View PDF

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.


3 J < + '.


U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
April 1986


Bulletin 2250


Things Worth
Pointers on interpreting the
information presented in the
Handbook are found in the section
How To Get the Most From the
Handbook, page 1.

• Additional career-oriented materials,
available from private and public
organizations, are described in the
section Where To Go for More
Information, page 7.
• An overview of job growth through
the mid-1990’s is given in
Tomorrow’s Jobs, page 13.
For some 200 occupations not
covered in detail in the Handbook,
appendix A, page 469, provides5 a
brief description of the nature of the
work, number of jobs in 1984, and
the projected 1984-95 change in
• The assumptions and methods used
in preparing BLS employment
projections are described briefly in
appendix B, page 489.
• Sources of State and local job
outlook information can be found in
appendix C, page 492.

Occupational Projections and
Training Data and the
Occupational Outlook Quarterly

are publications that complement or
supplement material presented in the
Handbook. See page 523 and the
inside back cover for information
about these publications.

• The index beginning on page 513
lists the occupations described in the
Handbook in alphabetical order

U.S. Department of Labor
William E. Brock, Secretary
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Janet L. Norwood, Commissioner
April 1986
Bulletin 2250




he selection of an occupation is one of the most important
decisions in a person’s life. For the young jobseeker, ques­
tions abound as to what skills are required in each field and
how those skills may be attained or refined. Furthermore,
while jobseekers may be aware of their own interests and abilities, they
face the perplexing choice of selecting a field which promises the
greatest economic and personal satisfaction.
As technological advances rapidly alter the job market, it is not only
the young who need current, accurate, and comprehensive career
information. The choices are no easier for persons seeking a career
change or for those entering the labor force at later stages in their lives.
The availability of career information is vital to all jobseekers and to
our Nation as a whole.
Since the late 1940’s, the Occupational Outlook Handbook has been
an invaluable primary source of vocational guidance information. In
clear language, it describes what workers do in each job, the training
and education they need, earnings, working conditions, and expected
job prospects for selected occupations covering a wide spectrum of the
economy. I am certain that the updated 1986-87 edition of the
Occupational Outlook Handbook will provide valuable assistance to
everyone seeking satisfying and productive employment.

Bureau o f Labor Statistics



The Handbook was produced in the Bureau of Labor Statistics under
the general guidance and direction of Neal H. Rosenthal, Chief,
Division of Occupational Outlook, and Ronald E. Kutscher, Associate
Commissioner for Economic Growth and Employment Projections.
Michael Pilot, Manager, Occupational Outlook Program, was respon­
sible for planning and day-to-day direction.
Project leaders supervising the research and preparation of material
were Daniel E. Hecker, Anne Kahl, Chester C. Levine, and Patrick
Wash. Occupational analysts who contributed material were William
M. Austin, Verada P. Bluford, Douglas J. Braddock, Donald E. Clark,
Conley Hall Dillon, Jr., Lawrence C. Drake, Jr., Sandy Gamliel,
Arthur J. Gartaganis, Ludmilla K. Murphy, Thomas Nardone, H.
James Neary, Jon Q. Sargent, Stephen G. Tise, and Martha C. White.
The occupational data in appendix A were compiled by Joel P. Segaloff
and Audrey J. Watson. Rosalind Springsteen and Mary Ellen Ayres of
the Office of Publications coordinated the gathering and editing of
Under the direction of Beverly A. Williams, word processing was
handled by Brenda A. Marshall, Marilyn W. Queen, and Idena B.

N o te

A great many trade associations, professional societies, unions, indus­
trial organizations, and government agencies provide career information
that is valuable to counselors and jobseekers. For the convenience of
Handbook users, some of these organizations are listed at the end of
each occupational statement. Although these references were carefully
compiled, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has neither authority nor
facilities for investigating the organizations or the information or publi­
cations that may be sent in response to a request and cannot guarantee
the accuracy of such information. The listing of an organization, there­
fore, does not constitute in any way an endorsement or recommendation
by the Bureau either of the organization and its activities or of the
information it may supply. Each organization has sole responsibility for
whatever information it may issue.
The occupational information contained in the Handbook presents a
general, composite description of jobs and cannot be expected to reflect
work situations in specific establishments or localities. The Handbook,
therefore, is not intended and should not be used as a guide for
determining wages, hours, the right of a particular union to represent
workers, appropriate bargaining units, or formal job evaluation systems.
Nor should earnings data in the Handbook be used to compute future
loss of earnings in adjudication proceedings involving work injuries or
accidental deaths.
Material in this publication is in the public domain and, with appro­
priate credit, may be reproduced without permission. Comments about
the contents and suggestions for improvement are welcome. Please
address them to Chief, Division of Occupational Outlook, Bureau of
Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 20212.


Photograph Credits
The Bureau of Labor statistics wishes to ex­
press its appreciation for the cooperation and
assistance of the many government and pri­
vate sources—listed below—that either con­
tributed photographs or made their facilities
available to photographers working under
contract to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Photographs may not be free of every possible
safety or health hazard. Depiction of company
or trade name in no way constitutes endorse­
ment by the Department of Labor.

Adder and Typewriter
Exchange, Inc.
Alexandria Hospital
Almi, Inc.
American Association of
American Petroleum
AMS, Inc.
Marie Carmine Aponte
The Appalachian
Bluegrass Shoppe
Artech Corp.
Ashland Nursery, Inc.
Autographix, Inc.
Baltimore City Parks
Baltimore City Police
Baltimore City Solicitors
Baltimore City
Baltimore County,
Maryland, Government
Baltimore Hydraulics,
The Baltimore Sun
International Airport
Fred C. Bauer Florists
Bethesda Iron Works
Blakeslee-Lane, Inc.—
Bob O ’Boyle
C & P Telephone
Caplan Bros., Inc.
Oscar Caplan and Sons,
Chateau Builders
Cochran, Stephenson &
Connor Electronics
Connor Travel Agency

Daniel Construction &
Development Co.
The Electric Motor Repair
The Fick Bros. Roofing
Fine Foods Meat Market,
Howard P. Foley Co.
FoodTown, Inc.
Geico Insurance
Georgetown Medical
Georgetown University
Harper Insurance Co.
Holiday Inn,
International Airport
J. E. Hurley Machine and
Boilerworks, Inc.
Hyatt Hotels
George Hyman
Construction Company
Jimmy’s Shoe Repair
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson Appliance, Inc.
Johnson and Towers
Kelly Machine Repair,
J. S. Lee Body Shop
Loyola College
Martin Marietta
Maryland General
Medical Arts Opticians
Merrill Lynch Pierce
Fenner & Smith, Inc.
Middlestadt Machine Co.,
Montgomery County,
Maryland, Public


North Carolina School of
the Arts
Olympic Upholstery Co.
Precision Tune
Pride Auto Paint & Body
State o f Maryland,
Department o f Natural
Resources, Forestry
and Parks
Struever Brothers &
Towson State University
(State o f Maryland)
Union Carpet Services,
U .S. Department of
Agriculture, Agricultural
Research Service
U .S. Department of
Commerce, Weather
U .S. Department of
Housing and Urban
U .S. Department of the
Interior, Bureau of
U .S. Department of Labor
U .S. General Accounting
U .S. Government Printing
U .S. National Aeronautics
and Space
Goddard Space Flight
U .S. Treasury
Department, Customs
U.S. Veterans
Administration Hospital
Universal Communication
System , Inc.
White & Herman
Distributors, Inc.

Special Features


How To Get the Most From the


Where To Go for More


Summary Data for Occupations
Not Covered in the Handbook


Assumptions and Methods Used
in Preparing Employment

Dictionary of Occupational Titles
Index to Occupations


Reprints From the Occupational
Outlook Handbook
Information About Companion
and inside back cover


Executive, Administrative, and
Managerial Occupations
Managers and administrators

Tomorrow’s Jobs: An Overview

Sources of State and Local Job
Outlook Information


Bank officers and managers
Health services managers
Hotel managers and
School principals and
assistant principals
Management support
Accountants and auditors





Computer systems analysts








Physical scientists




Geologists and geophysicists






Physicists and astronomers



Life scientists

Inspectors and compliance
officers, except construction


Personnel, training, and
labor relations specialists


Purchasing agents




Wholesale and retail buyers



55 ,

Agricultural scientists


Biological scientists



Computer and mathematical






Construction and building

Engineers, Surveyors, and



Foresters and conservation


Social Scientists, Social
W orkers, Religious Workers,
and Lawyers
Social scientists and urban







Urban and regional planners 109

Aerospace engineers


Chemical engineers


Civil engineers


Electrical and electronics


Industrial engineers


Protestant ministers


Mechanical engineers




Metallurgical, ceramic, and
materials engineers


Roman Catholic priests


Mining engineers


Nuclear engineers


Petroleum engineers


Natural Scientists and

Social and recreation workers


Recreation workers


Social workers


Religious workers

Teachers, Counselors,
Librarians, Archivists and



Kindergarten and
elementary school teachers


Secondary school teachers




Adult and vocational
education teachers


College and university






Archivists and curators


Health Diagnosing and Treating



Writers, Artists, and
Communications occupations
Public relations specialists

Securities and financial
services sales workers



Travel agents



Wholesale trade sales


Administrative Support
Occupations, Including Clerical



Bank tellers

Bookkeepers and accounting


Writers and editors




Visual arts occupations








Graphic and fine artists






Photographers and camera




Registered Nurses, Pharmacists,
Dietitians, Therapists, and
Physician Assistants



Radio and television
announcers and newscasters 210
Reporters and


Computer and peripheral
equipment operators


Data entry keyers


Mail carriers and postal


Receptionists and
information clerks


Reservation and
transportation ticket agents
and travel clerks




Statistical clerks





Teacher aides




Telephone operators


Performing arts occupations
Actors, directors, and


Dancers and choreographers 228


Dietitians and nutritionists


Occupational therapists




Physical therapists


Physician assistants


Recreational therapists


Registered nurses ,


Electrical and electronics


Traffic, shipping, and
receiving clerks


Respiratory therapists


Engineering technicians




Speech pathologists and

Science technicians


Health Technologists and
Clinical laboratory
technologists and

Engineering and science


Other technicians


Dispensing opticians





Broadcast technicians


Legal assistants


Library technicians


Tool programmers,
numerical control


Marketing and Sales

technologists and


Emergency medical


Licensed practical nurses


Medical record technicians


Radiologic technologists
Surgical technicians


Correction officers


Firefighting occupations




Police and detectives


Food and beverage
preparation and service




Insurance sales workers


M anufacturers’ sales



Real estate agents and



Retail sales workers



Chefs and cooks, except
short order


Waiters and waitresses


Health service occupations




Service Occupations

Protective service occupations 297

Air traffic controllers
Computer programmers


Dental hygienists

Technologists and Technicians,
Except Health


Dental assistants


Medical assistants


Nursing aides and
psychiatric aides


Cleaning service occupations
Janitors and cleaners
Personal service occupations




Childcare workers


Cosmetologists and related


Flight attendants
Agricultural, Forestry, and
Fishing Occupations
Farm operators and
Mechanics and Repairers


Heating, air-conditioning,
and refrigeration mechanics 364


Compositors and typesetters 415


Dental laboratory






Industrial machinery

Lithographic and
photoengraving workers




Musical instrument repairers
and tuners


Office machine and cash
register servicers


Photographic process



Vending machine servicers
and repairers


Shoe and leather workers
and repairers


Tool-and-die makers





Construction and Extractive



Construction occupations


Plant and system operators


Bricklayers and


Stationary engineers



Carpet installers


W ater and sewage treatment
plant operators

Automotive and motorcycle

Concrete masons and
terrazzo workers


Automotive body repairers


Drywall workers and lathers 385

Diesel mechanics




Farm equipment mechanics




Insulation workers


Painters and paperhangers




Plumbers and pipefitters




Sheet-metal workers
Structural and reinforcing
metal workers




Vehicle and mobile equipment
mechanics and repairers
Aircraft mechanics and
engine specialists

Mobile heavy equipment
Electrical and electronic
equipment repairers



Commercial and industrial
electronic equipment
Communications equipment
Computer service
Electronic home
entertainment equipment


Production Occupations

Line installers and cable


Telephone installers and


Other mechanics and repairers 363
General maintenance



Metalworking and
plastic-working machine


N umerical-control
machine-tool operators


Printing press operators


Fabricators, assemblers, and
handworking occupations


Precision assemblers


Transportation equipment


Welders and cutters


Transportation and Material
Moving Occupations



Aircraft pilots





Construction machinery



Industrial truck and tractor





Machine operators, tenders,
and setup workers


Extractive occupations

Home appliance and power
tool repairers


Blue-collar worker
Precision production




Handlers, Equipment Cleaners,
Helpers, and Laborers


Bookbinding workers


Construction trades helpers


Butchers and meatcutters



Military Occupations


How To Get the Most From the
W hether you are preparing to enter
the world of work for the first time,
pursuing postsecondary education,
planning to reenter the labor force
after an absence, or considering
changing occupations, you probably
have many questions about the job
market. Among the many resources
available to help you make an in­
formed career choice is the Occupa­
tional Outlook Handbook.
The Handbook describes in detail
about 200 occupations—comprising
about 3 of every 5 jobs in the econo­
my. Although occupations covering
the full spectrum of work are includ­
ed, generally those th at require
lengthy education or training or which
are projected to grow rapidly are giv­
en the most attention. Thus, as the
following tabulation shows, more than
90 percent of all technicians and relat­
ed occupations, as well as of profes­
sional specialties, are covered, but
only 10 percent of the handler, equip­
ment cleaner, helper, and laborer oc­
P ercen t o f
O c c u p a tio n a l g r o u p

group covered

Technicians and related occupations . 98
Professional specialty occupations. . . 92
Construction o ccu p atio n s.......................90
Mechanics and repairers..........................87
Transportation and material moving
occu p atio n s........................................... 83
Management support occupations . . . 72
Marketing and sales occupations. . . . 66
Service o c c u p a tio n s ............................... 63
Administrative support occupations,
including clerical.................................. 53
Extractive occupations.............................46
Agricultural, forestry, and fishing
occu p atio n s........................................... 41
Production o c c u p a tio n s..........................40
Managers and adm inistrators................. 13
Handlers, equipment cleaners,
helpers, and la b o r e r s .......................... 10

Besides these 200 detailed analyses,
information about 200 occupations—
comprising 20 percent of all jobs in the

economy—is presented in an appen­
dix beginning on page 469. Included is
a brief occupational description along
with the number of jobs in 1984 and a
phrase describing projected employ­
ment change from 1984 to 1995. This
information is developed as part of the
Bureau’s ongoing industry and occu­
pational employment projections pro­
The Handbook is not meant to be
read from beginning to end. Start by
browsing through the table of con­
tents or the alphabetical index. Look
for occupations that interest you, or
for those that sound familiar. Occupa­
tions are grouped in clusters of related
occupations that adhere in principle to
the system outlined in the 1980 Stan­
dard O ccupational C lassification
For an overview, read the introduc­
tory chapter, Tomorrow’s Jobs. It dis­
cusses some of the broad trends that
are likely to shape the economy and
the world of work through the mid1990’s.

security you will enjoy, and the level
of earnings you are likely to have.
These decisions depend on values you
already hold.
Publications on career decisionmak­
ing abound, and these generally ex­
plain how you can assess your values
and skills on your own. Counselors
and other professionals trained in hu­
man behavior also can help you gain
insight into yourself by administering
diagnostic tests, for example, and
then interpreting and discussing the
results with you.
Woven throughout every statement
in the Handbook is information that
can help you match yourself to the
world of work. The following list of
job characteristics should be kept in
mind, since you will find them men­
tioned in several different sections of
a typical Handbook statement. Re­
member that the importance of at­
tributes such as those listed below
varies from job to job, as well as from
person to person.

