor. In a single level
parking lot or garage, the attendant
walks back to the entrance after
he has parked the car. However, in
many multilevel garages a moving
manlift belt transports him to and
from any floor.
In some commercial lots and ga­
rages, the attendant meets return­
ing customers, tallies the parking
charge, collects the fee, and re­
trieves the car. In large establish­
ments, however, customers usually
pay a cashier. The cashier gives the
claim ticket to an attendant, who
then retrieves the car.
Slack periods are common at
most facilities. Some car parkers,
therefore, may be expected to take
on routine maintenance jobs around

Sources of Additional Information

Information on career opportu­
nities may be obtained from:
American Trucking Association, 1616 P
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Additional details on truck driv­
er employment opportunities may
be obtained from local trucking
companies or local offices of the
State employment service.




Attendant explains fees.

325

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

the lot or garage, or to wash and
wax cars.
Places of Employment

In 1972, approximately 33,000
parking attendants worked full
time; thousands more were em­
ployed part time. Many part-time
attendants are students.
Parking attendants work at fa­
cilities that vary from small outdoor
lots to vast multilevel parking ga­
rages. Most parking establishments
are commercial, but some private
facilities are maintained by restau­
rants, hotels, airports, or stores.
Others are municipally owned and
operated.
Training, Other Qualifications
and Advancement

Although there are no specific
educational requirements for park­
ing attendants, employers prefer
high school graduates. Parking
attendants must have a valid driv­
er’s license and be skillful in han­
dling all types of cars. Clerical and
arithmetic skills are helpful for
attendants who keep records of
claim tickets, compute parking
charges, and make change.
Attendants also should be in
good physical condition because
the work involves long periods of
standing and can be tiring during
busy times. Parking attendants
should be neat, tactful, and cour­
teous when dealing with the pub­
lic.
Many organizations have onthe-job training programs that im­
prove the attendant’s car handling
ability and familiarize him with
good customer relations, company
policy, and record keeping proce­
dures.
Car parkers have limited oppor­
tunities for advancement, although
they may become managers or




supervisors of a parking facility.
Frequently, attendants use their
driving skill to switch to related
jobs such as truck driver, chauf­
feur, or routeman.
Employment Outlook

Employment of parking atten­
dants is expected to grow slowly
through the mid-1980’s as most
new facilities use the self-parking
system. Commercial parking own­
ers prefer the less costly self-park
method and many customers prefer
to park their own cars. Traffic
flows faster in a self-park lot be­
cause attendants do not have to
handle incoming and outgoing cars.
Despite the anticipated slow
growth in the occupation, some
openings are expected each year,
chiefly to replace those who die,
retire or transfer to other jobs.
Most opportunities will be in large
commercial parking facilities in the
downtown areas of big cities.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Although they usually are not
covered by minimum wage provi­
sions, in 1972 most inexperienced
parking attendants had hourly earn­
ings near the $1.60 minimum re­
quired by State and Federal laws.
Some attendants who worked in
large urban areas earned between
$3 and $3.60 an hour. According
to the limited data available, in
1972 most experienced parking
attendants had earnings that were
below the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming. Tips, which
are common in this occupation, can
boost regular earnings substantially.
Many car parkers receive fringe
benefits such as life, health, and
disability insurance; paid vacations;
a Christmas bonus; and profit shar­
ing. Some companies furnish uni­

forms. On the other hand, attendants
often work long hours. A 10-hour
day and work at nights, on week­
ends, and on holidays are not un­
usual. In addition, many car park­
ers spend much time outdoors in
all kinds of weather and constantly
breathe automobile exhaust fumes.
In some places, attendants are re­
sponsible for any damage they do
to customers’ cars.
Sources of Additional Information

For general information about
the parking industry write:
National Parking Association, 1101 17th
St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

TAXI DRIVERS
(D.O.T. 913.363)
Nature of the Work

In practically all communities,
taxicabs are an essential part of the
public transportation system. They
offer individualized service not
otherwise available, since they op­
erate without fixed routes or sched­
ules.
Many taxicab companies have
cabs with two-way radios so dis­
patchers can tell drivers where to
pick up passengers who call for
service. Also, drivers may wait at
cabstands for telephone calls from
the dispatching office. In suburbs
and small cities, drivers usually
work from a central station and re­
turn to it after each trip unless
they are called by the dispatcher
or are hailed by passengers along
the way. Drivers in large cities may
drive around busy areas and watch
for potential customers or may wait
at hotels, bus terminals, and other
places where business will be good.
Smart drivers keep informed on

326

where crowds are likely to gather
in the city (for example, at conven­
tions), so that they can be on hand
to pick up passengers when they
leave.
Occasionally, taxicab drivers may
assist passengers in and out of the
cab and may handle their luggage.
In some communities, drivers regu­
larly transport crippled children to
and from school. Cab drivers also
may provide sightseeing tours for
out-of-town visitors and also may
pick up and deliver packages.
Drivers have to keep records of
such basic facts as the date, time,
and place passengers were picked
up, and their destination, time of
arrival, and amount of fare. Selfemployed drivers and those who
work for small companies usually
must clean their cabs. In large com­
panies, this job may be done by
other workers.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Places of Employment

In 1972, about 92,000 taxi driv­
ers, including a small number of
women, were employed full time in
the taxicab industry. Many others
worked part time. Although taxicab
drivers are employed in all but the
smallest cities, employment is con­
centrated in large metropolitan
areas.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

To become a taxi driver in most
cities, it is necessary to have a Stateissued chauffeur’s license and a
special taxicab operator’s license
issued by the local police, safety de­
partment, or Public Utilities Com­
mission. Although licensing require­
ments vary considerably among
cities, in general, applicants must

be over 21 years old and in good
health, have a good driving record,
and not have been convicted of a
serious crime. A driver’s record
usually is checked for arrests, both
locally and through the FBI.
Most large communities require
an applicant for a taxi driver’s li­
cense to pass a written examination
on taxicab and traffice regulations.
The examination may include ques­
tions on street locations, insurance
regulations, accident reports, lost
articles, and zoning or meter rules.
In some cities, the cab company
will teach the driver-applicant taxi­
cab regulations and the location of
streets and important buildings. In
other cities, the driver must prepare
himself for the examination.
Although formal education is sel­
dom required, many companies
prefer applicants to have at least
an eighth-grade education. Drivers
must be able to deal tactfully and
courteously with all types of people.
Opportunities for advancement
are limited by the small number
of supervisory positions. Promotion
to the job of dispatcher is often the
only possibility. Some drivers, how­
ever, have become road supervisors,
garage superintendents, or claims
agents. A few develop administra­
tive skills and advance to manage­
rial positions in the company. To
increase their income, many drivers
try to buy and operate their own
cabs.
Employment Outlook

The number of taxi drivers de­
clined slowly during the last decade,
and this trend is expected to con­
tinue through the mid-1980’s. The
decline in taxicab driver employ­
ment is expected to result from the
increased use of private and rented
cars. Competition from improved
local bus and subway systems may
contribute to the decline. However,

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

there will be many opportunities fare. In 1972, one large company
for new drivers, primarily because estimated its drivers averaged $3 an
of the high turnover in this occu­ hour, not including tips. Some taxi
pation. Because they work long drivers covered by union-employer
hours and have irregular incomes, contracts have guaranteed minimany taxi drivers leave to take jobs mums up to $80 a week.
in other occupations. There will con­
Many drivers rent their cabs
tinue to be many part-time jobs from the company by the day for a
available in nearly every community. set price. Any receipts above the
cab rental and other operating exoenses are retained by the drivers.
Earnings and Working Conditions
Many full-time drivers start
Most taxi drivers are paid a per­ work between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. to
centage—usually between 40 and 50 be available for passengers going to
percent—of the total fare. Drivers work and quit after the evening
also frequently receive tips, rang­ rush of passengers returning home.
ing from 10 to 20 percent of the During the day they may rest for




327

several hours. Drivers do not re­
ceive overtime pay. Other drivers
work nights, starting between 3
p.m. and 5 p.m. and some on
Sundays and holidays. Full-time
drivers receive fringe benefits such
as paid holidays, vacations and sick
pay.

Sources of Additional Information

For further information on job
opportunities in this field, contact
local cab companies or the local
office of the State employment
service.




SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL OCCUPATIONS
Progress in every facet of Amer­
ican life depends to some degree
on our scientific and technical work
force. An increased standard of
living, greater defense capabilities,
exploration of outer space, and
advancement in atomic energy,
health, and communications are
just some of the results of the
work done by scientists, engineers,
and technicians.
About 2.7 million people or
nearly one quarter of all profes­
sional workers were engineers, sci­
entists, and technicians in 1972.
(See charts 17 and 18.) Employment
of scientists, engineers, and tech­
nicians increased much more rapid­
ly than did total employment over
the past two decades; the number
of scientists and engineers, for
example, almost tripled, while the
total number of workers in the
United States grew by slightly over
one-third. The growth of our sci­

Almost One-Quarter of All Professional
Workers Are in Scientific and Technical Jobs

2 3 .5 % Engineers, scientists, and
technicians

2 0 .0 % Elementary and secondary
teachers

16.5% Professional health workers
4 0 .0 % Other professional w orkers
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

entific and technical work force re­
sulted from many factors, including
overall economic growth, increased
research and development (R&D)
expenditures; growth of college and
university faculties; the race to put

Both Engineers and Technicians Outnumber
Scientists about 2 to 1_________________________ 18
ESTIMATED EMPLOYMENT 1972 (in hundreds of thousands)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Technicians
Engineering and science
Draftsmen
Surveyors
Engineers
Electrical__________
M echanical
Civil________________
Industrial
Other engineers
Scientists
____________
Life scientists

;

Chemists
____________H E
Mathematicians
Other scientists__________| H
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.




17

9

10

1
1

a man on the moon; and the de­
velopment of sophisticated defense
systems. Many technological in­
novations, such as the widespread
use of computers, also contributes
to the growth.
Engineers

Engineers play a prominent role
in bringing scientific progress into
our everyday lives. They convert
raw materials and sources of power
into products by applying basic
scientific principles. Most engineers
work in private industry—primarily
industries manufacturing machin­
ery, electrical equipment, and air­
craft, and firms providing engineering
and architectural services.
Engineers usually specialize in
one of several branches. Electrical
and mechanical engineering are the
largest specialties. Many engineers
further specialize within an indus329

330

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

try such as aerospace, or in a
particular field of technology.
Engineers perform many func­
tions in their work. They design,
develop, and test equipment; sell
technical products; and provide
technical assistance to customers.
Some supervisory and management
jobs require a basic knowledge of
engineering.

Scientists

Scientists help man acquire
knowledge about himself and animal
and vegetable life. They study the
earth and other planets to better
understand our environment and to
help man obtain the earth’s re­
sources.
The largest group of natural
scientists deal with the laws of the
physical world; this group includes
chemists, physicists, and environ­
mental scientists. Chemists total
more than half of all physical
scientists. They usually work in
private industry; almost half are
in chemical manufacturing. A fifth
of all physical scientists are physi­

microbes. The majority teach or
do research in colleges and uni­
versities. Biological scientists are
the largest group of life scientists.
Medical scientists have been the
fastest growing of all the scientists
over the past two decades.
Mathematicians, employed in
every industry, have grown nearly
as fast as medical scientists, and
work in a wide variety of activities,
ranging from the development of
new theories to the translation of
scientific and managerial problems
into mathematical terms.
Scientists have a wide range of
jobs. Many work in research, but
the specific job varies. Entomolo­
gists, for example, experiment with
ways to encourage production of
honeybees. Physiologists study re­
production of plant and animal
cells. Nutritionists discover the
amounts and kinds of food ele­
ments essential to animals. Other
scientists research inanimate mat­
ter. Chemists, for example, deter­
mine the chemical composition of
substances, and physicists may ex­
periment with lasers. Other oppor­
tunities in government and private
industry include testing and in­
specting, production oriented jobs,
management and administration,
and consulting.

(58,000) are surveyors.
Engineering and science techni­
cian jobs are more practical and
limited in scope than those of
engineers and scientists. The more
highly skilled jobs require the
ability to analyze and solve engi­
neering and science problems and
to prepare reports on tests and
experiments.
Technicians in research and de­
velopment set up complex labora­
tory equipment and help design
scientific instruments. In produc­
tion, they may help test and inspect
products or act as a liasion be­
tween engineering and production
departments. Others sell technical
products, install complex equip­
ment, and provide technical serv­
ices to customers.

Training

Training for scientific and tech­
nical work depends on the specific
job. Scientists and engineers need
at least a bachelor’s degree for
entry level jobs. However, increas­
ing emphasis is being placed on
advanced degrees, especially in
c i s t s . M o s t w o r k in c o l l e g e s a n d
mathematics, physics, and the life
universities, teaching or doing re­
sciences. Some scientific occupa­
search and development or in pri­
tions, such as astronomers and
vate industry—mostly in companies
oceanographers, require a doctor­
manufacturing aerospace and de­
ate for full professional status.
Technicians
fense related products.
Most engineers can still enter
Environmental scientists (geolo­
Technicians directly or indirectly their profession with only a bache­
gists, geophysicists, meteorologists support scientists and engineers in lor’s degree.
and oceanographers) are becoming every phase of work, including the
Undergraduate training for sci­
more important as man realizes designing of equipment, the devel­ entists and engineers includes
that the raw materials and sources opment of new products and proces­ courses in their field and related
of energy in the earth are limited. ses, the production of goods, and science fields, including mathema­
Most of the largest group, geolo­ the maintenance of machines and tics. Courses in statistics and com­
gists and geophysicists, work in materials.
puter programming analysis are
petroleum extraction industries or
Nearly two-thirds assist engi­ becoming more important. Liberal
teach and do research in colleges neers and scientists in research and arts requirements include English
and universities.
development, and in production and a foreign language.
Life scientists study all living and quality control jobs in indus­
In graduate school, students usu­
organisms and life processes from try. One third of all technicians are ally take several courses in their
the largest animals to the smallest draftsmen, and a small percent major area of study. Requirements




331

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL OCCUPATIONS

for the master’s or doctor’s degree
vary by institution, but usually in­
clude a thesis based on independent
research. Students who want to
specialize in a particular occupa­
tion should select their schools
carefully. For example, biomedical
engineers and biochemists working
in medicine should study at a
university affiliated with a hospital.
Agricultural scientists can get the
most practical training at State
universities that have agricultural
experiment stations.
Technicians acquire training in
many ways. Some complete on-thejob training programs, take formal
courses part-time while gaining
work experience, or obtain train­
ing in the Armed Forces. However,
many employers seek graduates of
specialized training programs. One
to four year training programs are
offered in post-secondary schools—
technical institutes, technical voca­
tional high schools, junior and
community colleges, area vocation­
al technical schools, and extension
divisions of colleges and universities.




Outlook

Opportunities in scientific and
technical occupations are expected
to expand through the mid-1980’s.
Growth in opportunities assumes
that additional numbers of engi­
neers, scientists, and technicians
will be needed to carry out re­
search and development (R&D)
work. In the past, growth in these
occupations has been related to
increased R&D expenditures, es­
pecially by the Federal Government.
R&D expenditures of government
and industry are expected to in­
crease through the mid-1980’s, al­
though more slowly than during
the 1960’s. If actual R&D levels
and patterns differ significantly
from those assumed, the outlook
in many occupations would be
altered.
Despite expected growth in all
scientific and technical occupations
through the mid-1980’s, employ­
ment and advancement opportuni­
ties will vary by occupation because
of future supply. For example,
very rapid growth in employment

of mathematicians is anticipated
between now and the mid-1980’s.
However, because of the sharp in­
crease projected in the number of
people graduating each year with
degrees in mathematics, new en­
trants with the bachelor’s degree
may face competition for entry
jobs.
Scientists, engineers, and techni­
cians will be needed to develop
new technologies and better prod­
ucts for a larger population and
for competition in world markets.
Many new interdisciplinary areas
also will require technically-trained
people to generate and transmit
solar energy; solve air, water, and
noise pollution problems; create
a robot mining system; and control
possible earthquakes.
The following sections of the
handbook provide detailed informa­
tion for 4 conservation occupations,
11 engineering specialties, 13 sci­
entific occupations including life,
physical, environmental and mathe­
matical scientists, and 5 technician
occupations.

CONSERVATION OCCUPATIONS
Forests, rangelands, wildlife, soil,
and water are important natural
resources. Conservationists protect,
develop, and manage these re­
sources to assure that future needs
will be met.
A young person interested in a
career in conservation must have
specialized training or experience.
Foresters, range managers, and
soil conservationists generally need
bachelor’s degrees in their fields.
Short-term or on-the-job training
is usually required for positions
such as forestry technicians and
aides.
In addition to technical knowl­
edge and skills, conservationists
must have a sincere interest in the
environment and the desire to pro­
tect it. They should enjoy dealing
with others and like public service,
since they often work with people
in the community. Flexibility also
is important, since a conservationist
may work in a remote camping
area one week, speak to a com­
munity group the next, and fight
a forest or brush fire the next.
This section describes four con­
servation occupations—forester,
forestry technician and aide range
manager, and soil conservationist.

FORESTERS
(D.O.T. 040.081)
Nature of the Work

Forests are a vital resource. They
can be used repeatedly without
being destroyed—if properly man­
332



aged. The condition of our environ­
ment has become a major national
concern, and foresters play a great
role in protecting that environment
by insuring that our forests are
properly used. They manage, de­
velop, and protect these lands and
their resources—timber, water,
wildlife, forage, and recreational
areas.
Foresters estimate the amount
and value of forest resources. They
plan and supervise the cutting and
planting of trees; the sale of trees
and timber; and the processing,
marketing, and use of forest prod­
ucts. Foresters also determine the
location and type of recreation that
can be allowed in the forest. They
protect the forests and their re­
sources from fire, harmful animals
and insects, and diseases. Other
duties include wildlife protection,
erosion control, and the super­
vision of camps, parks, and grazing
lands.

Foresters also do research, pro­
vide forestry information to forest
owners and to the general public
(called extension work), and teach
at colleges and universities.
Foresters usually specialize in
one area of work, such as timber
management, outdoor recreation,
or forest economics. Some of these
areas are recognized as distinct
professions.

Places of Employment

About 22,000 persons—most of
them men—worked as foresters in
1972. One-third worked in private
industry, mainly for pulp and
paper, lumber, logging, and milling
companies. About one-fourth worked
for the Federal Government, pri­
marily in the Forest Service of the
Department of Agriculture, although
some worked for the Departments
of Interior and Defense. The re­
mainder worked for State and local
governments, colleges and univer­
sities, consulting firms, or were
self-employed, either as consultants
or forest owners.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree with a major
in forestry is the minimum educa­
tional requirement for those de­
siring professional careers in
forestry. An advanced degree is
usually required for teaching and
research positions.
Education in forestry leading to
a bachelor’s or higher degree was
offered in 1972 by 51 colleges and
universities, of which 39 were ac­
credited by the Society of American
Foresters. Curriculums stress the
liberal arts as well as technical
forestry subjects, since communi­
cations skills and the appreciation
of American culture are important

CONSERVATION OCCUPATIONS

to the forester. Specialized forestry
courses range from forest ecology
(structure of, and interrelationships
in the forest community) to forest
administration. Many colleges re­
quire students to spend one sum­
mer in a field camp operated by
the college and encourage summer
jobs that give firsthand experience
in forest or conservation work.
Forestry graduates often work
under the supervision of experi­
enced foresters before advancing
to more responsible positions in
forest management or research.
Foresters must have enthusiasm
for outdoor work, and be physically
hardy and willing to work in re­
mote areas. Forestry work makes
both intellectual and physical
demands.

Employment Outlook

Requirements for foresters are
expected to increase moderately
through the mid-1980’s. However,
the number of new graduates with
degrees in forestry could exceed
job openings if current trends in
forestry education continue, result­
ing in keen job competition.
The demand for foresters is ex­
pected to rise as the country’s
growing population and rising liv­
ing standards increase the demand
for forest products and the use of
forests for recreational purposes.
Employment also may increase as
we become more aware of the need
to conserve and replenish our forest
resources, and to improve environ­
mental quality.
Private owners of timberland are
expected to employ more foresters
as they recognize the need for and
the higher profitability of improved
forestry and logging practices. The
forest products industries also will
require additional foresters to ap­
ply new techniques for using the




333

entire forest crop, to develop meth­
ods of growing superior trees in a
shorter period of time, and to do
research in the fields of plant
genetics and fertilization.
Employment opportunities for
foresters in the Federal Govern­
ment probably will not increase
significantly because of the chang­
ing nature of the forester’s duties.
Specialized scientists—hydrologists,
landscape architects, civil engineers,
etc.—will increasingly perform the
more scientific work formerly done
by the forester. Aides and techni­
cians increasingly may perform
some of the routine tasks pre­
viously done by foresters, who will
be more concerned with the overall
administration and coordination of
work done by specialists and aides.
On the other hand, State Gov­
ernment agencies will probably
continue to hire foresters. Forest
fire control, insect and disease
protection, technical assistance to
owners of forest lands and other
Federal-State cooperative programs
are usually channeled through State
forestry organizations. Growing de­
mand for recreation in forest lands
may result in the expansion of
State parks and other recreational
areas.
College teaching and research
in areas such as forest genetics
and forest disease also may pro­
vide employment opportunities for
foresters with graduate degrees.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Foresters earn high salaries com­
pared to the average for nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. In the Federal
Government in early 1973, begin­
ning foresters with a bachelor’s
degree could start at either $7,694
or $9,520 a year, depending on
their academic record. Those hav­

ing 1 or 2 years of graduate work
could begin at $9,520 or $11,614,
persons having the Ph.D. could
start at either $13,996 or $16,682
a year. District rangers employed
by the Federal Government in 1972
generally earned between $11,614
and $16,682 a year. Foresters in
top level positions earned consider­
ably more.
Beginning salaries of foresters
employed by State governments
vary widely, but, with a few excep­
tions, tend to be lower than Federal
salaries. Entrance salaries in pri­
vate industry, according to limited
data, are comparable to Federal
salary levels.
Forestry teachers are paid the
same as other faculty members.
(See statement on College and
University Teachers.) Forestry pro­
fessors may add to their regular
salaries with income from parttime consulting and lecturing and
the writing of books and articles.
The forester—especially in be­
ginning jobs—spends considerable
time outdoors in all kinds of
weather. Foresters may also work
extra hours on emergency duty,
such as Fire-fighting.

Sources of Additional Information

General information about the
forestry profession, lists of reading
materials and lists of schools of­
fering education in forestry are
available from:
Society of American Foresters, 1010
16th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

General information is also avail­
able from:
American Forest Institute, 1619 Massachusettes Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.
American Forestry Association, 1319
18th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Information on forestry careers

334

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

in the Forest Service is available
from:
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest
Service, Washington, D.C. 20250.

FORESTRY AIDES AND
TECHNICIANS
(D.O.T. 441.137 through 441.887)
Nature of the Work

Forestry aides, and technicians
at higher career levels, help for­
esters care for and manage forest
lands and their resources. (See
statement on Foresters earlier in
this chapter.)
Aides help estimate present and
potential timber production in a
certain area and measure logs to
find out how much lumber they
will yield. If new roads are needed
to make the timber accessible for
cutting, aides may work as part of
road building or surveying crews.
Aides inspect trees for diseases
and other problems, and keep rec­
ords of their findings. On simple
watershed improvement projects,
they install, maintain, and collect
records from rain gauges, streamflow recorders, and instruments
that measure soil moisture.
Forestry aides also help to pre­
vent and control fires. They give
fire prevention information to
people using the forest and lead
fire-fighting crews if a fire occurs.
After putting out the fire, they
take inventory of burned areas and
plant new trees and shrubs to
restore the forest.
Some forestry technicians super­
vise timber sales and road building
crews or determine recreation-area
use. Others work on research proj­
ects which make use of their
practical skills and experience.




Forestry aides inspect trees for diseases
and other problems.

Technicians also explain forest reg­
ulations and policies to those using
the forest and enforce these rules.
Places of Employment

About 14,500 persons worked
as forestry aides and technicians
in 1972. Some of these were sea­
sonal employees. Almost half the
total worked for the Federal Gov­
ernment, primarily in the Forest
Service of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. Another 2,300 worked
for State Governments. About 5,000
worked in private industry, mainly
for logging, lumber, and paper
companies. Forestry aides also work
in tree nurseries and on forestation
projects of mining, oil, and railroad
companies.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Young persons qualify for be­
ginning jobs as forestry aides or
technicians by completing a special­

ized 1- or 2-year post secondary
school, or through work experience
or a government sponsored train­
ing program. In 1972, about 90
technical institutes, junior or com­
munity colleges, and universities
offered forest technician training,
of which 46 are recognized by the
Society of American Foresters.
Specialized courses include land
surveying, tree identifications, and
aerial photograph interpretation. To
gain experience, students may
spend time working in a forest or
camp operated by the school.
Young people also may qualify
for beginning forestry aide jobs
by completing programs sponsored
under the Manpower Development
and Training Act. These programs
are presently available in 20 states,
over half of the trainees work in
Washington, Colorado, and Florida.
Persons who have not had speci­
fic training usually must have ex­
perience in forest work, such as
planting trees or fighting fires, to
qualify for beginning forestry aide
jobs. The Federal Government re­
quires that applicants for techni­
cian jobs have 2 years of related
work experience, such as in agricul­
ture, although technical training
in forestry may be substituted for
this experience.
Enthusiasm for outdoor work,
physical stamina, and the ability
to carry out tasks without direct
supervision are essential for success
in this field. The aide should be
able to work with survey crews,
users of the forest lands, forest
owners, and professional foresters.
Many jobs also require a willing­
ness to live and work in remote
areas.
Well trained technicians need to
understand the basic principles of
math and science. They must ex­
press their ideas clearly when
talking to others. Besides having
specialized knowledge of their own

335

CONSERVATION OCCUPATIONS

work, they should be aware of the
other materials and techniques used
in forestry.
Forest technicians generally be­
gin work as trainees or in relatively
routine positions under the direct
supervision of an experienced tech­
nician, scientist, or professional
forester. As they gain experience,
they are given more responsibility,
and often move into supervisory
positions.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
forestry aides are expected to in­
crease very rapidly through the mid1980’s. Job opportunities will be
especially good for those with
specialized post-high school technial training in forestry.
As the employment of foresters
continues to grow, increasing num­
bers of forestry aides and techni­
cians will be needed to assist them.
In addition, aides and technicians
increasingly will perform many of
the more routine jobs now being
done by foresters. Another impor­
tant factor leading to increased
demand for forest technicians is
the technological growth in the
forest industry. Trained technicians
will be required to help profes­
sional foresters use specialized and
efficient laborsaving machines and
to apply sophisticated scientific
development methods to forest
management.
The Federal Government is also
likely to offer increasing employ­
ment opportunities through the
mid-1980’s, mainly in the Forest
Service of the Department of Agricul­
ture. Similarly, State governments
will probably increase their em­
ployment of forestry aides. Growth
in government employment will
stem from factors such as increas­
ing demand for recreational areas
and the trend toward more scienti­




fic management of forest land and
water supplies.

RANGE MANAGERS

Earnings and Working Conditions

Nature of Work

Annual earnings of forestry aides
and technicians range from about
$5,000 to almost $16,000; those
having high earnings usually have
had many years of experience. For­
estry aides have average salaries
that are higher than the average
for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming.
In the Federal Government, be­
ginning forestry aides and techni­
cians earned between $5,432 and
$7,694 a year in early 1973, de­
pending on the applicant’s educa­
tion and experience. Beginning
salaries in private industry were
slightly higher, according to the
limited data available.
Forestry aides spend consider­
able time outdoors in all weather
conditions. In emergencies, such
as fighting fires and controlling
floods, forestry aides work many
extra hours. Climate conditions in
some areas limit year-round field
work, and some jobs, such as fire­
fighting, are seasonal in nature.

Rangelands cover more than 1
billion acres of the United States,
mostly in the Western States and
Alaska. They contain many natural
resources: grass and shrubs for
animal grazing, habitats for live­
stock and wildlife, facilities for
water sports and other kinds of
recreation, and areas for scientific
study of the environment. These
renewable resources can yield their
full potential only if properly
managed.
Range managers, sometimes called
range conservationists, range sci­
entists, or range ecologists, manage
improve, and protect range resources.
They decide, for example, the num­
ber and kind of animals to be
grazed and the best season for graz­
ing; and thus how to yield a high
production of livestock while con­
serving soil and vegetation for
other uses such as wildlife grazing,
outdoor recreation, watersheds, and
growing timber. Range managers
also restore or improve rangelands
through techniques such as con­
trolled burning, reseeding, and the
biological, chemical, or mechanical
control of undesirable plants. For
example, rangelands with natural
sagebrush vegetation may be plowed
up and reseeded with a more pro­
ductive grass. They also determine
and carry out range conservation
and development needs such as pro­
viding for animal watering facili­
ties, erosion control, and fire pre­
vention.
Because of the multiple use of
rangelands, range managers often
work in such closely related fields
as wildlife and watershed manage­
ment, forest management, and rec­
reation. They also may teach, write
reports, conduct research in range

Sources of Additional Information
I n fo r m a tio n

about

a

career

in

the Federal Government as a for­
estry aide is available from:
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest
Service, Washington, D.C. 20250.

For a list of schools recognized
by the Society of American For­
esters offering training in the field
write to:
Society of American Foresters, 1010
16th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

(D.O.T. 040.081)

336

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

agencies or for foreign govern­
ments.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Range managers study terrain to decide the num ber and kinds of anim als to be grazed.

management and improvement, and
give technical assistance to hold­
ers of privately owned grazing lands
and to foreign countries.
Places of Employment

About 4,000 persons—most of
them men—worked as range man­
agers in 1972. Additional numbers
were employed in range manage­
ment activities but not necessarily
as range managers. The majority
worked for Federal, State, and local
government agencies. In the Fed­
eral Government, most worked in
Forest Service and the Soil Con­
servation Service of the Depart­
ment of Agriculture and the




Bureau of Land Management of
the Department of the Interior.
Range managers in State govern­
ments are employed in game and
fish departments,
State land
agencies, and extension services.
Some range managers work for
privately-owned range livestock
ranches and consulting firms, and
some manage their own land. A few
are self-employed consultants. Others
work for manufacturing, sales, and
service companies, and as rangeland appraisers for banks and real
estate firms.
A few range managers also teach
and do research at colleges and
universities, or work overseas with
United States or United Nations

A bachelor’s degree with a major
in range management or range con­
servation is the usual background
for range managers. In the Federal
Government, a- degree in a closely
related field, such as agronomy or
forestry, including courses in range
management and range conserva­
tion, also may be accepted. Grad­
uate degrees are generally required
for teaching and research, and may
be helpful for advancement in most
jobs.
In 1972, 14 colleges and univer­
sities had programs leading to a de­
gree in range management or range
science. Ten schools had programs
in related fields such as forestry,
botany, or agronomy, with an option
in range management. Fourteen
schools offered a masters degree
in range management or range
science, and 12 schools offered a
Ph.D degree in range science or a
related field with a range major.
A degree in range management
requires a basic knowledge of biol­
ogy, chemistry, physics, mathemat­
ics, and communication skills. Ad­
vanced courses combine plant, animal,
and soil sciences with principles of
ecology and resource management.
Desirable electives include econom­
ics, computer science, forestry, wild­
life, and recreation.
Federal Government agencies,
primarily the Forest Service, the
Soil Conservation Service, and the
Bureau of Land Management, hire
some college juniors and seniors
for summer jobs in range manage­
ment. This experience may help
them qualify for jobs when they
graduate.
Many jobs require vigorous
physical activity and a willingness

337

CONSERVATION OCCUPATIONS

to work in arid and sparsely popu­
lated areas. Besides having a love
for the outdoors, range managers
should be able to write and speak
effectively and work with others.
Employment Outlook

Earnings and Working Conditions

Range managers have high earn­
ings compared with average earn­
ings for a nonsupervisory workers
in private industry, except farming.
In the Federal Government, range
managers with the bachelor’s de­
gree start at either $7,694 or
$9,520 a year, depending on their
college grades. Those having 1 or
2 years of graduate work begin
at $9,520 or $11,614; persons with
Ph.D. degrees start at either $13,996
or $16,682 a year.
Starting salaries for range man­
agers who work for State govern­
ments are about the same as those
paid by the Federal Government.
According to limited data, those
who work on private ranches earn
somewhat lower salaries than per­
sons who work for government
agencies. In colleges and univer­
sities, starting salaries are generally
the same as those paid other faculty
members. (See statement on College
and University Teachers.) Range
managers in educational institu­
tions sometimes add to their regu­
lar salaries with income from parttime consulting and lecturing and
from writing books and articles.
Range managers may spend con­
siderable time away from home
working outdoors in remote parts
of the range.

Employment opportunities for
range managers are expected to in­
crease slowly through the mid
1980’s. Public concern about the
environment, however, could lead
to greater opportunities for all
types of conservationists, including
range managers. Actual hiring
needs, though, are heavily depen­
dent on specialized legislation. In
the Federal Government, for ex­
ample, the Wild Horse and Burro
Act passed in December 1971 cre­
ate requirements for range man­
agers to administer the program
for protection, control, and manage­
ment of these animals.
Population growth and increas­
ing consumption of meat and other
rangeland animal products should
contribute to increasing require­
ments for range managers. Since
the amount of rangeland is general­
ly fixed, range managers will be
needed to increase the output of
rangelands while protecting their
ecological balance. Also, the use
of rangelands for other purposes
besides livestock grazing such as
wildlife protection and recreation
could create additional needs for
Sources of Additional Information
range managers.
If private ranch owners decide
Information about a career as a
to live away from their ranches, range manager as well as a list of
these absentee owners may hire pro­ schools offering training is avail­
fessional range managers to operate able from:
their ranches. A few openings for
Society for Range Management, 2120
South Birch St., Denver, Colo. 80222.
technical assistants are expected in
developing countries of the Middle
For information about career
East, Africa, and South America.
opportunities in the Federal Govern­
In addition to new jobs, some ment, contact:
openings will arise from the need
Bureau of Land Management, Denver
to replace those who die, retire, or
Service Center, Federal Center Building
50, Denver, Col. 80255.
transfer to other occupations.




or
Portland Service Center, 710 N E. Holladay St., Portland, Oreg. 97208.
Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agri­
culture, 1621 North Kent Street Arling­
ton, Va. 20415.
Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
20250.

SOIL CONSERVATIONISTS
(D.O.T. 040.081)
Nature of the Work

Soil conservationists supply farm­
ers, ranchers, and others with tech­
nical assistance for conservation of
soil and water. Farmers and other
land managers use this technical
assistance in adjusting land use,
protecting land against future soil
deterioration, rebuilding eroded and
depleted soils, and stabilizing run­
off and sediment-producing areas.
They also help improve cover on
lands devoted to raising crops, and
maintaining forest, pasture, and
range land, and the wildlife they
support. They help plan water hand­
ling, conserving water for farm and
ranch use, reducing damage from
flood water and sediment, and
draining or irrigating farms or
ranches as needed.
The types of technical services
provided by soil conservationists
are many. Maps present inventories
of soil, water, vegetation, and other
details essential in conservation
planning and application. They de­
velop information, for proper land
utilization and treatment suitable
to planned use of the land, varying
from field or partial farm or ranch
through groups of farms or ranches
to entire watersheds. Relative cost
and expected returns help to deter­
mine various alternatives of land
use and treatment.

338

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

to higher salaried technical admini­
strative jobs.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
well-trained soil conservationists are
good. Opportunities in the profes­
sion will expand because govern­
ment agencies, public utility com­
panies, banks, and other organiza­
tions are becoming interested in
conservation and are adding conser­
vationists to their staffs. Other new
openings will occur in college
teaching, particularly at the under­
graduate level. In addition, some
openings will result because of the
normal turnover in personnel.
Earnings

Soil conservationists provide farmers with technical assistance.

After the landowner or operator
decides upon the conservation pro­
gram to use the conservationist rec­
ords the relevant facts as part of a
plan. This, together with the maps
and other supplemental information,
constitutes a plan of action for con­
servation farming or ranching. The
soil conservationist then gives the
land manager technical guidance in
applying and maintaining these con­
servation practices.

Conservation Service and by the
Department of the Interior’s
Bureau of Indian Affairs. Some
are employed by colleges and
State and local governments, and
others by banks and public utili­
ties.
Training and Advancement

A Bachelor of Science degree
with a major in soil conservation or
one of the closely related natural
science or agricultural fields, with
Where Employed
30 semester hours in these Fields
An estimated 12,000 soil con­ including a 3-semester-hour course
servationists were employed in in soils, constitute the minimum
1972. Most soil conservationists requirement for soil conservationists.
are employed by Federal Govern­ Those who have unusual aptitude
ment, mainly by the U.S. De­ in the various phases of the work
partment of Agriculture’s Soil have good chances of advancement




Soil conservationists having a
bachelor’s degree and employed by
the Federal Government received
$7,694 a year in early 1973. Advance­
ment to $9,520 could be expected
after 1 year of satisfactory service.
Further advancement depends upon
the individual’s ability to accept
greater responsibility. Earnings of
well-qualified Federal soil conser­
vationists with several years’ experi­
ence range from $13,996 to $23,088
a year.
Sources of Additional Information

Additional information on em­
ployment as a soil conservationist
may be obtained from the U.S.
Civil Service Commission, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20415; Employment
Division, Office of Personnel, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20250; or any office
of the Department’s Soil Conserva­
tion Service.

ENGINEERS
“One small step for man, one
giant leap for mankind,” were
man’s first words as he stepped on
the surface of the moon. Exploring
the moon had been an idea or dream
for centuries, and this is one ex­
ample of what engineering is about,
changing ideas into reality. The
emphasis on applying scientific prin­
ciples, rather than on their dis­
covery, is a main factor that dis­
tinguishes engineers from scientists.
With over 1 million members
engineering is the second largest
professional occupation, exceeded
only by teachers. For men it is the
largest profession. Most engineers
specialize in one of the many
branches of the profession. More
than 25 engineering specialties are
recognized by professional societies.
Besides the major branches, engi­
neering has over 85 subdivisions.
Structural, sanitary, hydraulic, and
highway engineering, for example,
are subdivisions of civil engineering.
Engineers may also specialize in
the engineering problems of one in­
dustry, or in particular field of
technology such as propulsion or
guidance systems. Since basic
knowledge is required for all areas
of engineering, it is possible for
engineers to shift from one field of
specialization to another, particu­
larly early in their careers. Besides
these common areas of basic knowl­
edge and methods, inter-disciplinary
programs both within engineering
science and other specialities are
increasing in popularity. Therefore,
persons considering engineering as
a career should become familiar
with the general nature of engi­




neering as well as with its various
branches.
This section which contains an
overall discussion of engineering,
is followed by separate statements
on 11 branches of the profession—
aerospace, agricultural, biomedical,
ceramic, chemical, civil, electrical,
industrial, mechanical, metallurgi­
cal, and mining engineering.
Nature of the Work

Engineers contribute in count­
less ways to the welfare, techno­
logical progress and defense of the
Nation by developing methods for
making natures raw materials and
power sources into useful products
at a reasonable cost. They develop
electric power, water supply, and
waste disposal systems to meet the
problems of urban living. They de­
sign industrial machinery and equip­
ment needed to manufacture goods;
and heating, air-conditioning, and
ventilation equipment for more
comfortable living. Engineers also
develop scientific equipment to
probe outer space and the ocean
depths, and design, plan, and super­
vise the construction of buildings,
highways and rapid transit systems.
They also, design and develop con­
sumer products such as automobiles,
television sets, and refrigerators,
and systems for control and auto­
mation of manufacturing, business,
and management process.
Engineers must consider many
factors in developing a new prod­
uct. In designing a space capsule,
for example, they calculate the
amount of heat, radiation, and

pressure the capsule must with­
stand for the safety of the occu­
pants and the proper working of its
instruments. Experiments are con­
ducted that relate these factors to
various materials, as well as to
many capsule sizes, shapes, and
weights. Equally important are the
human needs and limitations of the
people who operate the equipment.
Engineers also consider the cost
of the materials and time needed
to complete the product. Similar
factors are applicable to most prod­
ucts ranging from artificial hearts
to electronic computers and indus­
trial machinery.
In addition to design and devel­
opment, engineers work in inspec­
tion, quality control, and many
other activities related to manu­
facturing, mining, and agriculture.
Some are in administrative and
management jobs where an engi­
neering background is necessary.
Many are employed in sales where
they must discuss the technical
aspects of a product and assist in
planning its installation or use. (See
statement on Manufacturers’ Sales­
men elsewhere in the Handbook).
Some conduct research to supply
the technological data needed for
the design and production of new
or improved products. Other engi­
neers with considerable experience
work as consultants. Another group,
especially at the Ph.D. level, teach
in the engineering and technical
schools of colleges and universities.
Engineers within each of the
branches may apply their special­
ized knowledge to many fields. Elec­
trical engineers, for example, may
work in medicine, computers, mis­
sile guidance, or electric power dis­
tribution. Because engineering prob­
lems are usually complex, the work
in some fields cuts across the tradi­
tional branches. Using a team ap­
proach to solve problems, engineers
in one field often work closely with
339

340

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

specialists in other scientific, engi­
neering, and business occupations.
Places of Employment

About 1 million people worked
as engineers in 1972, about 1 per­
cent were women. More than half
work in manufacturing—mostly in
electrical equipment, aircraft and
parts, machinery, chemicals, ord­
nance, instruments, primary metals,
fabricated metal products, and
motor vehicles industries. Over
325,000 were employed in non­
manufacturing industries in 1972,
primarily
construction,
public
utilities, engineering and architec­
tural services, and business and
management consulting services.
Federal, State, and local govern­
ments employed more than 150,000
engineers. Over half worked for the
Federal Government. Many engi­
neers were employed by the Depart­
ments of Defense, Interior, Agri­
culture, Transportation, and the
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration. Most engineers
in State and local government
agencies worked in highway and
public works departments.
Colleges and universities em­
ployed almost 45,000 engineers in
research and teaching jobs, and a
small number worked for non­
profit research organizations.
Engineers are employed in every
State, in small and large cities and
in rural areas. However, about
two-thirds of all engineers in pri­
vate industry are employed in 10
States, and of these almost onethird are in California, New York,
and Pennsylvania. Some branches
of engineering are concentrated in
particular industries, as shown in
the statements later in this chapter.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree in engineer­



ing is the generally accepted educa­
tional requirement for beginning
engineering jobs. College graduates
trained in one of the natural sci­
ences or mathematics also may
qualify for some beginning jobs.
Technicians with exceptional abil­
ity, experience, and some engineer­
ing education are sometimes able
to advance to engineering jobs.
Graduate training is being em­
phasized for an increasing number
of jobs; it is essential for most be­
ginning teaching and research posi­
tions, and desirable for advance­
ment. Some specialties, such as
nuclear engineering, generally are
taught only at the graduate level.
About 280 colleges, universities,
and engineering schools offer a
bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Although most schools offer the
larger branches of engineering,
some specialties are taught in very
few institutions. Students desiring
specialized training should be
familiar with various curriculums
before selecting a college. Under­
graduate engineering schools re­
quire high school courses in mathe­
matics and the physical sciences
and the quality of the student’s
high school work is important in
gaining admission.
In a typical 4-year curriculum,
the first 2 years are spent on
basic science—mathematics, phys­
ics, and chemistry—and the hu­
manities, social sciences, and Eng­
lish. The last 2 years are devoted to
engineering with emphasis on a
specialty. Some programs offer a
general engineering education and
the student chooses a specialty in
graduate school or acquires one on
the job.
Some engineering curriculums
require more than 4 years to com­
plete. Although, the number of col­
leges and universities having 5year programs that lead to the
bachelor’s degree is decreasing,

several now offer 5 year master’s
degree programs. In addition, sev­
eral engineering schools now have
formal arrangements with liberal
arts colleges whereby a student
spends 3 years in liberal arts and
2 years in engineering and receives
a bachelor’s degree from each.
These programs offer students di­
versification in their studies.
Some schools have 5- or even 6year cooperative plans where the
student alternates between school
and work. Most plans coordinate
classroom study and practical ex­
perience. In addition to gaining ex­
perience students may finance part
of their education.
All 50 States and the District of
Columbia require licensing for en­
gineers whose work may affect life,
health, or property, or who offer
their services to the public. In 1972,
about 325,000 engineers were reg­
istered under these laws. Generally,
registration requirements include
graduation from an accredited en­
gineering school plus 4 years of ex­
perience and passing a State exami­
nation.
Engineers should be able to work
as part of a team, be creative, have
initiative, an analytical mind, a
capacity for detail, and the ability
to make decisions. They should be
able to express their ideas to spe­
cialists in other areas such as
marketing and production plan­
ning. Because of rapidly changing
technologies, engineers must be
willing to continue their education
throughout their career.
Engineering graduates
usually
begin work as assistants to experi­
enced engineers. Many companies
have special programs to acquaint
new engineers with special indus­
trial practices and to determine the
specialties for which they are best
suited. Experienced engineers may
advance to positions of greater re­
sponsibility; those with proven

341

ENGINEERS

ability often become administra­
tors; increasingly large numbers
are being promoted to top execu­
tive jobs. Some engineers obtain
graduate degrees in business ad­
ministration to improve their ad­
vancement opportunities; others
obtain law degrees and become
patent attorneys.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
engineers are expected to be favor­
able through the mid-1980’s. En­
gineering has been one of the
fastest-growing occupations over
the past two decades, and oppor­
tunities for engineers are expected
to increase very rapidly through
the mid-1980’s though at a slower
rate than during the past. Demand
probably will be strong for new
graduates with knowledge of recent
techniques, including computer ap­
plications, and for engineers who
can apply engineering principles to
medical, biological, and other
sciences.
Opportunities for engineers are
related to population growth and
industrial expansion to meet the
demand for more goods and serv­
ices. In addition, more engineering
time is required to develop complex
industrial products and processes
and to increase industrial automa­
tion. Public emphasis on solving
domestic problems such as environ­
mental pollution, urban redevelop­
ment, and new sources of power
should also create additional job
opportunities.
Some of the past increases in en­
gineering
employment
resulted
from increases in Federal research
and development (R&D) expendi­
tures for space- and defense-related
programs. Through the mid-1980’s
R&D expenditures of Government
and industry are expected to con­
tinue to increase, but at a slower




rate than during the 1960’s. The
slowdown in Federal R&D spend­
ing in the late 1960’s and early
1970’s basically reflects reductions
in the relative importance of the
space and defense components of
R&D expenditures.
Opportunities for engineers are
also affected by defense spending,
since a large number of engineers
work in defense related activities.
The long range outlook for engi­
neers assumes that defense spend­
ing in the mid 1980’s will be some­
what lower than the peak Vietnam
levels. If defense activity should
differ substantially from that level,
the demand for engineers will be
affected.
In addition to the level of defense
spending, general business condi­
tions, shifting National priorities,
and non-defense-related Federal
programs and policies also influ­
ence the demand for engineers.
Thus, opportunities for engineers
fluctuate periodically. In the shortrun, the available engineering jobs
can either exceed or fall short of
the number of persons looking for
jobs, but over the long run, engi­
neers can look forward to favor­
able job opportunities.
Besides filling new jobs, thou­
sands of engineers will have to be
trained to replace those who trans­
fer to other occupations, retire, or
die. (The outlook for various
branches are discussed in the
separate statements later in this
section.)
Earnings and Working Conditions

New engineering graduates with
a bachelor’s degree and no experi­
ence had average starting salaries
of $10,700 a year in private indus­
try in 1972 according to the College
Placement
Council.
Master’s
degree graduates with no experi­
ence averaged almost $12,300 a

year; Ph.D. graduates averaged
about $16,400. Starting salaries
for those with the bachelor’s degree
vary by branch as shown in accom­
panying table.
Starting salaries for engineers, by branch,
1971-72

Branch

A verage starting
salaries

Aeronautical engineering
..
Chemical engineering .........
Civil engineering ..................
Electrical engineering .........
Industrial engineering............
Mechanical engineering . . .
Metallurgical engineering ..

$10,600
11,100
10,400
10,700
10,500
10,700
10,600

In the Federal Government in
early 1973, engineers with a bache­
lor’s degree and no experience could
start at $7,694 or $9,520 a year,
depending on their college records.
Beginning engineers with a bache­
lor’s degree and 1 or 2 years of
graduate work could start at $9,520
or $11,614. Those having a Ph.D.
degree could begin at $13,996 or
$16,682.
In colleges and universities, en­
gineers with a Ph.D. degree started
in 1972 at about $12,500 a year as
assistant professors for a 9-10
month academic year. (See state­
ment on College and University
Teachers elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)
Most engineers can expect an
increase in earnings as they gain
experience. Average salaries of ex­
perienced engineers are about twice
those of nonsupervisory workers
in private industry, except farming.
According to an Engineering
Manpower Commission Survey, the
average salary for engineers with
21 to 23 years of experience was
$19,600 in 1972. Some in top-level
executive positions had much higher
earnings.
Engineers generally work under
quiet conditions in modern offices
and research laboratories. Some,
however, may be involved in more
active work—in a mine, at a con­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

342

struction or missile site, or some
other outdoor location.
Sources of Additional Information

General information on engineer­
ing careers—including student se­
lection and guidance, professional
training, salaries, and other eco­
nomic aspects of engineering—is
available from:

Some engineers are members of
labor unions. Information on en­
gineering unions is available from:
International Federation of Professional
and Technical Engineers, 1126 16th
St. NW ., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Employment Outlook

AEROSPACE ENGINEERS

Engineers’ Council for Professional De­
velopment, 345 East 47th St., New
York, N.Y. 10017.

(D.O.T. 002.081)

Engineering Manpower Commission, En­
gineers Joint Council, 345 East 47th
St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Nature of the Work

National Society of Professional En­
gineers, 2029 K St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20006.

Information on engineering schools,
curriculums, training, and other
qualifications needed for entrance
into the profession also may be
obtained from the Engineers Coun­
cil for Professional Development.
Information on registration of en­
gineers may be obtained from:
National Council of Engineering Ex­
aminers, P.O. Box 752, Clemson,
S.C. 29613.

For information about graduate
study contact:
The American Society of Engineering
Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite
400, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Engineering societies represent­
ing the individual branches of the
engineering profession are listed
later in this chapter. Each can pro­
vide information about careers in
the particular branch. Many other
engineering organizations are listed
in the following publications avail­
able in most libraries or from the
publisher.
Engineering Societies Directory, pub­
lished by Engineers Joint Council,
345 East 47th St., New York, N.Y.
10017.
Scientific and Technical Societies of
the United States and Canada, pub­
lished by the National Academy of
Sciences, National Research Council.




agencies, primarily the National
Aeronautics and Space Administra­
tion and the Department of Defense.
A few worked for commercial air­
lines, consulting firms, and colleges
and universities.

Aerospace engineers play a vital
role in America’s space activities.
They work on all types of aircraft
and spacecraft including missiles,
rockets, and propeller-driven and jetpowered planes. They develop aero­
space products from the initial plan­
ning and design to the final assembly
and testing.
Aerospace engineers generally spe­
cialize in an area of work like
structural design, navigational guid­
ance and control, instrumentation
and communication, or production
methods. They also may specialize in
one type of aerospace products such
as passenger planes, launch vehicles,
satellites, manned space capsules, or
landing modules.
Engineers working in the aircraft
field are usually called aeronautical
engineers. Those in the field of mis­
siles, rockets, and spacecraft often
are referred to as astronautical engi­
neers. However, engineers with de­
grees in aeronautics and astronautics
are usually called aerospace en­
gineers.
Places of Employment

About 60,000 aerospace engineers—
many with degrees in mechanical,
electrical or industrial engineering—
were employed in 1972, mainly in
the aircraft and parts industry. Some
worked for Federal Government

Job opportunities for aerospace
engineers are expected to grow
moderately through the mid-1980’s.
Development of vertical and short
take-off and landing (V/STOL) air­
craft and the quiet short-haul air
transportation system (QSATS), as
well as the space shuttle, should pro­
vide job opportunities. Research
with lasers and advancement in
missiles and space exploration fol­
lowed by unmanned flights to other
planets will require aerospace en­
gineers. As the demand for high
speed ground transportation in­
creases, engineers familiar with aero­
space techniques could be needed
for their development.
With the end of the Vietnam con­
flict and priorities now aimed at
health and environmental control,
and the encouragement of industry
to expand the peaceful uses of
atomic energy, aerospace engineers
with diversified training such as
bioengineering and radiation pro­
tection will be needed. Additional
openings for aerospace engineers
will arise from the need to replace
those who transfer to other fields
of work, retire, or die.
Aerospace engineers are particu­
larly sensitive to changes in defense
spending. Those who are not well
grounded in engineering funda­
mentals and whose specialization
is very narrow could be affected
adversely by changes in defense
activities and rapidly changing tech­
nology. Therefore employment op­
portunities fluctuate, and the de­
mand can fall short of the supply
in any year. Employment oppor­

343

ENGINEERS

tunities however, are expected to
increase over the long run. This
outlook assumes that defense spend­
ing will be somewhat lower than
the peak Vietnam levels. If de­
fense activities should differ sub­
stantially from that level, the
demand for aerospace engineers will
be affected. (See introductory sec­
tion of this chapter for discussion
of training requirements and earn­
ings. See also statement on Aircraft,
Missile, and Spacecraft Manufactur­
ing elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Sources of Additional Information
American Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics, Inc., 1290 Avenue of
the Americas, New York, N.Y . 10019.

AGRICULTURAL
ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 013.081)
Nature of the Work

engineers employed in 1972 worked
for manufacturers of farm and
household equipment, electric serv­
ice companies, and distributors of
farm equipment and supplies. Some
worked for engineering consultants
who supply services to farmers and
farm related industries; others are
independent consultants.
The Federal Government employs
about 600 agricultural engineers in
the Soil Conservation Service and
Agricultural Research Service of the
Department of Agriculture. Some
are employed by colleges and uni­
versities, and a few are employed
by State and local governments.
Employment Outlook

Job opportunities for agricultural
engineers are expected to grow
rapidly through the mid-1980’s. The
modernization of farm operations,
increasing emphasis on conservation
of resources, and the use of agri­
cultural products and wastes as
industrial raw materials should pro­
vide increasing opportunities for
agricultural engineers. The increas­
ing use of energy and power on
farms also should provide oppor­
tunities for additional engineers.
(See introductory part of this sec­
tion for information on training
requirements and earnings. See also
statement on Agriculture elsewhere
in the Handbook.)

Agricultural engineers develop
machinery, equipment, and methods
to improve the efficiency and econ­
omy of the production, processing,
and distribution of food and other
agricultural products. They design
farm machinery, equipment, and
structures, and develop methods
for utilizing electrical energy on
farms and in food and feed proces­
sing plants. Agricultural engineers
Sources of Additional Information
also are concerned with the con­
American
Society
of Agricultural
servation and management of soil
Engineers, 2950 Niles Rd., St.
and water resources, and with the
Joseph, Mich. 49085.
design and operation of processing
equipment to prepare agricultural
products for market. They general­
ly specialize in research and devel­
opment, design, testing, production,
sales, or management.
Places of Employment

Most of the 12,000 agricultural



BIOM EDICAL ENGINEERS
Nature of the Work

Biomedical engineers use engi­
neering principles to solve medical
and health related problems. Many
in research, working with life scien­
tists, chemists, and members of the
medical profession study the engi­
neering aspects of the biological
systems of man and animals. Some
design and develop medical instru­
ments and devices including artificial
hearts and kidneys. Biomedical en­
gineers have helped develop lasers
for surgery and cardiac pacemakers
that regulate the heartbeat. Other
biomedical engineers adapt com­
puters to medical science by mon­
itoring patients and processing
electrocardiograph data. Some de­
sign and build systems to modernize
laboratory, hospital and clinical pro­
cedures. A few sell medical instru­
ments and equipment to physicians,
research centers, and hospitals.
Places of Employment

There were 3,000 biomedical engi­
neers in 1972; most members of this
branch of engineering teach and do
research in colleges and universities.
Some work for the Federal Govern­
ment, primarily in the National
Aeronautics and Space Administra­
tion. Others work in State agencies,
and an increasing number work in
private industry or hospitals, devel­
oping new devices, techniques, and
systems for improving health care.
Some work in sales positions.
Employment Outlook

Job opportunities for biomedical
engineers are expected to be very
favorable through the mid-1980’s.
Biomedical engineering is a small
field and has few openings in a
year compared with larger branches

344

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

of ceramic products. These range
from glassware, cement, bricks,
coatings, and heat resisting mate­
rials for missile nose cones to
electronic components and mate­
rials used as body sensors and
monitors. They also design and
supervise the construction of plants
and equipment to manufacture these
products. Many are engaged in re­
search and development. Some work
in administration, production, and
sales; others work as consultants
or teach in colleges and universities.
Ceramic engineers generally spe­
cialize in one or more products—
for example, products of refractories
(fire-and heat-resistant materials
such as firebrick); whitewares
(porcelain and china dinnerware or
high voltage electrical insulators);
structural materials (such as brick
tile, and terra cotta); electronic
ceramics (ferrites for memory sys­
tems and microwave devices); pro­
tective and refractory coatings for
metals; glass; abrasives; or fuel
elements for atomic energy.
Most biomedical engineers do research.

Places of Employment

of engineering, but the number of
graduates is small.
Those who have master’s and
doctor’s degrees will be in strong
demand to teach and fill jobs result­
ing from increased expenditures
for research and to develop more
artificial devices. Research could
create new positions in instrumenta­
tion and systems for the delivery of
health services. (See introductory
part of this chapter for informa­
tion on training requirements and
earnings.)

Biomedical
Engineering
Society
P.O. Box 1600, Evanston, 111. 60204.
Foundation for Medical Technology
Mt. Sinai Medical Center, 100
Street, 5th Ave., New York, N.Y.
10029.

CERAMIC ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 006.081)
Nature of the Work

Sources of Additional Information
Alliance for Engineering in Medicine
and Biology, 3900 Wisconsin Ave.
NW., Suite 300, Washington, D.C.
20016.




About 12,000 ceramic engineers
were employed in 1972, mostly in
the stone, clay, and glass industries.
Others work in industries that pro­
duce or use ceramic products such
as iron and steel, electrical equip­
ment, aerospace, and chemicals.
Some are in the educational field,
independent research organizations,
and the Federal Government.

Ceramic engineers work with one
of the world’s oldest and yet newest
technologies. They develop methods
for processing clay and other nonmetallic minerals into a wide variety

Employment Outlook

Job opportunities for ceramic
engineers are expected to be very
good through the mid-1980’s. Al­
though ceramic engineering is a
small field, and has few openings
in a year compared with large
branches of engineering, the number
of graduates is small.

ENGINEERS

Programs related to nuclear
energy, electronics, space explora­
tion, and medical science will pro­
vide many opportunities for ceramic
engineers. Ceramic materials, which
are corrosion-resistant and able to
withstand radiation and extremely
high temperatures, are becoming
increasingly important in the de­
velopment of nuclear reactors and
space vehicles. The use of more
traditional ceramic products, such
as whitewares and abrasives, for
consumer and industrial use will
require additional ceramic engineers
to improve and adapt these products
to new uses. The use of structural
clay and tile products in construc­
tion also will add to employment
opportunities. The development of
filters and catalytic surfaces to
reduce pollution and the expanding
use of glass in the construction and
container fields should create addi­
tional openings for ceramic engi­
neers. (See introductory part of
this section for information on
training requirements and earnings.)

345

diversified and complex that chem­
ical engineers frequently specialize
in a particular operation such as
oxidation or polymerization. Others
specialize in a particular area such
as environmental control or in the
production of a specific product
like plastics or rubber. Chemical
engineers may work in research and
development, production, plant op­
erations, design, sales, management
or teaching.

ments and earnings. See also the
statement on Chemists and the In­
dustrial Chemical Industry else­
where in the Handbook.)

Places of Employment

CIVIL ENGINEERS

Most of the 50,000 chemical
engineers working in 1972 were in
manufacturing industries, primarily
those producing chemicals, petro­
leum, and related products. Some
were employed by government
agencies and by colleges and uni­
versities. A small number worked
for independent research institutes
and engineering consulting firms, or
as independent consulting engineers.

(D.O.T. 005.081)

Employment Outlook
Sources of Additional Information
American Ceramic Society, 65 Ce­
ramic Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43214.

CHEM IC A L ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 008.081)
Nature of the Work

Chemical engineers design chem­
ical plants and equipment, and de­
termine the most efficient process
to manufacture chemicals and chem­
ical products. This requires a knowl­
edge of chemistry, physics, and
mechanical and electrical engineer­
ing. They often design and operate
pilot plants to test their work.
This branch of engineering is so



Opportunities for chemical en­
gineers are expected to increase
moderately through the mid-1980’s.
A major factor underlying this
growth is industry expansion—the
chemicals industry in particular.
The growing complexity and
automation of chemical processes
will require additional chemical
engineers to design, build, and
maintain the necessary plants and
equipment. Chemical engineers also
will be needed in many new areas
of work, such as environmental
control, synthetic food processing,
and in the design and development
of nuclear reactors. In addition,
new chemicals used to manufacture
consumer goods, such as plastics
and manmade fibers, probably will
create additional openings. (See in­
troductory part of this section for
information on training require­

Sources of Additional Information
American Institute of Chemical En­
gineers, 345 East 47th St., New
York, N.Y. 10017.

Nature of the Work

Civil engineering is one of the
oldest branches of the profession.
These engineers design and super­
vise the construction of roads, har­
bors, airfields, tunnels, bridges,
water supply and sewage systems,
and buildings. Major specialties
within civil engineering are struc­
tural, hydraulic, environmental,
sanitary, transportation (including
highways and railways), and soil
mechanics.
Many civil engineers are in
supervisory or administrative posi­
tions ranging from site supervisor
of a construction project or city
engineer to top-level executive.
Some are engaged in design, plan­
ning, research, and inspection.
Others teach in colleges and uni­
versities or work as consultants.
Places of Employment

About 180,000 civil engineers
were employed in 1972. Most work
for Federal, State, and local gov­
ernment agencies and in the con­
struction industry. Many work for
consulting engineering and archi­
tectural firms or as independent
consulting engineers. Others work
for public utilities, railroads, edu-

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

346

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 003.081,.151, an d .187)
Nature of the Work

Engineers supervise construction

cational institutions, and in the iron
and steel and other major manu­
facturing industries.
Civil engineers work in all parts
of the country, usually in or near
major industrial and commercial
centers. They are often called upon
to work at construction sites, and
are sometimes stationed in remote
areas or in foreign countries. In
some jobs, they must often move
from place to place to work on
different projects.
Employment Outlook

Opportunities for civil engineers
should increase rapidly through the
mid-1980’s. Job opportunities will
result from the growing needs for
housing, industrial buildings, and



Electrical engineers design, devel­
op, and supervise the manufacture of
electrical and electronic equipment.
These include electric motors and
generators; communications equip­
ment; electronic equipment such as
heart pacemakers, pollution meas­
uring instrumentation, radar, com­
puters, lasers, and missile guidance
systems; and electrical appliances of
all kinds. They also design and
assist in operating facilities for gen­
erating and distributing electrical
power.
Electrical engineers generally spe­
cialize in a major area of work such
as electronics, electrical equipment
manufacturing, communications, or
power. Others specialize in sub­
divisions of these broad areas like
computers or missile guidance and
tracking systems. Many are engaged
in research, development, and de­
of buildings and other projects.
sign activities. Some are in ad­
ministrative and management jobs;
others work in various manufactur­
highway transportation systems ing operations or in technical sales
created by an increasing population or teaching jobs.
and expanding economy. Work re­
lated to problems of urban environ­
Places of Employment
ment, such as water and sewage
Electrical engineering is the larg­
systems, air and water pollution,
urban redevelopment, and rapid est branch of the profession. More
transit systems may require addi­ than 230,000 electrical engineers
tional civil engineers.
were employed in 1972, mainly by
Large numbers of civil engineers manufacturers of electrical and elec­
also will be needed each year to tronic equipment, aircraft and parts,
replace those who retire or die. business machines, and professional
(See introductory part of this sec­ and scientific equipment. Many
tion for information on training work for telephone, telegraph, and
requirements and earnings.)
electric light and power companies.
Large numbers are employed by
government agencies and by col­
Sources of Additional Information
leges and universities. Others work
American Society of Civil Engineers
for construction firms, for engineer­
345 East 47th St., New York, N.Y.
ing consultants, or as independent
10017.
consulting engineers.

ENGINEERS

347

requirements and earnings. See also
statement on Electronics Manufac­
turing elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Sources of Additional Information
Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers, 345 East 47th St., New
York, N.Y . 10017.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 012.081,.168, an d .188)
Nature of the Work

Electrical engineers work with lasers.

Employment Outlook

Job opportunities for electrical
engineers are expected to increase
very rapidly through the mid-1980’s.
Increased demand for electrical
equipment to automatically control
production processes, using such
items as computers and sensing
devices, is expected to be among
the major factors contributing to
this growth. The demand for elec­
trical and electronic consumer goods
along with increased research and
development in nuclear power gen­




Industrial engineers determine
the most effective methods of using
the basic factors of production—
manpower, machines, and materi­
als. They are more concerned with
people and “things,” in contrast to
engineers in other specialties who
generally are concerned more with
developmental work in their fields,
such as power and mechanics.
They design systems for data
processing and apply operations
research techniques to organiza­
tional, production, and related
problems. Industrial engineers also
develop management control sys­
tems to aid in financial planning
and cost analysis. They design
production planning and control
systems to coordinate activities and
control product quality, and may
design and improve systems for the
physical distribution of goods and
services. Other activities include
plant location surveys, where they
must consider sources of raw ma­
terials, the work force, financing,
taxes, and the development of
wage and salary administration and
job evaluation programs.

eration should create job openings
for electrical engineers. Many elec­
trical engineers also will be needed
to replace personnel who retire or
die.
The long range outlook for elec­
trical engineers assumes that defense
spending in the mid-1980’s will be
somewhat lower than the peak
Vietnam levels. If defense activity
should differ substantially from that
level, the demand for electrical
Places of Employment
engineers will be affected.
(See introductory part of this sec­
About 125,000 industrial engi­
tion for information on training neers were employed in 1972; more

348

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

MECHANICAL
ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 007.081, .151, .168, .181,
and .187; 011.081, and 019.187)
Nature of the Work

with industry growth, are factors
contributing to increased require­
ments for these engineers. Increased
recognition of the importance of
scientific management and safety
engineering in reducing costs and
increasing productivity, and newer
areas of work such as noise, air,
and water pollution control should
create additional opportunities.
Additional numbers of industrial
engineers will be required each
year to replace those who retire,
die, or transfer to other occupa­
tions. (See introductory part of this
section for information on training
requirements and earnings.)

Mechanical engineers are con­
cerned with the production, trans­
mission, and use of power. They
design and develop machines that
produce power, such as internal
combustion engines, steam and gas
turbines, jet and rocket engines,
and nuclear reactors. They also
design and develop a great variety
of machines that use power—
refrigeration and air-conditioning
equipment, elevators, machine tools,
printing presses, steel rolling mills,
and many others.
Many specialized areas of work
have developed within this field
and, since mechanical engineers
are employed in nearly all indus­
tries, their work varies with the
industry and the function per­
formed. Among these specialties
are motor vehicles, marine equip­
ment, steampower, heating, venti­
lating and air-conditioning, instru­
mentation, and machines for
specialized industries, such as
petroleum, rubber and plastics, and
construction.
Large numbers of mechanical
engineers do research, development,
test, and design work. Many work
in administrative and management
activities. Others work in mainte­
nance, marketing and sales, and
activities related to production and
operations in manufacturing. Some
teach in colleges and universities
or work as consultants.

Sources of Additional Information

Places of Employment

American Institute of Industrial Engi­
neers, Inc., 25 Technology Park/
Atlanta, Norcross, Ga. 30071.

About 210,000 mechanical en­
gineers were employed in 1972.
Almost three-fourths were employed
in manufacturing—mainly in the

Industrial engineer tapes operation to check for problems.

than two-thirds worked in manu­
facturing industries. They are more
widely distributed among manu­
facturing industries than are those
in other branches of engineering.
Some work for insurance com­
panies, banks, construction and
mining firms, and public utilities.
Hospitals, retail organizations, and
other large business firms employ
industrial engineers to improve op­
erating efficiency. Still others work
for government agencies and educa­
tional institutions. A few are in­
dependent consulting engineers.
Employment Outlook

Opportunities for industrial en­
gineers are expected to grow very
rapidly through the mid-1980’s.
The increasing complexity of in­
dustrial operations and the expan­
sion of automated processes, along



ENGINEERS

349

primary and fabricated metals,
machinery, transportation equip­
ment, and electrical equipment
industries. Others work for govern­
ment agencies, educational institu­
tions, and consulting engineering
firms.
Employment Outlook

Opportunities for mechanical en­
gineers are expected to grow rapid­
ly through the mid-1980’s. The
expansion of industry along with
the demand for industrial ma­
chinery and machine tools and the
increasing complexity of industrial
machinery and processes will be
major factors supporting increased
employment opportunities. Expend­
itures for research and development
also will be a factor in the growth.
Newer areas of work, such as
atomic energy and environmental
control, will provide additional
openings.
Large numbers of mechanical
engineers also will be required
each year to replace those who re­
tire or die. (See introductory part
of this section for information on
training requirements and earnings.
See also statement on Occupations
the Atomic Energy Field elsewhere
in the Handbook.)
Sources of Additional Information
The American Society of Mechanical
Engineers, 345 East 47th St., New
York, N.Y. 10017.

METALLURGICAL
ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 011.081)
Nature of the Work

Metallurgical engineers develop




Metallurgical engineers use scientific equipment to study the structural make-up of
materials.

methods to process and convert
metals into useful products. These
engineers generally work in one of
the three main branches of
metallurgy—extractive or chemi­
cal, physical, and mechanical. Ex­
tractive metallurgy involves the
extraction of metals from ores and
refining and alloying them to ob­
tain pure metal. Physical metallurgy
deals with the nature, structure
and physical properties of metals
and their alloys, and with methods
of converting refined metals into
final products. Mechanical metal­
lurgy involves the working and
shaping of metals by casting,
forging, rolling and drawing. Sci­
entists working in this field are
known as metallurgists but the
distinction between scientists and
engineers is small. People working
in the field of metallurgy are in­

creasingly being referred to as
either materials scientists or ma­
terials engineers.
Places of Employment

The metalworking industries—
primarily the iron and steel and
nonferrous metals industries—
employed over one-half of the
estimated 10,000 metallurgical en­
gineers in 1972. Many metallurgical
engineers work in industries that
manufacture machinery, electrical
equipment, and aircraft and parts.
Others work in the mining industry.
Some work for government agen­
cies, consulting firms, independent
research organizations, and colleges
and universities.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for

350

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

metallurgical engineers are ex­
pected to grow very rapidly through
the mid-1980’s. An increasing num­
ber of these engineers will be
needed by the metalworking indus­
tries to develop new metals and
alloys as well as to adapt current
ones to new needs. For example,
the development of such products
as supersonic jet aircrafts, missiles,
satellites, spacecrafts, and com­
puters has brought about a need
for lightweight metals of high
purity, able to withstand both ex­
tremely high and low temperatures.
Metallurgical engineers also will
be needed to solve metallurgical
problems associated with the effi­
cient use of nuclear energy. As the
supply of high-grade ores dimin­
ishes, more metallurgical engineers
will be required to find new ways of
recycling solid waste materials in
addition to processing low-grade
ores now regarded as unprofitable
to mine. They also will be needed
to solve problems connected with
air and water pollution control,
noise abatement, urban renewal,
public transportation, and biomedi­
cal devices. (See introductory part
of this section for information on
training requirements and earnings.
Also see statement on the Iron and
Steel Industry elsewhere in the
Handbook.)

MINING ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 010.081 an d .187)
Nature of the Work

Mining engineers find, extract,
and prepare minerals for manu­
facturing industries to use. They
design the layouts of mines, super­
vise the construction of mine shafts
and tunnels in underground opera­
tions, and devise methods for trans­
porting minerals to processing
plants. Mining engineers are re­
sponsible for the efficient operation
of mines and mine safety, including
ventilation, water supply, power,
communications, and equipment
maintenance. Some mining engi­

neers work with geologists and
metallurgical engineers to locate
and appraise new ore deposits.
Others develop new mining equip­
ment and devise improved methods
to process extracted minerals. With
increased emphasis on the environ­
ment, many mining engineers have
been working to solve problems
related to mined-land reclamation
and water and air pollution control.
Mining engineers frequently spe­
cialize in the extraction of specific
metal ores, coal, and other nonmetallic minerals. Engineers who
specialize in the extraction of
petroleum and natural gas are
usually considered members of a
separate branch of the engineering
profession—Petroleum Engineering.

Sources of Additional Information
The Metallurgical Society of the Ameri­
can Institute of Mining, Metal­
lurgical, and Petroleum Engineers
345 East 47th St., New York, N.Y.
10017.
American Society of Metals,
Park, Ohio 44073.




Metals

Mining engineers are concerned with mine safety.

351

ENGINEERS

Places of Employment

About 5,000 mining engineers
were employed in 1972. Most work
in the mining industry. Some work
in colleges and universities, for
government agencies, or as inde­
pendent consultants. Others work
for firms that produce equipment
for the mining industry.
Mining engineers are usually em­
ployed at the location of mineral
deposits, often near small commun­
ities. However, those in research,
teaching, management, consulting,
or sales are often located in large
metropolitan areas.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for




mining engineers are expected to
be favorable through the mid1980’s. The number of new gradu­
ates in mining engineering is expected
to be fewer than the number needed
to replace those who die, retire, or
transfer to other fields of work.
Exploration for minerals is in­
creasing, both in the United States
and in other parts of the world.
Easily mined deposits are being
depleted, creating a growing need
for engineers to mine newly dis­
covered mineral deposits and to
devise more efficient methods for
mining low-grade ores. Additional
employment opportunities for min­
ing engineers will arise as new
alloys and new uses for metals
increase the demand for less widely
used ores. Recovery of metals

from the sea and the development
of recently discovered oil shale
deposits could present major chal­
lenges to the mining engineer.
(See introductory part of this sec­
tion for information on training
requirements and earnings. See also
statement on Mining elsewhere in
the Handbook.)
Sources of Additional Information
The Society
American
lurgical,
345 East
10017.

of Mining Engineers of the
Institute of Mining, Metal­
and Petroleum Engineers
47th St., New York, N.Y.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS
Environmental scientists help us
live within our physical environ­
ment. They play an important role
in solving environmental pollution
problems. These scientists, some­
times known as earth scientists,
are concerned with the history,
composition, and characteristics of
the earth’s surface, interior, and
atmosphere. Some do basic re­
search to increase scientific knowl­
edge. Others solve practical prob­
lems. Geologists, for example, ex­
plore for new sources of oil, other
fuels, and ores. Still others do
applied research and use knowledge
gained from basic research to help
answer important questions. Mete­
orologists, for example, use scientif­
ic knowledge to forecast the weather.
Many environmental scientists teach
in colleges and universities. Others
administer scientific programs and
operations.
Many environmental scientists
specialize in one particular branch
of their broad occupational field.
This chapter discusses the special­
ties and the employment outlook
for four environmental science oc­
cupations—geologists, geophysi­
cists, meteorologists, and ocean­
ographers.

GEOLOGISTS
(D.O.T. 024.081)
Nature of the Work

Geologists study the structure,
composition, and history of the
352




earth’s crust in order to locate
natural resources, give warnings
of natural disasters, and help see
that buildings are put on firm
foundations. By examining rocks
and drilling to recover rock cores,
they determine their distribution,
thickness, and slope beneath the
earth’s surface. They also identify
rocks and minerals, conduct geo­
logical surveys, draw maps, take
measurements, and record data.
Geologists use many tools and
instruments such as hammers, chis­
els, levels, transits (mounted tele­
scopes used to measure angles),
gravity meters, cameras, compasses,
and seismographs (instruments that
record the intensity and duration
of earthquakes and earth tremors).
They also evaluate information
from photographs taken from air­
craft and satellites and use com­
puters to record and analyze data.
Geologists also work in labora­
tories where they examine the
chemical and physical properties of
specimens under controlled tem­
perature and pressure. They may
study fossil remains of animal and
vegetable life or experiment with
the flow of water and oil through
rocks. Laboratory equipment used
by geologists includes complex in­
struments such as the X-ray dif­
fractometer, which determines the
structure of minerals, and the
petrographic microscope for close
study of rock formations.
Geologists do other things be­
sides locating resources and work­
ing in laboratories. They advise
construction companies, and Fed­
eral, State, and local governments
on the suitability of certain loca­

tions for constructing buildings,
dams, or highways. Some geologists
administer and manage research
and exploration programs. Others
teach and work on research projects
in colleges and universities.
Geologists usually specialize in
one or a combination of three
general areas—earth materials, earth
processes, and earth history.
Economic geologists locate earth
materials such as minerals and
solid fuels. Petroleum geologists
search for and recover liquid fuels—
oil and natural gas. Some petroleum
geologists work near drilling sites
and others correlate petroleumrelated geologic knowledge for en­
tire regions. Engineering geologists
determine suitable sites for the
construction of roads, airfields, tun­
nels, dams, and other structures.
They decide, for example, whether
underground rocks will bear the
weight of a building or whether a
structure may be in an earthquake
prone area. Mineralogists analyze
and classify minerals and precious
stones according to composition
and structure. Geochemists study
the chemical composition and
changes in minerals and rocks to
understand the distribution and
migration of elements in the earth’s
crust.
Geologists concerned with earth
processes study landforms and their
rock masses, sedimentary (matter
deposited by water or wind) de­
posits and eruptive forces such as
volcanoes. Volcanologists study
active and inactive volcanoes, lava
flows, and other eruptive activity.
G eo m o rp h o lo g ists

examine land-

forms and forces such as erosion
and glaciation which cause them
to change.
Other geologists are most con­
cerned with earth history. Paleon­
tologists study plant and animal
fossils to trace the evolution and
development of past life. Geo-

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS

chronologists determine the age of geologists in 1972, over half in
rocks and landforms by the radio­ private industry. Most industrial
active decay of its elements. Strati- geologists work for petroleum pro­
graphers study the distribution and ducers, many for American com­
arrangement of sedimentary rock panies exploring in foreign nations.
layers by examining their fossil and Geologists also work for mining
mineral content.
and quarrying companies. Some
Many geologists specialize in are employed by construction firms
new fields that require knowledge and others are independent con­
of another science. Astrogeologists sultants to industry and government.
study geological conditions on
The Federal Government em­
other planets. Geological oceano­ ploys over 1,600 geologists. Twographers study the sedimentary and thirds work for the Department of
other rock on the ocean floor and the Interior in the U.S. Geological
continental shelf. (See statements Survey, the Bureau of Mines, and
on Oceanographers and Mining the Bureau of Reclamation. State
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
agencies also employ geologists,
some working on surveys in co­
operation with the U.S. Geological
Survey.
Places of Employment
Colleges and universities employ
About 23,000 people worked as almost 7,500 geologists. Some work

Geologists should like outdoor work.




353

for nonprofit research institutions
and museums

Training, Qualifications,
and Advancement

Students seeking professional
careers as geologists should earn
an advanced degree. The master’s
degree is required for beginning
research and teaching and most
exploration jobs. Advancement in
college teaching and high-level re­
search and administrative posts
usually require the Ph.D. The
bachelor’s degree is adequate train­
ing for some entry jobs in explora­
tion work.
About 300 colleges and universi­
ties offer a bachelor’s degree in
geology. Undergraduate students
devote about one-fourth of their
time to geology courses, including
historical geology, structural geol­
ogy, mineralogy, petrology, and
invertebrate paleontology. Students
spend about a third of their time
taking mathematics, related sci­
ences—such as physics and chemistry
—and engineering; the remainder
is general academic subjects. Statis­
tics and computer courses are
especially recommended.
More than 160 universities award
advanced degrees in geology.
Graduate students take advanced
courses in geology and specialize
in one branch of the science.
Students planning careers in ex­
ploration geology should like the
outdoors, and have physical stam­
ina. They should be able to adapt
to changes brought about by travel
to distant countries. Geologists
often travel to remote sites by
helicopter and jeep and cover large
areas by foot. Generally, they
work in teams. Geologists need
curious and analytical minds to
solve complex geological problems.
Geologists with advanced degrees

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

354

usually begin their careers in field
exploration or as research assistants
in laboratories. After suitable ex­
perience, they may be promoted
to project leaders, program mana­
gers, or other management and re­
search positions.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
geologists with advanced degrees
are expected to be favorable through
the mid-1980’s. Hundreds of op­
portunities should open up each
year because of the expected growth
in the field and to replace geo­
logists who are promoted to man­
agerial positions, transfer to other
fields, die, or retire. Those with
bachelor’s degrees may face com­
petition for entry jobs and some
may have to work as technicians
or surveyors. For those with only
bachelor’s degrees, opportunities will
be more favorable with some train­
ing in geophysical exploration tech­
niques.
Demand for geologists will con­
tinue in Federal agencies, particu­
larly the U.S. Geological Survey.
College and university employment
probably will rise, mainly for those
having Ph.D. degrees.
Geologists may want to consider
related employment activities out­
side the field. For instance, geo­
logists may take training to qualify
as science teachers in secondary
schools.
Consumer and industrial demand
for petroleum and minerals will
continue to rise, and geologists
with advanced degrees will be re­
quired to locate and recover new
deposits to fill increased demand
and replenish old supplies. How­
ever, indications are that employ­
ment of geologists with advanced
degrees in petroleum and mineral
extraction will be more limited in



the near future than in the past.
Additional geologists will be needed
to discover new resources and their
potential uses. For example, geo­
logists will help determine the
feasibility of using geothermal
energy (steam from the earth’s
interior) to generate electricity.
Geologists also are needed to de­
vise techniques for exploring deeper
within the earth’s crust and to
develop more efficient methods of
mining resources. Geologists also
are needed to develop adequate
water supplies, waste disposal
methods, and building materials
and site evaluation for construction
activities. Increased emphasis on
the environment by urban societies
also should affect requirements for
geologists. For example, pollution
control, better land use and recla­
mation programs, and highway con­
struction activities require the
talents of geologists.

degree could begin at $13,996 or
$16,682.
Geologists often work outdoors
in many different climates and
geographical areas. Field work re­
quires hard physical labor and long
hours with limited companionship.
Geologists in mining may be re­
quired to work underground. When
not working outdoors, they are in
comfortable, well-lighted, wellventillated offices and laboratories.

Sources of Additional Information

General information on career
opportunities, training, and earn­
ings for geologists is available from:
American Geological Institute, 2201 M
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20037.

For information on Federal Gov­
ernment careers contact:
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil Service
Examiners for Washington, D.C.
1900 E St. NW., Washington, D.C.
20415.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Geologists have relatively high
salaries, with average earnings over
twice those received by nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming.
Starting salaries for new gradu­
ates averaged $9,000 a year in
1972 for those having a bachelor’s
degree, $11,000 for those having a
master’s degree, and $13,000 for
those having a doctorate, accord­
ing to the American Geological
Institute’s annual survey.
In the Federal Government in
early 1973, geologists having a
bachelor’s degree could begin at
$7,694 or $9,520 a year, depending
on their college records. Beginning
geologists having the master’s de­
gree could start at $9,520 or
$11,614, depending on their aca­
demic records or previous work
experience. Those having the Ph.D.

GEOPHYSICISTS
(D.O.T. 024.081)
Nature of the Work

Geophysicists study the composi­
tion and physical aspects of the
earth and other planets—their in­
teriors, surfaces, and atmospheres.
They investigate the earth’s phy­
sical characteristics, such as its
electric, magnetic, and gravitational
‘fields. Geophysicists use highly com­
plex instruments such as the mag­
netometer which measures variations
in the earth’s magnetic field, and
•the gravimeter which measures
♦minute variations in gravitational
attraction. They may use satellites

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS

to conduct tests in outer space and
use computers to collect and analyze
data.
Geophysicists usually specialize
in one of three general phases of the
science—solid earth, fluid earth,
and upper atmosphere.
Solid earth geophysicists search
for oil and mineral deposits, map
the earth’s surface, and are con­
cerned with earthquakes. Explora­
tion geophysicists use seismic
prospecting techniques to locate
oil and mineral deposits. They send
sound waves into the earth and
•record the echoes bouncing off the
rock layers below to determine if
they are favorable for the accumula­
tion of oil.
Seismologists study the earth’s
interior and earth vibrations caused
by earthquakes and manmade ex­
plosions. They explore for oil and
minerals, study underground detec­

355

tion of nuclear explosions, and
provide information for use in con­
structing bridges, dams, and build­
ings. For example, in constructing
a dam, seismologists determine
inhere bedrock (solid rock beneath
the soil) is closest to the surface so
the best dam site can be selected.
They use explosives to create sound
waves which reflect off bedrock;
the time it takes for the shock
wave to return to the surface indi­
cates the depth of bedrock.
Geodesists study the size, shape,
and gravitational Field of the earth
and other planets. Their principal
lask is mapping the earth’s surface.
With the aid of satellites, geodesists
determine the positions, elevations,
and distances between points on the
earth, and measure the intensity and
direction of gravitational attraction.
, Hydrologists are concerned with
the fluid earth. They study the

distribution, circulation, and phy­
sical properties of underground and
surface waters, including glaciers,
snow, and permafrost. They also
study rainfall and its rate of infiltra­
tion into soil. Some are concerned
with water supplies, irrigation, flood
control, and soil erosion. (See state­
ment on Oceanographers, sometimes
classified as geophysical scientists,
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Geophysicists involved in the at­
mosphere investigate the earth’s
magnetic and electric fields and
compare its outer atmosphere with
those of other planets. Geomagneticians study the earth’s magnetic
field. Paleomagneticians learn about
p^ist magnetic fields from rocks or
lava flows. Planetologists study the
composition and atmosphere of the
moon, planets, and other bodies in
the solar system. They gather data
from geophysical instruments placed
on inter-planetary space probes or
equipment used by astronauts during
the Apollo missions. Meteorologists
are sometimes classified as geo­
physical scientists. (See statements
on Meteorologists and Mining else­
where in the Handbook.)
Places of Employment

Geophysicists measure solar radiation.