Matching Yourself With the
World of Work

—Able to see results—refers to jobs that
produce an actual product or accom­

Important as it is to learn about the
world of work, the first step in making
a sound career choice is finding out
about yourself. Identifying your inter­
ests and abilities can help you match
yourself to the world of work. Does
science or math interest you? Do you
like to write? Do you enjoy working
with your hands and building things?
The answers to such questions can
help you discover your strengths, and
may suggest careers that would be
worthwhile to explore.
An understanding of your values
and goals also will help you determine
what you’re looking for in a career.
For when you make a career choice,
you’re directly or indirectly making
decisions about the types of people
you will associate with, the amount of
leisure time you will have, where you
will live and work, the amount of job

—Competition on the job—competition
with coworkers for projects, recogni­
tion, or advancement is an integral part
of the job.
—Creativity—involves devising new ideas,
programs, designs, or products.
—Frequent public contact—involves dayto-day contact with people who need
information or service.
—Generally confined—involves staying in
one place most of the time.
—Hazardous—involves the use of poten­
tially dangerous equipment or materials
or work in dangerous surroundings.
—Influences others—requires the ability
to stimulate others to think or act in a
certain way.

—Initiative—demands the ability to deter­
mine on one’s own what should be
done, as well as the motivation to do it
without close supervision.
—Instructs others—needs the ability to
help others learn how to do or under­
stand something.
—Outdoors—requires a major portion of
time to be spent outdoors, frequently
without regard to weather conditions.
—Part time—refers to work of less than 35
hours a week.
—Physical stamina—involves the ability
to lift heavy objects, walk long dis­
tances, stand for long periods, or stoop
—Precision—involves high standards of
—Problem-solving ability—requires the
ability to identify a problem and then
decide what should be done to correct it.
—Repetitious—involves work in which
the same thing is done over and over
— Uses tools, machinery—takes a talent
for working with your hands and ma­
chines to produce, maintain, or repair
— Works as part o f a team—cooperation
with coworkers is an integral part of the
— W o r k s with detail—involves technical
data, numbers, or written materials.
Suppose you have a flair for writing
and want to put your talent to work in
the field o f com m unications or pub­
lishing. Y ou might look for a job as a:
—Public relations specialist
—Technical writer
Writing and publishing jo b s aren’t
the only on es that require an excellent
command o f language, how ever. C om ­
m unications skills are vital to many
occupations, and the more skills p eo­
ple have in English and language arts,
the more valuable they will be in the
working world.
To locate Handbook statem ents on
occupations that require writing skills,
start with the section on com m unica­
tions occupations, but remember that

that is only the beginning! Skim the
table of contents, or read the intro­
ductory material at the beginning of
each occupational cluster, to deter­
mine which other occupations are
worth investigating.
Don’t limit yourself by examining
only a few occupations. You’ll want
to begin with those that interest you
most, of course, but don’t rule out
others too soon. Some jobs may not
appeal to you simply because you’re
not familiar with them. They might be
worth looking into. Remember, also,
that you haven’t wasted your time if
you investigate a career only to decide
that it’s not right for you.

What’s In the Handbook
Once you have chosen an occupation
you’d like to learn more about, you
can use the Handbook to find out
what the job is like, what education
and training are needed, what the ad­
vancement possibilities, earnings, and
job outlook are likely to be, and what
related occupations you might want to
explore. Each statement in the Hand­
book follows a standard format, mak­
ing it easier to compare different jobs.
What follows is a description of the
major sections of a Handbook state­
ment, plus some hints on how to use
the information.

A b o u t T h o s e N u m b e r s a t th e B e g in n in g
o f E a c h S ta te m e n t

The numbers in parentheses that ap­
pear just below the title of most occu­
pational statements are D.O.T. codes.
D.O.T. stands for the Dictionary o f
Occupational Titles, a U.S. Depart­
ment of Labor publication. Each num­
ber helps classify jobs by the type of
work done, required training, physical
dem ands, and working conditions.
D.O.T. numbers are used primarily by
State public employment service of­
fices to classify applicants and job
openings. They are included in the
Handbook because some career infor­
mation centers and libraries use them
for filing occupational information. An
index in the back of this book cross-ref­
erences the D.O.T. numbers to occu­
pations covered in the Handbook.

Nature of the Work
This section tells what workers typi­
cally do on the job, what tools or
equipment they use, how closely they

are supervised, and how their respon­
sibilities fit in with those of others in
the same workplace. In practice, job
duties vary a good deal, depending on
the size or type of employer. In gen­
eral, people in small organizations
handle a wider variety of tasks than
those in large offices or firms, where
workers are likely to specialize in one
or more aspects of the job.

Working Conditions
When considering an occupation, you
may want to find out whether the
working conditions suit you. Some
aspects of the work may strike you as
difficult, dirty, or otherwise undesir­
able. Other aspects may appeal to
you. Most jobs offer a little of both.
For example, when overtime is re­
quired, employees must give up some
of their free time and be flexible in
their personal lives. This is offset,
however, by the opportunity to earn
extra income or time off. This section
presents information about work set­
tings and environment, physical and
psychological demands, as well as po­
tential hazards.

This section tells how many jobs there
were in the occupation in 1984. The
size of an occupation has a lot to do
with job prospects because the larger
the occupation, the greater the num­
ber of openings when workers trans­
fer to other occupations or leave the
labor force. In exceptionally large oc­
cupations, employment size is the sin­
gle most important determinant of the
number of jobs anticipated through
the mid-1990’s.
Because of economic necessity or
personal desire, some people hold
more than one job. About 5 percent of
all workers are dual jobholders. Work­
ers in some occupations, such as den­
tal hygienists, may work for more
than one employer because jobs are
available only on a part-time basis.
This section also tells whether an
occupation is concentrated in certain
industries or geographic areas. Some
jobs are found throughout the country
and in almost every industry. Others
are concentrated in certain parts of
the country. This type of information
helps you know where to go to look
for the kind of job you want. It also is

useful to those who have strong pref­
erences about where they live.
Many people prefer working for
themselves rather than being a wage
and salary employee. Self-employed
workers have greater control over
their working conditions, the type of
work they do, and their earnings. If
this type of employment interests
you, you should examine this section
carefully because it will tell you what
proportion of jobs in the occupation
are held by people who are selfemployed.
In addition, information on parttime employment may be included.
For students, homemakers, retired
persons, and others who may want to
work part time, knowing which occu­
pations offer good opportunities for
part-time work can be a valuable lead
in finding a job.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
This section should be read carefully
because preparing for an occupation
can mean a considerable investment
of time and money. If you currently
are in school, it’s a good idea to look
closely at the high school and college
courses considered useful preparation
for the career you have in mind.
Workers can prepare for jobs in a
variety of ways, including college pro­
grams leading to a degree, certificate,
or diploma; postsecondary vocational
school programs, both public and pri­
vate; home study courses; govern­
ment training programs; Armed
Forces training, apprenticeships, and
other formal training offered by em­
ployers; and high school courses. For
each o c c u p a tio n , the H an d b o o k
identifies the type of training generally
preferred by employers. In many cas­
es, alternative ways of obtaining train­
ing are listed as well. Remember, the
amount of training you have often
determines the level at which you
enter an occupation and the speed
with which you advance.
Skills and work habits gained at
entry level positions can lead to more
responsible, higher paying jobs. This
is especially important if you consider
that today few people spend their en­
tire adult lives in a single occupation.
Roughly 1 worker in 10 changes his or
her occupation each year. And most
people enter, leave, and reenter the

labor force several times over a life­
If a pattern of movement exists
from one occupation to another, it
usually is discussed in this part of a
Handbook statement. It is helpful to
know that certain jobs are steppingstones to others.
For some occupations, a certificate
or license is required for entry. Fur­
thermore, an additional set of creden­
tials is needed to advance within some
fields, particularly the health field.
For example, despite what might be
years of experience in a dentist’s
office, a dental assistant cannot ad­
vance to a job as a dental hygienist
without completing a formal program
in dental hygiene. This section identi­
fies occupations that require licensure
and indicates what the general re­
quirements are. However, States vary
in their licensing requirements. If you
are considering an occupation that
requires a license, be sure to check
with the appropriate State agency
about specific requirements. Common
requirements include completion of a
State-approved training or education­
al program and passing a written ex­
In most occupations, there are no
such barriers. People with related ed­
ucation or experience enter and ad­
vance without obtaining a license or
additional formal education. This is
the case in engineering, for example,
where some graduates in physics,
chemistry, computer science, mathe­
matics, and other fields are hired as
engineers directly from college. Oth­
ers without engineering degrees trans­
fer into engineering from related sci­
entific fields and technician occupa­

Job Outlook
W hat’s the job market like? This is the
question uppermost in many people’s
minds as they try to determine wheth­
er a particular career is worth pursu­
ing. What constitutes a “ good” or
“ attractive” job varies with the indi­
vidual and depends on personal val­
ues. But because of the cost—and
often the sacrifice—involved in pre­
paring for a career, the likelihood of
finding a suitable job is something
virtually everyone is interested in.
This, in turn depends on the rela­
tionship between the number of open­
ings and the number of people seeking

to fill those openings. Getting a job
may be difficult if the field is so small
that openings are few (actuaries, for
example) or so popular that there are
many more jobseekers than there are
jobs (radio and television announcers
and newscasters).
Bear in mind that in any particular
occupation, different types of employ­
ers are likely to have different hiring
preferences. The demand for workers
varies according to skill level, special­
ty, educational background and pro­
fessional credentials, previous experi­
ence, and so forth. Moreover, the
supply of qualified jobseekers varies
as well. That is why there can be
shortages in some communities or in
some specialties while qualified appli­
cants are in oversupply in others.
Workers who transfer into one oc­
cupation from another sometimes are
a significant part of the supply of
workers; similarly, those who transfer
out may have a substantial effect on
demand because their leaving usually
creates job openings. When informa­
tion is available, the job outlook sec­
tion describes transfer patterns and
their effect on the demand for and
supply of workers in certain occupa­
tions. For example, the employment
outlook for engineers recognizes that
transfers into the field are likely to
constitute a substantial portion of sup­
ply, if past trends continue.
Most job outlook sections begin
with a statement about the expected
change in employment through the
mid-1990’s. For example, little or no
growth is expected in the number of
jobs for typists, while the number of
jobs for com puter and peripheral
equipment operators is expected to
grow much faster than the average for
all occupations. The accompanying
figure explains what is meant by these
and other key phrases.
If an occupation grows rapidly, it
obviously will provide more openings
than if it grows slowly. Moreover, the
demand for talent in a rapidly growing
occupation improves chances for ad­
vancement and mobility. Depending
on how long it takes for training pro­
grams to respond to the heightened
demand, jobseekers’ prospects may
be enhanced by a shortage of qualified
Slower than average growth may
mean relatively unfavorable pros­
pects. For one thing, company per­
sonnel policies or collective bargain3

Key Words in the

H andbook

Changing employment between 1984 and
If the statement
reads . . .

Employment is
projected to . . .

Grow much faster
than the aver­
Grow faster than
the average
Grow about as
fast as the aver­
Grow more slowly
than the average
Show little change

Increase 31 per­
cent or more

Opportunities and

Increase 20 to 30
Increase 11 to 19
Increase 4 to 10
Increase or de­
crease 3 per­
cent or less
Decrease 4 per­
cent or more
ipetition for jobs

If the statement
reads . . .

The demand for
workers may
be . . .

Excellent opportu­
Very good oppor­
Good or favorable
May face competi­
May face keen

Much greater than
the supply
Greater than the
About the same
as the supply
Less than the sup­
'Much less than
the supply

ing agreements designed to provide
job security are likely to reduce
opportunities for persons not al­
ready employed by the firm. Also,
programs to retrain company employ­
ees dislocated by new technologies
have the effect of limiting the number
of openings for people outside the
Keep in mind, however, that slowgrowing occupations, if large—like
typisrt and bookkeeper—provide large
numbers of job openings, which is
another measure of favorable outlook.
In these occupations, the negative ef­
fect of slower than average employ­
ment growth is outweighed by the
sheer size of the occupation and the
consequent number of replacement
The need to replace workers who
leave their jobs creates most of the
openings in virtually every occupa­
tion, regardless of the rate of growth.