More than 8,000 people worked
as geophysicists in 1972. Most work
in private industry, chiefly for petro­
leum and natural gas companies.
Other geophysicists are in mining
companies, exploration and consult­
ing firms, and research institutes.
A few are independent consultants
and some do geophysical pros­
pecting on a fee or contract basis.
Geophysicists are employed in
many southwestern and western
States, including the Gulf Coast,
where large oil and natural gas fields
are located. Some geophysicists are
employed by American firms over­
seas for varying periods of time.
Over 2,000 geophysicists, geod­

356

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

subjects can be admitted to these
graduate schools.
Geophysicists should be in good
health since they often have to work
outdoors, and must be willing to
travel, sometimes for extended peri­
ods of time. Geophysicists generally
work as part of a team. They should
have curious and analytical minds
for solving complex geophysical
problems and be able to express
themselves both orally and in writ­
ing.
Most new geophysicists begin their
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
careers doing field mapping or
other exploration activities. Some
A person with a bachelor’s de­
assist senior geophysicists in re­
gree in geophysics or a geophysical
search laboratories. With suitable
specialty qualifies for most begin­
experience, geophysicists advance to
ning jobs in exploration geophysics.
project leader, program manager, or
A bachelor’s degree in a related field
other management and administra­
of science or engineering also is
tive jobs.
adequate preparation, provided the
person has courses in geophysics,
physics, geology, mathematics, chem­
Employment Outlook
istry, and engineering. A geophy­
New graduates in geophysics
sicist with a background in electronic
data processing can increase his should have good employment op­
employment opportunities in indus­ portunities through the mid-1980’s.
try and government.
In addition to opportunities resulting
Geophysicists doing research or from the very rapid growth ex­
supervising exploration activities pected in this field, a few hundred
should have graduate training in geophysicists will be needed each
geophysics or a related science. year to replace those who transfer
Those planning to teach in colleges to other fields of work, retire, or
or do basic research should acquire die. Although the number of job
a Ph.D. degree in geophysics or a re­ openings for geophysicists is not
lated science with advanced courses expected to be large in any one year,
in geophysics.
the number of new geophysics grad­
About 50 colleges and universities uates is not expected to meet
award the bachelor’s degree in geo­ requirements.
Federal Government agencies
physics. Other programs offering
training for beginning geophysicists may need geophysicists for new or
include geophysical technology, geo­ expanding programs. Jobs for geo­
physical engineering, engineering physicists in the Federal Govern­
geology, petroleum geology, and ment are heavily dependent on funds
geodesy.
for research and development in
•More than 60 universities grant the earth sciences, which are ex­
th*e master’s and Ph.D. degree in pected to increase through the mid
geophysics. People who have a 1980’s but at a slower rate than
bachelor’s degree and courses in during the 1960’s. The Government
geology, mathematics, physics, en­ is expected to support additional
gineering or a combination of these research to develop “natural disaster
esists, and hydrologists worked for
Federal Government agencies in
1972, mainly the U.S. Geological
Survey; the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA); the Army Map Service;
and the Naval Oceanographic Of­
fice. Other geophysicists work for
colleges and universities, State gov­
ernments, and nonprofit research
institutions.




technology” to improve capabilities
to control, predict, or reduce de­
struction from fires, earthquakes,
floods, hurricanes, and severe storms.
The Government also may support
research to locate more natural re­
sources, prevent environmental deg­
radation through better land use,
and improve municipal services such
as water and sewage disposal.
Petroleum and mining companies
will need geophysicists for explora­
tion activities, which are expected
to expand through the mid-1980’s.
As the need for more fuel and
minerals grows and costs of explora­
tion increase, more geophysicists
will be needed to operate sophis­
ticated electronic equipment to find
the more concealed fuel and mineral
deposits.
In addition, geophysicists with
advanced training will be needed
to do research into radioactivity
and cosmic and solar radiation, in­
vestigate the use of geothermal
power (steam from the earth’s in­
terior) as a source of energy to
generate electricity, and contribute
to exploration of outer space. Geo­
physicists also will be needed to
develop better geophysical instru­
ments, and to establish information
storage and retrieval systems for
geophysical libraries.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Geophysicists have relatively high
salaries, with average earnings more
than twice those received by nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming.
Starting salaries in 1972 for geo­
physics graduates averaged $9,000 a
year for those having a bachelor’s
degree, $11,000 for those having a
master’s degree and $13,000 for
those having a doctorate, according
to the American Geological Insti­
tute’s annual survey.
In the Federal Government in

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS

357

early 1973, geophysicists having a helps solve many practical problems
bachelor’s degree could begin at in agriculture, transportation, com­
$7,694 or $9,520 a year, depending munications, health, defense, and
on their college records. Beginning business.
Meteorologists usually specialize
geophysicists having a master’s de­
gree could start at $9,520 or $11,614 in one branch of the science.
depending on their academic record Weather forecasters, known pro­
or previous work experience. Those fessionally as synoptic meteorolo­
having a Ph.D. degree could begin gists, are the largest group of
specialists. They study current
at $13,996 or $16,682.
Geophysicists work outdoors for weather information, such as air
extended periods of time with lim­ pressure, temperature, humidity, and
ited companionship. Some of them wind velocity in order to make
work in remote areas, involving short- and long-range predictions.
much traveling and living under Their data come from weather satel­
primitive conditions. Geophysicists lites and observers in many parts
also work in modern, well-equipped, of the world. Although some fore­
well-lighted laboratories and offices. casters still prepare and analyze
weather maps, most data now *are
plotted by computers.
Sources of Additional Information
Some meteorologists are engaged
General information on career in basic and applied scientific re­
opportunities, training, and earn­ search. For example, physical
ings for geophysicists is available meteorologists study the chemical
and electrical properties of the at­
from:
mosphere. They do research on the
American Geophysical Union, 1707 L
St. NW „ Washington, D.C. 20036.
effect of the atmosphere on trans­

mission of light, sound, and radio
waves, as well as factors affecting
formation of clouds, rain, snow,
and other weather conditions. Other
meteorologists, known as clima­
tologists, study historical climate
conditions and analyze past records
on wind, rainfall, sunshine, and
temperature to determine the gen­
eral pattern of weather that makes
up an area’s climate. These studies
are useful in planning heating and
cooling systems, designing buildings,
and aiding in effective land util­
ization.
Meteorological instrumentation
specialists develop the devices that
measure, record, and evaluate data
on atmospheric processes. For ex­
ample, some of these instruments
are used to measure the size and
number of droplets in a cloud,
structure of winds, and pressure,
humidity, and temperature miles
above the earth.
Specialists in applied method­
ology, sometimes called industrial

Society of Exploration Geophysicists,
P.O. Box 3098, Tulsa, Okla. 74101.

For information on Federal Gov­
ernment careers contact:
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil Serv­
ice Examiners for Washington, D.C.,
1900 E St., NW„ Washington, D.C.
20415.

METEOROLOGISTS
(D.O.T. 025.088)
Nature of the Work

Meteorology is the study of
the atmospheres—the gases that sur­
round the earth and other celestial
bodies. Meteorologists describe and
try to understand the atmospheres’
physical composition, motions, and
processes, and determine the way
these elements affect the rest of our
physical environment. This study




Meteorologist checks the position of a major storm from weather satellite photographs.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

358

meteorologists, study the relation­
ship between weather and specific
human activities, biological proc­
esses, and agricultural and industrial
operations. For example, they make
weather forecasts for individual
companies, attempt to induce rain
or snow in a given area, and work on
problems such as smoke control
and air pollution abatement.
About one-third of all civilian
meteorologists work primarily in
weather forecasting, and another
one-fourth manage or administer
forecasting and research programs.
Almost one-fourth work in research
and development. For example, they
devise mathematical models of at­
mospheric motion to understand
and predict changing weather con­
ditions, or carry out experiments
in changing the amount of rain in
an area.
Some meteorologists teach or
do research—frequently combining
both activities—in colleges and uni­
versities. In colleges without sepa­
rate departments of meteorology,
they may teach geography, math­
ematics, physics, chemistry, or geol­
ogy, as well as meteorology.
Places of Employment

About 5,000 persons—10 percent
of them women—worked as meteor­
ologists in 1972. In addition tc
these civilian meteorologists, more
than 2,000 officers and 7,000 en­
listed members of the Armed Forces
did forecasting and other meteor­
ological work.
The largest employer of civilians
was the National Oceanic and At­
mospheric Administration (NOAA),
where nearly 2,000 meteorologists
worked at 300 stations in. all parts
of the United States, and in a
small number of foreign areas. The
Department of Defense employed
over 300 civilian meteorologists.
More than 1,000 meteorologists




worked for private industry. Com­
mercial airlines employed several
hundred to forecast weather along
flight routes and to brief pilots
on atmospheric conditions. Others
worked for private weather consult­
ing firms, for companies that design
and manufacture meteorological in­
struments, for radio and television
stations, and for large firms in
aerospace, insurance, utilities, and
other industries.
Colleges and universities em­
ployed almost 1,000 meteorologists
in research and teaching. A few
worked for State and local govern­
ments and for nonprofit organ­
izations.
Although meteorologists work in
all States, nearly two-fifths live
in just two States—California and
Maryland. More than one-tenth of
all meteorologists worked in the
Washington, D.C. area.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree with a major
in meteorology is the usual mini­
mum requirement for beginning jobs
in weather forecasting. However, a
bachelor’s degree in a related science
or engineering, along with some
courses in meteorology, is acceptable
for some jobs. For example, the
Federal Government’s minimum re­
quirement for beginning jobs is a
bachelor’s degree with at least 20
semester hours of study in mete­
orology and additional training in
physics and mathematics, including
calculus.
For research and college teach­
ing and for many top-level positions
in other meteorological activities,
an advanced degree is essential,
preferably in meteorology. However,
people with graduate degrees in
other sciences also may qualify if
they have advanced courses in mete­
orology, physics, mathematics, and
chemistry.

In 1972, 42 colleges and uni­
versities offered a bachelor’s degree
in meteorology; 53 schools offered
advanced degrees in atmospheric
science. Many other institutions of­
fered some courses in meteorology.
The Armed Services give and sup­
port meteorological training, both
of enlisted personnel for under­
graduate education and of officers
for advanced study.
NOAA has a program under
which some of its meteorologists
may attend college for advanced or
specialized training. College students
can obtain summer jobs with this
agency or enroll in its cooperative
education program in which they
work at NOAA part of the year and
attend school part of the year. In
addition to helping students finance
their education this program gives
them valuable experience for find­
ing a job when they graduate.
Meteorologists in the Federal
Government usually start in 2-year
training positions at weather sta­
tions. They observe weather condi­
tions, receive training in forecasting,
and release weather information to
the public, agriculture industry, air­
lines, and other specialized users.
Advancement is to assistant fore­
caster and forecaster.
Airline meteorologists have some­
what limited opportunities for
advancement. However, after con­
siderable work experience, they may
advance to flight dispatcher or to
various supervisory or administra­
tive jobs. A few very well qualified
meteorologists with a background in
science, engineering, and business
administration may establish their
own weather consulting services.
Employment Outlook

Employment of meteorologists is
expected to grow moderately
through the mid-1980’s. In addition
to openings resulting from growth,

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS

some meteorologists will be needed
each year to replace those who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other fields.
Employment opportunities should be
favorable during this period, es­
pecially for those with advanced
degrees who will find jobs in re­
search, teaching in colleges and
universities, as well as in manage­
ment and consulting work.
The use of weather satellites,
manned spacecraft, world-circling
weather balloons, and electronic
computers has expanded the work
of meteorologists. These advances
have made possible the study of
weather and climate on a global
scale. Meteorologists also will find
jobs developing and improving in­
struments for collecting and proc­
essing weather data.
Job opportunities for mete­
orologists with commercial airlines,
weather consulting services, and
other private companies are expected
to increase as the value of weather
information to all segments of our
economy receives further recogni­
tion. For example, the atmosphere
is an important part of our environ­
ment, and increasing public concern
about ecology could create job open­
ings with private research organ­
izations, in colleges and universities,
and in State and local governments.
The n e e d will c o n t i n u e for m e t e ­
orologists to work in existing
programs, such as weather meas­
urements and forecasts and do re­
search on problems of severe storms,
turbulance, and air pollution.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Meteorologists have relatively
high earnings, salaries were about
twice the average received by nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming.
In early 1973, meteorologists in
the Federal Government with a
bachelor’s degree and no experience




359

received starting salaries of $7,619
or $9,520 a year, depending on
their college grades. Those with
a master’s degree could start at
$11,614 or $13,996, and those with
the Ph.D. degree at $13,996 or
$16,682. Salaries were higher for
those who worked outside the United
States.
Airline meteorologists had aver­
age starting salaries of $12,000 a
year, according to the Air Traffic
Conference. They generally receive
the same benefits as other airline
employees. (See Statement on Occu­
pations in Civil Aviation elsewhere
in the Handbook.) Those teaching
in colleges and universities earned
salaries equivalent to those received
by other faculty members. (See
Statement on College and University
Teachers.)
Jobs in weather stations, which
are operated on a 24-hour, 7-day
week basis, often involve nightwork
and rotating shifts. Most stations
are at airports or at places in or
near cities; some are in isolated
and remote areas. Meteorologists
generally work alone in smaller
weather stations, and as part of a
team in larger ones.
Sources of Additional information
G eneral

in fo r m a tio n

on

career

opportunities and schools offering
education in meteorology is avail­
able from:
American Meteorology Society, 45
Beacon St., Boston, Mass. 02108.
American Geophysical Union, 2100
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20037.

For facts about job opportunities
with the NOAA National Weather
Service and on its student coop­
erative education program, contact:
Personnel Division AD 41, National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis­
tration, 6010 Executive Blvd., Rock­
ville, Md. 20852.

Details about Air Force mete­

orological training programs are
available from any Air Force recruit­
ing office or from:
Air Weather Service/D.O.T., Stop 400
Scott Air Force Base, 111. 62225.

OCEANOGRAPHERS
(D.O.T. 024.081 and 041.081)
Nature of the Work

Oceans cover more than twothirds of the earth’s surface and
provide people with valuable foods,
fossil fuels, and minerals. They
also influence the weather, serve as
a “highway” for transportation,
and offer many kinds of recreation.
Oceanographers use the principles
and techniques of natural science,
mathematics, and engineering to
study oceans—their movements,
physical properties, and plant and
animal life. Their research not only
extends basic scientific knowledge,
but also helps develop practical
methods for forecasting weather,
developing fisheries, mining ocean
resources, and improving National
defense.
Some oceanographers make tests
and observations, and conduct ex­
periments from ships or stationary
platforms in the sea. They may
study and collect data on ocean
tides, currents, and other phenom­
ena. Some study undersea moun­
tain ranges and valleys, oceanic
interaction with the atmosphere,
and layers of sediment on and
beneath the ocean floor.
Oceanographers also work in
laboratories on land where, for
example, they measure, dissect, and
photograph fish. They also study
exotic sea specimens and plankton
(floating microscopic plants and
animals). Much of their work en­
tails identifying, cataloguing, and

360

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

analyzing different kinds of sea
life and minerals. At other labora­
tories, oceanographers plot maps
or feed data to computers to test
theories about the ocean. For ex­
ample, they may study and test
the theory of continental drift,
which states that the continents
were once joined together, have
drifted apart, and continue to
drift apart causing the sea floor to
spread. To present the results of
their studies, oceanographers pre­
pare charts, tabulations, reports
and manuals, and write papers for
scientific journals.

Oceanographers explore and study
the ocean with low-flying aircraft
as well as surface ships. They use
specialized instruments to measure
and record the findings of their
explorations and studies. Special
cameras equipped with strong lights
photograph marine life and the
ocean floor. Sounding devices are
vital to the oceanographer for
communicating with teammates
above the water and for measuring,
mapping, and locating ocean ma­
terials.
Most oceanographers specialize
in one branch of the science. Bio­

logical oceanographers (marine bio­
logists) study plant and animal
life in the ocean. They search for
ways to extract drugs from sea­
weeds or sponges, investigate life
processes of marine animals, and
determine the effects of radio­
activity and pollution on the growth
of fish. Physical oceanographers
(physicists and geophysicists) study
the physical properties of the ocean.
Their research on the relationships
between the sea and the atmosphere
may lead to control over the
weather. Geological oceanographers
(marine geologists) study the
ocean’s mountain ranges, rocks,
and sediments. Locating deposits
of minerals, oil, and gas on the
ocean floor is an application of
their work. Chemical oceanogra­
phers investigate the chemical com­
position of ocean water and
sediments as well as chemical re­
actions in the sea. One practical
area of their study is the removal
of salt from sea water. Oceano­
graphic engineers and electronic
specialists design and build instru­
ments for oceanographic research
and operations. They also lay
cables, supervise underwater con­
struction, and locate sunken ships
to recover their cargos.
Almost two of every three ocean­
ographers perform or administer
research and development activities.
Many teach in colleges and univer­
sities. A few are engaged in techni­
cal writing, in consulting, and in
administering activities other than
research.

Places of Employment

Oceanographers get ready to lower test instrument.




About 4,500 people—about 5
percent of them women—worked
as oceanographers in 1972. About
one-third worked in colleges and
universities, one-third in private
industry, and one-fourth for the
Federal Government. Federal agen­

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS

361

portance of the oceans to the
basic science.
Graduate students usually work Nation’s welfare and security has
part of the time aboard ship, doing heightened interest in oceanography
oceanographic research and becom­ and has opened new fields for spe­
ing familiar with the sea and with cialists. More oceanographers will
techniques used to obtain ocean­ be needed to improve methods of
ographic information. Universities taking foods and drugs from the
at the various stations along our oceans, manage fisheries, and de­
coasts offer summer courses for velop economical means to harness
both graduates and undergraduate the ocean for energy and provide
students, which are especially bene­ fresh water from the sea. Some will
ficial for students from inland be needed to develop new technol­
universities. Oceanographers should ogies for discovering and mining
have the curiosity needed to do new the fuel and mineral resources of
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
research and the patience to collect the ocean’s floor and to protect
data and conduct experiments.
water from pollution and shoreline
The minimum requirement for
Beginning oceanographers with from damage by waves and tides.
beginning professional jobs in
oceanography is a bachelor’s de­ the bachelor’s degree usually start Still others will be needed for
gree with a major in oceanography, as research or laboratory assistants, weather and iceberg forecasting
biology, earth or physical sciences, or in jobs involving routine data and to study air-sea interaction for
mathematics, or engineering. Pro­ collection, analysis, or computa­ long-range weather forecasts. The
fessional jobs in research, teaching, tions. Most beginning oceanogra­ Federal Government finances most
and high-level positions in most phers receive on-the-job training oceanographic research and devel­
other types of work require graduate related to the specific work at opment; employment opportunities
training in oceanography or a basic hand. The extent of the training could be affected by changes in
varies with the background and Federal spending priorities.
science.
In the years ahead, improving
Only 46 colleges and universities needs of the individual.
Experienced oceanographers may the Nation’s defenses against sub­
offered undergraduate degrees in
oceanography or marine sciences direct surveys and research pro­ marines and surface vessels will re­
in 1972. However, since ocean­ grams or advance to administrative quire oceanographic research into
ography is an interdisciplinary sci­ or supervisory jobs in research underwater sound, surface and
subsurface currents, and the shape
ence, training in a basic science and laboratories.
of the ocean floor. New super
a strong interest in oceanography
tankers will require the building
may be adequate preparation for
Employment Outlook
of new large ports and will create
some beginning jobs or for entry
jobs for oceanographers who spe­
Job opportunities for oceanogra­
to graduate school.
Important college courses for phers with a Ph.D. are expected cialize in ocean engineering.
Teaching opportunities in col­
oceanographers include mathema­ to be favorable through the midleges and universities may expand
tics, physics, chemistry, geophysics, 1980’s, especially for those who
geology, meteorology and biology. specialize in ocean engineering. as interest in oceanography grows.
In general, students should special­ People with less education may
ize in the particular science that is face competition for beginning jobs Earnings and Working Conditions
closest to their area of ocean­ and find other opportunities lim­
Oceanographers have relatively
ographic interest. For example, stu­ ited to doing routine analytical
dents interested in chemical ocean­ work as research assistants.
high earnings; average salaries were
In addition to openings from about twice the average received
ography could obtain a degree in
the rapid growth expected in this by nonsupervisory workers in pri­
chemistry.
In 1972 about 85 colleges offered field, some oceanographers will be vate industry, except farming.
advanced degrees in oceanography needed each year to replace those
In early 1973, oceanographers
and marine sciences. In graduate who die, retire, or transfer to in the Federal Government with
schools, students take advanced other fields.
the bachelor’s degree received start­
Growing recognition of the im­ ing salaries of $7,619 or $9,520 a
courses in oceanography and in a
cies employing substantial numbers
of oceanographers include the
Naval Oceanographic Office, and
the National Oceanic and Atmos­
pheric Administration (NOAA).
Some oceanographers work for
firms designing and developing
instruments and vehicles for ocean­
ographic research. A few work for
fishery laboratories of State and
local governments.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

362

year, depending on their college
grades. Those with the master’s
degree could start at $11,614 or
$13,996; and those with the Ph.D.
degree at $13,996 or $16,682.
In private industry in 1972,
new graduates with the bachelor’s
degree received average starting
salaries of $9,000 a year, accord­
ing to the American Geological
Institute. Those with the master’s
degree could start at $11,000; and
those with the Ph.D. at $13,000.
Beginning oceanographers in edu­
cational institutions generally re­
ceive the same salaries as other
faculty members. (See statement on
College and University Teachers
elsewhere in the Handbook.) In
addition to regular salaries, many
experienced oceanographers earn
extra income from consulting, lec­
turing, and writing.
Oceanographers engaged in re­
search that requires sea voyages




are frequently away from home
for weeks or months at a time.
Sometimes they live and work in
cramped quarters. People who like
the sea, however, may find these
voyages satisfying.
Sources of Additional Information

For information about careers
in oceanography and about colleges
and universities that offer training
in marine science, contact:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, 6001 Executive Boule­
vard, Rockville. Maryland 20852.
Attention: AD 411

Federal Government career in­
formation is available from any
regional office of the U.S. Civil
Service Commission or from:
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil Service
Examiners for Washington, D.C.,
1900 E. Street, NW., Washington,
D.C. 20390.

The

booklet,

Training

and

Careers in Marine Science, is avail­
able for 50 cents from:
International Oceanographic Founda­
tion, 10 Rickenbacker Causeway,
Virginia Key, Miami, Fla. 33149.

A booklet, Oceanography In­
formation Sources ’73, lists the
names and addresses of industrial
organizations involved in oceanog­
raphy and publishers of oceano­
graphic
educational
materials,
journals, and periodicals. Copies
may be purchased for $2.50 from:
Printing and Publishing Office, N a­
tional Academy of Sciences, 2101
Constitution Ave., NW., Washington,
D.C. 20418.

Some information on Oceano­
graphic specialities is available from
professional societies listed else­
where in the Handbook. (See state­
ments on Geologists, Geophysi­
cists, Life Scientists, Meteorolo­
gists, and Chemists elsewhere in
the Handbook.)

harvests they may develop pestcontrol agents or fertilizers.
More than 3 out of 4 biochemists
work in basic and applied research
activities. The distinction between
LIFE SCIENCE OCCUPATIONS
basic and applied research is often
one of degree and biochemists may
do both types. Most, however, are
Life scientists study living organ­ life processes to learning how living
in basic research. The few doing
isms and their life processes. They things react to space travel.
strictly applied research use the
Biochemists study the chemical
are concerned with the origin and
results of basic research for prac­
preservation of life, from the largest composition of organisms and the
tical uses. For example, the knowl­
animal to the smallest living cell. changes caused by genetic and envi­
edge of how an organism forms a
The number and variety of plants ronmental factors. They analyze
hormone is used to develop a proc­
and animals are so vast, and their the chemical processes related to
ess for synthesizing the hormone
processes so varied and complex, biological functions, such as muscu­
and producing it on a mass scale.
that life scientists usually work in lar contraction, reproduction, and
Laboratory research involves
one of the three broad areas—agri­ metabolism. Biochemists also in­
weighing, filtering, distilling, dry­
culture, biology, or medicine.
vestigate the effects on organisms
ing, and culturing (growing micro­
Life scientists perform research of substances such as foods, hor­
organisms) ingredients. Some experi­
to expand knowledge, teach, or mones, and drugs.
ments also require sophisticated tasks
apply scientific theories to the solu­
The methods and techniques of
such as designing and constructing
tion of practical problems. New biochemistry are applied to areas
chemical apparatus or performing
drugs, special varieties of plants, such as medicine or agriculture.
tests using radioactive tracers. Bio­
and a cleaner environment can re­ For instance, biochemists may
chemists use a variety of instruments
sult from the work of life scientists. develop diagnostic procedures or
including electron microscopes, and
This chapter discusses life scien­ Find cures for diseases or identify
may devise new instruments and tech­
tists as a group, since they receive the nutrients necessary to maintain
niques as needed. They usually report
comparable basic training and have good health. To improve agricultural
the results of their research in sci­
roughly similar employment and
entific journals or before scientific
earning prospects. Brief descrip­
groups.
tions are provided about the nature
Some biochemists combine research
of the work of a number of life
with teaching in colleges and univer­
scientists—including botanists, zool­
sities. A few work in industrial pro­
ogists, and microbiologists. This
duction and testing activities.
section also contains separate state­
ments on biochemists and soil sci­
entists.
Places of Employment

BIOCHEM ISTS
(D.O.T. 041.081)
Nature of the Work

Biochemists play an important
role in the search for the basis of
life and what sustains it. Their pro­
fessional interests range from de­
termining the effects of heredity on




Biochemists determine how living
things react to space travel.

About 12,500 biochemists were
employed in the United States in
1972. Although the exact number of
women working in the profession
is not known, nearly one-fourth of
those receiving advanced degrees
in biochemistry in recent years
have been women.
More than half of all biochemists
are employed in colleges and uni­
versities, and most do basic and
applied research and development
in university-operated laboratories
and hospitals. Nonprofit research
363

364

cialize should select their schools
carefully. Graduate training requires
actual research in addition to ad­
vanced science courses. For the doc­
toral degree, the student specializes
in one field of biochemistry by doing
intensive research and writing a thesis.
Young people planning careers as
biochemists should be able to work
independently or as part of a team.
Precision, keen powers of observation,
and mechanical aptitude also are
important. Biochemists should have
analytical abilities and curious
Training, Other Qualifications,
minds, as well as the patience
and Advancement
and perseverance needed to com­
The minimum educational re­ plete the hundreds of experiments
quirement for many beginning jobs that may be necessary to solve one
as a professional biochemist, problem.
Graduates with advanced degrees
especially in research or teaching,
may begin their careers as teachers
is an advanced degree. Graduate
training is necessary for advance­ or researchers in colleges or univer­
ment to many management or sities. In private industry, most
administrative jobs. A bachelor’s begin in research jobs and with
degree with a major in biochemistry experience may advance to admini­
or chemistry, or with a major in strative positions.
New graduates with a bachelor’s
biology and a minor in chemistry,
degree usually start work as re­
may qualify some persons for entry
jobs as research assistants or tech­ search assistants or technicians.
These jobs in private industry often
nicians.
More than 40 schools award the involve testing and analysis. In the
bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, drug industry, for example, research
and nearly all colleges and univer­ assistants analyze the ingredients
sities offer a major in biology or of a product to verify and maintain
chemistry. Regardless of their col­ its purity or quality.
lege major, future biochemists
should take undergraduate courses
Employment Outlook
in chemistry, biology, biochemistry,
Job opportunities for biochemists
mathematics, and physics.
About 200 colleges and univer­ with advanced degrees should be
sities offer graduate degrees in bio­ favorable through the mid-1980’s.
chemistry. Graduate students gen­ In addition to opportunities result­
erally are required to have a ing from the rapid growth expected
bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, in this field, hundreds of openings
biology, or chemistry. These stu­ will become available each year to
dents take advanced courses in bio­ replace those who die, retire, or
chemistry or a specialty of the transfer to other occupations.
Increased research and develop­
field. For example, a university
affiliated with a medical school ment expenditures in the life
or hospital may have facilities to sciences, primarily by the Federal
study the biochemistry of diseases. Government, are major factors con­
Therefore, students wishing to spe­ tributing to the anticipated growth

institutes and foundations employ
some biochemists. Many biochemists
work in private industry, primarily
in companies manufacturing drugs,
insecticides, and cosmetics. Bio­
chemists also work in Federal,
State, and local government agen­
cies. Most do research for Federal
agencies concerned with health and
agricultural problems. A few are
self-employed consultants to indus­
try and government.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

in this field. For example, the great
urgency to find cures for cancer,
heart disease, muscular dystrophy,
and other illnesses should stimulate
requirements for biochemists. Addi­
tional biochemists will find jobs in
hospitals and health centers using
automated biochemical tests for
diagnoses. An increasing number
also will be needed to implement
stricter drug standards established
by Federal regulatory agencies. Bio­
chemistry also is important in other
areas of public concern such as
environmental protection.
Growing college enrollments in
chemistry and the life sciences will
add to the demand for biochemists
to teach in colleges and univer­
sities.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Biochemists have relatively high
salaries; average earnings were about
twice the average received by all
nonsupervisory workers in private
industry, except farming. Accord­
ing to a 1972 survey of the Ameri­
can Chemical Society, salaries for
biochemists with 2 to 4 years of
experienced averaged $8,800 for
those with a bachelor’s degree;
$10,800 for those with a master’s
degree; and $12,500 for those with
a Ph.D. Biochemists also can look
forward to higher salaries as they
gain experience. Those who had
10 to 14 years of experience aver­
aged $13,500 with a bachelor’s de­
gree, $15,000 with a master’s
degree, and $19,200 with a Ph.D.
degree.
Starting salaries paid to bio­
chemists employed by colleges and
universities are comparable to those
for other professional faculty mem­
bers. Biochemists in educational
institutions often supplement their
incomes by engaging in outside re­
search or consulting work.

365

LIFE SCIENCE OCCUPATIONS

Sources off Additional Information

General information on careers
in biochemistry may be obtained
from:
American Society of Biological Chem­
ists, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda,
Md. 20014.

LIFE SCIENTISTS
(D.O.T. 040.081, 041.081, 041.168,
041.181, 041.281)
Nature of the Work

Life scientists study all aspects
of living organisms, emphasizing
the relationship between animals,
plants, and microorganisms, and
their environments.
Almost two-fifths of all life sci­
entists are in research and develop­
ment. Many work in laboratories
conducting basic research aimed
at adding to our knowledge of
living organisms. Knowledge gained
from this research frequently is
applied to—and has resulted in the
development of—insecticides, diseaseresistant crops, and medicines. When
working in laboratories, life sci­
entists must be familiar with re­
search techniques and complex
laboratory equipment such as elec­
tron microscopes. Knowledge of
computers also is useful in con­
ducting some experiments. Not all
research, however, is performed in
laboratories. For example, a bot­
anist who explores the volcanic
Alaskan valleys, to see what plants
grow there, also is doing research.
Teaching in a college or univer­
sity is the major area of work for
more than one-fourth of all life
scientists, many of whom also do
independent research. Another fourth
are in some type of management
and administrative work that ranges
from planning and administering




programs for testing foods and
drugs to directing activities at zoos
or botanical gardens. Some life
scientists work as consultants to
business firms or government in
their specialty areas. Others write
for technical publications 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 products.
Scientists working in many areas
of the life sciences often call them­
selves biologists. However, the ma­
jority are classified by the type of
organism they study or by the
specific activity performed.
Life scientists dealing primarily
with plants are botanists. Some
study all aspects of plant life,

while others work in defined areas
such as identifying and classifying
plants or studying the structure of
plants and plant cells. Some bota­
nists concentrate on the cause and
cure of plant diseases.
Some life scientists are con­
cerned with the mass development
of plants. For example, agronomists
improve the quality and yield of
crops by developing new growth
methods or by controlling disease,
pests, and weeds. They also analyze
soils to determine ways of increas­
ing acreage yields and decreasing
soil erosion. Horticulturists work
with orchard and garden plants
such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and
flowers. They develop new or im­
proved plant varieties, and better
methods of growing, harvesting,
and transporting crops.

Life scientists must be familiar with fundamental research techniques.

366

Zoologists concentrate on animal
life—its origin, behavior, and life
processes. Some conduct experi­
mental studies with live animals
and others examine dissected ani­
mals in laboratories. Zoologists
are usually identified by the animal
group studied—ornithologists (birds),
herpetologists (reptiles and amphi­
bians), and mammalogists (mam­
mals).
Animal husbandry specialists do
research on the breeding, feeding,
and diseases of domestic farm ani­
mals. Veterinarians study diseases
and abnormal functioning in ani­
mals. (See statement on Veterinar­
ians elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Life scientists who investigate
the growth and characteristics of
microscopic organisms such as bac­
teria, viruses, and molds are called
microbiologists. They isolate or­
ganisms and make cultures for close
examination under a microscope.
Medical microbiologists are con­
cerned with problems such as the
relationship between bacteria and
disease or the effect of antibiotics
on bacteria. Others specialize in
soil bacteriology (effect of micro­
organisms on soil fertility), virology
(viruses), or immunology (mech­
anisms that fight infections).
Anatomists study the composi­
tion of organisms, from cell struc­
ture to the formation of tissues and
organs. Many specialize in human
anatomy. Examination may entail
dissections or involve the use of
electron microscopes for organisms
of submicroscopic size.
Some life scientists apply their
specialized knowledge across dif­
ferent areas, and may be classified
by the functions performed. Ecol­
ogists, for example, study the
mutual relationship among organ­
isms and their environments. They
are interested in the effects of
environmental influences such as
rainfall, temperature, and altitude




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

on organisms. For example, ecol­
ogists extract samples of phy­
toplankton (microscopic plants that
produce oxygen) from bodies of
water to determine the effects of
pollution, and measure the radio­
active content of fish by tracing
tagged elements as they pass through
their systems.
Embryologists study the develop­
ment of an organism from a
fertilized egg through the hatching
process or gestation period. They
investigate the cause of healthy and
abnormal development in organisms.
Nutritionists examine the bodily
processes through which food is
utilized and transformed into en­
ergy. They learn how vitamins,
minerals, proteins, and other nu­
trients build and repair tissues.
Pharmacologists 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
functioning of tissues and organs.
They may develop new or improved
chemical compounds for use in
drugs and medicines.
Pathologists specialize in the ef­
fects of diseases, parasites, and
insects on human cells, tissues, and
organs. Others may investigate
genetic variations caused by drugs.
Biochemists and Biological Ocean­
ographers, which are also life
scientists, are included in separate
statements elsewhere in the Hand­
book.
Places of Employment

More than 180,000 persons worked
as life scientists in 1972. Almost
55,000 worked as agricultural sci­
entists, about 75,000 as biological
scientists, and more than 55,000

Life scientist induces sea urchin to shed “eggs” for experiment in outer space.

367

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS

obtain an advanced degree, prefer­
ably a Ph.D., in their Field of
interest. The Ph.D. degree gen­
erally is required for college teach­
ing and for independent research.
It is also necessary for many jobs
administering research programs.
New graduates who have master’s
degrees may qualify for some
beginning jobs in applied research
and college teaching.
The bachelor’s degree may be
adequate preparation for some be­
ginning jobs, but promotions often
are limited to intermediate level
positions. New graduates with a
bachelor’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 education, a high
school biology teacher. (See state­
ment on Secondary School Teachers
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Most colleges and universities
offer life science curriculums. How­
ever, courses differ from one col­
lege to another. For example,
liberal arts colleges and universi­
ties emphasize the biological sci­
ences and medical research. The
agricultural sciences are stressed
at State universities and landgrant colleges because of the op­
portunities for training and re­
search provided by agricultural
experiment stations.
Young people seeking careers in
the life sciences should obtain the
broadest possible undergraduate
background in biology and other
sciences. Courses taken should in­
clude biochemistry, organic and
inorganic chemistry, physics, and
mathematics. Statistics, calculus,
biometrics, and computer program­
Training, Other Qualifications,
ming courses also are useful.
and Advancement
Large numbers of colleges and
Young people seeking a career universities confer advanced de­
in the life sciences should plan to grees in the life sciences. Require­

worked on problems related to
medical science. Over one-third of
all biologists and about eight per­
cent of all agricultural scientists
are women.
Colleges and universities employ
nearly three-fifths of all life sci­
entists in both teaching and re­
search jobs. Medical schools and
hospitals also employ large num­
bers of medical investigators.
Sizable numbers of agronomists,
horticulturists, animal husbandry
specialists, entomologists, and other
agriculture-related specialists work
for State agricultural colleges and
agricultural experiment stations.
More than half of the 26,000
life scientists working for the
Federal Government in 1972 were
in the Department of Agriculture.
The Department of the Interior
employs most of the fish and wild­
life biologists working for the
Federal Government. Other large
numbers of life scientists work for
the Department of the Army and
the National Institutes of Health.
State and local governments com­
bined employ 9,000 biologists—
mostly Fish and wildlife specialists,
microbiologists, and entomologists—
to detect and control diseases and
to work in conservation.
Approximately 25,000 life sci­
entists work in private industry,
mostly in pharmaceuticals, indus­
trial chemicals, and food processing
industries. A few are self-employed
and more than 4,000 work for
nonprofit research organizations
and foundations.
More than one-third of all life
scientists live in six States—
California, New York, Illinois,
Pennsylvania, Florida, and Mary­
land.




ments for advanced degrees usually
include Field work and laboratory
research, as well as classroom
studies and preparation of a thesis.
Young people planning careers
as life scientists should be able
to work independently, or as part
of a team. Physical stamina and
an inquiring mind are necessary
for those interested in research in
remote places. Life scientists must
be able to express ideas both orally
and in writing.
Life scientists who have ad­
vanced degrees usually begin in
research or teaching jobs. With
experience, they may advance to
jobs such as supervising research
programs, or become full profes­
sors in colleges and universities.

Employment Outlook

Employment in the life sciences
is expected to increase rapidly
through the mid-1980’s. Thousands
of jobs for life scientists will open
because of this growth and the need
to replace those who transfer to
other fields of work, die, or retire.
Nevertheless, new graduates may
face competition since the number
of life science graduates may grow
more rapidly than employment
opportunities. Under these condi­
tions, those holding advanced de­
grees, especially the Ph.D., should
face less competition for jobs than
those who have bachelor’s degrees.
Opportunities for those with only
an undergraduate degree may be
limited to research assistant or
technician jobs.
Continued growth in research
and development, particularly med­
ical research programs sponsored
by the Federal Government and
voluntary health agencies, is a
major reason for the expected in­
crease in the employment of life
scientists. For example, the Feder-

368

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Life scientists conduct experimental studies with animals.

al Government is expected to allo­
cate substantial expenditures for
cancer research during the next
few years. Other areas of con­
centrated medical study include
heart disease and birth defects.
Research in such relatively new
areas as space biology, radiation
biology, environmental health, and
genetic regulation will probably
increase also. In addition, industry
is expected to increase its research
and development spending in the
biological sciences.
Stringent Federal health regula­
tions are likely to require additional
life scientists in industry to test
new drugs, chemicals, or foods, and
to change processing methods.
The large college and university
enrollments expected in the life




sciences through the mid-1980’s
should increase the demand for
Ph.D.’s as teachers. It also should
result in openings for qualified
persons with master’s degrees, es­
pecially in community colleges.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Agricultural and biological sci­
entists both command relatively
high salaries. Their average earn­
ings are more than twice those
received by nonsupervisory workers
in private industry, except farming.
In the Federal Government in
early 1973, life scientists having a
bachelor’s degree could begin at
$7,694 or $9,520 a year, depending
on their college records. Begin­
ning life scientists having the

master’s degree could start at
$9,520 or $11,614, depending on
their academic records or previous
work experience. Those having the
Ph.D. degree could begin at $13,996
or $16,682.
Salaries for 9 months of teach­
ing in 4-year colleges averaged
about $9,300 for instructors, and
$11,500 for assistant professors.
More experienced personnel earned
between $14,000 (associate profes­
sors) and $18,000 (professors) a
year. (See statement on College
and University Teachers.) Life sci­
entists in educational institutions
sometimes supplement their regular
salaries with income from writing,
consulting, and special research
projects.
Beginning salary offers in 1972
for agricultural scientists averaged
approximately $8,300 a year for
those having bachelor’s degrees,
and $10,600 for those having a
graduate degree. According to the
College Placement Council, agri­
cultural scientists averaged $8,700
a year to start in the chemical
industry, the largest employer of
life scientists in private industry.
Another large employer of life
scientists, the food industry, paid
agricultural scientists beginning
salaries of $8,500 in 1972.
During 1972, life scientists in
research and development in all
sectors earned average monthly
salaries of $1,023 at the bachelor’s
degree level, $1,215 at the master’s
level, and $1,533 at the Ph.D.
level, according to one national
survey.
Most life scientists work in welllighted, well-ventilated, and clean
laboratories. Some jobs require
working outdoors under extreme
weather conditions and doing stren­
uous physical work for long periods
of time. Some jobs require living
in remote areas without modern
conveniences

369

LIFE SCIENCE OCCUPATIONS

Sources of Additional Information

General information on careers
in the life sciences is available
from:
American Institute of Biological Sci­
ences, 3900 Wisconsin Ave., NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20016.
American Society of Horticultural Sci­
ence, 914 Main St., P.O. Box 109,
St. Joseph, Mich. 49085.
American Physiological Society, Depart­
ment of Botany, University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514.
Ecological Society of America, Depart­
ment of Botany, University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514.

Special information on Federal
Government careers is available
from:
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil Service
Examiners for Washington, D.C.,
1900 E St., NW ., Washington, D.C.
20415.

boundaries, roads, and other con­
spicuous features.
Soil scientists also conduct re­
search to determine the physical
and chemical properties of soils in
order to understand their behavior
and origin. They predict the yields
of cultivated crops, grasses, and
trees, under alternative combina­
tions of management practices.
Soils science offers opportunities
for those who wish to specialize in
soil classification and mapping,
soil geography, soil chemistry, soil
physics, soil microbiology, and soil
management. Training and experi­
ence in soil science also will pre­
pare persons for positions as farm
managers, land appraisers, and
many other professional positions.

An estimated 5,000 soil scientists
were employed in 1972. Most soil
scientists are employed by agencies
of the Federal Government, State
equipment stations, and colleges of
agriculture. However, many are
employed in a wide range of other
public and private institutions, in­
cluding fertilizer companies, pri­
vate research laboratories, insur­
ance companies, banks and other
lending agencies, real estate firms,
land appraisal boards, State high­
way departments, State conservation
departments, and farm management
agencies. A few are independent
consultants, and others work for
consulting firms. An increasing
number are employed in foreign
countries as research leaders, con­
sultants, and agricultural managers.

qualification for entrance is a
B.S. degree with a major in Soil
Science or in a closely related field
of study, and with 30 semester
hours of course work in the bio­
logical, physical, and earth sciences,
including a minimum of 15 semester
hours in soils. Those having gradu­
ate training—especially those with
the doctorate—can be expected to
advance rapidly into a responsible
and .high-paying position. This is
particularly true in soil research,
including the more responsible
positions in soil classification and
in teaching. Soil scientists who are
qualified for work with both field
and laboratory data have a special
advantage.
Many colleges and universities
offer fellowships and assistantships for graduate training, or em­
ploy graduate students for parttime teaching or research.

Training and Advancement

Employment Outlook

Training in a college or uni­
versity of recognized standing is
important in obtaining employ­
ment as a soil scientist. For Fed­
eral employment, the minimum

The demand is increasing for
soil scientists to help complete the
scientific classification and evalua­
tion of the soil resources in the
United States. One of the major

Places of Employment

SOIL SC IEN TISTS
(D.O.T. 040.081)
Nature of the Work

Soil scientists study the physical,
chemical, and biological character­
istics and behavior of soils. They in­
vestigate the soils both in the field
and in the laboratory and grade
them according to a national sys­
tem of soil classification. From
their
research,
scientists can
classify soil in order to respond to
management questions concerning
its capability to produce crops,
grasses, and trees, and concerning
the soil’s engineering utility in re­
lation to foundations for buildings
and other structures. Soil scientists
prepare maps, usually based on
aerial photographs, on which they
plot the individual kinds of soil and
other landscape features significant
to soil use and management in rela­
tion to land ownership lines, field



Soil scientists test soils in the laboratory.

370

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

program objectives of the Soil
Conservation Service of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture is to
complete the soil survey of all rural
lands in the United States.
This program includes research,
soil classification, interpretation of
results for use by agriculturists
and engineers, and training of other
workers to use these results. Also,
demand is increasing for both basic
and applied research to increase
the efficiency of soil use.

sional experience, and individual
abilities. The entrance salary in the
Federal service for graduates
having a B.S. degree was $7,694 in
early 1973. They may expect ad­
vancement to $9,520 after 1 year
of satisfactory performance. Fur­
ther promotion depends upon the
individual’s ability to do highquality work and to accept respon­
sibility. Earnings of well-qualified
Federal soil scientists with several
years experience range from
$13,996 to $23,088 a year.

Earnings

The incomes of soil scientists de­
pend upon their education, profes­




Sources of Additional Information

Additional information may be

obtained from the U.S. Civil Service
Commission, Washington, D.C.
20415; Office of Personnel, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20250; or any office
of the Department’s Soil Conserva­
tion Service.
See also statements on Chemists
and Life Scientists.

M ATHEM ATICS OCCUPATIONS
Mathematics is both a science
and a tool essential for many kinds
of work. As a tool, mathematics is
necessary to understanding and ex­
pressing ideas in science, engi­
neering, and, increasingly, in human
a f f a i r s . The a p p l i c a t i o n of
mathematical techniques in these
fields has increased greatly because
of the widespread use of computers,
which enable mathematicians to do
complex problems rapidly and ef­
ficiently. As a result, employment
,opportunities for persons trained in
mathematics have expanded rapidly
in recent years.
Young people considering careers
in mathematics should be able to
concentrate for long periods of time.
They should enjoy working in­
dependently with ideas and solving
problems, and must be able to pre­
sent their findings in written reports.
This section describes two oc­
cupations—mathematician and
statistician. A statement on actu­
aries, a closely related mathematical
occupation, is discussed in the sec­
tion on Insurance Occupations. En­
trance into any of these fields re­
q u i r e s c o l l e g e t r a i n i n g in
mathematics. For many types of
work, gr aduat e educat i on is
necessary.

M ATHEM ATICIANS
(D.O.T. 020.088)
Nature of the Work

Mathematics, one of the oldest
and most basic sciences, is also one
of the most rapidly growing profes­
sions. Mathematicians today are
engaged in a wide variety of activi­
ties, ranging from the creation of
new theories to the translation of
scientific and managerial problems
into mathematical terms.
There are two broad classes of
mathematical work: pure or theo­
retical mathematics; and applied
mathematics, which includes solv­
ing numerical problems. Theo­
retical mathematicians further
mathematical science by discover­
ing new principles and new rela­
tionships between existing princi­
ples of mathematics. They seek to
increase basic knowledge without
necessarily considering its practical
use. Yet, this pure and abstract
knowledge has been instrumental
in many scientific and engineer­
ing achievements. For example,
in 1854 Bernard Riemann in­
vented a seemingly impractical nonEuclidian geometry that became
part of the theory of relativity
Many other workers in the natural developed by Albert Einstein more
and social sciences and in data proc­ than a half-century later.
Mathematicians in applied work
essing use mathematics extensively,
although they are not primarily develop theories, techniques, and
mathematicians. These occupations approaches to solve problems in
are discussed elsewhere n the Hand­ natural science, social science, man­
book, as are jobs for high school agement, and engineering. They
mathematics teachers, covered in analyze how problems can be ex­
the statement on Secondary School pressed in mathematical terms, and
use mathematics to help solve these
Teachers.




problems. Their work ranges from
the analysis of vibrations and the
stability of rockets to studies of
the effects of new drugs on disease.
Some applied mathematicians, in the
field of operations research for ex­
ample, study problems ranging from
finding the way to make the largest
profit with the least risk in managing
a business, to the timing of traffic
lights for optimum use in our high­
way systems.
Some mathematicians (or mathe­
matical statisticians—as they are
often called) use mathematical theory
to design and improve statistical
methods for collecting and analyzing
numerical information, and esti­
mating unknown quantities. They
develop statistical tools and fre­
quently work with statisticians to
plan and design surveys in fields such
as agriculture, biology, economics,
psychology, sociology, and industrial
quality control.
In applied mathematics, mathe­
matical knowledge and modern com­
puting equipment are used to get
numerical answers to specific prob­
lems. Some work in this area re­
quires a very high level of mathemati­
cal knowledge, skill, and ingenuity.
However, much of this work may re­
quire training somewhat different
from that of the mathematician. (See
statements on Programers and Sys­
tems Analysts elsewhere in the Hand­
book.
Almost one-fourth of all mathe­
maticians work in research and
development, extending basic knowl­
edge and finding new uses for
existing knowledge. Nearly onethird are primarily college teachers,
many of whom do some research.
A little less than one-third are
in management and administration—
about two-fifths of whom manage
and administer research and devel­
opment programs. Most of the re­
mainder- are concerned chiefly with
operations research or production
371

372

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Mathematicians use modern computing equipment.

and inspection (quality control) of
manufactured products.
Places off Employment

Federal Government, primarily in
the Department of Defense. A few
worked for nonprofit organizations
and State and local governments.
Mathematicians work in all
States, but are concentrated in
those with large industrial areas
and large college and university
enrollments. Nearly half of the
total were in seven States—Cali­
fornia, New York, Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland,
and New Jersey. One-fifth live in
three metropolitan areas—New
York; Washington, D.C.; and Los
Angeles-Long Beach.

About 76,000 persons worked as
mathematicians in 1972; almost 15
percent were women. More than
one-half worked in private in­
dustry, primarily in independent
research and development firms,
and in the ordnance, aircraft,
machinery, and electrical equip­
ment industries. Other mathema­
ticians were employed as consult­
ants.
More than one-third of all
mathematicians worked for col­
Training, Other Qualifications,
leges and universities. Some of
and Advancement
these persons are teachers, others
work mainly in research and devel­
The minimum educational re­
opment and have few or no teach­ quirement for a beginning job in
ing duties. Others worked for the mathematics outside of college




teaching is the bachelor’s degree
with a major in mathematics, or
with a major in an applied field—
such as physics or engineering—
and a minor in mathematics. For
many beginning jobs, particularly
in research or college teaching, an
advanced degree is required.
Graduate study is also valuable for
advancement to more responsible
positions in all types of work.
The bachelor’s degree in mathe­
matics is offered by most colleges
and universities throughout the
country.
Mathematics
courses
usually required for a degree are
analytical geometry, calculus, dif­
ferential equations, probability and
statistics, mathematical analysis,
and modern algebra. A person plan­
ning to study this field in college
should take as many mathematics
courses as possible while still in
high school.
More than 350 colleges and uni­
versities have programs leading to
the master’s degree in mathe­
matics; about 150 also offer the
Ph.D. In graduate school, students
build upon the basic knowledge ac­
quired in earlier studies. They
usually concentrate on a specific
field of mathematics, such as
algebra, mathematical analysis, or
statistics, by conducting intensive
research and taking advanced
courses.
The bachelor’s degree is ade­
quate preparation for many posi­
tions in private industry and the
Federal Government, particularly
those connected with computer
work. Some new graduates having
the bachelor’s degree assist senior
mathematicians
by performing
computations and solving less ad­
vanced mathematical problems in
applied research. Others work as
graduate research or teaching as­
sistants in colleges and universi­
ties while working toward an ad­
vanced degree.

MATHEMATICS OCCUPATIONS

Advanced degrees are required have less difficulty finding jobs
for an increasing number of jobs than persons with less education,
in industry and government—in but they may face competition for
research and in many areas of entry level jobs, especially in col­
applied mathematics. The Ph.D. lege and university teaching. Many
degree is necessary for full faculty graduates with the Ph.D. look for
status at most colleges and univer­ jobs with colleges and universities
sities, as well as for advanced re­ where there will be increasing
search positions.
numbers of students taking mathe­
For work in applied mathe­ matics courses. However, some
matics, training in the field in may have to accept jobs that do not
which the mathematics will be used fully utilize their training, espe­
is very important. Fields in which cially those who have specialized
applied mathematics is used exten­ in pure or theoretical mathematics.
sively include physics, engineering,
There is a need for more mathe­
and operations research; other maticians to solve an increasingly
fields are business and industrial wide variety of complex research
management, economics, statistics, and development problems. In
chemistry and life sciences, and the engineering, for example, applica­
behavioral sciences. Training in nu­ tions of mathematical techniques
merical analysis and programming and principles will be needed in
is especially desirable for mathe­ the design of equipment, from
maticians working with computers.
simple devices to airplanes, ships,
Mathematicians need good rea­ and missiles, in order to get the
soning ability, persistence, and the most reliable performance for the
ability to apply basic principles to least cost. In addition, mathemati­
new types of problems. They must cians will be increasingly needed in
be able to communicate well with research in the natural and social
others since they often must listen sciences, military sciences, opera­
to a non-mathematician describe a tions research, and business man­
problem in general terms, and agement. This work requires both a
check and recheck to make sure high degree of mathematical com­
they understand the mathematical petence and a knowledge of the
solution that is needed.
field of specialization. Expendi­
tures to support these research
and development activities in­
Employment Outlook
creased steadily through most of
Persons seeking beginning jobs the 1960’s, and then fell slightly
as mathematicians are likely to in the early 1970’s; they are ex­
face competition through the pected to rise again through the
mid-1980’s. Employment of math­ mid-1980’s, although more slowly
ematicians is expected to increase than in the past.
College graduates with degrees
rapidly in this period, and several
thousand mathematicians will be in mathematics will be able to find
needed each year to replace those jobs in many other fields, because
who die, retire, or transfer to other the education necessary for a
occupations. However, the number degree in mathematics is also an
of persons trained in mathematics excellent background for other jobs
and looking for jobs in the field is that rely heavily on the application
likely to increase even more of mathematical theories and
rapidly.
methods. Thus, many mathematics
Those with the Ph.D. degree may majors may find jobs in high school



373

teaching, statistics, actuarial work,
computer programming, systems
analysis, economics, engineering,
physical science, and life science.
Employment opportunities in these
related fields will probably be best
for those who combine a major in
mathematics with a minor in one of
these subjects.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, mathematicians earned
average salaries over twice as high
as the average for nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming. Starting salaries for
mathematicians and mathematical
statisticians averaged $9,500 a year
according to the limited data avail­
able. Those with a master’s degree
could start at about $11,000 an­
nually. Yearly salaries for new
graduates having the Ph.D., most
of whom had some experience,
averaged over $16,000.
In the Federal Government in
early 1973, mathematicians having
the bachelor’s degree and no ex­
perience could start at either $7,694
or $9,520 a year, depending on
their college records. Those with
the master’s degree could start at
$11,614 or $13,996; and persons
having the Ph.D. degree could
begin at either $13,996 or $16,682.
Salaries paid to college and uni­
versity teachers vary greatly de­
pending both on the quality and
location of the school and the
ability and experience of the in­
dividual. According to the Ameri­
can Mathematical Society, college
and university teachers earned from
as low as $8,000 a year (instructors)
to $25,000 a year (professors).
Some were paid over $30,000
annually.
Mathematicians in colleges and
universities often supplement their
regular salaries with income from
summer teaching, special research
projects, consulting, and writing.

374

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Sources of Additional Information

STATISTICIANS

(D.O.T. 020.188)
There are several brochures that
give facts about the field of mathe­
matics, including career opportuni­
Nature of the Work
ties, professional training, and col­
leges and universities with degree
Statistics are numbers that help
programs.
describe the characteristics of the
Professional Training in Mathe­ world and its inhabitants. Statis­
matics is available for 25j£ from:
ticians collect, analyze, and inter­
American Mathematical Society, P.O.
pret numerical data based on their
Box 6248, Providence, R.I. 02904.
knowledge of statistical methods
Professional Opportunities in and of a particular subject, such
Mathematics (35j£) and Guide Book as economics, human behavior, or
to Departments in the Mathemat­ engineering. They may use statisti­
ical Sciences ($1.35) are provided cal techniques to predict popula­
by:
tion growth or economic condi­
Mathematical Association of America
tions, develop quality control tests
1225 Connecticut Ave. NW ., Wash­
for manufactured products, or help
ington, D.C. 20036.
business managers and government
For specific information on
officials make decisions and evalu­
careers in applied mathematics and
ate the results of new programs.
electronic computer work, contact:
Many statisticians plan surveys,
Association for Computing Machinery
design experiments, or analyze
1133 Avenue of the Americas, New
data. For most surveys, the statis­
York, N.Y. 10036.

tician must select a sample; for
example, television rating services
ask only a few thousand families,
rather than all viewers, what pro­
grams they watch. Statisticians
decide where to get the data, deter­
mine the type and size of the
sample group, and develop the sur­
vey questionnaire or reporting
form. They also prepare the in­
structions for workers who will tab­
ulate the returns. Statisticians who
design experiments prepare mathe­
matical models to test a particular
theory. Those in analytical work
interpret collected data and sum­
marize their findings in tables,
charts, and written reports.
Some statisticians direct statis­
tical programs. A few combine re­
search with teaching. The rest work
in quality control, operations re­
search, production and sales fore­
casting, and market research.
Because statistics has such a

Society for Industrial and Applied
Mathematics, 33 S. 17th St., Phila­
delphia, Pa. 19103.

Facts
matical
from:

on careers in mathe­
statistics are available

Institute of Mathematical Statistics
Department of Statistics, California
State College at Hayward, Hayward,
Cal. 94542.

For Federal Government career
information, contact any regional
office of the U.S. Civil Service
Commission, or:
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil
Service Examiners, 1900 E St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20415.

Other sections of the Handbook
discuss related occupations, such
as statisticians, actuaries, program­
mers, and systems analysts.




Statisticians use statistical techniques to predict economic conditions.

MATHEMATICS OCCUPATIONS

wide use, it is sometimes difficult vey work usually requires graduate
to distinguish statisticians from training.
Fewer than 80 colleges and uni­
specialists in other fields who use
statistics. For example, a statis­ versities offered a bachelor’s degree
tician working with data on econ­ in statistics in 1972. However, most
omic conditions may have the title schools offer either a degree in
of economist. Statisticians some­ mathematics or a sufficient num­
times work closely with mathe­ ber of courses in statistics to qualify
maticians and mathematical statis­ graduates for beginning positions.
ticians. (See statement on mathe­ Required subjects include mathe­
maticians elsewhere in this section.) matics through differential and in­
tegral calculus, statistical methods,
and probability theory. Courses in
Places of Employment
computer uses and techniques are
useful for many jobs. For quality
Approximately 23,000 persons—
control positions, training in engi­
over one-third of them women—
neering or a physical or biological
worked as statisticians in 1972.
science and in the application of
About 2 out of 3 statisticians are in
statistical methods to manufacturing
private industry, primarily in manu­
processes is desirable. For many
facturing, public utility, finance,
market research, business analysis,
and insurance companies. More
and forecasting jobs, courses in
than one-fifth worked for the Fed­
economics, business administration,
eral Government, primarily in the
or a related field are helpful.
Departments of Commerce; Agri­
About 100 colleges and univer­
culture; Defense; and Health, Edu­
sities offered graduate degrees in
cation, and Welfare. Others worked
statistics in 1972, and many other
in State and local government or
schools offered one or two gradu­
colleges and universities.
ate level statistics courses. The
Although statisticians work in
usual requirement for entering a
all States, most are in metropolitan
graduate program is a bachelor’s
areas, and about one-fourth lived
degree with a good background in
in three areas—New York; Wash­
mathematics. Students should at­
ington, D.C.; and Los Angeles-Long
tend schools where they can do
Beach.
research in a subject-matter field,
as well as take advanced courses in
statistics.
Training, Other Qualifications,
Beginning statisticians who have
and Advancement
only the bachelor’s degree often
A bachelor’s degree with a major spend much of their time performing
in statistics or mathematics is the routine statistical work. Through ex­
minimum educational requirement perience, they may advance to
for many beginning jobs in statistics. positions of greater technical and
For other beginning statistical jobs, supervisory responsibility. Those
however, a bachelor’s degree with a who have exceptional ability and
major in economics or another ap­ interest may rise to top manage­
plied field and a minor in statistics ment positions.
is preferable. A graduate degree in
mathematics or statistics is essential
for college and university teaching
Employment Outlook
and helpful for promotion to top
Employment opportunities for
administrative and consulting jobs.
Advancement in analytical and sur­ well-qualified persons who can com­




375

bine training in statistics with knowl­
edge of a field of application are
expected to be favorable through
the mid-1980’s. In addition to job
openings resulting from the rapid
growth expected in the profession,
hundreds of statisticians will be
needed each year to replace those
who retire, die, or transfer to other
occupations.
Private industry will require in­
creasing numbers of statisticians for
quality control in manufacturing.
Statisticians with a knowledge of
engineering and the physical sciences
will find jobs working with scien­
tists and engineers in research and
development. Business firms will
rely more heavily on statisticians
to forecast sales, analyze business
conditions, modernize accounting
procedures, and help solve man­
agement problems.
Government agencies will need
statisticians for existing and new
programs in fields such as social
security, health, education, and eco­
nomics. Colleges and universities
will employ others to teach a grow­
ing number of students, as the
broader use of statistical methods
makes such courses increasingly
important to persons majoring in
fields other than mathematics and
statistics.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, statisticians earned aver­
age salaries almost three times as
high as the average for nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. New college gradu­
ates averaged about $9,300 a year,
according to the limited informa­
tion available. Those with the
master’s degree could start at about
$11,000 a year.
In the Federal Government in
early 1973, statisticians who had
the bachelor’s degree and no experi­
ence could start at either $7,649

376

or $9,520 a year, depending on their
college grades. Beginning statisti­
cians with the master’s degree could
start at $11,614 or $13,996. Those
with the Ph.D. could begin at
$13,996 or $16,682.
Statisticians employed by colleges
and universities generally receive
salaries comparable to those paid
other faculty members. (See state­
ment on College and University
Teachers.) In addition to their regu­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

lar salaries, statisticians in educa­
tional institutions sometimes earn
extra income from outside research
projects, consulting, and writing.
Sources of Additional Information

Facts on Federal Government
jobs are available from:
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil Serv­
ice Examiners for Washington, D.C.,
1900 E St., NW ., Washington, D.C.
20414.

For information about career
opportunities in statistics, contact:

For a list of reading materials
on career opportunities in data
processing, contact:

American Statistical Association, 806
15th St., NW „ Washington, D.C.
20005.

Association for Computing Machinery,
1133 Avenue of the Americas, New
York, N.Y. 10036.

PHYSICAL SCIENTISTS
Physical scientists deal with the
basic laws of the physical world.
Many, especially physicists and asstronomers, do basic research to
increase man’s knowledge of the
properties of matter and energy.
Others, particularly chemists and
food scientists, do basic and applied
research, and develop new products
and processes. For example, chem­
ists in applied research use their
knowledge of the interactions of
various chemicals to improve the
quality of products. Besides re­
search and development, many
chemists, food scientists, and some
physicists work in production and
sales-related activities in industry.
This section describes four phy­
sical science occupations—those of
chemists, physicists, astronomers,
and food scientists. Engineers, life
scientists, and environmental scien­
tists also require a background in
the physical sciences; these occupa­
tions are described in separate sec­
tions elsewhere in the Handbook.

ASTRONOMERS
(D.O.T. 021.088)
Nature of the Work

How was our solar system cre­
ated? Why do the stars shine? What
do cosmic rays tell us about the ori­
gin of our universe? Astronomers—
sometimes called astrophysicists—
consider questions like these and,
using the principles of physics and
mathematics, study the structure




and evolution of the universe. They
collect and analyze data on the sun,
moon, planets, and stars to deter­
mine the size, shape, xtemperature,
chemical composition, and motion
of these bodies. They also study
the gases and dusts in space. One
use of this data is to determine
the age and size of the stars and
how they were formed.
Astronomers compute the posi­
tions of the planets; calculate the
orbits of comets, asteroids, and
artificial satellites; and study the
origin and nature of cosmic radia­
tion. They also study the size and
shape of the earth and the prop­
erties of its atmosphere.
To make observations of outer
space, astronomers use complex
photographic techniques, light­
measuring instruments, and other
optical devices. They use, for ex­
ample, the spectroscope, a telescope
with a prism attached, to separate
light into its component colors and
identify chemical elements in the
universe. Yet astronomers actually
spend a limited amount of time at
the telescope. They also use other
specialized devices for making ob­
servations of radio waves, X-rays,
gamma rays, and cosmic rays. These
instruments often are carried by
balloons, rockets, and satellites.
Electronic computers are useful for
processing astronomical data to cal­
culate orbits of asteroids or comets,
guide spacecraft, and work out
tables for navigational handbooks.
Astronomers usually specialize in
one of the many branches of the
science. Some areas of specializa­
tion are instruments and techniques,
the sun, the solar system, and the

evolution and interiors of stars.
Astronomers who work on ob­
servational programs begin their
studies by deciding what stars or
other objects to observe and what
methods and instruments to use.
They may need to design optical
measuring devices to attach to the
telescope to make the required meas­
urements. These devices may be
made in the observatory shop. After
these astronomers complete their
observations, they analyze the re­
sults, present them in precise nu­
merical form, and try to explain
them on the basis of some theory.
Other astronomers concentrate on
theoretical problems. They may
formulate theories or mathematical
models to explain observations made
earlier by another astronomer. These
astronomers develop mathematical
equations from the laws of physics
to compute, for example, theoret­
ical models of how stars change as
their nuclear energy sources become
exhausted.
More than 85 percent of all
astronomers teach or do research;
some do both in colleges and uni­
versities. In some schools that do
not have separate departments of
astronomy or only small enroll­
ments in the subject, astronomers
may teach courses in mathematics
or physics as well as astronomy.
Other astronomers administer re­
search programs, develop and de­
sign astronomical instruments, and
do consulting work.
Places of Employment

Astronomy is one of the small­
est of the physical sciences; about
2,000 persons worked as astron­
omers in 1972. Most astronomers
work in colleges and universities.
Some of these work in universityoperated observatories, where they
usually devote most of their time
to research. Other astronomers work
377

378

for observatories financed by non­ with the doctorate.
In 1972, only 52 colleges and
profit organizations.
universities had programs leading
The Federal Government em­
ployed over 100 astronomers in to the bachelor’s degree in as­
1972. Most worked for the Depart­ tronomy. However, students with a
ment of Defense, mainly at the U.S. bachelor’s degree in physics or
Naval Observatory and the U.S. mathematics with a physics minor
Naval Research Laboratory. Others can usually qualify for graduate
worked for the National Aeronautics programs in astronomy. Students
and Space Administration or the planning to become astronomers
National Science Foundation. A few usually study subjects that include
astronomers worked for firms in physics, mathematics, and chem­
the aerospace field, or in museums istry. Courses in statistics, computer
science, and electronics also are
and planetariums.
useful. In schools with astronomy
departments, students also take in­
Training, Other Qualifications,
troductory courses in astronomy
and Advancement
and astrophysics, and in astronom­
ical techniques and instruments.
The usual requirement for a job
About 55 colleges and universities
in astronomy is a Ph.D. degree. in various sections of the country
Although persons with less educa­ offer the Ph.D. degree in astronomy.
tion may qualify for some beginning The graduate student takes advanced
jobs, high-level positions in teaching courses primarily in astronomy,
and research and advancement in physics, and mathematics. Some
most areas are open only to those schools require that graduate stu­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

dents spend several months working
at an observatory. In most institu­
tions the work program leading to
the doctorate is flexible and allows
students to take courses in their own
particular area of interest.
Young people planning on careers
in astronomy should have inquisitive
minds and imagination. Persever­
ance and the ability to concentrate
on detail and work independently
also are important.
New graduates with a bachelor’s
or master’s degree in astronomy
usually begin as assistants in ob­
servatories, planetariums, large de­
partments of astronomy in colleges
and universities, Government agencies,
or industry. Some work as research
assistants while studying toward
advanced degrees; others, particu­
larly in the Federal Government,
receive on-the-job training in the
application of astronomical prin­
ciples. New graduates with the
doctorate can qualify for teaching
and research jobs in colleges and
universities and for research jobs
in Government and industry.
Employment Outlook

Future opportunities for astron­
omers are heavily dependent on the
amount of funds spent by the Federal
Government for basic research in
astronomy. These funds are expected
to continue to increase through the
mid-1980’s, but at a slower rate
than during the 1960’s. Although
relatively few college students are
expected to receive the Ph.D. in
astronomy in any one year, the num­
ber of job openings in any year
may be even lower. Thus, competi­
tion may develop for beginning jobs.
People without the Ph.D. are not
usually considered professional as­
tronomers, but may find jobs as
research and technical assistants.
Requirements for astronomers are
affected to some extent by the needs

379

PHYSICAL SCIENTISTS

of the space program—rockets, mis­
siles, manmade earth satellites, and
space exploration. Astronomers an­
alyze the data collected by rockets
and spacecraft, and give direction
to the astronomical observations
that can only be carried out by
means of equipment placed in space
vehicles.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Astronomers have relatively high
salaries, with average earnings al­
most three times as high as the
average for non-supervisory workers
in private industry, except farming.
In the Federal Government in
early 1973, astronomers holding the
Ph.D. degree could begin at $13,996
or $16,682, depending on their col­
lege record. Those having the bach­
elor’s degree could start at $7,619
or $9,520; with the master’s degree
at $11,614 or $13,996.
In private industry, starting sal­
aries averaged $8,700 a year for
those having the bachelor’s degree,
$11,000 for those having the master’s
degree, and $12,000 for those having
the Ph.D. degree, according to the
limited data available. Astronomers
teaching in colleges and universities
received salaries equivalent to those
of other faculty members. (See
statement on College and Univer­
sity Teachers elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Although most modern astron­
omers do not make direct ob­
servations but analyze data from
satellites and radio telescopes, some
still do nightwork. These people
make visual photographic or photo­
electric observations involving ex­
posure to the outside air through
the open dome of the observatory,
sometimes on cold winter nights.
Sources of Additional Information

For information on careers in




astronomy and on schools offering
training in the field, contact:
American Astronomical Society, 211
FitzRandolph Rd., Princeton, N.J.
08540.

Facts on Federal Government
careers are available from any
regional office of the U.S. Civil
Service Commission or from:
Interagency Board of Civil Service
Examiners for Washington, D.C.
1900 E St. NW „ Washington, D.C.
20415.

CHEM ISTS
(D.O.T. 022.081, .168, .181, and .281)

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 investigate the proper­
ties and composition of matter and
the laws that govern the combina­
tion of elements. They search for
and try to put into practical use
new knowledge about substances.
They apply scientific principles and
techniques and use many specialized
instruments to measure, identify,
and evaluate changes in matter.
Chemists maintain accurate records
of their work and prepare reports
showing results of tests or experi­
ments.
Chemists may develop new sub­
stances, such as rocket fuel, or in­
spect and test final products to
make sure they meet industry and
government standards. The mate­
rials with which chemists work vary
by industry. For example, in the
health field, chemists may develop
vaccines, but in the food industry,

they may develop food additives.
(See statements on Biochemists and
Food Scientists elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Nearly two-fifths of all chemists
work in research and development.
In basic research, chemists try to
extend scientific knowledge rather
than solve practical problems. Basic
research results, however, have prac­
tical uses. For example, research
on how and why small molecules
unite to form larger ones (poly­
merization) has been used to make
synthetic rubber and plastics. Chem­
ists in research and development
often create new products. Top
management, for example, may give
the chemists a description of a
needed item. If similar products
exist, chemists test samples to de­
termine their ingredients. If similar
products are not available, chem­
ists experiment with various sub­
stances to obtain a product with
the required specifications.
Over one-fourth of all chemists
administer and manage programs,
especially those related to research
and development. Nearly one-fifth
of all chemists work in production
and inspection activities. In produc­
tion operations, chemists prepare
instructions (batch sheets) for plant
workers and specify the kind and
amount of ingredients to use and
the exact mixing time for each stage
in the process. At each step, chem­
ists test samples for quality control
to insure that they meet industry and
government standards. Chemists in
these areas also are concerned with
improving products and processes.
Others work as marketing or sales
representatives when the job re­
quires a technical knowledge of the
various products. More than onetenth of all chemists teach in col­
leges and universities where they
may do some research. Some chem­
ists are consultants to private indus­
try firms and government agencies.

380

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Places of Employment

Nearly 134,000 persons worked
as chemists in 1972; about 10 percent
were women. More than two-thirds
of all chemists work in private in­
dustry; half are in the chemicals
manufacturing industry. Most of
the remainder work for companies
manufacturing food, scientific in­
struments, petroleum, paper, and
electrical equipment.
Colleges and universities em­
ployed more than 25,000 chemists.
A smaller number worked for non­
profit research organizations. A
number of chemists are employed
by Federal Government agencies,
chiefly the Departments of Defense;
Health, Education, and Welfare;
Agriculture; and Interior. Small
numbers work for State and local
governments, primarily in agencies
concerned with health or agriculture.
Chemists are employed in all
States, but usually are concentrated
in large industrial areas. Nearly
one-fifth of all chemists were located
in four metropolitan areas—New
York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and
Newark. About half of the total
worked in six States—New York,
New Jersey, California, Pennsyl­
vania, Ohio, and Illinois.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree with a major
in chemistry is usually the minimum
requirement for starting a career as
a chemist. Graduate training is es­
sential for many positions, par­
ticularly in research and college
teaching.
Over 1,000 colleges and univer­
sities offer a bachelor’s degree in
chemistry. In addition to the re­
quired chemistry courses (analytical,
inorganic, organic, and physical
chemistry), undergraduates take
courses in mathematics (especially
geometry and calculus) and physics.




Over 300 colleges and universities
award advanced degrees in chem­
istry. In graduate school, students
usually specialize in a particular
field of chemistry. Requirements
for the master’s or doctor’s degree
vary, but usually include a thesis
based on independent research.
Students planning careers as
chemists should enjoy studying
science and mathematics, and ought
to like working with their hands to
build scientific apparatus and to
perform experiments. Perseverance
and the ability to concentrate on
detail and work independently are
essential. Other desirable assets in­
clude an inquisitive mind, a good
memory, and imagination. Chem­
ists also should have good eyesight
and good eye-hand coordination.
New graduates with the bachelor’s
degree generally begin their careers
in government or industry by an­
alyzing or testing products, working
in technical sales or service, or
assisting senior chemists in research
and development laboratories. Many
employers have special training and
orientation programs for new gradu­
ates. These programs are concerned
with special techniques and help
new graduates determine the types
of work best suited to their interest
and talents. Candidates for an ad­
vanced degree often teach or do
research in colleges and universities
while working toward advanced de­
grees. They also may qualify as
secondary school teachers.
Beginning chemists with the mas­
ter’s degree can usually go into
applied research positions in gov­
ernment or private industry. They
also may qualify for some teaching
positions in colleges and univer­
sities and many positions in 2-year
colleges.
The Ph.D. generally is required
for basic research, for teaching in
colleges and universities, and for
advancement to most administrative
positions.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
new chemistry graduates are ex­
pected to be favorable through the
mid-1980’s. In addition to oppor­
tunities resulting from the very
rapid growth expected for this pro­
fession, thousands of new chemists
will be needed each year to replace
those who retire, die, or transfer to
other occupations.
The favorable outlook for chem­
ists assumes that additional chemists
will be needed for research and
development work. Research and
development expenditures of govern­
ment and industry are expected to
increase through the mid-1980’s,
although at a slower rate than during
the 1960’s. The expected slowdown
in Federal R&D spending basically
reflects anticipated shifts in the
relative importance of space and
defense. However, if actual R&D
expenditures levels and patterns
differ significantly from those as­
sumed, the outlook for chemists
would be altered.
Growth in demand for industrial
products, including plastics, man­
made fibers, drugs, and fertilizers
will increase employment opportu­
nities for chemists. For example,
chemists will be needed both by
industrial companies and govern­
ment agencies to help solve pollution
control problems, establish better
health care programs, and do healthrelated research in hospitals. New
and better solid and liquid fuels
to stem fuel shortages could re­
quire more chemists. Some also will
be needed to work in Federal,
State, and local crime laboratories.
Larger enrollments through the
mid-1980’s will require more chem­
ists, especially Ph.D.’s, to teach in
colleges and universities. Additional
opportunities will become available
in 2-year colleges. (See statements
on colleges and universities else­
where in the Handbook.)

PHYSICAL SCIENTISTS

New graduates also will find
openings in high school teaching
after completing professional educa­
tion courses and other requirements
for a State teaching certificate. How­
ever, they usually are regarded as
teachers rather than as chem­
ists. (See statement on Secondary
School Teachers elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Earnings and Working Conditions

Chemists have relatively high
salaries, with average earnings about
twice those received by nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. According to the
American Chemical Society, annual
salaries for experienced chemists
having a bachelor’s degree averaged
$15,600 in 1972; for those with a
master’s degree, $16,300; and for
those with a Ph.D, $19,200.
Private industry paid inexperi­
enced chemists with the bachelor’s
degree starting salaries of $9,000 a
year; those with the master’s degree
$10,300; and those with the Ph.D.

Chemist records results of experiments.




381

$15,600. In colleges and universi­ in the statement on Technician
ties, those with the master’s degree Occupations.
earned $8,100 and those with the
Ph.D. averaged $10,920 to start.
Many experienced chemists in edu­
cational institutions supplement
FOOD SCIENTISTS
their regular salaries with income
from consulting, lecturing, and
(D.O.T. 022.891,040.081,041.081)
writing.
Depending on college records, the
Nature of the Work
annual starting salary in the Fed­
eral Government in early 1973 for
Someone has estimated that the
an inexperienced chemist with a
average family of four consumes
bachelor’s degree was either $7,694
or $9,520. Beginning chemists who over 5,000 pounds of food a year. In
had 1 year of graduate study could the past, housewives processed most
start at $9,520 and those who food in the home, but today, indus­
had 2 years of graduate study, at try processes almost all foods.
$11,614. Chemists having the Ph.D. People in many occupations are
degree could start at $13,996 or involved with food processing. A key
worker is the food scientist or
$16,682.
food technologist.
Chemists work mostly in modern,
Food scientists investigate the
well-equipped, well-lighted labora­
chemical, physical, and biological
tories, offices, or classrooms.
Hazards involve handling poten­ nature of food and apply this knowl­
tially explosive or highly caustic edge to processing, preserving, pack­
chemicals. However, when safety aging, distributing, and storing an
regulations are followed health haz­ adequate, nutritious, wholesome,
and economical food supply. About
ards are negligible.
three-fifths of all scientists in food
processing work in research and
development. Others work in qual­
Sources of Additional Information
ity assurance laboratories or in
General information on career production or processing areas of
opportunities and earnings for chem­ food plants. Some teach or do basic
ists may be obtained from:
research in colleges and universities.
American Chemical Society, 1155 16th
Food scientists in basic research
St., NW ., Washington, D.C. 20036.
study the structure and composi­
Manufacturing Chemists’ Association,
tion of food and the changes it
Inc., 1825 Connecticut Ave., NW .,
undergoes in storage and processing.
Washington, D.C. 20009.
For example, they may develop
Specific information on Federal new sources of proteins, study the
Government careers may be ob­ effects of processing on micro­
tained from:
organisms, or search for factors
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil Serv­
that affect the flavor, texture, or
ice Examiners for Washington, D.C.,
appearance of foods. Food scien­
1900 E St., NW ., Washington, D.C.
tists who work in applied research
20415.
and development create new foods
For additional sources of informa­ and develop new processing methods.
tion, see statements on Biochemists, They also seek to improve existing
Chemical Engineers, and Industrial foods by making them more nu­
Chemical Industry. Information on tritious and enhancing their flavor,
chemical technicians may be found color, and texture.

382

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

disposal of wastes. To increase
efficiency, they advise management
on the purchase of equipment and
recommend new sources of mate­
rials.
Food scientists maintain records
and reports that show results of
tests or experiments.
In addition, some food scientists
work in market research, advertis­
ing, and technical sales. Others
teach in colleges and universities.
Places of Employment

About 7,500 persons, almost 15
percent women, worked as food
scientists in 1972. Food scientists
work in all sectors of the food in­
dustry and in every state. The types
of product on which they work may
depend on where in the country
they work: for example, in Maine
and Ohio they work with potatoes;
in New York and Pennsylvania, with
flavor ingredients; in the Mid-west,
with cereal products or meat pack­
ing; and in Florida and California,
with orange juice. The greatest num­
Food scientists test food for color and flavor.
ber work in California, Illinois, New
York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio,
New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan,
Food scientists insure that each ards. For example, scientists test and Iowa.
new product will retain its char­ canned goods for sugar, starch, pro­
Some food scientists do research
acteristics and nutritive value during tein, fat, vitamin, and mineral for Federal agencies such as the
storage. They also may conduct content. In frozen food plants, they Food and Drug Administration and
chemical and microbiological tests make sure that, after processing, the Departments of Agriculture and
to see that products meet industry various enzymes are inactive so that Defense; others work in State regu­
and government standards. Others the food won’t spoil during storage. latory agencies. A few work for
test additives for purity, investi­ Others are concerned with packag­ private consulting firms and inter­
gate changes that take place during ing materials that maintain shelf national organizations such as the
processing, or develop mass-feeding life and product stability. They United Nations. Some teach or do
methods for food service institutions. often supervise technicians who research in colleges and universities.
In quality control laboratories, assist in product testing. (See state­ (See statement on College and Uni­
food scientists check raw ingredients ment on Food Processing Tech­ versity Teachers elsewhere in the
for freshness, maturity, or suitability nicians elsewhere in the Handbook.) Handbook.)
Food scientists in production
for processing. They may use ma­
chines that test for tenderness by schedule processing operations, pre­
Training, Other Qualifications,
finding the amount of force neces­ pare production specifications, main­
and Advancement
sary to puncture the item. Period­ tain proper temperature and
ically, they inspect processing line humidity in storage areas, and
A bachelor’s degree with a major
operations to insure conformance supervise sanitation operations, in­ in food science, or in one of the
with government and industry stand­ cluding the efficient and economical physical or life sciences such as



383

PHYSICAL SCIENTISTS

chemistry and biology, is the usual would begin their careers doing basic
minimum requirement for beginning research or teaching.
jobs in food science. An advanced
degree is necessary for many jobs,
Employment Outlook
particularly research and college
teaching, and for some management
Employment of food scientists
level jobs in industry.
is expected to grow moderately
Nearly 60 colleges and univer­ through the mid-1980’s. In addition
sities offered programs leading to to openings resulting from this
the bachelor’s degree in food science growth, some jobs will open each
in 1972; the Institute of Food Tech­ year because of the need to replace
nologists approved 30 of these. those who die, retire, or transfer
Undergraduate students usually take to other fields.
Employment is expected to grow
courses in physics, chemistry, math­
ematics, biology, the social sciences as the food industry responds to
and humanities, and business ad­ the need for a wholesome and
ministration, as well as specialized economical food supply for an in­
creasing population. In addition,
food science courses.
Most of the colleges and univer­ both private households and food
sities that provide undergraduate service institutions that supply out­
food programs also offer advanced lets such as airlines and restaurants
degrees. Graduate students usually will demand a greater quantity of
specialize in a particular area of quality convenience foods.
An increasing number of food
food science. Requirements for the
scientists are expected to find jobs
master’s or doctor’s degree vary by
institution, but usually include lab­ in research and product develop­
ment. In recent years, expenditures
oratory work and a thesis.
Young people planning careers as for research and development in
food scientists should have analytical the food industry have increased
minds and like details and technical moderately and probably will con­
work. Food scientists must express tinue to rise. Research could pro­
their ideas to others and understand duce new foods from modifications
other people’s ideas. Flexibility, of wheat, corn, rice, and soybeans.
imagination, and creativity are im­ For example, food scientists may
portant in meeting food needs for create “ meat” products from these
vegetable proteins that resemble
an expanding population.
beef, pork, and chicken. There will
A food scientist with a bachelor’s
degree might start work as a quality be an increased need for food scien­
assurance chemist or as an assistant tists in quality control and produc­
production manager. After gaining tion because of the complexity of
experience the food scientist can products and processes and the
advance to more responsible man­ application of higher processing
agement jobs. The scientist also standards and new government regu­
might begin as a junior food chemist lations.
in a research and development lab­
Earnings and Working Conditions
oratory of a food company, and be
promoted to section head or another
Food scientists had relatively high
research management position.
earnings in 1972, over twice as
People who have master’s degrees much as the average for nonsupermay begin as senior food chemists visory workers in private industry,
in a research and development. except farming. Those with a bach­
Those who have the Ph.D. probably elor’s degree and no experience had




starting salaries of about $9,000 a
year, according to the limited data
available. Those with a master’s
degree started at about $10,200,
and those with the Ph.D. at about
$14,250.
In the Federal Government in
early 1973, Food Scientists with a
bachelor’s degree could start at
$7,694 or $9,520 a year, depending
on their college grades. Those with
a master’s degree could start at
$9,520 or $11,614, and those with
the Ph.D. degree could begin at
$13,996 or $16,682. Food scientists
in colleges and universities earned
the same salaries as other faculty
members.
Sources of Additional Information

For information on careers in
food science and a list of schools
offering programs in food science
contact:
The Institute of Food Technologists,
Suite 2120, 221 North LaSalle St.,
Chicago, 111. 60601.

PHYSICISTS
(D.O.T. 023.081 and .088)
Nature of the Work

The flight of astronauts through
space, the probing of ocean depths,
or even the safety of the family
car depend on research by phy­
sicists. Through systematic observa­
tion and experimentation, physicists
describe in mathematical terms the
structure and interactions between
matter and energy. Physicists de­
velop theories and discover the fun­
damental laws that describe forces
within the universe. Determining
basic laws governing phenomena
such as gravity, electromagnetism,
and heat flow leads to discoveries

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

384

and innovations. For instance, the
development of irradiation therapy
equipment which destroys harmful
growths in humans without damag­
ing other tissues resulted from what
physicists know about radioactivity.
Physicists have contributed to scien­
tific progress in recent years in
areas such as nuclear energy, elec­
tronics, communications, and aero­
space.
Over half of all physicists work
in research and development. Some
do basic research to increase scien­
tific knowledge. For example, they
determine the relationships between
the fundamentals of nuclear struc­
ture and the fundamental forces be­
tween nucleons (nuclear dynamics).
The equipment that physicists de­

velop for their basic research can
often be applied to other areas.
For example, lasers (a device which
amplifies light and emits electro­
magnetic waves in a narrow, intense
light beam) are utilized in surgery;
microwave devices are used for
ovens; and measurement techniques
and instruments developed by phy­
sicists can detect and measure the
kind and number of cells in blood.
Some engineering oriented phy­
sicists do applied research and help
develop new products. For in­
stance, their knowledge of solidstate physics led to the development
of transistors and micro-circuits
used in electronic equipment that
ranges from hearing aids to missile
guidance systems.

About one-fifth of all physicists
teach in colleges and universities.
Almost another fifth work in man­
agement and administration, espe­
cially research and development
programs. A small number work in
inspection, quality control, and other
production related jobs in industry.
Some do consulting work.
Most physicists specialize in one
or more branches of the science—
elementary-particle physics; nuclear
physics; atomic, electron, and mo­
lecular 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 ex­
ample, within solid-state physics
concentration may include ceramics,
crystallography, or semiconductors.
However, since all physics specialties
rest on the same fundamental prin­
ciples, a physicist’s work often
overlaps many specialties.
Growing numbers of physicists
are specializing in Fields combining
physics and a related science—such
as astrophysics, biophysics, chemical
physics, and geophysics. Further­
more, the practical applications of
physicists’ work have increasingly
merged with engineering.
Places of Employment

Physicists work with complex equipment such as atomic accelerators.




About 49,000 people worked as
physicists in 1972; nearly 4 percent
were women. Private industry em­
ployed over 19,000; almost twofifths of these were in companies
manufacturing chemicals, electrical
equipment, and ordnance products.
Commercial laboratories and inde­
pendent research organizations em­
ploy more than one-fourth of the
physicists in private industry.
More than 22,000 physicists either
taught or did research in colleges
and universities; some did both.
Over 6,000 physicists were in the
Federal Government in 1972, most­

PHYSICAL SCIENTISTS

ly the Department of Defense. The
Department of Commerce also em­
ploys large numbers of physicists.
About 1,300 physicists worked in
nonprofit organizations.
Although physicists are employed
in all States, their employment is
greatest in areas that have heavy
industrial concentrations and large
college and university enrollments.
Nearly one-fourth of all physicists
work in four metropolitan areas—
Washington, D.C.; Boston; New
York; and Los Angeles-Long Beach,
and more than one-third are con­
centrated in three states—California,
New York, and Massachusetts.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree in physics
is the minimum requirement for
young people beginning work as
physicists. However, graduate train­
ing is increasingly the hallmark of
full professional status and is es­
sential for many entry jobs and for
advancement in all types of work.
The doctorate is usually required
for full faculty status at colleges
and universities and for jobs admin­
istering research and development
programs.
Physicists who have master’s de­
grees qualify for many research jobs.
Some instruct and conduct labora­
tory sessions in colleges and univer­
sities while working for their Ph.D.
Physicists who have bachelor’s
degrees qualify for many applied
research and development jobs in
private industry or the Federal Gov­
ernment. Some become research as­
sistants in colleges and universities
while working toward advanced de­
grees. Many with a bachelor’s degree
in physics enter nontechnical work,
other science fields, or become en­
gineers.
Almost 900 colleges and univer­
sities offer a bachelor’s degree in
physics. In addition, many engineer­




385

ing schools offer a physics major
as part of the general curriculum.
The undergraduate program in phy­
sics 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 mechan­
ics, electricity, and magnetism, op­
tics, thermodynamics, and atomic
and molecular physics. Students
also take courses in chemistry and
mathematics.
More than 300 colleges and uni­
versities offer advanced degrees in
physics. In graduate school, the
student, with faculty guidance, usu­
ally works in a specific field. The
graduate student, especially the can­
didate for the Ph.D. degree, spends
a large portion of his time in re­
search.

Students planning a career in
physics should have an inquisitive
mind, good memory, and imagina­
tion. They must distrust convention­
al assumptions about the universe
and be eager to try a new approach
to discovering truths. Physicists do­
ing basic research generally re­
ceive less supervision than those in
mission-oriented applied research
and development.
Employment Outlook

Physicists with advanced degrees
should have favorable employment
opportunities through the mid1980’s, primarily in applied research
and development. In addition to
opportunities resulting from the
moderate growth expected in this
field, physicists will be needed each

Physicists develop equipment used in cancer research.

386

year to replace those who transfer
to other fields of work, retire, or
die.
Some of the past increases in em­
ployment of physicists resulted from
increases in Federal research and
development (R&D) expenditures,
especially for space and defense
related programs. Physicists will
continue to be required to do com­
plex R&D in both defense and non­
defense related areas. Through the
mid-1980’s, R&D expenditures of
Government are expected to in­
crease, although at a slower rate
than during the 1960’s. The anti­
cipated slowdown in the rate of
growth basically reflects the declin­
ing priority given to space and de­
fense R&D programs. However, if
actual R&D expenditure levels and
patterns were to differ significantly
from those assumed, the outlook
for physicists would be altered.
Some physicists with advanced
degrees will be needed to teach in
colleges and universities, primarily
because of the growing need for
physics training in all science and
engineering programs.
New graduates also will find op­
portunities in other occupations
that utilize their training. For ex­
ample, they may become high school
teachers after completing the re­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

quired educational courses and ob­
taining a State teaching certificate.
However, they are usually regarded
as teachers rather than as phy­
sicists. (See statement on Secondary
School Teachers elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Earnings and Working Conditions

Physicists have relatively high
salaries, with average earnings more
than twice those received by nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming. Starting
salaries for physicists who have the
bachelor’s degree averaged about
$9,900 a year in manufacturing in­
dustries in 1972, those having mas­
ter’s degrees $11,800, and those
having the Ph.D. $16,000.
Depending on their college rec­
ords, physicists who have a bach­
elor’s degree and no experience
could start work in the Federal
Government in early 1973 at either
$7,694 or $9,520. Beginning phy­
sicists completing all requirements
for the master’s degree could start
at $9,520 or $11,614. Physicists hav­
ing the Ph.D. degree could begin
at $13,996 or $16,682.
Starting salaries on college and
university faculties for physicists
with a master’s degree averaged

$10,200 in 1972, and salaries for
those having the Ph.D. averaged
$11,800. (See statement on College
and University Teachers elsewhere
in the Handbook.) Many faculty
physicists supplement their regular
incomes by working as consultants
and taking on special research
projects.
Young physicists may begin their
careers doing routine laboratory
tasks. After some experience, they
are assigned more complex tasks
and may advance to project leaders
or research directors. Some work in
top management jobs. Physicists
who develop new products some­
times form their own companies or
join new firms to exploit their
ideas.

Sources of Additional Information

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

For information on Federal Gov­
ernment careers contact:
Interagency Board of U.S. Civil Serv­
ice Examiners for Washington, D.C.,
1900 E St., NW „ Washington, D.C.
20415.

TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS
Before World War II scientists
and engineers worked directly with
craftsmen and other skilled workers.
For example, an engineer might de­
sign and develop a product or proc­
ess, while skilled workers would
carry out the more routine parts
of the plan. Because of rapid tech­
nological advances, however, it be­
came more difficult for skilled
workers, who usually had a limited
knowledge of science and mathe­
matics, to work directly with scien­
tists and engineers. A need
developed for workers, called tech­
nicians, specifically trained to assist
engineers and scientists, or in some
cases to do work that otherwise
would have to be done by engineers
or scientists.
Although technician occupations
have grown rapidly, the term “tech­
nician” has no generally accepted
definition. Employers use it to refer
to workers in a variety of jobs
requiring a wide range of education
and training. The term is used to
describe employees doing relatively
routine work, persons performing
work requiring technical but limited
skills, and those doing highly tech­
nical work, including persons work­
ing closely with engineers and
scientists.
In this chapter, “technicians”
refers to workers who use engineer­
ing, scientific, and mathematical
theory; who have specialized educa­
tion and/or training in some aspect
of technology or science; and who
generally work directly with engi­
neers and scientists. This chapter
contains statements on engineering
and science technicians, food proc­
essing technicians, draftsmen, sur­



veyors, and broadcast technicians.
Information on technical occupa­
tions in the health field—including
dental laboratory technicians, radio­
logical technologists, and dental
hygienists—is presented elsewhere
in the Handbook..)

BROADCAST
TEC H N IC IA N S
(D.O.T. 194,281, .282, and .782;
957.282; and 963.168 through .887)
Nature of the Work

Broadcast technicians operate and
maintain the electronic equipment
used to record or transmit radio
and television programs. They work
with microphones, sound recorders,
light and sound effects, television
cameras, video tape recorders, and
other equipment.
In the control room, broadcast
technicians operate equipment that
regulates the quality of sounds and
pictures being recorded or broad­
cast. 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
telephone headsets, they give tech­
nical directions to personnel in the
studio.
When events outside the studios
are to be broadcast, technicians may
go to the site and set up, test, and
operate the necessary equipment.
After the broadcast, they dismantle

the equipment and return 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, tech­
nicians are more specialized, al­
though specific job assignments may
change from day to day. Transmitter
technicians monitor and log out­
going signals and are responsible
for transmitter operation. Mainte­
nance technicians set up, maintain,
and repair electronic broadcasting
equipment. Audio control techni­
cians regulate sound pickup, trans­
mission, and switching. Video
control technicians regulate the qual­
ity, brightness, and contrast of
television pictures. Lighting tech­
nicians direct lighting of television
programs. Field technicians set up
and operate broadcasting equipment
for programs originating outside
the studio. Recording technicians
operate and maintain sound record­
ing equipment. Video recording tech­
nicians operate and maintain video
tape recording equipment. Some­
times the term “engineer” is sub­
stituted for “technician” in the
above titles.
Places of Employment

About 22,000 broadcast techni­
cians were employed in radio and
television stations in 1972. Most
radio stations employ fewer than
four technicians, although a few
large ones have more than 10.
Nearly all television stations em­
ploy at least five broadcast tech­
nicians, and those in large
metropolitan areas average about
30. In addition to the technicians,
several thousand supervisory per­
sonnel, with job titles such as chief
engineer and director of engineering,
work in technical departments.
Broadcast technicians are em­
ployed in every State, particularly
in the larger cities. The highest
387

388

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Broadcast technician plays back tape.

paying and most specialized jobs
are concentrated in New York, Los
Angeles, and Washington, D.C.—
the originating centers for most of
the network programs.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A young person interested in
becoming a broadcast technician
should plan to get a Radiotelephone
First Class Operator License from
the Federal Communications Com­
mission (FCC). Federal law requires
that anyone who operates or adjusts
broadcast transmitters in television
and radio stations must hold such
a license. Some stations require all
their broadcast technicians including
those who do not operate transmit­
ters to have this license. Applicants
for the license must pass a series of
written examinations. These cover
construction and operation of trans­
mission and receiving equipment;



cially designed to prepare the stu­
dent for the FCC’s First-class license
test. Having training at the level
of technical school or college is an
advantage for those who hope to
advance to supervisory positions or
to the more specialized jobs in
large stations and in the networks.
Young persons with FCC firstclass licenses who get entry jobs
are instructed and advised by the
chief engineer or by other experi­
enced technicians concerning the
work procedures of the station. In
small stations, they may start by
operating the transmitter and han­
dling other technical duties, after
a brief instruction period. As they
acquire more experience and skill
they are assigned to more respon­
sible jobs. Those who demonstrate
above-average ability may move
into top-level technical positions,
such as supervisory technician and
chief engineer. A college degree in
engineering is becoming increasing­
ly important for advancement to
supervisory and executive positions.

characteristics of electromagnetic
waves; and regulations and prac­
tices, both Federal government and
international, governing broadcast­
Employment Outlook
ing. Information about these exam­
The number of broadcast tech­
inations and guides to study for
nicians is expected to increase slow­
them may be obtained from the
Federal Communications Commis­ ly through the mid-1980’s. Most
job openings will result from the
sion, Washington, D.C. 20036.
Among high school courses, alge­ need to replace experienced tech­
bra, trigonometry, and physics and nicians who retire, die, or transfer
other sciences provide valuable to other occupations.
Some new job opportunities for
background for young persons anti­
technicians will be provided as new
cipating careers in this occupation.
In terms of practice, building and radio and television stations open.
operating an amateur radio station However, labor-saving technical ad­
also is good training. Taking an vances, such as automatic program­
electronics course in a technical ming, automatic operation logging,
school is still another good way to and remote control of transmitters
acquire the knowledge for becoming will limit the demand for tech­
a broadcast technician. Some young nicians.
persons gain work experience as
temporary employees Filling in for Earnings and Working Conditions
regular broadcast technicians while
Salaries of beginning technicians
they are on vacation.
Many schools give courses espe­ in commercial radio and television

389

TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS

ranged from about $100 to $170 a
week in 1972 and those of experi­
enced technicians from about $130
to $320, according to the limited
information available. 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 television work is generally
more complex. Technicians em­
ployed 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 over­
time pay for work beyond 40 hours.
Many broadcast technicians in the
larger cities work a 37-hour week.
In small stations, many technicians
work 2 to 8 hours of overtime each
week. Evening, night, and weekend
work frequently is necessary since
many stations are on the air as many
as 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Network technicians may occasion­
ally have to work continuously for
many hours and under great pres­
sure in order to meet broadcast
deadlines. Most technicians receive
paid vacations. Typically, vacations
range from 1 to 4 weeks, depending
on length of service.
Technicians generally work in­
doors in pleasant surroundings. The
work is interesting, and the duties
are varied. When remote pickups
are made, however, technicians may
work out of doors at some distance
from the studios, under less favor­
able conditions.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
888 16th St., NW ., Washington, D.C.
20006.

DRAFTSMEN
(D.O.T. 001.281, 002.281, 003.281,
005.281, 007.281, 010.281,
014.281, and 017.)
Nature of the Work

When making a space capsule,
television set, building, or bridge,
workers follow drawings that show
the exact dimensions and specifica­
tions of the entire object and each
of its parts. Workers who draw
these plans are draftsmen.

Draftsmen prepare detailea draw­
ings based on rough sketches,
specifications, and calculations of
engineers, architects, and designers.
They also calculate the strength,
quality, quantity, and cost of ma­
terials. Final drawings contain a
detailed view of the object as well
as specifications for materials to
be used, procedures followed, and
other information to carry out the
job.
In preparing drawings, draftsmen
use compasses, dividers, protractors,
triangles, and machines that com­
bine the functions of several devices.
They also use engineering hand­
books, tables, and slide rules to help
solve technical problems.
Draftsmen are classified accord­
ing to the work they do or their
level of responsibility. Senior drafts-

Sources of Additional Information

General information careers for
broadcast technicians may be ob­
tained from:
National Association of Broadcasters,
1771 N St., NW „ Washington, D.C.
20036.




D raftsmen prepare design layouts.

390

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

men translate an engineer’s or
architect’s preliminary plans into
design “layouts” (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 de­
tailed drawing clear and complete.
Checkers carefully examine draw­
ings for errors in computing or
recording dimensions and specifica­
tions. Under the supervision of
draftsmen, tracers make minor cor­
rections and trace drawings for
reproduction on transparent cloth,
paper, or plastic film.
Draftsmen may specialize in a
particular field of work, such as
mechanical, electrical, electronic,
aeronautical, structural, or archi­
tectural drafting.
Places of Employment

About 327,000 people worked as
draftsmen in 1972; almost 8 percent
were women. About 9 out of 10
draftsmen work in private industry.
Many work in industries making
machinery, electrical equipment, and
fabricated metal products. In the
non-manufacturing sector, most
draftsmen work for engineering and
architectural consulting firms, con­
struction companies, and public util­
ities.
Almost 20,000 draftsmen worked
for Federal, State, and local gov­
ernments in 1972. Those in the
Federal Government worked mostly
for the Defense Department. Drafts­
men in State and local governments
were mainly in highway and public
works departments. Another several
thousand draftsmen worked for col­
leges and universities and non-profit
organizations.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

training in technical institutes, junior
and community colleges, extension
divisions of universities, and voca­
tional and technical high schools.
Others may qualify through on-thejob training programs combined
with part-time schooling or 3- to
4-year apprenticeship programs.
Training for a career in drafting,
whether in a high school or posthigh school program, should include
courses in mathematics, physical
sciences, mechanical drawing, and
drafting. Shop practices and shop
skills also are helpful since many
higher level drafting jobs require
knowledge of manufacturing or con­
struction methods. Many technical
schools offer courses in structural
design, strength of materials, and
metal technology.
Those planning careers in draft­
ing should: be able to do detailed
work requiring a high degree of
accuracy; have good eyesight and
eye-hand coordination because most
of their work is done at the draw­
ing board; be able to function as
part of a team since they work
directly with engineers, architects,
and skilled workers; and be able to
do free-hand drawings of three
dimensional objects. Although the
occupation generally does not re­
quire such artistic ability, it may
be helpful in some specialized fields.
High school graduates usually
start out as tracers. Those having
post-high school technical training
often can qualify as junior drafts­
men. After gaining experience, they
may advance to checkers, detailers,
senior draftsmen, or supervisors
Some may become independent de­
signers. Courses in engineering and
mathematics sometimes enable
draftsmen to transfer to engineer­
ing positions.
Employment Outlook

Job opportunities are expected
Persons interested in becoming
draftsmen can acquire the necessary to be favorable through the mid-




1980’s because of the very rapid
growth expected in the occupation
and the need to replace those who
retire, die, or move into other fields
of work. Prospects will be best for
those having post-high school draft­
ing training. Well-qualified high
school graduates who have studied
drafting, however, will find oppor­
tunities in some types of jobs.
Employment of draftsmen is ex­
pected to rise rapidly as a result
of the increasingly complex design
problems of modern products and
processes. In addition, as engineer­
ing and scientific occupations con­
tinue to grow, more draftsmen will
be needed as supporting personnel.
On the other hand, photoreproduc­
tion of drawings and expanding use
of electronic drafting equipment
and computers are eliminating many
routine tasks. This development
probably will reduce the need for
less skilled draftsmen.
Earnings

In private industry, beginning
draftsmen earned about $525 a
month in 1972 according to a Bureau
of Labor Statistics survey. As
they gain experience, draftsmen may
move to higher level positions with a
substantial increase in earnings. For
example, in 1972 senior draftsmen
averaged $960 a month, about one
and one-half times as much as the
average earnings of nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming. Most draftsmen earned
about $800 per month.
In early 1973, the Federal Gov­
ernment paid high school graduates
in trainee jobs about $450 a month.
For those having post-high school
education or some experience in
drafting, starting salaries were high­
er. The majority of experienced
draftsmen working for the Federal
Government earned between $640
and $800 a month.

TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS

391

Sources of Additional Information

IS

General information on careers
for draftsmen may be obtained from:
American Institute for Design and
Drafting, 3119 Price Rd., Bartles­
ville, Okla. 74003.
American Federation of Technical En­
gineers, 1126 16th St., NW „ Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.

See Sources of Additional In­
formation in the statement on Engi­
neering and Science Technicians
elsewhere in the Handbook.

ENGINEERING AND
SCIENCE TEC H N IC IA N S
(D.O.T. 002. through 029.)
Nature of the Work

Technicians’ knowledge of sci­
ence, mathematics, industrial ma­
chinery, and processes enables them
to work in all phases of production,
from research and design to manu­
facturing, sales, and customer
service. Although their jobs are
more limited and practically ori­
ented than those of engineers or
scientists, technicians often do
highly technical work that engi­
neers or scientists might otherwise
have to do. Technicians frequently
use complex electronic and me­
chanical instruments, experimental
laboratory equipment, and draft­
ing instruments. Almost all techni­
cians described in this statement
must be able to use engineering
handbooks and computing devices
such as slide rules and calculating
machines.
In research and development
(R&D), one of the largest areas of
employment, technicians set up,
calibrate, and operate complex
instruments; analyze computations;
and conduct tests. They also assist
engineers and scientists in devel­




Technician adjusts experimental
antenna equipment.

oping experimental equipment and
models by making drawings and
sketches; and under an engineer’s
direction they frequently do routine
design work.
In production, technicians usu­
ally follow the plans and general
directions of engineers and sci­
entists, but often without close
supervision. They may prepare
specifications for materials, devise
tests to insure product quality, or
study ways to improve the efficiency
of an operation. They often super­
vise production workers to make
sure they follow prescribed plans
and procedures. As a product is

built, technicians check to see that
specifications are followed, keep
engineers and scientists informed
as to progress, and investigate
production problems.
As salesmen or field representa­
tives for manufacturers, technicians
give advice on installation and
maintenance problems of complex
machinery, and may write specifi­
cations and technical manuals. (See
statement on Technical Writers
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Job titles of engineering and
science technicians may describe
the level (biological aid or bio­
logical technician), duties (quality

392

control technician or time study
analyst), or area of work (mechani­
cal, electrical, or chemical).
Aeronautical Technology. Techni­
cians in this area work with engi­
neers and scientists to design and
produce aircraft, helicopters, rock­
ets, guided missiles, and spacecraft.
Many aid engineers in preparing
design layouts and models of struc­
tures, control systems, or equip­
ment installations by collecting
information, making computations,
and performing laboratory tests.
For example, under the direction
of an engineer, a technician might
estimate weight factors, centers of
gravity, and other items affecting
load capacity of an airplane or
missile. Other technicians prepare
or check drawings for technical
accuracy, practicability, and econ­
omy.
Aeronautical technicians fre­
quently work as manufacturer’s
field service representatives, serving
as the link between their company
and the military, commercial air­
lines, and other customers. Techni­
cians also prepare technical in­
formation for instruction manuals,
bulletins, catalogs, and other litera­
ture. (See statements on Aerospace
Engineers, Airplane Mechanics,
and Occupations in Aircraft, Mis­
sile and Spacecraft Manufacturing
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Air-Conditioning, Heating, and
Refrigeration Technology. Air con­
ditioning, heating, and refrigera­
tion technicians design, manufacture,
sell, and service equipment to
regulate interior temperatures. Tech­
nicians in this field often specialize
in one area, such as refrigeration,
and sometimes in a particular type
of activity, such as research and
development.
When working for firms that
manufacture temperature control­
ling equipment, technicians generally




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

work in research and engineering
departments, where they assist en­
gineers 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 operational charac­
teristics. Technicians also work as
field salesmen for equipment manu­
facturers or dealers, and must be
able to supply engineering firms
and other contractors that design
and install systems with informa­
tion on installation, maintenance,
operating costs, and the perform­
ance specifications of the equip­
ment. Other technicians work for
contractors, where they help design
and prepare installation instruc­
tions for air-conditioning, heating,
or refrigeration systems. Still
others work in customer service,
and are responsible for supervising
the installation and maintenance
of equipment. (See statement on
Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning
Mechanics elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)
Chemical Technicians. These tech­
nicians work with chemists and
chemical engineers to develop, 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 devel­
oped or improved. For example,
a technician may examine steel
for carbon, phosphorous, and sulfur
content or test a lubricating oil by
subjecting it to changing tempera­
tures. The technician measures re­
actions, analyzes the results of
experiments, and records data
which will be the basis for decisions
and future research.
Chemical technicians in produc­
tion generally put into commercial
operation those products 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 manufacturer’s specifications
and quality standards. Many also
work as technical salesmen of
chemicals or chemical products.
Many chemical technicians use
computers and instruments, such
as a dilatometer, to measure the
expansion of a substance. Because
the field of chemistry is so broad,
chemical technicians frequently
specialize in a particular industry
such as food processing or phar­
maceuticals. (See statements on
Chemists, Chemical Engineers, Food
Processing Technicians, and Occu­
pations in the Industrial Chemical
Industry elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)
Civil Engineering Technology. Tech­
nicians in this area assist civil
engineers in planning, designing,
and constructing highways, bridges,
dams, and other structures. During
the planning stage, they may help
estimate costs, prepare specifica­
tions for materials, or participate
in surveying, drafting, or designing.
Once construction begins, they may
assist the contractor or super­
intendent in scheduling construc­
tion activities or inspecting the
work to assure conformance to
blueprints and specifications. (See
statements on Civil Engineers,
Draftsmen, and Surveyors else­
where in the Handbook.)
Electronics Technology. Technicians
in this field develop, manufacture,
and service a wide range of elec­
tronic equipment and systems. They
may work with radio, radar, sonar,
television, and other communica­
tion equipment; industrial and medi­

393

TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS

cal measuring or control devices;
navigational equipment; electronic
computers, and many other types
of electronic equipment. Because
the field is so broad, technicians
often specialize in one area such
as automatic control devices or
electronic amplifiers. Furthermore,
technological advancement is con­
stantly opening up new areas of
work. For example, the develop­
ment of printed circuits stimulated
the growth of micro-miniaturized
electronic systems.
When working in design, pro­
duction, or customer service, elec­
tronic technicians use sophisticated
measuring and diagnostic devices
to analyze and test equipment. In
many cases, they must understand
the requirements of the field in
which the electronic device is being
used. In designing equipment for
space exploration, for example,
they must consider the need for
minimum weight and volume and
maximum resistance to shock, ex­
treme temperature, and pressure.
Electronics technicians also do
technical writing and work in
technical sales. (See statements on
Broadcast Technicians and Occu­
pations in Radio and Television
Broadcasting elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Industrial Production Technology.
Technicians in this area, sometimes
called industrial
or production
technicians, assist industrial engi­
neers on problems involving the
efficient use of personnel, ma­
terials, and machines to produce
goods and services. They prepare
layouts of machinery and equip­
ment, plan the flow of work, make
statistical studies, and analyze pro­
duction costs. Industrial techni­
cians also conduct time and motion
studies (analyze the time and move­
ments a worker needs to accom­
plish a job task) to improve the
efficiency of an operation.




While working, many industrial
technicians acquire experience which
enables them to qualify for other
jobs. For example, those specializ­
ing in machinery and production
methods may move into industrial
safety. Others, in job analysis,
may set job standards and inter­
view, test, hire, and train person­
nel. Still others may move into
production supervision. (See state­
ments on Personnel Workers and
Industrial Engineers elsewhere in
the Handbook.)
Mechanical Technology. Mechani­
cal technology is a broad term
which covers a large number of
specialized fields including auto­
motive technology, diesel tech­
nology, tool design, machine de­
sign, and production technology.
Technicians assist engineers in
design and development work by
making freehand sketches and
rough layouts of proposed ma­
chinery and other equipment and
parts. This work requires knowl­
edge of mechanical principles in­
volving tolerance, stress, strain,
friction, and vibration factors.
Technicians also analyze the costs
and practical value of designs.
In planning and testing experi­
mental machines and equipment
for performance, durability, and
efficiency, technicians record data,
make computations, plot graphs,
analyze results, and write reports.
They sometimes recommend design
changes to improve performance.
Their job often requires skill in
the use of instruments, test equip­
ment and gauges, as well as prepara­
tion and interpretation of drawings.
When a product is ready for pro­
duction, technicians help prepare
layouts and drawings of the assem­
bly process and parts to be manu­
factured. They frequently help esti­
mate labor costs, equipment life,
and plant space. Some mechanical
technicians
test
and
inspect

machines and equipment in manu­
facturing departments or work
with engineers to eliminate pro­
duction problems. Others are tech­
nical salesmen.
Tool designers are among the
better known specialists in mech­
anical
engineering
technology.
Tool designers design tools and
devices for mass production, and
frequently redesign existing tools
to improve their efficiency. They
prepare sketches of the designs for
cutting tools, jigs, dies, special fix­
tures, and other attachments used
in machine operations. They also
may make or supervise others in
making detailed drawings of tools
and fixtures.
Machine drafting, with some de­
signing, is another major area often
grouped under mechanical tech­
nology and is described in the
statement on draftsmen. (See state­
ments on Mechanical Engineers,
Automobile Mechanics, Manufac­
turer’s Salesmen, and Diesel
Mechanics elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)
Instrumentation Technology. Auto­
mated manufacturing and indus­
trial processes, oceanographic and
space exploration, weather fore­
casting, satellite communication
systems, environmental control,
and medical research have helped
to make instrumentation tech­
nology a fast-growing field for
technicians. They help develop and
design complex measuring and
control devices such as those in a
spacecraft that sense and measure
changes in heat or pressure, auto­
matically record data, and make
necessary adjustments. These tech­
nicians have extensive knowledge
of physical sciences as well as
electrical-electronic and mechani­
cal engineering. (See statement on
Instrument Workers elsewhere in
the Handbook.)

394

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

In 1972, the Federal Government
employed over 100,000 technicians
chiefly as engineering aids and
technicians, equipment specialists,
biological technicians, cartographic
technicians (map making), meteor­
ological technicians and physical
science technicians. The largest
number worked for the Department
of Defense; most of the others
worked for the Departments of
Transportation, Agriculture, Inte­
rior, and Commerce.
State Government agencies em­
ployed over 50,000 engineering and
science technicians, and local
governments about 11,000. The re­
mainder worked for colleges and
universities and nonprofit organi­
zations.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Men and women can qualify for
technician jobs through many com­
binations of work experience and
education because employers tradi­
tionally have been quite flexible in
their hiring standards. However,
most employers prefer applicants
who have had some specialized
technical
training.
Specialized
training is available at technical
institutes, junior and community
colleges, area vocational-technical
Technician uses optical tracking instrument to record data.
schools, extension divisions of
colleges and universities, and
Places of Employment
Technicians also specialize in
technical-vocational high schools.
other fields such as metallurgical
Besides academic training, per­
Over 700,000 persons worked as
(metal), electrical, and optical tech­
nology. In the atomic energy field, engineering and science technicians sons can qualify for technician jobs
technicians work with scientists in 1972—12 percent were women. by less formal methods. Workers
and engineers on problems of radia­ More than 475,000 (about 7 out of may learn through on-the-job
tion safety, inspection, and decon­ 10) worked in private industry. The training programs or courses in
tamination. (See statement on manufacturing industries employ post-secondary or correspondence
Occupations in the Atomic Energy the largest numbers in the electrical schools. Some qualify from ex­
Field elsewhere in the Handbook.) equipment, chemicals, machinery, perience in technical jobs in the
New areas of work include the en­ and aerospace industries. In non­ Armed Forces. Many engineering
large
numbers and science students who have not
vironmental control field, where manufacturing,
technicians study the problems of worked in wholesale and retail completed the bachelor’s degree and
air and water pollution and indus­ trade, communications, and in en­ others who have degrees in science
and mathematics are able to qual­
gineering and architectural firms.
trial safety.




TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS

ify after additional technical train­ jobs in the local area. Most of these
ing and experience. Post-secondary schools require a high school de­
training is increasingly necessary gree or its equivalent for admission.
for the more responsible jobs and
Other Training. Some large cor­
for advancement.
porations conduct training pro­
Some of the types of post­
secondary and other schools which grams and operate private schools
provide technical training are dis­ to meet their needs for technically
cussed in the following paragraphs: trained personnel in specific jobs;
such training rarely includes gen­
Technical Institutes. Technical in­ eral studies. Training for some
stitutes offer training to qualify technician occupations, for in­
students for a job immediately after stance tool designers and elec­
graduation with only a minimum of tronic technicians, is available
on-the-job training. In general, stu­ through formal 2-to-4 year appren­
dents receive intensive technical ticeship programs. The apprentice
training but less theory and general gets on-the-job training under the
education than in engineering close supervision of an experienced
schools or liberal arts colleges. A technician and related technical
few technical institutes and com­ knowledge in classes, usually after
munity colleges offer cooperative working hours.
programs; students spend part of
The Armed Forces have trained
the time in school and part in paid many technicians, especially in
employment
related
to
their electronics. However, military job
studies.
requirements are generally differ­
Some technical institutes operate ent from those in the civilian
as regular or extension divisions economy. Thus, military technician
of colleges and universities. Other training may not be adequate for
institutions are operated by States civilian technician work, and addi­
and municipalities, or privately.
tional training may be necessary
for employment.
Junior Colleges and Community
Technician training also is avail­
Colleges. Curriculums in junior and
able from many private technical
community colleges which prepare
students for technician occupations schools that specialize in a single
field such as electronics. Some of
are similar to those in the freshman
these schools are owned and opera­
and sophomore years of 4-year col­
leges. After completing the 2-year ted by large corporations that have
program graduates can transfer to the resources to provide very up4-year colleges or qualify for some to-date training in a technical field.
Correspondence schools provide
technician jobs. Most large com­
munity colleges offer 2-year tech­ technical training for those who
nical programs, and many em­ wish to learn more about their job.
Those interested in a career as a
ployers prefer graduates having
more specialized training. Junior technician should have an aptitude
college courses in technical fields for mathematics and science, and
often are planned around the em­ enjoy technical work. An ability
to do detailed work with a high
ployment needs of the local area.
degree of accuracy is necessary; for
Area Vocational-Technical Schools. design work, creative talent also
These post-secondary public insti­ is desirable. Since technicians are
tutions serve students from sur­ part of a scientific team, they some­
rounding areas and train them for times must work under the close




395

supervision of engineers and scien­
tists as well as with other tech­
nicians and skilled workers.
Engineering and science tech­
nicians usually begin work as
trainees in routine positions under
the direct supervision of an experi­
enced technician, scientist, or en­
gineer. As they gain experience,
they receive more responsibility
and carry out a particular assign­
ment under only general super­
vision. Technicians may eventually
move into supervisory positions.
Those who have the ability and ob­
tain additional education are some­
times promoted to science or en­
gineering positions.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
engineering and science technicians
are expected to be favorable
through the mid-1980’s. Opportuni­
ties will be best for graduates of
post-secondary school technician
training programs. Besides the very
rapid growth expected in this field,
additional technicians will be
needed to replace those who die, re­
tire, or leave the occupation.
Industrial expansion and increas­
ing complexity of modern tech­
nology underlie the anticipated in­
crease in demand for technicians.
Many will be needed to work with
a growing number of engineers and
scientists in developing, producing,
and distributing new and tech­
nically advanced products. Auto­
mation of industrial processes and
growth of new work areas such as
atomic energy, environmental con­
trol, and urban development will
add to the demand for technical
personnel.
The anticipated growth of re­
search and development (R&D)
expenditures in industry and
government should increase demand
for . technicians. However, this

396

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

growth is expected to be slower
than in the past because of the anti­
cipated slowdown of the space and
defense components of Federal R&D
expenditures.
Because space and defense pro­
grams are major factors in the em­
ployment of technical personnel,
expenditures in these areas affect
the demand for technicians. The
outlook for technicians is based
on the assumption that defense
spending will be slightly lower
than the levels of the late 1960’s. If
defense spending should differ sub­
stantially from this level, the de­
mand for technicians would be af­
fected accordingly.
Earnings

In general, technicians’ earn­
ings depend on their education, and
technical specialty, as well as their
ability and work experience. Other
important factors influencing earn­
ings are the type of firm, specific
duties, and geographic location.
In early 1973, Federal Govern­
ment agencies paid beginning en­
gineering and science technicians
with an associate degree $6,882;
those with a bachelor’s degree had
starting salaries of $7,694, or
$9,520 depending on the type of job
vacancy and the applicant’s educa­
tion and other qualifications. Some
Federal Government agencies hire
and train high school graduates for
technician jobs. Beginning salaries
for these jobs were $5,432 a year.
Starting salaries in private in­
dustry in 1972 for technicians hold­
ing associate degrees averaged
about $7,700 per year; those with
a bachelor’s degree averaged al­
most $10,000 a year.
Most technicians can look for­
ward to an increase in earnings
as they move to higher positions.
According to a Bureau of Labor
Statistics survey, in 1972 annual




salaries of workers in responsible
technician positions in private in­
dustry averaged about $12,000—
almost twice as much as the aver­
age earnings of nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming.
Sources of Additional Information

General information on careers
for engineering and science tech­
nicians is available from:
American Society for Engineering Edu­
cation, Suite 400, 1 Dupont Circle,
Washington, D.C. 20036
Engineers Council for Professional Devel­
opment, 345 East 47th St., New York,
N.Y. 10017.
National Council of Technical Schools,
1835 K St. NW „ Room 907, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20006.

Information on schools offering
technical programs is available
from the Engineers Council for Pro­
fessional Development, a nationally
recognized accrediting agency for
engineering technology programs; the
National Council of Technical
Schools; and the U.S. Department
of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Office of Education, Washington,
D.C. 20202.
State departments of education
at each State capital also have in­
formation about approved tech­
nical institutes, junior colleges, and
other educational institutions with­
in the State offering post-high
school training for specific tech­
nical occupations. Other sources
include:
American Association of Junior Col­
leges, Suite 410, 1 Dupont Circle,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
National Home Study Council, 1601
18th St. NW., Washington, D.C.
20009.
National Association of Trade and
Technical Schools, 2021 L St., NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

FOOD PROCESSING
TEC H N IC IA N S
(D.O.T. 022.281,029.381)
Nature of the Work

Unlike man’s experience of the
past, when food was processed and
prepared in the home, much of the
food we eat today is processed and
prepared by industrial firms and
sold at local supermarkets. A rela­
tively small but important number
of technicians work for these indus­
trial firms in all areas of food
technology, from the development
of new products and processing
techniques to production, food
quality inspection, and marketing.
Titles of technicians in the food
processing industry vary from plant
to plant, as do technicians’ respon­
sibilities. Food processing tech­
nicians are known as Laboratory
or Quality Assurance Technicians,
Physical Science Aides, Plant
Facilities Technicians, Biological
Aides, Laboratory Analysts, and
Research and Development Tech­
nicians.
In research and development,
food processing technicians assist
food scientists in improving exist­
ing food products, creating new food
items, and developing and improv­
ing processes related to production.
Duties may include separating and
weighing the ingredients of a pro­
duct and conducting microbio­
logical and chemical analyses of
these substances. Technicians also
set up samples to test flavor, color,
and textural characteristics of
foods to insure that they will ap­
peal to consumers. Their work
often involves operating and main­
taining laboratory equipment such
as balances, microscopes, test
tubes, and cryoscopes (instruments
that determine the freezing point
of liquids). Technicians frequently

TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS

397

incoming raw materials to insure
suitability for processing and
storage under proper conditions.
Technicians, working closely with
plant managers, recommend meas­
ures to improve production
methods, equipment performance,
and product quality. They also
suggest
changes
in
working
methods and use of equipment to
increase
processing
efficiency.
Some technicians supervise cook­
ing or packaging operations; others
are concerned primarily with sani­
tation in all areas of a food proces­
sing plant. They help identify bac­
terial problems on the line or in the
plant, recommend cleaning and san­
itizing solutions, and direct clean­
ing crews.
Technicians in the food proces­
sing industry frequently work as
manufacturers’ technical salesmen
providing nutritional and cost in­
formation to prospective customers.
Many others work as food buyers
for supermarket chains where their
knowledge of food technology is
used to select the best packaged
and fresh foods for their com­
panies.
Places of Employment
Food processing technicians help create new food items.

write reports on experiments, tests,
and other projects.
In quality assurance laborato­
ries, technicians insure conformity
with established industry and
government standards by testing
both raw ingredients and finished
products bacteriologically, chem­
ically, and physically. They may
test food samples taken from the
production line for bacteria and
other possible forms of contamina­
tion. Technicians may also ex­
amine samples for protein and
vitamin content, as well as for
color, flavor, and texture, to pro­




tect the quality of a product. This
work involves the use of equipment
such as incubators, color compari­
son charts, and pH meters (to deter­
mine the degree of acidity). Tech­
nicians record their findings and
sometimes recommend changes in
processing techniques.
In production, food processing
technicians help supervise proces­
sing of food products. They often
work closely with fieldmen (com­
pany technicians who help farmers
produce the best types of food) to
insure a steady flow of products
from farm to plant. They inspect

About 4,500 food processing
technicians worked in the food pro­
cessing industry in 1972. These
technicians work for all major food
processing firms. Food processing
technicians are found in most
States; however, the largest num­
bers are in those States having the
heaviest concentration of food
processing plants: California, Illi­
nois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio,
New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan,
Iowa, and New York.
Food technicians, in addition to
being employed by food processors,
may work for State and Federal
food inspection agencies, food
brokers, and supermarket chains.

398

(See statement on Health and Reg­
ulatory Inspectors elsewhere in the
Handbook.) Others work in re­
lated fields where their special­
ized training can be utilized—in­
cluding food packaging companies,
food warehousing and transporting
companies, and manufacturers of
food processing equipment.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Men and women who wish to
prepare for careers as food pro­
cessing technicians can obtain the
necessary training from a variety
of educational institutions, or can
qualify for their work on the job.
Most employers, however, prefer to
hire those who have had some form
of specialized training. Formal
training programs are offered in
post-secondary schools, such as
technical institutes, junior and
community colleges, and technical
divisions of four-year universities.
Most
schools
offering
post­
secondary technician training re­
quire a high school diploma for
admittance. Some post-secondary
schools admit students on the basis
of successful work experience in the
food industry and the recom­
mendation of their employer.
Students preparing for careers as
food processing technicians should
take a year each of biology and
chemistry, and two years of math­
ematics (algebra and geometry)
while in high school. Statistics,
English, and social science courses
also are helpful.
Schools specializing in post-high
school technical training offer one,
two, and in very few cases, three
or
four-year
programs.
The
majority are two-year programs
leading to an associate of applied
science degree. Programs usually
include courses in chemistry,
microbiology, mathematics, and




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

specialized study of food proces­
sing, quality control, packaging,
plant and environmental sanitation,
and technical report writing.
Schools also generally offer elec­
tive courses such as accounting,
economics, and English.
Curriculums may vary consider­
ably among the schools offering
programs in food science tech­
nology. Some schools for example,
have programs in food processing
technology geared towards an
individual food processing indus­
try, such as the dairy industry.
Many two-year schools require
work experience in some phase of
the industry between the first
and second year, and others suggest
that their students obtain this kind
of practical
experience.
The
school’s placement bureau often
assists students in finding this
type of employment. Besides pro­
viding practical experience, this
aids students in paying their tuition
expenses and frequently leads to
full-time jobs after graduation.
Technicians also can qualify for
jobs by completing on-the-job
training programs, or through work
experience and formal courses
taken on a part-time basis. Also,
many students from various science
disciplines who have not completed
all the requirements for a
bachelor’s degree are able to
qualify for technician jobs after
obtaining some additional technical
training and experience. Although
there are many ways to qualify
for food processing technician jobs,
post-secondary training is increas­
ingly becoming a prerequisite for
employment.
In the dairy industry, laboratory
technicians must meet licensing re­
quirements in most States. These
requirements vary, but generally
include a written test.
Food processing technicians gen­
erally work as part of a team.

Because the quality of processed
food affects many people, the food
technician must work to exact­
ing standards and be dependable.
They are frequently required
to make oral or written reports
on the results of their work.
Food processing technicians usu­
ally begin work as trainees under
the direct supervision of an ex­
perienced food scientist, and are
systematically assigned to jobs
throughout the plant. Technicians
may begin their careers at a lower
level supervisory capacity and,
depending on training, ability, and
experience, may work up to the
mid-management level. Food tech­
nicians working in laboratories
receive more demanding assign­
ments as they gain experience, and
may advance to other positions
such as salesmen, purchasing
agents or fieldmen.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
food processing technicians are ex­
pected to be favorable through the
mid-1980’s. Many technicians will
be needed because of the moderate
growth expected in the field and
because of the need to replace those
who die, retire, or transfer to other
occupations. The demand will be
strongest for graduates of post­
secondary technical training pro­
grams.
The public’s desire for more con­
venience foods in the home, and the
need for these products by food
service institutions are factors
underlying the expected increase in
demand for food processing tech­
nicians. Also, the complexity of
processes involved in developing
and marketing new food products
will create a need for more tech­
nicians. This need will be especially
critical in quality assurance areas,
as higher quality and safety stand­

TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS

ards are set and as more technical formation about boundaries, land
supervision in processing become features, and other physical char­
necessary. Many smaller processing acteristics of the construction site.
firms, which currently operate with­ Surveyors measure construction
out the aid of technicians, are ex­ sites, help establish official land
pected to require them in the boundaries, assist in setting land
valuations, and collect information
future.
for maps and charts.
Surveyors (sometimes called par­
Earnings
ty chiefs) are in charge of a field
In general, technicians’ earn­ party that determines the precise
ings depend on their education, measurements and locations of ele­
ability, and work experience. Other vations, points, lines, and contours
important factors are the type of on the earth’s surface, and distances
firms for which they work, their between points. Surveyors are di­
specific duties, and the geographic rectly responsible for the field
location of their jobs. Beginning party’s activity and the accuracy
food processing technicians had of their work. They plan the field
average starting salaries of $7,300 work, select survey reference points,
a year in 1972, according to limited and determine the precise location
data. Most technicians can look of natural and man-made features
forward to an increase in earn­ of the survey region. They record
ings as they gain experience and the information disclosed by the
survey, verify the accuracy of the
advance to higher level positions.
survey data, and prepare sketches,
maps, and reports.
Sources of Additional Information
A typical field party is made up
For further information regard­ of the surveyor and three to six
ing careers as food processing tech­ other workers. Instrumentmen ad­
nicians, students should contact just and operate surveying instru­
their school counselors for help in ments such as the theodolite (used
locating technical institutes, junior to measure horizontal and vertical
and community colleges, and uni­ angles), and the altimeter (used to
versities offering programs in food measure altitude). Chainmen use
processing technology. (See Sources a steel tape or surveyor’s chain to
of Additional Information in the measure distances between survey­
statement on Engineering and ing points. Generally chainmen
Science Technicians elsewhere in work in pairs, one holding the head
the Handbook.)
end of the tape to establish the
most advanced measuring point
and the other holding the rear end
of the tape at the last established
point. Chainmen also may mark
measured points with painted stakes.
SURVEYORS
Rodmen use a level rod, range
(D.O.T. 018.188)
pole, or other equipment to assist
instrumentmen in determining ele­
vations, distances, and directions.
Nature of the Work
They hold and move the range pole
Before engineers can plan a high­ according to hand or verbal signals
way or other building projects, they of an instrumentman to help estab­
need complete and accurate in­ lish the exact point of measurement.




399

Rodmen also may clear brush from
the survey line.
Surveyors often specialize in a
particular type of survey. Besides
doing highway surveys, many per­
form land surveys and locate bound­
aries of a particular tract of land.
They then prepare maps and legal
descriptions for deeds, leases, and
other documents. Surveyors doing
topographic surveys determine ele­
vations, depressions, and contours
of an area, and indicate the location
of distinguishing surface features
such as farms, buildings, forests,
roads, and rivers.
Several closely related occupa­
tions are geodesy and photogrammetry. Geodesists measure im­
mense areas of land, sea, or space
by taking into account the earth’s
curvature and its geophysical char­
acteristics. (See statement on Geo­
physicists elsewhere in the Hand­
book.) Photogrammetrists measure
and interpret natural or man-made
features of an area and make topo­
graphic maps by applying analytical
processes and mathematical tech­
niques to photographs obtained
from aerial or ground surveys.
Places of Employment

About 58,000 people worked as
surveyors in 1972; less than 5 per­
cent were women.
Federal, State, and local govern­
ment agencies employ almost onethird of all surveyors. Among the
Federal Government agencies em­
ploying these workers are the U.S.
Geological Survey, the Bureau of
Land Management, the Army
Corps of Engineers, and the Forest
Service. Surveyors in State and
local government agencies work
mainly for highway departments
and urban planning and redevelop­
ment agencies.
A large number of surveyors
work for construction companies

400

and for engineering and architec­
tural consulting firms. A sizable
number either work for or own
firms that conduct surveys for a
fee. Significant numbers of sur­
veyors also work for crude-petroleum
and natural gas companies, and for
public utilities.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A combination of post-secondary
school courses in surveying and
extensive on-the-job training is the
most common method of entering
surveying work. Junior colleges,
technical institutes, and vocational
schools offer 1, 2, and 3-year pro­
grams in surveying. Most surveying
programs admit only high school
graduates, preferably those who
studied algebra, geometry, trigo­
nometry, calculus, drafting, and
mechanical drawing. With some
post-secondary school courses in
surveying, beginners generally start
as instrumentmen. After gaining
experience, they usually advance
to party chief or surveyor. In many
instances, promotions to higher
level positions are based on written
examinations as well as experience.
High school graduates with no
formal training in surveying usually
start as rodmen. After several years
of on-the-job experience and some
formal training in surveying, it is
possible to advance to chainman,
instrumentman, and finally to sur­
veyor.
For those interested in a profes­
sional career in photogrammetry,
a bachelor’s degree in engineering
or the physical sciences is usually
needed.
All 50 States require licensing
or registration of land surveyors
responsible for locating and de­
scribing land boundaries. In some
of these States, applicants for li­
censes need to know other types




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

of surveying in addition to land
surveying. Requirements vary among
the States but in general include a
combination of 4 to 8 years’ experi­
ence in surveying and passing an
examination. Most States reduce
the length of experience needed to
take the licensing examination if
the applicant has taken post­
secondary courses in surveying.
In 1972, about 19,500 land sur­
veyors were registered. In addition,
about 16,000 engineers were regis­
tered to do land surveying, primari­
ly as part of their civil engineering
duties; however, these workers are
considered engineers rather than
surveyors. (See statement on Civil
Engineers elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)
Qualifications for success as a
surveyor include an ability to
visualize objects, distances, sizes,

and other abstract forms and to
make mathematical calculations
quickly and accurately. Leadership
qualities also are important as
surveyors must supervise the work
of others.
Members of a survey party must
be strong and healthy to work out­
doors and carry equipment over
difficult terrain. They also need
good eyesight, coordination, and
hearing to communicate over great
distances by hand signals or voice
calls.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
surveyors are expected to be good
through the mid-1980’s, especially
for those with post-secondary school
training. In addition to the open­
ings resulting from the very rapid

Surveyors work in all types of terrain.

TECHNICIAN OCCUPATIONS

growth expected for the field,
others will be needed to replace
those who die, retire, or transfer
to other fields of work.
The rapid development of urban
areas and increased land values
should create jobs for surveyors to
locate boundaries for property
records. Others will be needed to
lay out streets, shopping centers,
schools, and recreation areas. Con­
struction and improvement of the
Nation’s roads and highways also
will require many new surveyors.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In the Federal Government in
early 1973, high school graduates
with little or no training or experi­
ence started as rodmen or chainmen with an annual salary of
$5,432, and $6,128 for those with
one-year of related post-secondary
training. Those with an associate
degree and courses in surveying
generally started as instrumentmen
with an annual salary of $6,882.




401

Starting salaries for people who
had enough experience and train­
ing to qualify as a party chief or
surveyor ranged from $8,572 to
$9,520 per year. The majority of
party chiefs in the Federal Govern­
ment earned between $8,000 and
$11,000 per year and some sur­
veyors in high level positions earned
more than $14,000 per year.
Although salaries vary by geo­
graphic area, limited data indicate
that salaries in private industry are
generally comparable to those in
Federal service and above the
average earnings of nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming. Surveyors in private prac­
tice averaged $12,000 a year in
small limited practices and much
greater amounts in large diversified
practices.
Surveyors usually work an 8hour, 5-day week. However, they
sometimes work longer hours dur­
ing the summer months when
weather conditions are most suit­
able for surveying. The work of

surveyors is active and sometimes
strenuous. They may stand for long
periods and walk long distances or
climb mountains with heavy packs
of instruments and equipment. Be­
cause most work is out-of-doors,
surveyors may be exposed to all
types of weather. Some duties, such
as planning surveys, preparing re­
ports and computations, and draw­
ing maps usually are done in an
office.

Sources of Additional Information

Information about training and
career opportunities in surveying
is available from:
American Congress on Surveying and
Mapping, Woodward Building, 733
15th St. NW ., Washington, D.C.
20005.

General information on careers
in photogrammetry is available
from:
American Society of Photogrammetry
150 North Virginia Ave., Falls Church,
Va. 22046.




MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN
technicians. Employment in some
occupations, including those of
vending machine mechanic, electric
sign serviceman, and locksmith, was
relatively small.
In addition to the nearly 2.8
million mechanics and repairmen
employed in 1972, about 600,000
people worked in three related
occupations: maintenance electri­
cian, telephone craftsworker, and
watch repairman. Altogether these
3.4 million maintenance and repair
workers represented about 3 out of
every 10 skilled workers.
Nearly three-tenths of the me­
chanics and repairmen worked in
manufacturing industries, and the
majority of these were in plants
that produce durable goods such as
steel, automobiles, and aircraft.
About one-fifth of the mechanics
and repairmen worked in retail
trade—mainly in firms that sell

Mechanics and repairmen—the
workers who keep our automobiles,
airplanes, household appliances, and
other machinery operating proper­
ly—make up one of the fastest
growing groups of skilled workers
in the Nation’s labor force. This
occupational field offers many ca­
reer opportunities to young people
who are mechanically inclined and
are willing to invest a few years
in learning a trade.
Nearly 2.8 million people worked
as mechanics and repairmen in
1972. More than one-third were
automotive mechanics, such as
automobile mechanics, truck or
bus mechanics, and automobile
body repairmen. Some other large
occupations—each employing more
than 100,000 workers—were appli­
ance servicemen, industrial machin­
ery repairmen, aircraft mechanics,
and television and radio service

Employment in Selected M aintenance
and Rep air Occupations

19

W ORKERS 1972 (in hundreds of thousands) '
()

?

2

i

t

Automotive mechanics
Industrial machinery repairmen
Maintenance electricians
Automobile body repairmen
TV and radio service technicians
Appliance servicemen
Air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating mechanics
Aircraft mechanics
Telephone and PBX installers and repairmen
Instrument repairmen
Millwrights
Office machine servicemen
Farm equipment mechanics
Computer service technicians
Vending machine mechanics
Watch repairmen
1 Estimated.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.




l

3

4

5

6

7

and service automobiles, household
appliances, farm implements, and
other mechanical equipment. An­
other one-fifth worked in shops
that service such equipment. Most
of the remaining mechanics and
repairmen worked for transporta­
tion, construction, and public utili­
ties industries, and the government
at all levels.
Mechanics and repairmen work
in every section of the country.
Most employment opportunities,
however, are in the populous and
industrialized States.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Many mechanics and repairmen
learn their skills on the job or
through apprenticeship training.
Some acquire basic training or in­
crease their skills in vocational and
technical schools. Others take cor­
respondence courses. Training and
experience in the Armed Forces
also may help young people prepare
for occupations such as aircraft
mechanic and television and radio
serviceman.
Most employers consider a 3-to-4
year apprenticeship, supplemented
each year by at least 144 hours of
related classroom instruction, as
the best way to learn skilled main­
tenance and repair work. Formal
apprenticeship agreements are reg­
istered with a State apprenticeship
agency or the U.S. Department of
Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship
and Training.
Employers look for applicants
who have mechanical aptitude and
403

404

like to work with their hands. Many
employers prefer people whose hob­
bies or interests include automo­
bile repair, model building, or
radio and television repair. A high
school education often is required,
and employers prefer applicants
who have had courses in mathe­
matics, chemistry, physics, blue­
print reading, and machine shop.
Generally, trainees must be at
least 18 years old.
Physical requirements for work
in this field vary greatly. For exam­
ple, telephone linemen should be
strong and agile, to climb poles,
lift heavy equipment, and work in
awkward positions. On the other




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

hand, instrument and watch repair­
men need patience, finger dexterity,
and good vision.
Many maintenance and repair
workers advance to foreman, main­
tenance, or service manager; others
to sales, technician, or technical
writing jobs. Many open their own
businesses.
Employment Outlook

Employment in maintenance and
repair occupations as a whole is
expected to increase rapidly through
the mid-1980’s. In addition to jobs
created by employment growth,
openings will arise as experienced
workers retire, die, or transfer to

other fields.
Many factors are expected to con­
tribute to the growing need for
mechanics and repairmen, includ­
ing increased demand for house­
hold appliances, automobiles, and
other items, and repair of complex
machinery in industry.
Thischapter includes state­
ments
on many maintenance and
repair occupations. Other mainte­
nance and repair workers are dis­
cussed
in other sections of the
Handbook. For example; aircraft
mechanics are discussed with Air
Transportation Occupations and
millwrights with Industrial Produc­
tion and Related Occupations.

TELEPHONE CRAFT OCCUPATIONS
About one out of every three em­
ployees in the telephone industry
is a craft worker who installs, re­
pairs, and maintains phones, cables,
and related equipment. This chap­
ter discusses the four groups of tele­
phone craft occupations: central
office craft occupations, central
office equipment installers, linemen
and cable splicers, and telephone
servicemen.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Telephone companies give class­
room instruction and on-the-job
training to new central office craft
employees. Trainee jobs are filled
by employees already with the com­
pany, such as telephone operators,
and by workers hired from outside.
Usually, trainees are assigned to
the starting job of frameman, take
basic courses in telephone com­
munications, and gain practical

experience by observing and help­
ing experienced framemen under
the direction of supervisors. With
additional training and experience,
a frameman can advance to central
office repairman or testboardman.
At least 5 years usually are neces­
sary for an inexperienced worker
to advance to the top pay rate in
either of these two jobs.
Young persons who are consider­
ing careers in central office crafts
should have good eyesight—no
color blindness. They also should
be able to work closely with others
because teamwork often is essen­
tial in solving complex maintenance
problems. A basic knowledge of
electricity and electronics and tele­
phone training in the armed services
are helpful. Usually aptitude tests

CENTRAL OFFICE CRAFT
OCCUPATIONS
Nature of Work

Telephone companies employed
about 105,000 craft workers in
1972 to maintain and repair the
complex equipment in their central
offices. Most worked as framemen,
repairmen, and testboardmen.
Framemen
(D.O.T.
822.884)
connect and disconnect wires that
run from telephone lines and cables
to equipment in central offices.
They make these changes when new
phones are installed, existing ones
are removed, or numbers are changed.
Central office repairmen (D.O.T.
822.281), often called switchmen,
maintain the switching equipment
that automatically connects lines
when customers dial numbers. Test­
boardmen (D.O.T. 822.281) work at
special switchboards to locate and
analyze trouble spots reported on
customers’ lines. They also work
with other employees, such as cen­
tral office repairmen and cable
splicers, who help find the cause
of trouble and make repairs.




Central office repair person checks and repairs switching equipment.

405

406

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

are given to prospective employees.
Telephone companies give cen­
tral office craft employees contin­
ued training throughout their ca­
reers to keep them abreast of the
latest developments. As new types
of equipment and tools and new
maintenance methods are intro­
duced, they are sent to schools for
courses of varying duration.
Central office craft workers who
have managerial ability can ad­
vance to supervisory positions.
Employment Outlook

Employment in central office
craft occupations is expected to in­
crease moderately through the mid1980’s, mainly to meet the grow­
ing demand for telephone service
and data communication systems.
In addition to employment growth,




many job openings will arise to re­
place experienced workers who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations. Retirements and deaths
alone may result in several thou­
sand openings each year.

an hour after 4 years. Central
office repairmen and testboardmen
can earn a maximum of $5.88 an
hour after 5 years.
Employees in central offices work
in clean and well-lighted surround­
ings. Since the telephone industry
gives continuous service to its
Earnings and Working Conditions
customers, central offices operate
In early 1972, average hourly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some
rates in large telephone companies central office craft workers, there­
were $4.85 for testboardmen and fore, have work schedules for which
$4.52 for central office repairmen. they receive extra pay. Central of­
The latter figure was nearly one- fice craft workers are covered by
fourth higher than the average for the same provisions governing over­
nonsupervisory workers in all pri­ time pay, vacations, holidays, and
other benefits that apply to tele­
vate industries, except farming.
Earnings increase considerably phone workers generally.
See the statement on the tele­
with length of service. According
to a 1972 union contract in one of phone industry elsewhere in the
the higher pay scale cities, frame- Handbook for sources of addi­
men start at $3.50 an hour and can tional information and for general
on
supplementary
work up to a maximum of $4.91 information
benefits.

CENTRAL OFFICE
EQUIPMENT INSTALLERS
Nature of the Work

Central office equipment instal­
lers set up complex switching and
dialing equipment in central offices
of telephone companies. They as­
semble, wire, adjust, and test this
equipment to meet manufacturer’s
standards for efficiency and de­
pendability. They may install equip­
ment in a new central office, add
equipment in an expanding office,
or replace outmoded equipment.
About 30,000 installers were em­
ployed in 1972. Most work for
manufacturers of central office
equipment. Others work directly
for telephone companies or for pri­
vate contractors who specialize in
large-scale installations.
Many central office equipment

407

TELEPHONE CRAFT OCCUPATIONS

skilled installers. Training, how­
ever, continues even after they be­
come skilled. Additional courses
are given from time to time to im­
prove their skills, and to teach new
techniques in installing telephone
equipment.
Installers who have managerial
ability can advance to supervisory
positions.
Employment Outlook

Central office equipment installer
wires switching equipment.

installers are assigned to areas
that include several States, and
therefore, must travel frequently.
When installing a switchboard in
a small community, an installer
may work with only one or two
other installers. On large jobs,
however, such as a long-distance
toll center in a big city, hundreds
of installers are required.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Individuals considering careers
as central office equipment instal­
lers should have good eyesight—
no color blindness. They should be
able to work with others, for team­
work is often essential to solving
a complex problem. Applicants usu­
ally must pass aptitude tests and a
physical examination.
New employees receive on-thejob training and classroom instruc­
tion. They attend classes the first
few weeks to learn basic installa­
tion methods before starting onthe-job training. After several years
of experience, they may qualify as



Employment of central office
equipment installers is expected to
increase moderately through the
mid-1980’s. In addition to the job
openings that will result from em­
ployment growth, a few hundred
openings will arise each year to
replace experienced installers who
transfer to other work, retire, or die.
Employment will increase be­
cause of the need to install equip­
ment in thousands of new telephone
central offices and to replace ob­
solete equipment.
Employment
may, however, fluctuate from year
to year with changes in business
conditions. When the business out­
look is depressed, there is less like­
lihood that new central offices will
be built and existing offices en­
larged or modernized. When busi­
ness is prospering, installations and
modifications of central offices may
occur at an above-average pace.
Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a major union con­
tract in 1972 starting rates for in­
experienced installers ranged from
$3.25 to $3.75 an hour. The con­
tract provided for periodic in­
creases, and employees could reach
rates of $4.93 to $5.58 an hour after
5 years of experience. Travel and
expense allowance also are provided.
Time and a half is paid for work
over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a
week, and double time is paid for

Sundays and two and one-half
times for holidays. Depending on
locality, installers receive 9 to 11
paid holidays a year. Length of
service determines paid vacations.
The Communications Workers
of America represents most central
office equipment installers, includ­
ing those with the Bell System. The
International Brotherhood of Elec­
trical Workers represents some in­
stallers employed by the New Eng­
land Telephone and Telegraph Com­
pany, by manufacturers supplying
the independent segment of the
telephone industry, and by large
installation contractors.

LINEMEN AND CABLE
SPLICERS
Nature of the Work

The vast network of wires and
cables that connect telephone cen­
tral offices to each other and to
customers’ telephones and switch­
boards is constructed and main­
tained by linemen and cable spli­
cers and their helpers. Telephone
companies employed about 50,000
of these workers in early 1972;
15,000 linemen, 31,000 cable splic­
ers, and 4,000 helpers, laborers,
and other workers.
To construct new telephone lines,
linemen (D.O.T. 822.381) place
wires and cables that lead from the
central office to customers’ prem­
ises. They use power-driven equip­
ment to dig holes and set in tele­
phone poles which support cables.
Linemen climb the poles to attach
the cables, usually leaving the ends
free for cable splicers to connect
later. In cities where telephone lines
are below the streets, linemen place
cables in underground conduits.
Construction linemen usually work
in crews of two or more persons.

408

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A foreman directs the work of sev­
eral crews.
When wires or cables break or
a pole is knocked down, linemen
make emergency repairs. The line
crew foreman keeps in close con­
tact with the central office, which
directs the crew to problem loca­
tions on the lines. Some linemen
periodically inspect sections of lines
in rural areas and make minor
repairs.
After linemen place cables on
poles or underground, cable splicers
(D.O.T. 829.381) generally com­
plete the line connections. Splicers
work on poles, aerial ladders and
platforms, in manholes, or in base­



ments of large buildings. They con­
nect individual wires within the
cable and rearrange wires when
lines have to be changed. At each
splice, they either wrap insulation
around the wires and seal the joint
with a lead sleeve, or cover the splice
with some other type of closure.
Sometimes, they fill the cable sheath­
ing with compressed air to keep out
moisture. 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 interruption in service.
Many trouble spots are located
through air pressure or electric tests.

Telephone companies hire inex­
perienced workers to train for jobs
as linemen or cable splicers. Knowl­
edge of the basic principles of elec­
tricity and telephone training in the
armed services are helpful. Apti­
tude tests usually are given to pros­
pective employees. Some line and
cable work is strenuous, requiring
workers to climb poles and lift lines
and equipment. Applicants must be
physically qualified for such work.
The ability to distinguish color also
is important because wires usually
are coded by color.
Telephone companies have train­
ing programs for linemen and cable
splicers that include classroom in­
struction as well as on-the-job train­
ing. Classrooms are equipped with
actual telephone apparatus, such
as poles, cable supporting clamps,
and other fixtures to simulate work­
ing conditions as closely as possible.
Trainees learn to climb poles and
are taught safe working practices
to avoid falls and contact with pow­
er wires. After a short period of
classroom training, some trainees
are assigned to a crew to work with
experienced linemen and cable splic­
ers under the supervision of a line
foreman.
Linemen and cable splicers con­
tinue to receive training through­
out their careers, to qualify for
more difficult assignments and to
keep up with technological changes.
Those having the necessary quali­
fications find many additional ad­
vancement opportunities in the tele­
phone industry. For example, a
lineman may be transferred to tele­
phone installer and later to tele­
phone repairman or other higher
rated jobs.
Employment Outlook

Employment of cable splicers

409

TELEPHONE CRAFT OCCUPATIONS

is expected to grow moderately
through the mid-1980’s. Although
technological developments such
as the telephone splicing van which
uses the power of the truck engine
to heat and ventilate manholes and
drive power tools and equipment
will improve the efficiency of these
workers, more will have to be hired
to keep pace with the continued
high levels of activity in cable
installation and maintenance. In
addition to the job openings from
employment growth, many open­
ings will arise to replace experi­
enced cable splicers who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations.
Little or no change is expected
in the number of linemen 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 elimi­
nated much of the heavier physical
work of the line crews and have
caused reductions in crew size.
Some job openings will occur, how­
ever, as experienced linemen retire,
die, or transfer to other occupations.

days, and other benefits that apply
to telephone workers generally.
Linemen and cable splicers work
outdoors. They must do consider­
able climbing, and often work in
stooped and cramped positions.
Safety standards, developed over
the years by telephone companies
with the cooperation of labor
unions, have greatly reduced the
hazards of these occupations. When
severe weather damages telephone
lines, linemen and cable splicers
may be called upon to work long
and irregular hours to restore
service. Because of the physical de­
mands of the work, some linemen
and cable splicers, by the time they
reach their mid-fifties, transfer to
other jobs such as telephone instal­
lers and repairmen or central office
craft occupations.
See the statement on the tele­
phone industry elsewhere in the Hand­
book for sources of additional in­
formation and for general informa­
tion on supplementary benefits.

Earnings and Working Conditions

In early 1972, cable splicers
wage rates averaged $4.43 an hour
and linemen’s averaged $3.88. By
comparison, nonsupervisory work­
ers in all private industries, except
farming, averaged $3.55 an hour.
Pay rates for cable splicers and
linemen depend to a considerable
extent upon length of service and
geographic location. For example,
according to a 1972 union contract,
new workers in line construction
jobs in one of the higher pay scale
cities began at $3.50 an hour. Line­
men could reach a maximum of
$5.80 after 5 years of service. The
maximum hourly rate for cable
splicers was $5.88. Linemen and
cable splicers are covered by the
same contract provisions govern­
ing overtime pay, vacations, holi­




TELEPHONE SERVICEMEN
Nature of the Work

Telephone servicemen are the
largest group of telephone craft
workers; nearly 110,000 were em­
ployed in 1972. They install and
service telephones and switchboard
systems such as PBX and CEN­
TREX on the customers’ property
and make necessary repairs on the
equipment 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 serv­
ice, they relocate telephones or
make changes on existing equip­
ment. For example, they may in­

stall a switchboard in an office,
or change a two-party line to a
single-party line in a residence. In­
stallers also may fill a customer’s
request to add an extension in an­
other room, or to replace an old
telephone with a new model. Al­
though some servicemen do a vari­
ety of work, most specialize in one
or two jobs described below.
Telephone installers (D.O.T.
822.381) install and remove tele­
phones in homes and business
places. They connect telephones
to outside service wires and some­
times must climb poles to make
these connections. Telephone in­
stallers are sometimes called sta­
tion installers.
PBX installers (D.O.T. 822.381)
perform the same duties as tele­
phone installers, but they specialize
in more complex telephone system
installations. They connect wires
from terminals to switchboards and
make tests to check their installa­
tions. Some PBX installers also set
up equipment for radio and tele­
vision broadcasts, mobile radiotele­
phones, and data equipment.
Telephone repairmen (D.O.T.
822.281), with the assistance of
testboardmen in the central office,

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

410

locate trouble on customers’ equip­
ment and make repairs to restore
service.
PBX repairmen (D.O.T. 822.281),
with the assistance of testboardmen,
locate trouble on customers’ PBX,
CENTREX or other complex tele­
phone systems and make the neces­
sary repairs. They also maintain
associated equipment such as bat­
teries, relays, and power plants.
Some PBX repairmen maintain
and repair equipment for radio and
television broadcasts, mobile radio­
telephones, and data equipment.

poles, lines and cables, terminal
boxes, and other equipment. They
practice installing telephones and
connecting wires just as they would
in the field. After a few weeks in
the classroom, trainees are assigned
to the field for on-the-job training
by experienced workers.
Telephone service workers con­
tinue to receive training through­
out their careers, to qualify for
more responsible assignments and
to keep up with technical changes.
Those who have managerial ability
can advance to supervisory jobs.
Employment Outlook

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Telephone companies give new
service workers classroom instruc­
tion and on-the-job training. They
train inexperienced people as well
as their own employees, such as
telephone operators for telephone
installation and repair jobs. Appli­
cants need good eyesight—no color
blindness. Tests are given to help
determine the applicant’s aptitude
for the work. Companies train ex­
perienced employees, such as tele­
phone installers and repairmen and
cable splicers, for PBX installa­
tion and repair work.
Classroom training usually is de­
signed to simulate actual working
conditions. For example, telephone
installer trainees are instructed in
classrooms equipped with telephone




Employment of telephone ser­
vicemen is expected to increase
moderately through the mid-1980’s.
In addition to the jobs that will
result from employment growth,
many openings will arise to replace
workers who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations. Some of
these openings may be Filled by
workers from other telephone jobs,
such as operators, service repre­
sentatives, linemen, or cable splic­
ers, but many will be available to
new employees.
Employment will increase due to
the growing demand for telephones,
and PBX and CENTREX systems.
However, technological changes
that have increased the efficiency
of servicemen will limit the employ­
ment increase. Examples of such
changes include improved designs

for telephone instruments, wires,
and cables and the development of
removable components which can
be returned to the factory or service
shop for repair.

Earnings and Working Conditions

In early 1972, the average hourly
rate for PBX repairmen was $4.66
and the average for telephone and
PBX installers was $4.36. In com­
parison, nonsupervisory workers in
all private industries, except farm­
ing, had average earnings of $3.55
an hour.
Earnings increase considerably
with length of service. According
to a 1972 union contract in one of
the higher pay scale cities, tele­
phone servicemen have a starting
rate of $3.50 an hour, with periodic
pay increases until a maximum of
$5.80 an hour is reached after 5
years. Servicemen are covered by
the same provisions governing over­
time pay, vacations, holidays, and
other benefits that apply to tele­
phone workers generally.
Telephone servicemen work in­
doors and outdoors in all kinds of
weather. They may work extra hours
when breakdowns occur in lines or
equipment.
(See the statement on the tele­
phone industry elsewhere in the
Handbook for sources of additional
information and for general infor­
mation on supplementary benefits.)

OTHER M ECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN
AIR-CONDITIONING,
REFRIGERATION, AND
HEATING MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 637.281 and .381, 862.281
and .381, and 869.281)

Nature of the Work

Air-conditioning, refrigeration,
and heating mechanics work on
cooling and heating equipment used
in homes, offices, schools, and
other buildings. Major occupations
in these fields are those of airconditioning and refrigeration me­
chanic, furnace installer, oil burner
mechanic, and gas burner me­
chanic. Many workers are skilled
in more than one of these trades.
Air-conditioning and refrigeration
mechanics (D.O.T. 637.281 and
.381) install and repair equipment
ranging in size from small window
units to large central air-conditioning
or refrigeration systems. When in­
stalling new equipment, they put
the motors, compressors, evapora­
tors, and other components in
place, following blueprints and de­
sign specifications. They connect
duct work, refrigerant lines, and
other piping and then connect the
equipment to an electrical power
source. After completing the in­
stallation, they charge the system
with refrigerant and check it for
proper operation.
When air-conditioning and refrig­
eration equipment breaks down,
mechanics diagnose the cause and
make necessary repairs. When
looking for defects they inspect
components such as relays and
thermostats.




Furnace installers (D.O.T. 862.381
and 869.281), also called heating
equipment installers, follow blue­
prints or other specifications to
install oil, gas, and electric heating
units. After setting the heating unit
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.
862.281) keep oil-fueled heating
systems in good operating condi­
tion. During the fall and winter,

they service and adjust oil burners.
Mechanics determine the reason a
burner is not operating properly
by checking the thermostat, burner
nozzles, controls, and other parts.
Mechanics carry replacement parts
in their trucks to make repairs in
the customer’s home or place of
business. However, if major repairs
are necessary, they usually com­
plete the repairs in the shop. Dur­
ing the summer, mechanics service
heating units, replace oil and air
filters, and vacuum-clean vents,
ducts, and other parts of the heat­
ing system that accumulate soot
and ash.
Gas burner mechanics (D.O.T.
637.281), also called gas appliance
servicemen, have duties similar to
those of oil burner mechanics. They
diagnose malfunctions in gas-fueled

Refrigeration mechanic attempts to locate leak with gages and meters.
411

412

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

heating systems and make neces­
sary repairs and adjustments. They
also repair cooking stoves, clothes
dryers, and hot water heaters.
During the summer, mechanics em­
ployed by gas utility companies
may inspect and repair gas meters.
Air-conditioning, refrigeration,
and heating mechanics use a va­
riety of tools, including hammers,
wrenches, metal snips, electric
drills, pipe cutters and benders,
and acetylene torches. They also
use volt meters, electronic circuit
testers, and other testing devices.
Cooling and heating systems
sometimes are installed or repaired
by other craftsmen. For example,
on a large air-conditioning installa­
tion job, especially where workers
are covered by union contracts,
duct work might be done by sheetmetal workers; electrical work by
electricians; and installation of pip­
ing, condensers, and other com­
ponents by pipefitters. Appliance
servicemen often install and repair
window air conditioners. Addi­
tional information about these oc­
cupations appears elsewhere in the
Handbook.
Places of Employment

An estimated 135,000 air-condition­
ing, refrigeration, and heating me­
chanics were employed in 1972. These
workers were employed primarily
by cooling and heating dealers and
contractors. Fuel oil dealers em­
ploy most oil burner mechanics,
and gas utility companies employ
most gas burner mechanics.
Air-conditioning and refrigera­
tion mechanics and furnace in­
stallers work in all parts of the
country. Generally, the geographic
distribution of these workers is
similar to that of our population.
Oil burner mechanics are concen­
trated in States where oil is a major
heating fuel. More than half of



these workers are employed in New
York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois.
Similarly, gas burner mechanics
are concentrated in States where
gas is a major heating fuel. More
than half of these workers are
employed in California, Texas,
Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsyl­
vania, and New York

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most air-conditioning, refrigera­
tion, and heating mechanics start
as helpers and acquire their skills
by working for several years with
experienced mechanics. Beginners
perform simple tasks, such as in­
sulating refrigerant lines or clean­
ing furnaces. As helpers gain
experience, they are given progres­
sively more complicated tasks, such
as installing pumps and burners
and checking circuits.
Employers prefer high school
graduates who have had courses
in mathematics, physics, and blue­
print reading. Mechanical aptitude
and an interest in electricity also
are important qualifications. Good
physical condition helps in lifting
and moving heavy equipment.
Many high school and voca­
tional schools cooperate with local
employers and organizations such
as the Air-Conditioning and Refrig­
eration Institute and the National
Oil Fuel Institute in offering basic
mechanics courses. These courses
may last from 2 to 3 years and
consist of on-the-job training and
classroom instruction. In 1972, un­
employed and underemployed work­
ers were trained in programs lasting
up to a year in many cities under
the Manpower Development and
Training Act. Additional on-thejob training and experience is
needed to qualify these students
as skilled mechanics.

Employment Outlook

Employment of air-conditioning,
refrigeration, and heating mechanics
is expected to increase very rapidly
through the mid-1980’s. In addition
to jobs resulting from employment
growth, many job openings will
occur because of the need to replace
experienced mechanics who transfer
to other fields of work, retire, or die.
Most new openings will be for
air-conditioning and refrigeration
mechanics. Increases in household
formations and rising personal in­
comes should result in a very rapid
increase in the number of airconditioned homes. Air-conditioning
in offices, stores, hospitals, schools,
and other buildings also is expected
to increase. In addition, more
refrigeration equipment will be
neded in the production, storage,
and marketing of food and other
perishables.
Employment of furnace installers
and gas burner mechanics is ex­
pected to follow the rapid growth
trends in the construction of homes
and businesses. Employment of oil
burner mechanics, on the other
hand, is expected to remain fairly
stable, since relatively few new
homes are being built with oil
heating systems.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly rates for skilled airconditioning, refrigeration, and
heating mechanics ranged from
about $4 to $8.50 in 1972, according
to the limited information available.
Skilled mechanics generally earned
between two and three times as
much as did inexperienced helpers.
Mechanics who worked on both
air-conditioning and heating equip­
ment frequently had higher rates
of pay than those who worked on
only one type of equipment.
Most mechanics work a 40-hour

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

week. However, during seasonal
peaks they often work overtime or
irregular hours. Air-conditioning
and refrigeration mechanics are
busiest during spring and summer,
and heating mechanics are busiest
during fall and winter. Most em­
ployers try to provide a full work­
week the year round, but they may
temporarily reduce hours or lay
off some mechanics when seasonal
peaks end. However, employment
in most shops that service both airconditioning and heating equip­
ment is fairly stable throughout
the year.
Mechanics sometimes are re­
quired to work at great heights
when installing new equipment.
They also may work in awkward
or cramped positions. Hazards in
this trade include electrical shock,
torch burns, muscle strains, and
other injuries that may result
from handling heavy equipment.
Sources of Additional Information

For more information about em­
ployment opportunities, contact the
local office of the State employ­
ment service or firms that employ
air-conditioning, refrigeration, and
heating mechanics. The State em­
ployment service also may have
information about opportunities
available under the Manpower De­
velopment and Training Act, ap­
prenticeship and other training pro­
grams.
Information about advanced train­
ing in air-conditioning and refrig­
eration may be obtained from the
Refrigeration Service Engineers
Society, 2720 DePlaines Ave., DePlaines, 1 1. 60018.
1
Information about training in oil
heating systems may be obtained
from the Education Department,
National Oil Fuel Institute, 60 East
42nd St., New York, N.Y. 10017.
General information about gas




413

burner mechanics may be obtained
from the American Gas Associa­
tion, Inc., 605 Third Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10016.

APPLIANCE SERVICEMEN
(D.O.T. 637.281, 723.381, and
827.281)
Nature of the Work

Appliance servicemen repair all
kinds of household appliances—
toasters, irons, refrigerators, and
ranges, to name but a few. They
often specialize in servicing either
electric or gas appliances, and may
specialize in particular items such
as clothes washers and dryers or
refrigerators and freezers. They
also may install appliances, but in­
stallations often are done by other
workers.
To determine why an appliance
is not operating properly, service­
men may ask the customer how it
performed when last used. They
may operate the appliance to detect
unusual noises, overheating, or ex­
cess vibration. Servicemen also look
for common sources of trouble such
as faulty electrical connections. To
check electric and gas systems, they
use special tools and testing devices,
including ammeters, voltmeters, and
pressure gauges. A knowledge of
electronics is necessary for many
repair jobs.
After locating the trouble, they
make the necessary repairs or re­
placements. To remove old parts
and install new ones, servicemen
use common handtools, including
screwdrivers and pliers, and special
tools designed for particular ap­
pliances.
Most refrigerators and other
large appliances are repaired in
customers’ homes. If major repairs

are necessary, however, the appli­
ance may have to be taken to a
repair shop. Servicemen answer cus­
tomers’ questions and complaints
about appliances and frequently
advise customers about their care
and use. For example, they may
demonstrate to housewives the prop­
er loading of automatic washing
machines or how to arrange dishes
in dishwashers.
Appliance servicemen may give
estimates to customers on the cost
of repairs and keep records of parts
used and hours worked on each job.
Places of Employment

About 130,000 people worked
as appliance servicemen and instal­
lers in 1972, mostly in appliance
stores and repair shops. Others
worked for service centers operated
by appliance manufacturers, whole­
salers, and gas and electric utility
companies.

Appliance serviceman repairs motor
of automatic washer.

414

Appliance servicemen are em­
ployed in almost every community,
but are concentrated in the more
highly populated States and metro­
politan areas.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most appliance servicemen start
as helpers and acquire their skills
through on-the-job training. In some
companies they spend a few months
helping to install appliances in
homes. In other companies they
begin learning basic skills by work­
ing in the shop where they rebuild
used parts such as washing machine
transmissions. Trainees gradually
learn how motors, gears, and other
parts work. They progress from
simple repair jobs, such as replac­
ing a switch, to more difficult jobs
such as adjusting washer controls.
Trainees as well as experienced
servicemen receive supplemental
classroom instruction given periodi­
cally by appliance manufacturers
and local distributors.
Appliance servicemen need up
to 3 years’ on-the-job experience
to become fully qualified. Formal
training in appliance repair and
related subjects is available from
some technical schools and commu­
nity colleges. A trainee with this
type of background can become a
qualified serviceman more quickly.
Experienced servicemen continue
to attend training classes periodi­
cally, and study service manuals
to become familiar with new appli­
ances and the proper ways to repair
them.
Programs to train unemployed
and underemployed workers for
entry jobs in the appliance service
field were operating in many cities
in 1972, under the Manpower De­
velopment and Training Act and
the JOBS (Job Opportunities in the
Business Sector) Program. These



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

programs last from several weeks to
a year. With additional training
and experience, graduates of these
programs can become skilled serv­
icemen.
Employers prefer applicants who
have good mechanical aptitude and
are high school or trade school
graduates who have had courses
in electricity, mathematics, and
science. Some employers cooperate
with local high schools and trade
schools to provide students with
an opportunity to gain practical
experience by working part time
in appliance repair shops while
attending school.
Appliance servicemen who work
in large repair shops or service cen­
ters may be promoted to foreman,
assistant service manager, or serv­
ice manager. Preference is given to
those who show ability to get along
with co-workers and customers. Ex­
perienced servicemen who have suf­
ficient funds may open their own
appliance stores or repair shops.
Some servicemen become instruc­
tors who teach others to repair new
models of appliances, or technical
writers, who prepare service man­
uals. A few may advance to mana­
gerial positions such as regional
service or parts manager.
Employment Outlook

Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly earnings of appliance
servicemen ranged from $3.25 to
$6.50 in 1972, based on the limited
data available. Starting rates for
inexperienced trainees ranged from
$2.25 to $3 an hour. The wide varia­
tions in wages reflect differences
in skill level, type of employer,
geographical location, and type of
equipment serviced.
Many appliance servicemen work
more than 8 hours a day and re­
ceive higher rates of pay for over­
time. Most appliance servicemen
receive paid vacations, sick leave,
health insurance, and other fringe
benefits.
Appliance repair shops are gener­
ally quiet, well lighted, and ade­
quately ventilated. Working con­
ditions outside the shop vary
considerably. For example, service­
men sometimes work in narrow spaces
and uncomfortable positions amidst
dirt and dust. Servicemen who re­
pair appliances in homes may spend
several hours a day driving.
Appliance repair work generally
is safe, although accidents are
possible while the serviceman is
handling electrical parts or lifting
and moving large appliances. In­
experienced workers are shown how
to use tools safely and how to avoid
electric shock.
Appliance servicemen usually
work with little or no direct super­
vision. This feature of the job ap­
peals to many people.