Replacement rates vary, but it is gen­ plains what they mean for the job
erally true that the larger the occupa­ outlook.
tion, the more openings there are due
The information in the job outlook
to replacements. Factors that deter­ section should be used carefully. The
mine the number of replacement open­ prospect of relatively few openings,
ings in an occupation include its size, or of keen competition, in a field that
the earnings and status associated interests you should make you take a
with the occupation, the length of second look at your career choice.
training required, the average age of But this information alone should not
workers, and the proportion of part- prevent you from pursuing a particu­
time workers. Occupations with the lar career if you are confident about
most replacement openings generally your ability and determined to reach
are large, with low pay and status, few your goal.
training requirements, and a high pro­
Also keep in mind that no one pos­
portion of young and part-time work­ sesses a “ crystal ball.” Methods used
ers. Occupations with relatively few by economists to develop employ­
replacement openings, on the other ment projections differ, and the as­
hand, are ones that have high pay and sumptions and judgments that go into
status, lengthy training requirements, any assessment of future job outlook
and many prime-working-age full-time also differ. A summary of the assump­
tions and methods used by the Bureau
The job outlook section also identi­ of Labor Statistics in making employ­
fies factors that are expected to affect ment projections is presented in an
the occupation, such as defense appendix beginning on page 489.
spending, new technologies, changing
Finally, it is possible that prospects
business practices, and shifting popu­ in your community or State do not
lation patterns.
correspond to the description of the
Some statements discuss job secur­ job outlook in the Handbook. For the
ity. Recessions make jobseekers pain­ particular job you are interested in,
fully aware of the sensitivity of em­ the outlook in your area may be bet­
ployment to changes in the business ter—or it may be worse.
cycle, and the Handbook provides
Because local conditions vary so
information on the subject wherever much, it is wise to talk with counse­
possible. But there are additional fac­ lors, employers, State public employ­
tors that make some jobs less secure ment service staff, and others about
than others. In the building trades, for the particular area where you want to
example, adverse weather conditions work. .State and local chapters of la­
and the short duration of many build­ bor unions and professional associa­
ing projects make construction work­ tions also may be able to furnish use­
ers more susceptible to reduced work­ ful leads. The appendix beginning on
weeks and higher than average rates page 492 provides a list of State offi­
of unemployment in good times as cials who should be able to direct you
well as bad.
to people familiar with the job market
For the few occupations—mostly in a particular city or State. Addresses
those requiring a high level of educa­ and telephone numbers are given for
tion—for which data are available, the State Occupational Information
information is presented on the pro­ Coordinating Committee directors and
jected supply of workers—in particu­ for the State employment security
lar, the number of new graduates or agency directors of research and anal­
newly qualified workers. New gradu­ ysis.
ates are not the only source of supply,
however. Every year, a large propor­
tion of job openings are filled by reen­
trants or by people transferring from Many people ask questions such as,
other occupations. In predominantly “ How much does the average plumb­
female occupations, reentrants play er earn?” or “ What are the highest
an especially important role in supply. paying jo b s?” or “ Who earns more, a
Similarly, people transferring from secretary or a nurse?”
Unfortunately, no single statistic
other occupations constitute a sub­
stantial portion of the supply of engi­ can adequately portray the tremen­
neers. When information is available, dous differences in earnings of work­
the Handbook describes patterns of ers in a particular occupation, and it is
occupational entry and exit and ex­ very easy to be misled. Users should

look upon the earnings data presented
in this section of a Handbook state­
ment as a clue to an occupation’s
attractiveness and its potential for
long-term reward. But keep in mind
that the Handbook can’t predict what
you might earn, nor does it try to.
Your earnings will depend on many
things, including your experience and
ability, the firm and industry you
work in, and the section of the coun­
try where you live.
It is true that major occupational
groups exhibit significant differences
in pay. Usual weekly earnings of man­
agers and administrators, for exam­
ple, are about double those of service
workers. But there are wide dispari­
ties within most occupations as well.
In fact, earnings within occupations
vary so widely that in many cases it is
impossible to say which of several
jobs would pay best.
Differences in skill are part of the
explanation. Within a particular occu­
pation, average salaries of workers at
the top levels may be several times as
high as those in entry level jobs. The
latter usually require less training,
embody simpler job functions, and
carry little or no supervisory respon­
The accompanying chart shows how
wide the earnings spread within an
occupation can be. Based on 1984
data from the Bureau’s annual survey
of professional, administrative, tech­
nical, and clerical pay, the chart de­
picts the range in monthly earnings for
three occupations: Accountants, at­
torneys, and chemists. Note that the
chart shows six bars each for accoun­
tants and attorneys and seven for
chemists. These reflect different work
levels, starting with entry level jobs
and continuing up the career ladder to
the most complex and responsible po­
sitions within the occupation.
The Current Population Survey is
the source the Handbook uses most
often to show the spread of earnings
within an occupation. Many state­
ments indicate what the median earn­
ings of full-time workers were in 1984,
and describe the earnings of the mid­
dle 50 percent of workers, the lowest
10 percent, and the highest 10 per­
cent. The data relate to earnings from
wages and salaries only; earnings
from self-employment are not included.
The accompanying chart, based on
data from the Current Population Sur­
vey, shows the earnings distribution

Jobs within an occupation differ in complexity,
and pay varies accordingly.

and level

Range of monthly salaries for 80 percent of employees in each level,
March 1984
$1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,00C


Source : Bureau of Labor Statistics
of secretaries who were employed full
time in 1984. Secretaries’ earnings,
like those of clerical workers in gen­
eral, cluster tightly around the median
(the midpoint in a distribution). The
shaded area under the curve indicates
that one-half of all full-time secre­
taries earned between $11,300 and
$17,800 in 1984. Earnings of the low­
est paid secretaries (the lowest 10
percent) were under $9,200, while
those of the highest paid secretaries
(the highest 10 percent) exceeded
$23,000. In other words, only 1 secre­
tary in 10 made as little as $9,200 or as
much as $23,000 in 1984.
Geographic variations account for

some of the differences in occupation­
al pay. While location is an important
factor for nearly all workers, it is
especially im portant for unskilled
workers, whose pay levels are strong­
ly affected by local market conditions.
Earnings generally are higher in the
West than in the Midwest, North, and
South, but there are exceptions. Keep
in mind that the cities that offer the
highest earnings often are those in
which it is most expensive to live.
Differing pay scales among estab­
lishments, unionization, seniority, and
quality of performance are other fac­
tors that help explain why the earn­
ings of individuals in the same occu-

Haif of all secretaries earned between
$11,300 and $17,800 in 1984.

Percent distribution of full-time secretaries by annual earnings, 1984


pation may vary greatly.
But the industry in which a job is
located may be the most important
influence of all. Unskilled jobs invari­
ably are at the bottom of the pay
structure in an industry. Yet unskilled
workers in a high-paying industry like
petroleum refining may earn more
than skilled workers in a low-paying
industry like apparel and accessory
stores. Likewise, earnings for a par­
ticular occupation may vary greatly
by industry. For example, in 1984, the
average annual earnings for a janitor
w orking in m an u fa ctu rin g w ere
$17,400; in retail trade, $11,300.
About 9 out of 10 workers receive a
wage or salary. Often, wage and sala­
ry workers who work overtime, irreg­
ular hours, or the night shift receive
an additional percentage of their reg­
ular wage or salary. In addition, work­
ers in some wage and salary occupa­
tions can supplement earnings by
working additional hours outside of
their regular jobs. For example, typ­
ists, photographers, and graphic art­
ists all have skills that permit them to
earn extra income'on a freelance basis.
About 10 percent of all workers are
in business for themselves and earn
self-employment income instead of,
or in addition to, a wage or salary.
Earnings of self-employed workers

Digitized for 6

tend to vary more than those of sala­
ried workers, and most workers who
are self-employed must pay for bene­
fits which would usually be provided
by an employer.
Most workers receive a variety of
employer-paid benefits in addition to
pay for time worked. Benefits such as
paid vacations and holidays, health
insurance, and pensions are an impor­
tant part of their total compensation.
Some employers offer stock options,
profit-sharing plans, savings plans,
and bonuses. Often, the importance of
employee benefits is not fully appreci­
ated by jobseekers entering the labor
market for the first time; for example,
they may not be aware of the dollar
value of their health insurance—what
it would cost to purchase equivalent
coverage directly from an insurance
Workers in many occupations re­
ceive part of their remuneration in the
form of goods and services, or pay­
ments in kind. Sales workers in de­
partment stores, for example, often
receive discounts on merchandise.
Some private household workers re­
ceive free meals and housing. Flight
attendants and other airline employ­
ees often are entitled to reduced fares
for themselves and their families.
Workers in other jobs may receive

uniforms, business expense accounts,
or use of a company car. Others re­
ceive payment in the form of tips for
the services they provide to custom­
ers, commissions based on a percent­
age of what they sell, or a piece rate
for each item they produce.

Related Occupations
If you find that an occupation appeals
to you, you also may wish to explore
the jobs listed in this section. Usually,
the related occupations are those that
require similar aptitudes, interests,
and education and training.

Sources of Additional Information
The Handbook is only one source of
career information. Many associa­
tions, government agencies, unions,
and other organizations provide use­
ful information on careers. In this
section, names and addresses of vari­
ous organizations are listed to help
you further your research into careers
that interest you. Also, for some oc­
cupations, this section refers you to
free or relatively inexpensive publica­
tions that offer more information.
These publications may be available
in libraries, school career centers, or
guidance offices.

Where To Go For More Information
terial produced by the U.S. Govern­
ment, provides free lists of material
available for rental or purchase. Sub­
ject areas include jobs and careers.
Contact the National Audiovisual
Center, 8700 Edgeworth Dr., Capitol
Heights, Md. 20743. Phone: (301)
Carefully assess all career materials
you obtain. Keep in mind the date and
source, in particular. Material that is
too old may contain obsolete or even
misleading information. Be especially
cautious about accepting information
on employment outlook, earnings,
and training requirements if it is more
than 5 years old. The source is impor­
tant because it affects the content.
Sources of Career Information
Although some occupational materi­
Professional societies, trade associa­ als are produced solely for the pur­
tions, labor unions, business firms, and pose of objective vocational guidance,
educational institutions publish a great others are produced for recruitment
deal of free or inexpensive career ma­ purposes. You should be wary of bi­
terial. Many of these organizations ased information, which may tend to
are identified in the Sources of Addi­ leave out im portant item s, over­
tional Information section of each glamorize the occupation, overstate
the earnings, or exaggerate the de­
Handbook statement.
If you want information for an oc­ mand for workers.
Libraries, career centers, and guid­
cupation not covered in the Hand­
book, check the directories in your ance offices are important sources of
library’s reference section for the career information. Thousands of
names of organizations that may pro­ books, brochures, magazines, and au­
vide career materials. Since there are diovisual materials are available on
thousands of directories covering a such subjects as occupations, careers,
wide variety of fields, you may want self-assessm ent, and job hunting.
to begin by looking in the Guide to Your school library or guidance office
American Directories or The Dictio­ is likely to have some of this material;
nary o f Directories. There are direc­ ask the staff for help. Collections of
tories that list organizations, firms, occupational material also can be
and individuals in fields as diverse as found in public libraries, college li­
publishing, advertising, banking, in­ braries, learning resource centers,
surance, retailing, m anufacturing, and career counseling centers.
health care, energy, the environment,
Begin your library search by look­
performing arts, social welfare, edu­ ing in the card catalog under “ voca­
cation, training and developm ent, tions” or “ careers,” and then look up
management consulting, and many specific fields. The card catalog will
more. Another good starting point is direct you to books on particular ca­
the Encyclopedia o f Associations, a reers. Be sure to check the periodical
multivolume annual publication that section, too. You’ll find trade and
lists thousands of trade associations, professional magazines and journals
professional societies, labor unions, in specific areas such as automotive
and fraternal and patriotic organiza­ mechanics or interior design. Also,
there are publications that specialize
The National Audiovisual Center, a in career guidance, job hunting, and
central source for all audiovisual ma­ employment opportunities.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook
is a good place to begin if you have
questions about a particular job or
want to compare the job prospects in
various fields. It will answer many of
your questions, but it is only one of
many sources of information about
jobs and careers. After reading a few
Handbook statements, you may de­
cide that you want more detailed in­
formation about a particular occupa­
tion. You may want to find out where
you can go for training, or where you
can find this kind of work in your
community. If you are willing to make
an effort, you will discover that a
wealth of information exists.

Many libraries and career centers
have pamphlet files for specific occu­
pations. Also ask if your library has a
collection of corporate annual re­
ports. These will give you some idea
of the business activities of a firm.
Collections of occupational informa­
tion may also include nonprint mate­
rials such as films, filmstrips, cas­
settes, tapes, and kits. Computerized
occupational information systems en­
able users to obtain career informa­
tion instantly. In addition to print and
nonprint materials, most career cen­
ters and guidance offices offer individ­
ual counseling, group discussions,
guest speakers, field trips, and career
Counselors play an important role in
providing career information. Voca­
tional testing and counseling are avail­
able in a number of places, including:
—guidance offices in high schools.
—career planning and placement offices in
—placement offices in vocational schools.
—vocational rehabilitation agencies.
—counseling services offered by commu­
nity organizations.
—private counseling agencies, commer­
cial firms, and professional consultants.
—State public employment service offices
affiliated with the U.S. Employment
The reputation of a particular coun­
seling agency should be checked with
professionals in the field. As a rule,
counselors will not tell you what to
do. Instead, they are likely to admin­
ister interest inventories and aptitude
tests, interpret the results, talk over
various possibilities, and help you ex­
plore your options. Counselors should
be familiar with the local job market
and be able to discuss entry require­
ments and costs of the schools, col­
leges, or training programs that offer
preparation for the kind of work in
which you are interested. Most impor­
tant of all, a counselor can help you
interpret occupational information in
relation to your own abilities, aspira­
tions, and goals.
One way to learn more about an

occupation is through an internship
with a government agency or corpora­
tion. An internship allows you to find
out about the nature of the work, the
working conditions, and whether you
want to pursue a career in this field.
Some internships offer academic cred­
it or pay a stipend in addition to
providing valuable job experience.
More important, you will have the
opportunity to establish contacts
which might be useful later when you
are looking for a job. Many guidance
offices and college career resource
centers can provide information about
internships. Or you might try contact­
ing a company or government agency
directly to find out if they have an
internship program.
Don’t overlook the importance of
personal contacts. Talking with people
is one of the best ways of learning
about an occupation. Most people are
glad to talk about what they do and
how they like their jobs. Have specific
questions ready; you might ask work­
ers about the type of work they do and
how long they have worked in their
field. By asking the right questions,
you will find out what kind of training
is really important, how workers got
their first job as well as the one
they’re in now, and what they like and
dislike about the work. These inter­
views serve several purposes: You get
out into the business world, you learn
about an occupation, you become fa­
miliar with interviewing, and you
meet people worth contacting when
you start looking for a job.

Sources of State and Local
The Handbook only provides infor­
mation for the Nation as a whole.
State occupational information coordi­
nating committees (SOICC’s) can help
you locate information about job pros­
pects in your State or area. The com­
mittee may provide the information
directly or refer you to other sources.
In many States, it can tell you where
you can go to use the State’s career
information delivery system (CIDS).
These systems, currently in place in
most States, provide national, State,
and local information to individuals
who are exploring careers or search­
ing for jobs. These services can be
found in secondary schools, post­
secondary institutions, libraries, job
training sites, and vocational rehabil­
itation centers.


Using a variety of means, including
on-line computers, microcomputers,
printed material, needlesorts, micro­
fiche, and toll-free hotlines, these sys­
tems provide information on occupa­
tions, educational opportunities, stu­
dent financial aid, apprenticeships,
and the military services.
To find out what kinds of career
materials have been developed for
your State, contact the director of the
State occupational information coor­
dinating committee. Addresses and
telephone numbers for these individu­
als are listed in an appendix beginning
on page 492.