Employment of appliance serv­
icemen is expected to grow rapidly
through the mid-1980’s. In addition
to the jobs created by growth of
this occupation, thousands of open­
ings will arise each year to replace
Sources of Additional Information
experienced servicemen who retire,
For further information about
die or transfer to other occupations.
The demand for appliances is jobs in the appliance service field
expected to increase very rapidly contact local appliance repair shops,
as a result of increases in popula­ appliance dealers and utility com­
tion and income. Demand also will panies, or the local office of the
be stimulated by the introduction State employment service. Local
of new appliances and by improve­ offices of State employment serv­
ments that make existing appliances ices may provide information about
more attractive or more convenient. the Manpower Development and

415

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Training Act and other programs
that provide training opportunities.
Local vocational schools that offer
courses in appliance servicing,
electricity, and electronics can also
provide helpful information about
training.
Information about training pro­
grams or work opportunities also
is available from:
Association of Home Appliance Manu­
facturers, 20 North Wacker Drive,
Chicago, 111. 60606.
National Appliance and Radio-TV
Dealers Association, 318 W. Randolph
St., Chicago, 111. 60606.
Gas Appliance Manufacturers
ciation, 1901 North Fort
Drive, Arlington, Va. 22209.

Asso­
Myer

AUTOMOBILE BODY
REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 807.381)
Nature of the Work

Automobile body repairmen are
skilled craftsmen who repair dam­
aged motor vehicles by straighten­
ing bent frames, removing dents,
welding torn metal, and replacing
ruined parts. Body repairmen usu­
ally can repair all types of vehicles,
but most work mainly on auto­
mobiles and small trucks. Some
specialize in large trucks, buses,
or truck trailers.
Before making repairs, body re­
pairmen generally receive instruc­
tions from their supervisors, who
determine which parts are to be
restored or replaced, and estimate
how much time the repairs should
take.
Automobile body repairmen use
special machines to align damaged
frames and body sections. They
chain or clamp the machine to the
damaged metal and apply hydraulic
pressure to straighten it. They also




may use special devices to align
vehicles that have unit-bodies in­
stead of frames. Some repairmen
specialize in straightening frames
and unit-bodies. Body repairmen
remove badly damaged sections of
body panels with a pneumatic met­
alcutting gun or acetylene torch,
and weld in new sections. They
push large dents out with a hy­
draulic jack or hand prying bar, or
knock them out with a hand tool
or pneumatic hammer. They smooth
small dents and creases by holding
a small anvil against one side of
the damaged area while hammer­
ing the opposite side. Very small
pits and dimples are removed with
pick hammers and punches.
Body repairmen use plastic or
solder to fill small dents that can­
not be worked out of the metal.
The hardened filler is filed or
ground to a smooth finish.

After being restored to its orig­
inal shape, the repaired surface is
sanded for painting. In most shops,
automobile painters do the paint­
ing. (These workers are discussed
elsewhere in the Handbook.) Some
smaller shops employ workers who
are combination body repairmen
and painters.
Body repair work has variety—
each damaged vehicle presents a
different problem. Therefore, in
addition to having a broad knowl­
edge of automobile construction
and repair techniques, repairmen
must develop appropriate methods
for each job. Most of these skilled
craftsmen find their work chal­
lenging and take pride in being able
to restore automobiles.
Body repairmen usually work by
themselves with only general direc­
tions from foremen. In some shops,
they may be assisted by helpers.

416

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Places of Employment

year, stress the fundamentals of
automobile body repair. Graduates
About 160,000 persons worked
need additional on-the-job or ap­
as automobile body repairmen in
prenticeship training to qualify as
1972. Most worked for shops that
skilled body repairmen.
specialized in body repairs and
Young persons who want to learn
painting, and for automobile and
this trade should be in good physi­
truck dealers. Other employers in­
cal condition and have good eyecluded organizations that maintain
hand coordination. Courses in
their own motor vehicles, such as
automobile body repair, offered
trucking companies and buslines.
by high schools, vocational schools,
Motor vehicle manufacturers em­
and private trade schools, provide
ployed a small number of these
helpful experience, as do courses
workers.
in automobile mechanics. Although
Automobile body repairmen can
completion of high school general­
find work in every section of the
ly is not a requirement, many em­
country. Geographically, jobs are
ployers believe graduation indicates
distributed about the same as
that a young person can “ finish a
population.
job.”
Automobile body repairmen must
buy handtools, but employers usu­
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
ally furnish power tools. Trainees
Most automobile body repair­ are expected to accumulate tools
men learn the trade on the job. as they gain experience. Many
Young persons usually start as repairmen have a few hundred
helpers and pick up skills from ex­ dollars invested in tools.
An experienced automobile body
perienced workers. Helpers begin
repairman with supervisory ability
by assisting body repairmen in
tasks such as removing damaged may advance to shop foreman.
parts and installing repaired sur­ Many open their own shops.
faces in preparation for painting.
Employment Outlook
They gradually learn to remove
small dents and make other minor
Employment of automobile body
repairs, and progress to more dif­ repairmen is expected to increase
ficult tasks. Generally, 3 to 4 years moderately through the mid-1980’s.
of on-the-job training are needed In addition, more than a thousand
to become a fully qualified body openings are expected each year
repairman. Most training authori­ from the need to replace experi­
ties recommend a 3- or 4-year enced repairmen who retire or die.
formal apprenticeship program as Job openings also will occur as
the best way to learn the trade, some transfer to other occupations.
but relatively few of these programs
Employment is expected to in­
are available. Apprenticeship in­ crease as a result of the rising
cludes both on-the-job and class­ number of motor vehicles damaged
room instruction.
in traffic. Accident losses are ex­
In 1972, body repair training pected to increase as the number
programs to prepare unemployed of motor vehicles grows, even
and underemployed workers for though better highways, driver
entry jobs were in operation in training courses, and improved
many cities under the Manpower bumpers and safety features on
Development and Training Act. new vehicles may slow the rate of
These programs, which last up to a increase.



Earnings and Working Conditions

Body repairmen employed by
automobile dealers in 34 large cities
had estimated average hourly earn­
ings of $6.52 in 1972, about threefourths more than the average for
all nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
Skilled body repairmen usually
earn between two and three times
as much as inexperienced helpers
and trainees.
Many body repairmen employed
by automobile dealers and repair
shops are paid a commission, usu­
ally about half of the labor cost
charged to the customer. Under
this method, earnings depend on
the amount of work assigned to the
repairman and how fast he com­
pletes it. Employers frequently
guarantee their commissioned re­
pairmen a minimum weekly salary.
Helpers and trainees usually re­
ceive an hourly rate until they are
skilled enough to work on commis­
sion. Body repairmen employed
by trucking companies, buslines,
and other organizations that main­
tain their own vehicles usually are
paid by the hour. Most body re­
pairmen work 40 to 48 hours a
week.
Many employers of body repair­
men provide holiday and vacation
pay, and additional benefits such
as life, health, and accident insur­
ance. Some also contribute to re­
tirement plans. Some shops furnish
laundered uniforms.
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 are
dusty and have the odor of paint.
Body repairmen often work in
awkward or cramped positions, and
most of their work is strenuous and
dirty. Hazards include cuts from
sharp metal edges, burns from
torches and heated metal, and in­

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

juries from power tools.
Many automobile body repair­
men are members of unions, in­
cluding the International Associa­
tion of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers
of America; the Sheet Metal
Workers’ International Associa­
tion; and the International Brother­
hood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs,
Warehousemen and Helpers of
America (Ind.). Most body repair­
men who are union members work
for large automobile dealers, truck­
ing companies, and buslines.
Sources of Additional information

More details about work oppor­
tunities may be obtained from local
employers, such as automobile body
repair shops and automobile deal­
ers; 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
the Manpower Development and
Training Act, apprenticeship, and
other programs that provide train­
ing opportunities.
General information about the
work of automobile body repair­
men may be obtained from:
Automotive Service Industry Associa­
tion, 230 North Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, 111. 60601.
Automotive Service Councils of America,
Inc., 4001 Warren Blvd., Hillside, 111.
60162.




417

AUTOMOBILE
M ECHANICS
(D.O.T. 620.131 through .381, .782,
and .885; 721.281 and 825.281)
Nature of the Work

.Automobile mechanics keep the
Nation’s automobiles in good
operating condition. They perform
preventive maintenance, diagnose
breakdowns, and make repairs.
(Although truck mechanics, bus
mechanics, and automobile body
repairmen are sometimes called
“automobile mechanics,’’ they are
discussed separately in the Hand­
book.)
Preventive maintenance is the
periodic examination, and adjust­
ment, repair, or replacement of
parts. This important responsibil­
ity of the mechanic is vital to safe
and trouble-free driving. In preven­
tive maintenance, mechanics may
follow a checklist to be sure they
examine all important parts. They
may, for example, examine and de­
cide whether to replace worn parts,
such as distributor points; clean,
adjust, or replace spark plugs; ad­
just the carburetor; and balance the
wheels.
When mechanical or electrical
troubles occur, mechanics first get
a description of the symptoms from
the owner. If the cause of the
trouble is hard to find, they may
use testing equipment, such as
motor analyzers, spark plug testers,
compression gauges. The ability to
make a quick and accurate diagno­
sis is one of the mechanic’s most
valuable skills and requires ana­
lytical ability as well as a thorough
knowledge of a car’s operations.
Many mechanics consider diagno­
sing “hard to find’’ troubles one
of their most challenging and satis­
fying duties.
After locating the problem,
mechanics make needed adjust­

ments and repairs, such as grinding
valves or cleaning the carburetor.
If a mechanic cannot fix a part, he
replaces it.
In addition to testing equipment,
automobile mechanics use many
other kinds of tools ranging from
simple handtools (screwdrivers,
wrenches, pliers), to complicated
equipment, such as wheel alinement machines and headlight
aimers. Mechanics also consult re­
pair manuals and parts catalogs,
since various makes of automobiles
require different parts and adjust­
ments.
Most automobile mechanics per­
form a variety of repairs; others
specialize. The types of work done
by some mechanic specialists are
described briefly:
A utomatic transmission special­
ists work on gear trains, couplings,
hydraulic pumps, and other parts of
automatic transmissions. These are
complex mechanisms; their repair
requires considerable experience
and training, including a knowledge
of hydraulics. Tune-up men ad­
just the ignition timing and valves,
and adjust or replace spark plugs,
distributor points, and other parts
to insure efficient engine perform­
ance. They often use scientific test
equipment to locate malfunctions
in fuel and ignition systems. Auto­
mobile air-conditioning specialists
install air-conditioners and service
components such as compressors
and condensers. Front-end mechan­
ics align and balance wheels and
repair steering mechanisms and
suspension systems. They fre­
quently use special alignment
equipment and wheel-balancing
machines. Brake mechanics ad­
just brakes, replace brake linings,
repair hydraulic cylinders, and
make other repairs on brake sys­
tems. Those employed in repair
shops that specialize in brake
service also may replace shock ab­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

418

sorbers, springs, and mufflers. In
some shops, combination front-end
and brake mechanics are employed.
Automobile-radiator mechanics
clean radiators with caustic solu­
tions, locate and solder leaks, and
install new radiator cores. They
also may repair heaters and airconditioners, and solder leaks in
gasoline tanks. Automobile-glass
mechanics replace broken wind­
shield and window glass and repair
window operating mechanisms.
They install pre-formed glass to
replace curved windows, and they
use window patterns and glass cut­
ting tools to cut replacement glass
from flat sheets.
Places of Employment

About 700,000 persons worked
as automobile mechanics in 1972.
Most worked for automobile deal­
ers, automobile repair shops, and




gasoline service stations. Many
others were employed by Federal,
State, and local governments, taxi­
cab and automobile leasing com­
panies, and other organizations
that repair their own automobiles.
Some mechanics also were em­
ployed by automobile manufac­
turers to make Final adjust­
ments and repairs at the end of
the assembly line. A small number
of mechanics worked for depart­
ment stores that have automobile
service facilities.
Most
automobile
mechanics
work in shops that employ from
one to five mechanics, but some
of the largest shops employ more
than a hundred. Generally, auto­
mobile dealer shops are larger than
independent repair shops.
Automobile mechanics work in
every section of the country. Geo­
graphically, employment is dis­
tributed about the same as popu­
lation.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most
automobile
mechanics
learn the trade on the job. Young
persons usually start as helpers,
lubrication men, or gasoline service
station attendants, and gradually
acquire skills by working with ex­
perienced mechanics. Although a
beginner can make simple repairs
after a few months’ experience, 3
to 4 years are required to become
an all-round mechanic, and an
additional year or two to learn a
difficult specialty, such as auto­
matic transmission repair. In con­
trast, 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 recom­
mend a 3- or 4-year formal appren­
ticeship program as the best way to

become an all-round mechanic.
These programs include both onthe-job training and classroom in­
struction in nearly all phases of
automobile repair.
For entry jobs, employers look
for young persons with mechanical
aptitude and a knowledge of auto­
mobiles. Generally, a driver’s
license is required. Practical ex­
perience in automobile repair
gained from working as a gasoline
service station attendant, training
in the Armed Forces, or working
on cars as a hobby is valuable.
Completion of high school is an ad­
vantage in obtaining an entry job,
because to most employers it indi­
cates that a young person can finish
a job and has potential for advance­
ment. Courses in automobile repair
offered by many high schools, voca­
tional schools, and private trade
schools are helpful. Courses in
science and mathematics help a
person better understand how an
automobile operates.
Training programs for unem­
ployed and underemployed workers
seeking entry jobs as automobile
mechanics are in operation in a
large number of cities under the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act. These programs, which
last up to a year, stress basic
maintenance and repair work. Per­
sons who complete this training
are able to make simple repairs,
but they need additional on-thejob or apprenticeship training to
qualify as skilled mechanics.
Most mechanics must buy their
handtools. Beginners are expected
to accumulate tools as they gain
experience.
Many
experienced
mechanics have several hundred
dollars invested in tools. Employers
furnish power tools, engine analyz­
ers, and other test equipment.
Employers sometimes send ex­
perienced mechanics to factory
training centers to learn to repair

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

new car models or receive special creased mechanic specialization
training in subjects such as auto­ and the growing use of test equip­
matic
transmission
or
air- ment (such as dynamometers and
conditioning
repair.
Manufac­ engine analyzers) should reduce the
turers also send representatives time needed to diagnose malfunc­
to local shops to conduct short tions and check the quality of re­
training sessions. A relatively pairs.
small number of young high
school graduates are selected by
automobile dealers to attend Earnings and Working Conditions
factory-sponsored mechanic train­
Skilled automobile mechanics
ing programs.
employed by automobile dealers in
Experienced mechanics in a 34 cities had estimated average
large shop may advance to super­ hourly earnings of $6.15 in 1972,
visory positions, such as repair about two-thirds more than the
shop foreman or service manager. average for all nonsupervisory
Mechanics who like to work workers in private industry, except
with customers may transfer to farming. Skilled mechanics usually
service
advisors jobs.
Many earn between two and three times
mechanics open their own repair as much as inexperienced helpers
shops or gasoline service stations.
and trainees.
Many experienced mechanics
employed by automobile dealers
Employment Outlook
and independent repair shops are
Employment
of
automobile paid a commission, usually about
mechanics is expected to increase half the labor cost charged to the
moderately through the mid-1980’s. customer. Under this method,
In addition to the job openings weekly earnings depend on the
from employment growth, several amount of work assigned and com­
thousand openings are expected pleted by the mechanic. Employers
each year from the need to replace frequently guarantee commissioned
experienced mechanics who retire mechanics a minimum weekly salary.
or die. Job openings also will occur Helpers and trainees usually are
as some mechanics transfer to other paid an hourly rate until they are
sufficiently skilled to work on com­
occupations.
Employment is expected to in­ mission. Some mechanics receive an
crease because expansion of the hourly rate.
Most mechanics work between
driving age population, consumer
purchasing power, and multicar 40 and 48 hours a week but many
ownership will increase the number work even longer during busy
of automobiles. Employment also periods. Mechanics paid by the
is expected to grow because a hour frequently receive overtime
greater number of automobiles will rates for hours over 40 a week.
Many employers provide holiday
be equipped with pollution control
devices, air-conditioning, and other and vacation pay, and additional
features that increase maintenance benefits such as life, health, and
accident insurance. Some also con­
requirements.
Primarily because of greater ef­ tribute to retirement plans. Laun­
ficiency in the shop, employment dered uniforms are furnished free
of mechanics is not expected to of charge by some employers.
Generally, a mechanic works in­
grow as rapidly as the number of
automobiles. For example, in­ doors. Modern automobile repair



419

shops are well ventilated, lighted,
and heated, but older shops may
not have these advantages.
Mechanics frequently work with
dirty and greasy parts, and in awk­
ward positions. Sometimes they
must lift heavy objects. Minor cuts
and bruises are common, but
serious accidents usually are
avoided by observing safety prac­
tices.
Some mechanics are members of
labor unions. Among the unions
organizing these workers are the
International Association of Ma­
chinists and Aerospace Workers; the
International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural
Implement Workers of
America;
the
Sheet
Metal
Workers’ International Associ­
ation; and the International Broth­
erhood of Teamsters, Chauffers,
Warehousemen and Helpers of
America (Ind.).
Sources of Additional Information

For more details about work
opportunities, contact local em­
ployers such as automobile dealers
and repair shops; locals of the
unions previously mentioned; or the
local office of the State employment
service. The State employment serv­
ice also may have information
bout the Manpower Development
and Training Act, apprenticeship,
and other programs that provide
training opportunities.
General information about the
work of automobile mechanics may
be obtained from:
Automotive Service Industry Associa­
tion, 230 North Michigan Ave., Chi­
cago, 111. 60601.
Automotive Service Councils of America,
Inc., 4001 Warren Blvd., Hillside, 111.
60162.
National Automobile Dealers Associ­
ation, 2000 K St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20006.

420

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

BOAT MOTOR
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 623.281 and 625.281)
Nature of the Work

Boat motors have many things
in common with automobile motors,
including unannounced breakdowns.
A reliable motor is particularly
essential in boating. Breakdowns
far from shore can leave a boatman
stranded for hours—a frustrating
and potentially dangerous predica­
ment if the weather turns bad.
To minimize the possibility of
breakdowns, motor manufacturers
recommend periodic inspections by
qualified mechanics to have motors
examined and repaired and worn
or defective parts replaced. For
example, they may replace ignition
points, adjust valves, and clean the
carburetor. After completing these
tasks, they run the motor to check
for other needed adjustments. Rou­
tine maintenance jobs normally
make up most of the mechanic’s
work load.
When breakdowns occur, me­
chanics diagnose the cause and
make the necessary repairs. A quick
and accurate diagnosis—one of the
mechanic’s most valuable skills—
requires analytical ability as well
as thorough knowledge of the
motor’s operation. Some jobs re­
quire only the replacement of a
single item, such as fuel pump, and
may be completed in less than an
hour. In contrast, tearing down and
reassembling a motor to replace
worn valves, bearings, or piston
rings may take a day or more.
Mechanics may specialize in
either outboard or inboard motors,
although many repair both. Most
small boats have portable gasolinefueled outboard motors. Inboards
are located inside the boat (much
like the engine in a car) and are
primarily in larger craft, such as



cabin cruisers and commercial fish­
ing boats. Large inboard engines
and automobile and truck engines
are similar in design and operation.
Some inboards burn diesel fuel
rather than gasoline.
In large shops, mechanics usu­
ally work only on motors and other
running gear. In small shops, how­
ever, they may patch and paint
hulls, and repair steering mechan­
isms, lights, and other boat equip­
ment. In addition, they may repair
motorcycles, mini-bikes, snowmo­
biles, lawn mowers, and other
machines which have small gaso­
line engines.
Mechanics use common handtools such as screwdrivers and
wrenches; power and machine tools
including drills and grinders; and
hoists to lift motors and boats.
Motor analyzers, compression
gauges, and other testing devices
help mechanics locate faulty parts.
Mechanics refer to service manuals
for assistance in assembling and
repairing motors.

Places of Employment

Most of the estimated 10,000
full-time boat-motor mechanics em­
ployed in 1972 worked in the shops
of boat dealers and marinas. Others
made final adjustments and repairs
at the end of the assembly line for
motor manufacturers. A small num­
ber of mechanics worked for boat
rental firms. Marinas operated by
Federal, State, and local govern­
ments also employed mechanics.
Dealer and marina shops typical­
ly employ one to three mechanics;
few employ more than 10. Small
dealers and marinas send repair
work to larger shops.
Boat-motor mechanics work in
every State, but employment is
concentrated along coastal areas
in New York, California, Texas,
Florida, Washington, Massachu­
setts, and Louisiana, and near the
numerous lakes and rivers in Michi­
gan, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota,
Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Indiana.
Mechanics who specialize in out­

421

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

board motors work in all areas.
Those who specialize in inboard
motors work mostly near oceans,
bays, and large lakes.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Boat-motor mechanics learn their
skills primarily through on-the-job
training. At first, trainees clean
boats and motors and do other odd
jobs. Under the guidance of me­
chanics they learn to remove and
disassemble motors, replace igni­
tion points and spark plugs, and
do other routine tasks. As trainees
gain experience, they progress to
more difficult tasks such as diag­
nosing the cause of breakdowns
and overhauling motors. Generally,
an inexperienced beginner needs 2
to 3 years on the job to become
skilled in repairing both outboard
and inboard gasoline motors. A
capable mechanic can learn to re­
pair diesels in an additional year
or two.
Employers sometimes send train­
ees and mechanics to factorysponsored courses for 1 to 2 weeks.
Trainees learn the fundamentals
of motor repair. Mechanics up­
grade their skills and learn to
repair new models.
When hiring trainees, employers
look for young persons who have
mechanical aptitude, are in good
physical condition, and have an
interest in boating. High school
graduates are preferred, but many
employers will hire applicants with
less education. High school courses
in small engine repair, automobile
mechanics, and machine shop are
helpful, as are science and mathe­
matics. Before graduating, a person
may be able to get a summer job
as a mechanic trainee.
In 1972, under provisions of the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act (MDTA), the unemployed




and underemployed were trained
in a small number of cities for out­
board motor repair, and in many
cities for small engine and auto­
mobile repair which can be applied
to boat-motor repair.
Mechanics usually are required
to furnish their own handtools
which cost several hundred dollars.
Employers provide power tools and
test equipment.
Mechanics who have leadership
ability can advance to supervisory
positions such as shop foremen or
service managers. Mechanics who
have the necessary capital may es­
tablish their own dealerships or
marinas.

Most mechanics are paid an
hourly rate or weekly salary. Others
are paid a percentage—usually 50
percent of the labor charges for
each repair job. If a mechanic is
paid on a percentage basis, his
weekly earnings depend on the
amount of work he is assigned and
the length of time he takes to
complete it.
Boating activity increases sharp­
ly as the weather grows warmer.
Consequently, many mechanics
work more than 40 hours a week
in spring and summer. During
winter, however, they may work
less than 40 hours a week; a rela­
tively small number are laid off.
In Northern States, some of the
winter slack is taken up by repair
Employment Outlook
work on snowmobiles.
Many employers provide holiday
Employment in this relatively
small occupation is expected to in­ and vacation pay and additional
crease rapidly through the mid- benefits such as life, health, and
1980’s. In addition to tiie jobs accident insurance. Some also pro­
resulting from employment growth, vide paid sick leave, contribute to
some openings will arise as ex­ retirement plans, and furnish laun­
perienced mechanics retire, die, or dered uniforms free of charge. A
few have profit-sharing programs
transfer to other occupations.
Increases in population, personal for their mechanics.
Boat-motor repair work is not
income levels, and leisure time will
create a demand for more motor- hazardous, but mechanics some­
boats and mechanics. A growing times suffer cuts, bruises, and other
number of new boats will be minor injuries. Shop working con­
equipped with automatic tilts, ditions vary from clean and spa­
power-trim controls, and other con­ cious to dingy and cramped. All
venience features—all of which in­ shops are noisy when engines are
crease maintenance requirements. being tested. Mechanics occasion­
Moreover, growth in the number ally must work in awkward posi­
of mini-bikes and snowmobiles will tions to adjust or replace parts.
add to the demand for mechanics. For many mechanics, however,
these disadvantages are more than
compensated for by the variety of
Earnings
work assignments and the satisfac­
tion which comes from solving
In 1972, hourly earnings of ex­
problems. Moreover, mechanics
perienced mechanics ranged from
may enjoy working near water
about $3 to $6.50 based on infor­
recreation areas.
mation obtained from a limited
number of boat dealers and marinas.
Experienced mechanics generally Sources of Additional Information
earned two to three times as much
Details about training or work
as trainees.

422

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

opportunities in this field may be
obtained from local boat dealers
and marinas or local State employ­
ment offices.

B O W LING -PIN-M ACHINE
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 639.381 and 829.281)
Nature of the Work

Bowling-pin-machine (or auto­
matic pinsetting machine) mechanics
repair and maintain the tens of
thousands of pinsetting machines
in use today. These complex ma­
chines automatically return the ball
to the bowler, clear fallen pins, and
reset pins.
Mechanics must have a thorough
knowledge of the mechanism of
pinsetting machines to keep them
running properly. This knowledge
is especially important when ma­
chines malfunction, because me­
chanics must quickly find the cause
of the trouble and make repairs or
adjustments so that bowlers will
not be inconvenienced and annoyed.
Mechanics spend much of their
time doing work to prevent break­
downs and delays. They regularly
inspect pinsetting machines and
clean, lubricate, and adjust them.
When delays do occur, mechanics
repair or replace parts, such as
broken chains, worn shock ab­
sorbers, and faulty electrical parts.
Mechanics refer to troubleshooting
manuals and diagrams of electrical
circuits to guide their work.
Mechanics use many different
types of tools, such as wrenches,
screwdrivers, hammers, portable
hoists, and lubricating guns. They
use ohmmeters, voltmeters, and
other devices to test electrical
circuits, relays, transformers, and
motors. Often mechanics will buy




Mechanic vacuum cleans bowling pin machine.

their own sets of handtools but em­
ployers usually supply special tools.
Mechanics may supervise one or
more assistant mechanics or trainees.
They teach trainees to locate and
correct minor problems in pinset­
ting machines by demonstrating
how the machines operate and by
disassembling components and ex­
plaining their functions. Mechanics
show trainees how to break minor
pin-jams and recondition pins.
Mechanics do some clerical work.
They order replacement parts and
keep inventory of parts in stock.
They also may keep records of
machine malfunctions and estimate
maintenance costs.
Places of Employment

About 6,000 bowling-pin-machine
mechanics were employed in 1972.
Most worked in bowling centers.
The remainder, about 5 percent,

were employed by manufacturers
of pinsetting machines to install
and service the machines.
Bowling-pin-machine mechanics
are employed in every State, but
employment is concentrated in
heavily populated areas, where
there are many bowling centers.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Pinsetting machine mechanics
usually start out as trainees. Em­
ployers prefer to hire applicants
who are high school graduates,
although many have not completed
high school. Courses in electricity,
blueprint reading, and machine re­
pair are useful.
Some mechanic trainees are sent
to schools operated by bowling
machine manufacturers. To attend
a factory school, candidates must
take written tests to determine

423

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

their mechanical aptitude. Usually,
they must be at least 16 years old.
Trainees’ wages and expenses are
paid by employers during the train­
ing period, which usually lasts 4
weeks. 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 how to
perform preventive maintenance, to
read wiring diagrams and to use
the tools of the trade. After attend­
ing factory schools, trainees usually
need several months of on-the-job
experience to qualify as mechanics.
Trainees who do not attend fac­
tory schools learn their skills on
the job by watching experienced
mechanics at work and by receiving
instruction in machine operation
and maintenance. Usually, 1 to 2
years of on-the-job training and
experience are needed to acquire
mechanics’ skills.
Young people planning careers
as bowling-pin-machine mechanics
should have good eyesight (includ­
ing normal color vision), eye-hand
coordination, and average physical
strength. They also should have
mechanical ability and like to work
with their hands. Because speed is
usually required in repairing pin­
setting machines, ability to work
under pressure also is important.
A qualified mechanic trainee em­
ployed in a bowling center may be
promoted to assistant mechanic
and then to head mechanic. Some
mechanics become managers or
owners of bowling establishments.
Those who work for manufacturers
may advance to the position of
service manager or instructor in
a training school.

Most job openings will arise because
of the need to replace experienced
mechanics who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations.
The demand for bowling facilities
is likely to grow as population
increases, incomes rise, and more
time for recreation becomes avail­
able. Employment of mechanics,
however, will be limited by im­
provements in pinsetting machines.
Older machines are being replaced
by improved models that need less
maintenance; thus, mechanics are
able to service a greater number
of machines.
Earnings and Working Conditions

According to information from
a limited number of union con­
tracts, mechanics earned from $3.01
to $4.16 an hour in 1972, and head
mechanics from $3.80 to $4.79.
Earnings of trainees ranged from
$2.80 to $3.55 an hour.
On the East Coast and in the
Midwest most mechanics and
trainees work a 48-hour, 5-day
week. Nightwork and work on
Sundays and holidays is common.
Workers covered by union con­
tracts receive premium pay for
overtime and get 9 to 11 paid holi­
days a years. They typically receive
2 weeks’ paid vacation after a
year’s service, 3 weeks after 3
years’ service, and 4 weeks after
5 years’ service. Many contracts
provide for health insurance and
pension plans financed entirely by
employers.
Mechanics work in a long, rela­
tively narrow corridor at one end
of a bowling establishment where
the automatic machines are located.
The work area includes space for
a workbench and is usually well
Employment Outlook
lighted and well ventilated, but
Employment of bowling-pin- quite noisy when the lanes are
machine mechanics is expected to operating. When making repairs
grow slowly through the mid-1980’s. and adjustments, mechanics fre­




quently have to climb and balance
their bodies on the framework of
the pinsetting machines, and to
stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl
around the machines. Mechanics
employed by manufacturers to in­
stall and service machines must do
considerable traveling.
Mechanics usually do not have
to wear any special safety devices,
such as goggles. Safety guards are
provided on the pin-setting ma­
chines, but workers are subject to
common shop hazards, such as
electrical shock, cuts, falls, and
bruises. Repairmen often wear
coveralls to protect themselves
from grease and dirt.
Mechanics and trainees em­
ployed in large metropolitan areas
generally are members of unions,
usually the Service Employees’
International Union or the Inter­
national Brotherhood of Team­
sters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen,
and Helpers of America (Ind.).
Sources of Additional Information

Young people who want further
information about training or work
opportunities in this trade should
contact proprietors of bowling cen­
ters in their area, the local bowling
proprietors’ association, or locals
of the unions previously mentioned.
The local office of the State em­
ployment service is another source
of information about employment
and training opportunities.

BUSINESS M ACHINE
SERVICEMEN
(D.O.T. 633.281)
Nature of the Work

Business machine servicemen
maintain and repair the machines

424

that are used to speed the paper­
work in business and government.
These include typewriters, adding
and calculating machines, cash reg­
isters, dictating machines, postage
meters, and duplicating and copy­
ing equipment. (Servicemen who
work on computers are discussed in
a separate statement elsewhere in
the Handbook.)
Servicemen often work in offices
where the machines are used. They
may maintain equipment by reg­
ular, frequent visits to inspect,
clean, and oil the machines, or to
make minor repairs or adjustments.
When machines break down, they
diagnose and correct the cause of
the trouble. Often servicemen locate
the problem and make repairs on
the spot. For major repairs, how­
ever, they usually take machines
to the shop. Many servicemen re­
pair a variety of machines; others
specialize in one or a few types. For
example, specialists usually serv­
ice duplicators, copiers, postage
meters, and mailing equipment.
Servicemen use common handtools, such as screwdrivers and
pliers, and test equipment, such as
guages and meters. In large shops,
they use drill presses, lathes, and
other power equipment.
Business machine servicing of­
fers considerable variety in work
assignments. People who have ana­
lytical ability find considerable
satisfaction in finding and correc­
ting the cause of trouble in a faulty
machine.
Some servicemen may also do
sales work. Most commonly, they
sell preventive maintenance con­
tracts for regular machine serv­
icing. Some also sell supplies, such
as special paper, ink, ribbons, and
stencils.

1972. A small number were women.
About three-fourths of business
machine servicemen worked mainly
on t y p e w r i t e r s , c a l c u l a t o r s and add­
ing machines, and copiers and dup­
licators. Most of the rest serv­
iced accounting-bookkeeping ma­
chines, cash registers, and postage
and mailing equipment. A small
number repaired dictating machines.
Most servicemen worked for busi­
ness machine manufacturers, deal­
ers, and repair shops. The remain­
der worked for Federal, State and
local governments, and large organi­
zations that had enough machines
to justify full-time servicemen.
In a manufacturer’s branch of­
fice, servicemen usually work ex­
clusively on the manufacturer’s
products. They specialize in one
Places of Employment
or two machines or service the full
About 70,000 people worked as line of equipment. In a small city,
business machine servicemen in specialization is impractical so most




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

servicemen repair and sell all kinds
of equipment.
Business machine servicemen
w ork

th r o u g h o u t th e c o u n tr y . E v e n

relatively small communities usu­
ally have at least one or two repair
shops. Most servicemen, however,
work in large cities.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Applicants for entry jobs as busi­
ness machine servicemen usually
need at least a high school educa­
tion. Some companies accept young
people who have not completed high
school. Employers like to employ
veterans who have had electronics
training in the Armed Forces. Ap­
plicants who are interested in work­
ing on electronic equipment must
have 1 year or more of training or
experience in electronics.

425

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Applicants for entry jobs may
have to pass tests that measure
mechanical aptitude, knowledge of
electricity or electronics, manual
dexterity, and general intelligence.
Good eyesight, including color vi­
sion, is needed.
Employers seek applicants who
have a pleasant, cooperative man­
ner. Because most machine servic­
ing is done in customers’ offices,
the ability to work without inter­
rupting the office routine is very
important. A neat appearance and
ability to converse effectively also
are desirable.
Some employers require that
business machine servicemen be
bonded. Applicants for these jobs
must be honest and trustworthy
since they are exposed to large sums
of money and other valuables in
banks and offices. Servicemen also
may collect money from customers
for services and supplies.
Beginners generally acquire skills
through on-the-job training, work
experience, and instruction in manu­
facturers’ schools. Some vocational
and private correspondence schools
conduct courses in business ma­
chine maintenance for trainees and
others. In addition, programs to
train unemployed and underem­
ployed workers as office machine
servicemen were operating in sev­
eral cities in 1972 under the provi­
sions of the Manpower Develop­
ment and Training Act.
Business machine servicemen
who work in a manufacturer’s
branch office learn to repair only
the company’s line of machines.
Trainees usually attend company
schools from a few weeks to sever­
al months, depending on the type
of machine they will service. They
then receive from 1 to 3 years of
practical experience and on-the-job
training before they become fully
qualified servicemen. Occasionally,
they may return to factory schools



for special instruction in new busi­
ness machine developments. Serv­
icemen are encouraged to broaden
their technical knowledge during
nonworking hours. Many com­
panies pay the serviceman’s tuition
for work-related courses in college
and technical schools.
Business machine servicemen
may move into sales positions for
greater earnings. Servicemen who
show exceptional abilities also may
advance to foreman, service man­
ager, or supervisor. Experienced
servicemen sometimes open their
own repair shops; those who work
in manufacturers’ branch offices
sometimes become independent deal­
ers or purchase sales franchises
from the company.

Employment Outlook

Employment of business ma­
chine servicemen is expected to
grow very rapidly through the mid1980’s. In addition to jobs from
employment growth, many open­
ings will arise as experienced serv­
icemen retire, die, or change occu­
pations.
Business and governments will
buy more machines to handle the
growing volume of paperwork and
more servicemen will be needed
to maintain and repair these ma­
chines. In recent years, many tech­
nical changes have occurred in longestablished types of business ma­
chines. For example, electronic cal­
culating machines have replaced
mechanical models. Because of the
greater use of such equipment, op­
portunities will be particularly
favorable for servicemen who have
training in electronics.
Business machine servicemen
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, correspondence carried on,
and statistical reports prepared.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Information obtained from a
limited number of employers in 1972
indicated that experienced service­
men generally earned from $150
to $250 a week. Wages depend on
geographic location, machine serv­
iced, and the length of employment.
Wages generally were lowest for
workers who repair only type­
writers, adding machines, calcula­
tors, cash registers, or dictating
machines. Rates usually were high­
est for servicemen of accounting­
bookkeeping machines, postage and
mailing machines, and complex
duplicating and copying equipment.
New trainees earn from $110 to
$160 a week. As they become more
skilled, their pay increases. People
who have previous electronics train­
ing in the Armed Forces or civil­
ian technical schools generally re­
ceive somewhat higher beginning
wages.
In addition to salaries, service­
men in some companies receive com­
missions for selling supplies or serv­
ice contracts. Many employers pay
all or part of life and hospitaliza­
tion insurance and pension plans.
Servicing business machines is
cleaner and lighter than the work
in most other mechanical trades.
Servicemen generally wear busi­
ness suits and do most of their
work in the offices which own the
machines. Injuries are uncommon.
Some positions involve consider­
able traveling within the area served
by the employer. Servicemen who
use their own cars for company
business are reimbursed on a mile­
age basis. Employers usually pay
for all tools.
Sources of Additional Information

For more details about job op­

426

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

portunities contact local firms that
repair business machines and the
local office of the State employment
service. The State employment serv­
ice also may have information about
the Manpower Development and
Training Act and other training
programs.

COMPUTER SERVICE
TEC H N IC IA N S
(D.O.T. 828.281)
Nature of the Work

Computer systems play a vital
role in today’s way of life. They
help us make telephone calls, re­
ceive paychecks on time, and re­
serve tickets for travel, hotels, and
entertainment. In business and in­
dustry, computer systems perform
a wide variety of complicated tasks—
from keeping business records to
controlling manufacturing processes.
A computer system is the combi­
nation of a computer and computerrelated machines, such as magnetic
t a p e r e a d e r s a n d h ig h s p e e d p r in te r s .

Keeping this intricate set of ma­
chines in good working order is the
job of a highly qualified computer
service technician.
At regular intervals, technicians
(sometimes called field engineers
or customer engineers) service ma­
chines or systems to keep them
operating efficiently. They routine­
ly adjust, oil, and clean mechanical
and electro-mechanical parts. They
also check electronic equipment for
loose connections and defective
components or circuits.
Despite this regular care, how­
ever, computer equipment some­
times breaks down. Technicians
must then find the cause of the
failure and make necessary repairs.
For example, they may replace a



faulty circuit board, resolder a bro­
ken connection, or repair a mechan­
ical part. They must complete the
job as quickly as possible, because
working time lost during a comput­
er breakdown may cost a customer
several hundred or even thousands
of dollars an hour.
Computer technicians often help
install new equipment. They lay
cables, hook up electrical connec­
tions between machines, thoroughly
test the new equipment, and correct
any problems before the customer
uses the machine.
Some technicians specialize in
maintaining a particular computer
model or system, or in doing a cer­
tain type of repair. For example,
some technicians are experts in cor­
recting problems caused by errors
in the computer’s internal program­
ming. Specialists usually have ad­
vanced training and several years
of experience.
To diagnose electronic failures,
technicians must use several kinds
of test equipment, including volt­
meters, ohmmeters, and oscillo­
scopes. They also run special com­
puter programs that help pinpoint
some kinds of malfunctions. Tech­
nicians also use a variety of handtools such as needle-nosed pliers,
wirestrippers, and soldering equip­
ment. The employer supplies tools
and test equipment, but techni­
cians may be responsible for keep­
ing the equipment in working order.
Besides knowing how to use spe­
cialized tools and test equipment,
computer technicians must be fa­
miliar with technical and repair
manuals for each piece of equip­
ment. They must keep up too with
the technical information and re­
vised maintenance procedures is­
sued periodically by computer manu­
facturers.
Technicians keep a record of pre­
ventive maintenance and repairs
on each machine they service. In

addition, they fill out time and ex­
pense reports, keep parts inven­
tories, and order parts.
Although technicians spend most
of their time working on machines,
they work with people also. They
listen to the customer’s complaints,
answer questions, and sometime
offer technical advice on ways to
keep equipment in good condition.
Experienced technicians help train
new technicians, and sometimes
have supervisory duties.
Places off Employment

In 1972, nearly all of the 45,000
computer service technicians em­
ployed worked in service depart­
ments of computer manufacturing
firms. A small number worked for
companies that sell computer main­
tenance services and for the Federal
Government and other organiza­
tions that have large computer in­
stallations. A few women work in
this occupation.
Computer technicians work in
all parts of the country, usually in
urban areas where most computer
equipment is located. Some tech­
nicians work full-time at a single
installation, such as a large com­
puter center operated by a bank or
insurance company. Others travel
from place to place to maintain
several different systems or to make
emergency repairs. A technician
with special training or experience
may travel hundreds of miles from
the home office to handle difficult
repair jobs. Technicians who work
for a nationwide organization must
sometimes transfer to another city
or State.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most employers require appli­
cants for technician trainee jobs
to have 1 to 2 years’ post-high school

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

427

training in basic electronics or elec­
trical engineering. This training
may be from a computer school, a
technical institute, a college, or a
junior college. Basic electronics
training offered by the Armed
Forces is excellent preparation for
technician trainees.
A high school student interested
in becoming a computer service
technician should take courses in
mathematics and physics. High
school courses in electronics and
computer programming also are
helpful. Young people can also gain
valuable experience through hobbies
which involve electronics, such as
operating ham radios or building
stereo equipment.
Training programs in electronic
mechanics for unemployed workers
were operated in several cities in
1972 under the Manpower Devel­
opment and Training Act. Grad­

study of electronics. Classroom
work is accompanied by practical
training in operating computer
equipment, doing basic mainte­
nance, and using test equipment.
In addition to formal instruc­
tion, trainees must complete 1 to
2 years of on-the-job training. At
First they work closely with experi­
enced technicians, learning to main­
tain 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 they
gain experience trainees work on
more complex equipment and make
emergency repairs.
Because manufacturers continu­
ally redesign equipment and develop
new uses for computers, experienced
technicians frequently must attend
training sessions to keep up with
these changes and to broaden their
technical skills. Many technicians
take advanced training to specialize
in a particular computer system
or type of repair. Instruction also
may include programming, systems
analysis, and other subjects that
improve the technician’s general
knowledge of the computer field.
Experienced technicians with ad­
vanced training may become tech­
nical specialists who help techni­
cians make difficult repairs and
work with engineers in designing
equipment and developing mainte­
nance procedures. Those with lead­
ership ability may become super­
visors or service managers.
Although advancement depends
mainly on ability and experience,
chances are improved if the tech­
nician has a bachelor’s degree in
electrical engineering. Many tech­
nicians get their degrees at com­
pany expense. Engineers interested
in professional careers in computer
service work often start out as
technicians.
Most computer equipment oper­




uates of these programs may qualify
for computer service trainee jobs.
Besides technical training, appli­
cants for trainee jobs must have
good close vision and normal color
perception to work with small parts
and color-coded wiring. Normal
hearing is needed since some break­
downs are diagnosed by sound. Be­
cause technicians usually handle
jobs alone, they must have the ini­
tiative to work without close super­
vision. Also important are a pleasant
personality and neat appearance,
since the work involves frequent
contact with customers. Applicants
must pass a physical examination
and, in some cases, get a security
clearance.
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

428

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ates on the same basic principles,
but machines built by different com­
panies may be unique in design and
construction. For this reason, tech­
nicians may find it difficult to trans­
fer from one company to another.
Technicians who transfer may lose
seniority and need some retraining.
Training and experience in com­
puter maintenance may also qualify
a technician for jobs in program­
ming, systems analysis, manage­
ment, and equipment sales. (See
statements on programmers, sys­
tems analysts, and office machine
and computer manufacturing else­
where in the Handbook.)
Employment Outlook

Employment of computer tech­
nicians is expected to grow very
rapidly through the mid-1980’s. As
the Nation’s economy expands, more
computer equipment will be used and
more technicians needed to install
and maintain it. Business, govern­
ment, and other organizations will
buy or lease additional equipment
to manage vast amounts of infor­
mation, control manufacturing proc­
esses, and aid in scientific research.
The development of new uses for
computers also will spur demand.
Although most job openings will
result from employment growth,
many also will occur as experienced
technicians advance to more re­
sponsible jobs or move into other
occupations. Because most techni­
cians are young, relatively few open­
ings will stem from deaths and
retirements.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Starting salaries for computer
service technician trainees ranged
from about $140 to $150 a week
in 1972, based on the limited in­
formation available. Salaries for
experienced technicians ranged from
about $210 to $315 a week.




The normal workweek is 40
hours, but technicians often work
overtime and on weekends to make
emergency repairs. Many techni­
cians work rotating shifts—days
one week, nights the next.
Employers provide group life and
health insurance, retirement plans,
sick leave, and other benefits. Va­
cations range from 1 to 4 weeks a
year. Employers also pay for travel
and work-related education ex­
penses.
Although some bending and lift­
ing is necessary, the computer
technician’s job is not strenuous.
Work hazards are limited mainly
to burns and electrical shock, and
can be avoided if safety prac­
tices are followed.
Sources of Additional Information

General information on careers
in computer maintenance is avail­
able from:
American Federation of Information
Processing Societies, Inc., 210 Summit
Ave., Montvale, N.J. 07645.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers, 345 East 47th St., New
York, N.Y. 10017.

The p e r s o n n e l a n d s e r v i c e de­
partments of computer manufac­
turers and other firms employing
computer technicians can provide
details on training and job op­
portunities.
The State department of educa­
tion at each State’s capital can
furnish information about approved
technical institutes, junior colleges,
and other institutions offering posthigh school training in basic elec­
tronics. Information about these
schools also is available from:
American Association of Junior Col­
leges, Suite 410, 1 Dupont Circle,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

Details on training programs in
electronic mechanics operated under
the Manpower Development and
Training Act may be available from

the nearest local office of the State
employment service.

DIESEL M ECHANICS
(D.O.T. 625.281)
Nature of the Work

Diesel mechanics repair and
maintain diesel engines that power
transportation equipment, such as
heavy trucks, buses, boats, and
locomotives;
and
construction
equipment, such as bulldozers and
cranes. They also service diesel
farm tractors and a variety of other
diesel-powered equipment, such as
compressors and pumps used in oilwell drilling rigs and irrigation.
Before making repairs, diesel
mechanics inspect and test engine
components to determine why an
engine is not operating properly.
After locating the trouble, they re­
pair or replace defective parts and
make necessary adjustments. Pre­
ventive maintenance—avoiding
trouble before it starts—is another
major r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . F o r e x a m p l e ,
they may periodically inspect, test,
and adjust engine components.
Many mechanics make all types of
diesel engine repairs. Others spe­
cialize, for example, in rebuilding
engines or in repairing fuel injec­
tion systems, turbochargers, cyl­
inder heads, or starting systems.
Some also repair large natural gas
engines used to power generators
and other industrial equipment.
Diesel mechanics’ job titles often
indicate the type of equipment they
repair. For example, those who re­
pair diesel engines in trucks may be
called diesel truck mechanics.
Those who work on construction
equipment, such as bulldozers and
earthmovers, are usually called
heavy diesel-equipment mechanics.

429

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

In addition to maintaining and re­
pairing engines, the mechanics
listed above may work on other
parts of diesel-powered equipment,
such as brakes and transmissions.
(See statement on truck mechanics
and bus mechanics elsewhere in the
Handbook.)
Diesel mechanics use pliers,
wrenches, screwdrivers, and other
common handtools as well as spe­
cial tools, such as valve refacers
and piston pin-fitting machines.
In addition, they may use complex
testing equipment, such as a dyna­
mometer to measure engine power,
and special fuel injection testing
equipment. Mechanics may also
use machine tools to make replace­
ment parts. They use powered
hoists and other equipment for lift­
ing and moving heavy parts.

Places of Employment

About 90,000 persons worked as
diesel mechanics in 1972. Many
work for distributors and dealers
that sell diesel engines, farm and
construction equipment, and trucks.
Others work for buslines, construc­
tion firms, and government agen­
cies such as State highway depart­
ments. Some mechanics work for
diesel engine manufacturers and
independent repair shops that spe­
cialize in diesels.
Diesel mechanics work in all
parts of the country. Large num­
bers, however, are employed in
California, New York, Illinois, and
Texas—States where high levels of
construction, industrial, and farm­
ing activity have resulted in the use
of large numbers of diesel-powered
machines.

Diesel mechanic uses black light to check for oil leaks.




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Diesel mechanics learn their
skills in several different ways.
Most begin by repairing gasolinepowered automobiles, trucks, and
buses. They usually start as helpers
to experienced gasoline engine
mechanics, becoming skilled in 3
or 4 years. When employed by
firms that use or repair diesel
equipment, they receive 6 to 18
months of additional training in
servicing this equipment. While
learning to fix engines, many find
it helpful to take courses in diesel
equipment maintenance offered by
vocational, trade, and correspond­
ence schools.
Some mechanics, such as those
employed by engine manufacturers,
learn their trade through formal
apprenticeship programs. These
programs, which generally last 4
years, give trainees a combina­
tion of classroom training and
practical experience. Apprentices
receive classroom instruction in
blueprint reading, hydraulics, weld­
ing, and other subjects. In their
practical training, they learn about
valves, bearings, injection systems,
starting systems, cooling systems,
and other parts of diesel engines.
Still another method of entry is
through full-time attendance at
trade or technical schools that offer
comprehensive training in diesel
engine maintenance and repair.
These programs generally last from
several months to 2 years and pro­
vide practical experience and re­
lated classroom instruction. Grad­
uates,
however, usually need
additional on-the-job training be­
fore they become skilled mechanics.
Training programs for diesel
mechanics and others in occupa­
tions that involve diesel engine re­
pair were in operation in several
cities in 1972 under the provisions
of the Manpower Development and

430

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Training Act. Unemployed and
underemployed workers who meet
certain minimum requirements are
eligible to apply for this training,
which usually lasts at least 36
weeks.
Experienced mechanics employed
by companies that sell dieselpowered equipment are sometimes
sent to special training classes
conducted by engine manufacturers.
In these classes, mechanics learn
to maintain and repair the latest
engines, using the most modern
equipment.
Employers prefer trainees and ap­
prenticeship applicants who have a
high school education and me­
chanical ability. Shop courses in
automobile repair and machine
shop work, offered by many high
schools and vocational schools,
are helpful, as are courses in
science and mathematics. Young
people interested in becoming
diesel mechanics should be in
good physical condition because
the work often requires lifting
heavy parts.
Many diesel mechanics have to
buy their own handtools. Beginners
are expected to accumulate tools as
they gain experience. Experienced
mechanics usually have several
hundred dollars invested in their
tools.
Mechanics who work for organi­
zations that operate or repair large
numbers of diesel engines, such as
buslines or diesel equipment dis­
tributors, may advance to leadman
and to a supervisory position, such
as shop foreman or service manager.
Employment Outlook

Employment of diesel mechanics
is expected to increase rapidly
through the mid-1980’s. In addition
to the jobs arising from employ­
ment growth, many openings will
result from the need to replace




experienced mechanics who trans­
fer to other occupations, retire, or
die.
Increased employment of me­
chanics is expected mainly be­
cause most industries that use
diesel engines are expected to ex­
pand their activities in the years
ahead. In addition, diesel engines
will continue to replace gasoline en­
gines. For example, small delivery
trucks powered by diesel engines are
expected to be used increasingly in the
future. Diesel-powered farm equip­
ment also will become more
common.
Most new job openings in this
field will be Filled by mechanics
who have experience in repairing
gasoline engines. Companies that
replace gasoline engine equipment
with diesel-powered equipment usu­
ally retain their experience mechan­
ics. Persons who have school train­
ing in diesel repair, but no prac­
tical experience, may be able to
find jobs only as trainees.

are at least partially paid by their
employers.
Most larger repair shops are
pleasant places in which to work,
but some small shops have poor
lighting, heating, and ventilation.
Diesel mechanics sometimes make
repairs outdoors where the break­
downs occur. If proper safety pre­
cautions are not taken, there is
danger of injury when repairing
heavy parts supported on jacks or
hoists. In most jobs, mechanics
handle greasy tools and engine
parts. When making repairs, they
sometime must stand or lie in
awkward positions for extended
periods.
Many diesel mechanics belong to
labor unions, such as the Inter­
national Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers; the Amal­
gamated Transit Union; the Sheet
Metal Workers’ International Asso­
ciation; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace, and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America; and the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a survey covering
metropolitan areas in 1972, me­
chanics employed by trucking com­
panies, buslines, and other firms
that maintain their own vehicles
had average hourly earnings rang­
ing from $4.29 to $5.29.
Diesel mechanics usually work
40 to 48 hours a week. Many work
at night or on weekends, partic­
ularly if they work on buses, en­
gines used in powerplants, or other
diesel equipment used in serving the
public. Some are subject to call for
emergencies at any time. Mechanics
generally receive a highter rate of
pay when they work overtime, eve­
nings, or weekends.
Many diesel mechanics receive
paid vacations and holidays. In
addition, they may receive health
and life insurance benefits, which

Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about
work opportunities in this trade
may be available from the local
office of the State employment
service. The State employment ser­
vice also may have information
about the Manpower Development
and Training Act, apprenticeship,
and other programs that provide
training opportunities. Other sources
of information are firms that use
or service diesel-powered equip­
ment, such as truck and bus lines,
truck dealers, and construction and
farm equipment dealers. Unions
listed below may be contacted for
information on work and training
opportunities or for the names and
addresses of local unions that can
provide such information:

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN
International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers, 1300 Con­
necticut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.
20036.
Sheet Metal Workers’ International Asso­
ciation, 1000 Connecticut Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

DISPENSING OPTICIANS
AND OPTICAL
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 713.251, .381,.884, and
299.884)
Nature of the Work

Dispensing opticians and optical
mechanics (also called optical
laboratory technicians) make and
fit eyeglasses prescribed by phy­
sicians and optometrists. Dis­
pensing opticians adjust finished
glasses to fit the customer. In some
States, they also fit contact lenses.
Optical mechanics grind and polish
lenses according to prescriptions
and assemble lenses in frames.
Occasionally, the jobs of dispensing
optician and optical mechanic are
combined.
Dispensing opticians determine
where lenses should be placed in
relation to the customer’s eyes by
measuring the distance between the
centers of the pupils. They also as­
sist the customer in selecting the
proper eyeglass frame by measuring
the customer’s facial features and
showing the various styles and
colors of frames.
Dispensing opticians prepare
work orders that give optical me­
chanics the information they need
to interpret prescriptions properly,
grind the lenses, and insert them in
a frame. The work orders include
lens prescriptions; information on
lens size, tint (where appropriate),
and optical centering; and frame
size, color, and style. After glasses




431

are made, dispensing opticians ad­
just the frame to the contours of
the customer’s face and head so
that it fits properly and comfort­
ably. 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
lenses. In some shops, dispensing
opticians grind and finish lenses,
and sell other optical goods such
as binoculars and nonprescription
sunglasses.
In fitting contact lenses, dis­
pensing opticians follow physi­
cians’ or optometrists’ prescrip­
tions, measure the corneas of cus­
tomers’ eyes and then prepare
specifications to be followed by the
lens manufacturers. Contact lens
fitting requires considerably more
skill, care, and patience than con­
ventional eyeglass fitting. Dispen­
sing opticians tell customers how to
insert, remove, and care for contact
lenses during the initial adjustment
period, which may last several
weeks. Physicians or optometrists
recheck their fit, as needed.
Opticians may make minor adjust­
ments; lenses are returned to the
manufacturer for major changes.
Optical mechanics make pre­
scription glasses but not contact
lenses. The two types of optical
mechanics are surfacer (or lens
grinder) and benchman (or finisher).
Starting with standard size lens
blanks, which large optical firms
mass-produce, surfacers lay out the
work and grind and polish the lens
surfaces. Surfacers use precision
instruments to measure the lenses
and assure that they fit the pre­
scription. In small laboratories, one
person may do these operations and
benchwork too. In large labora­
tories, work is divided into separate
operations which are performed
mainly by workers who operate
power grinding and polishing
machines.

Optician checks lenses.

Benchmen mark and cut lenses
and smooth their edges to fit
frames. They then assemble the
lenses and frame parts into finished
glasses. In large laboratories, these
duties are divided into several
operations which are performed
mainly by' semiskilled workers.
Benchmen use special tools, such as
lens cutters and glass drills, as
well as small files, pliers, and other
handtools. They also use automatic
edging machines to shape lens
edges, and precision instruments to
detect imperfections.
Places of Employment

About 12,000 persons worked as
dispensing opticians in 1972, and an
additional 16,000 worked as optical
mechanics. A few thousand women
were in these trades—most as op­
ticians.
Most dispensing opticians work
for retail optical shops or depart­
ment stores and other retail stores
that sell prescription lenses. Many

432

also work for eye physicians or
optometrists who sell glasses
directly to patients. A small num­
ber work in hospitals and in pre­
scription departments of wholesale
optical laboratories.
Most optical mechanics work in
wholesale optical laboratories. The
remainder work for the same types
of employers as dispensing op­
ticians.
Many dispensing opticians and
mechanics are proprietors of retail
optical shops.
Jobs in these fields are found in
every State. However, employment
is concentrated in large cities and
in populous States.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most optical mechanics and dis­
pensing opticians learn their skills
on the job. On-the-job training in
dispensing work may last several
years and usually includes instruc­
tion in optical mathematics, optical
physics, and the use of precision
measuring instruments.
Optical mechanic trainees do
simple jobs such as processing
lenses through a grinding machine.
As they gain experience, they pro­
gress to other operations such as
lens cutting and eyeglass assembly.
When the trainees have acquired ex­
perience in all types of work, which
usually takes about 3 years, they
are considered all-round optical
mechanics. Some mechanics spe­
cialize in one type of job, such as
surfacing or bench work. The train­
ing time required to become a spe­
cialist is less than that needed to
become an all-round mechanic.
High school graduates also can
prepare for both optical dispensing
and mechanical work through 3- to
4-year formal apprenticeship pro­
grams. Apprentices with excep­
tional ability may complete their



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

training in a shorter period. Most
training authorities agree that
mechanics and opticians who learn
as apprentices have more job oppor­
tunities and more opportunities for
advancement than those without
such training.
Formal institutional training for
the optician and optical mechanic
is becoming more common. In
1972, seven schools offered 2-year
full-time courses in optical fabri­
cating and dispensing work leading
to an associate degree. In addition,
a number of vocational schools
offered 9-month full-time optical
mechanic courses. Graduates from
such schools often work for retail
optical stores to receive additional
on-the-job training. Large manu­
facturers of contact lenses offer
nondegree courses in lens-fitting
that usually last a few weeks. A
small number of opticians and
mechanics learn their trades in the
Armed Forces.
Employers prefer applicants for
entry jobs as opticians and optical
mechanics to be high school gradu­
ates who have had courses in the
basic sciences. A knowledge of phy­
sics, algebra, geometry, and mechan­
ical drawing is particularly valuable.
The interest and ability to do preci­
sion work are essential. Because op­
ticians deal directly with the public,
They should be tactful and have
pleasant personalities.
The 1972, 17 States had licensing
requirements governing dispensing
opticians: Arizona, California, Con­
necticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada,
New Jersey, New York, North
Carolina, Rhode Island, South Caro­
lina, Tennessee, Virginia, and
Washington. Some of these States
also require licenses for optical me­
chanics in retail optical shops. Some
States permit dispensing opticians
to fit contact lenses. To obtain a
license, the applicant generally must

meet certain minimum standards
of education and training, and must
also pass either a written or prac­
tical examination, or both. For
specific requirements, the licensing
boards of individual States should
be consulted.
Optical mechanics can become
supervisors, foremen, and managers.
Many of them have become dis­
pensing opticians, although the
trend is to train specifically for
optician jobs. Workers in both
occupations, especially those having
all-round training in both shop and
dispensing work, have opportunities
to go into business. Opticians also
may manage retail optical stores
or sell eyeglasses or lenses for
wholesalers or manufacturers.
Employment Outlook

Employment of dispensing op­
ticians and optical mechanics is ex­
pected to increase very rapidly
through the mid-1980’s. In addition
to job openings resulting from em­
ployment growth, some openings
will arise from the need to replace
experienced workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations.
Demand for prescription lenses is
expected to increase as a result of
population growth, rising literacy
and educational levels, and a large
increase in the number of older
persons (a group most likely to need
glasses). State programs to pro­
vide eye care for low-income
families, union health insurance
plans, and medicare also will stimu­
late demand. Moreover, the grow­
ing variety of frame styles and
colors may encourage individuals to
buy more than one pair of glasses.
Growth in the demand for pre­
scription lenses will increase em­
ployment opportunities both for
dispensing opticians and op­
tical mechanics. However, due to
more efficient methods of making

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

lenses, mechanic employment will
not increase as rapidly as optician
employment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly wage rates for optical
mechanics ranged from $3.10 to
$5.54 in 1972, based on information
from a small number of union con­
tracts. Dispensing opticians gen­
erally earn about 15 to 25 percent
more than mechanics.
Apprentices start at about 60
percent of the skilled worker’s rate;
their wages are increased periodi­
cally so that upon completion of the
apprenticeship program, they receive
the beginning rate for journeymen.
Optical mechanics at wholesale
establishments usually have a 5-day,
40-hour week. Dispensing opticians
and mechanics at retail shops gen­
erally work a 5Vi- or 6-day week.
Work surroundings of the optical
mechanic are pleasant, well-lighted,
and well-ventilated, but noisy be­
cause of the power-grinding and
polishing machines.
Physically handicapped persons
who have full use of their eyes and
hands can perform some of the
more specialized jobs in the larger
firms.
Some optical mechanics and dis­
pensing opticians are members of
unions. Most belong to the Inter­
national Union of Electrical, Radio
and Machine Workers (AFL-CIO).

Sources of Additional Information

A list of schools offering courses
for people who wish to become dis­
pensing opticians or optical mechan­
ics may be obtained from:
Associated
Opticians of America,
1250 Connecticut Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.

General information about these
occupations may be obtained from:




433
American
Board
of
Opticianry,
821 Eggert Rd„ Buffalo, N.Y. 14226.
International
Union
of Electrical,
Radio
and
Machine
Workers,
1126 16th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.
Optical Wholesalers Association, 6935
Wisconsin Ave., Washington, D.C.
20015.

ELECTRIC SIGN
SERVICEMEN

changing the color of tubing, or
raising the height of a sign.
Servicemen use handtools and
power tools, such as screwdrivers
and electric drills, and test devices
such as voltmeters. Their trucks
are equipped with ladders and boom
cranes.
Servicemen usually must fill out
reports by noting the date, place,
and nature of service calls. They
also may estimate the cost of serv­
ice calls and sell maintenance con­
tracts to sign owners.

(D.O.T. 824.281)
Places of Employment
Nature of the Work

Electric sign servicemen main­
tain and repair hundreds of thou­
sands of neon and illuminated plas­
tic signs that advertise products and
businesses. Some also assemble and
install signs.
Servicemen diagnose trouble in
faulty signs. Minor repairs, such as
burned out lamps, are made at sign
locations; major overhaul of faulty
components, such as a motor, are
made in sign shops.
In repairing neon signs, service­
men repaint portions of neon tubing
to increase its readability, tighten
or weld parts loosened by high winds
or dented during erection, and re­
pair small cracks in the face of
signs. They also paint beams, col­
umns, and other exterior frame­
work. When replacing burned out
parts in illuminated plastic signs,
servicemen may refer to wiring
diagrams and charts.
Electric sign servicemen also do
preventive maintenance. They check
signs and remove such things as
birds’ nests and accumulated water.
Also, motors, gears, bearings, and
other parts of revolving signs may
be checked, adjusted, and lubri­
cated. Servicemen sometimes sug­
gest ways to increase the attractive­
ness and visibility of signs, such as

About 8,000 persons worked as
electric sign servicemen in 1972,
primarily in small shops that manu­
facture, install, and service elec­
tric signs. Some servicemen also
worked for independent sign repair
shops.
Electric sign servicemen work
in every State. However, employ­
ment is concentrated in large cities
and in populous States.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most electric sign servicemen
are hired as trainees and learn their
trade informally on the job. They
rotate through the various phases
of signmaking to obtain a general
knowledge of tasks—such as cutting
and assembling metal and plastic
signs; mounting neon tubing; wiring
signs; and installing electrical
parts. At least 3 years on the job
are required to become a fully quali­
fied serviceman.
Some servicemen learn their
trade through electricians’ appren­
tice programs which last from 3 to
5 years and specialize in signmak­
ing and repairing. Included are onthe-job training and classroom in­
struction in fields such as electrical
theory and blueprint reading. Ap-

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

434

rapidly through the mid-1980’s. In
addition to jobs from employment
growth, some openings will arise
as experienced servicemen retire,
die, or transfer to other occupations.
A rapid increase in the number
of signs in use will spur demand
for electric sign servicemen. More
signs will be needed as new busi­
nesses open and old ones expand
and modernize their facilities. Signs
already in use also will continue to
require maintenance. Employment,
however, will not increase as rapidly
as the number of signs in use. New
equipment, such as more versatile
boom and ladder trucks, will speed
servicing. Pressure cleaning equip­
ment will be substituted for manual
methods to increase efficiency.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Electric sign serviceman installs lamps in illuminated plastic sign.

plicants generally must be be­
tween 18 and 25 and have mechan­
ical aptitude and an interest in
electricity.
Employers prefer to hire high
school or vocational school grad­
uates, although many sign service­
men have less education. Mathe­
matics, science, electricity, and
blueprint reading are helpful to
young people who are interested
in learning this trade.
Servicemen need good color vi­
sion because electric wires are fre­
quently identified by color. They
also need manual dexterity to handle
tools and physical strength to lift
transformers, and other heavy
equipment.
All electric sign servicemen must
be familiar with the National Elec­
tric Codes; some also must know



local electric codes. Many cities
require servicemen to be licensed.
Licenses can be obtained by pass­
ing an examination in electrical
theory and its application. Electric
sign servicemen generally purchase
their own handtools which may cost
up to $100, but employers usually
furnish power tools.
Highly skilled servicemen may
become foremen. Because of their
experience in servicing signs and
dealing with customers, servicemen
sometimes become sign salesmen.
Also, servicemen with sufficient
funds can open their own sign manu­
facturing or repair shops.
Employment Outlook

Employment of electric sign ser­
vicemen is expected to increase very

The earnings of electric sign
servicemen compare favorably with
those of other skilled workers.
Hourly wage rates of experienced
electric sign servicemen ranged from
$2.76 to $7.80 in 1972, according
to a survey of union wages and
fringe benefits covering 93 cities.
In more than two-thirds of these
cities, hourly rates ranged between
$4.50 and $6.50. Apprentice rates
usually start at about half the
journeyman’s hourly wage rate and
increase every 6 months, to about
90 percent of the journeyman’s rate
during the final year of apprenticeship.
Most electric sign servicemen
work an 8-hour day, 5 days a week,
and receive premium pay for over­
time. They also may receive extra
pay for working at heights in excess
of 30 feet. Typically, servicemen
receive 1 or 2 weeks of vacation
with pay, depending on the length
of service, and from 6 to 9 paid
holidays a year. In addition, many
employers pay part or all of the cost
of life, health, and accident insur­
ance; some also contribute to retire­

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

435

ment plans. When uniforms are re­
quired, the cost usually is partly
or entirely paid for by the employer.
Because most signs are out-ofdoors, servicemen are exposed to
all kinds of weather. They make
emergency repairs at night, on
weekends, and on holidays. Some
patrol areas at night for improperly
operating signs. Hazards include
electrical shock, burns, and falls
from high places. Safety belts, train­
ing programs emphasizing safety,
and baskets on boom trucks for easy
access to signs have reduced the
frequency of accidents.

may specialize in repairing certain
types of equipment such as hay
balers. Some mechanics also repair
plumbing, electrical, irrigation, and
other equipment on farms.
Mechanics use many simple handtools including wrenches, pliers,
hammers, and micrometers. They
also may use more complex testing
equipment, such as a dynamometer
to measure engine performance, or
a compression tester to Find worn
piston rings or leaking cylinder
valves. They may use welding equip­
ment or power metalworking tools
to repair broken parts.

chinery for farm equipment dealers
or wholesalers. Sometimes, they
repair dented and torn sheet metal
on farm equipment.
Mechanics spend much of their
time repairing and adjusting mal­
functioning diesel- and gas-powered
tractors which have been brought
to the shop. During planting or har­
vesting seasons, however, the me­
chanic may travel to the farm to
make emergency repairs so that
crops can be harvested before they
spoil.
Mechanics also perform preven­
tive maintenance. Periodically, they
test and clean parts and tune en­
gines. In large shops, mechanics
Sources of Additional Information
may specialize in certain types of
For further information on work work, such as engine overhaul or
opportunities for electric sign serv­ clutch and brake repair. They also
icemen contact local sign manu­
facturing shops, the local office of
the State employment service, or
locals of the International Brother­
hood of Electrical Workers.
Additional information on job
opportunities, wages, and the na­
ture of the work may be obtained
from:

Places of Employment

Most of the estimated 47,000
farm equipment mechanics in 1972

National Electric Sign Association,
600 Hunter Dr., Oak Brook, 111.
60521.

FARM EQUIPMENT
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 624.281)
Nature of the Work

Farm equipment mechanics serv­
ice most of the equipment used to
plant, cultivate, and harvest food.
These craftsmen maintain all types
of farm machinery, including trac­
tors, combines, hay balers, corn
pickers, crop dryers, elevators, and
conveyors. In addition, they may
assemble new implements and ma­




Farm equipment mechanic assembles transmission shaft of tractor.

436

worked in service departments of
farm equipment dealers. Other
mechanics worked in independent
repair shops, in shops on large
farms, and in service departments
of farm equipment wholesalers and
manufacturers. Most farm equip­
ment repair shops employed fewer
than five mechanics, although a
few dealerships employed more than
ten.
Farm equipment mechanics work
in all parts of the country. Most,
however, are employed in states
where agricultural activity is heaviest.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most farm equipment mechanics
are hired as helpers, and learn the
trade on the job by assisting quali­
fied mechanics. The length of train­
ing varies with the helper’s aptitude
and prior experience. At least 3
years of on-the-job training usually
are necessary in order to become
a qualified mechanic.
A few 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 mainte­
nance. Applicants for these pro­
grams usually are chosen from shop
helpers.
A small number of farm equip­
ment mechanics have received train­
ing in programs approved under
the provisions of the Manpower
Development and Training Act.
Typically, these programs last from
29 to 56 weeks and include basic
electricity, transmissions, welding,
hydraulics, and diesel engines.
Trainees who complete these pro­
grams make simple repairs and can
qualify as skilled mechanics after
some on-the-job experience.
Some farm equipment mechanics
and trainees receive refresher train­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ing in short-term programs con­
ducted by farm equipment manu­
facturers. These programs usually
last several days. A company rep­
resentative explains the design and
function of equipment, and teaches
maintenance and repair on new
models of farm equipment.
Employers prefer applicants who
have a farm background and an
aptitude for mechanical work. Em­
ployers also prefer high school grad­
uates, but some will hire young
persons who have less education.
In general, employers stress pre­
vious experience or training in
diesel and gasoline engines, hy­
draulics, and welding—subjects that
may be learned in high schools and
vocational schools.
Young persons considering ca­
reers as farm equipment mechanics
should have the strength and man­
ual dexterity to handle tools and
equipment. They should also be able
to work independently with mini­
mum supervision.
Farm equipment mechanics may
advance to shop foreman, partic­
ularly if they attend manufacturersponsored training sessions. Some
open their own repair shops.
Employment Outlook

Employment of farm equipment
mechanics is expected to increase
slowly through the mid-1980’s. In
addition to jobs from employment
growth, several hundred openings
will arise each year as experienced
mechanics retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.
An anticipated decline in the
number of farms and the increas­
ing reliability of farm machinery
are expected to limit the demand
for farm equipment mechanics.
These limiting factors will be par­
tially offset, however, by increases
in farm mechanization, and the
greater use of specialized farm

equipment such as the tomato har­
vester. Futhermore, farm operators
will find it more economical to have
their machinery serviced on a reg­
ular basis as farms become larger.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Average hourly wages of farm
equipment mechanics ranged from
$3 to $4.50 in 1972, based on the
limited information available.
Farm equipment mechanics usu­
ally work a 44-hour week, which
includes 4 hours on Saturday. Dur­
ing planting and harvesting seasons,
however, they often work 6 to 7 days
each week, 10 to 12 hours daily.
In winter months, they may work
fewer than 40 hours a week.
Many mechanics receive from
1 to 2 weeks of paid vacation and
7 paid holidays each year. Large
shops usually provide health plans
and sometimes retirement plans.
Mechanics often travel many
miles to repair equipment in the
field, and are exposed to all kinds
of weather. They come in contact
with grease, gasoline, rust, and dirt,
and there is danger of injury when
they repair heavy parts supported
on jacks or by hoists. Engine burns
and cuts from sharp edges of farm
implements also are possible. Farm
equipment mechanics, however,
have the opportunity to live and
work in rural areas. They also are
able to gain satisfaction from see­
ing the results of their labor.
The few farm equipment mechan­
ics who belong to labor unions are
members of the International Asso­
ciation of Machinists and Aero­
space Workers.
Sources of Additional Information

Details about work opportunities
may be obtained from local farm
equipment dealers and local offices
of the State employment service.

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

437

The State employment service of­
fice also may have information
about the Manpower Development
and Training Act and other train­
ing programs. General information
about the occupation can be ob­
tained from:
Farm and Industrial Equipment Insti­
tute, 850 Wrigley Building N ., 410
North Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111.
60611.
National Farm and Power Equipment
Dealers Association, 2340 Hampton
Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63139.

INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY
REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 626. through 631.)
Nature off the Work

The great variety of machinery
and equipment used throughout
American industry is kept in good
operating condition by industrial
machinery repairmen—often called
maintenance mechanics. These skilled
workers maintain and repair ma­
chinery and other mechanical equip­
ment used in many kinds of fac­
tories. When breakdowns occur,
repairmen must quickly find the
causes of trouble and make repairs
because delays can interrupt the
factory’s production.
Repairmen spend much time doing
preventive maintenance. By regu­
larly inspecting the equipment, oil­
ing and greasing machines, and
cleaning parts, they prevent trouble
which could cause breakdowns later.
They also may keep maintenance
records of the equipment serviced.
The types of machinery serv­
iced by repairmen depend on the
industry. For example, in the ap­
parel industry, they may repair
belts, adjust treadles, or replace
motor bearings in industrial sewing




machines. In printing plants, repair­
men maintain the presses.
Repairmen often follow blue­
prints, lubrication charts, and en­
gineering specifications in main­
taining and repairing equipment.
They also may use catalogs to order
replacements for broken or defec­
tive parts. When parts are not
readily available, or when a ma­
chine must be quickly returned to
production, repairmen may sketch
a part that can be fabricated by
the plant’s machine shop.
Industrial machinery repairmen
use wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers,
and other handtools, as well as
portable power tools. They also
may use welding equipment in re­
pairing broken metal parts.

amounts of machinery. However,
many of the 430,000 repairmen em­
ployed in 1972 worked in the fol­
lowing industries: food products,
primary metals, machinery, chem­
icals, fabricated metal products, and
transportation equipment. Many re­
pairmen also were employed in the
paper and rubber industries.
Because industrial machinery
repairmen work in a wide variety
of plants, they are employed in
every section of the country. The
largest numbers of these workers
are found in New York, Pennsyl­
vania, California, Ohio, Illinois,
Michigan, New Jersey, Massachu­
setts, and other heavily industrial­
ized States.

Places of Employment

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Repairmen work in almost every
industrial plant that uses large

Most workers who become in­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

438

dustrial machinery repairmen start
as helpers and pick up the skills
of the trade informally, through
several years of experience. Others
learn the trade through formal ap­
prenticeship programs. Apprentice­
ship training usually lasts 4 years
and consists of both on-the-job
training and related classroom (or
correspondence school) instruction
in subjects such as shop mathema­
tics, blueprint reading, and welding.
Mechanical aptitude and manual
dexterity are important qualifica­
tions for workers in this trade.
Good physical condition and agility
also are necessary because repair­
men sometimes have to lift heavy
objects or do considerable climb­
ing in order to reach equipment
located high above the floor.
High school courses in mechani­
cal drawing, mathematics, and blue­
print reading are recommended for
those interested in entering this
trade.
Employment Outlook

Employment of industrial ma­
chinery repairmen is expected to
increase rapidly through the mid1980’s. In addition to jobs that be­
come available from employment
growth, many openings will result
from the need to replace experi­
enced repairmen who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations.
More repairmen will be needed
to take care of the growing amount
of machinery used in manufacturing.
In addition, as automatic equip­
ment and continuous production
lines become more widespread, re­
pair work and preventive mainte­
nance will become more essential.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Average hourly earnings of in­
dustrial machinery repairmen in
manufacturing industries in 13 met­




ropolitan areas that were surveyed
in 1972— are shown in the follow­
73
ing tabulation:
Metropolitan area

Hourly rate

Baltimore .....................................
Boston ............................................
Chicago .........................................
Detroit ............................................
Houston .........................................
Miami ............................................
Minneapolis-St. Paul ..................
New York .....................................
Phoenix .........................................
Pittsburgh .....................................
San Francisco-Oakland .............
Seattle-Everett .............................
South Bend ...................................

$5.10
4.70
5.07
5.88
3.96
4.86
4.94
4.91
5.01
4.89
5.69
5.39
4.60

Apprentices usually begin at 50
percent of the journeyman rate and
receive periodic increases until that
rate is reached.
Industrial machinery repairmen
are not usually affected by seasonal
changes in production. During slack
periods, when some plant workers
are laid off, repairmen are often
retained. Many companies have
repairmen do major overhaul jobs
during such periods.
In emergencies, industrial ma­
chinery repairmen may be called
to the plant during off-duty hours.
In some factories, repairmen may
work nights and weekends.
Repairmen may work in stooped
or cramped positions in limited
space or from the tops of ladders,
and are subject to common shop
injuries such as cuts and bruises.
Accidents have been reduced, how­
ever, by the use of goggles, metaltip shoes, safety helmets, and other
protective devices.
Most industrial machinery repair­
men belong to labor unions. Some
of the unions in this field are the
United Steelworkers of America;
the International Union, United
Automobile, Aerospace and Agri­
cultural Implement Workers of
America; the International Asso­
ciation of Machinists and Aero­
space Workers; and the Interna­
tional Union of Electrical, Radio

and Machine Workers. Most union
contracts provide for paid holidays
and vacations, health and life in­
surance, retirement pensions, and
other fringe benefits.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about employment
opportunities in this field may be
available from local offices of the
State employment service.

INSTRUMENT REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 710.131, 710.281, 729.281,
823.281, and 828.281)
Nature of the Work

Instrument repairmen service
instruments that are used to meas­
ure, record, analyze, and control
product output in nearly all areas
of research and industry. Most
repairmen service a variety of instru­
ments; others specialize in electronic,
hydraulic, or pneumatic instruments.
Some repairmen install and test new
instruments and advise operators on
how to use and care for them.
Instrument repairmen perform
preventive maintenance by correct­
ing weakened or defective parts
that might break down and cause
production losses. They also clean,
lubricate, and adjust instruments.
When an instrument-controlled
system is not working correctly,
repairmen determine whether the
trouble is caused by the instrument
or by other equipment. They may
take apart faulty instruments and
examine and test the parts for de­
fects. They use testing equipment,
such as pressure and vacuum gauges,
speed counters, voltmeters, am­
meters, and oscilloscopes. Readings
shown on test equipment are com­
pared with readings that would be

439

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

shown if the instruments were oper­
ating properly.
Repairmen work at the site of
trouble or in repair shops. They
may perform major overhauls, re­
place worn or damaged parts, or
make minor repairs, such as re­
soldering loose connections. They
use handtools such as screwdrivers
and wrenches, and bench tools such
as jeweler’s lathes, pin vises, and
ultrasonic cleaners for small metal
parts. In some companies, they
operate drill presses, polishers, and
other machine tools to make new
parts or to change standard parts
to fit particular instruments. When
an instrument must be set very pre­
cisely, they may use jeweler’s
loupes, micrometers, or micro­
scopes. Repairmen frequently use
instruction books, maintenance
manuals, diagrams, and blueprints.

Places of Employment

More than 100,000 persons worked
as instrument repairmen in 1972.
Most of them worked for gas and
electric utilities, petroleum and
chemical plants, and manufacturers
of instruments and industrial con­
trols. Large numbers of instrument
repairmen also worked for airlines
and manufacturers of pulp and pa­
per, metals, rubber, aircraft and
missiles, and automobiles. A few
thousand worked for Federal agen­
cies, mainly the Air Force, Navy,
and Army.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

At least 4 years of on-the-job
training and study are usually re­
quired in order to become an instru­

Instrument repairman uses hand tools for final adjustments.




ment repairmen. However, training
time depends upon individual ability,
previous experience and training,
and complexity of the instruments
serviced.
Instrument repairmen generally
are selected from production em­
ployees or hired as trainees. They
may learn their trade informally
on the job or through formal ap­
prenticeship. Apprenticeship pro­
grams generally last 4 years and,
in addition to work experience, may
include instrumentation theory,
mathematics, blueprint reading,
physics, electronics, and chemistry.
These courses may be taken by cor­
respondence or at local schools.
Some people train for instrument
repair work in technical institutes
and junior colleges. Programs of­
fered by these schools usually last
2 years and emphasize basic engi­
neering courses, science, and mathe­
matics. As instruments become
more complex, technical school train­
ing will become more important and
young people with this kind of train­
ing will have better advancement
opportunities.
Armed Forces technical schools
also offer training in instrument
servicing. Skills acquired in this
way may help a person qualify for
a civilian job as an instrument repair­
man. A small number of unemployed
and underemployed workers receive
training in general instrument repair
or in specialized electronic instruments
under the Manpower Development
and Training Act.
Several instrument manufacturers
offer specialized training to experi­
enced repairmen employed by their
customers. This training generally
lasts from 1 week to 9 months, de­
pending upon the number and com­
plexity of the instruments. Courses
are given in theory, maintenance,
and operation of the instruments
produced by these manufacturers.
Instrument repairmen also keep up

440

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

with new developments in their field
by reading trade magazines and
manufacturers’ service manuals.
Trainees or apprentices generally
must be high school graduates.
Courses in algebra, trigonometry,
physics, chemistry, electronics,
machine shop, and blueprint read­
ing are considered particularly use­
ful. Some employers give tests to
applicants to determine their me­
chanical aptitude. Good eye-hand
coordination and finger dexterity
are needed to handle delicate parts.
The ability to work without close
supervision also is important. Build­
ing and maintaining a ham radio
station or a stereo is good experience
for an individual planning to be­
come an instrument repairman, at
least for electronic instrumentation.
Instrument repairmen having
supervisory ability may become
foremen in maintenance and repair
departments. Some may advance to
positions as service representatives
for instrument manufacturers. A
few instrument repairmen become
engineering assistants. A basic
knowledge of electronics increases
advancement possibilities because of
the growing use of electronic cir­
cuitry in instruments.
Employment Outlook

Employment of instrument re­
pairmen is expected to increase
rapidly through the mid-1980’s. In
addition to jobs due to growth, a
few thousand openings will result
annually from the need to replace
experienced repairmen who retire,
die, or transfer to other occupa­
tions.
Additional instrument repairmen
will be needed because the use of
instruments is expected to increase,
particularly in areas such as ocean­
ography, pollution monitoring, and
medical diagnosis. Industrial instru­
ments for process control in indus­




tries such as petroleum, steel,
chemicals, food, and rubber also
are expected to increase substan­
tially. In addition, more instruments
will be needed for research labora­
tories, aircraft and missiles, auto­
motive repair shops, and optical ap­
plications. The anticipated U.S.
conversion to international units
of measure will require altering
and recalibrating instruments to
the metric system. This conversion
will largely be done by instrument
repairmen.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Several union contracts in the
paper and petroleum industries in­
dicated that many instrument re­
pairmen received between $3.81 and
$5.29 an hour in 1972. Those spe­
cializing in the repair of electronic
instruments often receive higher
wages. Instrument repairmen em­
ployed by Federal agencies receive
about the same rates as those in
private industry.
Most instrument repairmen work
a 40-hour, 5-day week. Those em­
ployed in plants that operate
around-the-clock may work on any
of three shifts or rotate among
shifts. Repairmen also may be
called to work with emergency
crews nights, Sundays, and holi­
days. They receive premium pay
for night and holiday work, and
most companies provide holiday
and vacation pay. Many companies
provide additional employee bene­
fits, such as health and life in­
surance and retirement pensions.
Work settings for instrument re­
pairmen vary from factory floors
amid noise, heat, and fumes to
quiet, clean well-lighted shops.In
some industries, such as chemicals,
petroleum, and steel, repairmen may
have to work outdoors. Those em­
ployed by instrument manufacturers
may travel frequently.

Many instrument repairmen be­
long to unions, including the Inter­
national Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers; Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers; International Brotherhood
of Pulp, Sulphite and Paper Mill
Workers; International Chemical
Workers Union; International
Union of Electrical, Radio and Ma­
chine Workers; International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace, and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America; Oil, Chemical and Atom­
ic Workers International Union;
United Steelworkers of America;
and Utility Workers Union of
America.
Sources of Additional Information

The local office of the State em­
ployment service may be a source of
information about the Manpower
Development and Training Act,
apprenticeship, and other programs
that provide training opportunities
for persons who wish to enter this
occupation. Additonal information
about training and employment op­
portunities is available from:
Instrument Society of America, 400
Stanwix St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222.
Scientific Apparatus Makers Associa­
tion, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

Inquiries concerning positions
with the Federal Government should
be made at the regional offices of
the U.S. Civil Service Commission.