State employment security agencies
develop detailed information about
the labor market. Typically, State
agencies publish reports that deal with
current and projected employment,
characteristics of the work force,
changes in State and area economic
activities, and the employment struc­
ture of important industries. Major
statistical indicators of labor market
activity are released on a monthly,
quarterly, or annual basis. To learn
which studies, reports, and analyses
are available for a particular State,
contact the chief of research and anal­
ysis in the State employment security
agency. A ddresses and telephone
numbers for these individuals are also

Sources of Education and
Training Information
As a rule, professional or trade asso­
ciations can provide lists of schools
that offer career preparation in a par­
ticular field. Whenever possible, the
Sources of Additional Information
section of each Handbook statement
directs you to organizations that can
provide training information.
For general information, a library,
career center, or guidance office may
be the best place to look; all of them
ordinarily have collections of cata­
logs, directories, and guides to educa­
tion and training opportunities. Com­
puterized career information systems
also generally provide information on
education and training, student finan­
cial aid, and other items of interest.
A number of handbooks give perti­
nent information on courses of study,
admissions requirements, expenses,
and student financial aid at various
education and training institutions or
settings. Guidance offices and librar­
ies almost always have copies, as do

large bookstores. R em em ber that
these directories are updated and re­
vised frequently; be sure to use the
most recent edition. Guidance offices
and libraries have collections of col­
lege catalogs as well.

Directory of Educational Institu­
tions, an annual publication, lists
schools accredited by the Association
of Independent Colleges and Schools
(AICS). Most AlCS-accredited insti­
tutions are business schools. They
offer programs in secretarial science,
business administration, accounting,
data processing, court reporting, para­
legal studies, fashion merchandising,
travel/tourism, culinary arts, drafting,
electronics, and more. For a copy of
the Directory, write: Association of
Independent Colleges and Schools, 1
Dupont Circle NW ., Suite 350, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036. Phone: (202)
Information on private trade and
technical schools is available from the
National Association of Trade and
Technical Schools (NATTS). Among
their many publications are the Hand­
book o f Trade and Technical Careers
and Training, How to Choose a Ca­
reer and a Career School, and College
Plus: Put Your Degree to Work with
Trade and Technical Skills. For a
complete list, contact NATTS at 2251
W isconsin Ave. N W ., Suite 200,
Washington, D.C. 20007. Phone: (202)
The National Home Study Council
supplies inform ation about home
study programs. Among the publica­
tions they distribute is a Directory o f
Accredited Home Study Schools. Re­
quests for this publication and infor­
m ation a b o u t o th e r p u b licatio n s
should be directed to National Home
Study Council, 1601 18th St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20009. Phone: (202)
Labor unions and school guidance
offices can provide information about
apprenticeships. State public employ­
ment offices usually have a staff mem­
ber familiar with apprenticeship pro­
grams in their local area who can
direct you to program sponsors for
more specific help. For women inter­
ested in learning about apprenticeship
opportunities, the W omen’s Bureau
of the U . S . Departm ent of Labor pub­
lishes A W oman’s Guide to Appren­
ticeship. To get a copy, send a selfaddressed mailing label to: W omen’s
Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor,

Room S-3306, 200 Constitution Ave.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20210. Phone:
(202) 523-6668.

Some student aid programs are de­
signed to assist specific groups: Hispanics, blacks, native Americans, or
women, for example. Higher Educa­
tion Opportunities fo r Minorities and
Women, published by the U.S. De­
partment of Education, is a useful
guide to organizations that offer loan,
scholarship, and fellowship assist­
ance, with special emphasis on aid for
minorities and women. Opportunities
for financial aid are listed by field of
study and educational level. This pub­
lication can be found in many libraries
and guidance offices, or may be pur­
chased from the Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Print­
ing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
The branches of the Armed Forces
have several programs that provide
financial assistance for education.
These include Reserve Officers’ Train­
ing Corps (ROTC), the New G.I. bill,
and tuition assistance. More informa­
tion can be obtained from military
recruiting centers, which are found in
most cities.

Sources of Financial Aid
If possible, consult a high school guid­
ance counselor or college financial aid
officer for advice on sources of finan­
cial aid. Don’t neglect any possibility,
for many organizations offer scholar­
ships, fellowships, grants, loans, and
work-study programs. Each State ad­
ministers financial aid programs, and
information about them can usually be
obtained through the State’s Depart­
ment of Education. Because student
loans are administered by many pri­
vate financial institutions, your local
bank or credit union should not be
overlooked as a potential source of
information. Study the directories and
guides to sources of student financial
aid available in guidance offices and
public libraries. Many career informa­
tion systems also provide information
on financial aid.
Particularly useful is the American
Legion’s N eed a Lift?, a booklet con­ Career and Counseling
taining career and scholarship infor­ Information for Special Groups
mation for both undergraduate and Certain groups of jobseekers face spe­
graduate students. The 1985 edition cial difficulties in obtaining suitable
costs $1 prepaid (includes postage) and satisfying employment. All too
and can be obtained from: American often, veterans, youth, handicapped
Legion, Attn: Need a Lift?, P.O. Box persons, minorities, and women expe­
rience difficulty in the labor market.
1050, Indianapolis, Ind. 46206.
Meeting College Costs, a College The reasons for job market disadvan­
Board publication that is updated an­ tage vary, of course. People may have
nually, explains how to apply for stu­ trouble setting career goals and look­
dent financial aid. High school stu­ ing for work for reasons as different as
dents should ask their guidance coun­ a limited command of English, a pris­
selors for the current edition. A listing on record, or lack of self-confidence.
of other College Board publications Some people are held back by their
may be obtained from: College Board background—by growing up in a set­
Publications, Box 886, New York, ting that provided only a few role
models and little exposure to the wide
N.Y. 10101.
The Federal Government provides range of opportunities in the world of
several kinds of financial assistance to work.
A growing number of communities
students: Grants, loans, work-study,
and benefits. Like all Federal pro­ have career counseling, training, and
grams, Federal student aid is depen­ placement services for people with
dent upon funding levels set by the special needs. Programs are spon­
President and Congress. Information sored by a variety of organizations,
about programs administered by the including churches and synagogues,
U.S. Department of Education is pre­ nonprofit organizations, social service
sented in a pamphlet entitled The Stu­ agencies, the State public employ­
dent Guide to Federal Financial Aid ment service, and vocational rehabil­
Programs. This pamphlet is revised itation agencies. Some of the most
every year; request the current edi­ successful programs provide the ex­
tion by calling (301) 984—
4070, or by tensive support that disadvantaged
writing to: Federal Student Aid Pro­ jobseekers require. They begin by
grams, P.O. Box 84, Washington, helping clients resolve personal, fam­
D.C. 20044.
ily, or other fundamental problems

that prevent them from finding or
keeping a suitable job. Some agencies
that serve special groups provide an
array of supportive services designed
to help people find and keep jobs.
Agencies that provide employment
counseling as well as other kinds of
assistance are identified in the Direc­
tory o f Counseling Services, pub­
lished by the American Association
for C ounseling and D evelopm ent
(AACD), 5999 Stevenson Ave., Alex­
andria, Va. 22304. A copy may be
available in your library or school
career counseling center.
Several public and private agencies
provide information, such as publica­
tions or referral services, on career
planning and job hunting techniques
that are geared toward special groups.
The organizations listed below should
be able to provide you with such in­
Handicapped: President’s Commit­
tee on Employment of the Handi­
capped, 1111 20th St., NW ., Room
636, Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone:
(202) 653-5044.
Job Opportunities for the Blind: Call
1-800-638-7518 for toll-free informa­
tion for blind and deaf-blind.
Minorities: League of United Latin
American Citizens, National Educa­
tional Service Centers, 400 First St.
NW ., Suite 716, Washington, D.C.
20001. Phone: (202) 347-1652.
National Association for the Ad­
v a n c e m e n t o f C o lo re d P e o p le
(NAACP), 186 Remsen St., Brooklyn,
N.Y. 11201. Phone: (718) 858-0800.
Older Workers: National Associa­
tion of Older Workers Employment
Services, d o National Council on Ag­
ing, 600 Maryland Ave. SW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20024. Phone: (202)
Veterans: Department of Veterans
Benefits, V eterans A dm inistration
Central Office, 810 Vermont Ave.
N W ., W a sh in g to n , D .C . 20420.
Phone: (202) 393-4120.
Women: U.S. Department of La­
bor, W omen’s Bureau, 200 Constitu­
tion Ave. NW ., Washington, D.C.
20210. Phone: (202) 523-6652.
C atalyst, 250 Park Ave. South,
New York, N.Y. 10003. Phone: (212)
Wider Opportunities for Women,
1325 G St. NW ., Lower Level, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20005. Phone: (202)
In addition to these agencies, there


are many local organizations that pro­
vide employment information or coun­
seling programs. Women’s centers,
many of which are located on college
campuses, are an excellent resource
for women seeking assistance. Many
cities have commissions that attend to
the concerns of special groups, and
they may provide services that may
be of help to you.
Federal laws, Executive Orders,
and selected Federal grant programs
bar discrim ination in employment
based on race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, age, and handicap.
Employers in the private and the pub­
lic sectors, Federal contractors, and
grantees are covered by these laws.
The U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­
tunity Commission (EEOC) is respon­
sible for administering many of the
programs that prohibit discrimination
in employment. Information about
how to file a charge of discrimination
is available from local EEOC offices
around the country. Their addresses
and telephone numbers are listed in
telephone directories under U.S. Gov­
ernm ent, EEO C, or are available
from: Equal Employment Opportuni­
ty Commission, 2401 E St. NW .,
Washington, D.C. 20507. Phone: (202)
Information on Federal laws con­
cerning fair labor standards—includ­
ing the minimum wage law—and equal
employment opportunity can be ob­
tained from the Office of Information
and Consumer Affairs, Employment
Standards Administration, U.S. De­
partment of Labor, Room C-4331, 200
Constitution Ave. NW ., Washington,
D.C. 20210.

Information on Finding a Job
These days, a well-planned job search
is essential. For information on job
openings, follow up as many leads as
possible. Parents, neighbors, teach­
ers, and counselors may know of
available jobs. Look at the want ads.
Check with your local State public
employment service office and find
out whether private or nonprofit em­
ployment agencies in your community
can help you.
Merchandising Your Job Talents, a
pamphlet prepared by the U.S. De­
partment of Labor, offers tips on or­
ganizing your job search, writing a
resume, taking preemployment tests,
and making the most of the interview.
It is available at most State public

Where to Find Out About Job
• State public employment service of­
• Civil service announcements (Feder­
al, State, local)
• Classified ads
—Local and out-of-town newspapers
—Professional journals
—Trade magazines
• Labor unions
• Professional associations (State and
local chapters)
• Libraries and community centers
• Women’s counseling and employ­
ment programs
• Youth programs
• School or college placement services
• Employment agencies and career

employment service offices or may be
purchased from the Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Print­
ing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Informal job search methods. Informal
methods of job search are the most
popular, and can be very effective.
Informal methods include direct appli­
cation to employers with or without
referral by friends or relatives. Job­
seekers locate a potential employer
and file an application, often without
certain knowledge that an opening ex­
You can find targets for your infor­
mal search in several ways. The Yel­
low Pages and local chambers of com­
merce provide the names and address­
es of firms in the community where
you may wish to work. You can also
get listings of most firms in a specific
industry—banking, insurance, and
newspaper publishing, for example—
by consulting one of the directories on
the reference shelf of your public li­
brary. Friends, relatives, and people
you meet during your job search are
likely to give you ideas about places
where you can apply for a job.
Want ads. The “ Help W anted’’ ads in
newspapers contain hundreds of job
listings. As a job search tool, they
have two advantages: They are cheap
and easy to acquire, and they often
result in successful placement. There
are disadvantages as well. Want ads
give a distorted view of the local labor
market, for they tend to underrepre­
sent small firms. They also tend to

overrepresent certain occupations,
such as clerical and sales jobs. How
helpful they are will depend largely on
the kind of job you seek.
Bear in mind that want ads do not
provide complete information; many
give little or no description of the job,
working conditions, and pay. Some
omit the identity of the employer. In
addition, firms often run multiple list­
ings. Some ads offer jobs in other
cities (which do not help the local
worker); others advertise employ­
ment agencies rather than employ­
If you use want ads, keep the fol­
lowing suggestions in mind:
—Don’t rely exclusively on want ads;
follow up other leads, too.
—Answer ads promptly. The opening may
be filled before the ad stops running.
—Follow the ads diligently. Checking
them every day as early as possible
gives you the best advantage over other
applicants, which may mean the differ­
ence between a job and a rejection.
—Don’t expect too much from “blind
ads” that do not reveal the employer’s
identity. Employers use blind ads to
avoid being swamped with applicants,
or to fill a particular vacancy quietly and
confidentially. The chances of finding a
job through blind ads tend to be slim.
—Be cautious about answering “ no expe­
rience necessary” ads. Most employers
are able to fill job openings that do not
require experience without advertising
in the newspaper. This type of ad may
mean that the job is hard to fill because
of low wages or poor working condi­
tions, or because it is straight commis­
sion work.
—Keep a record of all ads to which you
have responded.

Public employment service. The State
public employment service, som e­
times called the Job Service, is often
overlooked in finding out about local
job openings. Run by the State em­
ployment security agencies in coordi­
nation with the Labor Departm ent’s
U.S. Employment Service, the ap­
proximately 2,000 local public em­
ployment service offices provide as­
sistance without charge. State public
employment service staff help job­
seekers find employment and help em­
ployers find qualified workers. To find
the office nearest you, look in the
State government telephone listings

under “ Job Service” or “ Employ­
m ent.”
Job Interview Tips
Job matching and referral. Upon
entering a State employment service
center, an applicant is interviewed to
• Learn something about the company
determine the type of work for which
• Have specific job or jobs in mind
he or she indicates an interest and
• Review in your mind your qualifications for the job
aptitude. The interviewer determines
• Be prepared to answer broad questions about yourself
if the applicant is “job ready” or if
• Review your resume
counseling and testing services are
• Be there a few minutes before the scheduled time of your interview
needed. Applicants who know what
Personal Appearance:
kind of work they are qualified for
• Well groomed
may spend some time examining the
• Suitable dress
Job Bank, a computerized listing of
• No chewing gum
public and private sector job openings
• Only smoke when invited
that is updated every day. The Job
.Bank is self-service; applicants exam­
The Interview:
ine a book or microfilm viewer and
• Answer each question as well as you can
select openings that interest them. Af­
• Be prompt in giving responses
terwards, a staff member may de­
• Be well mannered
scribe a particular job opening in
• Use good English and avoid the use of slang
some detail and arrange for an inter­
• Be cooperative and enthusiastic
view with the prospective employer.
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Counseling and testing. These cen­
ters also help jobseekers who are un­
Test (if employer gives one):
certain about their qualifications and
• Listen carefully to instructions
the kind of work they want. Many
• Read each question carefully
centers are staffed with a specialist
• Write legibly and clearly
who is able to provide counseling and
• Budget your time wisely and don’t stay on one question too long
testing services. C ounselors help
jobseekers choose and prepare for an
Information to Take With You:
occupation based on their qualifications
• Social Security number
and interests. They aim to help individ­
• Driver’s license number
uals become aware of their job potential
• Resume. Although not all positions require job applicants to bring a resume,
and then develop it. The testing pro­
you should be able to furnish the interviewer with information about your
gram measures occupational aptitudes,
education and previous employment
clerical and literary skills, and occu­
• Usually an employer requires three references. Get permission from people
pational interests. Testing and counsel­
before using their names. If you can avoid it, do not use the names of rela­
ing before job referral ensure a better
tives. For each reference, give the following information: Name, address,
match between applicant and job.
telephone number, and occupation
Services fo r special groups. By law,
veterans are entitled to priority in
interviewing, counseling, testing, job
development, and job placement at ters conduct a Summer Youth Pro­ ads or the telephone book, you can
State employment service centers. Al­ gram to provide summer jobs in city, find numerous advertisements for pri­
though some veterans may find it dif­ county, and State government agen­ vate employment agencies. All are in
ficult to adjust to civilian life, jobless­ cies for low-income youth. In addi­ business to make money, but some
ness is a major barrier to resuming an tion, the Job Corps, with more than offer higher quality service and better
ordinary life. Special counselors 100 centers throughout the United chances of successful placement than
called veterans employment represen­ States, provides an opportunity for others. The three main places where
tatives are trained to deal with the young people to learn a skill or obtain private agencies advertise are news­
p a rticu la r problem s of veteran s. the educational base needed to ad­ paper want ads, the Yellow Pages,
and trade journals. Telephone listings
Through these representatives, veter­ vance in society.
The State public employment ser­ give little more than the name, ad­
ans can learn about the many kinds of
vice centers also refer applicants to dress, phone number, and specialty of
assistance available to them.
A special effort is made to assist opportunities available under the Job the agency, while trade journals gen­
youth between the ages of 16 and 21— Training Partnership Act (JTPA) of erally advertise openings for a partic­
students, dropouts, and graduates en­ 1982. JTPA focuses on preparing eco­ ular occupation, such as accountant
tering the labor market. Youthful ap­ nomically disadvantaged persons for or computer programmer. Want ads,
plicants are tested, counseled, and jobs in the private sector.
then, are the best source of general
aided in choosing work that suits their
listings of agencies.
These listings fall into two catego­
abilities and interests. Each year, Private employment agencies. In the
State public employment service cen­ appropriate section of the classified ries—those offering specific openings


What Goes Into a Resume
A resume summarizes your personal
qualifications and employment history.
It is usually required when applying for
a managerial, administrative, profes­
sional, or technical position. Although
a resume varies by the individual, most
resumes contain the following informa­
tion in some form:
• Name, address, and telephone num­
• Employment objective.
• Education, which should include
school name and address, dates of
attendance, curriculum, and highest
grade completed or degree awarded.
• Experience, paid or volunteer. In­
clude the following for each job: Job
title, name and address of employer,
and dates of employment.
• Special skills, knowledge of machin­
ery, awards, or membership in orga­
• Availability of references.
and those offering a general promise
of employment. You should concen­
trate on the former and use the latter
only as a last resort. With a specific
opening mentioned in the ad, you
have greater assurance of the agency’s
desire to place qualified individuals in
suitable jobs.

Digitized for12

When responding to such an ad,
you may learn more about the job
over the phone. If you are interested,
visit the agency, fill out an applica­
tion, present a resume, and talk with
an interviewer. The agency will then
arrange an interview with the employ­
er if you are qualified, and perhaps
suggest alternative openings if you are
Most agencies operate on a com­
mission basis, with the fee dependent
upon a successful match. The fee may
be paid by either the applicant or the
hiring firm. If borne by you, find out
the exact cost before using the ser­

Community agencies. A growing num­
b e r o f n o n p ro fit o r g a n iz a tio n s
throughout the Nation provide coun­
seling, career development, and job
placement services. These agencies
generally concentrate on services for
a particular labor force group—wom­
en, youth, minorities, ex-offenders, or
older workers, for example. It’s up to
you to discover whether your commu­
nity has such agencies and whether
they can help you. The local State
public em ploym ent service office
should be able to tell you whether
such an agency has been established
in your community. Your church,

synagogue, or local library may have
the information, too.

College career planning and placement
offices. Career planning and placement
offices at colleges and universities of­
fer valuable services to students and
alumni for a modest fee. Many serv­
ices, in fact, are free. College place­
ment offices operate as employment
agencies, matching applicants with
suitable jobs and lining up interviews.
On large campuses, for example, they
set up schedules and facilities for in­
terviews with industry recruiters. And
many offices maintain lists of local
part-time, tem porary, and summer
College career planning and place­
ment offices also provide services re­
lated to counseling and job search
techniques. They may, for example,
maintain a career resource library;
administer tests that enable students
to identify and evaluate interests,
work values, and skills; conduct work­
shops on such topics as job search
strategy, resume writing, letterwrit­
ing, and effective interviewing; cri­
tique drafts of resumes and video­
tapes of mock interviews; maintain
files of resumes and references; and
conduct job fairs.

Tomorrow’s Jobs
The number and kinds of jobs needed
in tomorrow’s economy will depend
on the interplay of demographic, eco­
nomic, social, and technological fac­
tors. Employment in some occupa­
tions will grow much faster than the
average rate of growth; others will
decline in importance. Some jobs will
emerge as a result of new technolo­
gies; others will disappear. And the
nature of the work in many occupa­
tions probably will change.
The Handbook presents informa­
tion about the job outlook for many
occupations. In this chapter, which
provides background for those discus­
sions, you will find information about
expected changes in the population,
the labor force, and employment in
major industrial sectors and broad oc­
cupational groups. Finally, there is a
brief discussion of the importance of
replacement needs in the employment

Changes in population are among the
basic factors that will alter employ­
ment opportunities. Changes in the
size and characteristics of the popula­
tion cause changes in the amount and
types of goods and services demand­
ed. These changes also alter the size
and characteristics of the labor force—
the people who are working and who
are looking for work—which in turn
can influence the amount of competi­
tion for jobs in an occupation. Three
important population factors are pop­
ulation growth, shifts in the age struc­
ture of the population, and movement
of the population within the country.
Growth. The population of the Unit­
ed States increased rapidly during the
post-World War II “ baby boom .”
During the 1960’s, the rate of popula­
tion growth dropped sharply and has
remained at a low level since (chart 1).
In 1984, the population was about
237 million. It is expected to continue
to increase slowly to about 260 million
by 1995. Continued population growth
will mean more consumers to provide
with goods and services, causing

greater demand for workers in many
industries and occupations.
Age structure. Over time, the age
structure of the population changes.
Shifts in the age structure affect the
job market in many ways. The low
population growth of the 1960’s and
1970’s, for example, resulted in a de­
crease in the number of school-age
children in the 1970’s. This decrease
lowered the demand for educational
services and the employment oppor­
tunities in teaching. During the 1970’s,
as the large number of people born
during the 1950’s entered the labor
force, competition increased for entry
level jobs.
Through the mid-1990’s, the age
structure of the population will con­
tinue to shift and affect the job mar­
ket. The number of children under 13
will increase as the large number of
people born during the baby boom
have children of their own. As the
baby-boom group ages, the number of
people age 35 to 54 will increase. The
number of people 65 and older will
rise sharply because of the relatively
high population growth before the
1930’s and increases in life expectan­
cy. Because of low population growth
during the 1970’s and 1930’s, the num­

ber of 14- to 25-year-olds and 55- to
64-year-olds will decline by 1995.
Increases in the number of children
will cause greater demand for elemen­
tary school education through 1995.
The increase in the number of older
people will add to the demand for
health services. Shifts in the age
structure of the population also will
affect the age structure of the labor
force, discussed in a later section.
M ovement o f population. Popula­
tion growth varies among the regions
of the Nation. For example, between
1970 and 1980, the population of the
Northeast and the Midwest (formerly
called N orth Central) regions in­
creased by 0.2 percent and 4.0 per­
cent, respectively, compared with
20.0 percent in the South and 23.9
percent in the West. These differences
reflect the movement of people seek­
ing new jobs or retiring and higher
birth rates in some areas than others.
Chart 2 shows the expected changes
in State populations between 1980 and
2000 if the movement of people during
that period is similar to the movement
between 1970 and 1980.
The overall movement of U.S. pop­
ulation will be to the South and West.
The West will continue to be the fast-

Chart 1.

The population w ill grow more slow ly through the m id-1990’s.

1945-50 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 70-75 75-80 80-85 85-90 90-95
SOURCE: Bureau of the Census


est growing region of the country,
increasing about 45 percent between
1980 and 2000. In the South, the pop­
ulation will increase about 31 percent,
with the largest absolute increase in
population. The Midwest region is ex­
pected to increase only about 2 per­
cent between 1980 and 1990, and to
decline about 1 percent from 1990 to
2000. The population of the Northeast
region will decline about 6 percent.
By the year 2000, the West and the
South will have about 60 percent of
the Nation’s population compared to
about 52 percent in 1980.
The Northeast region will have the
oldest age distribution; almost 15 per­
cent of its population will be age 65 or
older. The West will have the young­
est age distribution; over 22 percent of
the population will be under age 15,
and about 45 percent will be between
the ages of 15 and 44. The age distri­
bution of the South and Midwest re­
gions will be similar to the national
Geographic shifts in the population
alter the demand for and supply of
workers in local job markets. In areas
with a growing population, for exam­
ple, demand for public services and
construction is likely to increase.
However, more people looking for
work could increase competition for
jobs. Therefore, the areas with the
fastest population growth may not
necessarily offer the best job opportu­
nities in every occupation. Because of
population shifts, along with changes
in demand for goods and services pro­
Digitized for 14

duced in an area, local employment
opportunities in an occupation could
differ greatly from national projec­
tions presented in the Handbook.
Sources of information about local job
market conditions can be found in the
section “ Where to Go for More Infor­

Labor Force
The labor force is composed of people
who are working and people who are
looking for work. Population trends
just discussed largely determine the
growth and age structure of the labor
force. Another significant factor is the
level of education of the labor force.
Growth. In 1984, the civilian labor
force—people with jobs and people
looking for jobs—totaled about 114
million. The labor force will grow
through the mid-1990’s, but at a slow­
er rate than in the 1970’s and the first
half of the 1980’s (chart 3). Growth
will be slower because the low birth
rates during the 1960’s and 1970’s will
result in fewer young people entering
the labor force. By 1995, the labor
force is projected to be about 129
million—an increase of about 14 per­
cent from the 1984 level.
Through the mid-1990’s, the chief
cause of labor force growth will be the
continued though slower rise in the
number and proportion of women
who seek jobs. Women will account
for more than three-fifths of the labor
force growth during 1984-95 (chart 4).
Age structure. Through the mid1990’s, the number of people age 16 to

24 in the work force is projected to
decline (chart 5). Fewer young en­
trants into the labor force may ease
competition for entry level jobs. In
fact, employers may have increasing
difficulty in finding young workers.
The decline in the number of young
workers could be particularly impor­
tant to the Armed Forces—the single
largest employer of people in this age
The number of people age 25 to 54
in the labor force is expected to in­
crease considerably, from less than
two-thirds of the labor force in 1984 to
nearly three-fourths by 1995. The
growing proportion of workers age 25
to 54 could result in higher productiv­
ity growth since workers in that age
group generally have substantial work
experience and tend to be the most
The number of people age 55 and
over in the labor force is projected to
decline slightly, reflecting the trend to
early retirement and the drop in the
number of people age 55 to 65.
Education. Employers tend to hire
the best qualified persons available.
This does not mean that they always
choose those applicants who have the
most education. However, individuals
planning for a career should be aware
of the rising educational level of the
work force. Between 1970 and 1984,
for example, the proportion of the
labor force age 18 to 64 with at least 1
year of college increased from 26 to 41
percent, while the proportion with 4
or more years of college increased
from 13 to 22 percent (chart 6). The
increase reflects both the retirement
of older workers, many of whom had
little formal education, and the entry
into the work force of young people,
who generally have a high level of
formal education. Among workers age
25 to 34, for example, nearly half have
completed at least 1 year of college
and over a quarter had 4 or more
years of college.
The disadvantage that less educated
workers suffer when seeking jobs is
clearly shown in their unemployment
rate. In 1984, the unemployment rate
among 20- to 24-year-olds with 1 to 3
years of high school was 26.7 percent.
The rate for those with 4 years of high
school was less than half that, 13.0
percent. The rates for those with 1 to
3 years of college and 4 or more years
of college were only 7.8 and 4.9 per­
cent, respectively. The connection

between higher unemployment rates
and low levels of education shows the
importance of education in a job mar­
ket that increasingly requires more
formal training.
However, it is also important to
note that a college degree no longer
guarantees success in the job market.
Between 1970 and 1984, employment
of college graduates grew 127 percent.
The proportion employed in profes­
sional, technical, and managerial oc­
cupations, however, declined because
these occupations did not expand rap­
idly enough to absorb the growing
supply of graduates. As a result, 1 out
of 5 college graduates who entered the
labor market between 1970 and 1984
took a job not usually requiring a
degree. This oversupply of graduates
is likely to continue through the mid1990’s. Not all occupations requiring
a college degree will be overcrowded,
however. Good opportunities will ex­
ist for systems analysts and engineers,
for example.
Despite the generally competitive
job market for college graduates, a
degree is still needed for most highpaying and high-status jobs. Persons
interested in occupations that require
a college degree should not be dis­
couraged from pursuing a career that
they believe matches their interests
and abilities, but they should be aware
of job market conditions.

Economic, Technical, and Other
Factors Affecting Employment
The previous two sections discussed
trends in the population and the labor
force that will affect employment op­
portunities. This section gives an over­
view of other factors that will affect
the level of employment.
The number of jobs in particular
industries and occupations depends in
large part on the consumer, govern­
ment, and business demand for goods
and services produced by those indus­
tries and workers. Using a simple ex­
ample, if people ate out more often,
employment of cooks, waiters, and
other restaurant workers would in­
crease; employment of clerks and oth­
er grocery store workers would de­
cline. In addition, employment in in­
dustries which produce restaurant
equipment would grow; in industries
that make grocery store equipment,
employment would decline. The de­
mand for smaller, more energy-effi­
cient automobiles has prompted auto

Chart 3.
Labor force growth will slow through the mid-1990’s.

Average annual percent increase










SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics
manufacturers to use more plastic,
aluminum, and specialty steel and less
of standard iron and steel. This shift
has lowered the demand for products
from the iron and steel manufacturing
industry, the iron and metallurgical
coal mining industries, and other in­
dustries that supply iron and steel
manufacturers, so that employment in
these industries has been adversely
affected. At the same time, demand
has increased for the products of the
plastic, aluminum, and specialty steel
industries and the industries that sup­
ply those manufacturers. Employ­
ment in those industries has benefited
from the change.

As is clear from the first example,
expansion or decline in industries af­
fects growth in individual occupations
differently because industries employ
different mixes of workers (chart 7).
Growth in manufacturing industries,
for example, increases employment of
production and material moving occu­
pations, helpers, and laborers. In con­
trast, growth in the finance, insur­
ance, and real estate industries in­
creases employment of administra­
tive, managerial, sales, and clerical
Changes in the manner in which
goods and services are produced also
affect occupational and industrial em-

Chart 4.
Through the mid-1990’s, women will account for over
three-fifths of the growth in the labor force.