JEWELERS
(D.O.T. 700.281 and .381)
Nature of the Work

Jewelers make rings, pins, neck­
laces, and other precious jewelry.
These craftsmen also may do repair

441

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

work such as enlarging and reduc­
ing rings, resetting stones, and
soldering broken parts. The jew­
eler’s work is very delicate and
must be done with care and preci­
sion because materials usually are
expensive.
Jewelers follow either their own
designs or those created by de­
signers. They outline the design
on metal such as gold or silver,
and then cut, fit, and shape each
part. After polishing, they solder
parts together to form the finished
piece. Jewelers then carve designs
in the metal and mount rubies,
opals, or other stones. When doing
very precise work, they use a
magnifying glass or eye “loupe.”
As a rule, jewelers specialize in
a particular kind of jewelry, or in
a particular operation, such as
model making, designing, polish­
ing, or stone setting. With years
of experience some develop all­
round skills and are capable of
making and repairing any kind of
jewelry.
Costume jewelry and some kinds
of precious jewelry are mass-

produced by factory workers using
assembly line methods. The metal
usually is melted and cast in a
mold or shaped with a die. Skilled
jewelers are needed, however, to
perform finishing operations, such
as engraving and stone setting.
Many jewelers own jewelry stores
or shops that make and repair
jewelry. In addition to working on
jewelry, these small businessmen
hire employees, order and sell
merchandise, and handle other
managerial duties.

Places of Employment

About half of the 18,000 jewelers
employed in 1972 owned retail
jewelry stores and repair shops.
The remainder worked in jewelry
stores, repair shops, and factories.
Nearly one-half of all precious
jewelry factories are located in New
York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts,
New Jersey, and California. The
New York City metropolitan area
is the center of precious jewelry
manufacturing.

The jeweler’s work is very delicate.




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Jewelers’ skills can be learned
through informal on-the-job train­
ing or formal apprenticeship pro­
grams. Beginners usually can qualify
as jewelry repairmen after about a
year on the job. Depending on the
particular skill to be learned, ap­
prenticeship programs for jewelry
makers usually take from 3 to 4
years. For example, 3 years are
required in order to become a
colored-stone setter and 4 years
to qualify as a diamond setter.
Apprenticeship programs include
on-the-job training as well as class­
room instruction in design, quality
of precious stones, chemistry of
metals, and related subjects.
Jewelry factories offer the best
opportunities for a young person
to acquire all-round skills. Repair
shops also offer training opportu­
nities, but their small size—many
employ only one or two persons—
limits the number of trainees.
A high school education is desir­
able for young people entering the
trade. Courses in chemistry, me­
chanical drawing, and art are
particularly useful. A small num­
ber of trade schools offer courses
in jewelry repair.
The precise and delicate nature
of jewelry work requires finger and
hand dexterity, good eye-hand co­
ordination, patience, and concen­
tration. People working with
precious stones and metals must
be bonded and investigated for
honesty, trustworthiness, and re­
spect for the law.
In manufacturing, jewelry work­
ers can advance to foremen; in
stores, they may become managers.
Some jewelers open their own
jewelry stores or repair shops.
A substantial financial investment
is required in order to open a
jewelry store, and the field is high­
ly competitive. Jewelers who plan

442

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

O c c u p a tio n

Jewelers—handmade work .................................
Modelmakers .........................................................
Stone setters:
Diamonds— handmade work ..........................
production ...................................
Colored stones— handmade work ..................
production ..........................
Engravers ...............................................................
Polishers ............................ ....................................
Toolmakers .............................................................

to open their own stores should
have experience in selling jewelry.
Those who can repair watches have
an advantage, since watch repairs
account for much of the business
in small stores.
Employment Outlook

Employment of jewelers is ex­
pected to show little or no change
through the mid-1980’s. However,
several hundred job openings will
occur each year as experienced
workers retire, die, or transfer to
other occupations.
The demand for jewelry will in­
crease as population grows, and as
rising incomes encourage people to
spend more on luxuries. Most of the
demand, however, will be for cos­
tume jewelry. Since most costume
articles are mass-produced by semi­
skilled factory workers and are
seldom worth repairing, the de­
mand for jewelers is not expected
to grow significantly.
Earnings and Working Conditions

According to limited information
available, weekly earnings of ex­
perienced jewelers ranged from $175
to $250 a week in 1972 in jewelry
stores and repair shops. Beginners
earned about $125 a week. Those in
business for themselves earned much
more. Most jewelers in stores and
repair shops work 40 to 48 hours
a week.
A union contract covering several



A v e r a g e h o u rly
ea rn in g s

M in im u m h o u rly
j o b ra te

LOCKSMITHS

$6.00-6.50
7 .5 0 -8 .0 0

$4.50
4.55

(D.O.T. 709.281)

6 .5 0 -7 .0 0
6 .0 0 -6 .5 0
6 .0 0 -6 .5 0
6.00
5.00
5.00
6.50

4.75
4.50
4.20
4.05
4.00
4.00
4.55

Nature of the Work

New York City jewelry factories
in 1972 provided the minimum
hourly rates shown in the accom­
panying table for workers in various
jobs. Average hourly rates also are
shown.
Under this contract, employees
have a 35-hour workweek and are
paid time and one-half for all work
done before or after the regular
workday.
Jewelry work is sometimes rec­
ommended for the physically handi­
capped since the employee is seated
and exerts little energy.
Sources of Additional Information

Information on job opportunities
in jewelry stores may be obtained
from:
Retail Jewelers of America, Inc., 1025 Ver­
mont Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.
20005.

Information on opportunities in
jewelry manufacturing may be ob­
tained from:
Manufacturing Jewelers and Silver­
smiths of America, Inc., Sheraton-Biltmore Hotel, Room S-75, Providence,
R.I. 02902.

Locksmithing is an ancient
trade— so old, in fact, that archeol­
ogists have found evidence of keyoperated wooden locks made for
Egyptian royalty as early as 2000
B.C. For many centuries, the lock­
smith’s talents were available to
only a relatively few who could af­
ford the locks of the day, some­
times elaborate, if none too fool­
proof. In 1861, the pin tumbler lock
was invented and a mass-production
method developed that made these
locks nearly as common as doors
themselves. The locksmith came
into demand as never before.
Today’s locksmiths spend much
of their time helping people who
have locked themselves out of their
cars, homes, and businesses. If the
key has been left inside the car or
house, 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, the locksmith
will first try to obtain identifying
key code numbers so that he can
cut duplicates of the original key.
Code numbers for a car’s keys, for
example, may be obtained by con­
sulting the dealer who sold the
car, or by checking the owner’s
bill of sale. Keys also can be dupli­
cated by impression. In this case,
the locksmith places a blank key
in the lock and, by following marks
left on the blank, files notches in
it until it works.
Combination locks offer a special
challenge. Locksmiths sometimes
open them by touch, that is, by
rotating the dial and feeling the vi­
brations when the wheels come into
place. If all else fails, a hole may
be drilled through the lock to open
it.
Finally, locksmiths repair
damaged locks by replacing tum­
blers, springs, and other parts.

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

As a security measure, many
firms periodically have their locks
rekeyed. To do this, locksmiths
change the locking mechanism to
fit new key codes, thus making the
old keys useless. Rekeying a master
system is one of the most compli­
cated and time consuming jobs
handled by a locksmith. In a master
system, some keys must open all
doors; others open various combina­
tions (for example, all doors on one
floor); still others are individual
keys for each door.
Some locksmiths install and re­
pair electronic burglar alarms and
surveillance systems which signal
police or firemen when break-ins or
fires occur. A basic knowledge of
electricity and electronics is needed
to install and repair these systems.
Much of the work is done by spe­
cialists called protective-signal re­
pairmen, rather than by locksmiths.
Locksmiths use screwdrivers,

443

pliers, tweezers, and electric drills
in their work, as well as special tools
such as lockpicks. They make origi­
nal and duplicate keys on key­
cutting machines. To guide them in
their work, they refer to manuals
that describe the construction of
various locks.
Places of Employment

Most of the estimated 8,000
locksmiths in 1972 were employed
in locksmith shops. Many operated
their own businesses. Locksmith
shops typically employ one to three
locksmiths; few employ more than
five. Some locksmiths worked in
hardware and department stores
that offered the public locksmith
services; other worked in govern­
ment agencies and large industrial
plants. A small number worked for
safe and lock manufacturers.
Although most jobs will be found

Locksmith changes safe’s combination.




in big cities, locksmiths work in
virtually every part of the country.
Locksmithing in small towns, how­
ever, is usually a part-time job,
often combined with other work,
such as fixing lawn mowers, guns,
and bicycles.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The skills of this trade are learned
primarily through on-the-job train­
ing. Experienced locksmiths are the
teachers. First, beginners may learn
to duplicate keys and make keys
from codes. Later, they learn to
open, repair, and install locks, and,
finally, to work on safes. Generally,
a beginner needs about 4 years of
on-the-job training to qualify as a
locksmith. Additional training is
needed to service electronic security
systems.
Employers look for young people
who have mechanical aptitude, good
hand-eye coordination, and manual
dexterity. A neat appearance and a
friendly, tactful manner also are
important, since the locksmith has
frequent contacts with the public.
Employers usually will not hire
applicants who have been convicted
of crimes.
Although high school graduates
are preferred, many employers will
hire applicants with less education.
High school courses in machine
shop, mechanical drawing, and
mathematics are helpful. Comple­
tion of a correspondence school
course in locksmithing increases
the chances of getting a trainee
job.
Locksmiths’ training programs for
unemployed and underemployed
workers were in operation in a
small number of cities in 1972,
under provisions of the Manpower
Development and Training Act
(MDTA). Graduates can qualify
as skilled locksmiths after additional
on-the-job training.

444

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

from $4 to $6 an hour in early 1972,
according to the limited information
available; many self-employed lock­
smiths earned even more. Trainees
usually started at about $2 an hour,
with 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 money
they collect; their earnings depend
on the amount of work available
and how quickly they complete it.
Fringe benefits vary, including in
some cases, holidays and vacation
pay, laundered uniforms free of
charge, employer contributions to
life, health, and accident insurance,
and paid sick leave.
Locksmiths generally work yearround. Most work 40 to 48 hours
a week; even longer hours are com­
mon 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
Employment Outlook
staff.
Locksmiths do considerable driv­
Employment in this relatively
small occupation is expected to in­ ing from job to job. At times, they
crease moderately through the mid- must work outside in bad weather
1980’s. The need to replace experi­ and occasionally work in awkward
enced workers who retire or die will positions for long periods. However,
create almost as many job openings locksmithing is cleaner work than
as employment growth. Additional that of most mechanical trades and
openings will arise as some lock­ is comparatively free from the dan­
smiths transfer to other occupations. ger of injury.
Employment of locksmiths will
increase as a result of population Sources of Additional Information
and business growth, and a more
Details about training and work
security conscious public. Oppor­
opportunities may be available from
tunities will be particularly favor­
able for locksmiths who know how local locksmith shops and local of­
to install and service electronic fices of the State employment serv­
security systems. Use of such sys­ ice. General information about the
tems has expanded greatly in recent occupation can be obtained from:
Associated Locksmiths of America,
years, and still greater growth is
Inc., 11 Elmendorf St., Kingston,
expected in the future.

Some cities require locksmiths to
be licensed. To obtain a license,
the applicant generally must be finger­
printed and pay a fee. However,
specific requirements vary from city
to city. Information on licensing
may be obtained from local govern­
ments.
To keep up with new developments
in their field, locksmiths may read
monthly technical journals. Another
method is attendance at training
classes at the annual convention of
Associated Locksmiths of America.
Here, they may update their knowl­
edge of security devices and learn
how to install and repair new ones.
Locksmiths can advance to super­
visory positions as shop foremen—
positions found, however, only in
the larger shops. Experienced lock­
smiths also can go into business for
themselves with relatively little capi­
tal. Many do business from their
homes.

N.Y. 12401.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Experienced

locksmiths




earned

MAINTENANCE
ELECTRICIANS
(D.O.T. 825.281 and 829.281)

Nature of the Work

Maintenance electricians keep
lighting systems, transformers, gen­
erators, and other electrical equip­
ment in good working order. They
also may install new electrical
equipment.
Duties vary greatly, depending on
where the electrician is employed.
Electricians who work in large fac­
tories may repair particular items
such as motors and welding ma­
chines. Those in office buildings
and small plants usually fix all
kinds of electrical equipment. Re­
gardless of location, electricians
spend much of their time doing pre­
ventive maintenance—periodic in­
spection of equipment to locate and
correct defects before breakdowns
occur. When trouble occurs, they
must find the cause and make re­
pairs quickly to prevent costly
production losses. In emergencies,
they advise management whether
continued operation of equipment
would be hazardous, necessitating a
shutdown.
Maintenance electricians make re­
pairs by replacing items such as
fuses, circuit breakers, or switches.
When installing new or replacing
existing wiring, they splice wires
and cut and bend conduits (pipes)
through which the wires are run.
Maintenance electricians some­
times work from blueprints, wiring
diagrams, or other specifications.
They use ammeters, volt-ohm
meters, and other testing devices
to locate faulty equipment. To
make repairs they use pliers, screw­
drivers, wire cutters, drills, and
other tools.

445

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Places off Employment

An estimated 260,000 mainte­
nance electricians were employed
in 1972. More than half of these
craftsmen worked in manufacturing
industries; large numbers worked
in plants that make automobiles,
machinery, chemicals, aluminum,
and iron and steel. Many mainte­
nance electricians also were em­
ployed by public utilities companies,
mines, railroads, and by Federal,
State, and local governments.
Maintenance electricians are em­
ployed in every State. Large num­
bers work in heavily industrialized
States such as California, New York,
Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Maintenance electricians learn their
skills on the job or through formal
apprenticeship programs. Training
authorities generally agree that ap­
prenticeship gives trainees more
thorough knowledge of the trade
and improved job opportunities dur­
ing their working life.
Apprenticeship programs for main­
tenance electricians usually last 4
years. Apprentices are given on-thejob training and related classroom
instruction in subjects such as
mathematics, electrical and elec­
tronic theory, and blueprint reading.
Training may include motor repair,
wire splicing, installation and re­
pair of electronic controls and cir­
cuits, and welding and brazing.
A young person employed as a
helper to a skilled maintenance
electrician can gradually learn the
skills of the craft by observing the
electrician and following instruc­
tions. Others learn the fundamentals
of the trade by moving from job
to job in the maintenance depart­
ment of a plant; they eventually get
enough experience to qualify as




skilled maintenance electricians.
This method of learning the trade,
however, may take more than 4
years.
Young people interested in be­
coming maintenance electricians
should include courses in mathe­
matics (such as algebra and trigo­
nometry) and basic science in their
high school or vocational school
curriculum. Because the electrician’s
craft is subject to constant techno­
logical change, many experienced
electricians continue to learn new
skills. For example, some mainte­
nance electricians who entered the
trade years ago must now learn
basic electronics.
In selecting apprentice applicants
or trainees, employers look for young
people who have manual dexterity and
are interested in learning how elec­
trical equipment functions. Appli­

cants also need good color vision
because electrical wires are fre­
quently identified by color. Al­
though physical strength is not es­
sential, agility and good health are
important.
All maintenance electricians should
be familiar with the National Electric
Code and local building codes. Many
cities and counties require mainte­
nance electricians to be licensed.
Electricians can get a license by
passing an examination that tests
their knowledge of electrical theory
and its application.
Some maintenance electricians be­
come foremen. Occasionally, they
advance to jobs such as plant electri­
cal superintendent or plant mainte­
nance superintendent. After addi­
tional training, maintenance electri­
cians also can become construction
electricians.

Maintenance electrician checks circuit.

446

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook

Employment of maintenance
electricians is expected to in­
crease moderately through the
mid-1980’s because of the grow­
ing amount of electrical and elec­
tronic equipment used in industry.
In addition to the jobs from em­
ployment growth, a few thousand
openings will arise each year to
replace experienced electricians who
retire, die, or transfer to other
occupations.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of maintenance electri­
cians compare favorably with those
of other skilled manufacturing
workers. In early 1972, maintenance
electricians averaged $4.96 an hour,
ranging from $3.40 in Manchester,
N.H. to $5.79 in Chicago, based on a
survey of 88 cities. In about threefourths of the cities surveyed, hour­
ly averages for these craftsmen
ranged from $4 to $5.25.
Apprentices start at about 60
percent of the journeyman’s basic
hourly pay rate. They receive in­
creases every 6 months, and rise
to 85 or 90 percent of the journey­
man’s rate during the last period
of apprenticeship.
During a single day, a mainte­
nance electrician may repair equip­
ment in a clean air-conditioned
office and on the factory floor,
surrounded by the noise, oil, and
grease of machinery. Electricians
often climb ladders or work on
scaffolds in awkward or cramped
positions.
Because maintenance electricians
work near high-voltage industrial
equipment, they must be alert and
accurate. Errors in wiring instal­
lations could have dangerous conse­
quences, both to the electrician
and other employees. Safety princi­
ples, which are a part of all elec­
trician training programs, have




reduced the frequency of accidents.
Electricians are taught to use pro­
tective equipment and clothing, to
respect the destructive potential
of electricity, and to fight small
electrical fires.
Among unions organizing mainte­
nance electricians are the Inter­
national Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers; the International Union
of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; the International Associ­
ation of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America (Ind.); and the United
Steelworkers of America. Most
union contracts provide major bene­
fit programs that may include paid
holidays and vacations, health and
life insurance, and retirement pen­
sions.
Sources of Additional Information

Young people who wish to ob­
tain further information about
electrician apprenticeships or other
work opportunities in the trade
should apply to local firms that
employ maintenance electricians; to
a local joint union-management
apprenticeship committee, if one is
in the locality; or to the local
office of the Bureau of Apprentice­
ship and Training, U.S. Department
of Labor. In addition, the local
office of the State employment serv­
ice may provide information about
training opportunities. Some State
employment service offices screen
applicants and give aptitude tests.

MOTORCYCLE
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 620.281 and .384)

Nature of the Work

More than 3 million Americans
own motorcycles and motor scoot­
ers. Although many cycling enthu­
siasts repair their own vehicles, most
rely on skilled mechanics.
Motorcycles, like automobiles,
need periodic servicing to operate
at peak efficiency. Spark plugs,
ignition points, brakes, and many
other parts that frequently get “ out
of whack” have to be adjusted or
replaced. This routine servicing
represents the major part of the
mechanic’s work.
The mark of a skilled mechanic
is his ability to diagnose mechani­
cal and electrical problems and to
make necessary repairs in a mini­
mum of time. In diagnosing prob­
lems, the mechanic first obtains a
description of the symptoms from
the motorcycle owner, and then
runs the engine or test rides the
machine. He may have to use spe­
cial testing equipment and dis­
assemble some components for
further examination. Once he has
pinpointed the problem, he makes
needed adjustments or replacements.
Some jobs require only the replace­
ment of a single item, such as a
carburetor or generator, and may
be completed in less than an hour.
In contrast, an overhaul may re­
quire several hours, because the
mechanic must disassemble and re­
assemble the engine to replace worn
valves, pistons, bearings, and other
internal parts.
Mechanics use common handtools such as wrenches, pliers,
and screwdrivers, as well as special
tools for getting at “hard to re­
move parts” such as flywheels and
bearings. They also use compression

447

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

“customizing” motorcycles. Most
shops employ less than five
mechanics.
Motorcycle mechanics are em­
ployed in every State and every
major city. About one-half worked
in 9 States: California, Michigan,
Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois,
Florida, Minnesota, and Indiana.
Nearly all mechanics who spe­
cialize in repairing motorcycles are
employed in cities having more
than 30,000 population. In smaller
cities, motorcycles frequently are
repaired by the owner or manager
of the dealership that sells that
particular make, or by mechanics
who repair all kinds of equipment
powered by small gasoline engines.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
Mechanic repairs motorcycle kick starter.

gauges, timing lights, and other
kinds of testing devices. Hoists are
used to lift heavy motorcycles.
Most mechanics specialize in
servicing only a few of the more
than 30 brands of motorcycles and
motor scooters. In large shops,
some mechanics specialize in over­
hauling and rebuilding engines and
transmissions, but most are ex­
pected to perform all kinds of
repairs. Mechanics may occasionally
repair mini-bikes, go-carts, snow­
mobiles, outboard boat motors,
lawn mowers, and other equipment
powered by small gasoline engines.
Places of Employment

Nearly all of the estimated 9,500
full-time and 3,000 part-time motor­
cycle mechanics employed in late
1972 worked for motorcycle dealers.
Most of the remainder maintained
police motorcycles for municipal
governments. A small number of
mechanics were employed by firms
that specialized in modifying or




Motorcycle mechanics usually
learn their trade on the job, picking
up skills from experienced workers.
Initially, a trainee learns to uncrate,
assemble, and road test new motor­
cycles. Next, he learns routine
maintenance jobs such as adjusting
brakes, spark plugs, and ignition
points. As the trainee gains experi­
ence, he progresses to more difficult
tasks such as repairing electrical
systems and overhauling engines
and transmissions. Generally, 2 to 3
years of training on the job are
necessary before a trainee becomes
a fully qualified mechanic.
A trainee is expected to accumu­
late handtools as he gains ex­
perience. Mechanics usually have
several hundred dollars invested
in tools.
Employers sometimes send me­
chanics and experienced trainees
to special training courses con­
ducted by motorcycle manufac­
turers and importers. These courses,
which may last as long as 2 weeks,
are designed to upgrade the worker’s
skills and provide information on
repairing new models.

When hiring trainees, employers
look particularly for cycling enthu­
siasts who have gained practical
experience by repairing their own
motorcycles. However, many em­
ployers will hire trainees with no
riding experience if they have me­
chanical aptitude and show an
interest in learning the work. Train­
ees must be able to obtain a motor­
cycle driver’s license.
Most employers prefer high
school graduates, but will accept
applicants with less education.
Courses in small engine repair—
offered by some high schools and
vocational schools—generally are
helpful, as are courses in automo­
bile 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 post-secondary and adult edu­
cation in small engine and motor­
cycle repair. Some technical schools
have training programs for motor­
cycle mechanics. Many junior and
community colleges offer courses in
motorcycle repairing. Some unem­
ployed and underemployed workers
have received training in small en­
gine repair under the Manpower
Development and Training Act.
Skills learned through repairing
motorcycles can be transferred to
other fields of mechanical work.
For example, since all internal
combustion engines are similar, a
motorcycle mechanic can become
an automobile or diesel mechanic
after some additional training.
However, such a transfer would
not necessarily mean higher earn­
ings.
Motorcycle mechanics have lim­
ited advancement possibilities. Those
with supervisory ability may ad­
vance to service manager and,
eventually, to general manager in
large dealerships. Those who have

448

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the necessary capital may become
dealers.
Employment Outlook

Employment in this relatively
small occupation is expected to
grow rapidly through the mid1980’s. Many additional openings
will arise from the need to replace
experienced mechanics who retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of
work.
Underlying the anticipated growth
in the number of motorcycle me­
chanics is the continued growth in
the number of motorcycles in use.
Increases in the young adult popu­
lation and in personal income levels
will create a demand for more
motorcycles, and additional me­
chanics will be needed to maintain
these machines. Also, growth in
the numbers of mini-bikes and
snowmobiles will stimulate the de­
mand for mechanics.
Maintenance requirements per
motorcycle may rise as a result of
a trend toward use of higher pow­
ered, more complex engines. How­
ever, this favorable employment
effect will probably be offset by
increases in mechanic efficiency
brought about by improved training
methods, better shop management,
and greater use of special tools and
test equipment. Also, improved
ignition systems and overall motor­
cycle design could lengthen the
intervals between routine servicing
and major repairs, as well.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of motorcycle mechanics
and trainees vary widely and depend
on level of skill, geographic loca­
tion, and employer. Limited infor­
mation indicates that experienced
mechanics employed by motorcycle
dealers earned between $3 and
$10 an hour in late 1972. Generally




experienced mechanics earned 2 to
3 times as much as trainees.
Some mechanics are paid an
hourly rate or a weekly salary.
Others are paid a percentage—
usually about 50 percent—of the
labor cost charged to the customer.
If a mechanic is paid on a per­
centage basis, his salary depends
on the amount of work he is as­
signed and how rapidly he com­
pletes it. Frequently, 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
as the weather grows warmer. Con­
sequently, most mechanics work
more than 40 hours a week during
the summer. Many temporary
workers hired to help handle the
increased work load work only part
time, and are laid off in the fall.
However, a large proportion of
these are either students or workers
having full-time jobs elsewhere.
Many motorcycle mechanics re­
ceive holiday and vacation pay and
additional benefits such as life,
health, and accident insurance.
Some also receive paid sick leave,
contributions to retirement plans,
and laundered uniforms. Mechanics
who work for dealers may receive
discounts on purchases of acces­
sories, parts, and motorcycles, al­
though most dealers try to discour­
age this as a reason for working.
Motorcycle shops generally are
well-lighted and ventilated, but are
noisy when engines are being tested.
The work is not hazardous, although
mechanics are subject to cuts,
bruises, and other minor injuries.
Since motorcycles are relatively
lightweight and have easily acces­
sible parts, mechanics rarely do
heavy lifting or work in awkward
positions.
A small percentage of motorcycle

mechanics are members of the Inter­
national Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers.
Sources of Additional Information

For further information regard­
ing employment opportunities and
training for motorcycle mechanics,
contact local motorcycle dealers or
the local office of the State employ­
ment service.

PIANO AND ORGAN
SERVICEMEN
(D.O.T. 730.281, .381, and 829.381)
Nature of the Work

There are four kinds of piano and
organ servicemen: piano tuners,
piano technicians, pipe organ
technicians, and electronic organ
technicians. According to their skills,
they tune, repair, and rebuild pianos
and organs. They usually begin their
trade by learning how to tune these
keyboard instruments.
Piano tuners (D.O.T. 730.381)
adjust piano strings so that they
will be in proper pitch and sound
musically correct. There are 220
strings in the modern 88-key piano.
After muting the strings on either
side, the tuner uses a tuning ham­
mer (also called a tuning lever or
wrench) to tighten or loosen the
string being tested until its frequency
matches that of a standard tuning
fork. The other strings are tuned in
relation to the starting string.
Sometimes the tuner has to make
minor repairs, such as replacing
worn or broken strings. Major re­
pairs, however, are made by experi­
enced craftsmen called piano techni­
cians.
In addition to knowing how to
tune a piano, piano technicians

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

(D.O.T. 730.281) can detect other as special ones such as regulating
problems that may affect its sound. tools, repinning tools, and key level­
Technicians talk with the customer ing devices.
Although organs and pianos look
to get an idea of what is wrong and
then go to work to find out why. somewhat alike, they function dif­
Once they find what the problem is ferently, and few servicemen work on
they make the necessary repairs or both instruments. Moreover, organ
adjustments. For example, they may servicemen specialize in either elec­
have to realign hammers that do not tronic or pipe organs.
strike the strings just right or replace
Pipe-organ technicians (D.O.T.
moth-eaten felt on the hammers. To 730.381) install, tune, and repair
dismantle and repair pianos, techni­ organs that make music by forcing
cians use common handtools as well air through one of two kinds of

Piano technician restrings baby grand.




449

pipes—flue pipes or reed pipes. The
tone in a flue pipe, like in a penny
whistle, is made by air forced by an
opening. The reed pipe makes its
tone by vibrating a brass reed in
the air current.
Like a piano tuner, the organ
technician uses his ear and a tuning
fork to put an organ in good voice.
To tune a flue pipe, the technician
moves a metal slide which increases
or decreases the pipe’s “speaking
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.
Some workers specialize only in
tuning, and do not have the all-round
skills of a technician.
Most pipe organs are very large
and complex, and are assembled on
site in places like churches and
auditoriums. Technicians install air
chests, blowers, airducts, organ pipes,
and other components. They follow
the designer’s blueprints and use a
variety of hand and power tools to
assemble components. Technicians
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.
Technicians may also maintain
organs on a regular basis, returning
every 3 or 4 months to tune them
and make other routine adjustments.
Electronic organ technicians
(D.O.T. 829.381) have very dif­
ferent duties from those of pipe
organ technicians. They use special
electronic test equipment to tune
and to check tone and amplifica­
tions. Some electronic organs do
not require tuning. Those that do
are fairly simple to tune. However,
these organs may break down due
to loose connections, faulty tran­
sistors, dirty contacts, and other
problems. When routine checks do
not find the problem, technicians

450

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

use meters and electronic devices
to check suspected circuits. For ex­
ample, they check voltages until
an unusual or irregular measure
shows up the part of the circuitry
causing trouble. When they Find
the problem, they make the neces­
sary repairs or adjustments, using
soldering irons, wire cutters, and
other handtools. Technicians often
use wiring diagrams and service
manuals that show connections
within organs, provide adjustment
information, and describe causes of
trouble. Because of the large dif­
ferences among various brands of
electronic organs, many technicians
service only a particular brand.
Places of Employment

About 7,000 persons worked as
full-time piano and organ service­
men in 1972; most were piano
servicemen. A small percentage of
these workers were women.
About two-thirds of the total
worked in independent repair shops;
many were the sole operators of
small shops. Another one-Fifth were
employed by piano and organ deal­
ers. Most of the rest worked for
piano and organ manufacturers.
Piano and organ servicemen are
employed mostly in big cities and
in States that have large popula­
tions. In towns too small to offer
enough work for a full-time service­
man, piano and pipe organ work
may be done part time by local
music teachers and professional
musicians. Similarly, electronic
organ work may be done by tele­
vision and radio repairmen.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Piano and organ servicemen gen­
erally learn on the job. Dealers and
repair shops hire beginners to do
general clean-up work, help service­




men move and install instruments,
and do other routine tasks. Helpers
gradually learn to tune and to make
simple repairs, and then take on
more difficult jobs as they gain
experience. Generally, 3 to 4 years
of on-the-job training are needed
to qualify as a piano, pipe organ,
or electronic organ technician, al­
though workers who have formal
education in these Fields can qualify
in less time. Piano tuning alone
usually can be learned on the job
in less than 2 years.
Piano and organ manufacturers
train inexperienced workers to as­
semble instruments. However, be­
cause assembly is done in many
steps, workers learn little about
the instrument as a whole, and
need additional training in tuning
and repair work before they can
qualify as technicians.
Young people interested in a
career in piano or organ servicing
should have good hearing, mechani­
cal aptitude, and manual dexterity.
Because service work frequently
is done in the customer’s home, a
neat appearance and a pleasant,
cooperative manner also are impor­
tant. Although some very capable
piano technicians are blind, organ
technicians need normal eyesight.
Ability to play the instrument helps,
but is not essential as a qualification.
In terms of education, employers
prefer high school graduates. Music
courses help develop the student’s
ear for tonal quality. Courses in
woodworking are useful also be­
cause many of the moving parts in
pianos and pipe organs are made of
wood. For jobs as electronic organ
technician trainees, applicants usual­
ly need formal training in elec­
tronics available from technical
schools, junior and community col­
leges, and some technical-vocational
high schools. Training in elec­
tronics also is available in the Armed
Forces.

Courses in piano technology,
which may take up to 2 years, are
offered by a small number of pri­
vate technical schools. Some have
special courses for the blind and
other handicapped people. Home
study (correspondence school)
courses in piano and organ tech­
nology also are available.
Piano and organ servicemen keep
up with new developments in their
Fields by studying trade magazines
and manufacturers’ service manuals.
Most electronic organ manufac­
turers conduct brief courses peri­
odically to provide information on
technical changes in their instru­
ments.
Servicemen who work for large
dealers or repair shops can ad­
vance to supervisory positions.
Most servicemen move up, how­
ever, by going into business for
themselves. Relatively little capital
is required beyond an initial invest­
ment in tools. Basic piano or pipe
organ tools cost only a few hundred
dollars. By contrast, tools and test
equipment for electronic organs
may cost a thousand dollars or
more. Typically, self-employed
servicemen operate out of their
own homes and use a car or a small
truck for service calls.
Employment Outlook

Little growth in the number of
piano tuners, piano technicians, and
pipe organ technicians is expected
through the mid-1980’s. The num­
ber of pianos and pipe organs has
not increased much in recent years,
primarily because of competition
from other forms of entertainment
and recreation, and this trend is
expected to continue. Nevertheless,
some jobs will open each year as
experienced workers retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations. Near­
ly all will be for piano tuners and
technicians.

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

A moderate increase in jobs for
electronic organ technicians is ex­
pected. The electronic organ, a
comparatively new instrument, con­
tinues to grow in popularity. How­
ever, this is a very small occupation
and the number of job openings will
be far fewer than those for piano
tuners and technicians.
Opportunities for beginners will
be best in piano and organ dealer­
ships and large repair shops. Many
repair shops are too small to afford
a full-time helper, although they
may hire one part time.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Experienced workers earned from
$3 to $8 an hour in 1972, depending
on their level of skill and where they
worked, according to limited infor­
mation. Beginning rates for helpers
ranged from $1.80 to $2.55 an hour.
Many self-employed servicemen
earned more than $10,000 a year,
and earnings in excess of $15,000 a
year were not uncommon. Earnings
of self-employed servicemen de­
pend on the size of the community,
their ability to attract and keep
customers, their operating expenses,
and competition from other service­
men.
Service business increases with
cold weather because people spend
more time indoors playing the piano
or organ. Consequently, during fall
and winter, many servicemen work
more than 40 hours a week. As busi­
ness falls off during spring and sum­
mer, shops may take up the slack
by reconditioning or rebuilding old
instruments. Self-employed service­
men frequently work evenings and
weekends to suit their customers.
Many employers provide holidays
and vacation pay. Some of the larger
ones also provide life and health in­
surance, paid sick leave, and other
benefits.
The work is relatively safe, al­




451

though servicemen may suffer small
cuts and bruises when making repairs.
Electrical shock is a minor hazard
for electronic organ technicians but
it has rarely caused serious injury.
Work is performed in shops and
homes and public buildings such as
churches and schools where working
conditions usually are pleasant.
Sources of Additonal Information

Details about job opportunities
may be available from local piano
and organ dealers and repair shops.
General information about piano
technicians and a list of schools
offering courses in piano tech­
nology may be obtained from:
Piano Technicians Guild, Inc., P.O. Box
1813, Seattle, Wash. 98111.

SHOE REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 365.381)
Nature of the Work

Shoe repairmen spend most of
their time replacing worn heels and

soles. Repairmen prepare shoes by
removing the worn soles and old
stitching, and roughing the bottom
of the shoes on sanding wheels.
They select new soles or cut them
from pieces of leather; and then
cement, nail, or sew the soles to
the shoes. Finally, they trim the
soles. To reheel shoes, repairmen
pry off old heels, select replacement
heels or cut them to shape, and
cement and nail them into place.
After the heels and soles have been
replaced, repairmen stain and buff
them to match the color of the shoes.
Before completing the job, repair­
men may replace insoles, restitch
loose seams, and polish the shoes.
Highly skilled repairmen may de­
sign, make, or repair orthopedic
shoes according to doctors’ prescrip­
tions. Repairmen also may mend
handbags, luggage, tents, and other
items made of leather, rubber, or
canvas.
In large shops, repair work often
is divided into a number of special­
ized tasks. For example, some re­
pairmen only remove and replace
heels and soles; others only restitch
torn seams.
Shoe repairmen use power-

Shoe repairman replacing zipper.

452

operated sole-stitchers and heelnailing machines, and manually
operated sewing machines. Among
the handtools they use are hammers,
awls, and nippers.
Self-employed shoe repairmen
have managerial responsibilities in
addition to their regular duties. They
estimate repair costs, keep records,
and supervise other repairmen.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook

Employment of shoe repairmen is
expected to decline slowly through
the mid-1980’s. Nevertheless, hun­
dreds of openings will arise each
year because of the need to replace
experienced repairmen who retire,
die, or change occupations.
Although the sale of shoes will
increase as the population grows,
several factors are expected to limit
the demand for repairmen. In recent
Places of Employment
years, the popularity of canvas foot­
About 25,000 shoe repairmen wear, loafers, sandals, and cushionwere employed in 1972. About three- soled shoes has increased. Because
fourths of them own shoe repair of their construction, these types of
shops, many of which are small, shoes often cannot be repaired. Also,
one man operations. Most of the re­ as personal income rises, many
maining repairmen worked in large people buy new shoes rather than
shoe repair shops. Some repairmen repair old ones.
worked in department stores, variety
stores, shoe stores, and drycleaning
Earnings and Working Conditions
shops.
All cities and towns and many
Information from a limited num­
very small communities have shoe
ber of employers and union contracts
repair shops. Employment, however,
indicate that many shoe repairmen
is concentrated in large cities.
earned between $2.50 and $3.50 an
hour in 1972. Inexperienced trainees
generally earned between $1.85 and
Training, Other Qualifications,
$2.10 an hour. Some highly skilled
and Advancement
repairmen, including managers of
Most shoe repairmen are hired shoe repair shops, earned more than
as helpers and trained on the job. $200 a week.
Shoe repairmen generally work
Helpers begin by assisting experi­
enced repairmen with simple tasks, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The
such as staining, brushing, and shin­ workweek for the self-employed,
ing shoes; then they progress to however, is often longer, sometimes
more difficult tasks, such as replac­ 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.
ing heels, as they gain experience. Although shoe repair shops are
Helpers who have aptitude and busiest during the spring and fall,
initiative can become qualified shoe work is steady with no seasonal
repairmen after 2 years of on-the-job layoffs. Employees in large shops
receive from 1 to 4 weeks’ paid vaca­
training.
tion each year, depending on the
Some repairmen learn their trade
at vocational schools. A small num­ length of service, and usually at least
ber enter the occupation through 6 paid holidays.
Working conditions generally are
apprenticeship training programs.
good in large repair shops. Some
Skilled shoe repairmen in large
shops may become foremen or man­ small shops, however, may be
agers. Those who have the necessary crowded and noisy and have poor
light or ventilation. Strong odors
funds can open their own shops.




from leather goods, dyes, and stains
may be present.
Shoe repair work is not strenu­
ous, but it does require stamina,
because repairmen must stand up
much of the time.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about work oppor­
tunities can be obtained from the
local office of the State employment
service, as well as shoe repair shops
in the community.

TELEVISION AND RADIO
SERVICE TEC H N IC IA N S
(D.O.T. 720.281)
Nature of the Work

Television and radio service tech­
nicians repair a growing number of
electronic products, of which televi­
sion sets and radios are by far the
most numerous. They also repair
stereo components, tape recorders,
intercoms, and public address sys­
tems. Some service technicians spe­
cialize in repairing one kind of
equipment—for example, television
sets or car radios.
Equipment may operate unsatis­
factorily or break down completely
because of faulty tubes or transis­
tors, poor connections, or other
problems. Service technicians check
and evaluate each possible cause of
trouble; they begin by checking for
the most common cause—tube or
module failure. In other routine
checks, they look for loose or
broken connections and for parts
that are charred or burned.
When routine checks do not lo­
cate the trouble, technicians use
test equipment, such as voltmeters
and signal generators, to check sus­
pected circuits. For example, they

453

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

may measure voltages or wave forms
in a television set until an unusual
or irregular measurement indicates
the faulty part. Once the cause of
trouble is found, they replace faulty
parts and make adjustments, such as
focusing the picture or correcting
the color balance.
Technicians who make customer
service calls carry tubes, modules,
and other parts that can be easily
replaced in the customer’s home.
Radios, portable televisions, and
other small equipment usually are
repaired in service shops. Large tele­
vision sets also are repaired in shops
when the trouble must be located
with complex test equipment.
Service technicians use screw­
drivers, pliers, wire cutters, solder­
ing irons, and other handtools.
They refer to wiring diagrams and
service manuals that show connec­
tions and provide information on
how to locate problems and make
repairs.
Places of Employment

More than 140,000 people worked
as radio and television service tech­
nicians in 1972. About one-third of
them were self-employed, a much
larger proportion than in most
skilled trades.
Nearly three-fourths of all service
technicians worked in shops and
stores that sell and service televi­
sion sets, radios, and other electronic
products. Many others were em­
ployed by manufacturers of such
products.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians work in almost every city.
Geographically, employment is dis­
tributed in much the same way as
the Nation’s population.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Training in electronics is required
in order to become a skilled televi­




Television technicians use instruments to locate faulty circuits.

sion and radio service technician.
Technical, vocational, or high school
training in electronics, mathematics,
and physics may provide a good
background for entering the field.
The military service offers training
and work experience that is useful
to civilian electronics work, and
correspondence school courses also
are helpful.
From 2 to 4 years of combined
training and on-the-job experience
are required to become a qualified
service technician. People who have
no previous training may be hired
as helpers or apprentices if they
show aptitude for the work or, like
the amateur “ham” radio opera­
tor, have a hobby in electronics.
An important part of the service
technician’s training is provided by

many manufacturers, employers,
and trade associations. They con­
duct training programs to keep
service technicians abreast of the
latest servicing methods for new
models or products. Technicians
also keep up with technical develop­
ments by studying manufacturers’
instruction books and technical mag­
azines and by attending training
meetings.
Programs to train unemployed
and underemployed workers for
entry jobs in television and radio
servicing were in operation in sev­
eral States in 1972 under the Man­
power Development and Training
Act and the JOBS (Job Opportu­
nities in the Business Sector) Pro­
gram. These programs usually last
from about 6 months to a year.

454

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Graduates, however, need additional
training to become skilled technicians.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians must know how electronic
components and circuits work. Other
essential qualifications include the
ability to manipulate small parts
and tools, good eye-hand coordina­
tion, normal hearing, and good eye­
sight and color vision.
Service technicians who work in
large repair shops may be promoted
to foreman or service manager.
Technicians who have sufficient
funds may open their own sales and
repair shops. Some technicians ob­
tain jobs as electronic “trouble
shooters” or technicians in manu­
facturing industries or government
agencies. A small number of highly
qualified technicians who are em­
ployed by manufacturers can ad­
vance to higher paying occupations,
such as technical writer, sales engi­
neer, design engineer, or service
training instructor.
People interested in advancing to
positions such as electronic tech­
nician can improve their oppor­
tunities by taking trade school,
correspondence, or technical insti­
tute courses in automatic controls,
electronic engineering, television en­
gineering, and mathematics. Those
planning to go into business for
themselves should take some busi­
ness administration courses, par­
ticularly accounting.
In 1972, several cities and
six States—Indiana, Connecticut,
Louisiana, Massachusetts, Florida,
and Oregon—required that radio
and television technicians be licensed.
To obtain a license, applicants must
pass an examination designed to test
their knowledge of electronic cir­
cuits and components and their skill
in the use of testing equipment.
Employment Outlook

Employment of television and




radio service technicians is expected
to increase moderately through the
mid-1980’s. In addition to openings
from employment growth, many
openings will result each year from
the need to replace experienced tech­
nicians who retire, die, or change
occupations.
Employment of service techni­
cians is expected to increase in
response to the growing number of
radios, televisions, phonographs,
tape recorders, and other home
entertainment products in use. Fac­
tors that will contribute to this
growth include rising population
and personal incomes. In 1972, over
95 percent of all households had
at least one television set. During
the next decade, the number of
households with two television sets
or more is expected to increase
significantly, mainly because of the
growing demand for color and port­
able sets. Greater use of non­
entertainment products, such as
closed-circuit television, two-way
radios, and various medical elec­
tronic devices, also is expected. For
example, closed-circuit television is
being used increasingly to monitor
production processes in manufactur­
ing plants and to bring educational
programs into classrooms.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of television and radio
service technicians ranged from
$3 to $6.50 an hour in 1972, based
on the limited information available.
The wide variations in wage rates
reflect differences in skill level,
type of employer, and geographic
location.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians employed in local service
shops or dealer service departments
usually work 40 to 48 hours a week.
Some employers provide paid vaca­
tions and holidays; many also pro­

vide or help pay for health and life
insurance benefits.
Service on television, radio, and
other home entertainment products
is performed in shops and homes
where working conditions are usual­
ly pleasant. Some physical strain
is involved in lifting and carrying
equipment. Hazards include elec­
trical shock and the risk of falling
from roofs while installing or repair­
ing antennas.
Some service technicians are mem­
bers of labor unions. Most of them
belong to the International Brother­
hood of Electrical Workers.
Sources of Additional Information

For more information about jobs
in this field, contact local shops
and stores that service television
sets and radios and other electronic
equipment. Technical and vocational
schools that offer courses in televi­
sion and radio repair, or elec­
tronics may provide information
about training. In addition, the local
office of the State employment
service may have information about
the Manpower Development and
Training Act and other programs
that provide training opportunities.
Information about the work of
television and radio service techni­
cians also is available from:
National Alliance of Television and
Electronic Service Associations, 5908
South Troy St., Chicago, 111. 60629.
International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers, 1125 15th St. NW „ Wash­
ington, D.C. 20005.

TRUCK M ECHANICS AND
BUS MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 620.281)
Nature of the Work

Mechanics are needed to keep

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

455

the Nation’s commercial vehicles in
good operating condition. Truck me­
chanics maintain and repair heavy
trucks used for mining, construction,
and intercity travel; and small trucks
used for local hauling. Bus mechan­
ics service both local and trans­
continental buses. Although many
parts of large trucks and buses are
similar to automobile parts, truck
and bus mechanics repair large en­
gines, complex transmissions and
differentials, air-brakes, and other
components that are different from
those in automobiles.
Mechanics employed by organiza­
tions that maintain their own ve­
hicles may spend much time doing
preventive maintenance to assure
safe vehicle operation, prevent wear
and damage to parts, and reduce
costly breakdowns. During a main­
tenance check, mechanics inspect
brake systems, steering mechanisms,
wheel bearings, and other parts, and
make needed repairs and adjust­
ments.
In large shops, mechanics may
specialize in one or two kinds of
repair. For example, some mechan­
ics specialize in major engine or
transmission work. If an engine is
to be rebuilt, the mechanic dis­
assembles it, examines parts—such
as valves or pistons—for wear, and
replaces or repairs defective parts.
Many mechanics specialize in diesel
engines; that power large trucks
and buses. Diesel and gasoline en­
gines are similar, but have different
fuel and ignition systems. A mechan­
ic who has worked only on gasoline
engines needs special training to
qualify as a diesel mechanic. (See
statement on diesel mechanics else­
where in the Handbook.)
Truck and bus mechanics use
common handtools such as screw­
drivers and pliers; power and ma­
chine tools such as pneumatic
wrenches and drills; and welding
and flame cutting equipment. They

facturers employed a relatively small
number of mechanics.
Truck and bus mechanics are em­
ployed in every section of the
country, but most of them work in
large towns and cities where trucking
companies, buslines, and other fleet
owners have large repair shops.




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Truck mechanic works on engine.

also use testing equipment, such as
dynamometers to locate malfunc­
tions, and jacks and hoists to lift
and move large parts.
When doing heavy work, such
as removing engines and transmis­
sions, two mechanics may work as a
team, or a mechanic may be assisted
by an apprentice or helper. Mechan­
ics generally work under the super­
vision of a shop foreman or service
manager.

Places of Employment

A large proportion of the esti­
mated 115,000 truck mechanics em­
ployed in 1972 worked for firms
that own fleets of trucks. Fleet
owners include trucking companies
and businesses that haul their own
products such as dairies and bak­
eries. Other employers include truck
dealers, truck manufacturers, truck
repair shops, firms that rent or
lease trucks, and Federal, State,
and local governments.
Most of the estimated 20,000
bus mechanics employed in 1972
worked for local transit companies
and intercity buslines. Bus manu­

Most truck or bus mechanics
learn their skills on the job. Begin­
ners usually do tasks such as clean­
ing, fueling, and lubrication. They
may be required to drive vehicles
in and out of the shop. As beginners
gain experience and as vacancies
become available, they usually are
promoted to be mechanics’ helpers.
In some shops, young persons—
especially those who have prior
automobile repair experience—begin
as mechanics’ helpers.
Most helpers can make minor
repairs after a few months’ experi­
ence, and advance to increasingly
difficult jobs as they prove their
ability. Generally, 3 to 4 years of
on-the-job experience is necessary to
qualify as an all-round truck or bus
mechanic. Additional training may
be necessary for mechanics who
wish to specialize in diesel engines.
Most training authorities recom­
mend a formal 4-year apprenticeship
as the best way to learn these trades.
Typical apprenticeship programs for
truck and bus mechanics consist of
approximately 8,000 hours of shop
training and at least 576 hours of
classroom instruction. Frequently,
these programs include training in
both diesel and gasoline engine re­
pair.
In 1972, unemployed and under­
employed workers seeking entry jobs
as truck mechanics were trained in
a large number of cities under
the Manpower Development and
Training Act. This training, which

456

lasts up to a year, stresses basic
maintenance and repair work, but
additional on-the-job or apprentice­
ship training is needed before gradu­
ates can qualify as skilled mechanics.
For entry jobs, employers gen­
erally look for applicants who have
mechanical aptitude, 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 most em­
ployers believe it indicates that a
young person can finish a job and
has advancement potential.
When the mechanic’s duties in­
clude driving trucks or buses on
public roads, applicants may have
to get a State chauffeur’s license.
If the employer is engaged in inter­
state transportation, applicants also
may have to meet qualifications for
drivers established by the U.S. De­
partment of Transportation. These
applicants must be at least 21 years
of age, able bodied, and have good
hearing, and 20/40 eyesight with or
without glasses. They must read and
speak English and have a good driv­
ing record, including 1 year’s driving
experience.
Young persons interested in be­
coming truck or bus mechanics can
gain valuable experience by taking
high school or vocational school
courses in automobile repair. Science
and mathematics are helpful since
they better one’s understanding of
how trucks and buses operate.
Courses in diesel repair provide
valuable related training. Practical
experience in automobile repair from
working in a gasoline service sta­
tion, training in the Armed Forces,
and working on automobiles as a
hobby also is valuable.
Most mechanics must buy their
own handtools. Experienced me­
chanics often have several hundred
dollars invested in tools.
Employers sometimes send ex­
perienced mechanics to special train­



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ing classes conducted by truck, bus,
diesel engine, and parts manufac­
turers. In these classes, mechanics
learn to repair the latest equipment
or receive special training in sub­
jects such as diagnosing engine
malfunctions.
A young person considering a
career as truck or bus mechanic
should have strength and manual
dexterity to handle tools and equip­
ment. Good mechanics read many
service and repair manuals to keep
abreast of engineering changes.
Truck and bus mechanics usually
work independently and can see the
results of their work.
Experienced mechanics who have
supervisory ability may advance to
shop foremen or service managers.
Truck mechanics who have sales
ability sometimes become truck
salesmen. Some mechanics open
their own gasoline service stations
or repair shops.

Employment Outlook

Employment of truck mechan­
ics is expected to increase rapidly
through the mid-1980’s as a result
of significant increases in the trans­
portation of freight by trucks. More
trucks will be needed for both local
and intercity hauling due to in­
creased industrial activity, contin­
ued decentralization of industry,
and the continued movement of the
population to the suburbs.
Several hundred job openings for
bus mechanics are anticipated an­
nually through the mid-1980’s to
replace workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations. Total
employment, however, is not ex­
pected to change significantly be­
cause of offsetting factors affecting
the demand for bus service. More
buses will be needed for local travel
due to increased emphasis on mass
transit systems. Intercity bus travel,

on the other hand, is expected to
remain about the same.
Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a survey covering
88 metropolitan areas in 1972,
mechanics employed by trucking
companies, buslines, and other firms
that maintain their own vehicles had
average hourly earnings of $4.83,
one-fourth more than the average for
all nonsupervisory workers in private
industry, except farming.
Apprentices’ wage rates generally
start at half of skilled workers’
rates and are increased about every
6 months until a rate of 90 percent
is reached during the last 6 months
of the training period.
Most mechanics work between 40
and 48 hours per week. Because
many truck and bus firms provide
service around the clock, mechanics
may work evenings, night shifts,
and weekends, for which they usual­
ly receive a higher rate of pay. A
large number of employers provide
holidays and vacation pay; many
pay part or all the cost of employee
health and life insurance. Some em­
ployers furnish laundered uniforms.
Truck mechanics and bus mechan­
ics are subject to the usual shop
hazards such as cuts and bruises.
If proper safety precautions are not
followed, one risks injury when re­
pairing heavy parts supported on
jacks and hoists. Mechanics handle
greasy and dirty parts and may have
to stand or lie in awkward or
cramped positions when repairing
vehicles. Work areas usually are
well lighted, heated, and ventilated,
and many employers provide locker
rooms and shower facilities. Al­
though most work is done indoors,
mechanics occasionally make repairs
outdoors where breakdowns occur.
Many truck and bus mechanics
are members of labor unions, includ­
ing the International Association of

457

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
the Amalgamated Transit Union;
the International Union, United
Automobile, Aerospace and Agri­
cultural Implement Workers of
America; the Transport Workers
Union of America; the Sheet Metal
Workers’ International Association;
and the International Brotherhood
of Teamsters, Chauffers, Ware­
housemen and Helpers of America
(Ind.).
Sources of Additional Information

More details about work oppor­
tunities for truck or bus mechanics
may be obtained from local employ­
ers such as trucking companies,
truck dealers, or bus lines; locals
of unions previously mentioned; or
the local office of the State employ­
ment service. The State employment
service also may have information
about the Manpower Development
and Training Act, apprenticeship,
and other programs that provide
training opportunities. General in­
formation about the work of truck
mechanics and apprenticeship train­
ing may be obtained from:
American Trucking Associations, Inc.,
1616 P St. NW„ Washington, D.C.
20036.

VENDING MACHINE
M ECHANICS
(D.O.T. 639.381)
Nature of the Work

Vending machines have become
a familiar part of the everyday
lives of most people. In places of
recreation, work, and education,
vending machines provide every­
thing from a piece of candy to a
full-course meal.
Vending machine mechanics keep




these machines in good working
order. They also assemble and in­
stall machines, and in some cases,
stock them with merchandise. Some
mechanics work only in repair shops
and some work only in the field,
but many do both.
In preparing machines for installa­
tion, mechanics follow instructions
supplied by the manufacturer. After
the machine is put together and
tested, the mechanic fills it with
products or ingredients and gives it
a test run. When working on com­
plicated machines, such as beverage
or food dispensers, mechanics check
to see that the machines give proper
quantities of ingredients and that
refrigerating and heating units work
properly. On gravity-operated ma­
chines, mechanics check springs,
plungers, and merchandise delivery
systems. They also test coin and
change-making mechanisms. When
installing a machine on location,
mechanics make the necessary water
and electrical connections and re­
check the machines for proper
operation.
Preventive maintenance—avoiding
trouble before it starts—is another
major part of the job. For example,
the mechanic periodically cleans
electrical contact points, lubricates
mechanical parts, and adjusts ma­
chines to perform properly. When a
machine breaks down, the mechanic
must determine the cause of the
trouble. He first inspects the ma­
chine for obvious problems, such
as loose electrical wires, malfunc­
tions of the coin mechanism, and
leaks. If the problem cannot be
readily located, the repairman may
refer to troubleshooting manuals
and wiring diagrams and use testing
devices such as electrical circuit
testers to find the defective parts.
The mechanic then repairs or re­
places the faulty parts, either on
location or in the employer’s service
shop.

Mechanics use pipe cutters, sol­
dering irons, wrenches, screwdrivers,
hammers, and other handtools. In
the shop, they also may use power
tools, such as grinding wheels, saws
and drills.
Mechanics who install and repair
food vending machines must know
State public health and sanitation
standards as well as those estab­
lished under local plumbing codes.
They also must know and follow
safety procedures, especially when
lifting heavy objects and working
with electricity and gas.
Mechanics have to do some
clerical work, such as filing reports,
preparing repair cost estimates, and
ordering parts. Those employed by
small operating companies frequent­
ly service as well as repair ma­
chines. These combination “ repairroutemen” stock machines, collect
money, fill coin and currency
changers, and keep daily records
of merchandise distributed. (Addi­
tional information about vending
machine routemen is included in
the statement on routemen elsewhere
in the Handbook.)
Places off Employment

In 1972, about 29,000 mechanics
maintained and repaired approxi­
mately 5 million vending machines.
Most mechanics work for vending
service companies that install ma­
chines and provide necessary serv­
ices, such as cleaning, stocking, and
repairing. Other mechanics work
for beverage companies that have
coin-operated machines. Some also
work for companies that own and
operate juke boxes, pin-ball ma­
chines, and laundry and dry cleaning
machines. Although mechanics are
employed throughout the country,
most are located in industrial and
commercial centers where there are
a large number of vending machines.
Vending machine manufacturers

458

employ some highly skilled mechan­
ics to explain technical innovations
and ways to repair new machines
to other repairmen. Instruction takes
place either in manufacturers’ serv­
ice divisions in major cities or in
operators’ repair shops.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Young people usually enter this
trade as general shop helpers. If
shop helpers show promise as me­
chanics, they may become trainees.
Some workers are hired directly as
trainees.
Trainees learn the trade on the
job—observing, working with, and
receiving instruction from experi­
enced mechanics. Sometimes, they
attend manufacturer-sponsored
training sessions, which emphasize
the repair of new and complex




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

machines. Employers usually pay
wages and expenses during these
sessions which may last from a few
days to several weeks.
Because vending machines are
becoming more complex, some oper­
ators encourage both trainees and
experienced mechanics to take even­
ing courses in subjects related to
machine operation and repair—for
example, basic electricity. Employ­
ers pay for at least part of the
tuition and book expenses for these
courses.
The length of on-the-job training
varies with the individual’s capa­
bilities and previous education. Al­
though it usually takes from 1V to 2
2
years for trainees to become skilled,
they usually can handle simple repair
jobs after 6 months. Mechanics are
generally “in training” throughout
their working lives, since they must
be prepared to handle new and im­

proved vending equipment.
Many beginners are high school
graduates, but employers generally
do not require a diploma. High
school or vocational school courses
in electricity, refrigeration, and ma­
chine repair help beginners to qualify
for entry jobs. These courses also
may help beginners to skip the
lowest rung of the job ladder—
general shop helper.
Employers require applicants to
demonstrate mechanical ability,
either through their work experience
or by scoring well on mechanical
aptitude tests. The ability to deal
tactfully with people also is im­
portant. A commercial driver’s
license and a good driving record
are essential for most vending ma­
chine repair jobs.
Skilled mechanics may be pro­
moted to senior mechanic or, in
large companies, to shop foremen or
supervisor. Advancement to service
manager, who schedules repair work,
is possible for mechanics having
administrative ability. Mechanics
having initiative and adequate finan­
cial backing may become inde­
pendent operators.
Employment Outlook

Employment of vending machine
mechanics is expected to increase
rapidly through the mid-1980’s. In
addition, many job openings will
result from the need to replace
workers who retire, die, or transfer
to other fields of work.
Many factors will spur the de­
mand for vending machines and, in
turn, for the workers who service
and repair them. The movement of
industrial plants, schools, hospitals,
department stores and other estab­
lishments to the suburbs where eat­
ing places are not always close by,
will increase the demand for vending
machines. Demand also may be
stimulated by the rising popularity

459

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

of light meals, snacks, and quick
lunches. Vending machines now of­
fer a wide variety of merchandise
with, in many cases, round-the-clock
service and money-changing ma­
chines. This will make it more
appealing and convenient for cus­
tomers to use these machines.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Wage rates for vending machine
mechanics ranged from $2.60 to
$4.97 an hour in 1972, based on
information from a small number of
union contracts.
Most vending machine mechanics
work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week,
and receive premium pay for over­
time. Since vending machines can
be operated around the clock, me­
chanics frequently work at night
and on weekends and holidays. Some
union contracts stipulate higher pay
for nightwork and for emergency
repair jobs on weekends and
holidays.
Many employers provide fringe
benefits such as health and life
insurance and retirement plans. Paid
vacations are granted according to
length of service—usually 1 week
after 1 year of service, 2 weeks
after 2 years, and 3 weeks after 10
years. Typically, mechanics also re­
ceive 7 or 8 paid holidays annually.
Vending machine repair shops are
generally quiet, well-lighted, and
have adequate work space. How­
ever, when servicing machines on
location, mechanics may work in
cramped quarters, such as passage­
ways, where pedestrian traffic is
heavy. Repair work is relatively
safe, although mechanics are sub­
ject to shop hazards such as elec­
trical shocks and cuts from sharp
tools and metal objects.
Many vending machine mechanics
employed by large companies are
members of the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauf­




feurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers
of America.
Sources of Additional Information

Further information on job op­
portunities can be obtained from
local vending machine operators
and local offices of the State em­
ployment service. Information is
also available from the National
Automatic Merchandising Associa­
tion, 7 South Dearborn St., Chicago,
111. 60603.

machines. They use electrical
meters when repairing electric
watches to make sure that cir­
cuits are working properly.
Watch repairmen often own jew­
elry stores, and may do minor
jewelry repair and sell watches,
jewelry, silverware and other items.
They also may hire and supervise
salesclerks, other watch repairmen,
and jewelers; arrange window dis­
plays; purchase goods to be sold;
and perform other managerial
duties.
Places of Employment

WATCH REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 715.281)
Nature of the Work

Watch repairmen (also called
watchmakers) clean, repair, and
adjust watches, clocks, and other
timepieces. When a watch is not
working properly, repairmen use
tweezers, screwdrivers, and other
tools to remove the watch from its
case and disassemble the move­
ment. With the aid of a special
magnifying glass called a loupe,
they carefully examine each part of
the mechanism.
Repairmen may replace the main­
spring and other parts of the wind­
ing mechanism, adjust improperly
fitted wheels, and replace broken
hands or a cracked watch crystal.
They clean and oil parts before the
watch is reassembled and tested for
accuracy.
The development of interchange­
able mass-produced watch parts has
decreased the need to make parts
by hand; however repairmen often
must adjust factory-made parts of
complicated timepieces to insure a
true fit.
In addition to handtools, watch
repairmen use timing and cleaning

About 16,000 watch repairmen
were employed in 1972. Nearly half
of them were self-employed. Most
of the remainder worked in jew­
elry stores and repair shops or in
factories that made watches, clocks,
or other precision timing instru­
ments. A few watch repairmen were
instructors in vocational schools.
Although jewelry stores and re­
pair shops are found in many small
towns, most are in large commercial
centers such as New York City,
Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia,
and San Francisco. Nearly half of
all manufacturing establishments
are located in the mid-Atlantic
region.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Many young people become
watch repairmen by taking courses
in private watch repair schools or
public vocational high schools.
Others learn the trade through for­
mal apprenticeship or on-the-job
training programs.
There generally are no specific
educational requirements for en­
trance into any of the approximately
40 watch repair schools although
most students are high school grad­
uates. Courses usually last 18

460

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tiny parts.
Beginners who have sufficient
funds may open their own watch
repair shops, but the usual prac­
tice is to work for an experienced
watch repairman before starting
one’s own business. Watch repair­
men may also open their own jew­
elry stores; however, these stores
require a much greater financial
investment than do repair shops.

Employment Outlook

Watch repairmen need patience and good manual dexterity.

months, but the length of time
varies with the ability of the indi­
vidual student and whether atten­
dance is full- or part-time. Students
learn to take apart and reassemble
various kinds of watch and clock
movements, diagnose problems,
make and adjust individual parts,
and use and care for tools and
machines. Some schools offer
courses on repairing unusual types
of timepieces, such as chronographs
and timers. Most schools require
students to furnish their own handtools.
The following States require
watch repairmen to obtain a li­
cense: Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Ken­
tucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Min­
nesota, North Carolina, North Da­
kota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. To
obtain a license, repairmen must
pass an examination designed to
test their skill with tools and their




knowledge of watch construction
and repair.
Watch repairmen in all States,
however, can demonstrate their de­
gree of competence by passing one
or two certification examinations
given by the American Watch­
makers Institute. Successful exami­
nees receive the title of either
Certified Watchmaker or Certified
Master Watchmaker, depending on
their proficiency. Annual voluntary
examinations covering new phases
of watchmaking also are offered,
and those who pass are given a
plaque of recognition.
A young person planning a career
as a watch repairman must be will­
ing to sit for long periods and
work with a minimum of supervi­
sion. The precise and delicate nature
of the work requires patience and
concentration. Good visual depth
perception helps in working with

Employment of watch repairmen
is expected to show little or no change
through the mid-1980’s. However,
hundreds of job openings will arise
each year from the need to replace
experienced workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations.
The number of watches and clocks
in use will grow fairly rapidly due
to rising population and incomes.
The trends toward owning more
than one watch, wearing watches
as costume jewelry, and buying
more children’s watches are ex­
pected to continue. Only a limited
number of these watches will be
repaired, however, because most
will be pin-lever types which cost
little more to replace than to re­
pair. Consequently, the demand for
repairmen is not expected to keep
pace with increases in the number
of watches in use.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of watch repairmen in
entry jobs generally ranged from
about $125 to $150 a week in 1972,
based on the limited information
available. Experienced watch re­
pairmen working in retail stores,
repair shops, and watch manufac­
turing establishments received from
$150 to $250 for a 40-hour week. In
addition, repairmen in retail stores

461

OTHER MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

may receive commissions based on
sales of watches and other items
in the store.
Watch repairmen who are in
business for themselves usually earn
considerably more than those work­
ing for a salary. Earnings of the
self-employed depend on the amount
of repair work done and, in the
case of watch repairmen who own
retail jewelry stores, the amount
of sales.
Repairmen working in factories
and large shops often are covered
by life and health insurance pro­
grams and may participate in sav­




ings and investment plans.
Watch repairmen frequently work
longer than the standard 40-hour
week. Those who are self-employed
or located in small communities
often work a 48-hour week or longer.
The work involves little physical
exertion, however, and generally is
performed in comfortable surround­
ings. This light benchwork frequent­
ly is recommended to certain handi­
capped workers.
Some watch repairmen are mem­
bers of the International Jewelry
Workers Union or the American
Watch Workers Union (Ind.).

Sources off Additional Information

Information on training courses
and watch repairing as a career can
be obtained from:
American Watchmakers Institute, P.O.
Box 11011, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211.

Information on job opportunities
in retail stores can be obtained from:
Retail Jewelers of America, Inc., 1025
Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.
20005.

Further information about work
opportunities or training in this
trade also may be available from
local offices of the State employ­
ment service.




HEALTH OCCUPATIONS
When people are sick or injured,
the availability of health service be­
comes very important to them.
These services depend not only on
the number of people employed in
health occupations, but also on
their geographic distribution. Num­
bers employed have grown very
rapidly in recent years. How to
improve their distribution remains
a problem which is being attacked
on the national, State and local
levels.
About 3.8 million people worked
in health-related occupations in
1972. Besides doctors, nurses, den­
tists, and therapists, these include
the behind-the-scenes technologists,
technicians, administrators, and assitants.
Registered nurses, physicians,
pharmacists, and dentists consti­
tute the largest professional health
occupations, and in 1972 ranged
from 105,000 dentists to 750,000
registered nurses. Professional
health occupations also include
other medical practitioners (osteo­
pathic physicians, chiropractors,
optometrists, podiatrists, and vet­
erinarians). Therapists (physical
therapists, occupational therapists,
and speech pathologists and audio­
logists) and administrators (hospital
administrators and medical record
administrators) also are profession­
al health workers, as are dietitians
and sanitarians.
Other health service workers in­
clude technicians of various types,
such as medical technologist, medi­
cal X-ray technician, dental hygi­
enist, and dental laboratory tech­



nician. Large numbers—1.3 million— junior colleges have introduced
worked as practical nurses and courses recently to prepare students
auxiliary workers, including nursing for various health occupations. In
aides, orderlies, hospital attendants, most of the occupations for which
on-the-job-training has been the
and psychiatric assistants.
Hospitals employ about half of usual means of preparation, em­
all workers in the health field. ployers now prefer persons who
Others work in clinics, laboratories, have completed one of these formal
pharmacies, nursing homes, public programs.
health agencies, mental health cen­
ters, private offices, and patients’
Earnings
homes. Health workers are employed
Earnings of health workers range
mainly in the more heavily popu­
from the highest paid occupation—
lated and prosperous areas of the
physicians—to that of hospital at­
Nation.
Large numbers of women work tendants, who receive three-fourths
in health occupations. Almost all of the average earnings for nonnurses are women, as well as most supervisory workers in private in­
people in the technician, technologist dustry, except farming. Earnings
and assistant occupations. Most for the other health occupations
people in the therapist and reha­ that can be entered with up to 2
bilitation occupations also are wo­ years of formal training are about
men. While more than 9 of every 1
C the same as average earnings for
medical practitioners are men, an nonsupervisory workers in private
increasing number of women have industry, except farming. People in
entered these occupations in re­ those health occupations that re­
quire graduation from college earn
cent years.
from one-and-a-half times to twice
these average earnings. Among the
Training
occupations for which average year­
The educational and other re­ ly earnings are reported in the
quirements for work in the health Handbook, the top 15 include 8 of
field are as diverse as the health the professional health occupations,
occupations themselves. For ex­ including all 6 medical practitioners.
ample, professional health workers—
physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and
Outlook
others—must complete a number of
years of preprofessional and profes­
Overall employment in the health
sional college education and pass a field is expected to grow very
State licensing examination. On the rapidly through the mid-1980’s, al­
other hand, some health service occu­ though the rates of growth will
pations can be entered with little spec­ differ considerably among individual
ialized training. Many community and health occupations. Among the fac­
463

464

tors that are expected to contribute
to an increase in the demand for
health care are population growth
coupled with increasing health con­
sciousness and rising standards of
living. Expansion of coverage under
payment programs that make it
easier for persons to pay for hos­
pitalization and medical care also
will cause growth in the health serv­
ice occupations. Other openings




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

will be created each year by the in­
creasing expenditures by Federal,
State, and local governments for
health care and services.
In addition to jobs created by
employment growth many new
workers will be needed each year
to replace those who retire, die,
or—particularly for women—leave
the field for other reasons.
Recent expansion of training pro­

grams in most of the occupations
will add to the supply of trained
health service personnel. The em­
ployment outlook in the various
occupations ranges from excellent
to possibly competitive, depending
on the balance between supply of
workers and expected openings.
See the individual statements for
an outlook description for each
occupation.

DENTAL OCCUPATIONS
Proper dental care is an integral
part of overall health care. This
section focuses on the dental pro­
fession and the three key dental
occupations.
Dentists examine and treat pa­
tients for oral diseases and abnor­
malities, such as decayed and
impacted teeth. To an increasing
extent, however, modern dentistry
is emphasizing education in the
proper care of teeth and gums to
prevent future dental problems be­
fore they occur.
Dental hygienists are the only
dental auxiliary 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 assist dentists
primarily in private offices. They
prepare the patient for treatment
and assist the dentist while he is
working with the patient.
Dental laboratory technicians
prepare various dental and ortho­
dontal appliances from models and
specifications received from dentists.
This work requires patience, minute
attention to detail, and a high de­
gree of manual dexterity.

tract teeth and substitute artificial
dentures designed for the individual
patient. They also perform correc­
tive surgery of the gums and sup­
porting bones. In addition, they
may clean teeth.
Dentists spend most of their time
with patients, but may devote some
time to laboratory work such as
making dentures and inlays. Many

dentists, however—particularly in
large cities—send most of their
laboratory work to commercial
firms. Some dentists also employ
dental hygienists to clean patients’
teeth and for other duties. (See
statement on Dental Hygienists.)
They also may employ other assist­
ants who perform office work and
assist in “chairside” duties.
Most dentists are general prac­
titioners 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 in

DENTISTS
(D.O.T. 072.108)
Dentists examine teeth and other
tissues of the mouth to diagnose
diseases or abnormalities. They take
X-rays, fill cavities, straighten teeth,
and treat gum diseases. Dentists ex­




465

466

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the mouth and jaws. The remainder In 13 States, however, a dentist
specialize in pedodontics (dentistry cannot be licensed as a “specialist”
for children); periodontics (treating unless he has had 2 or 3 years of
the gums); prosthodontics (making graduate education and passes a
artificial teeth or dentures); endo­ special State examination. Few
dontics (root canal therapy); public States permit dentists licensed in
health dentistry; and oral pathology other States to practice in their
jurisdictions without further ex­
(diseases of the mouth).
About 3 percent of all dentists amination.
Dental colleges require from 2
teach in dental schools, do research,
or administer dental health pro­ to 3 years of predental education.
grams on a full-time basis. Many However, of those students enter­
dentists in private practice do this ing dental school in 1971, 70 per­
cent had a baccalaureate or mas­
work on a part-time basis.
ter’s degree. Predental education
must include courses in the sciences
and humanities.
Places of Employment
Competition is keen for admit­
About 105,000 dentists were at
tance to dental schools. In selecting
work in the United States in 1972—
students, schools give considerable
9 of every 10 were in private prac­
weight to college grades and amount
tice. About 5,800 served as commis­
of college education. In addition, all
sioned officers in the Armed Forces,
dental schools participate in a nation­
and about 1,400 had other types of
wide admission testing program, and
Federal Government positions—
scores earned on these tests are
chiefly in the hospitals and clinics
considered along with information
of the Veterans Administration and
gathered about the applicant through
the Public Health Service. Women
recommendations and interviews.
dentists represent only about 2 per­
Many State-supported dental
cent of the profession.
schools also give preference to
residents of their particular States.
Dental school training generally
Training, Other Qualifications,
lasts 4 academic years although
and Advancement
some institutions condense this into
A license to practice dentistry 3 calendar years. Studies begin with
is required in all States and the Dis­ an emphasis on classroom instruc­
trict of Columbia. To qualify for a tion and laboratory work in basic
license, a candidate must be a grad­ sciences such as anatomy, micro­
uate of an approved dental school biology, and physiology. The last
and pass a State board examination. 2 years are spent chiefly in a dental
In 1972, 49 States and the District clinic, treating patients.
of Columbia recognized the exami­
The degree of Doctor of Dental
nation given by the National Board Surgery (D.D.S.) is awarded by
of Dental Examiners as a substi­ most dental colleges. An equivalent
tute for the written part of the degree, Doctor of Dental Medicine
State board examinations. Delaware (D.M.D.) is conferred by 13 schools.
also requires new graduates to serve
Dentists who want to do research,
1 year of hospital internship, in teach, or become specialists must
addition to passing the written ex­ spend an additional 2 to 4 years
amination. Most State licenses per­ in advanced dental training in pro­
mit dentists to engage in both grams operated by dental schools,
general and specialized practice. hospitals, and other institutions of




higher education.
Dental education is very costly
because of the length of time re­
quired to earn the dental degree.
However, the Comprehensive Health
Manpower Training Act of 1971
provides Federal funds for loans
and scholarships of up to $3,500 a
year to help needy students pursue
full-time study leading to the de­
gree.
The profession of dentistry re­
quires both manual skills and a
high level of intelligence. Dentists
should have good visual memory,
excellent judgment of space and
shape, delicacy of touch, and a
high degree of manual dexterity, as
well as scientific ability. The ability
to instill confidence, self-discipline,
and a good business sense are help­
ful for success in private practice.
Most dental graduates open their
own offices or purchase established
practices. Some start in practice
with established dentists, to gain
experience and to save the money
required to equip an office; others
may enter residency or internship
training programs in approved hos­
pitals. Dentists who enter the Armed
Forces are commissioned as cap­
tains 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 com­
missions (equivalent to lieutenants
in the Navy) in the U.S. Public
Health Service.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunites for den­
tists are expected to be very good
through the mid-1980’s. Dental
school enrollments have grown in
recent years because of Federallyassisted construction of additional
training facilities. However, unless
schools expand beyond present

HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

levels, the number of new entrants
to the field is expected to fall short
of the number needed to fill open­
ings created by growth of the occu­
pation and by those who die and
retire from the profession.
Employment of dentists is ex­
pected to grow rapidly due to
population growth, increased aware­
ness that regular dental care helps
prevent and control dental diseases,
and the expansion of prepayment
arrangements which make it easier
for people to afford dental services.
In addition, dental public health
programs will need qualified admin­
istrators and dental colleges will
need additional faculty members.
Many dentists will continue to serve
in the Armed Forces.
Improved dental hygiene and
fluoridation of community water
supplies may prevent some tooth
and gum disorders, and preserve
teeth that might otherwise be ex­
tracted. However, since the pre­
served teeth will need care in the
future, these measures may increase
rather than decrease the demand
for dental care. New techniques,
equipment, and drugs, as well as the
expanded use of dental hygienists,
assistants, and laboratory techni­
cians should enable individual den­
tists to care for more patients.
However, these developments are
not expected to offset the need for
more dentists.
Earnings and Working Conditions

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 prac­
tice develops. Specialists generally
earn considerably more than general
practitioners. The average income
of dentists in 1972 was about $34,000
a year, according to limited infor­
mation available. In the Federal



467

Government, new graduates of den­
tal schools could expect to start at
$13,996 a year, in early 1973.
Location is one of the major fac­
tors affecting the income of dentists
who open their own offices. For ex­
ample, in high-income urban areas,
dental services are in great demand;
however, a practice can be devel­
oped most quickly in small towns,
where new dentists easily become
known and they may face less competiton with established practition­
ers. 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 communities.
Most dental offices are open 5
days a week and some dentists have
evening hours. Dentists 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 age.

Sources of Additional Information

Persons who wish to practice in a
given State should get the require­
ments for licensure from the board
of dental examiners of that State.
Lists of State boards and of ac­
credited dental schools, as well as
information on dentistry as a
career, is available from:
American Dental Association, Council
on Dental Education, 211 East Chicago
Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.
American Association of Dental Schools
1625 Massachusetts Ave. NW ,, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.

Students should contact the Di­
rector of Student Financial Aid at
the school they attend to get infor­
mation about Federal loans and
scholarships.

DENTAL ASSISTANTS
(D.O.T. 079.378)
Nature of the Work

Dental assistants work with den­
tists as they examine and treat
patients. The assistant makes the
patient comfortable in the dental
chair, prepares him for treatment,
and obtains his dental records. As
the dentist works, the assistant hands
him the proper instruments and ma­
terials and keeps the patient’s mouth
clear by using suction or other de­
vices. Dental assistants may prepare
materials for making impressions
and restorations and may expose
X-rays and process dental X-ray
film as directed by the dentist. They
also sterilize and care for dental
instruments.
Dental assistants perform a vari­
ety of duties that do not require the
dentist’s professional knowledge and
skill. Some assistants make casts of
the teeth and mouth from impres­
sions taken by the dentist. These
casts are used by dentists and tech­
nicians to make dentures. Some
dental assistants manage the office
and arrange and confirm appoint­
ments, receive patients, keep treat­
ment 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 scales
and cleans the teeth. (See statement
on Dental Hygienists elsewhere in
the Handbook.)
Places of Employment

Nearly 115,000 persons, prac­
tically all of them women, worked
as dental assistants in 1972; about
one out of five worked part time.
Most dental assistants work in
private dental offices, either for in­
dividual dentists or for groups of

468

dentists. Many of the remainder
work in dental schools, hospital
dental departments, State and local
public health departments, or pri­
vate clinics. The Federal Govern­
ment employs dental assistants,
chiefly in the Public Health Service,
the Veterans Administration, and
the Department of the Army.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most dental assistants learn their
skills on the job. An increasing
number, however, are trained in
formal post-high-school programs.
About 200 such programs were ac­
credited by the Council on Dental
Education of the American Dental
Association (ADA) in early 1973.
Some were supported by funds
authorized under Federal legislation,



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

including the Vocational Education
Act of 1963 and the Health Training
Improvements Act of 1970.
Most post-high-school courses in
dental assisting are given in junior
and community colleges or in voca­
tional or technical schools. More
than three-fourths of these programs
last one year and lead to a certificate
or diploma. Graduates of 2-year
programs offered in junior and com­
munity colleges earn an associate
degree upon completion of special­
ized training and liberal arts courses.
The minimum requirement for any
of these programs is a high school
diploma or its equivalent. Some
schools also require typing or a
science or business course. Although
some private schools offer 4- to 6month courses in dental assisting,
these are not accredited by the
dental profession.

Approved dental assisting curriculums include classroom and lab­
oratory instruction in skills and
related theory and usually a general
occupational orientation. Trainees
get practical experience in affiliated
dental schools, local clinics or se­
lected dental offices.
A correspondence course ap­
proved by the American Dental As­
sociation is available for employed
dental assistants who are learning
on the job or who otherwise are
unable to participate in regular
dental assisting programs on a full­
time basis. The correspondence pro­
gram is equivalent to 1 academic
year of study, but generally requires
about 2 years to complete.
Graduates of approved dental as­
sistant programs who meet certain
experience requirements and who
successfully complete an examina­
tion administered by the Certifying
Board of the American Dental As­
sistants Association may become
Certified Dental Assistants. Certifi­
cation is acknowledgement of an
assistant’s qualifications but is not
generally required for employment.
After working 1 or 2 years, dental
assistants sometimes seek to add to
their skills by becoming dental hy­
gienists. Prospective dental assist­
ants who foresee this possibility
should plan carefully since credit
earned in a dental assistant program
usually is not applicable toward re­
quirements for a dental hygiene
certificate.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
dental assistants are expected to be
excellent through the mid-1980’s,
especially for graduates of academic
programs in dental assisting. Parttime opportunities also will be very
favorable.
Employment of dental assistants
is expected to grow rapidly, largely

HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

because recent graduates of dental
schools have been taught to use as­
sistants in their practice. In addition,
the increase in the demand for dental
services which stems from popula­
tion growth, a growing awareness of
the importance of regular dental
care, and the increasing ability of
people to pay for care will contribute
to the demand for dental assistants.
For example, increased participation
in dental prepayment plans and
public programs such as Head Start
and Medicaid bring dental services
within the reach of many who could
not otherwise afford them.
In addition to job openings cre­
ated by growth in the demand for
dental assistants, thousands of as­
sistants also will be required each
year to replace those who leave the
field.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Salary depends largely on the
assistant’s education and experience,
the duties and responsibilities at­
tached to the particular job, and
geographic location. Weekly salaries
of assistants employed in private
dental offices ranged from $80 to
$160 in late 1972, according to the
limited data available.
In the Federal Government, ex­
perience and the amount and type
of education determine entrance sal­
aries. In early 1973, a person who
had 6 months of experience started
at $6,128 a year; graduates of an
ADA approved 1-year training pro­
gram who had an additional year of
general experience could expect to
start at $6,882 a year.
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
provide sick leave and other ben­
efits. Dental assistants who work
for the Federal Government receive




469

the same employee benefits as other
Federal workers.
Dental assistants work in a welllighted, clean environment. They
must be careful in handling X-ray
and other equipment.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about career op­
portunities, scholarships, accredited
dental assistant programs, including
the correspondence program, and
requirements for certification is
available from:
American Dental Assistants Association,
211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, 111.
60611.

Other material on opportunities
for dental assistants is available
from:
Division of Dental health, Public Health
Service, U.S. Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare, Washington,
D.C. 20201.

DENTAL HYGIENISTS
(D.O.T. 078.368)
Nature of the Work

Dental hygienists remove deposits
and stains from patients’ teeth and
apply prescribed medications to con­
trol dental decay. They take medical
and dental histories; prepare diag­
nostic tests for interpretation by
the dentist; and chart conditions of
decay and disease for the dentists’
use. They expose and develop dental
X-ray films, sterilize instruments,
and maintain patient records. They
may mix filling compounds and act
as chairside assistants to dentists.
Hygienists also teach the techniques
of mouth care and proper diet.
Dental hygienists who work in
school systems examine children’s
teeth, assist dentists in determining
the dental treatment needed, and
report their findings to parents. They
also clean teeth and give instruction

on correct mouth care. Some help
to develop classroom or assembly
programs on oral health. Dental
hygienists employed by health agen­
cies work in dental clinics. A few
assist in research projects. Those
having advanced training may teach
in schools of dental hygiene.
Places of Employment

Nearly 17,000 persons, most of
them women, worked as dental hy­
gienists in 1972. Many work part
time. Most work in private dental
offices. Public health agencies,
school systems, industrial plants,
clinics, hospitals, dental hygiene
schools and the Federal Government
also employ dental hygienists. Some
who are graduates of bachelor’s de­
gree programs are commissioned
officers in the U.S. Army.
Training and Other Qualifications

Dental hygienists must be li­
censed. To get a license, a candidate
must be a graduate of an accredited
dental hygiene school, except in
Alabama, and pass both a written
and clinical examination. In 1972,
candidates in 48 States and the
District of Columbia could complete
part of the State licensing require­
ments by passing a written exam­
ination given by the National Board
of Dental Examiners.
In order to practice in a different
State, a licensed dental hygienist
must pass the State’s examination.
However, about 15 States grant li­
censes without further examination
to dental hygienists already licensed
in certain other States.
In 1972, about 150 schools of
dental hygiene in the United States
were accredited by the Council on
Dental Education of the American
Dental Association. Most of these
schools provide a 2-year certificate
or associate degree program. Some
have 4-year programs leading to the
bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene

470

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment of dental hygienists
is expected to rise very rapidly
due to an expanding population and
the growing awareness of the im­
portance of regular dental care.
Increased participation in dental
prepayment plans and more group
practice among dentists will result
in new jobs for dental hygienists.
Dental care programs for children
also may lead to more employment
opportunities in this field. In addi­
tion, a great number of job openings
will be created by young women
leaving their jobs for marriage and
family responsibilities.
Mature women who wish to re­
turn to the field and those who
desire part-time positions can ex­
pect to find very good opportunities
for employment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

and others offer both programs.
Five schools offer master’s degree
programs.
Completion of the 2-year program
is sufficient for dental hygienists
who want to practice in a private
dental office. In order to do re­
search, teach, and work in public
or school health programs, the com­
pletion of a 4-year program usually
is required.
The minimum requirement for ad­
mission to a school of dental hygiene
is graduation from high school.
Several schools which offer the
bachelor’s degree admit students to
the dental hygiene program only
after they have completed 2 years
of college. Many schools also re­
quire that applicants take an apti­
tude test given by the American
Dental Hygienist’s Association.
The curriculum at a school of
dental hygiene consists of courses
in the basic sciences, dental sciences,




Earnings of dental hygienists are
affected by the type of employer,
education, and experience of the
individual hygienists and the geo­
graphic location. Dental hygienists
and liberal arts. These schools offer who work in private dental offices
laboratory work, clinical experience, usually are salaried employees, al­
and classroom instruction in sub­ though some are paid a commission
jects such as anatomy, chemistry, for work performed or a combina­
histology, pathology, pharmacology, tion of salary and commission.
and nutrition.
Salaries of dental hygienists who
People who want to become dental work in dentists’ offices averaged
hygienists should enjoy working with about $8,900 a year in 1972, accord­
others. The ability to put patients ing to the limited data available.
at ease in an uncomfortable situation This salary was about the same
is helpful. Personal neatness and as the average for nonsupervisory
cleanliness, manual dexterity, and workers in private industry, except
good health also are important farming. The beginning salary for a
qualities.
dental hygienist in the Federal
Government ranged from $6,882 to
Employment Outlook
$8,722 a year in early 1973, depend­
Employment opportunities for ing on education and geographic
dental hygienists are expected to be area.
very good through the mid-1980’s.
Dental hygienists employed full
Despite an anticipated rise in the time in private offices usually work
number of graduates from schools between 35 and 40 hours a week.
of dental hygiene, the demand is ex­ They may work on Saturdays or
pected to be greater than the number during evening hours. Some hy­
available for employment if current gienists work for two or more
trends in enrollments continue.
dentists.

HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

Dental hygienists work in clean, by dentists. They also make metal
well-lighted offices. Important castings for dentures, finish and
health protections for persons in polish dentures, construct metal or
this occupation are regular medical porcelain crowns or inlays for par­
checkups and strict adherence to tially destroyed teeth, make bridges
established procedures for using X- of gold and other metals, and make
ray equipment and for disinfection. appliances to correct abnormalities
Dental hygienists who work for such as cleft palates.
Trainees in beginning jobs usually
school systems, health agencies,
and the Federal or State govern­ mix and pour plaster into casts and
ments have the same hours, vaca­ molds and do other simple tasks.
tion, sick leave, retirement, and As they gain experience, they do
health insurance benefits as other more difficult laboratory work.
Some dental laboratory technicians
workers in these organizations.
do all kinds of laboratory work.
Others are specialists who make
Sources of Additional Information
crowns and bridges, arrange arti­
For information about approved ficial teeth on dental appliances,
schools and the educational require­ process plastic materials, work with
ments needed to enter this occupa­ dental ceramics (porcelain), or make
castings of gold or other metal
tion, contact:
alloys. To perform their work, tech­
Division of Educational Services, Amer­
ican Dental Hygienists Association,
nicians use small handtools as well
211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, 111.
as special electric lathes and drills,
60611.
high-heat furnaces, and other kinds
Other material on opportunities of specialized laboratory equipment.
for dental hygienists is available
from:
Division of Dental Health, Public Health
Service, U.S. Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare, Washington,
D.C. 20201.

The State Board of Dental Exam­
iners in each State, or the National
Board of Dental Examiners, 211
East Chicago Ave., Chicago, 111.
60611, can supply information on
licensing requirements.

DENTAL LABORATORY
TEC H N IC IA N S
(D.O.T. 712.381)
Nature of the Work

Dental laboratory technicians
make dentures (artificial teeth),
crowns, bridges, and other dental
and orthodontic appliances.
To make many dental appliances,
the technicians form plaster models
from written instructions and im­
pressions of patients’ mouths taken




471

Places of Employment

About 32,000 persons worked as
dental laboratory technicians in
1972; an estimated one-fifth of the
working force were women. Most
work in commercial laboratories,
either as employees or as owners
of the business. Commercial labor­
atories, which handle orders from
dentists, usually employ fewer than
10 technicians. However, a few large
laboratories employ over 200 tech­
nicians.
About 5,000 dental laboratory
technicians work in dentists’ offices.
Others work for hospitals that pro­
vide dental services and for the
Federal Government, chiefly in Vet­
erans Administration hospitals and
clinics and in the Armed Forces.
Establishments that manufacture
dental materials and equipment also
employ dental laboratory techni­
cians as technical representatives
and salesmen.
Dental laboratories are located

472

mainly in large cities and populous
States.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Although no minimum formal
education is needed to enter this
occupation, a high school diploma
is an asset. Most dental laboratory
technicians learn their craft on the
job. This training usually lasts 4 or
5 years, depending on the trainee’s
previous experience, his ability to
master the techniques, and the num­
ber of specialized areas to be
learned. A few public vocational
high schools offer courses in dental
laboratory work that may be taken
in conjunction with on-the-job
training.
In 1972, 2-year education pro­
grams accredited by the American
Dental Association were offered in
33 schools. High school graduation
or equivalent education is required
to enter these programs. The first
year of training includes formal
classroom instruction in dental law
and ethics, chemistry, ceramics,
metallurgy, and other related sub­
jects. During the second year, the
student gets supervised practical ex­
perience in the school or dental
laboratory. After completion of the
2-year training program, the trainee
generally needs about 3 more years
of practical experience to develop
the skills needed in order to be
recognized as a well-qualified dental
technician.
Dental laboratory technicians may
become Certified Dental Technicians
after passing written and practical
examinations given by the National
Board for Certification, a trust
established by the National As­
sociation of Dental Laboratories.
Certification is becoming increas­
ingly important as evidence of a
technician’s competence. Wellqualified technicians can advance
to managers and foremen.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Among the personal qualifications
that employers look for in selecting
trainees are a high degree of man­
ual dexterity, good color perception,
patience, and a liking for detailed
work. Preference also may be given
to persons who have completed high
school courses in art, crafts, or
sciences.
Employment Outlook

Job opportunities for wellqualified dental laboratory techni­
cians are expected to be very good
through the mid-1980’s. Some ex­
perienced 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
technicians is expected to grow
rapidly due to expansion of dental
prepayment plans and the increas­
ing number of older people who re­
quire artificial dentures. In addition,
the number of dentists is not ex­
pected to keep pace with the demand
for their services; to devote more
time to treatment of patients, den­
tists will send more and more of
their laboratory work to commercial
firms, or hire dental laboratory tech­
nicians to work directly for them.
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
transfer to other fields of work,
retire, or die.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Dental laboratory technician
trainees who worked in commercial
laboratories earned an average of
$80 a week in 1972. Technicians
with 10 years’ experience or more
in commercial laboratories general­
ly earned between $200 and $275

a week, depending on their skill and
experience. This was higher than
average earnings for nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except
farming. Technicians who special­
ized in ceramics received the highest
salaries. Large dental laboratories
employ foremen or managers who
generally earn more than techni­
cians. In general, earnings of selfemployed technicians are higher
than those of salaried workers.
In the Federal Government, grad­
uates of approved training programs
were paid starting salaries of about
$132 a week in early 1973. Ex­
perienced dental laboratory tech­
nicians employed in the Federal
Government generally earned be­
tween $183 and $223 a week.
Salaried technicians usually work
40 hours a week but self-employed
technicians frequently work longer
hours. Many technicians in com­
mercial laboratories receive paid
holidays and vacations and some
also receive paid sick leave, bonuses,
and other fringe benefits. Tech­
nicians employed by the Federal
Government have the same benefits
as other Federal employees.
Sources of Additional Information

For information about the train­
ing and a list of approved schools
contact:
American Dental Association, Council
on Dental Education, 211 East
Chicago Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.

Information on scholarships is
available from dental technology
schools or from:
The American Fund for Dental Educa­
tion, 211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago,
111. 60611.

For information on career oppor­
tunities in commercial laboratories
and requirements for certification,
contact:
National Association of Dental Labor­
atories, Inc., 3801 Mt. Vernon Ave.,
Alexandria, Va. 22305.

strict the type of supplementary
treatment permitted in chiropractic.
Chiropractic as a system for healing
does not include the use of drugs
or surgery.

MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS
Places of Employment

Medical practitioners work to
prevent, cure, and alleviate disease.
This group includes almost four
times as many physicians as all
other practitioners combined.
Physicians, osteopaths, and chiro­
practors treat diseases that affect
the whole body; chiropractors and
osteopaths emphasize manipulation
of muscles and bones, especially
the spine. Optometrists care for the
eyes, and podiatrists treat foot
diseases and deformities. Veterin­
arians care for animals.
All of these occupations are
closely regulated. States require
that medical practitioners be li­
censed and pass a State board exam.
Only physicians, osteopaths, podi­
atrists, and veterinarians can use
drugs and surgery in their treatment.
Among the six medical practi­
tioner occupations, educational re­
quirements for a license vary from
6 to 9 years after high school.
After graduation from college, os­
teopaths must complete a 4-year
program and physicians generally 3
or 4 years. Most States require a
1-year internship for both physicians
and osteopaths. Physicians who spe­
cialize must spend more years in
residency and pass a specialty board
examination. Most schools of chiro­
practic require that students com­
plete 2 years of college preceding
their 4-year program. Optometrists,
podiatrists, and veterinarians all
must complete a minimum of 2
years of college before beginning
the 4-year program.
The percent of women medical
practitioners varies. All occupations
have fewer than 10 percent women,




but this number represents a growth
over the past few years. Student
enrollments indicate that these per­
cents will continue to grow.
All medical practitioners must
have the ability and perseverance
to complete the years of study re­
quired. Medical practitioners should
be emotionally stable, able to make
decisions in emergencies, and have
a strong desire to help the sick and
injured. Sincerity and the ability
to relate to and gain the confidence
of people also are important qual­
ities for medical practitioners.

CHIROPRACTORS
(D.O.T. 079.108)
Nature of the Work

Chiropractic is a system of treat­
ment 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 primarily by manual
manipulation of parts of the body,
especially the spinal column.
Because of the emphasis of the
importance of the spine and its posi­
tion, most chiropractors use X-rays
extensively to aid in locating the
source of patients’ difficulties.
Many also use such supplementary
measures as water, light, and heat
therapy, and prescribe diet, exer­
cise, and rest. Most State laws re­

About 16,000 persons, 6 percent
of them women, practiced chiro­
practic in 1972. Most chiropractors
are in private practice. Some are
salaried assistants of established
practitioners or work for chiro­
practic clinics and industrial firms.
Others teach or conduct research
at chiropractic colleges. More than
two-fifths of all chiropractors are
located in California, New York,
Texas, Missouri, and Ohio.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Forty-eight States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia regulate the prac­
tice of chiropractic and grant licenses
to chiropractors who meet certain
educational requirements and pass
a State board examination. The
type of practice permitted and the
educational requirements for a li­
cense vary considerably from one
State to another. In 1972, Louisiana
and Mississippi did not regulate the
practice of chiropractic or issue
licenses.
Most States require successful
completion of a 4-year chiropractic
course following high school grad­
uation. About three-quarters of the
States also require 2 years of col­
lege work in addition to chiro­
practic training. Nearly two-fifths
of the States also require that
chiropractors pass a basic science
examination. Chiropractors licensed
in one State may obtain a license
in another State by reciprocity.
In 1972, there were 10 chiropractic
colleges. Most require 2 years of
college before entrance, and some
473

474

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

chiropractors are expected to be
favorable through the mid-1980’s.
Most of the openings will be to re­
place those who die and retire.
Underlying the expected moderate
growth in the occupation are an
increase in the population and the
trend to include chiropractic serv­
ices in health insurance coverage,
including Medicare and Medicaid.
Since most States require some
college training and others are like­
ly to require it in the next few years,
the outlook is best for those who
have completed 2 years of college
in addition to the 4 years of chiro­
practic college.
Opportunities for new graduates
to begin their own practice are like­
ly to be best in those parts of the
country where chiropractic is gen­
erally accepted as a method of
health care. Opportunities also
should be good for those who wish
to enter salaried positions in chiro­
practic clinics, chiropractic colleges,
and other organizations that employ
chiropractors.
Earnings and Working Conditions

require that specific courses be
taken during these 2 years. Some
chiropractic colleges emphasize
courses in manipulation and spinal
adjustments. Others offer a broader
curriculum, including subjects such
as physiotheraphy and nutrition. In
most chiropractic colleges, the first
2 years of the curriculum are de­
voted chiefly to classroom and
laboratory work in subjects such
as anatomy, physiology, and bio­
chemistry. 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 consider­
able hand dexterity but not unusual
strength or endurance. Persons de­




siring to become chiropractors
should be able to work indepen­
dently and handle responsibility.
The ability to work with detail is
important. Sympathy and under­
standing are among personal quali­
ties considered desirable in dealing
effectively with patients.
Most newly licensed chiropractors
either set up a new practice or
purchase an established one. Some
start as salaried chiropractors to
acquire experience and funds needed
to establish their own practice. A
moderate financial investment is
usually necessary to open and equip
an office.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for

In chiropractic, as in other types
of independent practice, earnings
are relatively low in the begin­
ning, but rise after the first few
years. Incomes of chiropractors vary
widely. Earnings for beginning
chiropractors average about $10,000
a year. Experienced chiropractors
usually earn from $14,000 to $28,000
annually, with an average of about
$24,000, according to limited data
available.
Sources of Additional Information

The State board of licensing in
the capital of each State can supply
information on State licensing re­
quirements.
General information on chiro­
practic as a career and a list of

MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS

475

schools of chiropractic are available
from:
American Chiropractic Association, 2200
Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50312.
International Chiropractors Association
741 Brady St., Davenport, Iowa 52808.

For information on requirements
for admission to a specific chiro­
practic college, contact the admis­
sions office of that school.

OPTOMETRISTS
(D.O.T. 079.108)
Nature of the Work

About 2 out of every 5 persons
in the United States need eye care.
Optometrists 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 percep­
tion and the ability to focus and co­
ordinate the eyes. When necessary,
they prescribe lenses and treat­
ment. Most optometrists supply the
prescribed eyeglasses and fit and
adjust contact lenses. Optometrists
also prescribe corrective eye exer­
cises or other treatment not re­
quiring drugs or surgery.
Although most optometrists are
in general practice, some specialize
in work with the aged or with chil­
dren. Others work only with per­
sons having partial sight who can
be helped with microscopic or tele­
scopic lenses. Still others are con­
cerned with the visual safety of in­
dustrial workers. A few optome­
trists teach or do research.
Optometrists should not be con­
fused with either ophthalmologists,
sometimes referred to as oculists,
or with dispensing opticians.
Ophthalmologists are physicians who
specialize in eye diseases and in­
juries, perform eye surgery, and



prescribe drugs or other eye treat­
ment, as well as lenses. Dispensing
opticians fit and adjust eyeglasses
according to prescriptions written
by ophthalmologists or optometrists;
they do not examine eyes or pre­
scribe treatment. (See statement on
Dispensing Opticians.)
Places of Employment

In 1972, there were about 18,700
practicing optometrists; about 3 per­
cent were women.
Most optometrists are in single
practice. Others are in partnerships
or group practice with other optome­
trists or doctors as part of a profes­
sional health care team.
Some optometrists work in special­
ized hospitals and eye clinics and
teach in schools of optometry. Others

work for the Veterans Administra­
tion, public and private health
agencies, and industrial health in­
surance companies. About 600 op­
tometrists serve as commissioned
officers in the Armed Forces. Op­
tometrists also may act as consult­
ants to engineers specializing in safe­
ty or lighting, educators in remedial
reading, or serve as members of
health advisory committees to Fed­
eral, State and local governments.
According to a recent survey,
about 3 optometrists out of 5
practice in towns of under 50,000
population.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

All States and the District of
Columbia require that optometrists

476

be licensed. Applicants for a license
must have a Doctor of Optometry
degree from an accredited optometric school and pass a State
board examination. In some States,
applicants are permitted to sub­
stitute the National Board of Op­
tometry examination, given in the
third and fourth year of optometric school, for the written State
examination. Several States allow
applicants to be licensed without
lengthy examination if they have a
license in another State.
The Doctor of Optometry degree
requires a minimum of 6 years of
college consisting of a 4 year pro­
fessional degree program preceded
by at least 2 years of preoptometric study at an accredited uni­
versity, college, or junior college.
In 1972, there were 12 optometric
schools approved by the Council on
Optometric Education of the Ameri­
can Optometric Association. Re­
quirements for admission to these
schools usually include courses in
English, mathematics, physics,
chemistry, and biology, or zoology.
Some schools also require courses
in psychology, social studies, litera­
ture, philosophy, and foreign lan­
guages.
Since most optometrists are selfemployed, business ability, selfdiscipline, and the ability to deal
with patients tactfully are neces­
sary for success.
Most beginning optometrists en­
ter into associate practice with an
optometrist or other health profes­
sional. Others either purchase an
established practice or set up a new
practice. Some take salaried posi­
tions to obtain experience and the
necessary funds to enter their own
practice.
Optometrists wishing to advance
in a specialized field may study for
a Master’s or Doctor of Philosophy
degree in physiological optics,
neurophysiology, public health ad­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ministration, health information
and communication, and health
education. Optometrists who enter
the Armed Forces as career officers
have the opportunity to work
toward advanced degrees and to do
vision research.

Independent practitioners can
set their own work schedule. Some
work over 40 hours a week, in­
cluding Saturday. Since the work
is not physically strenuous, op­
tometrists often can continue to
practice after the normal retire­
ment age.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
optometrists are expected to be
favorable through the mid-1980’s.
New graduates from schools of op­
tometry are expected to be
adequate to fill the positions made
available by the moderate employ­
ment growth in the occupation and
the need to replace optometrists
who die and retire.
An increase in the total popula­
tion, especially in the groups most
likely to need glasses—older people
and white-collar workers—is the
main factor contributing to the
moderate growth expected in the
occupation. Greater recognition of
the importance of good vision for
efficiency at school and work, and
the possibility that more persons
will have health insurance to cover
optometric services, also should in­
crease the demand for optometric
services.

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 institu­
tions are available from:
American
Optometric
Association
7000 Chippewa St., St. Louis, Mo.
63119.

Federal
Health
Professions
Scholarships and Loans are avail­
able for up to $3,500 per year for
optometric students. For informa­
tion on this financial aid and on
required
preoptometry
courses
contact
individual
optometry
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.

Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, net earnings of new op­
tometry graduates averaged about
$13,000; experienced optometrists
averaged from $26,000 to $28,000
annually. Incomes vary greatly, de­
pending upon location, specializa­
tion, and other factors. Optome­
trists
entering
solo
practice
begin at approximately the same
income level as those entering
associateship or group practice.
However, after several years, the
optometrist in associateship or part­
nership practice will earn substan­
tially more than his solo practition­
er counterpart.

OSTEOPATHIC
PHYSICIANS
(D.O.T. 071.108)
Nature of the Work

Osteopathic physicians diagnose,
prescribe remedies, and treat
diseases of the human body. They
are particularly concerned about
problems centered in the muscles
or bones. The basic treatment or
therapy used by osteopathic phy­
sicians centers on manipulating
these systems with the hands.
Osteopathic physicians also use

477

MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS

surgery, drugs, and all other ac­
cepted 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 some city and
county hospitals. A few doctors of
osteopathy teach, do research, or
write and edit scientific books and
journals.
In recent years, specialization
has increased. In 1972, about 10
percent were practicing specialties
including internal medicine, neurol­
ogy and psychiatry, ophthalmology,
pediatrics, anesthesiology, physical
medicine and rehabilitation, derma­
tology, obstetrics and gynecology,
pathology, proctology, radiology,
and surgery.

States in 1972; nearly 9 percent
were women. Nearly all osteopathic
physicians were in private practice.
Less than 5 percent had full-time
salaried positions in osteopathic
hospitals and colleges, private indus­
try, or government agencies.
Osteopathic physicians are lo­
cated chiefly in those States that
have osteopathic hospital facilities.
In 1972, almost half of all osteo­
pathic physicians were in Michigan,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri.
Twenty-three States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia each had fewer
than 50 osteopathic physicians.
More than half of all general prac­
titioners are located in towns and
cities having fewer than 50,000
people; specialists, however, prac­
tice mainly in large cities.
Training, Other Qualifications

Places of Employment

About 13,800 osteopathic phy­
sicians were practicing in the United




A license to practice as an osteo­
pathic physician is required in all
States. To obtain a license, a can­

didate must be a graduate of an
approved school of osteopathy and
pass a State board examination. In
17 States and the District of Co­
lumbia, candidates must pass an ex­
amination in the basic sciences
before they are eligible to take
the professional examination; 36
States and the District of Columbia
also require a period of intern­
ship in an approved hospital after
graduation from an osteopathic
school. The National Board of
Osteopathic Examiners also gives an
examination which is accepted by
some states as a substitute for state
examination. All States except
Alaska and California grant licenses
without further examination to
properly qualified osteopathic phy­
sicians already licensed by another
State.
Although 3 years of preosteopathic college work is the mini­
mum entrance requirement for
schools of osteopathy, almost all
osteopathic students have a bache­
lors degree. Preosteopathic educa­
tion must include courses in
chemistry, physics, biology, and
English. Osteopathic colleges require
successful completion of 4 years of
professional study for the degree
of Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.).
During the first 2 years of profes­
sional training, emphasis is placed
on basic sciences such as anatomy,
physiology, pathology and on the
principles of osteopathy; the last
2 years are devoted largely to
work with patients in hospitals
and clinics.
After graduation, nearly all doc­
tors of osteopathy serve a 12month internship at 1 of the 73
osteopathic hospitals that the
American Osteopathic Association
has approved for intern training.
Those who wish to become special­
ists must have 2 to 5 years of addi­
tional training, followed by 2 years
of supervised practice in the
specialty.

478

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

The
osteopathic
physician’s
training is very costly because of
the length of time it takes to earn
the D.O. degree. However, Federal
funds for loans and scholarships of
up to $3,500 a year are available
to help needy students pursue full­
time study leading to the degree.
The seven schools of osteopathy
admit students on the basis of
grades received in college, scores
on the required Medical College
Admissions Test, and the amount
of preosteopathic college work
completed. The applicant’s desire
to serve as an osteopathic phy­
sician rather than as a doctor
trained in other fields of medicine
is a very important qualification.
The colleges also give considerable
weight to a favorable recom­
mendation by an osteopathic phy­
sician familiar with the applicant’s
background.
Newly qualified doctors of
osteopathy usually establish their
own practice, although a growing
number are entering group practice.
A few work as assistants to ex­
perienced physicians or become
associated with osteopathic hospi­
tals. In view of the variation in
State laws, persons who wish to be­
come osteopathic physicians should
study carefully the professional and
legal requirements of the State in
which they plan to practice. The
availability of osteopathic hospitals
and clinical facilities also should
be considered.
Persons who wish to become
osteopathic physicians must have a
strong desire to practice osteo­
pathic principles of healing. They
should have a keen sense of touch,
emotional stability, and selfconfidence. A pleasant personality,
friendliness, patience, and the
ability to deal with people also are
important.
Employment Outlook

Opportunities

for




osteopathic

physicians are expected to be very
good through 1980. With the
planned expansion of schools of
osteopathy, by 1985 the number of
osteopathic physicians available is
expected to be in rough balance
with the openings created by growth
in the occupation and by those who
die or retire from the profession.
Greatest demand for their services
probably will continue to be in
States where osteopathy is a widely
accepted method of treatment, such
as Pennsylvania and a number of
Midwestern States. Generally, pros­
pects for beginning a successful
practice are likely to be best in
rural areas, small towns, and city
suburbs, where the young doctor of
osteopathy may establish his pro­
fessional reputation more easily
than in the centers of large cities.
The osteopathic profession is ex­
pected to grow very rapidly because
of population growth; the extension
of prepayment programs for hospi­
talization and medical care in­
cluding Medicare and Medicaid;
and the establishment of additional
osteopathic hospital facilities.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In osteopathy, as in many of the
other health professions, incomes
usually rise markedly after the first
few years of practice. Earnings of
individual practitioners are deter­
mined mainly by ability, experi­
ence, geographic location, and the
income level of the community
served. In 1972, the average income
of general practitioners after busi­
ness expenses ranged from $25,000
to $35,000, according to limited
data available. This income is very
high in comparison with other pro­
fessions. Specialists usually had
higher incomes than general prac­
titioners.
Many osteopathic physicians

work
week.
work
hours

more than 50 or 60 hours a
Those in general practice
longer and more irregular
than specialists.

Sources of Additional Information

People who wish to practice in
a given State should find out about
the requirements for licensure di­
rectly from the board of examiners
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:
American
Osteopathic
Association
212 East Ohio St., Chicago, 111. 60611.

PHYSICIANS
(D.O.T. 070.101 and. 108)
Nature of the Work

People in the United States
visit a physician on the average
of about 5 times a year either for
treatment of an illness or injury or
else for routine checkups. Physicians
diagnose diseases and treat people
who are suffering from injury or
disease. They also try to prevent
illness by advising patients on selfcare related to diet and exercise.
Physicians generally examine and
treat patients in their own offices
and in hospitals, but they may also
visit patients at home.
About one-fifth of the physicians
who provide patient care are
general practitioners; the others
specialize in 1 of the 33 fields
recognized by the medical profes­
sion. The largest specialties are
internal medicine, general surgery,

MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS

obstetrics and gynecology, psy­
chiatry,
pediatrics,
radiology,
anesthesiology, opthalmology, path­
ology, and orthopedic surgery.
Some physicians combine the
practice of medicine with research
or teaching in medical schools.
Others hold full-time research or
teaching positions or perform ad­
ministrative work in hospitals, pro­
fessional associations, and other
organizations. A few are primarily
engaged in writing and editing
medical books and magazines.
Places of Employment

About 316,500 physicians were
professionally active in the U.S.
in 1972; more than 7 percent
were women. About 9 out of 10 pro­
vided patient care services. Nearly
196,000 of these physicians had
office practices; more than 86,000
others worked as interns, residents,
or full-time staff in hospitals. Over




479

lumbia require a license to practice
medicine. To qualify for a license, a
candidate must be a graduate of an
approved medical school, pass a
licensing examination, and in 34
States and the District of Columbia
serve a 1-year hospital internship.
Eighteen States and the District of
Columbia require candidates to pass
a special examination in the basic
sciences to become eligible for the
licensing examination.
Licensing examinations are given
by State boards. The National
Board of Medical Examiners also
gives an examination which is ac­
cepted by 48 States and the District
of Columbia as a substitute for
State examinations. Although phy­
sicians licensed in one State usually
can get a license to practice in
another without further examina­
tion, some States limit this
reciprocity.
In 1972, there were 110 approved
schools in the United States in
36,000 taught or performed admin­ which students could begin the
study of medicine. One hundred
istrative or research duties.
In 1972, 17,500 graduates of seven award the degree of Doctor
foreign medical schools served as of Medicine (M.D.) to those who
hospital interns and residents in complete the course; 3 offer 2-year
this country. To be appointed to programs in the basic medical sci­
approved internships or residencies ences to students who could then
in U.S. hospitals, these graduates transfer to regular medical schools
(citizens of foreign countries as for the last semesters of study.
well as U.S. citizens) must pass Three new schools enrolled medical
the American Medical Qualification students for the first time during
Examination given by the Educa­ 1973.
Most medical schools require
tional Council for Foreign Medical
applicants to have completed at
Graduates.
The Northeastern States have the least 3 years of college education;
highest ratio of physicians to popu­ some require 4 years. A few medi­
lation and the Southern States, the cal schools allow selected students
lowest. General practitioners are who have exceptional qualifications
much more widely spread geo­ to begin their professional study
graphically than specialists, who after 2 years of college. Most stu­
tend to be concentrated in large dents who enter medical schools
have a bachelor’s degree.
cities.
Eleven States require various
courses in premedical study such
Training and Other Qualifications
as undergraduate courses in English,
All States and the District of Co­ physics, biology, and inorganic and

480

organic chemistry in an accredited
college. Students should take
courses in the humanities, mathe­
matics, and the social sciences to
acquire a broad general education.
Other factors considered by medi­
cal schools in admitting students
include the individual’s college
record and his scores on the Medi­
cal College Admission Test, which
is taken by almost all applicants.
Consideration also is given to the
applicant’s character, personality,
and leadership qualities, as shown
by personal interviews, letters of
recommendation, and extracur­
ricular activities in college. Many
State-supported medical schools
give preference to residents of their
particular States and sometimes,
those of nearby States.
The traditional curriculum lead­
ing to the M.D. degree is a 4-year
course of study. However, more
than 30 medical schools have
shortened the curriculum or plan
to do so. Most of these are 3-year
curriculums, but a few schools
offer the M.D. degree within 6 years
of high school graduation.
The first semesters of medical
school training are spent primarily
in laboratories and classrooms,
learning basic medical sciences
such as anatomy, biochemistry,
physiology, pharamacology, micro­
biology, and pathology. During the
last semesters, students spend most
of their time in hospitals and
clinics under the supervision of ex­
perienced physicians. They learn to
take case histories, perform exam­
inations, and recognize diseases.
Many new physicians acquire
training beyond the 1-year hospital
internship. Those who plan to be
general or family practitioners often
spend an additional year or two as
interns or residents in a hospital.
To become certified specialists,
physicians must pass specialty
board examinations. To qualify for




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

these examinations, they must
spend from 2 to 4 years—depending
on the specialty—in advanced hos­
pital training as residents, followed
by 2 years or more of practice in
the specialty. Some doctors who
want to teach or do research take
graduate work leading to the
master’s or Ph.D. degree in a field
such as biochemistry or micro­
biology.
Medical training is very costly
because of the long time required to
earn the medical degree. However,
many private scholarships and loans
are available for medical education.
In addition, Federal funds provide
scholarships and loans for up to
$3,500 per year for students in the
health professions who need finan­
cial aid.
Persons who wish to become phy­
sicians must have a strong desire
to serve the sick and injured. They
must be willing to study a great deal
to keep up with the latest advances
in medical science. Besides being
one of the most exacting sciences,
medicine demands that practition­
ers strictly adhere to high moral
standards subscribed to by the pro­
fession, law and tradition. Sincerity
and a pleasant personality are
assets that help physicians gain the
confidence of patients. Prospective
physicians 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 their
internships and enter active military
duty initially serve as captains in
the Army or Air Force or as lieu­
tenants in the Navy. Graduates of
medical schools are eligible for
commissions as senior assistant sur­
geons (equivalent to lieutenants in
the Navy) in the U.S. Public Health
Service, as well as for Federal
Civil Service professional medical
positions.

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for
physicians is expected to be very
good through 1985. Anticipated in­
creases in graduates from existing
and developing U.S. medical schools
combined with foreign medical grad­
uate entrants point to a greatly
improved supply situation. This may
result in an increasing movement
of physicians into rural and other
areas which have experienced
shortage conditions in the past.
Foreign medical graduates are
a large part of the new supply of
physicians each year. In 1972, 1
new physician out of 3 was a foreign
medical graduate. Even with the
expansion of U.S. schools, by 1985
1 new physician out of 4 will still
be a foreign medical graduate if
their entry continues in line with
past trends.
Even though the number of medi­
cal schools has increased in the last
few years, the competition for first
year places in medical school is be­
coming even greater. In 1973, there
were about 40,000 applicants for
14,000 positions.
Growth in population will create
much of the need for more physi­
cians. Also, a larger percentage of
the population will be in the age
group over 65, which uses increased
physicians’ services. Also, the effec­
tive demand for physicians’ care
will increase because of greater
ability to pay, resulting from exten­
sion of prepayment programs for
hospitalization and medical care,
including Medicare and Medicaid,
and continued Federal Government
provision of medical care for mem­
bers of the Armed Forces, their
families, and veterans. More physi­
cians will be needed, in addition,
for medical research and adminis­
tration, and for teaching in medical
schools, as well as the continuing
growth in the fields of public health,
rehabilitation, industrial medicine,

MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS

and mental health.
Recent concern over the distribu­
tion of physicians between special­
ties and general practice has re­
sulted in creation of Federal funds
for promotion of programs in family
medicine. The new specialty of
family practice has grown very
rapidly since 1971, in keeping with
the need for more M.D.’s who treat
a variety of the more common ill­
nesses.
To some extent, the rise in the
demand for physicians’ services will
be offset by developments that will
enable physicians to care for more
patients. For example, increasing
numbers of medical technicians are
assisting physicians; new drugs and
new medical techniques are shorten­
ing illnesses; and growing numbers
of physicians are able to use their
time more effectively by engaging
in group practice. In addition, fewer
house calls are being made by phy­
sicians because of the growing ten­
dency to treat patients in hospitals
and in physicians’ offices.
The extent to which the devel­
oping health occupations, such as
those of physicians’ assistants and
nurse practitioners, will enable each
physician to treat more patients is
as yet unknown. It is possible that
these new health personnel will de­
crease the physicians’ work signifi­
cantly. In addition, legislation was
passed in 1972 authorizing the Vet­
erans Administration to assist States
in the establishment of up to 8 new
medical schools. As of mid-1973,
no funds had been requested for the
implementation of this legislation.
However, if these schools were
established, the increased number
of physicians could create an over­
supply in some geographic or spe­
cialty areas. Either a large increase
in the number of physicians or the
ability of each physician to treat
more patients would force more
physicians to establish their prac­



481

tice in sections of the country which
have few doctors and to choose gen­
eral practice or family medicine
instead of one of the other spe­
cialties.
Earnings and Working Conditions

New graduates serving as in­
terns in 1972 had an average
annual salary of $8,838 in hospitals
affiliated with medical schools and
$10,076 in other hospitals. In 1972,
residents earned average annual
salaries of $7,572 in hospitals affili­
ated with medical schools and $9,418
in nonaffiliated hospitals, according
to the American Medical Associa­
tion. Many hospitals also provided
full or partial room, board, and
other maintenance allowances to
their interns and residents.
Graduates employed by the Fed­
eral Government in 1973 received
an annual starting salary of about
$14,000 if they had completed their
internship, and about $16,700 if
they had completed a 1-year
residency.
Newly qualified physicians who
establish their own practice must
make a sizable financial investment
to equip a modern 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
practice develops.
Physicians have the highest aver­
age annual earnings of any occu­
pational group. The net income of
physicians who provided patient
care services averaged about $44,000
in 1972, according to limited in­
formation available. Earnings of
physicians depend on factors such
as the region of the country in
which they practice; the patients’
income levels; and the physician’s
skill, personality, and professional
reputation, as well as the length of

his experience. Self-employed phy­
sicians usually earn more than those
in salaried positions, and special­
ists usually earn considerably more
than general practitioners. Many
physicians have long working days
and irregular hours. Most special­
ists work fewer hours each week
than general practitioners. As doc­
tors grow older, they may accept
fewer new patients and tend to work
fewer hours. However, many con­
tinue in practice well beyond 70
years of age.
Sources of Additional Information

Persons who wish to practice in
a given State should find out
about the requirements for licensure
directly from the board of medical
examiners of that State. Informa­
tion on Federal scholarships and
loans is available from the Director
of Student Financial Aid at the
individual medical 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, Amer­
ican Medical Association, 535 North
Dearborn St., Chicago, 111. 60610.
Association of American Medical Col­
leges, One Dupont Circle, NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.

PODIATRISTS
(D.O.T. 079.108)
Nature of the Work

Podiatrists diagnose and treat
foot diseases and deformities. They
perform surgery, fit corrective de­
vices, and prescribe drugs, physical
therapy, and proper shoes. To help
in diagnoses, they take X-rays and
perform or prescribe blood and other
pathological tests. Among the con­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

482

ditions podiatrists treat are corns, medicine admit only students who
bunions, calluses, ingrown toenails, have completed at least 2 years of
skin and nail diseases, deformed college, including courses in Eng­
toes, and arch disabilities. They lish, chemistry, biology or zoology,
refer patients to medical doctors physics, and mathematics.
The first 2 years in podiatry
whenever the feet show symptoms
school include classroom instruc­
of medical disorders affecting other
parts of the body—such as arthritis, tion and laboratory work in basic
sciences such as anatomy, bacteri­
diabetes, or heart disease.
Some podiatrists specialize in foot ology, chemistry, pathology, phy­
surgery, orthopedics (bone, muscle, siology, and pharmacology. During
and joint disorders), podopediatrics the final 2 years, students obtain
(children’s foot ailments), or podo- clinical experience. The degree of
geriatrics (foot problems of the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
elderly). However, most provide (D.P.M.) is awarded upon gradu­
ation. Additional education and ex­
all types of foot care.
perience are generally necessary to
practice in a specialty. Needy stu­
Places of Employment
dents may obtain loans and scholar­
About 7,300 persons practiced ships up to S3,500 a year from
podiatry in 1972, 6 percent of them Federal funds provided by the Com­
women. Most podiatrists practice prehensive Health Manpower Train­
in large cities. The few who had full­ ing Act of 1971.
Young people planning a career
time salaried positions worked
in podiatry should have a scientific
mainly in hospitals, podiatric col­
leges, or for other podiatrists. The aptitude, manual dexterity, and like
Veterans Administration and city detailed work. A good business
health departments employ podia­ sense, congeniality, and a sense of
trists on either a full- or part-time responsibility are additional assets
basis. Others serve as commissioned in the profession.
Most newly licensed podiatrists
officers in the Armed Forces.
set up their own practices. Some
purchase established practices, or
Training, Other Qualifications,
obtain salaried positions to gain
and Advancement
the experience and money needed
All States and the District of to begin their own practices.
Columbia require a license for the
practice of podiatry. To qualify for
a license, an applicant must gradu­
ate from an accredited 4-year pro­
gram in a college of podiatric
medicine and pass a State
board examination. Three States—
Michigan, New Jersey, and Rhode
Island—also require applicants to
serve a 1-year internship in a
hospital or clinic after graduation.
Three-fourths of the States grant
licenses without further examination
to podiatrists licensed by another
State.
The five colleges of podiatric



Employment Outlook

Opportunities for graduates to
establish new practices, as well as
to enter salaried positions, should
be favorable through the 1970’s.
Competition may increase in the
1980’s, however, if the number of
podiatry graduates increases as ex­
pected.
Through the mid-1980’s, practice
of podiatry is expected to grow'
moderately as a result of greater
demand for health services by an
expanding population, particularly

the growing number of older people.
This age group, the one needing
the most foot care, is entitled to
certain podiatrists’ services under
Medicare. Furthermore, the trend
toward providing preventive foot
care for children is increasing.
More podiatrists will be needed to
furnish services in hospitals, ex­
tended care facilities, and public
health programs.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Experience and the income level
and location of the community
served have a great affect on earn­
ings of individual podiatrists. Start­
ing salaries of beginning podiatrists
ranged from $12,000 to $16,000 in
1972, according to the limited avail­
able information. In podiatry, as
in many other professions, incomes
usually rise markedly after the first
years of practice. Net income of
podiatrists with five or less years
of practice averaged about $21,000;
with from 5/10 years’ experience,
$34,000.
The work week is generally 40
hours, and they may set their
hours to suit their practice.
Sources of Additional Information

Information on license require­
ments in a particular State may be
obtained from the State board of
examiners in the State capital.
A list of colleges of podiatric
medicine, entrance requirements,
curriculums, and scholarships are
available from:
American Association of Colleges of
Podiatric Medicine, 20 Chevy Chase
Circle, NW., Washington, D.C. 20015.

Additional information on podi­
atry as a career may be obtained
from:
American Podiatry Association, 20
Chevy Chase Circle, NW ., Washington,
D.C. 20015.

MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS

VETERINARIANS
(D.O.T. 073.081 through .281)
Nature of the Work

Veterinarians (doctors of veteri­
nary medicine) diagnose, treat, and
control diseases and injuries among
animals. Their work is important
for the Nation’s food production.
It is also important for public
health, because it helps to prevent
the outbreak and spread of animal
diseases, many of which can be
transmitted to human beings.
Veterinarians treat animals in
hospitals and clinics or on the
farm and ranch. They perform sur­
gery on sick and injured animals
and prescribe and administer drugs,
medicines, and vaccines.




483

practice. The Federal Government
employed more than 2,500 veteri­
narians, chiefly in the U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture and the U.S.
Public Health Service. About 900
more were commissioned officers
in the veterinary corps of the Army
and Air Force. Other employers
of veterinarians are State and local
government agencies, international
health agencies, colleges of vet­
erinary medicine, medical schools,
research and development labora­
tories, large livestock farms, animal
food companies, and pharmaceutical
companies that manufacture drugs
for animals.
Places of Employment
Although veterinarians are located
in all parts of the country, the
About 26,000 veterinarians—3
percent of them women—were prac­ type of practice generally varies
ticing in 1972. About three-fifths according to geographic setting.
of all veterinarians were in private Veterinarians in rural areas chiefly
treat farm animals; those in small
towns usually engage in general
practice; those in cities and subur­
ban areas often limit their prac­
tice to pets.
About two-fifths of all veteri­
narians treat small animals or pets.
A large number specialize in the
health and breeding of cattle, poul­
try, sheep, swine, or horses. Many
veterinarians inspect meat, poul­
try, and other foods as part of
Federal and State public health
programs. Others teach in veteri­
nary colleges. Some do research
related to animal diseases, foods
and drugs, or work as part of a
medical research team to seek
knowledge about prevention and
treatment of human disease.

Training, Other Qualificatons,
and Advancement

Veterinarians must be licensed
to practice in all States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia. To obtain a li­
cense, applicants must have a Doctor
of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or
V.M.D.) degree and pass a State
board examination. A few States
also require that applicants have
some practical experience under the
supervision of a licensed veteri­
narian. Some States issue licenses
without further examination to vet­
erinarians already 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, physiology,
or bacteriology.
Minimum requirements for the
D.V.M. or V.M.D. degree are 2

484

years of preveterinary college work
that emphasizes the physical and
biological sciences, followed by 4
years of study in a college of veteri­
nary medicine. However, two pro­
fessional schools require 3 years of
preveterinary study. Most veterinary
school applicants have completed 3
to 4 years of college before entering
the professional program. Veteri­
nary college training includes con­
siderable practical experience diag­
nosing and treating animal diseases
and performing surgery, and labora­
tory work in anatomy, biochemistry,
and other scientific and medical
subjects.
There were 18 colleges of veterinary
medicine in the United States in
1972. When selecting students for
admission, these colleges considered
primarily the applicants’ scholastic
records and the amount and charac­
ter of their preveterinary training.
Residents of the State in which the
college is located usually are given
preference since veterinary colleges
are largely State supported. In the
South and West, regional educa­
tional plans permit cooperating
States without veterinary schools
to send a few students to designated
regional schools. In other areas,
colleges which accept a certain
number of students from other
States usually give priority to ap­
plicants from nearby States that
do not have veterinary schools.
Needy students may obtain loans
and scholarships of up to $3,500
a year to pursue full-time study
leading to the degree of Doctor of
Veterinary Medicine under provi­
sions of the Comprehensive Health
Manpower Training Act of 1971.
Most veterinarians begin as em­
ployees or partners in established




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

practices. A few start their own
practice with a modest financial
investment in drugs, instruments,
and an automobile. With a more
substantial investment, one may
open an animal hospital or pur­
chase an established practice. New­
ly qualified veterinarians may enter
the Army and Air Force as commis­
sioned officers, or qualify for Fed­
eral positions as meat and poultry
inspectors, disease-control workers,
epidemiologists, or research assist­
ants.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
veterinarians are expected to be
favorable through the mid-1980’s.
The occupation is expected to grow
very rapidly through the mid1980’s, primarily because of growth
in the pet population, an increase
in the numbers of livestock and
poultry needed to feed an expand­
ing population, and an increase in
veterinary research. Emphasis on
scientific methods of raising and
breeding livestock and poultry and
growth in public health and disease
control programs also will contrib­
ute to the demand for veterinarians.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The incomes of veterinarians in
private practice vary considerably,
depending on such factors as loca­
tion, type of practice, and years of
experience. In 1972, the overall
average income for veterinarians in
private practice was $25,000.
Newly graduated veterinarians
employed by the Federal Govern­
ment started at $11,782 a year in

early 1973. Salaries of experienced
veterinarians employed by the De­
partment of Agriculture ranged be­
tween $15,000 and $29,000 a year.
The income of veterinarians in pri­
vate practice usually is higher than
that of other veterinarians, accord­
ing to the limited data available.
Veterinarians sometimes may be
exposed to danger of physical in­
jury, disease and infection. Those
in private practice often have long
and irregular working hours. Vet­
erinarians in rural areas may have
to spend much time traveling to and
from farms and may have to work
outdoors in all kinds of weather.
Veterinarians often can continue
working well beyond normal retire­
ment age because of many oppor­
tunities for part-time work.
Sources of Additional Information

A pamphlet entitled Today’s Vet­
erinarian, presents additional in­
formation on veterinary medicine as
a career, as well as a list of colleges
of veterinary medicine. A free copy
may be obtained by submitting a re­
quest, together with a self-addressed
stamped business size envelope, to:
American Veterinary Medical Associa­
tion, 600 South Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, 111. 60605.

Information on opportunities for
veterinarians in the U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture is available
from:
Agricultural Research Service, U.S. De­
partment of Agriculture, Hyattsville,
Md. 20782.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service, Personnel Division, 12th and
Independence Ave. SW., Washington,
D.C. 20250.
Agricultural Marketing Service, Person­
nel Division, 12th and Independence
Ave. SW., Washington, D.C. 20250.

Medical Technician, Technologist, and Assistant
Occupations
This section deals in detail with
nine health occupations that are
technical or clerical in nature. Many
of these occupations have evolved
to relieve highly-trained profes­
sionals of the less-complicated and
routine duties. Medical assistants,
for example, in doctors’ offices,
assist with patient care as well as
do clerical work. Optometric assist­
ants give preliminary eye examina­
tions and help patients do prescribed
eye exercises. Medical record tech­
nicians and clerks process the large
numbers of medical records gen­
erated daily in hospitals and nursing
homes.
The development of sophisticated
diagnostic tools and techniques for
treatment, brought about by ad­
vances in medical science and tech­
nology, also has created the need
for workers such as electro­
cardiograph technicians who operate
equipment that monitors a patient’s
heart action, and electroencephalo­
graph technicians who operate
equipment that monitors the elec­
trical activity of a patient’s brain.

the electrical changes that occur
during a heartbeat. Physicians use
electrocardiograms to diagnose ir­
regularities in heart action and to
analyze changes in the condition
of a patient’s heart over a period
of time. Some physicians order
electrocardiograms as a routine di­
agnostic procedure for persons who
have reached a specified age. In
some cases, the tests also are used
if surgery is to be performed.
Electrocardiograph (EKG) tech­
nicians take and process electro­
cardiograms at the request of a
physician. This can be done in a
doctor’s office, in the EKG depart­
ment of a hospital, or at the patient’s
bedside, since the equipment is
mobile. To perform an electro­
cardiogram, the technician straps
electrodes to specified parts of the
patient’s body, manipulates selector
switches of the electrocardiograph,
and moves chest electrodes across
the patient’s chest. The test may
be given while the patient is at rest,
or before and after mild exercise.

The electrocardiograph records
the “picture” of the patient’s heart
action on a continuous roll of
paper. The technician then clips and
mounts this electrocardiogram for
analysis by a physician, usually a
cardiologist or a heart specialist.
During the test, technicians must
be able to recognize and correct
any technical errors or interferences
recorded on the electrocardiograms.
They also must be able to recognize
any significant deviations from the
norm that call for a doctor’s atten­
tion.
EKG technicians sometimes con­
duct other tests such as basal
metabolism tests, which measure
energy usage, and phonocardiograms, which record the sounds of
the heart valves and blood passing
through them. In addition, techni­
cians usually schedule appointments,
type doctors’ diagnoses, maintain
patients’ EKG files, and care for
equipment.
Places off Employment

About 10,000 people worked as
electrocardiograph technicians in
1972; most were women. Most EKG
technicians worked in cardiology
departments 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 doctors’ offices.

ELECTROCARDIOGRAPH
TEC H N IC IA N S

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

(D.O.T. 078.368)

Generally, EKG technicians are
trained on the job. Training—which
may last as long as 3 months—
usually is conducted by a senior
EKG technician or a cardiologist.
Generally, the minimum require­
ments for the job is high school
graduation. Typing and familiarity

Nature of the Work

Electrocardiograms (EKG’s) are
graphic heartbeat tracings produced
by an instrument called an electro­
cardiograph. These tracings record



485

486

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

with medical terminology are help­
ful.
The military services also give
some general training in electrocardiology. In addition, some manu­
facturers of electrocardiographs give
instructions in the operation of their
equipment.
Persons who want to become EKG
technicians should have mechanical
aptitude, the ability to follow de­
tailed instructions, a calm presence
of mind in emergency situations,
common sense, reliability, and
patience.
Larger hospitals sometimes pro­
mote EKG technicians to super­
visors over other EKG technicians.
Advancement to jobs as junior
vascular-cardio technicians is also
possible in some instances. General­
ly, however, opportunities for ad­
vancement are limited.
Employment Outlook

marriage, family responsibilities, or
other reasons.
Earnings and Working Conditions

EKG technicians who worked in
hospitals and medical schools earned
about $450 a month in 1972, ac­
cording to a survey conducted by
the University of Texas Medical
Branch. Top salaries, in some cases,
were as high as $830 a month.
Inexperienced EKG technicians
starting work with the Federal
Government earned $5,432 a year;
a few experienced technicians earned
as much as $10,007 a year.
EKG technicians who work in
hospitals receive the same fringe
benefits as other hospital person­
nel, including hospitalization, va­
cation, and sick leave. Some
institutions provide tuition assist­
ance or free education courses,
pension programs, and uniforms.
Technicians generally work a 40hour week, which may include work
on Saturdays.

Employment opportunities for
EKG technicians are expected to
be very good through the mid-1980’s.
Employment is expected to rise Sources of Additional Information
very rapidly because of increasing
Local hospitals can supply infor­
reliance by physicians on electro­
mation about employment opportu­
cardiograms in the diagnosis of
heart diseases and the routine use nities. For additional information
of EKG’s by some physicians in about the work of EKG technicians
physical examinations of patients contact:
American Hospital Association, 840
above a certain age. Also contribut­
North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, 111.
ing to the expected growth of this
60611.
occupation is the increase in demand
for health services in general, as a
result of population growth, rising
living standards, improved health
ELECTROconsciousness, expanding medical
ENCEPHALOGRAPHIC
services resulting from new med­
TECHNICIANS
ical techniques and drugs, and
(D.O.T.078.368)
extension of prepayment programs
that make it easier for people to
pay for health and medical care.
Nature of the Work
In addition to openings result­
EEG
(electroencephalographic)
ing from growth in the occupation,
workers will be needed to replace technicians fulfill an important
technicians who leave the field for function in the diagnosis of brain



disease and infections through elec­
troencephalography—a system
which records in graphic form the
electrical activity of the brain.
Neurologists and other qualified
professionals use EEG’s to help
diagnose such brain disorders as
epilepsy and tumors, and assess
damage and recovery after cerebral
vascular strokes. Use of EEG’s in
pinpointing the time brain func­
tions stop has also made them very
important in vital organ transplant
operations.
To carry out the procedure, the
EEG technician measures the
patient’s head and attaches elec­
trodes leading from the electro­
encephalograph to the patient’s
head. The complex machine detects
and graphs (EEG’s) the electrical
activity of the patient’s brain.
Interpretation of the electroen­
cephalograms is done by profes­
sional EEG personnel, often neu­
rologists. However, the EEG tech­
nician must have some knowledge
of medicine, anatomy, and physi­
ology to understand the condition
of the patient.
EEG technicians make routine
repairs and replacements to keep
equipment in good working order.
They also schedule appointments
and keep records of services per­
formed for patients.
Places of Employment

About 3,500 persons—mostly
women—worked
as
electroen­
cephalograph technicians in 1972.
Although EEG technicians work
primarily in the neurology depart­
ments of hospitals, some work in
neurologists’ offices.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most EEG technicians working
in 1972 were trained on the job by
experienced EEG personnel. How-

487

MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, TECHNOLOGIST, AND ASSISTANT OCCUPATIONS

Employment Outlook

ever, with advances in medical tech­ technical schools. In 1973, these
nology,
electroencephalograph standards were adopted by the
equipment becomes increasingly American Medical Association’s
more sophisticated and requires house of delegates.
technicians with more training.
EEG technicians who have one
About 10 programs in colleges year of training and a year of ex­
and medical schools trained EEG perience, and successfully complete
technicians in early 1972. These a written and oral examination ad­
programs lasted from 6 months to ministered by the American Board
of Registration of Electroenceph­
one year.
In recognition of the need for alograph Technologists (ABRET),
educational programs for EEG may become registered (R.EEG.T.).
technicians, the Council on Med­ Although not a general require­
ical Education of the American ment for employment, registration
Medical Association, in collabora­ by ABRET is acknowledgment of
tion with the American Electro- a technician’s qualifications, and
encephalographic
Society,
the makes better-paying jobs easier to
American Medical Electroencephalo- obtain.
People who want to enter this
graphic Association and the Amer­
ican Society of Electroencephalo- field should have manual dexterity,
graphic Technologists, developed a good vision, an aptitude for work­
set of standards for use in the ing with electronic equipment, and
establishment of educational pro­ the ability to work with patients
grams for EEG technicians and and with other members of the hos­
technologists. These standards rec­ pital team.
As openings occur, some EEG
ommend that programs last from
6 months to one year and include technicians in large hospitals ad­
laboratory experience as well as vance to chief EEG technician and
classroom instruction in anatomy, have increased responsibilities in
physiology, neurophysiology, clinical laboratory management and in
and internal medicine, psychiatry, teaching basic techniques to new
and electronics and instrumentation. personnel. Chief EEG technicians
Programs may be carried on in are supervised by an electroencolleges, junior colleges, medical cephalographer, or a neurologist
schools, hospitals, vocational or or neurosurgeon.




Employment opportunities for
EEG technicians are expected to be
very good through the mid-1980’s.
The occupation is expected to grow
rapidly because of increased use of
EEG’s in the diagnosis and moni­
toring of patients with brain disease
and during surgical procedures.
Factors contributing to the over­
all increase in health services, such
as expanding population and rising
living standards, also will stimulate
the need for EEG technicians.
In addition to openings that will
result from growth of the occupa­
tion, many will arise because of the
need to replace the large number
of workers who retire or leave the
field for other reasons.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Starting salaries of EEG tech­
nicians employed by hospitals and
medical centers averaged $507 a
month in 1972, according to a
survey conducted by the University
of Texas Medical Branch. Top
salaries of EEG technicians ranged
as high as $830 a month. Very
highly-qualified technicians may
earn more in special training situa­
tions.
The annual beginning salary for
inexperienced EEG trainees em­
ployed by the Federal Govern­
ment was $5,432 in early 1973.
Technicians in the Federal Govern­
ment can earn as much as $10,007
a year.
EEG technicians in hospitals re­
ceive the same benefits as other
hospital personnel, including hos­
pitalization, vacation, and sick
leave. Some institutions may pro­
vide tuition assistance or free
courses, pension programs, uni­
forms, and parking.
EEG technicians generally work
a 40-hour week with little afterhours or Saturday work involved.

488

Sources of Additional Information

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

patients, and receive payments on
bills.
Medical assistants also may
arrange instruments and equipment
in the examining room, check
office and laboratory supplies, and
maintain the waiting, consulting,
and examination rooms in a neat and
orderly condition.

vocational programs offered in some
high schools, vocational institutes,
Local hospitals can supply in­
and junior colleges. Other medical
formation about employment op­
assistants learn their skills in
portunities. Additional information
adult education courses provided by
about the work of EEG technicians
post-secondary schools.
is available from:
Applicants for on-the-job or
American Hospital Association, 840
post-secondary school training usu­
North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, 111.
ally need a high school education
60611.
or the equivalent. High school
For information on registration,
courses in mathematics, sciences,
contact:
Places of Employment
and office practices are helpful.
American Board of Registration of ElecMost junior college programs
More than 200,000 people, most
troencephalographic Technologists,
Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave.,
last 2 years and lead to an associ­
of them women, worked as medical
Cleveland, Ohio 44105.
assistants in 1972. Most work in ate degree; the others are 1 year
the offices of physicians in private programs, and graduates receive a
practice. The others work in hos­ diploma. Currently there are 22
2-year programs approved by the
pitals and medical clinics.
MEDICAL ASSISTANTS
American Medical Association
(AMA). The curriculum in these
(D.O.T. 079.368)
Training, Other Qualifications,
programs consists of courses in
and Advancement
biology, chemistry, anatomy and
Nature of the Work
Most medical assistants receive physiology, typing, shorthand, and
Medical assistants help phy­ their training on the job. However, a accounting. Students also get super­
sicians examine and treat patients growing number are trained in vised, on-the-job clinical experience
and take care of the clerical work
necessary for a smoothly run office.
In helping physicians examine
patients, medical assistants may
check weight, height, temperature,
and blood pressure, and make
simple laboratory tests. In helping
with treatment, they instruct
patients about medication and self­
treatment at home, give injec­
tions, apply bandages, and take
electrocardiograms and X-rays.
They also sterilize and clean in­
struments and supplies and per­
form routine tasks such as prepara­
tion of patients for examination,
medical treatment, and minor sur­
gery.
Medical assistants also do a
variety of clerical jobs. They keep
patients’ medical records, fill out
medical and insurance forms,
handle correspondence, schedule
appointments, answer the tele­
phone, and greet patients. Among
their other office duties they take
dictation, keep the books, bill




489

MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, TECHNOLOGIST, AND ASSISTANT OCCUPATIONS

and learn laboratory techniques,
use of medical machines, adminis­
trative and clinical procedures,
medical terminology, and office
practices.
The American Association of
Medical
Assistants
(AAMA)
awards certificates to medical as­
sistants who pass a written ex­
amination, have at least a high
school education, and 3 years of
experience in the field. Those with
an associate degree need only one
year of experience to be certified.
Certification is not a license and
is not required for AAMA member­
ship; however, physicians usually
consider Certified Medical Assist­
ants (CMA’s) to be well-qualified
workers.
The American Medical Tech­
nologists registers medical assist­
ants who pass a written examina­
tion and have completed a 9 to 12
month course from an accredited
school. Currently over 20 schools
are accredited by the Accrediting
Bureau of Medical Laboratory
Schools. The Registered Medical
Assistant (RMA) like the CMA is
recognized as competent in the field.
Persons who want to become
medical assistants should get along
well with people since they must
work closely with a variety of
persons. They also should be
thorough, accurate, dependable, and
conscientious.
Students who plan to continue
their education and obtain a bach­
elor’s degree should realize that not
all 4-year colleges accept the same
type and amount of junior college
credits. Therefore, it is important
to apply to a junior college that
offers the kind of courses and
number of credits acceptable for
transfer to a four-year college.
Employment Outlook

Employment

opportunities




for

medical assistants are expected to
be excellent through the mid-1980’s,
particularly for graduates of twoyear junior college programs.
Employment of medical assist­
ants is expected to grow very
rapidly because of the projected
rapid increase in the number of
physicians in patient care. The
growing complexity of medical ser­
vices, combined with the increasing
volume of paper work, also will con­
tribute to the demand for medical
assistants.
The need for more medical assist­
ants also is related to the demand
for medical care services in general.
Generating this demand is a grow­
ing population with an increasing
proportion of older people who re­
quire more medical attention, and
expansion in coverage under pre­
paid insurance programs, including
Medicare and Medicaid, that en­
able more people to afford hospital
and medical care.
In addition to openings resulting
from growth of the occupation,
many jobs will become available
each year because of the need to
replace workers who die, retire, or
leave the occupation for other
reasons.

work evenings and on Saturdays.
If so, they get equivalent time off
during weekdays.
Sources of Additional Information

General information on a career
as a medical assistant and on the
certification program is available
from:
American Association of Medical Assist­
ants, One East Wacker Dr., Suite 1510
Chicago, 111. 60601.

A list of accredited private
schools and information on the
registration program, is available
from:
American Medical Technologists, 710
Higgins Rd., Park Ridge, 111. 60068.

For information on training pro­
grams for medical assistants
contact:
American Medical Association Council
on Medical Education, 535 North
Dearborn St., Chicago, 111. 60610.

MEDICAL LABORATORY
WORKERS
(D.O.T. 078.128, .168, .281, and .381)
Nature of the Work

Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1972, weekly salaries general­
ly ranged from $90 to $125 for inex­
perienced medical assistants, and
from $125 to $160 for experienced
assistants, according to limited
information available. Salaries vary
widely in different areas of the
United States. The salaries of begin­
ners depend on their training and
other qualifications. Junior college
graduates generally receive higher
starting salaries than those paid
workers without any training.
Medical assistants usually work
a 40-hour week. Their hours, how­
ever, may be irregular. They may

Laboratory tests play an impor­
tant part in the detection, diagnosis,
and treatment of many diseases.
Medical laboratory workers, often
called clinical laboratory workers,
include three levels: medical tech­
nologists, technicians, and assist­
ants. They perform tests under the
direction of pathologists (physicians
who diagnose the causes and nature
of disease), and other physicians,
or scientists who specialize in clini­
cal chemistry, microbiology, or the
other biological sciences. Medical
laboratory workers analyze the
blood, tissues, and fluids in the
human body by using precision

490

instruments, such as microscopes
and automatic analyzers.
Medical technologists, who re­
quire 4 years of post-secondary
training, perform complicated
chemical, microscopic, and bacteri­
ological tests. These tests may
include chemical tests to deter­
mine, for example, blood cholestrol
level, or microscopic examination
of the blood to detect the presence
of diseases such as leukemia. They
microscopically examine other body
fluids; make cultures of body fluid
or tissue samples to determine the
presence of bacteria, parasites, or
other micro-organisms; and analyze
them for chemical content or reac­
tion. Technologists also may type
and cross-match blood samples.
Technologists in small labora­
tories often perform many types of
tests. Those in large laboratories
usually specialize in areas such as
microbiology, parasitology, bio­
chemistry, blood banking, hema­
tology (the study of blood cells),
and nuclear medical technology (the
use of radioactive isotopes to help
detect diseases).
Most medical technologists con­
duct tests related to the examina­
tion and treatment of patients.
However, some do research on new
drugs or on the improvement of
laboratory techniques. Others teach
or perform administrative duties.
Medical laboratory technicians,
who generally require 2 years of
post-secondary training, perform a
wide range of tests and laboratory
procedures that require a high level
of skill but not the technical knowl­
edge of the highly-trained tech­
nologists. Like technologists, they
may work in several areas or
specialize in one field.
Medical laboratory assistants,
who generally have a year or less
of formal training, assist medical
technologists in routine tests and
related work that can be learned in




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

a relatively short time. In large about 1,600 medical technologists
laboratories, they may concentrate and about 1,900 medical laboratory
in one of several areas. For ex­ technicians and assistants. Others
ample, they may identify slides with worked for the Armed Forces and
abnormal blood cells. In addition the U.S. Public Health Service.
to performing routine tests, assist­
ants may store and label plasma;
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
clean and sterilize laboratory equip­
ment, glassware, and instruments;
The minimum educational re­
prepare solutions following stand­ quirement for a beginning job as a
ard laboratory formulas and proce­ medical technologist usually is 4
dures; keep records of tests; and years of college training including
identify specimens.
completion of a specialized training
program in medical technology.
Undergraduate work includes
Places of Employment
courses in chemistry, biological
About 165,000 people worked science, and mathematics. These
as medical laboratory workers in studies give the technologist a
1972. About 80 percent of all medi­ broad understanding of the scien­
cal laboratory workers were women; tific principles underlying labora­
however, the number of men in the tory work. Specialized training
field has been increasing in recent usually requires 12 months of study
years.
and includes extensive laboratory
Most medical laboratory person­ work. In 1972, about 750 hospitals
nel work in hospitals. Others work and schools offered programs ap­
in independent laboratories, physi­ proved by the American Medical
cians’ offices, clinics, public health Association. These programs were
agencies, pharmaceutical firms, and affiliated with colleges and uni­
research institutions. These places versities and a bachelor’s degree
are concentrated in larger cities and is usually awarded upon completion.
populous States.
A few schools require a bachelor’s
In 1972, Veterans Administration degree for entry into the program.
hospitals and laboratories employed
Many universities also offer ad­
vanced degrees in medical tech­
nology and related subjects for
technologists who plan to specialize
in laboratory work or in teaching,
administration, or research.
Medical laboratory technicians
employed in 1972 got their training
in a variety of educational settings.
Many attended junior or 4-year
colleges and universities for one
or more years. Others were trained
in the Armed Forces. Some techni­
cians received training in private
and nonprofit vocational and techni­
cal schools.
Most medical laboratory assist­
ants employed in 1972 were trained
Medical laboratory assistant prepares
on the job. In recent years, how­
to scan blood smear to identify red
ever, an increasing number have
and white blood cells.

MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, TECHNOLOGIST, AND ASSISTANT OCCUPATIONS

studied in one-year training pro­
grams conducted by hospitals,
junior colleges in cooperation with
hospitals, or vocational schools.
Hospitals offer the greatest number
of training programs. Applicants
to these programs should be high
school graduates with courses in
science and mathematics. The pro­
grams include classroom instruc­
tion and practical training in the
laboratory. They often begin with
a general orientation to the clini­
cal laboratory followed by courses
in bacteriology, serology, parasitol­
ogy, hematology, clinical chemis­
try, blood banking, and urinalysis.
Certification or registration is
considered important in this field
because it indicates that the per­
sons certified have met educational
standards recognized by the certi­
fying body. After the successful
completion of the appropriate ex­
aminations, medical technologists
may be certified as Medical Tech­
nologists, MT (ASCP), by the
board of Registry of the American
Society of Clinical Pathologists;
Medical Technologists, MT, by the
American Medical Technologists; or
Registered Medical Technologists,
RMT, by the International Society
of Clinical Laboratory Technol­
ogists. These organizations also
certify technician-level workers.
Laboratory assistants are certified
by the American Society of Clinical
Pathologists.
Medical technologists and/or
technicians must be licensed in
Alabama, California, Florida, Geor­
gia, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, Penn­
sylvania, Tennessee, New York City,
and Puerto Rico. Requirements
for licensure include a written ex­
amination in some States.
Accuracy, dependability, and the
ability to work under pressure are
important personal characteristics
for a medical laboratory worker.
Manual dexterity and accurate color




491

of a technologist.
vision are highly desirable.
Young people interested in medi­
Technologists will be needed to
cal laboratory careers should use fill supervisory positions in all
considerable care in selecting a laboratories. Also, some will be
training program. They should get needed in laboratories where they
information about the kinds of jobs are required by State licensing re­
obtained by graduates, educational quirements or third party health
costs, the accreditation of the insurance regulations, and in labo­
school, the length of time the ratories not using the new auto­
training program has been in opera­ mated equipment.
tion, instructional facilities, and
In addition to medical laboratory
faculty qualifications.
workers who will be needed to fill
Technologists may advance to openings resulting from expansion
supervisory positions in certain in the field, thousands of workers
areas of laboratory work, or, after will be needed annually to replace
several years’ experience, to chief those who die, retire, or leave
medical technologist in a large their jobs for other reasons.
hospital. Graduate education in one
of the biological sciences or chemis­
try usually speeds advancement.
Earnings and Working Conditions
Technicians can advance to tech­
nologists by getting necessary addi­
Salaries of medical laboratory
tional education and experience.
workers vary by employer and geo­
graphic location. In general, medical
laboratory workers employed on
the West Coast and in large cities
Employment Outlook
received the highest salaries.
Employment of medical labora­
Starting salaries for medical tech­
tory workers is expected to expand nologists in hospitals and medical
moderately through the mid-1980’s, schools averaged about $8,300 in
as physicians make wider use of 1972, according to a survey con­
laboratory tests in routine physi­ ducted by the University of Texas
cal checkups and in the diagnosis Medical Branch. Beginning salaries
and treatment of disease. Indirectly for laboratory assistants averaged
influencing growth in the field are about $6,200. Technicians earn
population growth, rising standards salaries that range between those
of living, greater health conscious­ paid technologists and assistants.
ness, and expansion of prepayment
The Federal Government paid
programs for medical care that newly graduated medical techno­
make it easier for people to pay logists with bachelor’s degrees
for services.
starting salaries of $7,694 a year
While employment of laboratory in early 1973. Those having experi­
personnel in general is expected ence, superior academic achieve­
to expand moderately, the use of ment, or a year of graduate study
automated laboratory test equip­ entered at $9,520. The Federal
ment may lead to a greater growth of Government paid medical labora­
medical laboratory technicians and tory assistants and technicians
assistants relative to technologists. starting salaries ranging from
Through technological advances, $4,798 to $6,128 a year in early
technicians and assistants can oper­ 1973, depending on the amount and
ate equipment to perform tests type of education and experience.
which previously required the skill
Medical laboratory personnel gen­

492

erally work a 40-hour week. In
hospitals, they can expect some
night or weekend duty. Hospitals
normally provide vacation and sick
leave benefits; some have retire­
ment plans.
Laboratories generally are welllighted and clean. Although un­
pleasant odors and specimens of
many kinds of diseased tissue often
are present, few hazards exist if
proper methods of sterilization and
handling of specimens, materials,
and equipment are used.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about education and
training for medical technologists,
technicians, and laboratory assist­
ants meeting standards recognized
by the medical profession and/or
the U.S. Office of Education, as
well as career information on these
fields of work is available from:
Board of Registry of the American Soci­
ety of Clinical Pathologists, Box 4872,
Chicago, 111. 60680.
American Society for Medical Technol­
ogists, 555 West Loop South, Hous­
ton, Tex. 77401.
The Accrediting Bureau of Medical Lab­
oratory Schools of the American Medi­
cal Technologists, 710 Higgins Rd.,
Park Ridge, 111. 60068.

For information about other
technician training programs, con­
tact:
International Society of Clinical Labora­
tory Technologists, 805 Ambassador
Building, 411 North Seventh St., St.
Louis, Mo. 63101.

Information about employment
opportunities in government clinical
and research hospitals is available
from the Department of Medicine
and Surgery, Veterans Administra­
tion, Washington, D.C. 20421, and
the Clinical Center, National Insti­
tutes of Health, Bethesda, Mary­
land 20014.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

MEDICAL RECORD
TECHNICIANS
AND CLERKS
(D.O.T. 249.388)
Nature of the Work

A medical record is a perma­
nent report on a patient’s condition
and course of treatment in a hos­
pital, clinic, or other health care
institution. Doctors, hospital admin­
istrators, public health authorities,
and insurance companies rely on
these records which are kept by
those behind-the-scenes but impor­
tant members of the health care
staff known as medical record tech­
nicians and clerks.
Medical record technicians and
clerks compile, record, and file
all of the medical reports that
describe a patient’s problem, diag­
nosis, treatment, and progress. This
vital information is collected from
many sources in the hospital or
clinic, including the doctor and the
X-ray, laboratory, dietary, and
nursing departments.
The system used in hospitals to
gather, preserve, and maintain the
information for the medical records
requires the teamwork of many
medical record technicians and
clerks. In large hospitals, record­
keeping activities are supervised
and coordinated by a medical rec­
ord administrator, but in smaller
hospitals, experienced medical rec­
ord technicians often administer
the department. In most nursing
homes, a medical record clerk,
working independently, is responsi­
ble for the limited number of medi­
cal records.
Medical record clerks perform
routine clerical tasks that require
a minimum of specialized knowl­
edge. They assemble the informa­
tion for the records in sequence;
check to see that all necessary
forms, signatures, and dates are

present; and locate any previous
medical records that may be on
file for the patient. They trans­
late selected information such as
sex, age, and referral source into
a code and enter it on the records.
Medical record clerks answer rou­
tine staff requests for information
about patients and gather statis­
tics for reports to various groups
such as State health departments.
Some medical record clerks trans­
cribe reports of operations, X-ray
and laboratory examinations, and
special treatments given to patients.
Medical record clerks follow the
explicit instructions and guidelines
of their supervisors. Person-toperson contacts in hospitals are
limited to providing readily avail­
able, nontechnical information to
the hospital staff. In small nursing
homes where the medical record
clerk works independently, how­
ever, there is much personal con­
tact with the patients as well as
with fellow staff members.
Beginning medical record techni­
cians perform duties that may be
similar to those of clerks but which
require more technical knowledge.
The technician codes the diseases,
operations, and special therapies
according to recognized classifica­
tion systems and enters the codes
on the medical record. This coding

493

MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, TECHNOLOGIST, AND ASSISTANT OCCUPATIONS

makes it easier to refer to the rec­
ord when there is a need to review
the patient’s case or to collect data
for other purposes. Analyzing rec­
ords and cross-indexing medical
information make up a large part of
the technician’s work. Technicians
do the important job of reviewing
records for completeness, accuracy,
and compliance with requirements,
referring incomplete records to the
person who compiled them. They
review records for internal consis­
tency and point out to their super­
visors any apparent errors.
Technicians obtain information
from records in answer to legal and
insurance company inquiries when
authorized to do so by hospital
administrators, and gather statis­
tics and prepare periodic reports
for hospitals on types of diseases
treated, types of surgery performed,
and utilization of hospital beds.
They also prepare records for
microfilming, supervise medical
record clerks, assist the medical
staff by preparing special studies
and tabulating data from records
for research, and take records to
court.
Places of Employment

In 1972, there were about 8,000
medical record technicians and
39,000 clerks. Although most work
in hosptials, a growing number are
finding jobs in clinics, nursing
homes, community health centers,
and health maintenance organiza­
tions. Some medical record techni­
cians are consultants to several
small health facilities. Some insur­
ance companies employ experienced
medical record personnel to col­
lect information from patients’ rec­
ords to determine liability for pay­
ment. Public health departments
hire medical record technicians to
supervise data collection from
health care institutions, and to




assist in research to improve health
care. Manufacturers of medical rec­
ord systems, services, and equip­
ment also employ medical record
personnel to help develop and mar­
ket their products.
Most medical record technicians
and clerks are women. However, a
growing number of men are enter­
ing the field.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most employers prefer to fill
technician positions with graduates
from one of the college or hospitalbased programs which have been
accredited by the American Medi­
cal Association and the American
Medical Record Association. These
range in length from 10-month cer­
tificate programs to 2-year associ­
ate degree programs. In 1972, there
were approximately 50 such pro­
grams available. Required courses
included biological sciences, medi­
cal terminology, medical record
science, business management, and
secretarial skills. Persons with this
training who also have passed the
Accredited Record Technician (ART)
examination can enter the medical
record field as technicians, and can
often look forward to promotion
to supervisory positions.
High school graduates who have
basic secretarial skills can enter the
medical record field as beginning
clerks. About one month of on-thejob training will prepare them for
routine tasks that do not require
significant specialized skill. More
training may be necessary for spe­
cialized clerical positions such as
medical transcriptionists. Although
they are not required, high school
courses in Latin, biology, chem­
istry, and business subjects are
helpful. Medical record personnel
must be accurate and pay attention
to detail.

The American Medical Record
Association 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 suc­
cessful completion of the course is
helpful in applying for a job as a
medical record clerk. Medical terms
and references learned provide a
good foundation for advancement.
Medical record clerks who have
had several years of experience
may advance to the technician level,
especially in areas where there is
a shortage of trained medical rec­
ord technicians. In addition, an­
other AMRA correspondence course
is available for medical record
clerks to prepare for the examina­
tion for accreditation as medical
record technicians. Passing this ex­
amination and earning the title of
ART often leads to promotion to
higher-paying and more responsible
positions in medical records. In
1972, there were 5,440 ART’s.

Employment Outlook

Employment of medical record
technicians and clerks is expected
to grow very rapidly through the
mid-1980’s. This employment growth
will stem from an expected con­
tinued increase in the use of health
insurance, Medicare and Medicaid,
and rising medical care standards,
with an accompanying need for
more complete medical records.
New jobs also will be created as
nursing homes, clinics, and new
types of medical facilities such as
health maintenance organizations
increasingly employ medical rec­
ord personnel.
The duties performed by medical
record clerks make up most of the
work in a medical record depart­
ment. Thus, the anticipated expan­
sion in medical facilities and
recordkeeping offers a very good

494

employment outlook for clerks.
However, opportunities for ad­
vancement to the technician posi­
tion without formal courses will
greatly decrease.
The outlook for technicians with
a 2-year course will be favorable
through the mid-1980’s. It is ex­
pected that medical record techni­
cians will be required to have this
specialized training in the future
as more attention is given to in­
novative ideas in medical records
as a means of improving medical
efficiency and service. As a result,
technicians who have not received
formal training may experience
strong competition for positions
from medical record technicians who
have an associate degree.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of medical record clerks
and technicians vary greatly ac­
cording to locality, but usually are
higher than the salaries of general
officeworkers. Beginning medical
record clerks earned an average
of $5,200 annually in nongovern­
ment hospitals in 1972. Earnings
ranged from $4,600 in small hos­
pitals in the South to $8,800 in
New York City, according to lim­
ited data. In general, salaries are
highest in the big cities and lowest in
rural areas. Salaries usually are
higher in larger hospitals.
Salaries of medical record tech­
nicians follow a similar geographic
pattern, but typical beginning sala­
ries are about 30 percent higher
than those of clerks. Limited data
indicates that in 1972, the median
annual salary for ART’s was $7,100.
Experienced technicians who were
directors of hospital medical rec­
ord departments averaged $7,850.
Some earned over $10,000 a year.
In Federal hospitals, medical rec­
ord clerks earned a beginning annual
salary of $5,828 in 1972. Annual




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

salaries of medical record techni­
cians ranged from $6,554 to $11,711.
Outstanding medical record tech­
nicians may work up to higher
supervisory positions with corre­
sponding pay increases, although
most of these positions are filled
by Registered Record Administra­
tors.
Like most hospital employees,
medical record personnel work a
40-hour week, receive paid holi­
days and vacations, health and
insurance benefits, and can par­
ticipate in retirement plans. Al­
though most of the positions are
full-time, some part-time jobs are
available.
Sources of Additional Information

A list of approved schools for
medical record technicians, facts
about the correspondence courses for
medical transcription and medical
record personnel, and additional de­
tails on the work performed by
medical record technicians can be
obtained from:
American Medical Record Association
John Hancock Center, Suite 1850, 875
North Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111.
60611.

OPERATING ROOM
TECHNICIANS
(D.O.T. 079.378)

as blood and glucose that may be
needed during an operation. Opera­
ting room technicians also prepare
patients for surgery by washing,
shaving, and disinfecting the parts
of the body where the surgeon will
operate. They may transport pa­
tients to the operating room and
help drape and position them on
the operating table.
During surgery, they pass instru­
ments and other sterile supplies
to members of the professional sur­
gical team. They hold retractors,
cut sutures, and help nurses count
the sponges, needles, and instru­
ments used during the operation.
Operating room technicians help
prepare, care for, and dispose of
specimens taken for testing during
the operation and help apply dress­
ings. They may operate sterilizers,
lights, suction machines, and diag­
nostic equipment.
After the operation, operating
room technicians help transfer pa­
tients to the recovery room and
assist nurses in cleaning and stock­
ing the operating room for the next
operation.
Places of Employment

More than 25,000 people, about
one-half of them women, worked as
operating room technicians in 1972.
They worked in hospitals or other
institutions that have operating
room, delivery room and emergency
room facilities. Many are members
of the Armed Forces.

Nature of the Work

Operating room technicians, also
known as surgical technicians, assist
surgeons and anesthesiologists be­
fore, during, and after surgery.
They are supervised by registered
nurses.
They help set up the operating
room with the instruments, equip­
ment, sterile linens, and fluids such

Training and Other Qualifications

Most operating room technicians
are trained on the job. A high
school education or the equivalent
is generally required for employ­
ment. On-the-job training programs
in many hospitals include class­
room instruction. The length of
these programs vary from six weeks

495

MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, TECHNOLOGIST, AND ASSISTANT OCCUPATIONS

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
operating room technicians are ex­
pected to be excellent through the
mid-1980’s. Graduates of 2-year
junior college programs should be
especially in demand.
Employment of operating room
technicians is expected to grow very
rapidly as more routine nursing
responsibilities are delegated to
them. As a result, operating room
nurses may concentrate on duties
that require their professional train­
ing. The same factors that contrib­
ute to the demand for health workers
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 coverage under
prepayment insurance programs.
In addition to job openings re­
sulting from growth of the occupa­
tion, many new operating room
technicians will be needed to re­
place workers who die, retire, or
leave the field for other reasons.
to one year, depending on the
trainee’s qualifications and the
training given. Some hospitals pre­
fer applicants who have worked
as nurse aides or practical nurses.
Some operating room technicians
are trained in adult, vocational,
and technical schools, and junior
colleges. Others learn in medic pro­
grams of the Armed Forces. Most
of these training programs last
from 9 months to one year; some
junior college programs last 2 years
and lead to an associate degree.
The American Medical Association
is currently evaluating and approv­
ing many of these programs.
Students in junior colleges and vo­
cational schools get classroom train­
ing as well as supervised clinical
experience. Required courses include
anatomy, physiology, and micro­




biology. Practical application courses
include the care and safety of pa­
tients during surgery, use of anes­
thesia and its hazards, and nursing
procedures. They also learn how
to sterilize instruments, prevent and
control infection, and handle special
drugs, solutions, supplies, and equip­
ment.
The Association of Operating
Room Technicians awards a certi­
ficate to operating room technicians
who pass their comprehensive ex­
amination. A Certified Operating
Room Technician (CORT) is recog­
nized as competent in the field and
is generally paid a higher salary.
Manual dexterity is a necessity
for operating room technicians
since they must handle various
instruments quickly. They must be
orderly and emotionally stable.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Depending on training and other
qualifications, monthly salaries of
inexperienced operating room tech­
nicians generally ranged from $454
to $578 in 1972-73, according to a
National Survey conducted by the
University of Texas Medical Branch.
Junior college graduates earn high­
er salaries than workers without
training. Salaries also vary widely
from one part of the country to the
other, with those in the East and
West Coasts generally higher. Sal­
aries of experienced technicians
ranged from $519 to $751 per
month. In general, operating room
technicians earn about as much as
average non-supervisory workers in
private industries except farming.
Operating room technicians usual­

496

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ly work a 5-day, 40-hour week.
However, they may be required to
work “on call” shifts, for which
they receive compensation.

ordination to overcome focusing
defects.
Optometric assistants also work
in the laboratory. They modify con­
ventional glasses or contact lenses
to assure proper fit, insert lenses
Sources of Additional Information
in frames, repair frames, keep an
Additional information on a ca­ inventory of optometric materials,
reer as an operating room techni­ and clean and care for the instru­
cian and on training programs for ments.
In a large optometric complex,
the occupation is available from:
assistants may specialize in visual
Association of Operating Room Techni­
cians, Inc., 1100 West Littleton Blvd.,
training, chairside assistance, or
Suite 101, Littleton, Colo. 80120.
office administration. In a smaller
practice, they may assume all these
duties.

OPTOMETRIC
ASSISTANTS
Nature of the Work

Optometric assistants perform a
wide variety of tasks, allowing op­
tometrists to devote more time to
their professional duties. Their tasks
range from assisting in eye ex­
aminations to bookkeeping.
Optometric assistants keep pa­
tients’ records, schedule appoint­
ments, and handle bookkeeping,
correspondence, and filing. They
prepare patients for eye examina­
tions and help optometrists test
for near and distant eyesight,
color blindness, and tension of
or pressure on the eyeball. Opto­
metric assistants measure patients
for correct and comfortable fit of
glasses. They suggest size and shape
of eyeglass frames to compliment
the patient’s facial features, and
adjust finished eyeglasses by heat­
ing, shaping, and bending the plas­
tic or metal frames. They also
assist the optometrist in fitting
contact lenses and in giving instruc­
tions on the use and care of the
lenses.
Optometric assistants help pa­
tients with exercises for eye co­




Places of Employment

About 11,000 persons, most of
them women, worked as optometric
assistants in 1972. Most worked
for optometrisits in private prac­
tice. Others worked for health

clinics, optical instrument manu­
facturers, or government agencies.
Some served as assistants to op­
tometrists in the Armed Forces.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most optometric assistants are
trained on the job in their em­
ployers’ offices. Training also can
be acquired in 1 year academic
courses; four schools offered this
type of training in 1972. More
detailed training in the technical
aspects of optometry was available
in seven schools that offered 2-year
courses leading to an associate de­
gree. One university offered a
4-year program in optometric tech­
nology.
High school graduation or its
equivalent, including courses in
mathematics and office procedures,

497

MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, TECHNOLOGIST, AND ASSISTANT OCCUPATIONS

is preferred for on-the-job training
or admission to a formal training
program. All of the formal pro­
grams offer specialized courses
such as the anatomy and phy­
siology of the human eye, orthoptics
(correction of defective vision), and
contact lens theory and practice.
Programs also include courses in
secretarial and office procedures.
Lectures and laboratory work are
supplemented by actual experience
in optometric clinics and practices.
Although there are relatively few
programs for training optometric
assistants, a recent study indicated
that over 4 optometrists out of 5
feel that a 1 or 2-year course, fol­
lowed by some on-the-job instruc­
tion, is the best preparation. This
training will become more impor­
tant in gaining initial employment
and advancement as more programs
become available.
Manual dexterity, accuracy, and
the ability to distinguish shades
of color are requirements for per­
sons planning to become optometric
assistants. Because of the personto-person work relationship between
optometric assistants and patients,
a neat appearance, courtesy, and
tact are important qualifications.
Employment Outlook

The employment of optometric
assistants is expected to grow very
rapidly through the mid-1980’s.
Employment opportunities for op­
tometric assistants who have com­
pleted one of the few formal train­
ing programs should be excellent.
On-the-job training, however, prob­
ably will continue to be the means
by which most persons enter the
occupation. The availability of
many positions which require few­
er than 8 hours of work a day
offers opportunities for continued
employment while caring for a
family.