Women as a percent of labor force growth


Chart 5.
The number of workers in the prime working ages
will grow dramatically through the mid-1990’s.

Labor force (millions)



SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics
ployment. Increasing automation in
automobile manufacturing, for exam­
ple, is one of the factors expected to
limit growth of assemblers, welders,
and other production occupations in
that industry. The increasing use of
word processing equipment will mean
little or no growth of typists in most
industries. However, the introduction
of new technologies will probably in­
crease employment of engineers, tech­
nicians, computer specialists, and re­
pairers. The overall impact of technol­
ogy will be to increase the amount of
goods and services each worker can
produce. Output of goods and serv­
ices is expected to increase rapidly,

however, so that employment should
continue to increase in most indus­
tries and occupations.
Other factors affecting employment
are the fiscal policies of the Federal
Government, the monetary policies of
the Federal Reserve Board, the level
of imports, and the availability of en­
ergy. Using information on these and
other factors, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics has prepared three sets of
projections of employment in indus­
tries and occupations. Referred to as
the base case and low- and highgrowth alternatives, the projections
are based on differing assumptions
concerning growth of the labor force,

Chart 6.

During the 1970’s and early 1980’s, the proportion of workers
with a college background increased substantially.

Digitized for16

Percent distribution of labor force age 18 to 64

unemployment, monetary and fiscal
policy, and other factors. Each pro­
vides a different set of estimates of
employment in 1995.
The alternatives developed by the
Bureau represent only three of many
possible courses for the economy.
Different assumptions would lead to
different projections of the economy.
F o r this reaso n , the alternatives
should not be viewed as the bounds of
employment growth; rather, they il­
lustrate what might happen. Further­
more, unforeseen changes in spending
patterns, in levels of imports and ex­
ports, or in technology, could radical­
ly alter the projections for individual
industries and occupations.
A discussion of the assumptions
and methods used to develop these
projections can be found in an appen­
dix beginning on page 489. The pro­
jections were presented in the No­
vember 1985 issue of the Monthly
Labor Review. For ease of presenta­
tion, the discussions of projections
and outlook information in the H and­
book focus on the base case.

Employment Change
Employment is expected to increase
from 106.8 million in 1984 to 122.8
million in 1995, or about 15 percent.
This growth, while substantial, is
much slower than growth during the
previous 11-year period, for reasons
discussed in the section on labor force
growth. Employment change can be
looked at in two ways: by industry
and by occupation. The following two
sections look at projected 1984-95
employment change from both per­

Industrial Profile
To discuss employment trends and
projections in industries, it is useful to
divide the economy into nine industri­
al sectors under two broad groups.
These groups are goods-producing in­
dustries, which produce tangible prod­
ucts like apples, coal, and refrigera­
tors, and service-producing indus­
tries, which produce intangibles such
as health care, education, repair and
maintenance, amusement and recrea­
tion, transportation, banking, and in­
surance. In 1984, over 7 of every 10
jobs were in industries that provide
services. In d u stries th at produce
goods through farming, construction,
mining, and manufacturing accounted
for fewer than 3 of every 10 jobs.

Service-Producing Industries. Em ­
ployment in service-producing indus­
tries has been increasing faster than
employment in goods-producing in­
dustries (chart 8). As incomes and
living standards have risen, peoples’
desires for services have grown more
rapidly than for goods. In addition,
goods-producing industries have been
contracting out to service industries
many rapidly growing activities they
had done internally, such as cleaning
and maintenance, engineering design,
and accounting. Furthermore, imports
of foreign-made goods have increased,
limiting the growth of U.S. goodsproducing industries. Imports of serv­
ices have not increased as much.
Employment is expected to contin­
ue to increase much faster in serviceproducing industries than in goodsproducing industries (chart 9). In fact,
service-producing industries are pro­
jected to account for about 9 out of 10
new jobs between 1984 and 1995. Em­
ployment in these industries is expect­
ed to increase 18 percent, from 77.2
million in 1984 to 91.3 million in 1995.
Growth will vary among industries
within the group. The following para­
graphs summarize recent trends and
employment projections in the five
industrial sectors that make up the
service-producing industries.
Transportation, communications,
and public utilities. Employment has
increased in air transportation and
transportation services, but has de­
clined in railroads and water transpor­
tation since 1979. Even in the commu­
nications industries, where demand
has increased greatly, technological
innovations have limited employment
Between 1984 and 1995, employ­
ment in transportation, communica­
tions, and public utilities is expected
to rise 14 percent, from 5.6 million to
6.4 million. Rising demand for new
telecommunications services, result­
ing from the increased use of comput­
er systems and the divestiture of the
telephone company, will make com­
munications the most rapidly growing
industry in the sector. Employment in
communications industries is project­
ed to grow by 17 percent, from 1.4
million to 1.6 million. More efficient
communication equipment, however,
will keep employment from rising as
rapidly as output.
Although employment in railroads
is expected to decline, it is expected

Chart 7.

Industries differ substantially in the kinds of workers they employ.

Percent distribution of wage and salary workers, 1984

to increase in other transportation in­
dustries such as air transportation,
local transit, and trucking. However,
deregulation will continue to have an
impact in trucking, where a shift to
self-employed truckers is expected,
and in airlines, where a much slower
rate of growth than in the past is
projected. On the other hand, the
transportation services industry (most­
ly travel agencies) will grow rapidly.
Employment in transportation as a
whole should rise 14 percent, from 3.2
million to 3.7 million.
Demand for electric power, gas util­
ities, and water and sanitary services
will increase through the mid-1990’s

as population and industry grow. Em­
ployment in industries that deliver
these services is expected to increase
13 percent, from 1.0 million to 1.2
Trade. Both wholesale and retail
trade employment have increased as
the population has grown and as rising
incomes have enabled people to buy a
greater number and variety of goods.
During the 1970’s and early 1980’s,
employment in trade increased at
about the same rate as in serviceproducing industries as a whole. Be­
tween 1984 and 1995, wholesale and
retail trade employment is expected to
grow 16 percent, from 24.3 million to

Chart 8.

Industries providing services will continue to employ
many more prople than those providing goods

Workers (millions)1







11ncludes wage and salary workers, the self-employed, and unpaid family workers.
Source Bureau of Labor Statistics


Chart 9.
Through the mid-1990’s, some industries will grow much faster
than others.

Projected change in employment, 1984-95 (millions)1

Service producing:
Transportation, communications,
and public utilities
Finance, insurance, and
real estate
Goods producing:
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics

'Wage and salary employment except for agriculture, which
includes self-employed and unpaid family workers.

28.3 million. Employment will rise
despite the use of laborsaving innova­
tions such as computerized inventory
systems and automated warehouses.
The largest number of new jobs in
the trade sector is projected to be in
eating and drinking places. Large in­
creases are also expected in depart­
ment stores, grocery stores, and car
dealerships. In wholesale trade, the
largest increases will be in firms han­
dling machinery, electrical goods, and
motor vehicles.
Finance, insurance, and real es­
tate. This was the second fastest
growing service-producing sector dur­
ing the 1970’s and early 1980’s as
financial and banking needs mush­
Between 1984 and 1995, employ­
ment in this sector is expected to rise
17 percent, from 6.3 million to 7.4
million. Demand for credit and other
financial services should grow rapid­
ly, but more automatic teller ma­
chines and computerized banking and
stock transactions will prevent em­
ployment from growing as fast as out­
Services. This sector includes a va­
riety of industries, such as hotels,
b a rb e r shops, autom obile rep air
shops, hospitals, engineering firms,
and nonprofit organizations. During
the 1970’s and early 1980’s, employ­
ment in this sector increased faster
than in any other sector. Sharply ris­
ing demand for health care, data proc­
essing, and engineering and legal serv­


ices were among the forces behind
this growth.
From 1984 to 1995, employ ment in
service industries is expected to in­
crease 30 percent, from 23.4 million to
31.2 million, and provide more new
jobs than any other sector. Business
services, including data processing,
temporary help supply agencies, and
services to buildings, primarily clean­
ing, are expected to grow more rapid­
ly and add more jobs than any other
industry in the economy. Employ­
ment in health services also is expect­
ed to increase substantially, but cost
containment measures are expected
to restrict the rate of growth of health
care industries despite increased de­
mand generated by an aging popula­
tion and by advances in medical tech­
nology. Large increases in employ­
ment also are expected in engineering,
legal, social, and accounting services.
Government. During the 1970’s and
early 1980’s, government employment
rose, although most of this growth
was in State and local government
prior to 1980. Between 1984 and 1995,
employment is expected to rise only 7
percent, from 16.0 million to 17.1 mil­
lion. State and local government is
projected to grow 9 percent but Fed­
eral employment is expected to re­
main about the same. About 3 out of 7
of the new jobs projected to be added
in State and local governments will be
in public education, which is project­
ed to rise from 6.7 million in 1984 to
7.2 million in 1995. Employment in

elementary schools is expected to rise
faster than in high schools.

Goods-Producing Industries. Employ­
ment in these industries increased
during the 1970’s, but the 1980 and
1981-82 recessions caused a drop in
employment. Although employment
in these industries increased by 1984,
it was still under the 1979 peak. Be­
tween 1984 and 1995, employment in
goods-producing industries is expect­
ed to increase only 6 percent, from
29.6 million to 31.4 million, which is
only slightly higher than employment
in 1979. Significant variation in em­
ployment growth is expected among
goods-producing industries.
Agriculture. The use of machinery,
fertilizers, feeds, pesticides, and hy­
brid plants has made possible in­
creased farm output with a smaller
work force. Domestic demand for
food will increase slowly through the
mid-1990’s. Worldwide demand for
food will increase because of popula­
tion growth, and U.S. food exports
will increase through the next decade.
Farm productivity, however, will con­
tinue to im prove—although m ore
slowly than in the past—and employ­
ment is expected to continue to de­
cline even as production rises. Be­
tween 1984 and 1995, agricultural em­
ploym ent is p ro jected to drop 7
percent, from 3.3 to 3.0 million jobs.
Mining. Employment in the mining
sector increased rapidly from 1973 to
1981, primarily due to increased min­
ing of coal in response to oil short­
ages. It then declined substantially
due to recession, foreign competition
for metals, and a drop in the price of
oil which brought the oil and gas
boom of the early 1980’s to a halt.
Between 1984 and 1995, employ­
ment in the mining industry is expect­
ed to decline 3 percent, from 651,000
to 631,000. Employment in oil and gas
extraction is expected to increase
only 1 percent as domestic production
levels off; employment in coal mining
is expected to decline due to produc­
tivity im provem ents and expected
slow growth in demand. Most other
mining industries are expected to
have decreases in employment be­
cause of import competition and im­
provements in mining technology.
Construction. Employment in con­
struction dropped considerably be­
tween 1979 and 1982, as high interest
rates and low economic activity limit­

ed new construction, but has since
rebounded and now is higher than in
1979 because of lower interest rates
and increased economic activity.
The construction industry is pro­
jected to benefit from an anticipated
growth in investment, particularly af­
ter 1990. Between 1984 and 1995, em­
ployment in the construction sector is
expected to increase 12 percent, from
5.9 to 6.6 million. Through the late
1980’s, the demand for housing is ex­
pected to be strong as interest rates
are projected to drop slowly and as
the industry continues to recover
from the low level of new residential
construction during the 1980-82 re­
cession years. During the early 1990’s,
the growth in households will slow
and possibly limit the demand for new
housing. Nonresidential construction
is projected to recover from the recent
oversupply of commercial office build­
ings and also to grow as factory mod­
ernization accelerates.
Manufacturing. Improved produc­
tivity and import competition caused
a 1.6 million drop in manufacturing
employment between 1979 and 1984,
following a slight increase during the
1970’s. Employment is expected to
increase 7 percent, from 19.8 million
in 1984 to 21.1 million in 1995 due to
strong demand resulting from an ex­
pected capital spending boom and
continued strong growth in defense
expenditures. Only modest employ­
ment gains in manufacturing are ex­
pected because of the anticipated pro­
ductivity increase from investment in
high-technology capital equipment.
Despite this growth, manufacturing
employment in 1995 will still be slight­
ly below the 1979 level. Several key
manufacturing industries, such as au­
tomobile and steel manufacturing, are
not expected to reach previous peak
em ploym ent levels. On the other
hand, the computer, materials han­
dling equipment, and scientific and
controlling instruments industries will
be among the fastest growing indus­
Manufacturing is divided into two
broad categories—durable goods man­
ufacturing and nondurable goods man­
ufacturing. Employment in durable
goods manufacturing is expected to
increase by 12 percent due to rising
business, military, and consumer de­
mand for computers, machinery, and
electronic components. However, em­
ployment in nondurable goods manu­

facturing is projected to decline by 2
percent, reflecting the tendency of
consumers to spend less of their bud­
get on staples such as food and cloth­
ing as their income rises.

Occupational Profile
This section gives an overview of the
changes expected in employment for
16 broad groups of occupations. These
groups are based on the Standard Oc­
cupational Classification, the system
used by all Federal agencies that col­
lect occupational employment data.
In the following discussion, as
throughout the Handbook, projected
employment change in individual oc­
cupations usually is compared to the
average for all occupations. Half a
dozen phrases are used to describe
the projected change in employment;
they are explained in the box on page
4. It is important to remember that
both the rate of growth and the size of
the change in employment are impor­
tant in analyzing the job outlook (chart

E xecu tive, a d m inistrative, and
managerial occupations. In most of
these occupations, employment is ex­
pected to increase about as fast as the
average for all occupations. However,
faster growth is expected for occupa­
tions in fast-growing industries. Em­
ployment of managers in the health
industry, for example, is expected to
increase much faster than the aver­
age. Employment of administrators
and managers also should grow faster
than the average in data processing

services, credit and securities firms,
automotive repairs, and social serv­
ices. In contrast, managerial employ­
ment in government and education
services is likely to grow more slowly
than the average due to the anticipat­
ed modest growth of these industries.
Employment of accountants and
auditors will grow much faster than
the average as managers rely more on
accounting information to make busi­
ness decisions. Employment of buy­
ers, purchasing agents, and personnel
specialists will increase about as fast
as the average, while employment of
construction and compliance and en­
forcement inspectors will increase
more slowly than the average.
Because of the increasing number
of people seeking managerial and ad­
ministrative jobs and the increasing
technical requirements in many of
these occupations, experience, spe­
cialized training, or postbaccalaureate
study will be needed for more of
them. Familiarity with computers will
be needed in more jobs as managers
and administrators increasingly rely
on computerized information systems.
Engineers, scientists, and related
occupations. Employment in most of
the occupations in this group is ex­
pected to increase as fast as or faster
than the average; employment of en­
gineers and systems analysts is ex­
pected to grow much faster than the
Increased military expenditures,
growing demand for computers and
other electronic equipment, and ex-

Chart 10.
Even though an occupation is expected to grow rapidly, it may
provide fewer openings than a slower growing but larger occupation.

Percent change in employment,

100 -----------------------------------------------------

Absolute change in employment,
1984-95 (thousands)

300 -------------------------------------------

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics


pansion and automation in most areas
of the economy are expected to lead
to higher employment in engineering
occupations. The growing application
of computers will contribute to in­
creased employment of systems ana­
lysts. R esearch to expand basic
knowledge and to develop new tech­
nologies and products is expected to
lead to higher employment in scien­
tific occupations, although employ­
ment of scientists will grow more
slowly than engineers.
Social science, social service, and
related occupations. Employment in
many of the occupations in this group
is expected to grow about as fast as
the average. However, due to the
number of people interested in these
fields, competition for jobs is expect­
ed in many occupations—especially
for academic positions. Generally,
prospects will be better for those with
advanced degrees who seek work in
applied fields. Competition also is
likely for jobs as social and recreation
workers in public and voluntary agen­
cies as well as for salaried positions
for lawyers.
Teachers, librarians, and counse­
lors. Because of anticipated enroll­
ment declines and an abundance of
qualified jobseekers, competition is
expected for college and university
faculty. Only slow growth is expected
in secondary school teaching.
Because elementary school enroll­
ments are increasing, employment of
elementary school teachers is expect­
ed to grow rapidly. Secondary school
teachers, college faculty, and librari­
ans in scientific and technical fields
generally will face better job pros­
Employment of vocational and ed­
ucational counselors will grow as fast
as the average, although growth will
be faster in areas other than in schools,
especially in mental health counsel­
Health-related occupations. This
group includes health practitioners,
nurses, health technicians and tech­
nologists, health service workers, di­
etitians, pharmacists, and therapists.
Employment in most of the health
occupations is expected to grow faster
th an the av e ra g e as p o p u latio n
growth—especially in the number of
older people—increases the demand
for health care. Registered nurses and
nursing aides and orderlies, because
of the large size and anticipated
Digitized for20

growth of these occupations, will be
Employment growth in some of the
among the occupations providing the occupations will be limited by changes
most new jobs through the mid-1990’s. in technology. Employment of draft­
Despite the anticipated growth in the ers is expected to increase much more
health industry, physicians, dentists, slowly than the demand for drafting
chiropractors, and veterinarians seek­ services because of productivity im­
ing to establish practices can expect provements realized by the use of
unprecedented competition due to the com puter-aided design equipm ent.
large number of newly trained practi­ Similarly, little or no change in the
tioners entering those fields each year. employment of air traffic controllers is
Pressure to contain costs, especial­ expected due to the automation of air
ly in hospitals, and technological ad­ traffic control equipment.
vances will affect the projected rates
Marketing and sales occupations.
of growth in many health-related oc­ Employment of travel agents, security
cupations. For example, physician as­ sales workers, and real estate agents
sistants, medical record technicians, is expected to grow faster or much
and medical assistants will grow much faster than the average due to antici­
faster than the average but automa­ pated growth of the industries in
tion of laboratory procedures will which these workers are employed.
make for slower than average growth
Many part-time and full-time job
for medical and clinical laboratory openings are expected for cashiers
and retail trade sales workers due to
Writers, artists, and entertainers. the large size, high turnover, and ex­
This group includes reporters, writ­ pected employment growth in these
ers, designers, public relations spe­ occupations. Higher paying sales oc­
cialists, and performing artists. In cupations, such as insurance agent
most of these occupations, employ­ and real estate agent, tend to be more
ment is expected to increase as fast as competitive than retail sales occupa­
the average for all occupations. The tions. Well-trained, ambitious people
continued growth of advertising, pub­ who enjoy selling will have the best
lic relations, print and broadcast com­ chance for success.
A dm inistrative support o ccupa­
munications, and entertainment will
tions, including clerical. Workers in
spur employment growth.
Stiff competition for jobs in these this group prepare and record letters
occupations is likely, due to the large and other docum ents; collect ac­
numbers of people they attract. Talent counts; gather and distribute informa­
and personal drive will continue to be tion; operate office machines; and
extremely important for success in handle other tasks that help run busi­
these occupations. Within individual nesses, government agencies, and oth­
occupations, some areas will offer er organizations. The increase in of­
better job prospects. The best pros­ fice automation systems will limit em­
pects for writers and editors, for ex­ p loym ent o p p o rtu n itie s in som e
ample, will be in technical writing and administrative support occupations.
Changes in organizational practices
in business and trade publications.
Technologists and tech n icia n s. also will affect employment for some
Workers in this group provide techni­ of these occupations. Despite a grow­
cal assistance to engineers, scientists, ing volume of mail, little change is
and other professional workers as expected in the employment of mail
well as operate and program technical carriers because of improved routing
equipment independently. The contin­ programs and more centralized mail
ued growth in the importance of tech­ delivery. However, despite the pro­
nology to national defense, office jected slow growth, several occupa­
work, manufacturing, and other activ­ tions in this group will provide many
ities is expected to cause much faster full- and part-time job openings due to
than average employment growth for their large size and high turnover.
several occupations in this group, These include bank tellers, bookkeep­
such as programmers and electrical ers and accounting clerks, secretaries,
and electronics technicians. Legal as­ shipping and receiving clerks, and
sistants are projected to grow faster typists.
Some administrative support occu­
than any other occupation as more of
them are employed to aid lawyers and pations will enjoy faster or much fast­
because of the expected growth in the er than average employment growth.
Employment of computer operators
demand for legal services.

and peripheral equipment operators,
for example, is expected to grow
much faster than the average due to
the increased use of computer sys­
Service occupations. This group in­
cludes a wide range of workers in
protective, food and beverage prepa­
ration, cleaning, and personal serv­
ices and is expected to account for
more job growth than any other broad
group. Among the protective service
occupations, correction officers are
expected to have much faster than
average growth because of the in­
creasing num ber of inm ates, and
guards are expected to have faster
than average growth because of con­
cern over crime and vandalism. Em­
ployment of police officers and fire­
fighters is expected to increase about
as fast as the average.
Rising incomes and the growing
number of men and women who com­
bine family responsibilities and a job
are expected to contribute to faster
than average em ploym ent growth
among food and beverage preparation
and service occupations such as bar­
tenders, cooks, and w aiters/w aitresses. Due to the large size, high
turnover, and growth of these occupa­
tions, full- and part-time job openings
will be plentiful.
Agricultural and forestry occupa­
tions. Demand for food, fiber, and
wood is expected to increase as the
world population grows. The develop­
ment and use of more productive
farming and forestry methods, howev­
er, is expected to result in declining
employment in most agricultural and
forestry occupations.
M echanics and repairers. These
workers adjust, maintain, and repair
autom obiles, industrial equipment,
computers, and many other types of
machinery. Employment in most of
these occupations is expected to grow
about as fast as the average due to the
greater use of machines throughout
the economy. In some, employment
will increase faster than the average.
The increased use of computers and
advanced office machinery, for exam­
ple, will make employment of com­
puter service technicians and office
machine repairers grow much faster
than the average. However, more re­
liable, easy-to-service machinery will
limit employment growth for some
mechanic and repairer occupations,

such as communications equipment
Construction occupations. Workers
in this group are expected to experi­
ence average employment growth be­
tween 1984 and 1995. A rapid rise in
spending for new industrial plants and
an increase in the number of house­
holds are factors expected to lead to
more new construction. Alteration
and modernization of existing struc­
tures, as well as the need for mainte­
nance and repair on highway systems,
dams, and bridges, also.will contrib­
ute to increased construction activity.
However, the construction industry is
very sensitive to changes in the Na­
tion’s economy, and employment in
construction occupations drops sharp­
ly during recessions.
Production occupations. Workers
in these occupations perform tasks
involved in the production of goods.
They set up, adjust, operate, and tend
machinery and equipment, and use
handtools and hand-held power tools
to fabricate and assemble products.
More efficient production techniques
such as com puter-aided m anufac­
turing and the increased use of lasers
and industrial robots will prevent em­
ployment in many production occupa­
tions from rising as rapidly as the
output of goods. However, there will
still be many openings in this group
because of its large size.
Many production occupations are
sensitive to changes in the economy.
When factory orders decline during
economic downturns, workers may
experience shortened w orkw eeks,
layoffs, and plant closings.
Transportation and material moving
occupations. Workers in this group
operate the equipment used to move
people and materials. An increase in
demand for transport services is ex­
pected to result in average employ­
ment growth for truckdrivers and fast­
er than average growth for airplane
pilots. Increased use of automated
material handling systems, however,
is expected to cause a decrease in
employment of industrial truck oper­
Handlers, equipment cleaners, help­
ers, and laborers. Workers in this group
assist skilled workers and perform the
routine unskilled tasks. Employment
in these occupations is expected to
grow more slowly than the average as
routine tasks are mechanized, but
jobs in these occupations generally

are expected to be plentiful due to
high turnover. However, economic
downturns can lower the number of
openings substantially. This is partic­
ularly true for construction laborers
and other workers in industries that
are sensitive to changes in the N a­
tion’s economy.
Since the employment prospects for
individual occupations within each of
the 16 groups differ, it is important to
check the outlook for each occupation
that interests you. More detailed sta­
tistics on employment, replacement
needs, and educational and training
program completions are presented in
Occupational Projections and Train­
ing Data, 1986 Edition, BLS Bulletin
2251, a companion volume to the

Replacement Needs
Most discussions of future job oppor­
tunities focus on the employment
growth in industries and occupations.
Since the faster growing industries
and occupations generally offer better
opportunities for employment and ad­
vancement than slow-growing ones,
employment growth is a good gauge of
job outlook. Another element in the
employment outlook, however, is re­
placement needs. Replacement open­
ings occur as people leave occupa­
tions. Some transfer to other occupa­
tions as a step up the career ladder or
to change careers. Some stop work­
ing, return to school, assume house­
hold responsibilities, or retire.
Through the mid-1990’s, most jobs
will become available as the result of
replacement needs. Among occupa­
tions, however, the number of re­
placement jobs and the proportion of
total job openings made up by re­
placement needs will vary signifi­
cantly. Size, the earnings and status,
the length of training required, the
average age of workers, and the pro­
portion of part-time workers deter­
mine the number of replacement jobs
in an occupation. Occupations with
the most replacement openings gener­
ally are large, with low pay and status,
low training requirements, and a high
proportion of young and part-time
workers. Examples are: File clerks,
cashiers, construction laborers, and
stock handlers. W orkers in these oc­
cupations who lose their job or leave
voluntarily often are able to find a
similar job. They also have not spent
much money or time in training for


their jobs, so there is limited incentive
to stay in such occupations. Occupa­
tions with low training requirements
often attract workers with limited at­
tachment to the labor force, such as
young people working part time.
The occupations with relatively few
replacement openings, on the other
hand, are ones with high pay and
status, lengthy training requirements,
and a high proportion of prime work­
ing age, full-time workers. Among
these occupations are architects, den­

Digitized for22

tists, and dental laboratory techni­
cians. Workers in these occupations
generally have spent several years ac­
quiring training that often is not appli­
cable to other occupations. These
workers enjoy good pay and high sta­
tus, but would find it difficult to
change to other high-paying occupa­
tions without extensive retraining.
W hen considering rep lacem en t
needs, it is important to note, first,
that occupations with little or no em­
ployment growth or slower than aver­

age growth can still offer many job
openings. Second, in many occupa­
tions with a large number of replace­
ment openings, the pay and status are
low. Many of the available jobs are
only part-time positions. These occu­
pations, therefore, may not be suit­
able for a person planning a long-term
career, despite the large number of
openings. More information about re­
placement needs is available in Occu­
pational Projections and Training

Executive, Administrative, and
Managerial Occupations
Executives, administrators, manag­
ers, and their support staff are found
in every organization. They establish
goals, direct operations, and control
major activities of their organizations.
As a group, these workers are older,
m ore e x p e rie n c e d , m ore highly
trained and, consequently, more high­
ly paid than most other workers. In
1984, the proportion of these workers
with 4 years or more of college was
more than twice that of the total work
force; and on the average their sala­
ries were more than 50 percent higher
than that of the total work force.
Executives, adm inistrators, and
managers must rapidly assess large
amounts of information prepared by
their support staff. For example, the
chief executive officer may base a
policy decision upon economic re­
ports developed by budget specialists.
Financial managers analyze data me­
ticulously summarized by accoun­
tants. Personnel managers monitor
information on staffing patterns com­
piled by personnel specialists. Mar­
keting and sales executives develop
strategies to market their firms’ prod­
ucts based upon information furnished
by buyers.
Detailed information about the na­
ture of the work, working conditions,
employment, training requirements,
job outlook, and earnings for a num­
ber of executive, administrative, man­
agerial, and support occupations ap­
pears in the following Handbook state­

Managers and their support staff have much more
formal education than most other workers.

Percent of workers
of schooling,
4 years of
college or more
1 to 3 years
of college







__________________ Managers and support staff
] All occupations

4 years of
high school
or less


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Managers and their support staff have much higher earnings
than most other full-time workers.

... ,,

Percent of workers








Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Managers and Administrators
Nature of the Work
Managers and adm inistrators are
needed in every organization. They
plan, organize, direct, and control the
organization’s major functions. Some
workers who are occasionally referred
to as managers are excluded from this
category, for example, supervisors of
blue-collar workers, because they
rarely set goals for an organization.
The many job titles used for managers
reflect either the specific responsibili­
ty of a position or the industry in
which the manager works. Among the
numerous job titles are account exec­
utive, cable supervisor, chief design
engineer, clerk of the court, director
of social services, hospital administra­
tor, plant manager, postmaster, pub­
lisher, refinery superintendent, sales
coordinator, school principal, treasur­
er, and vice president.
The duties of a manager are as
varied as their titles because manag­
ers oversee many different activities,
such as designing the product that an
organization will offer, manufacturing
it, and marketing it. Financial con­
trol—that is, keeping track of an orga­
nization’s income and expenses—is
another important management func­
tion. But perhaps the most basic man­
agement function concerns personnel,
for the difference between a manager
and an entrepreneur with no employ­
ees is that the manager works through
other people to reach a goal. Manag­
ers, therefore, must be skilled at hir­
ing qualified people and at working
with others.
In a small owner-operated firm, all
management functions may be exer­
cised by one individual—the owner.
But, as the size and complexity of an
organization’s operations increase, so
does the management hierarchy.
Many functions—accounting or legal
services, for example—that may be
contracted out by small firms are of­
ten performed internally by large cor­
porations. Giant corporations, such as
those found in the automobile and oil
industries, contain several layers ofmanagement, which are generally
grouped in three levels—supervisory,
middle, and top.