Factors underlying the expected
growth of the occupation are the
increase in population and greater
demand for eye care services. As
the number of patients served by
optometrists increase, more trained
assistants will be needed.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of optometric assistants
vary by geographical region, aca­
demic and technical qualifications,
and the size and type of practice
of the optometrists employing them.
In 1972, beginning salaries ranged
from $80 a week for optometric
assistants having no training or ex­
perience to $160 a week for experiienced and highly trained assistants,
according to limited information
available.
Most optometric assistants work
between 30 and 40 hours a week,
but about 1 out of 10 works shorter
hours. Occasionally they may work
a few hours on Saturday. The work
is not strenuous and physical sur­
roundings are usually pleasant.
Sources of Additional Information

Further information on a career
as optometric assistant and a list
of training programs are available
from:
American Optometric Association, 7000
Chippewa St., St. Louis, Mo. 63119.

RADIOLOGIC (X-RAY)
TECHNOLOGISTS
(D.O.T. 078.168 and .368)
Nature of the Work

Medical X-rays play a major role
in the diagnostic and therapeutic
fields of medicine. Radiologic tech­
nologists, also called medical X-ray
technologists and X-ray technicians,

operate X-ray equipment. They are
usually supervised by radiologists
(physicians who specialize in the
use of X-rays).
Most radiologic technologists use
X-ray equipment to take pictures
of internal parts of the patient’s
body. They may prepare chemical
mixtures, such as barium salts,
which the patients swallow to make
specific organs appear clearly in
X-ray examinations (recorded in
radiographs). The technologist uses
radiation protection devices and
techniques to safeguard himself, as
well as the patient, against possible
radiation hazards. After determin­
ing the correct voltage, current,
and desired exposure time, the tech­
nologist positions the patient and
makes the required number of ra­
diographs to be developed for in­
terpretation by the physician. The
technologists may use mobile X-ray
equipment at a patient’s bedside
and in surgery. The technologist
also is usually responsible for keep­
ing treatment records.
Some radiologic technologists do
radiation therapy work. They help
physicians treat patients with dis­
eases, such as certain types of can­
cer, by administering prescribed
doses of X-ray or other forms of
radiation to the affected areas of
the body. They also may assist the
radiologists in measuring and han­
dling radium and other radioactive
materials.
Other technologists work in the
field of nuclear medicine in which
radioactive isotopes are used to
diagnose and treat diseases. They
help the radiologist prepare and
administer the prescribed radio­
isotope and operate special equip­
ment for tracing and measuring
radioactivity.
Places of Employment

About

55,000

persons—about

498

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ethics, department administration,
and the operation and maintenance
of equipment.
Registration with the American
Registry of Radiologic Technolo­
gists is an asset in obtaining highly
skilled and specialized positions.
Registration requirements include
graduation from an approved school
of medical X-ray technology and
the satisfactory completion of a
written examination. After regis­
tration, the title “ Registered Tech­
nologist, (ARRT)” may be used.
Once registered, technologists may
be certified in radiation therapy or
nuclear medicine, by completing an
additional year of combined class­
room study and work experience.
Good health and stamina are im­
portant qualifications for this field.
As openings occur, some tech­
nologists in large X-ray depart­
ments may qualify as instructors
in X-ray techniques or advance to
chief X-ray technologists.
Employment Outlook

two-thirds of them women—worked
as radiologic technologists in 1972.
Hospitals employ about threefourths of all radiologic technol­
ogists; most of the remainder work
in medical laboratories, physicians’
and dentists’ offices or clinics,
Federal and State health agencies,
and public school systems. A few
work as members of mobile X-ray
tuberculosis detection teams.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The requirement for entry into
this field is the completion of a
formal training program in X-ray
technology. In 1972, about 1,200
programs in X-ray technology of­
fered in hospitals, medical schools
affiliated with hospitals, colleges,
and community colleges were ap­




proved by the American Medical
Association (AMA). In addition
to training programs in approved
schools, training also may be ob­
tained in the military service.
Some courses in X-ray technology
are offered by vocational or tech­
nical schools. Programs usually
take 24 months to complete. A few
schools offer 3- or 4-year pro­
grams, and about 30 schools award a
bachelor’s degree in X-ray technology.
All schools accept only high
school graduates. Courses in math­
ematics, physics, chemistry, biol­
ogy, and typing are helpful.
X-ray technology programs usu­
ally include courses in anatomy,
physiology, nursing procedures,
physics, radiation protection, dark­
room chemistry, principles of radiographic exposure, X-ray therapy,
radiographic positioning, medical

Radiologic technologists are ex­
pected to have favorable opportuni­
ties for both full- and part-time work
through the mid-1980’s. The occu­
pation is expected to grow rapid­
ly through the mid-1980’s, because
of wide use of X-ray equipment in
diagnosis and treatment of dis­
eases, and the expansion of prepay­
ment medical programs that make
medical care available to patients
who would otherwise be unable to
afford it. Radiotherapy also is ex­
pected to find increased uses, open­
ing more jobs in the years ahead.
X-raying of large groups will be ex­
tended as part of disease control
programs.
In addition to radiologic tech­
nologists needed to fill new jobs,
a large number of new workers will
be needed to replace those who die,
retire, or leave the field.

MEDICAL TECH NICIAN, TECHNOLOGIST, A N D ASSISTAN T OCCUPATIONS

Earnings and Working Conditions

Starting salaries of radiologic
technologists employed in hospitals
and medical centers averaged about
$150 a week in 1972, according to
a national survey conducted by the
University of Texas Medical Branch.
The Federal Government paid
new graduates of AMA approved
schools of X-ray technology start­
ing salaries of $6,882 a year in early
1973.
Full-time technicians generally
work 8 hours a day and 40 hours
a week but may be “on call” for
some weekend or night emergency
duty. Sick leave, vacations, insur­
ance, and other benefits are com­
parable to those covering other
workers in the same organization.
There are potential radiation
hazards in this Field; however, these
hazards have been greatly reduced
by the modern use of special safety
devices such as individual instru­
ments that measure radiation ex­
posure, lead aprons, gloves, and
other shieldings.
Sources of Additional Information

For additional information about
a career in radiologic technology
write:
The American Society of Radiologic
Technologists, 645 North Michigan
Ave., Chicago, 111. 60611.
The American Registry of Radiologic
Technologists, 2600 Wayzata Boule­
vard, Minneapolis, Minn. 55405.

RESPIRATORY
THERAPISTS
(D.O.T. 079.368)
Nature of the Work

Respiratory therapists and tech­
nicians, sometimes called inhalation



499

therapists, treat patients with res­ Other duties include keeping records
piratory problems. This treatment of the cost of materials and charges
may range from giving temporary re­ to patients, and maintaining and
lief to patients with chronic asthma making minor repairs to equipment.
Respiratory therapists and res­
or emphysema to giving emergency
care in cases of heart failure, stroke, piratory therapy technicians per­
drowning, and shock. Respiratory form essentially the same duties.
therapists also are among the However, the therapist is expected
first medical specialists called for to have a higher level of expertise
emergency treatment of acute res­ and may be expected to assume some
piratory conditions arising from teaching and supervisory duties.
head injury or drug poisoning. The
short span of time for which a
Places of Employment
patient can safely cease to breathe
emphasizes the highly responsible
About 17,000 people worked as
role of the respiratory therapist. respiratory therapists or technicians
If breathing has stopped for longer in 1972—about one-half were
than 3 to 5 minutes, there is little women. Most work in respiratory
chance that the patient can recover therapy, anesthesiology, or pul­
without brain damage, and if oxygen monary medicine departments of
is cut for more than 9 minutes, he hospitals. Others work for oxygen
will die.
equipment rental companies, ambu­
Respiratory therapists follow doc­ lance services, nursing homes, and
tors’ orders and use special equip­ universities.
Women
are
in­
ment such as respirators and creasingly entering this field,
positive-pressure breathing ma­ which has been mostly staffed by
chines to administer gas therapy, men.
aerosol therapy, and other treat­
ments involving respiration. They
Training, Other Qualifications,
also show patients and their families
and Advancement
how to use the equipment at home.
Respiratory apparatus has become
increasingly complex in recent years
and, although a few therapists are
trained on the job, formalized train­
ing is now stressed as the requisite
for entry to the field.
In 1972, more than 100 institu­
tions offered educational programs
in respiratory therapy approved
by the Council on Medical Educa­
tion of the American Medical As­
sociation. High school graduation
is required for entry. Courses vary
in length between 18 months and 4
years and include both theory and
clinical work. A bachelor’s degree
is awarded for completion of a
4-year program and lesser degrees
are awarded for shorter courses.
Areas of study include human
anatomy and physiology, chemistry,

500

physics, microbiology, and mathe­
matics. Technical courses offered
deal with procedures, equipment,
and clinical tests.
Respiratory therapists with an
associate degree from an AMAapproved program and 1 year of
experience are eligible to be regis­
tered by the American Registry of
Inhalation Therapists (ARIT). Ap­
plicants must pass written and oral
examinations. In 1972, nearly 1,800
therapists had been registered. A
registered inhalation therapist often
can advance faster and obtain a
higher position than one who is not
registered. An increasing number of
employers recognize registration as
an acknowledgement of a therapist’s
qualifications.
Those who do not qualify or fail
to pass the registry examination may
elect to take the examination to be­
come Certified Respiratory Therapy
Technicians. This CRTT examina­
tion is less comprehensive than the
registry examination. To be eligible
for it, applicants must have com­
pleted either an associate degree
respiratory therapy program or a 1year respiratory therapy technician
program, either of which must be
approved by the Council on Medical
Education of the American Medical
Association.
Respiratory therapists can ad­
vance to positions as assistant
chief, chief therapist, or, with
graduate education, instructor of
respiratory therapy at the college
level.
People who want to enter the




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

respiratory therapy field should be
able to work with patients and
understand their physical and psy­
chological needs. Respiratory ther­
apists must be able to pay attention
to detail, follow instructions, and
work as part of a team. Operating
the complicated respiratory therapy
equipment also requires some me­
chanical ability.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
respiratory therapists and tech­
nicians are expected to be very good
through the mid-1980’s. Those with
advanced training in respiratory
therapy programs will be in demand
to fill teaching and supervisory
positions.
A rapid growth in employment of
respiratory therapists is expected,
owing to new uses for respiratory
therapy, increased acceptance of its
use, and the growth in health
services in general. Many specialists
in respiratory therapy will be hired
to release nurses and other personnel
now performing respiratory therapy
work to return to their primary
duties. Many other openings will
arise from the need to replace those
who retire, die, or leave the occupa­
tion for other reasons.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The starting salary of res­
piratory therapy personnel employed
in hospitals and medical centers
averaged about $604 a month in

1972, according to a survey con­
ducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch. Top salaries of
respiratory therapists in hospitals
ranged as high as $960 a month.
The Federal Government paid
respiratory
therapists
starting
salaries of $6,128 a year in 1973
if they had 1 year of post­
secondary training, and $6,882 for
those with 2 years of training. Some
therapists employed by the Federal
Government in early 1973 earned
as much as $12,373 a year.
Respiratory therapists who work
in hospitals receive the same bene­
fits as other hospital personnel,
including
hospitalization,
paid
vacations, and sick leave. Some
institutions provide tuition assist­
ance or free courses, pension pro­
grams, uniforms, and parking.
Therapists generally work a 40hour week. After-hours and week­
end duty is generally required since
most hospitals have 24-hour
coverage throughout the week.
Adherence to safety precautions
and testing proper operation of
equipment minimizes the potential
hazard of fire to therapists and
patients.
Sources of Additional Information

Information concerning educa­
tion programs is available from:
American Association for Respiratory
Therapy, 7411 Hines Place, Dallas,
Tex. 75235.

On-the-job training information
can be obtained at local hospitals.

in providing health care. As im­
portant members of the medical
care team, registered nurses perform
a wide variety of duties. They
administer medications; observe,
NURSING OCCUPATIONS
evaluate, and record symptoms, re­
actions, and progress of patients;
assist in the rehabilitation of patients;
The nursing field, consist­ must work closely with other
ing of registered nurses; licensed members of the health team and and help maintain a physical and
practical nurses; and nursing aides, care for patients who are uncom­ emotional environment that pro­
orderlies, and attendants, accounts fortable and sometimes irritable. motes patient recovery.
Some registered nurses provide
for about one-half of total employ­ Nursing workers must be thoroughly
ment among health service workers. reliable and possess a level head hospital care. Other’s perform re­
Nursing personnel perform a in emergencies, since lives may de­ search activities or instruct students.
The type of employment setting
variety of duties to care for and pend on them.
usually determines the scope of the
comfort the sick, the injured, and
nurse’s duties.
others requiring medical services.
Hospital nurses constitute the
This section deals in detail with
largest group. Most are staff nurses
the three basic nursing occupations.
REGISTERED NURSES
who provide skilled bedside nursing
Registered nurses (R N ’s) are the
(D.O.T. 075.118 through .378)
care and carry out medical treat­
Nation’s second largest group of
ment plans prescribed by physicians.
professionally employed women.
They may also supervise practical
Only teaching employs larger num­
Nature of the Work
nurses, aides, and orderlies. Hospi­
bers. Following doctors’ orders,
Nursing care plays a major role tal nurses usually work with groups
these nurses dispense medications
and treatments, and observe and
monitor patients’ progress. Some
become head nurses and are re­
sponsible for all nursing services
of a specified area of an institution.
Licensed practical nurses provide
skilled nursing care to sick, injured,
and convalescent patients. They
work under the general supervision
of physicians and registered nurses,
and may sometimes supervise
nursing aides, orderlies, and attend­
ants.
Nursing aides, orderlies, and
attendants make up the largest group
of nursing personnel. They provide
for the care and comfort of patients.
They serve meals, feed patients,
and do other tasks that free profes­
sional and practical nurses for
more critical work requiring profes­
sional and technical training.
Those seeking to be registered
nurses, licensed practical nurses,
and nursing aides, orderlies, and
attendants should genuinely like
Registered nurse monitors patient receiving treatment tor kidney disease.
working with people, since they



501

502

of patients that require similar
nursing care. For instance, some
nurses work with post-surgery pa­
tients; others care for children,
the elderly, or the mentally ill.
Some are administrators of nursing
services.
Private duty nurses give individual
care to patients who need constant
attention. The private duty nurse
may sometimes care for several
hospital patients who require spe­
cial care, but not full-time attention.
Office nurses assist physicians,
dental surgeons, and occasionally
dentists in private practice or
clinics. Sometimes they perform rou­
tine laboratory and office work in
addition to their nursing duties.
Public health nurses care for
patients in clinics, homes, schools
and other community settings. They
instruct patients and families in
proper care, and give periodic care
as prescribed by a physician. They
may also instruct groups of patients
in proper diet and arrange for im­
munizations. These nurses work with
community leaders, teachers, parents,
and physicians in community health
education. Some public health nurses
work in schools.
Nurse educators teach students
the principles and skills of nursing,
both in the classroom and in direct
patient care. They also conduct
continuing education courses for
registered nurses, practical nurses
and nursing assistants.
Occupational health or industrial
nurses provide nursing care to em­
ployees in industry and government,
and along with physicians promote
employee health. As prescribed by
a doctor, they treat minor injuries
and illnesses occurring at the place
of employment, provide for the
needed nursing care, arrange for
further medical care if necessary,
and offer health counseling. They
also may assist with health exam­
inations and inoculations.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

(Licensed practical nurses who al­
so perform nursing service are dis­
cussed elsewhere in the Handbook).
Places of Employment

Nearly 750,000 persons—all but 1
percent women—worked as regis­
tered nurses in 1972. About onethird of them worked on a part-time
basis.
More than two-thirds of all
registered nurses worked in hospi­
tals, nursing homes, and related
institutions. About 60,000 were
office nurses and about 50,000 were
private duty nurses who cared for
patients in hospitals and private
homes. Public health nurses in
government agencies, schools, visit­
ing nurse associations, and clinics
numbered about 54,000; nurse edu­
cators in nursing schools accounted
for about 35,000; and occupational
health nurses in industry, about
20,000. Most of the others were
staff members of professional nurse
and other organizations, State
boards of nursing, or working for
research organizations.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A license is required to practice
professional nursing in all States
and in the District of Columbia.
To obtain a license, a nurse must
be a graduate of a school approved
by the State board of nursing and
pass the State board examination.
Nurses may be licensed in more than
one State, either by examination or
endorsement of a license issued by
another State.
Three types of educational pro­
grams—diploma, baccalaureate, and
associate degree—offer the educa­
tion required for basic careers in
registered nursing. Education at the
master’s level and above is required
for positions in research, consulta­

tion, teaching, and clinical spe­
cialization. Graduation from high
school is required for admission
to all schools of nursing.
Diploma programs are conducted
by hospital 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 com­
munity colleges require approxi­
mately 2 years of nursing education.
In addition, several programs pro­
vide licensed practical 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 early
1972, more than 1,360 programs
(associate, diploma, and baccalau­
reate) were offered in the United
States. In addition, about 80 col­
leges and universities offered mas­
ter’s and doctoral degree programs
in nursing.
Programs of nursing include class­
room instruction and supervised
nursing practice in hospitals and
health facilities. Students take
courses in anatomy, physiology,
microbiology, nutrition, psychology,
and basic nursing care. They also
get supervised clinical experience
in the care of patients who have
different types of health problems.
Students in bachelor’s degree pro­
grams as well as in some of the
other programs are assigned to
public health agencies to learn how
to care for patients in clinics and
in the patients’ homes. General
education is combined with nursing
education in baccalaureate and as­
sociate degree programs and in
some diploma programs.
Qualified students who need fi­
nancial aid can get a nursing
scholarship or a low-interest loan
under the provisions of the Nurse

503

NURSING OCCUPATIONS

Training Act of 1971.
Depending on length of service,
up to 85 percent of the loan can
be cancelled over a 5-year period
for full-time employment as a pro­
fessional nurse in any public or
nonprofit institution or agency.
Full-time employment in an area
identified as a shortage area can
make one eligible for cancellation
of 85 percent of the loan over a
three-year period.
Young persons who want to
pursue a nursing career should have
a sincere desire to serve humanity
and be sympathetic to the needs of
others. Nurses must be able to
follow orders precisely and to use
good judgment in emergencies; they
also should be able to accept re­
sponsibility and direct or supervise
the activity of others. Good mental
health is helpful in order to cope
with human suffering and frequent
emergency situations. Staff nurses
may need physical stamina because
of the amount of time spent walking
and standing.
From staff positions in hospitals,
experienced nurses may advance to
head nurse, assistant director, and
director of nursing services. A
master’s degree, however, often is
required for supervisory and admin­
istrative positions, as well as for
positions in nursing education, clin­
ical specialization, and research.
In public health agencies, advance­
ment is usually difficult for nurses
who do not have degrees in public
health nursing.
A growing movement in nursing,
generally being referred to as the
“ nurse practitioner program” is
opening up new career possibilities.
Nurses who wish to take the extra
training are preparing for highly
independent roles in the clinical
care and teaching of patients. They
are practicing in primary roles
which include nurse-midwifery, ma­
ternal care, pediatrics, family health,



and the care of medical patients.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
registered nurses are expected to
be favorable through the mid1980’s. However, if trends in the
number of persons enrolling in
schools of nursing continue, some
competition for more desirable,
higher paying jobs may develop by
the mid-1980’s. Opportunities for
full- or part-time work in present
shortage areas such as some South­
ern States and many inner-city areas
are expected to be very favorable
through 1985. For nurses who have
had graduate education, the outlook
is excellent for obtaining positions
as administrators, teachers, clinical
specialists, public health nurses,
and for work in research.
A very rapid increase in em­
ployment of registered nurses is
expected because of rising popula­
tion, improved economic status of
the population, extension of prepay­
ment programs for hospitalization
and medical care, expansion of
medical services as a result of new
medical techniques and drugs, and
increased interest in preventive med­
icine and rehabilitation of the handi­
capped. In addition to the need
to fill new positions, large numbers
of nurses will be required to replace
those who leave the field each year
because of marriage and family
responsibilities.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Registered nurses who worked
in hospitals in 1972 received average
starting salaries of $8,100 a year,
according to a national survey
conducted by the University of
Texas Medical Branch. This was
slightly above average for nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming. Registered

nurses in nursing homes can expect
to earn slightly less than those
in hospitals. Salaries of industrial
nurses averaged $158 a week in
early 1971, according to a survey
conducted by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS).
In early 1973, the Veterans Ad­
m inistration paid inexperienced
nurses who had a diploma or an
associate degree starting salaries of
$8,572 a year; those with baccalau­
reate degrees, $10,012. Graduates
of associate degree programs entered
at $8,256, and those who had a
baccalaureate degree or diploma
began at $8,722 in other Federal
Government agencies.
Most hospital nurses receive extra
pay for work on evening or night
shifts. Nearly all receive at least
2 weeks of paid vacation after 1
year of service. Most hospital
nurses receive from 5 to 13 paid
holidays a year and also some type
of health and retirement benefits.
Sources of Additional Information

For information on approved
schools of nursing, nursing careers,
loans, scholarships, salaries, work­
ing conditions, and employment
opportunities, contact:
ANA Committee on Nursing Careers,
American Nurses’ Association, 2420
Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108.

Information about employment
opportunities in the Veterans Ad­
ministration is available from:
Department of Medicine and Surgery,
Veterans Administration, Washing­
ton, D.C. 20420.

504

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

LICENSED PRACTICAL
NURSES
(D.O.T. 079.378)
Nature of the Work

Licensed practical nurses help
care for the physically or mentally
ill and infirm. Under the direction
of physicians and registered nurses,
they provide nursing care that re­
quires technical knowledge but not
the professional training of a regis­
tered nurse. (See statement on
Registered Nurses.) In California
and Texas, licensed practical nurses
are called licensed vocational nurses.
In hospitals, licensed practical
nurses provide much of the bedside
care needed by patients. They take
and record temperatures and blood
pressures, change dressings, admin­
ister certain prescribed medicines,
and help bed patients with bathing
and other personal hygiene. They
assist physicians and registered
nurses in examining patients and
in carrying out nursing procedures.
They also assist in the delivery,
care, and feeding of infants, and
help registered nurses in recovery
rooms by reporting any adverse ment. They also may make appoint­
changes in patients. Some licensed ments and record information about
practical nurses help supervise hos­ patients.
pital attendants. (See statement on
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and
Places of Employment
Attendants.)
Licensed practical nurses who
About 430,000
persons—the
work in private homes provide great majority of them women—
mainly day-to-day patient care that worked as licensed practical nurses
seldom involves highly technical in 1972. Hospitals employed about
procedures or complicated equip­ three-fifths of all licensed prac­
ment. In addition to providing tical nurses. Most of the others
nursing care, they may prepare worked in nursing homes, clinics,
meals and care for the patient’s doctors’ offices, sanitariums, and
comfort and morale. They also other long-term care facilities.
teach family members how to per­ Many worked for public health
form simple nursing tasks.
agencies and welfare and religious
In doctors’ offices and in clinics, organizations. Some were selflicensed practical nurses prepare employed, working in hospitals or
patients for examination and treat­ the homes of their patients.




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

All States and the District of
Columbia regulate the preparation
and licensing of practical nurses.
To be licensed, students must com­
plete a course of instruction in
practical nursing that has been
approved by the State board of
nursing and pass a licensing exam­
ination.
Educational requirements for en­
rollment in State-approved train­
ing programs range from comple­
tion of eighth or ninth grade to
high school graduation. Many
schools do not require completion
of high school but give preference
to graduates. Physical examina­

NURSING OCCUPATIONS

tions and aptitude tests are usually
required.
In 1972, nearly 1,300 Stateapproved programs provided prac­
tical nursing training. Public
schools offered more than half of
these programs as part of their
vocational and adult education pro­
grams. Other programs were avail­
able at junior colleges, local hos­
pitals, health agencies, and private
educational institutions.
Practical nurse training programs
are generally one year long and in­
clude both classroom study and
clinical practice. Classroom in­
struction covers nursing concepts
and principles and related subjects
including anatomy, physiology,
medical-surgical nursing, admin­
istration of drugs, nutrition, first
aid, and community health. Stu­
dents learn to apply their skill
to an actual nursing situation
through supervised hospital work.
Aspiring licensed practical nurses
should have a deep concern for
human welfare. They must be emo­
tionally stable because working
with sick and injured people some­
times can be upsetting.
As part of a health care team,
they must be able to follow orders
and work under close supervision.
Good health is very important, as is
the physical stamina needed to
work while standing up a great
deal.
Advancement opportunities are
limited without additional training.
In-service educational programs
prepare some licensed practical
nurses for work in specialized
areas. There are also some career
ladder programs. Under this con­
cept, nurses’ aides attend training
to become licensed practical nurses
(LPN’s) while continuing to work
part time. Similarly, LPN’s may
prepare to become registered
nurses while they continue to work
part time.




505

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for
licensed practical nurses is ex­
pected to be very good through the
mid-1980’s. Employment is ex­
pected to continue to rise very
rapidly through the mid-1980’s in
response to a growing population,
the increasing ability of persons
to pay for health care, and the
continuing expansion of public and
private health insurance plans. Jobs
will be created also as licensed
practical nurses take over duties
previously performed by registered
nurses. Also, thousands of newly
licensed practical nurses will be
needed each year to replace those
who die, retire, or leave the occupa­
tion for other reasons.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The average starting salary of
licensed practical nurses who
worked in hospitals and medical
schools was about $120 a week in
1972, according to a national sur­
vey conducted by the University
of Texas Medical Branch.
Public health agencies paid
licensed practical nurses salaries
that averaged about $6,600 a year
in 1972. Federal hospitals offered
beginning licensed practical nurses
annual salaries ranging from $6,128
to $6,882 in early 1973, according
to personal qualifications and the
geographical area.
Many hospitals give periodic
pay increases after specific periods
of satisfactory service. Some hos­
pitals provide free lodging and
laundering of uniforms. Practical
nurses generally work 40 hours a
week, but often this workweek in­
cludes some work at night and on
weekends and holidays. Many hos­
pitals provide paid holidays and
vacations, health insurance, and
pension plans.

In private homes, licensed prac­
tical nurses usually work 8 to 12
hours a day and go home at night.
Sources of Additional Information

A list of State-approved train­
ing programs and information about
practical nursing is available from:
A N A Committee on Nursing Careers,
American Nurses’ Association, 2420
Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108.
National Association for Practical Nurse
Education and Service, Inc., 122 East
42nd St., Suite 800, New York, N.Y.
10017.
National Federation of Licensed Prac­
tical Nurses, Inc., 250 West 57th St.,
New York, N.Y. 10019.

Information about employment
opportunities in U.S. Veterans
Administration hospitals is avail­
able from your local Veterans Ad­
ministration hospital, as well as:
Department of Medicine and Surgery,
Veterans Administration, Washington,
D.C. 20420.

NURSING AIDES,
ORDERLIES, AND
ATTENDANTS
(D.O.T. 355.687 through 355.887)
Nature of the Work

Nursing aides, orderlies, and
attendants perform a variety of
duties to care for sick and injured
people. Women usually are called
nursing aides and men generally are
known as orderlies. Other job titles
include hospital attendant, nursing
assistant, auxiliary nursing worker,
home health aide, and (in mental
institutions) psychiatric aide.
Nursing aides and orderlies
answer patients’ bell calls and de­
liver messages, serve meals, feed
patients who are unable to feed

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

506

themselves, make beds, and bathe
and dress patients. They also may
give massages, take temperatures,
and assist patients in getting out
of bed and walking. Orderlies pro­
vide many of the same services.
Orderlies also escort patients to
operating and examining rooms and
transport and set up heavy equip­
ment. Some attendants may work in
hospital pharmacies or supply
rooms.
The duties of nursing aides de­
pend on the policies of the insti­
tutions where they work, the type
of patient being cared for, and—
equally important—the capacities
and resourcefulness of the nursing
aide or orderly. In some hospitals,
they may clean patients’ rooms and
do other household tasks. In others,
under the supervision of registered
nurses and licensed practical nurses,
they may assist in the care of
patients. The tasks performed for
patients differ considerably, and
depend on whether the patient is
confined to his bed following major
surgery, is recovering after a: dis­
abling accident or illness, or needs
assistance with daily activities be­
cause of infirmity caused by ad­
vanced age.
Places of Employment

About 900,000 persons worked
as nursing aides, orderlies, and
attendants in 1972; more than fourfifths were women. Most of them
work in hospitals. Others work pri­
marily in nursing homes and other
institutions that provide facilities
for care and recuperation. A small
number give supportive services to
patients in their homes.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Although some employers prefer
high school graduates, many, such




as Veterans Administration hos­
pitals, hire non-graduates. Many
employers accept applicants 17 or
18 years of age. Others—particu­
larly nursing homes and mental hos­
pitals—prefer to hire more mature
men and women who are at least in
their mid-twenties.
Nursing aides generally are
trained after they are hired. Some
institutions combine on-the-job
training, under the close super­
vision of registered or licensed
practical nurses, with classroom
instruction. Students learn to take
and record temperatures, bathe
patients, change linens on beds that
are occupied by patients, and move
and lift patients. Training may last
several days or a few months, de­
pending on the policies of the
hospital, the complexity of the
duties and the aide’s aptitude for

the work. The Manpower Develop­
ment and Training Act and the
Vocational Education Act provide
funds for many programs which
train nursing aides.
Courses in home nursing and
first aid, offered by many public
school systems and other com­
munity agencies, provide a useful
background of knowledge for the
work. Volunteer work and tempo­
rary summer jobs in hospitals and
similar institutions also are help­
ful. Applicants should be healthy,
tactful,
patient,
understanding,
emotionally stable, 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 accept some menial tasks.
Opportunities for promotions are
limited without further training.

507

NURSING OCCUPATIONS

Some acquire specialized training
to prepare for better paying posi­
tions such as hospital operating
room technician.
To become licensed practical
nurses, nursing aides must com­
plete the year of specialized train­
ing required for licensing. Some inservice programs allow nursing
aides to get this training while
they continue to work part-time.

health care; the growth of public
and private health insurance plans;
and the expanded medical services
of Medicare and Medicaid. Em­
ployment opportunities also will
arise as hospitals continue to
delegate to nursing aides tasks
which, although associated with
patient care, do not require the
training of registered and licensed
practical nurses.

holidays.
Attendants in hospitals and simi­
lar institutions generally received
paid vacations which, after 1 year
of service, may be a week or more
in length. Paid holidays and sick
leave, hospitalization and medical
benefits, and pension plans also are
available to many hospital employees.
Sources of Additional Information

Employment Outlook

Earnings and Working Conditions

Nursing aides, orderlies, and
Employment of nursing aides
is expected to increase very rapidly attendants earned slightly less than
through the mid-1980’s. In addition the average for all nonsupervisory
to those needed because of occupa­ workers on private payrolls, except
tional growth, many thousands of farming. Nursing aides employed
nursing aides will be needed each full time by nursing homes and re­
year to replace workers who die, re­ lated facilities earned consider­
tire, or leave the occupation for ably less than those in hospitals.
Depending on the experience of the
other reasons.
Most jobs for nursing aides and applicant, salaries of inexperienced
orderlies are in hospitals, but many nursing aides in Veterans Adminis­
new openings will be in nursing tration hospitals ranged from $92
homes, convalescent homes, and to $102 a week in early 1973.
With
few
exceptions,
the
other long-term care facilities.
Major reasons for expected occupa­ scheduled workweek of attendants
tional growth are the increasing in hospitals is 40-hours or less.
need for medical care of a growing Because nursing care must be avail­
population, including a larger pro­ able to patients on a 24-hour-a-day
portion of elderly people; the in­ basis, scheduled hours include nightcreasing ability of people to pay for work and work on weekends and




Information about employment
may be obtained from local hospi­
tals and State and metropolitan
health career programs.
Additional information about the
work of nursing aides, orderlies,
and attendants may be obtained
from:
ANA Committee on Nursing Careers,
American Nurses’ Association, 2420
Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108.
Division of Careers and Recruitment,
American Hospital Association, 840
North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, 111.
60611.

In addition, the local office of the
State employment service may be a
source of information about the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act, Vocational Education Act,
and other programs that provide
training opportunities.

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION
OCCUPATIONS
Through various types of ther­
apy, handicapped people, particu­
larly the physically disabled, can
learn to build satisfying and pro­
ductive lives. Helping in this ther­
apy are rehabilitation workers who
use exercise, massage, heat, light,
and water as well as mechanical
and scientific devices to treat a
variety of disorders. They work on
a health care team, led by a phy­
sician, with nurses, social workers,
psychologists, and vocational coun­
selors.
This chapter presents statements
on three areas of therapy and re­
habilitation: speech pathology and
audiology, physical therapy, and
occupational therapy.
Speech pathologists and audi­
ologists are the largest rehabilita­
tion and therapy group. They help
people with speech and hearing im­
pairments to overcome their handi­
cap.
Physical therapists and physicaltherapist assistants and aides use
exercise, massage, and heat to help
disabled people regain the use of
their muscles.
Occupational therapists
and
occupational therapy assistants
plan and lead activities which help
disabled people regain coordination.
Eventually, they help the patient
learn a skill which can be used to
find employment. They also help
elderly people in nursing homes be­
come involved in interesting and
absorbing hobbies.
People who work in the therapy
and
rehabilitation
occupations
should have concern for the physi­
508



cal and emotional well-being of
others. They must have patience
and be able to establish and main­
tain effective personal relation­
ships. Therapists should be stable,
since patients who receive therapy
often also need help to cope emo­
tionally with their disability.
Other occupations also provide
opportunity for work with the dis­
abled and handicapped. Rehabilita­
tion counselors give personal and
vocational guidance to the physical­
ly, mentally, or socially handi­
capped. Employment counselors
work with the disabled as well
as the able-bodied in career plan­
ning and job adjustment. Both oc­
cupations are described elsewhere
in the Handbook.

OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPISTS
(D.O.T. 079.128)
Nature of the Work

Occupational therapists plan and
direct educational, vocational, and
recreational activities designed to
help mentally and physically dis­
abled
patients
become
selfsufficient. They evaluate the capaci­
ties and skills of patients and plan
a therapy program with other
members of a medical team which
may include physicians, physical
therapists, vocational counselors,
nurses, social workers, and other
specialists.

About 1 therapist out of 3
works with emotionally handi­
capped patients, and the rest work
with physically disabled persons.
These patients represent all age
groups and degrees of illness.
Patients participate in occupa­
tional therapy to determine the ex­
tent of abilities and limitations;
to regain physical, mental, or emo­
tional stability; to relearn daily
routines such as eating, dressing,
writing, and using a telephone; and
eventually, to prepare for employ­
ment.
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. They also plan and direct
activities especially for children.
Therapists may design and make
special equipment or splints to help
disabled patients.
Besides working with patients,
occupational therapists supervise
student therapists, occupational
therapy assistants, volunteers, and
auxiliary nursing workers. The chief
occupational therapists in hospitals
may teach medical and nursing stu-

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

Course work in occupational
dents the principles of occupational
therapy. Many therapists adminis­ therapy programs includes physi­
ter occupational therapy programs, cal, biological, and behavioral
coordinate patient activities, or are sciences and the application of oc­
consultants to local and State health cupational therapy skills. Students
departments and mental health also work in hospitals or health
agencies. Some teach in colleges and agencies to gain clinical experience.
After students complete the 6 to 9
universities.
month clinical practice period and
graduate from their programs, they
Places of Employment
are eligible for the American Oc­
About 7,500 people, more than cupational Therapy Association ex­
9 out of 10 of them women, worked amination to become registered oc­
as occupational therapists in 1972. cupational
therapists
(O.T.R.).
More than three-fourths of all oc­ Occupational therapy assistants who
cupational therapists work in hos­ are certified by the association and
pitals.
Rehabilitation
centers, have 2 years of approved work ex­
nursing homes, schools, outpatient perience also are eligible to take
clinics, community mental health the examination to become regis­
centers, and research centers employ tered occupational therapists.
most of the others. Some work in
Personal qualifications needed in
special sanitariums or camps for this profession include emotional
handicapped children, others in stability and a sympathetic but
State health departments. Still objective approach to illness and
others work in home-care programs disability. Occupational therapists
for patients unable to attend also need ingenuity, imagination, and
clinics or workshops. Some are the ability to teach.
members of the Armed Forces.
Newly graduated occupational
therapists generally begin as staff
Training, Other Qualifications,
therapists. After several years on
and Advancement
the job, they may qualify as senior
A degree or certificate in occu­ therapists or specialized practi­
pational therapy is required to enter tioners. Some advance to super­
the profession. In 1972, 40 colleges visory or administrative jobs in
and universities offered programs in occupational therapy programs; a few
occupational therapy which were teach or do research.
accredited by the American Medical
Association and the American
Employment Outlook
Occupational Therapy Association.
Employment opportunities for
All but one of these schools offer
occupational therapists are ex­
bachelor’s degree programs. Some
schools have 2 year programs and pected to be favorable through the
accept students who have completed mid-1980’s. The increasing number
2 years of college. Some also offer of graduates is expected to be
shorter programs, leading to a cer­ roughly in balance with new open­
tificate or a master’s degree in oc­ ings that are expected to result
cupational therapy for students who from growth of the occupation and
have a bachelor’s degree in another replacement for those who will die,
field. One school offers the master’s retire, or leave the occupation for
degree only. A graduate degree other reasons.
Public interest in the rehabilita­
often is required for teaching, re­
tion of disabled persons and the
search, or administrative work.




509

success of established occupational
therapy programs are expected to
create very rapid growth in the
employment of occupational thera­
pists. Many therapists will be needed
to staff community health centers
and extended care facilities and to
work with psychiatric patients,
children with cerebral palsy, and
elderly persons with heart disease.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning salaries for new gradu­
ates of occupational therapy pro­
grams averaged about $8,500 a year
in 1972, according to a national sur­
vey conducted by the University of
Texas Medical School at Galveston.
Experienced occupational therapists
earned an average salary of about
$10,200 a year; some earned as
much as $13,000.
In early 1973, beginning thera­
pists employed by the Veterans
Administration
earned
starting
salaries of $8,572 a year. Most
experienced, nonsupervisory occu­
pational therapists earned about
$11,600 annually.
Many part-time positions are
available for occupational therapists.
Some organizations require evening
work.
Sources of Additional Information

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

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

510

OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPY ASSISTANTS
(D.O.T. 079.368)
Nature of the Work

Occupational therapy assistants
work under the supervision of pro­
fessional occupational therapists to
help rehabilitate patients who are
physically and mentally disabled.
Through educational, vocational,
and recreational activities they help
plan and carry out programs to
strengthen patients’ muscle power,
increase motion and coordination,
and develop self-sufficiency in over­
coming disabilities.
Occupational therapy assistants
teach patients creative skills such
as woodworking, ceramics, and
graphic arts, or work-related recrea­
tional and social activities such as
games, dramatics, and gardening.
They also teach self-care skills such
as eating, dressing, and shaving.
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 treat­
ing patients with diseases, assistants




usually work under the supervision
of professional occupational thera­
pists. In other situations, such as
organizing crafts projects for handi­
capped persons living in institutions,
they may function independently,
with only periodic consultation with
professionals.
Besides working directly with pa­
tients, occupational therapy assist­
ants may order supplies, prepare
work materials, and help maintain
tools and equipment. They also
may keep patients’ records, prepare
clinical notes, and perform other
clerical duties.

Places of Employment

About 6,000 people worked as
occupational therapy assistants in
1972; most were women. Most occu­
pational therapy assistants work in
hospitals. Others work in nursing
homes for the aged, schools for
handicapped children and the men­
tally retarded, rehabilitation and
day care centers, special workshops,
and out-patient clinics. A small
number are members of the Armed
Forces.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most occupational therapy as­
sistants qualify through on-the-job
training received in hospitals and
other health care facilities. Some
learn their skills in vocational, tech­
nical, and adult education programs.
Other assistants graduate from 1or 2-year junior college programs,
or have completed an approved mil­
itary occupational therapy assistant
training program.
In early 1973, there were 31
programs approved by the American
Occupational Therapy Association.
Most of these are 2-year college
programs leading to an associate
degree. Others are 1-year voca­
tional school programs and a few
are hospital-based and last 25 weeks.
Graduates of these programs may
be certified by the American Occu­
pational Therapy Association and
receive the title Certified Occupa­
tional Therapy Assistant (COTA).
In 1972, about 2,200 employed
occupational therapy assistants were
COTA’S
.
Approved programs combine
classroom instruction with at least
2 months of supervised practical
experience. Courses include the
history and philosophy of occupa­
tional therapy, structure and func­
tion of the human body, the effect
of illness and injury on patients,
and human development. Students
also learn skills and crafts and their
application to physical and mental
disabilities.
Applicants for training programs
must be high school graduates or
the equivalent. Preference is given
to applicants who have taken courses
in science and crafts and have pre­
vious experience as nursing aides.
Occupational therapy assistants
should sincerely like people, have
good physical and mental health,
and be able to establish and main­
tain effective personal relationships.

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

They also should be able to work
well with their hands since they
must teach patients how to use tools
and materials.
Occupational therapy assistants
who work in large health facilities
begin with routine tasks and may
advance to more responsible levels
as they gain experience. Experienced
COTA’s may take the exam to be­
come a registered occupational ther­
apist (OTR) without completing
the remaining 2 years of study for
a bachelor’s degree in occupational
therapy.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for oc­
cupational therapy assistants are
expected to be very good through
the mid-1980’s, particularly for
graduates of approved programs.
Many openings will be created each
year by growth in the occupation
and the need to replace those who
die, retire, or leave the occupation
for other reasons. Although the
number of occupational therapy
assistant programs is expected to
increase, the supply of new gradu­
ates is likely to fall short of
demands. Thus, the outlook should
be favorable for people who want
to enter the field through on-the-job
training.
Public interest in the rehabilita­
tion of disabled people is expected
to cause very rapid growth in the
employment of occupational ther­
apy assistants. All types of health
care institutions, especially nurs­
ing homes and community health
centers, will need more occupa­
tional therapy assistants through
the mid-1980’s.

511

enced occupational therapy assist­
ants earned between $6,500 and
$8,000 a year, according to limited
information available. Those who
completed an approved program
generally earned higher starting sal­
aries than beginners without any
training.
Occupational therapy assistants
may work outside with their patients
in pleasant weather. Some work
evenings, weekends, and part time.
Sources of Additional Information

For information about work op­
portunities and programs offering
training for occupational therapy
assistants, contact:
American Occupational Therapy Asso­
ciation, 6000 Executive Blvd., Rockville,
Md. 20852.

PHYSICAL THERAPISTS
(D.O.T. 079.378)
Nature of the Work

Physical therapists help persons
with muscle, nerve, joint, and bone
diseases or injuries to overcome
their resulting disabilities. Their
patients include accident victims,
crippled children, and disabled older
persons. Physical therapists perform
and interpret tests and measure­
ments for muscle strength, motor
development, functional capacity,
and respiratory and circulatory ef­
ficiency to develop programs for
treatment. They evaluate the ef­
fectiveness of the treatment and
discuss the patients’ progress with
physicians, psychologists, occupa­
tional therapists, and other spe­
Earnings and Working Conditions
cialists. When advisable, physical
In 1972, annual salaries gen­ therapists revise the therapeutic pro­
erally ranged from $6,000 to $7,000 cedures and treatments. They help
for inexperienced assistants. Experi­ disabled persons to accept their




physical handicaps and adjust to
them. They show members of the
patients’ families how to continue
treatments at home.
Therapeutic procedures include
exercises for increasing strength,
endurance, coordination, and range
of motion; stimuli to make motor
activity and learning easier; in­
struction in carrying out everyday
activities and in the use of helping
devices; and the application of
massage, heat and cold, light,water,
or electricity to relieve pain or im­
prove the condition of muscles.
Most physical therapists provide
direct care to patients as staff
members, supervisors, or selfemployed practitioners. These
therapists either may treat many
categories or patients or else may
specialize in pediatrics, geriatrics,
amputations, arthritis, or paralysis.
Others administer physical therapy
programs, teach, or are consultants.
Places of Employment

About 18,000 persons—3 out of 4
of them women—worked as licensed
physical therapists in 1972. About
three-fourths of all physical thera­
pists work in hospitals or nursing

512

homes; others, in rehabilitation
centers or schools for crippled chil­
dren. Some who work for public
health agencies treat chronically
sick patients in their own homes.
Still others work in physicians’
offices or clinics, teach in schools
of physical therapy, or work for
research organizations. A few serve
as consultants in government and
voluntary agencies or are members
of the Armed Forces.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

All States and the District of
Columbia require a license to prac­
tice physical therapy. Applicants for
a license must have a degree or
certificate from a school of physical
therapy and to qualify must pass a
State board examination. In 1972,
59 schools of physical therapy were
approved by the American Medical
Association and the American Phys­
ical Therapy Association.
Most of the approved schools of
physical therapy offer bachelor’s
degree programs. Some schools pro­
vide 1- to 2-year programs for
students who have completed some
college courses. Other schools accept
those who already have a bachelor’s
degree and give a 12- to 16-month
course leading to a certificate in
physical therapy. Many schools
offer both degree and certificate
programs.
The physical therapy curriculum
includes science courses such as
anatomy, physiology, neuroanat­
omy, and neurophysiology, also
specialized courses such as bio­
mechanics of motion, human growth
and development, and manifesta­
tions of disease and trauma. Besides
receiving classroom instruction, stu­
dents get supervised practical ex­
perience administering physical
therapy to patients in a hospital
or treatment center.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Several universities offer the mas­
ter’s degree in physical therapy.
A graduate degree, combined with
clinical experience, increases the
opportunities for advancement, es­
pecially to teaching, research, and
administrative positions.
Therapists must have patience,
tact, resourcefulness, and emotional
stability in order to help patients
and their families understand the
treatments and adjust to their handi­
caps. Physical therapists also should
have manual dexterity and physical
stamina. Many persons who want
to determine whether they have the
personal qualities needed for this
occupation volunteer for summer or
part-time work in the physical
therapy department of a hospital
or clinic.

$8,700 a year in 1972, according
to a national survey conducted by
the University of Texas Medical
School at Galveston. Earnings of
experienced physical therapists aver­
aged $10,400; some earned as much
as $17,000.
Beginning therapists employed by
the Veterans Administration (VA)
earned starting salaries of $8,572
a year in early 1973. Most experi­
enced nonsupervisory physical ther­
apists in the VA earned about
$11,600 annually, those who are
supervisors, about $16,700.
Sources of Additional Information

Additional information is avail­
able from:
American Physical Therapy Association,
1156 15th St. NW., Washington, D.C.
20036.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
physical therapists are expected to
be favorable through the mid-1980’s.
The rapidly growing number of
new graduates is expected to be in
rough balance with the average
number of openings that will result
each year from growth in the
occupation and from replacement of
those who will die or retire.
Employment in the occupation
is expected to grow very rapidly
through the mid-1980’s because of
increased public recognition of the
importance of rehabilitation. As
programs to aid crippled children
and other rehabilitation 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. Many part-time posi­
tions should continue to be available.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Starting salaries for new physical
therapy graduates averaged about

PHYSICAL THERAPIST
ASSISTANTS AND AIDES
(D.O.T. 355.878)
Nature of the Work

Physical therapist assistants and
aides work under the supervision of
professional physical therapists to
rehabilitate disabled persons so that
they may again lead useful and pro­
ductive lives. They work to restore
physical functions and prevent dis­
ability from injury or illness.
Assistants help physical thera­
pists perform tests on patients to
determine the best treatment for
them and assist in administering
it. They use special therapy equip­
ment to apply heat, cold, light,
sound, and massage, and report to
supervisors or professionals the pa­
tient’s response to treatment. As­
sistants also help patients perform
therapeutic exercises as well as

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

everyday activities such as walking
and climbing stairs. They help fit
artificial limbs, braces, and splints,
and instruct patients in their use.
Physical therapist aides help pa­
tients prepare for treatment, and
may remove and replace for the
patients such devices as braces,
splints, and slings, and transport
patients to and from treatment
areas. They may help assistants or
therapists in administering treat­
ment to patients. Aides care for and
assemble physical therapy treatment
equipment. They also keep patients’
records, make appointments, act as
receptionists, and perform other
clerical duties.
Some small health care institu­
tions employ only 1 person besides
the therapist in the physical therapy
department. In this case, the assist­
ant or aide assumes most of the
duties listed for both groups, within
the limits of their training.




513

completed an approved 2-year asso­
ciate degree program. Some of these
States also licensed experienced phy­
sical therapist assistants who passed
a proficiency test and who had
learned their skills in vocational,
technical, or adult education pro­
grams, or from on-the-job training
before associate degree programs
were available.
There were 36 programs for
physical therapist assistants in 1972;
most are in junior or community
colleges. Courses include history
and philosophy of rehabilitation,
human anatomy and physiology,
human growth and development,
and psychology. A course in phy­
sical therapist assistant procedures
covers massage, therapeutic exer­
cises, heat and cold therapy, and
functional activities. Supervised clin­
ical experience also is a requirement
of physical therapist assistant pro­
grams. Between 1967, when the first
programs were developed, and 1972,
645 persons graduated from 2-year
physical therapist assistant pro­
Places of Employment
grams. About 60 percent were
About 10,500 persons worked as women.
physical therapist assistants and
Physical therapist aides qualify
aides in 1972; most of them were for their occupation through train­
women. Most work in physical ing received on the job in hospitals
therapy departments of general and and other health care facilities. The
specialized hospitals. Others work length and content of on-the-job
in physicians’ or physical therapists’ programs vary widely, depending on
offices and clinics, rehabilitation the level of duties that aides are
centers, or nursing homes for the permitted to perform, the particular
chronically ill and elderly. Some services required by different pa­
community and government health tients when the program is in
agencies, schools for crippled chil­ progress, and the amount of time
dren, and facilities for the mentally professional physical therapists can
retarded also employ physical thera­ spend teaching trainees. Applicants
pist assistants and aides. A small admitted to on-the-job training pro­
number are members of the Armed grams for physical therapist aides
Forces.
generally must be high school grad­
uates or the equivalent. Employers
usually prefer that they have science
Training, Other Qualifications,
courses and previous hospital ex­
and Advancement
perience as nurse aides.
In 1972, 14 States licensed phy­
Physical therapist assistants and
sical therapist assistants who had aides need good physical and mental

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

514

health, manual dexterity to adjust
equipment, body coordination to
assist in positioning patients, and
a sincere interest in helping the
physically handicapped.
As physical therapist assistants
and aides gain experience, they
may advance to more responsible
duties with corresponding pay in­
creases. Advancement opportunities
for aides are best in areas where
associate degree programs for phy­
sical therapist assistants are not
available.
Employment Outlook

Job opportunities for physical
therapist assistants and aides are
expected to be excellent through the
mid-1980’s. In communities where
there are large classes in a physical
therapist assistant program, some
graduates may find it necessary to
move to other locations where there
are no associate degree programs
available. On the national level,
however, openings for physical ther­
apist assistants caused by growth
and replacement needs will far ex­
ceed graduates from these programs.
The expected very rapid growth
in the occupation will accompany
the growing demand for professional
physical therapists. Overall demands
in the physical therapy field stem
from increased public awareness of
the importance of rehabilitation and
the growing number of nursing
homes which provide therapeutic
services to the elderly. Expanded
physical therapy services planned
by hospitals, nursing homes, schools
for crippled children, facilities for
mentally retarded, and other health
and rehabilitation centers are ex­
pected to further increase the need
for physical therapist assistants and
aides.

aged about $90 for beginning phy­
sical therapist aides and about $120
for those with experience, according
to limited information available.
Physical therapist assistants received
higher salaries than aides, begin­
ning at about $120 a week. Experi­
enced physical therapist assistants
earned as much as $165 weekly.
Sources of Additional Information

Information on a career as a
physical therapist assistant or aide
and on programs offering training
for physical therapist assistant is
available from:
The American Physical Therapy Asso­
ciation, 1156 15th St. NW ., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20005.

SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS
AND AUDIOLOGISTS
(D.O.T. 079.108)
Nature of the Work

About 1 out of 10 Americans
is unable to speak or hear clearly.
Children who have trouble speak­
ing or hearing cannot participate
fully with other children in play
or in normal classroom activities.
Adults having speech or hearing
impairments often have problems in
job adjustment. Speech pathologists
and audiologists provide direct serv­
ices to these people by evaluating
their speech or hearing disorders
and then providing treatment.
The speech pathologist works with
children and adults who have speech,
language, and voice disorders re­
sulting from causes such as total
or partial hearing loss, brain in­
jury, cleft palate, mental retarda­
tion, emotional problems, or foreign
Earnings
dialect. The audiologist primarily
In 1972, weekly salaries aver­ assesses and treats hearing prob­




lems. Speech and hearing, however,
are so interrelated that to be com­
petent in one of these fields, one
must be familiar with both.
The duties of speech pathologists
and audiologists vary with educa­
tion, experience, and place of
employment. In clinics, either in
schools or other locations, they use
diagnostic procedures to identify
and evaluate speech and hearing
disorders. Then, in cooperation with
physicians, psychologists, physical
therapists, and counselors, they de­
velop and implement an organized
program of therapy. Some speech
pathologists and audiologists con­
duct research such as investigating
the causes of communicative dis­
orders and improving methods for
clinical services. Others supervise
clinical activities or do other ad­
ministrative work.
Speech pathologists and audi­
ologists in colleges and universities
instruct in the principles and bases
of communication, communication
disorders, and clinical techniques;
participate in educational programs
with physicians, nurses, and teachers;
and work in university clinics and
research centers.
Places of Employment

About 27,000 persons, threefourths of them women, worked
as speech pathologists and audi­
ologists in 1972. About two-thirds
worked in public schools. Colleges
and universities employed many in
classrooms, clinics, and research
centers. The rest were distributed
among hospitals, speech and hearing
centers, government agencies, in­
dustry, and private practice.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Although only a few States pres­
ently require a master’s degree for

515

THERAPY AND REHABILITATION OCCUPATIONS

work in schools, the master’s degree
or its equivalent increasingly is
needed. A teacher’s certificate often
is required. In addition, some States
require workers dealing with handi­
capped children to have special
training. Speech pathologists and
audiologists who supervise many
Federal programs, such as Medi­
care and Medicaid, need a master’s
degree.
Undergraduate courses in speech
pathology and audiology include
anatomy, biology, physiology, phy­
sics, linguistics, semantics and
phonetics. Courses in speech and
hearing as well as in child psy­
chology and psychology of the ex­
ceptional child are also helpful.
This training is usually available
at colleges that offer a broad liberal
arts program.
In 1972, more than 200 colleges
and universities offered graduate
education in speech pathology and
audiology. Courses at the graduate
level include advanced anatomy and
physiology of the areas involved
in hearing and speech, acoustics,
and psychological aspects of com­




munication. Training also is given
in the analysis of speech produc­
tion, language abilities, and auditory
processes. Graduate students gain
a familiarity with research methods
used to study speech and hearing.
Scholarships, fellowships, assistantships and traineeships are avail­
able in this field. Teaching and
training grants to colleges and
universities that have programs in
speech and hearing are given by the
U.S. Rehabilitation Services Admin­
istration, the Maternal and Child
Health Service, the U.S. Office of
Education, and the National Insti­
tutes of Health. In addition, some
Federal agencies distribute money
to colleges to aid graduate students
in speech and hearing programs.
Opportunity for advancement, as
in most health service occupations,
is generally not an important con­
sideration for speech pathologists
and audiologists. However, meeting
the American Speech and Hearing
Association’s (ASHA) requirements
for a Certificate of Clinical Com­
petence usually is necessary in
order to advance professionally and

to earn a higher salary. ASHA
members work in all areas of
speech pathology and audiology.
Most speech pathologists and audi­
ologists have some administrative
responsibilities. However, directors
of speech and hearing clinics, and
coordinators of speech and hearing
in schools, health departments or
government agencies, may be totally
involved in administration.
Speech pathologists and audiol­
ogists should like people; have the
ability to approach problems ob­
jectively; and should be sensitive,
patient, and emotionally stable. A
person who desires a career in
speech pathology and audiology
should be able to accept responsi­
bility, work independently, and di­
rect others. The ability to work
with detail is important. Speech
pathologists and audiologists have
an opportunity for self-expression
and receive satisfaction from seeing
the results of their work.
Employment Outlook

The employment of speech path­
ologists and audiologists is expected
to increase moderately through the
mid-1980’s. For those who have
completed graduate study, oppor­
tunities are expected to be very
good. Although some jobs will be
available for those having only a
bachelor’s degree, the increasing
emphasis being placed on the mas­
ter’s degree by State governments
and Federal agencies will limit
opportunities at the bachelor’s level.
Population growth which will in­
crease the number of persons having
speech and hearing problems is one
of the principal factors underlying
the expected moderate increase in
employment of speech pathologists
and audiologists through the mid1980’s. In addition, the trend is
growing toward earlier recognition
and treatment of hearing and lan­

516

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

in colleges and universities range
from $9,900 to $18,500 for a 9-10
month contract in 1972, according
to limited data available. Median
salaries might be as much as
$2,000 higher for an 11 to 12 month
contract. Many experienced speech
pathologists and audiologists in col­
leges and universities supplement
their regular salaries by doing con­
sulting work, special research proj­
ects, and writing books and articles.
In 1972, speech pathologists and
audiologists in schools averaged
$11,500 for a 9-10 month contract
according to limited information
available. Their average salaries
were over $1,000 higher than those
of all classroom teachers for the
same period.
Earnings and Working Conditions
In early 1973, the annual starting
Median salaries of speech path­ salary in the Federal Government
ologists and audiologists teaching for speech pathologists and audi­

guage problems in children. Many
school-age children, thought to have
learning disabilities, actually have
language disorders which speech
pathologists can treat.
Other factors expected to in­
crease demand for speech path­
ologists and audiologists are the
rapid expansion in expenditures for
medical research and the growing
public interest connected with speech
and hearing disorders. These are
illustrated by the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act, as
amended, which provides for the
education of handicapped children,
and expanded Federal programs
such as Medicare and Medicaid.




ologists with a master’s degree was
$11,614. Those having a doctoral
degree were eligible to start at
$13,996.
Many speech pathologists and
audiologists work over 40 hours a
week. Almost all receive fringe
benefits such as paid vacations,
sick leave, and retirement programs.
Sources of Additional Information

State departments of education
can supply information on certifi­
cation requirements for those who
wish to work in public schools.
A list of college and university
programs and a booklet on student
financial aid as well as general
career information are available
from:
American Speech and Hearing Associa­
tion, 9030 Old Georgetown Rd., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20014.

OTHER HEALTH
DIETITIANS
(D.O.T. 077.081 through .168)
Nature of the Work

Dietitians plan nutritious and
appetizing meals to help people
maintain or recover good health.
They also supervise the food service
workers who prepare and serve the
meals, manage purchases and keep
the accounts, and give advice on
good eating habits. Administrative
dietitians form the largest group in
this occupation; the others are clin­
ical, teaching, and research dieti­
tians. Nutritionists also are included
in this field.
Administrative dietitians apply
the principles of nutrition and
sound management to large-scale
meal planning and preparation,
such as that done in hospitals, uni­
versities, schools, and other institu­
tions. They supervise the planning,
preparation, and service of meals;
select, train, and direct food-service
supervisors and workers; budget
for and purchase food, equipment,
and supplies; enforce sanitary and
safety regulations; and prepare
records and reports. Dietitians who
are directors of a dietetic depart­
ment also decide on departmental
policy; coordinate dietetic service
with the activities of other depart­
ments; and are responsible for the
development and management of
the dietetic department budget,
which in large organizations may
amount to millions of dollars
annually.
Clinical dietitians, sometimes
called therapeutic dietitians, plan



Research dietitians evaluate and
interpret research findings to im­
prove the nutrition of people in
health and in disease. This research
may be in nutrition science and
OCCUPATIONS
education, food management, food
service systems and equipment.
They conduct studies and make
diets and supervise the service of surveys of food intake, food accep­
meals to meet the nutritional needs tance, and food utilization in the
of patients in hospitals, nursing body for individuals and groups of
homes, or clinics. Among their people. Research projects may re­
duties, clinical dietitians confer late to subjects such as nutritional
with doctors and other members needs of the aging, persons with a
of the health care team about the chronic disease, or space travelers.
patients’ nutritional care, instruct
Dietetic educators teach normal
patients and their families on the nutrition and nutrition in disease
requirements and importance of to dietetic, medical, dental, and
their diets, and suggest ways to help nursing students and to interns,
them stay on these diets after leaving residents, and other members of
the hospital or clinic. In a small the health care team. This may be
institution, one person may be both in hospitals, clinics, and schools.
the administrative and clinical
Nutritionists counsel people of
dietitian.
all ages, as individuals or in groups

A therapeutic dietitian instructing a patient about his diet.
517

518

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

on sound nutrition practices, to iology, and related courses such as
maintain and improve health. This mathematics, data processing, psy­
includes food budgeting and pur­ chology, sociology, and economics.
For a dietitian to qualify for
chasing, and meal planning and
preparation. Nutritionists in the professional recognition, the Ameri­
public health field are responsible can Dietetic Association recom­
for planning, developing, adminis­ mends the completion after gradua­
tering, and coordinating nutrition tion of an approved dietetic
programs and services as part of internship or 2 years experience.
In 1972, 75 internship programs
public health programs.
An increasing number of dieti­ were approved by the American
tians work as consultants to hospi­ Dietetic Association. A growing
tals and to health-related facilities. number of coordinated under­
Others act as consultants to com­ graduate programs, located in
mercial enterprises, including food schools of medicine and in allied
processors, equipment manufacturers, health and home economics depart­
ments of both colleges and univer­
and utility companies.
sities, enable students to complete
both the requirements for a bache­
Places of Employment
lor’s degree and the clinical experi­
About 33,000 persons, most of ence requirement in four years.
Experienced dietitians may ad­
them women, worked as dietitians
in 1972. More than two-fifths work vance to assistant director or direc­
in hospitals and clinics, including tor of a dietetic department in a
about 1,000 in the Veterans Ad­ large hospital or other institution.
ministration and the U.S. Public Advancement to higher level posi­
Health Service. Colleges, univer­ tions in teaching and research
sities, and school systems employ usually requires graduate education;
a large number of dietitians as public health nutritionists must earn
teachers or as dietitians in food a graduate degree in this field.
service systems. Most of the rest Graduate study in institutional or
work for public health agencies, business administration is valuable
restaurants, or cafeterias and large to those interested in administrative
companies that provide food serv­ dietetics.
Persons who plan to become
ice for their employees. Some dieti­
dietitians should have organiza­
tians are commissioned officers in
tional and administrative ability,
the Armed Forces.
as well as high scientific aptitude,
and should be able to work well
Training, Other Qualifications,
with a variety of people.
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree, preferably
with a major in foods and nutrition
or institution management, is the
basic educational requirement for
dietitians. This degree can be
earned in more than 250 colleges
and universities, usually in depart­
ments of home economics. College
courses usually required are in food
and nutrition, institution manage­
ment, chemistry, bacteriology, phys­




Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
qualified dietitians on both a full­
time and part-time basis are ex­
pected to be good through the mid1980’s. In recent years, dietetic
assistants trained in vocational and
technical schools and dietetic tech­
nicians trained in junior colleges
have increasingly been utilized by

employers to help meet demands
for dietetic services. Since this
situation is likely to persist, em­
ployment opportunities also should
continue to be favorable for gradu­
ates of these programs.
Employment of dietitians is ex­
pected to grow rapidly to meet the
nutrition and food management
needs of hospitals and extended
care facilities, schools, industrial
plants, and restaurants. Dietitians
also will be needed to staff com­
munity health programs and to
conduct research in food and nutri­
tion. In addition to new dietitians
needed because of occupational
growth, many others will be re­
quired each year to replace those
who die, retire, or leave the profes­
sion for marriage and family
responsibilities.
The number of men dietitians
is growing. Men are likely to find
increasing employment opportuni­
ties, especially as administrative
dietitians in college and university
food services, hospitals, and com­
mercial eating places.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Starting salaries of hospital dieti­
tians averaged $8,800 a year in
1972, according to a national sur­
vey conducted by the University
of Texas Medical Branch. Experi­
enced dietitians received annual
salaries ranging from $8,400 to
$14,700. Colleges and universities
paid dietitians with bachelor’s de­
grees average salaries of $10,700
a year in 1972, according to the
American Dietetic Association.
Dietitians who worked in com­
mercial or industrial establishments
averaged about $12,300; those in
public and voluntary health agen­
cies, $10,800. Self-employed dieti­
tians with a bachelor’s degree earned
over $14,000 a year, in 1972; some,
with Ph.D.’s, averaged as much as

519

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

$21,000 yearly.
The entrance salary in the Federal
Government for those completing
an approved internship was $9,500
in early 1973. Beginning dietitians
with a master’s degree who had
completed an internship earned
$11,600. Nutrition consultants work­
ing in State and local governments
averaged salaries of $9,900 to
$12,800 in 1972.
Most dietitians work 40 hours a
week; however, dietitians in hospi­
tals may sometimes work on week­
ends, and those in commercial food
service have somewhat irregular
hours. Some hospitals provide
laundry service and meals in addi­
tion to salary. Dietitians usually
receive paid vacations, holidays,
and health insurance and retire­
ment benefits.
Sources of Additional Information

For information on approved
dietetic internship programs, schol­
arships, and employment oppor­
tunities, and a list of colleges
providing training for a professional
career in dietetics, contact:
The American Dietetic Association, 620
North Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111.
60611.

The U.S. Civil Service Com­
mission, Washington, D.C. 20415,
will send information on the re­
quirements for dietetic interns and
dietitians in Federal Government
hospitals.

HOSPITAL
ADMINISTRATORS
(D.O.T. 187.118)
Nature of the Work

Hospital administrators hold the
highest executive positions in hos­




pitals and manage all administra­
tive activities. They usually receive
general guidance from a hospital
governing board in developing plans
and policies.
Administrators direct and co­
ordinate the varied activities of
the hospital, and are responsible
for the personnel, equipment, fi­
nances, building, and services
provided by the hospital. Admin­
istrators work closely with the
medical and nursing staffs to deter­
mine the needs for additional per­
sonnel and equipment. They also
plan, with the help of their business
staff, for current and future space
needs, purchase of supplies and
equipment, and provision of pa­
tients’ services such as mail and
laundry. The preparation and ad­

ministration of the budget are
important responsibilities of the
administrator. With the help of a
hospital engineer, the administrator
is responsible for insuring that the
buildings and equipment are prop­
erly maintained.
In small hospitals, administrators
assume all management duties. In
large hospitals they are assisted by
specialists trained either in hospital
administration or in specialized
managerial skills such as purchas­
ing, public relations, or labor
relations.
Under the direction of the gov­
erning board, administrators may
carry out large projects to expand
or develop the hospital’s services,
such as organizing fund-raising
campaigns or planning new medi-

520

cal care, research, or educational social or behavioral sciences, in­
dustrial engineering, or business
programs.
Administrators meet regularly administration, along with exten­
with their staff to discuss progress, sive experience in the health field.
make plans, and solve problems A few require their administrators
concerning the operations of the to be physicians or registered
hospitals. Working with the medi­ professional nurses. Specialized hos­
cal staff and department heads, pitals (such as mental or orthopedic
they may develop and maintain hospitals) may prefer physicians
teaching programs for nurses, in­ whose medical specialty is the same
terns, and other hospital staff as that of the hospital. Hospitals
members as well as cooperative run by religious groups may seek
educational programs in allied administrators of the same faith.
health with colleges and universi­
In 1972, 38 colleges and uni­
ties. Administrators also may versities offered master’s degree
address community gatherings, or­ programs in health and hospital
ganize community health campaigns, administration. The programs gen­
and participate in planning com­ erally last 2 years, but vary in time
munity health care programs.
allocated to academic study and to
supervised administrative experience
in hospitals or health agencies. The
Places of Employment
minimum amount of required aca­
demic study is about a year; super­
About 17,000 persons worked
as hospital administrators and assist­ vised administrative experience re­
ants in 1972. About two-thirds quirements range up to a year.
The curriculum may include
worked in nonprofit or private hos­
pitals. The remainder worked in courses such as hospital organiza­
Federal, State, and local govern­ tion and management, medical care,
ment hospitals. Of those employed accounting and budget control,
by the Federal Government, most personnel administration, public
worked in Veterans Administra­ health administration, and the eco­
tion, Armed Forces, and Public nomics of health care. The chief
administrator of the affiliated hos­
Health Service hospitals.
About 15 percent of all admin­ pital or his assistant supervise stu­
istrators and their assistants are dents as they gain experience in all
women; many are members of re­ phases of hospital administration. A
Ph.D. in health administration, of­
ligious orders.
Hospital administrators are lo­ fered in several universities, is
cated in cities and towns throughout especially helpful for those who want
the country, but most are in large to teach and do research.
The American College of Hos­
population centers.
pital Administrators provides fi­
nancial loans and scholarships to a
Training, Other Qualifications,
limited number of students for
and Advancement
graduate work in health and hos­
Educational requirements for pital administration. Some Federal
hospital administrators vary. Most Government awards for graduate
hospitals prefer applicants having training in health and hospital
at least a master’s degree in health administration also are available.
and hospital administration from
A growing number of colleges
an accredited graduate program. and universities offer bachelor’s
Some prefer formal training in degree programs in health admin­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

istration. These prepare students
for middle management positions
in hospitals or other health care
institutions such as nursing homes
or community health centers. Some
community colleges offer an asso­
ciate degree in health administra­
tion which prepares students for
assistant administrative positions
in smaller health care institutions.
New graduates having a master’s
degree in health and hospital ad­
ministration usually enter the field
as assistant administrators or de­
partment heads and occasionally
as administrators in small hospitals.
Some persons who do not have a
master’s degree in health and
hospital administration enter the
field by working in one of the
specialized administrative areas such
as personnel, records, budget and
finance, or data processing. With
this experience and some graduate
work, they may be promoted to
department head, to assistant ad­
ministrator, and eventually some
become a chief administrator.
Personal qualifications needed for
success as a hospital administrator
include initiative and interest in
community service. Administrators
should be able to work with and
inspire people, organize and direct
large-scale activities. They also
must be good public speakers.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
new graduates having the master’s
degree in hospital administration
are expected to be favorable through
the mid-1980’s. Applicants who do
not have graduate education will
find it increasingly difficult to
enter this field in upper manage­
ment positions in hospitals and
other health programs. A few posi­
tions for administrators are likely
to continue to be filled by physicians,
persons in other professional medi­

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

cal occupations, or persons experi­
enced in a specialized administrative
area.
The number of positions in hos­
pital administration is expected to
grow very rapidly through the mid1980’s, as health facilities are
expanded to provide additional
health services to an increasing
population. A trend towards more
complex organization in hospitals
also is expected to create new
openings for administrative assist­
ants. However, the number of
master’s programs in health and
hospital administration also has
grown very rapidly since the mid1960’s. If these trends continue
through the 1970’s, the number of
graduates can be expected to be
adequate to meet the growth in the
occupation.
The position of hospital admin­
istrator, especially in a large hospi­
tal, is a career goal which is attained
by only a few of the graduates of a
master’s degree program in hospi­
tal administration, and is generally
filled by promotion from within the
hospital. However, there are a
growing number of administrative
positions available to these gradu­
ates in other health care institu­
tions such as large nursing or
personal care homes and in public
health departments. Still other
positions will be open to them in
voluntary health organizations which
are State or nationwide in scope.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Salaries of hospital administra­
tors depend on factors such as size,
type, and location of the hospital,
and size of its administrative staff
and budget. Administrative assist­
ants in hospitals earned an average
starting salary of $9,780 in 1972,
according to a national survey con­
ducted by the University of Texas
Medical School at Galveston. Ex­




521

perienced administrative assistants contact the financial aid office of
in very large hospitals earned up the individual universities, or:
Bureau of Health Manpower Educa­
to $18,000 or more.
tion, National Institutes of Health,
Average salaries of chief hospi­
Bethesda, Md. 20014.
tal administrators ranged between
$21,000 and $25,000 in 1972, ac­
cording to a survey conducted for
the American College of Hospital
Administrators. Many earned over
MEDICAL RECORD
$40,000.
ADMINISTRATORS
Salaries of experienced VA hos­
pital administrators, many of them
(D.O.T. 100.388)
physicians, ranged from $31,203 to
$36,000 in early 1973.
Nature of the Work
Commissioned officers in the
Armed Forces who work as hospi­
All health care institutions keep
tal administrators hold ranks rang­ records that contain medical in­
ing from second lieutenant to formation on each patient, includ­
colonel or from ensign to captain. ing case histories of illnesses or
Commanding officers of large injuries, reports on physical exam­
Armed Forces hospitals are usually inations, X-rays and laboratory
physicians who may hold higher tests, doctors’ orders and notes,
ranks. Hospital administrators in and nurses’ notes. These records
the U.S. Public Health Service are are necessary for correct and prompt
commissioned officers, holding ranks diagnosis and treatment of illnesses
ranging from lieutenant (junior and injuries. They also are used for
grade) to captain in the Navy.
research, insurance claims, legal
Hospital administrators often actions, evaluation of treatment
work long hours. Since hospitals and medications prescribed, and in
operate on a round-the-clock basis, the training of medical personnel.
the administrator may be called on Medical information in hospital
to settle emergency problems at records also is used to evaluate the
any time of the day or night. He effectiveness of a hospital’s care,
also may be called on to attend and to plan programs at community
meetings held at various locations health centers.
outside the hospital.
Medical record administrators,
also known as medical record li­
brarians, direct the activities of the
Source of Additional information
medical record department and de­
velop systems for documenting,
Information about hospital ad­ storing, and retrieving medical in­
ministration and a list of col­ formation. They supervise the work
leges and universities offering this
of the medical record staff in the
training are available from:
preparation and analysis of records
American College of Hospital Admin­
and reports on patients’ illnesses
istrators, 840 North Lake Shore Dr.,
and treatment. Among their main
Chicago, 111. 60611.
duties are training members of the
Association of University Programs in
medical record staff for specialized
Health Administration, One Dupont
Circle NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
jobs, compiling medical statistics
For information on Federal Gov­ required by State or national health
ernment awards for graduate train­ agencies, and assisting medical staff
ing in hospital administration, members in evaluation of patient

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

522

care and in scientific studies. Medi­
cal record administrators represent
their departments at hospital staff
meetings, and may be called to
testify in court about information
contained in a medical record.
The size and type of institution
employing medical record admin­
istrators affects the duties and
amount of responsibility assigned
to these workers. In large hospitals,
chief medical record administrators
supervise other medical record ad­
ministrators, technicians, and clerks.
Smaller hospitals may employ only
two or three persons in the medical
record departments and in nursing
homes usually one person keeps
the medical records. In these cases,
the medical record administrator
performs technical and clerical as
well as professional duties.

ing homes, State and local public
health departments, and medical
research centers. Some health in­
surance companies also employ
medical record administrators to
help determine liability for pay­
ment of their clients’ medical fees.
Some medical record administra­
tors work for firms that manu­
facture equipment for recording
and processing medical data and
develop and print health insurance
and medical forms. Many small
health care facilities hire medical
record administrators as consultants.
Although most medical record ad­
ministrators are women, the num­
ber of men in the occupation is
growing.

Places of Employment

Preparation for a career as a
medical record administrator is
offered in specialized programs in
colleges, universities, and hospitals.
Most programs last 4 years and
lead to a bachelor’s degree in
medical record administration. How­
ever, concentration in medical record
administration begins in the third
or fourth year of study, making
transfer from a junior college pos­
sible. One-year certificate programs
also are available for those who
already have a bachelor’s degree
and required courses in the liberal
arts and biological sciences. In
1972, there were 31 programs in
medical record administration ap­
proved by the Council on Medical
Education of the American Medi­
cal Association and the Ameri­
can Medical Record Association
(AMRA).
Training for medical record ad­
ministrators includes both class­
room instruction and experience in
hospital medical record depart­
ments. Anatomy, physiology, fun­

Most of the 11,600 medical
record administrators employed in
1972 worked in hospitals. The
remainder worked in clinics, nurs-

Medical record administrator obtains in­
formation from a patient’s record with
the help of a technician on her staff.




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

damentals of medical science,
medical terminology, and medical
record science are among the re­
quired scientific courses. In addi­
tion, management courses such as
hospital organization and admin­
istration, health law, statistics, and
data processing are part of the
curriculum. Experience in the medi­
cal record departments of hospitals
provides students with a practical
background in applying standard­
ized medical record practices, com­
piling statistical reports, analyzing
data from the medical records, and
organizing medical record systems.
Graduates of approved schools
in medical record administration
are eligible for the national regis­
tration examination given by
AMRA. Passing this examination
gives professional recognition as a
Registered Record Administrator
(RRA). There were about 4,750
employed RRA’s in 1972, accord­
ing to AMRA.
Medical record administrators
must be accurate and interested
in detail. They also must be able
to communicate clearly in speech
and writing. Because medical records
are confidential, medical record
administrators must be discreet in
processing and releasing informa­
tion. Supervisors must be able to
organize and analyze work pro­
cedures and to work effectively
with other hospital personnel.
Medical record administrators
with some experience in smaller
health facilities may advance to
positions as department heads in
large hospitals or to higher level
positions in hospital administra­
tion. Some coordinate the medical
record departments of several small
hospitals. Others move on to medi­
cal record positions in health
agencies. Many teach in the expand­
ing programs for medical record
personnel in 2- and 4-year colleges
and universities.

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

Employment Outlook

523

those having bachelor’s degrees
and good academic records were
eligible to begin at $9,500. Some
experienced medical record admin­
istrators employed by the Federal
Government earned as much as
$16,700 annually.
Medical record administrators
usually work a regular 40-hour
week and receive paid holidays and
vacations.

Employment opportunities for
graduates of approved medical
record administrator programs are
expected to be excellent through
the mid-1980’s. Employment is ex­
pected to grow very rapidly, with
the increasing use of hospitals and
other health facilities as more and
more people are covered by health
insurance. The detailed informa­
tion required by third-party payers
such as insurance companies and Sources of Additional Information
Medicare also will cause some
Information about approved
growth in the occupation. More
schools and employment oppor­
consultants will be needed to stand­
ardize health records in nursing tunities is available from:
The American Medical Record Associa­
homes and home care programs.
tion, 875 North Michigan Ave., Suite
The importance of medical records
1850, John Hancock Center, Chicago,
in research, and the growing use
111. 60611.
of computers to store and retrieve
medical information also should
increase the demand for qualified
medical record administrators to
develop new medical information
PHARMACISTS
systems. Part-time employment
(D.O.T. 074.181)
opportunities also should be avail­
able in teaching, in research, and
as consultants to health care
Nature of the Work
facilities.
Pharmacists dispense drugs and
medicines prescribed by medical
practitioners and supply and advise
Earnings and Working Conditions
people on the use of many medicines
The salaries of medical record that can be obtained with and with­
administrators are influenced by out prescriptions. Pharmacists must
the location, size, and type of understand the use, composition,
employing institution, as well as and effect of drugs and be able
by the duties and responsibilities to test them for purity and strength.
of the position. The average start­ They also advise physicians on
ing salary for medical record ad­ the proper selection and use of
ministrators in 1972 was $8,760 a medicines. Compounding—the ac­
year, according to a national sur­ tual mixing of ingredients to form
vey conducted by the University powders, tablets, capsules, oint­
of Texas Medical Branch at Gal­ ments, and solutions—is now only
veston. Top salaries averaged a small part of pharmacists’ prac­
$10,500 a year, with some earnings tice, since most medicines are pro­
duced by manufacturers in the form
as much as $16,000.
Newly graduated medical record used by the patient.
Many pharmacists employed in
administrators employed by the
community pharmacies also have
Federal Government generally started
at $7,700 a year in early 1973; other duties. Besides dispensing




medicines, some pharmacists buy
and sell nonpharmaceutical mer­
chandise, hire and supervise per­
sonnel, and oversee the general
operation of the pharmacy. Other
pharmacists, however, operate pre­
scription pharmacies that dispense
only medicines, medical supplies,
and health accessories.
Pharmacists in hospitals and clin­
ics dispense prescriptions and advise
the medical staff on the selection
and effects of drugs; they also
make sterile solutions, buy medical
supplies, teach in schools of nursing
and allied health professions, and
perform administrative duties. An
increasing number of hospital phar­
macists work in patient care areas
as consultants to the medical team.
Some pharmacists, employed as
medical sales representatives by
drug manufacturers and wholesalers,
sell medicines to retail pharmacies
and to hospitals, and inform health
personnel about new drugs. Others
teach in pharmacy colleges, super­
vise the manufacture of pharma­
ceuticals, or develop new medi­
cines. Some pharmacists also edit
or write articles for pharmaceutical
journals, or do administrative work.
Places of Employment

Nearly 131,000 persons worked
as licensed pharmacists in 1972;
nearly 10 percent were women.
About 107,000 pharmacists worked
in community pharmacies. Of these
community pharmacists, more than
two-Fifths owned their own phar­
macies; the others were salaried
employees. Most of the remaining
salaried pharmacists worked for
hospitals, pharmaceutical manu­
facturers, and wholesalers. Some
were civilian employees of the
Federal Government, working chief­
ly in hospitals and clinics of the
Veterans Administration and the
U.S. Public Health Service. Others

524

Pharmacist at poison control center
giving emergency instructions for
treatment.

served as pharmacists in the Armed
Forces, taught in colleges of phar­
macy, or worked for State and local
government agencies.
Most towns have at least one
pharmacy with one or more phar­
macists in attendance. Most phar­
macists, however, practice in or
near cities, and in those States
which have the largest populations.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A license to practice pharmacy
is required in all States and the
District of Columbia. To obtain a
license, one must be a graduate
of an accredited pharmacy college,
pass a State board examination
and—in nearly all States—have a
specified amount of practical ex­
perience or internship under the
supervision of a registered phar­
macist. All States except California,
Florida, and Hawaii grant a license
without examination to qualified
pharmacists already licensed by an­
other State.
At least 5 years of study beyond
high school are required to graduate
from one of the 73 accredited col­
leges of pharmacy and receive a
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a
Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm.)
degree. A few colleges that require
6 years award a Doctor of Pharmacy




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

(Pharm. D.) degree at the comple­
tion of the program. A few colleges
admit students directly from high
school and offer all the education
necessary for graduation. Most col­
leges provide 3 or 4 years of pro­
fessional instruction and require
all entrants to have completed their
prepharmacy education in an ac­
credited junior college, college, or
university.
A prepharmacy curriculum usu­
ally emphasizes mathematics and
basic sciences, such as chemistry
and biology, but also includes
courses in the humanities and social
sciences. Because entry requirements
vary among colleges of pharmacy,
prepharmacy students should in­
quire about and follow the curricu­
lum required by colleges they plan
to attend.
The bachelor’s degree in phar­
macy is the minimum educational
qualification for most positions in
the profession. However, a master’s
or doctor’s degree in pharmacy or
a related field usually is required
for research work or college teach­
ing. Areas of special study
include pharmaceutics, pharmaceu­
tical chemistry, pharmacology (study
of the effects of drugs on the body),
pharmacognosy (study of the drugs
derived from plant or animal
sources), clinical pharmacy, and
pharmacy administration.
Needy students may obtain Fed­
eral loans or scholarships up to
$3,500 a year to pursue full-time
study leading to a degree in phar­
macy. Several scholarships are
awarded annually by drug manu­
facturers, chain drug stores, corpora­
tions, State and national pharmacy
associations, and the colleges of
pharmacy.
Since many pharmacists are selfemployed, prospective pharmacists
should have some business ability,
as well as an interest in medical
science and the ability to instill

confidence in patients. Honesty,
integrity, and orderliness are im­
portant attributes for the profession.
In addition, accuracy is needed to
compound and dispense medicines,
as well as keep records required by
law.
Pharmacists often begin as em­
ployees in community pharmacies.
After they gain experience and ob­
tain the necessary funds, they may
become owners or part-owners of
pharmacies. A pharmacist who gains
experience in a chain drugstore
may advance to managerial posi­
tions, and later to a higher executive
position within the company. Hos­
pital pharmacists who have the
necessary training and experience
may advance to director of phar­
macy service or to other adminis­
trative positions.
Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for phar­
macists is expected to be very
good through the mid-1980’s. Since
growth of the occupation is ex­
pected to be moderate, most of the
openings will result from the death
and retirement of persons already
in the profession. Overall, job open­
ings are expected to exceed in
number the graduates of pharmacy
schools.
Employment in the occupation
will grow as new pharmacies are
established, particularly in residen­
tial areas or suburban shopping
centers. Many community phar­
macies, also, are expected to hire
additional pharmacists, because of
a trend towards shorter working
hours. Population growth, the rising
standard of medical care, and the
growth of Medicaid and other
insurance programs that provide
payment for prescription drugs also
will generate demand for phar­
macists.
Employment in hospitals prob­

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

525

ably will rise with the more extensive Sources off Additional Information
use of pharmacists for hospital and
A free packet giving information
clinic work. Continued expansion in
on pharmacy as a career, prepro­
the manufacture of pharmaceutical
products and in research are ex­ fessional requirements, and student
Financial aid is available from:
pected to provide more opportunities
American Association of Colleges of
for pharmacists in production, re­
Pharmacy, Office of Student Affairs,
search, distribution, and sales. Phar­
8121 Georgia Ave., Suite 800, Silver
macists with advanced training will
Spring, Md. 20910.
be needed for college teaching and
General information on pharmacy
laboratory research.
is available from:
Earnings and Working Conditions

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

Information about chain drug
Earnings of pharmacists employed
in chain drug stores averaged about stores is available from:
National Association of Chain Drug
$14,700 in 1972, according to a
Stores, 1911 Jefferson Highway, Ar­
survey conducted by the National
lington, Va. 22202.
Association of Chain Drug Stores.
For information about retail phar­
Pharmacists who are owners or
managers of pharmacies often earn macies, contact:
National Association of Retail Drug­
more. The entrance salary in the
gists, One East Wacker Dr., Chicago,
Federal Civil Service for new grad­
111. 60601.
uates was about $11,600 a year, in
A list of accredited colleges is
early 1973. With a master’s degree
available from:
or 2 years of graduate studies, the
American Council on Pharmaceutical
beginning salary was about $14,000.
Education, 77 West Washington St.,
Annual starting salaries for hospi­
Chicago, 111. 60602.
tal pharmacists were about $11,100
Information on requirements for
in 1972, according to a survey
licensure in a particular State is
conducted by the University of
available from the Board of Phar­
Texas Medical School at Galveston. macy of that State or from:
Top salaries for experienced hospital
National Association of Boards of
pharmacists averaged $13,500, and
Pharmacy, 77 West Washington St.,
some were as high as $17,500.
Chicago, 111. 60602.
Community pharmacists general­
Information on college entrance
ly work more than the standard 40- requirements, curriculums, and fi­
hour workweek. Pharmacies often nancial aid is available from the
are open in the evenings and on dean of any college of pharmacy.
weekends, and all States require
a registered pharmacist to be in
attendance during store hours. De­
spite the general trend toward short­
er hours, 44 hours is still the basic
SANITARIANS
workweek for many salaried phar­
(D.O.T. 079.118)
macists, and some work 50 hours
or more. Self-employed pharmacists
often work more hours than those
Nature of the Work
in salaried positions. Those who
teach or work for industry, govern­
Sanitarians, frequently called en­
ment agencies, or hospitals have vironmentalists, are specialists in
shorter workweeks.
environmental health. They perform




a broad range of duties to protect
the cleanliness and safety of the
food people eat, the liquids they
drink, and the air they breathe.
Sanitarians check the cleanliness
and safety of food and beverages
produced in dairies and processing
plants, or served in restaurants,
hospitals, and other institutions.
They often examine the handling,
processing, and serving of food
for compliance with sanitation rules
and regulations. Sanitarians also
may develop and manage programs
to prevent contamination, control
insects and rodents, properly dis­
pose of refuse, and insure adequate
sanitary water supplies.
Sanitarians concerned with waste
control oversee the treatment and
disposal of sewage, refuse, and
garbage. They examine places where
pollution is a danger, perform tests
to detect pollutants, and collect air
or water samples for analysis. San­
itarians determine the nature and
cause of the pollution, then initiate
action to stop it.
Public health sanitarians work
closely with doctors, nurses, and
public health officers to prevent and
investigate outbreaks of disease.
They may conduct surveys to deter­
mine the adequacy of health regula­
tions or perform sanitary inspections
of schools, houses, swimming pools,
and recreation facilities. They also
plan for civil defense and emer­
gency disaster aid. Sometimes
sanitarians teach health education
classes and lecture to student assem­
blies, civic groups, and other organ­
izations.
Professional sanitarians work
closely with a variety of other
workers such as life and environ­
mental scientists, waste water
treatment plant operators, and en­
vironmental health technicians. En­
vironmental health technicians may
help them perform routine duties
such as compliance inspections,

526

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

dairy products. A small number were
teachers in colleges and universities.
A few were consultants. Others
worked in hospitals and for trade
associations and other organizations.
Most sanitarians work in populous
areas.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Sanitarian uses air samples to check bacteria carried on a hospital worker.

collection of air and water samples,
and testing for pollutants.
Sanitarians who have supervisory
duties analyze reports of inspection
and investigations, and occasionally
give evidence in court cases involving
violations of sanitation and health
regulations. Sanitarians in top ad­
ministrative positions plan and direct
environmental health programs and
coordinate them with the programs
of other agencies. Other duties may
include advising on difficult or
unusual environmental health prob­
lems, and drafting health laws or
regulations.
In large local and State health
or agriculture departments, san­
itarians may specialize in areas of
work such as milk and dairy prod­
ucts, food sanitation, waste control,
air pollution, institutional sanitation,




and occupational health. In rural
areas and small cities, they may be
responsible for a wide range of
environmental health activities.
Increasing numbers of sanitarians
work in private industry to min­
imize contamination and pollution
hazards and make sure that work­
ing conditions are healthy, safe, and
clean. They frequently work closely
with government sanitarians who en­
force health, safety, and pollution
laws and regulations.
Places of Employment

About 17,000 persons, mostly
men, worked as sanitarians in 1972.
Three out of every four worked for
State and local governments. Most
of the remainder worked for pro­
ducers and processors of food and

Laws in 35 States provided for the
registration of sanitarians in 1972;
in some States, registration is man­
datory. Although requirements for
registration vary considerably
among States, the minimum educa­
tional requirement usually is a
bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s de­
gree in environmental health is
preferred for beginning sanitarian
jobs, although a major in any en­
vironmental, life, or physical science
generally is acceptable. Administra­
tive, teaching, and research jobs
usually require a graduate degree
in some aspect of public health.
In 1972, 58 colleges and univer­
sities offered undergraduate or grad­
uate programs in environmental
health. A typical curriculum leading
to a bachelor of science degree in
environmental health includes back­
ground courses in the humanities,
social sciences, mathematics, chem­
istry, physics, and biology. Core
courses include microbiology
(bacteriology); biostatistics, epidem­
iology, environmental sciences, ad­
ministration, and field work.
Sanitarians usually begin at a
trainee level and work under the
supervision of experienced sani­
tarians for up to a year. They
receive on-the-job training in en­
vironmental health practice, learn
to evaluate health and sanitation
hazards and recommend corrective
action. After a few years of ex­
perience, they may be promoted to
minor supervisory positions with
more responsibilities. Specializa­

527

OTHER HEALTH OCCUPATIONS

tion may begin after several years
of experience, especially in large
local health offices. Further ad­
vancement is possible to top super­
visory and administrative positions.
To keep abreast of new develop­
ments and to supplement their
academic training, many sanitarians
take specialized short-term train­
ing courses in subjects such as
occupational health, water supply
and pollution control, air pollution,
protection from dangers of radia­
tion, milk and food inspection,
metropolitan planning, and hospital
sanitation.
Young people interested in becom­
ing sanitarians should like working
with detail and possess a mechan­
ical aptitude, since sanitarians may
operate various testing devices. An
ability to communicate effectively,
both orally and in writing is nec­
essary for writing detailed reports
and tactfully dealing with persons
concerning the correction of un­
sanitary conditions.

through the mid-1980’s in response
to anticipated expansion of public
and private programs dealing with
food sanitation, water and air pol­
lution, and occupational health.
Underlying the demand for san­
itarians in the private sector will
be industrial growth and an increas­
ing recognition by industry of its
responsibility for safe and sanitary
products and healthful environment.
Demand for sanitarians in the public
sector will be generated by an ex­
pansion of the environmental health
activities of State and local govern­
ments. Increasing public concern
with health hazards, waste manage­
ment, radiation danger, and pollu­
tion is expected to require the
services of more sanitarians. Popu­
lation growth, continued migration
of people from rural to urban
areas, and industrial growth will
place a greater strain on food serv­
ices, housing, and sewage disposal
facilities of urban communities.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Employment Outlook

Starting salaries of sanitarians
Employment opportunities for employed by State governments
sanitarians who have a bachelor’s averaged $7,800 annually, in early
degree in environmental health are 1972, according to a survey of State
expected to be very good through and selected local governments con­
the mid-1980’s, particularly in pri­ ducted by the Public Personnel
vate industry. The outlook for those Association. Maximum salaries of
having degrees in life, physical, or journeymen sanitarians in State
environmental sciences is expected governments averaged $10,000 an­
nually; annual salaries were about
to be favorable.
Employment of sanitarians is ex­ $1,000 higher for sanitarians work­
pected to increase very rapidly ing for local governments. Salaries




of supervisory sanitarians and san­
itarians having extensive experience
ranged to more than $20,000.
Sanitarians employed by the Fed­
eral Government started at $7,319
or $9,053 in 1972, depending on
their academic records. Experienced
sanitarians in the Federal service
earned from $11,046 to $20,627.
Sanitarians spend considerable
time away from their desks. Some
come in contact with unpleasant
physical surroundings, such as sew­
age disposal facilities and slum
housing. Transportation or gasoline
allowance frequently are given, and
some health departments provide
an automobile.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about careers as san­
itarians is available from the follow­
ing associations:
American Public Health Association,
1015 18th St. NW„ Washington, D.C.
20036.
International Association of Milk, Food,
and Environmental Sanitarians, Blue
Ridge Rd., P.O. Box 437, Shelbyville,
Ind. 46176.
National Environmental Health Associa­
tion, 1600 Pennsylvania St., Denver,
Colorado 80203.

Information on stipends for grad­
uate study is available from:
Division of Allied Health Manpower,
Bureau of Health Professions Educa­
tion and Manpower Training, National
Institute of Health, 9000 Rockville
Pike, Bethesda, Md. 20014.




SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
The social sciences are concerned
with all aspects of human society
from the origins of man to the latest
election returns. Social scientists,
however, generally specialize in one
major field of human relationships.
Anthropologists study primitive
tribes, reconstruct civilizations of the
past, and analyze the cultures and
languages of all peoples, past and
present. Economists study the alloca­
tion of land, labor, and capital.
Geographers study the distribution
of people, throughout the world,
types of land and water masses, and
natural resources. Historians de­
scribe and interpret the people and
events of the past and present. Polit­
ical scientists study the theories, ob­
jectives, and organizations of all
types of government. Sociologists
analyze the behavior and relation­
ships of groups—such as the family,
the community, and minorities—to
the individual or to society as a
whole. Besides these basic social
science occupations, a number of
closely related fields are covered in
separate statements elsewhere in this
Handbook. (See statem ents on
Statisticians, Psychologists, and
Social Workers.)
The basic social science occupa­
tions provided employment for about
95,000 persons in 1972; about 10 per­
cent of them were women. Over­
lapping among the basic social
science fields and the sometimes
hazy distinction between these and
related fields such as business ad­
ministration, foreign service work,
and high school teaching, make it
difficult to determine the exact size
of each profession. Economists, how­



culture. These areas include a study
of the people’s traditions, beliefs,
customs, languages, material posses­
sions, social relationships, and value
systems. Although anthropologists
generally specialize in one of these
areas, they are expected to have a
general knowledge of all of them.
Most anthropologists specialize in
cultural anthropology, sometimes
called ethnology. Ethnologists may
spend long periods living with tribal
groups or in other communities to
learn about their ways of life. The
ethnologist takes detailed and com­
prehensive notes that describe the
social customs, beliefs, and material
possessions of the people. He usu­
ally learns the native language in the
process. He also makes comparative
studies of the cultures and societies
of various groups. In recent years,
such investigations have included
complex urban societies.
Archeologists excavate places
where people of past civilizations liv­
ed. They study the remains of homes,
tools, clothing, ornaments, and other
evidences of human life and activity
to reconstruct the inhabitants’ his­
tory and customs. For example,
archeologists are digging in the
Pacific Coast area between northern
Mexico and Ecuador to find evi­
dences of trade and migration in the
pre-Christian Era. Some archeolo­
gists are excavating ancient Mayan
ANTHROPOLOGISTS
cities in Mexico and restoring
temples. Others are working in the
(D.O.T. 055.088)
Missouri River valley to salvage
remnants of Indian villages and sites
Nature of the Work
of early military forts and trading
Anthropologists study man—his posts.
origins, physical characteristics, and
Some anthropologists specialize in
ever, are the largest social science
group, and anthropologists the
smallest.
Most social scientists work in col­
leges and universities. A large
number work for the Federal
Government and private industry.
The trend in some industries is to
hire increasing numbers of social
science majors as trainees for ad­
ministrative and executive positions.
Research councils and other non­
profit organizations provide an im­
portant source of employment for
economists, political scientists, and
sociologists.
Overall employment in the social
sciences is expected to grow moder­
ately through the mid-1980’s. Teach­
ing in colleges and universities will
remain the major area of employ­
ment. Employment of social scien­
tists in government, private indus­
try, and nonprofit organizations is
expected to rise also. Despite this an­
ticipated growth, the number of per­
sons seeking to enter the social
science field is likely to exceed avail­
able job openings. The following
statements present more detailed in­
formation about the prospective out­
look in the individual occupations.

529

530

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Closely related to the four basic
subfields is applied anthropology, an
emerging specialty which attempts to
use the findings in the other anthro­
pological areas in a practical
manner. Applied anthropologists
may, for example, provide technical
guidelines to ease the transition of
nonindustrial societies to a more
complex level of socioeconomic
organization. Another related spe­
cialty area is urban anthropology,
which is the study of urban life, ur­
banization, rural-urban migration,
and the influence of city life.
Most anthropologists teach in col­
leges and universities. They often
combine teaching with research.
Some anthropologists specialize in
museum work, which generally com­
bines managerial and administra­
tive duties with field work and re­
search on anthropological collec­
tions. A few work as consultants or
engage in nontechnical writing, or
other activities.
Places of Employment

linguistics, the scientific study of the
sounds and structures of languages
and of the historical relationships
among languages. They study the
relationship between the language
and the behavior of people. Their
work assists in reconstructing the
prehistory of mankind.
Physical anthropologists study
human evolution. They do compara­
tive studies of the physical character­
istics of different races or groups of
people as influenced by heredity and
environment. In order to perform



About 3,700 persons—about onefifth of them women—worked as
a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s in 1972. A b o u t f o u r fifths of all anthropologists work in
colleges and universities. Several
hundred work in private industry and
nonprofit organizations. The Fed­
eral Government employs a small
num ber, chiefly in museums,
national parks, in the Bureau of In­
dian Affairs, and in technical aid
programs. State and local govern­
ment agencies also employ some
anthropologists, usually for museum
work or health research.

these tasks, physical anthropologists
need extensive training in human
anatomy and biology. Because of
their knowledge of body structure,
physical anthropologists occa­
sionally are employed as consultants
on projects such as the design of
driver seats, space suits, cockpits for Training, Other Qualifications,
airplanes and spaceships, and the siz­
and Advancement
ing of clothing. They consult on proj­
Students who want to become
ects to improve environmental con­
anthropologists should get the Ph.D.
ditions and on criminal cases. They
are increasingly employed in medi­ degree. College graduates with
bachelor’s degrees often get tempo­
cal schools.

531

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

rary positions and assistantships in
the graduate departments where they
are working for advanced degrees. A
master’s degree, plus field experi­
ence, is sufficient for many begin­
ning professional positions, but
promotion to top positions is gener­
ally reserved for individuals who
have a Ph.D. degree. A nthro­
pologists in many colleges and most
universities need a Ph.D. degree to
get p erm a n en t te ach in g a p ­
pointments.
Some training in archeology, lin­
guistics, and physical and cultural
anthropology is necessary for all
anthropologists. Mathematics is
helpful, since statistical and com­
puter methods are becoming more
widely used for research in this field.
Undergraduate students may begin
their field training in archeology by
arranging, through their university
departments, to accompany expedi­
tions as laborers or to attend field
schools established for training.
They may later advance to super­
visor in charge of the digging or
collection of material and finally
may direct a portion of the work of
the expedition. Ethnologists and lin­
guists usually work independently in
doing their field work. Most anthro­
pologists base their doctoral disserta­
tions on data collected through field
r e s e a r c h ; they a r e , t h e r e f o r e , experi­
enced fieldworkers by the time they
earn the Ph.D. degree.
About 200 colleges and univer­
sities have bachelor degree pro­
grams in anthropology; nearly 130
offer master’s degree programs and
about 80, doctorate programs. Most
universities that have graduate pro­
grams also offer undergraduate
training in anthropology. The choice
of a graduate school is very impor­
tant. Students interested in museum
work should select a school that can
provide experience in an associated
museum that has anthropological
collections. Similarly, those inter­




ested in archeology should either
choose a university that offers oppor­
tunities for summer experience in
archeological fieldwork, or else
should plan to attend an arche­
ological field school elsewhere dur­
ing their summer vacations.
Anthropologists should be per­
sons who have an above average in­
terest in natural history or social
studies and enjoy reading, research,
and writing. A desire to travel and
the ability to cope with the disadvan­
tages of remote work areas are some­
times necessary for success.
Anthropologists work with ideas
and have the opportunity for selfexpression. They should have the
ability to work with detail and work
independently.
Employment Outlook

Employment in this rather small
occupation is expected to increase
very rapidly through the mid-1980’s.
The largest area of employment will
continue to be in college and univer­
sity teaching. However, an increas­
ing number of jobs will be available
for anthropologists in museums, and
in programs of archeological re­
search, mental and public health, and
poverty and community action, as
well as in private industry.
T h e n u m b e r of g r a d u a t e s with ad­
vanced degrees in anthropology also
is expected to grow very rapidly, and
it is very likely that the number seek­
ing to enter the field will exceed job
openings generated by growth as well
as replacement needs. As a result,
anthropologists holding the doctor­
ate may face keen competition for
positions of their choice through the
mid-1980’s. Graduates with only the
master’s degree are expected to face
very persistent competition for
professional positions in anthro­
pology and may have to enter re­
lated fields of work such as mental
health or poverty programs. Some

who meet certification requirements
may secure high school teaching
positions. Others may find jobs in
government, and in nonprofit
organizations and civic groups that
hire personnel with social science
training as a general background.
Earnings and Working
Conditions

Starting salaries for anthro­
pologists with a Ph.D. degree were
generally about $12,000 a year in
1972. Experienced anthropologists
earned median salaries of $16,000 a
year, according to limited data
available. They may, however, earn
more than $20,000 a year.
In the Federal Government, start­
ing salaries for anthropologists hav­
ing a master’s degree were $11,614 a
year in early 1973, and for those hav­
ing a Ph.D., $13,996. Experienced
anthropologists earned from $16,700
to more than $23,000 a year.
Many anthropologists who work
in colleges and universities supple­
ment their regular salaries with earn­
ings from other sources such as sum­
mer teaching and research grants.
Anthropologists doing arche­
ological fieldwork sometimes are re­
quired to work in adverse weather
conditions and perform manual
l a b o r . They a l s o must adapt them­
selves to cultural environments
which are materially and socially
different.
Sources of Additional
Information

For information about employ­
ment opportunities and schools that
offer graduate training in anthro­
pology, contact:
The A m erica n A n th r o p o lo g ic a l
Association, 1703 New Hampshire
Ave. N W ., Washington, D.C.
20009.

532

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

EC O N O M ISTS
(D.O.T. 050.088)
Nature off the Work

Economics is concerned with how
to utilize scarce resources to provide
goods and services for society.
Economists study the problems that
arise in the use of such resources as
land, raw materials, and manpower.
Economists analyze the relationship
between the supply of goods and
services and demand for them, on the
one hand, and on the other, how
goods and services are produced, dis­
tributed, and consumed. Some
economists are concerned with such
practical matters as the control of in­
flation, business cycles, and unem­
ployment, as well as farm, wage, tax,
and tariff policies. Others develop
theories to explain the causes of
employment and unemployment or
the ways in which international trade
influences world economic condi­
tions. Still others collect, analyze,
and interpret data on a wide variety
of economics problems.
Economists who work in colleges
and universities teach the theories,
principles, and methods of econom­
ics and conduct or direct research.
They frequently write, and act as
consultants.
Economists in government plan
and carry out studies used to assess
economic conditions and the need for
changes in government policy. To ac­
complish this work they collect data,
analyze it, and prepare reports. Most
government economists are in the
fields of agriculture, business,
finance, labor, or international trade
and development.
Economists who work for busi­
ness firms provide management with
information to make decisions on
marketing and pricing of company
products; the effect of government
policies on business or international




Economist analyzes results of computer printout.

trade; or the advisability of adding
new lines or merchandise, opening
new branch operations, or otherwise
expanding the company’s business.

politan areas. Some work overseas,
mainly for t h e U.S. D e p a r t m e n t of
State and the Agency for Interna­
tional Development.

Places of Employment

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Economics is the largest social
science field. More than 36,000 per­
sons, about 6 percent of them
women, worked as economists in
1972. Private industry and business
employ one-half; colleges and univer­
sities about one-third; and govern­
m ent agencies — m ainly F ed ­
eral—roughly one-sixth. A few are
self-employed or work for private re­
search organizations.
Economists work in all large cities
and university towns. The largest
number are in the New York City
and the Washington, D.C. metro­

Economists must have a thorough
understanding of economic theory
and methods of economic analysis.
An increasing number of univer­
sities emphasize the value of mathe­
matical methods of economic anal­
ysis. Since many beginning jobs for
economists in government and busi­
ness involve the collection and com­
pilation of data, a thorough knowl­
edge of basic statistical procedures
usually is required.
A bachelor’s degree with a major
in economics is sufficient for many

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

beginning research jobs in govern­
ment and private industry, although
persons employed in these entry jobs
are not usually regarded as profes­
sional economists. In the Federal
Government, candidates for en­
trance positions must have a mini­
mum of 21 semester hours of
economics and 3 hours of statistics,
accounting, or calculus.
Graduate training is very impor­
tant for persons who want to be­
come economists. Students inter­
ested in research should select
schools that emphasize training in re­
search methods and statistics and
provide good research facilities.
Those who wish to work in agri­
cultural economics will Find oppor­
tunities to gain experience in parttime research work at State univer­
sities that have agricultural experi­
ment stations.
A master’s degree generally is re­
quired to get a job as a college in­
structor, although in large schools
graduate assistantships sometimes
are awarded to superior students
working toward their master’s de­
grees. In many large colleges and uni­
versities, completion of all the re­
quirements for a Ph.D. degree, ex­
cept the dissertation, is necessary for
appointment as instructor. In
government or private industry,
economists who have a master’s
degree usually can qualify for more
responsible research positions.
The Ph.D. degree is required for a
professorship in a high-ranking col­
lege or university and is an asset
when competing for other respon­
sible positions in government, busi­
ness, or private research organiza­
tions.
About 800 colleges and univer­
sities offer bachelor degree pro­
grams in economics, 200 master’s,
and 100 doctorate.
Persons who consider careers as
economists should be able to work
accurately and in detail—since much




533

time is spent on research. Fre­
quently, the ability to work as part of
a team is required. Economists must
be objective in their work and be able
to express themselves effectively
orally or in writing, since they do
many reports and presentations.
Employment Outlook

The number of persons who will
graduate with degrees in economics
through the mid-1980’s is likely to
exceed available positions that will
arise from the expected moderate
growth of the occupation and the
need to replace economists who will
die and retire during this period. As a
result well-trained economists hav­
ing a doctorate or master’s degree
are expected to face keen competi­
tion for choice academic positions.
Persons who have bachelor’s de­
grees in economics may Find some
employment in government, indus­
try and business as trainees or
management interns, but competi­
tion may be keen.
Private industry and business will
continue to provide the largest num­
ber of employment opportunities for
economists because of increased
reliance on scientific methods of
analyzing business trends, forecast­
ing sales and planning purchases and
production operations. The next
largest area of employment oppor­
tunities for economists will be in col­
leges and universities where a pro­
jected moderate increase in enroll­
ments will lead to a similar increase
in faculty size. Employment of
economists in State and local
government agencies is expected to
increase rapidly because of the in­
creasingly analytical nature of pro­
grams in areas such as housing and
poverty. Employment of economists
in the Federal Government is ex­
pected to rise slowly—in line with the
rate of growth projected for the Fed­
eral work force as a whole.

Earnings

Starting salaries for economists
with a Ph.D. were nearly $12,000 a
year in 1972, according to limited in­
formation. Salaries of economists
employed by colleges and univer­
sities in 1972 averaged about $20,000, and for those in business, indus­
try, and nonprofit organizations it
was about $22,000. Economists who
have a Ph.D. are paid higher sala­
ries than those who have lesser de­
grees and similar experience. A sub­
stantial number of economists sup­
plement their basic salaries by con­
sulting, teaching, and other research
activities. Economists earn about
twice as much as the average earn­
ings for non-supervisory workers in
private industry or private nonfarm
payrolls.
In the Federal Government, the
entrance salary for beginning econo­
mists having a bachelor’s degree was
$7,694 a year in 1973; however, those
with superior academic records could
begin at $9,520. Those having 2 full
years of graduate training or experi­
ence could qualify for positions at an
annual salary of $11,614. Most ex­
perienced economists in the Federal
Government earned from $17,000 to
$23,000 a year; some having greater
administrative responsibilities earn­
ed considerably more.
Sources of Additional
Information

Additional inform ation on a
career as an economist is available
from:
American Economic Association, 1313
21st Avenue South, Nashville,
Tenn. 37212.

534

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

HISTORIANS
(D.O.T. 052.088)
Nature of the Work

History is the record of past
events, institutions, ideas, and peo­
ple. Historians'describe and analyze
the past through writing, teaching,
and research. They relate their
knowledge of the past to current
events in an effort to explain the pre­
sent.
Historians may specialize in the
history of a specific country or area,
or in a particular period of time—an­
cient, medieval, or modern. They
may specialize, also in the history of
a field, such as economics, culture,
military affairs, the labor move­
ment, art, or architecture. The num­
ber of specialties in history is con­
stantly growing. Newer specialties
are concerned with business archives,
quantitative analysis, and the rela­
tionship between technological and
other aspects of historical develop­
ment. In this country, most his­
torians still specialize in the political
history of either the United States or
modern Europe; however, a growing
number now specialize in African,
Latin American, Asian, or Near
Eastern history. Some historians
specialize in phases of a larger his­
torical field. They may for example,
study part of American history such
as the Civil War.
M ost historians are college
teachers who not only lecture, but
write and take part in research.
Some are specialists called archi­
vists, who identify or prepare ex­
hibits, or who are spokesmen for mu­
seums, special libraries, and his­
torical societies. A few serve as con­
sultants to editors, publishers, and
producers of materials for radio,
television, and motion pictures.
Some historians are researchers or
administrators in government. They




Historian searches for information at National Archives.

the F ed eral G overnm ent are
employed in Washington, D.C. His­
torians in other types of employ­
ment usually work in localities that
Places of Employment
have museums or libraries with col­
About 24,000 people worked as lections adequate for historical
professional historians in 1972. More research.
than 10 percent were women. Col­
leges and universities employ about
three-fifths of all historians. His­ Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement
torians also work in archives, librar­
Graduate education usually is
ies, museums, junior colleges, sec­
ondary schools, research and edit­ necessary for employment as an his­
ing organizations, and government. torian. A master’s degree in history
Historians employed in the Federal is the minimum requirement for the
government work principally in the position of college instructor. In
National Archives, and the Depart­ many colleges and universities, how­
ments of Defense, Interior, and ever, a Ph D. degree is essential for
State. A small growing number work high-level teaching, research, and ad­
ministrative positions. Most histori­
for State and local governments.
Since history is taught in all U.S. ans in the Federal Government and
institutions of higher education, in nonprofit organizations have
historians are found in college com­ Ph.D. degrees, or their equivalent, in
munities. Many of the historians in training and experience.

prepare studies, articles, and books
on their research findings.

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

Although a bachelor’s degree and
a major in history is sufficient train­
ing for some beginning jobs in gov­
ernment—either Federal, State, or
local—people in such jobs may not
be regarded as professional his­
torians. A knowledge of archival
work is helpful, since beginning jobs
are likely to be concerned with col­
lection and preservation of his­
torical data. For some jobs in inter­
national relations and journalism
an undergraduate major in history
is considered helpful.
Training for historians is avail­
able in many colleges and uni­
versities. Over 1,300 schools offer
programs for the bachelor’s degree,
about 550 offered the master’s and
115 offered doctorates.
History curriculums in the na­
tion’s colleges and universities are
varied; however, each basically pro­
vides, in addition to history topics,
training in research methods, writ­
ing, and speaking. These are the
basic skills essential for historians in
all positions in this Field. Quantita­
tive methods of analysis are becom­
ing more important for historians
and many college programs include
them.
Historians spend a great deal of
time studying, doing research, writ­
ing papers and reports, and giving
lectures and presentations. In order
to do these things well, they must be
capable of communicating their
ideas effectively, orally and in writ­
ing. The ability to work as part of a
group, as well as independently is
essential.
Employment Outlook

Employment of historians is ex­
pected to grow moderately through
the mid-1980’s. Historians will be
needed to Fill positions in colleges
and universities, junior colleges, li­
braries, archives, museums, second­
ary schools, research and editorial




535

organizations, and government. De­
mand also will exist for people with
training in historical specialties such
as business history, as well as those
who use quantitative methods in
their research. In addition to jobs
created by growth of the Field, an
even larger number of openings for
historians each year over the pro­
jected period is expected to result
from the need to replace those who
retire, die, or leave the profession.
In contrast with the projected
moderate growth of the occupation is
a probable continuing rapid increase
in the number of persons graduating
with master’s and doctoral degrees in
history. Not all who receive ad­
vanced degrees in history, of course,
represent new entrants to the profes­
sion. Although information is limited
on patterns of entry to the Field, if
present trends in the number of per­
sons studying for advanced degrees
in history continue, the number of
persons seeking to enter the Field will
likely exceed available positions. As
a result, historians who have a Ph.D.
are expected to face keen competi­
tion for the more desirable positions
through the mid-1980’s, especially
for jobs in the academic community.
Historians having only the master’s
degree will encounter very keen com­
petition for jobs, but some teaching
positions may be available in junior
colleges or some high schools if they
meet state certification require­
ments. People having only a
bachelor’s degree in history may be
able to qualify as administrative and
management trainees in government
agencies, foundations, civic organi­
zations, and private industry.

of nearly $10,000 a year. Salaries of
historians in educational institutions
averaged $16,500 in 1972; in State
and local governments, $13,000; in
nonprofit organizations, about $16,000; and in private industry, nearly
$18,000 a year. The annual median
salary for historians was more than
$14,000 in 1972. Historians earn
about twice as much as the average
earnings for nonsupervisory workers
in private industry or private non­
farm payrolls.
In the Federal Government, the
starting salary for people having a
bachelor’s degree in history was $7,694 in early 1973. Those who had a
superior academic record or a year
of graduate training were eligible to
start at $9,520. Experienced his­
torians employed by the Federal
Government in early 1973 earned be­
tween $13,996 and $26,898.
Some historians, particularly
those in college teaching, supple­
ment their income by summer teach­
ing or writing books or articles. A
few earn additional income from lec­
tures.
Sources of Additional
Information

Additional information on em­
ployment opportunities for histori­
ans is available from:
American Historical Association, 400
A St. SE., W ashington, D.C.
20003.

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

Earnings

Starting salaries for historians
having a doctorate averaged nearly
$12,000 a year in 1972, according to
limited information; master’s degree
holders have average starting salaries

Nature of the Work

Geographers study the spatial
characteristics of the earth’s terrain,
minerals, soils, water, vegetation,
and climate. They relate these char­

536

acteristics to changing patterns of
human settlement—where people
live, why they are located there, and
how they earn a living.
The majority of geographers are
college or university teachers; some
combine teaching and research.
Their research includes the study and
analysis of the distribution of land
forms, climate, soils, vegetation, and
mineral and water resources. They
also analyze the distribution and
structure of political organizations,
transportation systems, marketing
systems, and urban systems. Many
geographers spend considerable time
in field study, and in analysing maps,,
aerial photographs, and observa­
tional data collected in the field.
Sometimes they utilize surveying and
meteorological instruments. Photo­
graphs and other data from remote
sensors on satellites are used in­
creasingly. Other geographers con­
struct maps, graphs, and diagrams.
Most geographers specialize in
one branch or more of geography.
Economic geographers deal with the
geographic distribution of economic
activities—including manufactur­
ing, mining, farming, trade, and
communications. Political geogra­
phers study how political processes
affect geographic boundaries on sub­
national, national, and international
scales and the relationship of spatial
processes (geographic conditions) to
political processes. Urban geogra­
phers study cities and their prob­
lems in depth, and are concerned
with city and community planning.
(See statement on Urban Planners
elsewhere in the Handbook.) Physi­
cal geographers study the physical
characteristics of the earth and
moon. Regional geographers study
the physical, economic, political, and
cultural characteristics of a particu­
lar region or area, which may range
in size from a river basin or an
island, to a State, a country, or even
a continent. Cartographers compile




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

data and design and construct maps.
Many geographers have job titles
such as cartographer, map catalog­
ed or regional analyst, that describe
their specialization. Others have
titles that relate to the subject matter
of their study such as photo-intelli­
gence specialist or climatological
analyst. Still others have titles such
as community or environmental
planner, or market or business ana­
lyst. Most of those who teach in col­
leges and universities are called geog­
raphers.
Places of Employment

About 7,500 persons worked as ge­
ographers in 1972; about 15 percent
were women.
Colleges and universities employ
more than two-thirds of all geogra­
phers. The Federal Government em­
ploys a large number. Among Fed­
eral agencies, the Department of De­
fense employs the largest number in
such agencies as the Defense Map­
ping Agency, the Aeronautical Chart
and Information Center, Naval In­
telligence. The Commerce Depart­
ment employs geographers in such
agencies as the Coast and Geodetic

Survey, Bureau of the Census, Of­
fice of Regional Commissions, Na­
tional Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad­
ministration and National Weather
Service. Geographers employed by
the Interior Department work in
such agencies as Bureau of Indian
Affairs, Bureau of Outdoor Recre­
ation, Bureau of Land Management
and Geological Survey. Other gov­
ernment agencies that employ ge­
ographers include the Central Intel­
ligence Agency (CIA), Office of
Emergency Planning, National
Aeronautical and Space Adminis­
tration (NASA), and the Library of
Congress.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The educational requirement for
beginning positions in geography is
usually a bachelor’s degree with a
major in the field. For research and
teaching jobs, and for advancement,
graduate training is usually re­
quired. A Ph.D. is preferred.
In the Federal Government, candi­
dates for entrance positions must
have a minimum of 15 semester
hours in geography and 9 hours in
related fields such as statistics or
economics. For an applicant to start
at a higher level, he needs 30 hours in
geography and related fields and a
year of graduate study or work ex­
perience as a geographer.
About 380 colleges and universi­
ties offered degree training in ge­
ography in 1972. Undergraduate
study provides a general introduc­
tion to geographic knowledge and re­
search methods and often includes
some field studies. Typical courses
offered are physical and cultural ge­
ography, weather and climate, eco­
nomic geography, political geogra­
phy, urban geography, weather and
climate, quantitative methods in ge­
ography, and comparative courses
such as the geography of North

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

America and the USSR. Courses in
cartography and in the interpreta­
tion of maps and aerial and satellite
photographs also are offered.
State and local governments also
employ small numbers of geogra­
phers, mostly on city and State plan­
ning and development commissions.
A small but growing number of ge­
ographers work in private industry.
Most work for marketing research
organizations, textbook and map
publishers, travel agencies, manu­
facturing firms or chain stores. A few
work for scientific foundations and
research institutes.
In 1972, 115 institutions offered
master’s degree programs; 50 of­
fered Ph.D. programs. Admittance
to a graduate program usually re­
quires a bachelor’s degree with a
major in geography. However, many
universities admit students with
bachelor’s degrees in any of the
social or physical sciences with some
background in geography. Require­
ments for advanced degrees include
field and laboratory work as well as
advanced classroom studies in ge­
ography and thesis preparation.
Many graduate schools also require
course work in advanced mathemat­
ics and computer science because of
the increasing emphasis on these
areas in the field. A language is re­
quired for those students who plan to
enter the field of foreign regional
geography.
Persons who want to become ge­
ographers should enjoy reading,
studying, and research because they
must keep abreast of developments
in the field. Geographers must work
with abstract ideas and theories as
well as do practical studies. They
also must be able to work independ­
ently and communicate their ideas
orally and in writing.
Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for ge­




537

ographers with the Ph.D. is ex­
pected to be favorable through the
mid-1980’s for positions in research
and teaching in college and universi­
ties and for research jobs in industry
and government. Those with the
master’s degree are likely to face
some com petition for choice
academic positions; however, ex­
panding geography programs in
junior colleges should provide some
jobs. Colleges and universities will
continue to provide the largest num­
ber of employment opportunities for
geographers because of the expected
increase in college enrollment
through the mid-1980’s. Some other
jobs should be available in research
for government or private industry.
Graduates who have only the
bachelor’s degree in geography
usually are not qualified for jobs as
professional geographers. However,
they may find positions connected
with making, interpreting, or analyz­
ing maps; or in research, either
working for the government or in­
dustry. Others enter beginning posi­
tions in the planning field. Some may
obtain employment as research or
teaching assistants in educational in­
stitutions while studying for ad­
vance degrees. Some bachelor’s de­
gree holders do teach at the high
school level. Some earn library
science degrees and become map
librarians.
Employment of geographers in
government is expected to increase.
The Federal Government will need
additional personnel to work in pro­
grams such as regional develop­
ment, environmental quality, and in­
telligence. Employment of ge­
ographers in State and local govern­
ments also is expected to expand,
particularly in areas such as con­
servation, environmental quality
control, highway planning, and city,
community, and regional planning
and development. Private industry
also is expected to employ increas­

ing numbers of geographers for mar­
ket research and location analysis.
Earnings

Salaries of geographers in col­
leges and universities depend on their
teaching rank and experience. Assist­
ant professors entering the field with
a Ph.D. and no experience started at
between $10,500 and $11,000 in
1972, according to limited informa­
tion. Nearly three-fourths of all ge­
ographers earned between $10,000
and $20,000 a year, according to a
recent survey conducted by the Asso­
ciation of American Geographers.
About one-fourth earned between
$20,000 and $25,000, and a few more
than $25,000, in an academic year
(9 months). (See statement on
College and University Teachers
elsewhere in the Handbook.) Ge­
ographers in educational institu­
tions usually have an opportunity to
earn income from other sources,
such as consulting work, special re­
search, and publication of books and
articles.
Geographers in the Federal Gov­
ernment with the bachelor’s degree
and no experience started at $7,694
or $9,520 a year in early 1973, de­
pending on their college records.
Those with 1 or 2 years of graduate
work started at $9,520 or $11,614 a
year, and those with the Ph.D. at
$13,996.
Geographers earn about twice as
much as the average earnings for
non-supervisory workers in private
industry, except farming.
Sources of Additional
Information

Additional information on a ca­
reer as a geographer is available
from:
Association of American Geographers,
1710 16th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20009.

538

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

PO LITICAL S C IEN TIS TS
(D.O.T. 051.088)
Nature of the Work

Political scientists study govern­
ments—what they are, what they do,
and how and why. Many of them
specialize in a general area of politi­
cal science including political theory,
U.S. political institutions and proc­
esses, comparative political institu­
tions and processes, or international
relations and organizations. Some
specialize in a particular type of po­
litical institution or in the politics of
a specific era.
Most political scientists are
college and university teachers. They
combine research, consultation, or
administrative duties with teaching.
Some are primarily researchers who
survey public opinion on political
questions for private research or­
ganizations, or study proposed legis­
lation for Federal, State, and mu­
nicipal governments, legislative ref­
erence bureaus or congressional
committees. Others analyze the op­
erations of government agencies or
specialize in foreign affairs, re­
search, either for government or non­
government organizations. Some ad­
minister government programs.
Places of Employment

About 10,000 people worked as
political scientists in 1972; ten per­
cent were women. About four-fifths
work in colleges and universities.
Most of the remainder work in gov­
ernment, research bureaus, civic and
tax payers associations, and large
business firms.
Political scientists can be found in
nearly every college or university
town since courses in government
and political science are taught in al­
most all higher education curriculums. Some work overseas prima­
rily for agencies of the U.S. Depart­




ment of State, such as the Foreign
Service, and the U.S. Agency for
International Development. They
also work for the U.S. Information
Agency.
Training and Other Qualifications

Graduate training generally is re­
quired for employment as a political
scientist. Completion of the require­
ments for the Ph.D. degree, except
the doctoral dissertation, is the usual
prerequisite for appointment as a
college instructor. A Ph.D. degree is
required for advancement to the
position of assistant professor. The
Ph.D. also is helpful for advance­
ment in nonacademic areas.
College graduates having a
master’s degree can qualify for
various administrative and research
positions in government and in non­
profit research or civic organiza­
tions. A master’s degree in interna­
tional relations, foreign service, and
area study (for example, New
England, government) is helpful in
obtaining positions in Federal Gov­
ernment agencies concerned with
foreign affairs.
People with only a bachelor’s
degree in political science may
qualify as trainees in public rela­
tions, research, budget analysis, per­
sonnel, or investigation fields. Many
students with bachelor’s degrees in
political science go on to study law or
some specialized or related branch of
political science, such as public ad­
m inistration and international
relations.
In 1972, more than 1,300 colleges
and universities offered a bachelor’s
degree in political science, 268 had
master’s programs, and 115 had doc­
toral programs. Many colleges and
universities offer field training and
internships to gain experience in gov­
ernment work.
Undergraduate programs in polit­
ical science vary throughout the Na-

Political scientist discussing Govern­
ment operations with colleague.

tion. A typical undergraduate cur­
riculum in political science includes
introductory politics, state and urban
politics, comparative studies, politi­
cal theory, foreign policy and public
ad m in istratio n . An increasing
number include courses in quanti­
tative and statistical methods be­
cause of increased research empha­
sis in the field.
People planning careers as politi­
cal scientists should like to work with
details. They must be objective and
able to work independently or as part
of a team. Ability to express them­
selves clearly, orally and in writing,
is important to political scientists, as
they must communicate the results
of their findings.
Employment Outlook

The number of persons who will
graduate with advanced degrees in
political science is likely to exceed
available job openings. Those hav­
ing a Ph.D. may face stiff competi­
tion finding choice academic posi­
tions. Master’s degree holders are

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

not likely to find positions as coliege
and university instructors, but those
having specialized training in areas
such as policy analysis or public ad­
ministration should have some op­
portunities in Federal, State and
local government, research bureaus,
political organizations and welfare
agencies. New graduates having only
the bachelor’s degree are expected to
find very limited opportunities.
However, for those planning to con­
tinue their studies in law, foreign af­
fairs, journalism, and other related
fields, a political science back­
ground is very helpful. Some who
meet State certification require­
ments will be able to enter high
school teaching.
Employment of political scientists
is expected to increase moderately
through the mid-1980’s. The largest
area of employment will continue to
be in college and university teach­
ing. In addition to those required to
staff new positions, political sci­
entists will be needed to fill positions
vacated due to retirements, death or
transfers.
Earnings

Beginning political scientists with
a master’s degree earned about $9,000 a year in 1972 according to
limited information; with doctoral
degrees, about $10,500.
According to limited information,
the median salary of those who work
in educational institutions was $13,000 for an academic year, and $16,800 for a calender year. Political sci­
entists in the Federal government av­
eraged $20,000 a year, and those in
state and local government about
$17,000. Those employed in non­
profit organizations and private in­
dustry and business had a median
salary of more than $19,000.
Political scientists earn about twice
as much as the average earnings
for non-supervisory workers in pri­




539

Many sociologists specialize in
vate industry or private nonfarm
social organization, social psychol­
payrolls.
In the Federal Government, the ogy, or rural sociology. Others spe­
starting salary for political scientists cialize in intergroup relations, family
having a bachelor’s degree was about problems, social effects of urban liv­
$7,694 a year in early 1973. Those ing, population studies, or analyses
having a superior academic record or of public opinion. Some conduct sur­
a year of graduate training were eli­ veys or concentrate on research
methods. Growing numbers apply
gible to start at $9,520.
Some political scientists, particu­ sociological knowledge and methods
larly those in college teaching, sup­ in penology and correction, educa­
plement their income by teaching tion, public relations in industry, and
regional and community planning. A
summer courses or consulting.
few specialize in medical sociol­
ogy—the study of social factors that
Sources of Additional
affect mental and public health.
Information
Most sociologists are college and
Additional information on em­ university teachers whose duties in­
ployment opportunities in political clude both teaching and research.
science and public administration is Sociological research involves the
available from:
collection of information, prepara­
tion of case studies, testing, and the
American Political Science Associa­
conduct of statistical surveys and
tion, 1527 New Hampshire Ave.
NW „ Washington, D.C. 20036.
laboratory experiments.
Sociologists also supervise re­
search projects or the operation of
social agencies such as family and
marriage clinics. Others, acting as
consultants, advise on diverse prob­
SOCIOLOG ISTS
lems such as the management of hos­
pitals for the mentally ill, the reha­
(D.O.T. 054.088)
bilitation of juvenile delinquents, or
Nature of the Work

Sociologists study the groups that
man forms in his association with
others. These groups include fami­
lies, tribes, communities, and gov­
ernments, along with a variety of
social, religious, political, business,
and other organizations. They study
the behavior and interaction of these
groups; trace their origin and
growth; and analyze the influence of
group activities on individual
members.
Some sociologists concern them­
selves primarily with the character­
istics of social groups and institu­
tions. Others are more interested in
the ways individuals are affected by
groups to which they belong.

Sociologist working on manuscript for
publication.

540

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the development of effective adver­
tising programs to promote public
interest in particular products such
as television sets or cars.
Places of Employment

About 15,000 persons worked as
sociologists in 1972, more than oneseventh were women. Others work in
positions that require training in this
field but are not classified as profes­
sional sociologists. These fields in­
clude social, recreation, and public
health work.
Colleges and universities employ
about four-fifths of all sociologists.
The remainder work for Federal,
State, local, or international govern­
ment agencies, in private industry, or
in welfare or other nonprofit organi­
zations, or else are self-employed.
Since sociology is taught in most
institutions of higher learning, soci­
ologists may be found in nearly all
college communities. They are most
heavily concentrated, however, in
large colleges and universities which
offer graduate training in sociology
and opportunities for research.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A master’s degree and a major in
sociology usually is the minimum re­
quirement for employment as soci­
ologist. The Ph.D. degree is an essen­
tial for attaining a professorship in
most colleges or universities. It also
is commonly required for directors
of major research projects, impor­
tant administrative positions, or con­
sultants.
Sociologists having master’s de­
grees, who are trained in research
and statistic al and com puter
methods can qualify for many ad­
ministrative and research positions.
Advancement to supervisory posi­
tions in both public and private
agencies is gained through experi­




ence. Sociologists having a master’s
degree qualify for some college instructorships. Most colleges, how­
ever, appoint as instructors only peo­
ple who have training beyond the
master’s level—frequently the com­
pletion of all requirements for the
Ph.D. degree except the doctoral dis­
sertation. Outstanding graduate stu­
dents often get teaching or research
assistantships which provide both fi­
nancial aid and valuable experience.
Bachelor’s degree holders in soci­
ology usually are not recognized by
the profession as sociologists. How­
ever, they may, get jobs as inter­
viewers or as research assistants.
Many work as caseworkers, counse­
lors, recreation workers, or admin­
istrative assistants in public and pri­
vate welfare agencies. Sociology
majors who have sufficient training
in statistics may get positions as be­
ginning statisticians. Those who
meet State certification require­
ments can teach high school. About
900 colleges and universities offer
bachelor degree programs; more
than 200 offer master’s degrees, and
nearly 120 have doctorate programs.
The choice of a graduate school is
important for people who want to
become sociologists. Students inter­
ested in research should select
schools that emphasize training in re­
search, statistical, and computer
methods. Opportunities to gain prac­
tical experience in research work
may be available also. Professors
and chairmen of sociology depart­
ments frequently aid in the place­
ment of graduates.
Sociologists spend a great deal of
their time in study and research.
They must be able to communicate
effectively, both orally and in writ­
ing, their ideas and Findings. The
ability to work as part of a group or
independently is important.
Employment Outlook

Overall employment opportunities

for sociologists who have a Ph.D. are
expected to be favorable through the
mid-1980’s. However, those seeking
choice academic positions may face
some competition. Those having
only a master’s degree will probably
continue to face considerable com­
petition for academic positions, but
some jobs will be available in gov­
ernment and private industry. Soci­
ologists well trained in research
methods, advanced statistics and use
of computer, will have the widest
choice of jobs. Demand is expected
to be strong for research personnel to
work in the areas of rural sociology,
community development, popula­
tion analysis, public opinion re­
search, medical sociology, and ju­
venile delinquency and education.
Employment of sociologists is ex­
pected to increase very rapidly
through the mid-1980’s. Most new
positions will continue to be in
college teaching. Some of these
openings will result from the grow­
ing trend to include sociology
courses in the curriculums of other
professions, such as medicine, law,
and education. Demand in the non­
teaching area will center around
public and private programs dealing
with the development of human re­
sources, particularly those designed
to cope with social and welfare
problems. In addition to growth
needs, several hundred openings will
occur each year to replace sociolo­
gists who die, retire, or leave the field
for other reasons.
Earnings

In 1972, according to limited in­
formation, the average salary for so­
ciologists was more than $14,000 a
year. Sociologists working in edu­
cational institutions on a calendar
year basis averaged about $16,500.
Salaries ranged from $11,500 for an
assistant professor to $36,000 for
some heads of departments. Sociol­

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS

ogists working in nonprofit organi­
zations and private industry had
average annual salaries of $16,000
and $18,000 respectively. Sociolo­
gists earn about twice as much as the
average earnings for nonsupervisory
workers in private industry or on
private nonfarm payrolls.
In the Federal Government, the
beginning salary for sociologists hav­
ing a master’s degree and a superior
academic record was $11,614 a year




541

in early 1973. Salaries of experi­
enced sociologists in the Federal
G overnm ent generally ranged
between $13,996 and $26,898 a year.
In general, sociologists having the
Ph.D. degree earn substantially
higher salaries than those having
master’s degrees. Many sociolo­
gists, particularly those employed by
colleges and universities for the aca­
demic year (September to June), are
likely to supplement their regular

salaries with earnings from other
sources, such as summer teaching
and consulting work.
Sources off Additional
Information

Additional information on sociol­
ogists is available from:
The American Sociological Associa­
tion,
1722 N S t . , N W „
Washington, D.C. 20036.




SOCIAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS
Workers in social service occupa­
tions help people adjust to problems
in their daily lives. Depending on
their specific occupation, they may
advise consumers on how to get the
most for their money; help handi­
capped people to achieve satisfac­




tory lifestyles; counsel people with
problems in their job, home, school,
or social relationships; or treat peo­
ple with moderate and severe psy­
chological problems.
A genuine concern for all kinds of
people is necessary for anyone con­

sidering a career in a social service
occupation. Patience, tact, sensitiv­
ity, and a sense of humor along with
compassion for others balanced with
objectivity, are helpful personal
qualities.

543

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS
Professional counselors help peo­
ple to understand themselves and
their opportunities so that they can
make and carry out decisions and
plans for a satisfying and productive
life. Whatever the area of counsel­
ing—personal, educational, or voca­
tional—counselors must combine
objectivity with genuine concern for
each client. They must believe in the
uniqueness and worth of each indi­
vidual, in his right to make and
accept responsibility for his own de­
cisions, and in his potential for
development.
This chapter covers four generally
recognized specialties in the field:
school counseling; rehabilitation
counseling; employment counseling;
and college career planning and
placement counseling.
School Counselors are the largest
counseling group. Their main con­
cern is the personal and social de­
velopment of students and helping
them plan and achieve their educa­
tional and vocational goals.
Rehabilitation Counselors work
with persons who are physically,
mentally, or socially handicapped.
Their counseling is generally joboriented, but also involves personal
counseling.
Employment Counselors are
mainly concerned with career plan­
ning and adjustment of young, old,
able-bodied, and disabled persons.
College Career Planning and
Placement Counselors help college
students examine their own inter­
ests, abilities, and goals; explore
career alternatives; and make and
follow through with a career choice.
Persons who want to enter the
544



counseling field must be interested in
helping people and have an ability to
understand their behavior. A pleas­
ant but strong personality that in­
stills confidence in clients is desir­
able in counselors. They also must be
patient, sensitive to the needs of
others, and able to communicate
orally as well as in writing.
Many psychologists, social
workers, and college student person­
nel workers also do counseling. The
occupation most closely related to
counselor is that of the counseling
psychologist. Other professional
workers who do some counseling but
primarily work in teaching, health,
law, religion, personnel, or other
fields, are described elsewhere in the
Handbook.

SCHOOL COUNSELORS
(D.O.T. 045.108)
Nature off the Work

School counselors are concerned
about the educational, career, and
social development of students. They
work with students, both individ­
ually and in groups, as well as with
teachers, other school personnel,
parents, and community agencies.
Counselors use the results of in­
terest, achievement, and intelligence
tests as well as school and other rec­
ords to help students evaluate them­
selves. Then, with each student and
sometimes with the parents, they
help develop an educational plan that
fits the student’s abilities, interests,
and career aspirations.

Many high school counselors help
students individually with personal
and social problems. They also may
lead group counseling sessions and
discussion groups on topics related to
student interests and problems.
School counselors often maintain
a small library containing occupa­
tional literature so that students may
find descriptions of work that they
have heard about or in which they
have shown an interest. Information
on training requirements, earnings
and employment outlook often are
included with these job descriptions.
Computers that students can operate
are being experimented with in this
area.
Counselors sometimes arrange
trips to factories and business firms,
and show vocational films to pro­
vide a view of real work settings. To
bring the workplace into the school,
the counselor may conduct “career
day” programs.
School counselors must keep upto-date on opportunities for educa­
tional and vocational training be­
yond high school to counsel students
who want this information. They
must keep informed about training
programs in 2- and 4-year colleges;
in trade, technical and business
schools; apprenticeship programs;
and available federally supported
programs. Counselors also advise
students about educational require­
ments for entry-level jobs, job
changes caused by automation and
other technological advances, college
entrance requirements and places of
employment.
Counselors in 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 assist stu­
dents leaving school before or after
graduating to find jobs or may direct
them to community employment
services. They also may participate
in follow-up studies of graduates and

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

dropouts, conduct surveys of local
job opportunities, or determine the
effectiveness of the educational and
guidance programs.
Elementary school counselors help
children 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 eval­
uating any learning problems.
Methods used in counseling grade
school children differ 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 under­
stand children, elementary school
counselors spend much time con­
sulting with teachers and parents.
They also work closely with other
staff members of the school, includ­
ing psychologists and social workers.
Some school counselors, particu­
larly in secondary schools, teach
classes in occupational information,
social studies, or other subjects. They
also may supervise school clubs or
other extracurricular activities, often
after regular school hours.



545

graduate work and from 1 to 5 years
of teaching experience usually are re­
quired for a counseling certificate.
People who plan to become counsel­
ors should learn the requirements of
the State in which they plan to work,
since requirements vary among
States and change rapidly.
College students interested in be­
coming school counselors usually
take the regular program of teacher
education, with additional courses in
psychology and sociology. In States
where teaching experience is not a re­
quirement, it is possible to major in a
liberal arts program. A few States
substitute counseling internship for
teaching experience. In some States,
teachers who have completed part of
the courses required for the master’s
degree are eligible for provisional
certification and may work as coun­
selors under supervision while they
take additional courses.
Places of Employment
Counselor education programs at
About 43,000 people worked full­ the graduate level are available in
time as public school counselors dur­ more than 370 colleges and univer­
ing the 1971-72 school year. More sities, most frequently in the depart­
than 10 percent of them worked in el­ ments of education or psychology.
ementary schools.
One to two years of graduate study
Most counselors work in large are necessary for a master’s degree.
schools. An increasing number of Most programs provide supervised
school districts, however, provide field experience.
guidance services to their small
Subject areas of required graduateschools by assigning more than one level courses usually include ap­
school to a counselor.
praisal of the individual student,
For the most part, counselors who individual counseling procedures,
work in junior high schools and es­ group guidance, information ser­
pecially in elementary schools are vices for career development, pro­
women; in high schools the majority fessional relations and ethics, and
of the counselors are men. However statistics and research.
positions at both levels are equally
The ability to help others accept
available to men and women.
personal responsibility for their own
lives is important for school coun­
Training, Other Qualifications,
selors since they work with the de­
and Advancement
velopment of young people. They
Most States require school coun­ must be able to coordinate the ac­
selors to have counseling and teach­ tivity of others and work as part of
ing certificates. (See statements on the team which forms the educa­
Elementary and Secondary School tional system.
School counselors traditionally
Teachers for certificate require­
ments.) Depending on the State, began as teachers and advanced to

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

546

principal. However, in recent years,
the trend is either to remain a coun­
selor, possibly moving to a larger
school; to advance to become direc­
tor or supervisor of counseling or
guidance; or, with further graduate
education, to advance to become a
college counselor, educational psy­
chologist, or school psychologist.

Earnings and Working
Conditions

School counselors holding bache­
lor’s degrees earned average annual
salaries ranging from $7,900 to $11,400 during the 1971-72 school year,
according to the National Educa­
tion Association. For those having
master’s degrees, average yearly sal­
aries were from $9,000 to $13,400.
Employment Outlook
School counselors with doctorate’s
Employment opportunities for had an average maximum salary of
well-trained school counselors are almost $16,000 per year. School
expected to be favorable through the counselors generally earn more than
mid-1980’s. Over the long run, de­ teachers at the same school. (See
mand for school counselors will be statements on Kindergarten and El­
due in large part to the impact of the ementary School Teachers and Sec­
Federal Government’s Career Edu­ ondary School Teachers.)
cation program. This program is de­
In most school systems, counsel­
signed to inform children about the ors receive regular salary incre­
world of work early in their educa­ ments as they obtain additional edu­
tion, so that by the time they leave cation and expeience. Some coun­
the formal education system they are selors supplement their income by
prepared for a suitable and available part-time consulting or other work
career. In addition to the expected with private or public counseling
expansion of the occupation, many centers, government agencies, or pri­
counselors will be required each year vate industry.
to replace those who leave the profes­
sion.
Sources of Additional
Employment of school counselors
Information
is likely to grow only moderately
State Departments of Education
through most of the remainder of the
can supply information on colleges
1970’s as the decline in school en­
rollments continues. An expected up­ and universities that offer training in
swing in enrollments beginning in the guidance and counseling as well as
late 1970’s should stimulate a more on the State certification re­
rapid growth in counselor employ­ quirements.
Additional information on this
ment through the mid-1980’s. In
1972, the average ratio of counsel­ field of work is available from:
ors to students as a whole was still
American School Counselor Associa­
well below generally accepted stand­
tion, 1607 New Hampshire Ave.
NW „ Washington, D.C. 20009.
ards despite Federal aid to the States
for support and expansion of coun­
seling programs. Some school
systems were forced to eliminate
some counselor positions due to local
financial problems. The extent of
future growth in counselor employ­
ment will depend largely on the
amount of funds which the Federal
Government provides to the States
for this purpose.




EMPLOYMENT
COUNSELORS
(D.O.T. 045.108)
Nature of the Work

Employment counselors (some­
times called vocational counselors)
help jobseekers evaluate their abili­
ties and interests so that they can
choose, prepare for, and adjust to a
satisfactory field of work. The ex­
tent of counseling services given by
employment counselors varies, de­
pending on the jobseeker and the
type of agency. Jobseekers may in­
clude veterans, youth with little or no
work experience, the handicapped,
older workers, and individuals dis­
placed by automation and industry
shifts, or unhappy with their present
occupational Fields. Sometimes job­
seekers are skilled in specific occu­
pations and ready for immediate job
placement, while those who have lit­
tle education and lack marketable
skills need intensive training to pre­
pare them for jobs. In State employ­
ment services, the counselor is also
concerned with helping those who
are least employable, such as wel­
fare recipients, prison releasees, and
the educationally and culturally de­
prived.
Counselors interview jobseekers to
learn employment-related facts
about their interests, training, work
experience, work attitudes, physical
capacities, and personal traits. If
necessary, they may get additional
data by arranging for aptitude and
achievement tests, and interest in­
ventories, so that more objective help
may be given. They may get addi­
tional information from sources such
as former employers and schools.
When the jobseeker’s back­
ground—his limitations and abili­
ties—have been thoroughly re­
viewed, the employment counselor
discusses occupational requirements
and job opportunities in different

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

547

Also, the Federal Government em­
ployed a limited number of employ­
ment counselors, chiefly in the Vet­
erans Administration and in the
Bureau of Indian Affairs. Some
counselors teach in graduate train­
ing programs or conduct research.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

fields within the potential of the job­
seeker. Then, the counselor and his
client develop a vocational plan. This
plan may specify a series of steps in­
volving remedial education, job
training, work experience, or other
services needed to enhance the per­
son’s employability. Often, in de­
veloping this plan, the employment
counselor works with a team of
specialists.
In many cases, employment coun­
selors refer jobseekers to other agen­
cies for physical rehabilitation or
psychological or other services be­
fore or during counseling. The coun­
selor must be familiar with the avail­
able community services so that he
can select those most likely to benefit
a particular jobseeker.
Counselors may help jobseekers
by suggesting employment sources
and appropriate ways of applying for
work. In many cases when further
support and assistance are needed,
counselors may contact employers to
develop jobs for counseled appli­
cants, although jobseekers usually
are sent to placement interviewers



after counseling. After job place­
ment or entrance into training, coun­
selors may follow up to determine if
additional assistance is needed.
The expanding responsibility of
public employment service counsel­
ors for improving the employability
of disadvantaged persons has in­
creased their contacts with these per­
sons during training and on the job.
Also, it has led to group counseling
and the stationing of counselors in
neighborhood and com m unity
centers.
Places of Employment

In 1972, about 6,000 persons, half
of them women, worked as employ­
ment counselors in State employ­
ment service offices, located in every
large city and many smaller towns.
In addition, about 2,500 employ­
ment counselors worked for various
private or community agencies, pri­
marily in the larger cities. Some
worked in institutions such as
prisons, training schools for delin­
quent youths, and mental hospitals.

The national qualification stand­
ard for first level employment coun­
selors in State employment service
offices calls for 30 graduate semes­
ter hours of counseling courses be­
yond a bachelor’s degree. However,
1 year of counseling-related experi­
ence may be substituted for 15 grad­
uate semester hours.
All States require counselors in
their public employment offices to
meet State civil service or merit
system requirements that include
minimum educational and experi­
ence standards.
Applicants with advanced degrees
and additional qualifying experience
may enter at higher levels on the
counselor career ladder. Many
States also make provision for indi­
viduals with extensive experience in
the Employment Service, whether or
not they have college degrees, to
enter the counselor career ladder and
move upward by acquiring the pre­
scribed university coursework and
qualifying experience for each level.
Although minimum entrance re­
quirements are not standardized
among private and community agen­
cies, most prefer, and some require, a
master’s degree in vocational coun­
seling or in a related field such as
psychology, personnel administra­
tion, counseling, guidance educa­
tion, or public administration. 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, employers usu­

548

ally emphasize experience in closely
related work such as rehabilitation
counseling, employment interview­
ing, school or college counseling,
teaching, social work or psychology.
In each State, the public employ­
ment service offices provide some inservice training programs for their
new counselors or trainees. In addi­
tion, both their new and experienced
counselors are often given part-time
training at colleges and universities
during the regular academic year or
at institutes or summer sessions. Pri­
vate and community agencies also
often provide inservice training op­
portunities.
College students who wish to be­
come employment counselors should
enroll especially in courses in psy­
chology and basic sociology. At the
graduate level, requirements for this
field usually include courses in tech­
niques of counseling, psychological
principles and psychology of careers,
assessment and appraisal, cultures
and environment, and occupational
information. Counselor education
programs at the graduate level are
available in about 370 colleges and
universities, mainly in departments
of education or psychology. To ob­
tain a master’s degree, students must
complete 1 to 2 years of graduate
study.
Young people aspiring to be em­
ployment counselors should have a
strong interest in helping others
make vocational plans and carry
them out. They should be able to
work independently and keep de­
tailed records.
Well-qualified counselors with ex­
perience may advance to super­
visory or administrative positions in
their own or other organizations.
Some may become directors of agen­
cies or of other counseling services,
or area supervisors of guidance pro­
grams; some may become consult­
ants; and others may become pro­
fessors in the counseling field.



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

$20,000, although the average was
about $10,000 annually. In general,
Employment counselors with
salaries of employment counselors
master’s degrees, and others with ex­
are about one and one-half times as
perience in related fields are ex­
high as average earnings for nonpected to have favorable employ­
supervisory workers in private in­
ment opportunities in both public
dustry, except farming.
and community employment agen­
Most counselors work about 40
cies through the mid-1980’s. Some of
hours a week and have various bene­
these openings will be due to deaths,
fits, including vacations, sick leave,
retirements and transfers to other oc­
pension plans, and insurance cover­
cupations.
age. Counselors employed in com­
Demand for employment counsel­
munity agencies may work overtime.
ors should increase as their role be­
comes more important in programs
Sources of Additional
dealing with the training and re­
Information
training of unemployed workers,
particularly those who are unskilled
For general information on em­
or whose jobs have been displaced by ployment or vocational counseling,
technology or industry shifts. Stim­ contact:
ulating this demand is growing pub­
National Employment Counselors As­
lic recognition that more effort and
sociation, 1607 New Hampshire
services are needed if people with
Ave, N W ., W ashington, D.C.
limited skills are to be able to find
20009.
satisfactory jobs. Expansion of these
National Vocational Guidance As­
programs and consequently the ex­
sociation, Inc., 1607 New Hamp­
tent of growth in employment of
shire Ave. NW ., Washington, D.C.
20009.
counselors will depend in large part
on the level of funding by the Federal
U.S. Department of Labor, Man­
Government, as well as on the distri­
power Administration, U SE S,
Division of Counseling and Test­
bution of revenue sharing monies al­
ing, Washington, D.C. 20210.
located to these types of programs by
The administrative office for each
the individual States.
State’s employment security agency,
bureau, division, or commission can
Earnings and Working
Conditions
supply specific information about
local job opportunities, salaries, and
Salaries of employment counsel­
entrance requirements for positions
ors in State employment services
in public employment service offices.
vary considerably by State. In 1972,
minimum salaries ranged from about
$6,900 to $13,000 a year with an
average of $8,300. Maximum sal­
aries ranged from $8,900 to $15,800
REHABILITATION
with an average of $10,700. More
COUNSELORS
than one-half of the States listed
maximum salaries of $10,000 or
(D.O.T. 045.108)
over. Trainees for counseling posi­
Nature of the Work
tions in some voluntary agencies in
Rehabilitation counselors help
large cities were being hired at about
$7,500 a year. Salaries of some em­ people with physical, mental, or
ployment counselors in private and social disabilities to adjust their vo­
community agencies were as high as cational plans and personal lives. In
Employment Outlook

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

the initial contact with a client, the
counselor learns about his interests
and abilities, as well as his limita­
tions. The counselor then uses this
information, along with available
medical and psychological data, to
help the disabled person to evaluate
himself—his physical and mental ca­
pacity and interests—in relation to
suitable work.
Together, the counselor and client
develop a plan of rehabilitation with
the aid of other specialists responsi­
ble for the medical care and occupa­
tional training of the handicapped
person. As the plan is put into ef­
fect, the counselor meets regularly
with the disabled person to discuss
his progress in the rehabilitation
program and help resolve any prob­
lems that have been encountered.
When the client is'ready to begin
work, the counselor helps him find a
suitable job, and usually makes
followup checks to insure that the
placement has been successful.
Rehabilitation counselors must
maintain close contact with the fam­
ilies of their handicapped clients,
other professionals who work with
handicapped people, agencies and
civic groups, and private employers
who hire the disabled. Counselors in
this field often perform related ac­
tivities, such as informing em­
ployers of the abilities of the handi­
capped and arranging for publicity of
the rehabilitation program in the
community.
An increasing number of counsel­
ors specialize in a particular area of
rehabilitation; some may work al­
most exclusively with blind people,
alcoholics or drug addicts, the men­
tally ill, or retarded persons. Others
may work almost entirely with per­
sons living in poverty areas.
The amount of time spent in coun­
seling each client varies with the se­
verity of the disabled person’s prob­
lems as well as with the size of the
counselor’s caseload. Some rehabili­




549

Rehabilitation counselor leads group counseling session with alcoholics.

tation counselors are responsible for
many persons in various stages of re­
habilitation; on the other hand, less
experienced counselors or those
working with the severly disabled
may work with relatively few cases at
a time.
Places of Employment

About 16,000 persons, one-third of
them women, worked as rehabilita­
tion counselors in 1972. About threefourths worked in State and local re­
habilitation agencies financed co­
operatively with Federal and State
funds. About 800 rehabilitation
counselors and counseling psycholo­
gists worked for the Veterans Ad­
ministration. Rehabilitation centers,
sheltered workshops, hospitals, labor
unions, insurance companies, spe­
cial schools, and other public and
private agencies with rehabilitation
programs and job placement serv­
ices for the disabled employ the rest.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree with courses
in counseling, psychology, and re­
lated fields is the minimum educa­
tional requirement for rehabilitation
counselors. However, employers are
placing increasing emphasis on the
master’s degree i.* vocational coun­
i
seling or rehabilitation counseling, or
in related subjects such as psychol­
ogy, education, and social work.
Work experience in fields such as vo­
cational counseling and placement,
psychology, education, and social
work is an asset for securing em­
ployment as a rehabilitation coun­
selor. Most agencies have workstudy programs whereby employed
counselors can earn graduate de­
grees in the field.
Usually, 2 years of study are re­
quired for the master’s degree in the
fields preferred for rehabilitation
counseling. In addition to a basic

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

550

foundation in psychology, courses
generally included in master’s degree
programs are counseling theory and
techniques, occupational and educa­
tional information, and community
resources. Other requirements may
include courses in placement and
followup, tests and measurements,
cultural and psychological effects of
disability, and medical and legisla­
tive aspects of therapy and rehabili­
tation.
To earn the doctorate in rehabili­
tation counseling or in counseling
psychology may require a total of 4
to 6 years of graduate study. Inten­
sive training in psychology and other
social sciences, as well as research
methods is required.
Many States require that rehabil­
itation counselors be hired in ac­
cordance with State civil service
and merit system rules. In most
cases, these regulations require ap­
plicants to pass a competitive written
test, sometimes supplemented by an
individual interview and evaluation
by a board of examiners.
Since rehabilitation counselors
deal with the welfare of individuals
who may otherwise be unemployed,
the ability to accept responsibility is
important. It also is essential that
they be able to work independently
and be able to motivate and guide the
activity of others.
Counselors who have limited ex­
perience usually are assigned the less
difficult cases. As they gain experi­
ence, their caseloads are increased
and they are assigned clients with
more complex rehabilitation prob­
lems. After obtaining considerable
experience and more graduate edu­
cation, rehabilitation counselors may
be advanced to supervisory posi­
tions or top administrative jobs.

to be favorable through the mid1980’s. Persons who have graduate
work in rehabilitation counseling or
in related fields are expected to have
the best employment prospects.
Contributing to the long run de­
mand for rehabilitation counselors
will be population growth with re­
lated increases in the number of peo­
ple who need to be served. Stimulat­
ing this demand will be the exten­
sion of service to a greater number of
the severely disabled, together with
increased public awareness that the
vocational rehabilitation approach
helps the disabled to become selfsupporting. The extent of growth in
employment of counselors, how­
ever, will depend largely on levels of
government funding for vocational
rehabilitation. In addition to growth
needs, many counselors will be re­
quired annually to replace those who
die, retire, or leave the field for other
reasons.
Earnings and Working
Conditions

Salaries of beginning rehabilita­
tion counselors in State agencies
averaged $8,700 a year in 1972. Ex­
perienced counselors earned average
salaries of $11,500 a year; the range
was $9,700 to $15,700 among the
States.
The Veterans Administration paid
counseling psychologists with a twoyear master’s degree and one year of
subsequent experience—and those
with a Ph.D.—starting salaries of
$14,000 in early 1973. Those with a
Ph.D. and a year of experience, and
those with a 2-year master’s degree
and much experience, started at $16,700. Some rehabilitation counselors
with a bachelor’s degree were hired
at starting salaries of $9,500 and
$11,600. In general, salaries of em­
ployment counselors are above the
Employment Outlook
average earnings for nonsupervisory
Employment opportunities for re­ workers in private industry, except
habilitation counselors are expected farming.




Counselors may spend only part of
their time in their offices counseling
and performing necessary paper­
work. The remainder of their time is
spent in the field, working with pro­
spective employers, training agen­
cies, and the disabled person’s fami­
ly. The ability to drive a car often is
necessary for field work.
Rehabilitation counselors gener­
ally work a 40-hour week or less,
with some overtime work required,
since, they often must attend com­
munity and civic meetings in the eve­
nings. They usually are covered by
sick and annual leave benefits, and
pension and health plans.
Sources of Additional
Information

For information about rehabilita­
tion counseling as a career, contact;
American Psychological Association,
Inc., 1200 17th St. NW„ Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.
American Rehabilitation Counseling
Association, 1607 New Hampshire
Ave. N W ., Washington, D.C.
20009.
National Rehabilitation Counseling
A ssociation, 1522 K St. N W .,
Washington, D.C. 20005.

COLLEGE CAREER
PLANNING
AND PLACEMENT
COUNSELORS
(D.O.T. 166.268)
Nature of the Work

Choosing a career and deciding
whether or not to go to graduate
school are among the difficult deci­
sions faced by many college stu­
dents. Career planning and place­
ment counselors are employed by

COUNSELING OCCUPATIONS

colleges to offer encouragement and
assist in these decisions.
Career planning and placement
counselors, sometimes called college
placement officers, provide a variety
of services to college students and
alumni. They assist students in mak­
ing career selections by encouraging
them to examine their interests, abil­
ities, and goals, and then aiding them
in exploring possible career alterna­
tives and choosing an occupational
area that is best suited to their in­
dividual needs. They advise students
considering dropping out of the op­
portunities open to them. They also
help students to get part-time and
summer jobs.
Career planning and placement
counselors arrange for job recruiters
to visit the campus to discuss their
firm’s personnel needs and to inter­
view applicants. They provide
employers with information about
students and help in appraising stu­
dents’ qualifications. They must keep
abreast of information concerning
job market developments in order to
contact prospective employers, help
students prepare for promising
fields, and encourage the faculty and
school administration to provide per­
tinent courses. Many counselors also
assemble and maintain a library of

551

career guidance information and
recruitment literature.
Placement counselors may special­
ize in areas such as law, education, or
part-time and summer work. How­
ever, the extent of specialization usu­
ally depends upon the size and type
of college as well as the size of the
placement staff.
Places of Employment

Nearly all 4-year colleges and un­
iversities and many of the increasing
number of junior colleges provide
career planning and placement serv­
ices to their students and alumni.
Large colleges may employ several
counselors working under a director
of career planning and placement ac­
tivities; in many institutions, how­
ever, a combination of placement
functions is performed by one direc­
tor and his clerical staff. In some col­
leges, especially the smaller ones, the
functions of career counselors may
be performed on a part-time basis by
members of the faculty or adminis­
trative staff. Universities frequently
have placement officers for each
major branch or campus.
About 3,800 persons, one-third of
them women, worked as career plan­
ning and placement counselors in
1972. Most of those in four-year
schools were employed on a full-time
basis. Of the 1,000 in junior col­
leges, about two-thirds worked parttime.

In 1972, more than 100 colleges
and universities offered graduate
programs in college student person­
nel work. Graduate courses that are
helpful for career planning and
placement counseling include coun­
seling theory and techniques, voca­
tional testing, theory of group
dynamics, and occupational re­
search and employment trends.
Some people enter the career plan­
ning and placement field after gain­
ing a broad background of experi­
ence in business, industry, govern­
ment, or educational organizations.
An internship in a career planning
and placement office also is helpful.
College career planning and place­
ment counselors must have an inter­
est in people. They must be able to
communicate with and gain the con­
fidence of students, faculty, and
employers in order to develop in­
sight into the employment problems
of both employers and students. Peo­
ple in this field should be energetic
and able to work under pressure,
since they must organize and admin­
ister a wide variety of activities.
Advancement for career planning
and placement professionals usually
is through promotion to an assistant
or associate position, director of
career planning and placement,
director of student personnel serv­
ices, or some other higher level ad­
ministrative position. However, the
extent of such opportunity usually
depends upon the type of college or
university and the size of the staff.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

College career planning and placement
counselor discusses career alter­
natives with college student.




Employment Outlook

Although no specific educational
program exists to prepare persons
for career planning and placement
work, a bachelor’s degree, prefer­
ably in a behavioral science such as
psychology or sociology, is custom­
ary for entry into the field and a
master’s degree is increasingly being
stressed.

The overall employment outlook
for well-qualified college career plan­
ning and placement counselors is ex­
pected to be favorable through the
mid-1980’s. College enrollments are
expected to continue increasing
through the early 1980’s, a factor
which is likely to contribute to a
moderate growth of employment in

552

this field. Demand will be greatest in
junior and community colleges,
where enrollment increases are pro­
jected to be very rapid and where, in
many cases, there are no career
counseling and placement programs
at present. Also contributing to the
demand will be expected continued
expansion in services to students
from minority and low-income
groups, who require special counsel­
ing in choosing careers, and assist­
ance in finding part-time jobs to help
pay for their education.
However, many institutions of
higher education faced financial
problems in 1972. If this situation
persists into the mid-1970’s, colleges
and universities may be forced to
limit expansion of counseling and
placement services, resulting in com­
petition for available positions in this
field during this period.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Earnings and Working
Conditions

The median salary of college
career planning and placement coun­
selors was more than $13,000 a year
in 1972, according to a National
Education Association survey of
public and private colleges and uni­
versities. Median salaries in large
public universities ranged from
about $15,000 to $19,000; in small
private colleges, from $7,000 to $10,000. In general, salaries of college
career planning and placement coun­
selors are about twice as high as
average earnings for non-supervisory workers in private industry ex­
cept farming.
Career planning and placement
counselors frequently work more
than a 40-hour week; irregular hours
and overtime often are necessary,

particularly during the “recruiting
season.” Most counselors are em­
ployed on a 12-month basis. They
are paid for holidays and vacations
and usually receive the same benefits
as other professional personnel em­
ployed by colleges and universities.
Sources of Additional
Information

A list of schools that offer courses
in career counseling and placement
and a booklet on the college student
personnel professions, as well as
other information on career coun­
seling and placement, are available
from:
The College Placement Council, Inc.,
P.O. Box 2263, Bethlehem, Pa.
18001.

CLERGYMEN
Deciding to become a clergyman
involves considerations different
from those involved in another
career choice. When young persons
choose to enter the ministry, priest­
hood, or rabbinate, they do so pri­
marily because they posses a strong
religious faith and a desire to help
others.
Nevertheless, it is important for
the young to know as much as pos­
sible about the profession and how to
prepare for it, the kind of life it
offers, and its needs for personnel.
The number of clergymen needed
is related to the size and the geo­
graphic distribution of the Nation’s
population and its participation in
organized religious groups. These
factors affect the numbers of
churches and synagogues estab­
lished and of pulpits to be filled. In
addition to the clergy who serve con­
gregations, many others teach or act
as administrators in seminaries and
in other educational institutions; still
others serve as chaplains in the Arm­
ed Forces, industry, correctional in­
stitutions, hospitals or on college
campuses; or render service as mis­
sionaries, or in social welfare agen­
cies.
A young person considering a
career as a clergyman should seek
the counsel of a religious leader of
his faith to aid in evaluating his
qualifications. The desire to serve the
spiritual needs of others and a deep
religious belief are the most impor­
tant qualifications. To deal effec­
tively with all types of people, clergy­
men need to be well-rounded both
educationally and socially, and able
to speak and write effectively. They
should have emotional stability, as



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 lead­
ers of these faiths. Information on
the clergy in other faiths may be ob­
tained directly from leaders of the
respective groups.

well as a sensitivity to other people’s
problems, and should also be able to
motivate people. Some supervisory
ability is important since they must
direct the activities and business of
church or synagogue. Clergymen
should have initiative, self-disci­
pline, and the ability to organize. PROTESTANT M INISTERS
They also should enjoy studying, be­
(D.O.T. 120.108)
cause the ministry is an occupation
that requires continuous learning.
Clergymen are expected to be models
Protestant ministers lead their
of high moral and ethical standards congregations in worship services
for the whole community. Also, and administer the rites of baptism,
young persons considering this field confirm ation, and Holy Com­
should realize that the civic, social, munion. They prepare and deliver
and recreational activities of clergy­ sermons, and give religious instruc­
men often are influenced and re­ tions to persons who are to become
stricted by the customs and attitudes new members of the church. They
of the community.
also perform marriages; conduct
To a large extent, the size and funerals; counsel individuals who
financial status of the congregation seek guidance; visit the sick, aged,
determines income. Usually, pay is and handicapped at home and in the
highest in large cities or in pros­ hospital; comfort the bereaved; and
perous suburban areas. Earnings serve church members in other help­
usually rise with increased experi­ ful ways. Many Protestant ministers
ence and responsibility.
write articles for publication, give
Various additions to income have speeches, and engage in interfaith,
been traditional, as well. Most community, civic, educational, and
Protestant churches and a number of recreational activities sponsored by
Jewish congregations provide hous­ or related to the interests of the
ing. Roman Catholic priests ordi­ church. Some ministers teach in
narily live in the parish rectory or in seminaries, colleges, and universities.
housing their religious order pro­
The services that ministers con­
vides. Many clergymen receive duct differ among Protestant de­
transportation allowances or pay­ nominations and also among con­
ment of other expenses. Gifts or fees gregations within a denomination. In
for officiating at special ceremonies, many denominations, ministers fol­
such as weddings, may be an impor­ low a traditional order of worship; in
tant source of additional income; others they adapt the services to the
however, clergymen frequently needs of youth and other groups
donate such earnings to charity. within the congregation. Most serv­
Some churches establish a uniform ices include Bible reading, hymn
fee for special services which goes singing, prayers, and a sermon. In
directly into the church treasury.
some demoninations, Bible reading
553

554

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

All cities and most towns in the
United States have at least one
Protestant church with a full-time
minister. Although the majority of
ministers are located in urban areas,
many live in less densely populated
areas where they may serve two or
more congregations.
Training and Qualifications

by a member of the congregation and
individual testimonials may con­
stitute a large part of the service.
Ministers serving small congre­
gations generally work on a per­
sonal basis with their parishioners.
Those serving large congregations
have greater administrative respon­
sibilities, and spend considerable
time working 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 educa­
tional programs for different age
groups, or a Minister of Music.
Places of Employment

In 1972, about 325,000 minis­
ters—about 5 percent of them
women—served 72 million Protes­
tants. In addition, thousands of
ministers were in closely related oc­
cupations. Most ministers, however,
serve individual congregations. The
greatest number of clergymen are af­
filiated with the five largest groups of
churches—Baptist, United Meth­
odist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and
Episcopal.



Educational requirements for en­
try into the Protestant ministry vary
greatly. Some denominations have
no formal educational require­
ments, and others ordain persons
having varying amounts and types of
training in Bible colleges, Bible insti­
tutes, or liberal arts colleges. A large
number of denominations require a
3-year course of professional study in
a theological school or seminary
following college graduation. A de­
gree of bachelor or master of divin­
ity is awarded upon completion.
In 1972, there were 128 theo­
logical institutes accredited by the
American Association of Theo­
logical schools. These institutions
admit only students who have re­
ceived a bachelor’s degree or its
equivalent from an accredited
college.
Recom mended pre-sem inary
courses include English, history,
philosophy, the natural sciences,
social sciences, the fine arts, music,
religion, and foreign languages.
However, the student considering
theological study should contact, at
the earliest possible date, the school
or schools to which he intends to
apply, in order to learn what will best
prepare him for the program he ex­
pects to enter.
The standard curriculum recom­
mended for accredited theological
schools consists of courses in four
major fields: Biblical, historical,
theological, and practical. In recent
years, greater emphasis has been
placed on courses of a practical

nature such as psychology, religious
education, and adm inistration.
Many accredited schools require that
students gain experience in church
work under the supervision of a fac­
ulty member or experienced minis­
ter. Some institutions offer master of
theology and doctor of theology de­
grees to students completing one
year or more of additional study.
Scholarships and loans are available
for students of theological institutes.
In general, each large denomina­
tion has its own school or schools of
theology that reflect its particular
doctrine, interests, and needs; how­
ever, many of these schools are open
to students from other denomina­
tions. Several interdenominational
schools associated with universities
give both undergraduate and gradu­
ate training covering a wide range of
theological points of view.
Persons who have denomina­
tional qualifications for the ministry
usually are ordained following
graduation from a seminary. In
denominations that do not require
seminary training, clergymen are or­
dained at various appointed times.
Clergymen often begin their careers
as pastors of small congregations or
as assistant pastors in large churches.
Outlook

The shortage of Protestant minis­
ters has abated significantly in recent
years, with a marked reduction in de­
mand for Protestant ministers who
serve individual congregations.
Causes have been the trend toward
merger and unity among denomina­
tions, combined with the closing of
smaller parishes, and the downturn
in financial support. If this trend
continues, new graduates of theo­
logical schools may face increasing
competition in finding positions. The
supply-demand situation will vary
among denominations and depend,
in part, on the length of the candi-

555

CLERGYMEN

date’s formal preparation. Most of
the openings for clergymen that are
expected through the mid-1980’s will
therefore result from the need to re­
place those in existing positions who
retire, die, or leave the ministry.
Although fewer opportunities may
arise for Protestant ministers to
serve individual congregations, new­
ly ordained ministers may find work
in youth, family relations, and wel­
fare organizations; religious educa­
tion; on the campus; and as chap­
lains in the Armed Forces, hospi­
tals, universities, and correctional in­
stitutions.
Sources of Additional
I