Supervisory or junior managers
plan, schedule, and supervise the dayto-day work of employees. For exam­
ple, a junior manager in a department
store might supervise several sales
clerks, keep records of inventory and
sales, and be responsible for insuring
that adequate supplies of merchandise
are on hand. In a ceramics factory, a
junior manager might be responsible
for seeing that machinery is properly
maintained, that the raw materials are
available, and that production sched­
ules are met. In a government or bus­
iness office, junior managers might
oversee and review the work of pro­
fessionals. Junior managers must be
familiar with their firm’s products or
services, thoroughly understand work
procedures, and have strong interper­
sonal skills. Besides supervisory re­
sponsibilities, they may spend part of
their time on other work. They are
found in every sort of organization
directing every kind of activity, such
as accounting, data processing, in­
spection, maintenance, marketing,
personnel, research, sales, security,
and shipping.
Midlevel managers hold intermedi­
ary positions between supervisory
and top management. Their specific
duties and job titles depend largely on
the way the particular organization
they work for is set up, but they are
always in charge of several junior
managers. In a very large corporation
manufacturing many products, a
midlevel manager might be responsi­
ble for a separate division that makes
only a few of these products. In a
corporation that has a single purpose,
such as a superm arket chain, a
midlevel manager might be responsi­
ble for all the stores in a region. Or
midlevel managers might be responsi­
ble for a specific activity such as per­
sonnel, sales, service, or production.
Top-level managers include mem­
bers of the board of directors, the
chief executive officer—who may be
the president or the board chairman—
and the vice presidents for major ad­
ministrative units, such as marketing
or financial operations. These execu­
tives establish the objectives of the

organization and chart its future
course. They must analyze and eval­
uate large amounts of information to
gauge the possible impact on their
organization of economic, political,
and social tren d s; technological
change; and competition. They also
coordinate the activities of various
administrative units within their orga­
nizations and maintain lines of com­
munication with middle managers.

Working Conditions
Like their duties and job titles, the
working conditions of managers vary
widely depending upon their position,
their employer, and their industry. In
a large corporation, a top-level man­
ager might have a lavish office and a
private secretary, whereas a produc­
tion-line manager might have a simple
office and use a secretarial pool. Most
work a standard 8-hour day and 5-day
week, but many do not. Some, like
those in newspaper publishing, regu­
larly work the night shift. Others, like
hospital administrators, are on call 24
hours a day to deal with emergencies.
And almost all managers are expected
to work overtime when necessary.
Other working conditions also differ
greatly from job to job. For example,
managers in the construction industry
work outdoors a lot, while those re­
sponsible for a large region travel a
great deal.
The pace of work also varies. In the
radio and television broadcasting in­
dustry, managers are subject to con­
stant deadlines. For hotel managers,
checkout time can be particularly hec­
tic. In retail trade establishments, sea­
sonal changes in activity are pro­
nounced. In the drug manufacturing
industry, research projects may be
long term, scheduled for completion
months or even years in the future.
Naturally, the degree to which man­
agers work with other people also
depends on their particular job. Some,
like those in restaurants, automotive
service departments, and social ser­
vice agencies, are in constant contact
with the public. Managers associated
with research and development activ-

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/25
ities, on the other hand, may rarely
deal with people outside their office.

Managers held about 8.8 million jobs
in 1984, nearly 90 percent of which
were salaried positions. In most in­
dustries, the proportion of managers
is roughly the same as it is in the
economy as a whole, about 8 percent.
The finance, insurance, and real es­
tate industry group, however, has a
relatively high proportion of managers
(17 percent); and the agriculture, for­
estry, and fisheries group has a rela­
tively low one (2 percent).
Generally, large industries are also
large employers of managers. The 20
industries listed in table 1 employed
over 60 percent of all salaried manag­
ers in 1984.
Self-employment is higher among
managers than most occupations.
Many self-employed managers work
in retail trade—an industry character­
ized by a large number of relatively
small establishments.
Training, Other Qualifications, and
Management is not usually an entry
level function. Some people enter
management training programs after
completing college, but most people
who become managers start their ca­
reers in other occupations. School ad­
ministrators often begin as teachers,
treasurers begin as accountants, and
store managers start out as sales
To be considered for management
positions, workers must first prove
themselves in their current job. In
evaluating candidates, superiors look
for determination, confidence, in­
novativeness, high motivation, and
managerial attributes, such as the
ability to make sound decisions, to
organize and coordinate work effi­
ciently, and to establish good personal
relations with other workers.
Potential junior managers may be
given occasional supervisory assign­
ments and, shortly before or after
assuming full-time supervisory duties,
may participate in management semi­
nars and training courses—offered by
industry and management associa­
tions, consulting firms, and institu­
tions of higher education—lasting
from 1 day to several months. Train­
ing may also include rotational assign­
ments to other administrative units,
plants, or overseas posts; service on

boards and committees; and serving
as assistants to higher level managers.
A college education is more impor­
tant for managers than for most other
occupations. In 1984, over 40 percent
of all salaried managers and adminis­
trators had completed 4 years or more
of college—roughly double the pro­
portion for all occupations. However,
there is considerable variation in the
median years of schooling among
managerial occupations. For exam­
ple, administrators in education and
related fields had completed over 18
years of schooling while property and
real estate managers had completed
only 13.2 years compared to the 12.8
years for all occupations in 1984.
Many managers undergo additional
qualifying training. For example, in
1984, about one-fifth of marketing,
advertising, and public relations man­
agers and of medical and health man­
agers said that they needed formal
company training to qualify for their
current job. Nearly one-half of finan­
cial managers and marketing, adver­
tising, and public relations managers
said that informal on-the-job training
was required.
Advancement invariably depends
upon successful performance. How­
ever, in highly technical activities

such as engineering, data processing,
and complex manufacturing opera­
tions, a graduate degree in business
m anagem ent can enhance o n e’s
chances for promotion to top-level
management positions. Graduates
with a master’s degree in business
administration from a prestigious
school can often enter a wide range of
industries and many, especially those
with previous managerial experience,
move up the management hierarchy
soon after employment in their new
Continuing training is also impor­
tant. For example, in 1984, 1 out of 3
public administration officials said
they took formal company training to
improve their skills; over 1 out of 4
took informal on-the-job training. In­
dustry sources indicate that many toplevel managers complete formal aca­
demic refresher or “ catch-up” pro­
grams of about a year’s duration at
least two or three times during their
management careers.

Job Outlook
Employment of salaried managers and
administrators is expected to increase
faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the mid-1990’s as busi­
ness operations become more com-

Table 1. Wage and salary employment of managers in selected industries,


Percent of

Total, all industries..........................................................



Eating and drinking places..........................................................
Educational services....................................................................
Business services.........................................................................
Health services.............................................................................
Local government, except education and hospitals..............
Miscellaneous retail stores..........................................................
Food stores...................................................................................
Wholesale trade, durable g o o d s................................................
Special trade contractors (construction)..................................



General merchandise stores........................................................
Membership organizations..........................................................
Real estate.....................................................................................
Federal Government....................................................................
Apparel and accessories stores..................................................
Automotive dealers and gasoline service stations..................
Machinery manufacturing, except electrical..........................
General contractors and operative builders (construction)..
Insurance carriers.......................................................................



SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

26/Occupational Outlook Handbook
plex. On the other hand, the number
of self-employed managers is expect­
ed to decline as large enterprises and
chain operations increasingly domi­
nate business activity.
The projected change in employ­
ment varies greatly among managerial
occupations. The employment of
health services administrators is ex­
pected to increase much faster than
average, as the health industry ex­
pands and health services manage­
ment becomes more complex. Partic­
ularly strong demand will arise from
the growth in health maintenance or­
ganizations, group medical practices,
and other health care facilities such as
emergency centers, surgicenters, and
rehabilitation centers for patients not
requiring the full spectrum of medical
services offered by hospitals. In addi­
tion, there will be great pressure to
expand skilled nursing and personal
care facilities to accommodate the
large increase in the number of senior
citizens. Faster than average growth
is expected in the employment of
bank officers and managers as bank
services expand in volume and com­
Employment of elementary and sec­
ondary school principals and assis­
tants is expected to increase more
slowly than the average, since the
school-age population is projected to
increase only modestly by the mid1990’s. The employment of postmasters
and mail superintendents is also expect­
ed to increase more slowly than the
average, as no significant increase in
the number of post offices is expected.
Employment of managers generally
changes along with employment in the
industries in which they work. Much
faster than average growth is expect­
ed in the employment of managers in
many service industries—for example,
business services, including computer
and data processing as well as person­
nel supply services; miscellaneous serv­
ices, including engineering, architectur­
al, and surveying as well as accounting,
auditing, and bookkeeping services;
and social services, including residen­
tial care, individual and family social
services, and job training and vocation­
al rehabilitation services.
Industries in which faster than av­
erage growth in the employment of
managers is expected include whole­
sale trade in nondurable goods; food
stores; electrical and electronic ma­
chinery and equipment manufac­
Digitized for turing; apparel and accessories stores;

and State government, except educa­
tion and hospitals.
Industries in which slower than av­
erage growth in the employment of
managers is expected include the Fed­
eral Government and mining. De­
clines are expected in the employment
of managers in some manufacturing
industries—for example, food prod­
ucts and apparel and textile products.

Managers tend to earn more than
workers in other occupations. In 1984,
median annual earnings of all full-time
managers and administrators, exclud­
ing s e lf-e m p lo y e d , w ere o v e r
$27,400—compared to $17,000 for all
occupations. The middle 50 percent
earned between $18,000 and $40,000.
More than 12 percent—over 4 times
the proportion for all workers—earned
$52,000 or more.
Earnings vary widely by occupa­
tion, employer, and level of responsi­
bility. Median annual earnings of prop­
erty and real estate managers were
$16,900 in 1984, whereas marketing,
advertising, and public relations man­
agers earned $31,400. As in most
fields, large employers tend to pay
higher salaries than small employers,
and earnings are higher in major met­
ropolitan areas than in rural areas.
Management trainees may start at
salaries not much higher than those of
workers they supervise, whereas sal­
aries of executives may be several
times larger. Top-level managers in
large corporations—among the high­
est paid workers in the country—can
earn 10 times as much as their coun­
terparts in small firms. A small num­
ber of corporate executives earn over
$1 million a year.
Most managers in the private sector
receive additional compensation in
the form of bonuses, stock awards,
and cash-equivalent fringe benefits
such as company-paid insurance pre­
miums and use of company cars.
Sources of Additional Information
General information about managerial
functions, training programs, and ca­
reer development is available from:
American Management Association, Manage­
ment Information Service, 135 West 50th St.,
New York, N.Y. 10020.
National Management Association, 2210 Arbor
Blvd., Dayton, Ohio 45439.

Specific information may be obtained
from the national organizations listed
under a number of headings—adminis­

tration, administrators, directors, exec­
utives, management, managers, super­
intendents, and supervisors—in various
encyclopedias or directories of associa­
tions, available in public libraries.
For information on educational in­
stitutions offering a specialization in
business and management, consult di­
rectories of institutions of higher
learning, available in public libraries.
Consult the Dictionary o f Occupa­
tional Titles, Fourth Edition, 1977 (U.S.
Department of Labor, Employment
and Training Administration), for a de­
tailed description of various managerial
jobs. Consult a number of headings—
administrator, director, executive, man­
ager, superintendent, and supervisor. A
copy of this publication should be avail­
able in most public libraries.

Bank Officers and
(D .O .T. 161.117-018; 186.117-014, -038, -054, -066,
-070, -078; ,167-022, -026, -054; and 189.117-038)

Nature of the Work
Practically every banking institution—
whether commercial bank, savings
and loan association, or personal cred­
it institution—has one or more vice
presidents acting as general managers
who coordinate the activities of the
institution’s departments or regional
offices, and financial managers who
oversee the activities of their branch­
es. Most have a controller or cashier
who, unlike cashiers in stores and
other businesses, is an executive of­
ficer generally responsible for all bank
property. Large banks also may have
treasurers and other officers to over­
see several departments.
Each department is headed by a
highly trained and experienced man­
ager. Risk and insurance managers
establish and oversee programs to
control and minimize risks and losses
that may arise from financial transac­
tions undertaken by the institution.
Credit card operations managers es­
tablish credit rating criteria, deter­
mine credit ceilings, and monitor their
institution’s extension of credit. Re­
serve officers review their institu­
tion’s financial statements and direct
the purchase and sale of bonds and
other securities to maintain the assetliability ratio required by law. User
representatives in international ac­
counting develop integrated inter-

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/27
national financial and accounting sys­
tems for the banking transactions of
multinational organizations. A work­
ing knowledge of the financial systems
of foreign countries is essential.
Bank officers make decisions within
a framework of existing laws and reg­
ulations and policy set by the board of
directors. They must have a broad
knowledge of business activities and
also detailed knowledge of industries
allied to banking, such as insurance,
real estate, and securities. With grow­
ing competition, promotion of an ex­
panding variety of financial services
offered by banking institutions is an
increasingly important function of
bank managers. Besides supervising
financial services, officers advise indi­
viduals and businesses and participate
in community projects.

Working Conditions
Since a great deal of bank business
depends on customers’ impressions,
officers and managers are provided
attractive, comfortable offices and are
encouraged to dress conservatively.
Bank officers and managers typically
work at least 40 hours a week. How­
ever, attending civic functions, keep­
ing abreast of community develop­
ments, establishing and maintaining
business contacts, participating in
trade association meetings, and simi­
lar activities may occasionally require
overtime work.

Bank officers confirm customers’ credit eligibility.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Many bank management positions are
filled by promoting technically skilled
personnel—for example, accountants,
credit analysts, and loan officers—or
outstanding bank clerks or tellers who
have demonstrated the potential for
increased responsibilities. More posi­
tions are being filled by management
Bank officers and managers held about trainees with a college education. A
453,000 jobs in 1984. The following business administration major in fi­
tabulation presents the distribution of nance or a liberal arts curriculum,
wage and salary jobs by type of bank­ including accounting, economics,
commercial law, political science, and
ing or credit institution.
statistics, serves as excellent prepara­
Banking.......................................... 309,000
tion for officer-trainee positions. A
Commercial and stock sav­
ings banks.............................. 282,000 Master of Business Administration
Mutual savings banks.............. 11,000 (MBA) in addition to a social science
Federal Reserve banks............
2,000 bachelor’s degree, which some em­
Trust companies, nondeposit .
1,000 ployers prefer, may provide an even
Establishments closely related
stronger educational foundation.
to b a n k s................................ 12,000 However, banks do hire people with
diverse backgrounds such as chemical
Credit agencies other than
banks.......................................... 144,000 engineering, nuclear physics, and for­
estry to meet the needs of the com­
Savings and loan
associations.......................... 63,000 plex, high-technology industries with
Personal credit institutions . . . 45,000 which they deal.
Mortgage bankers and
Persons interested in becoming
brokers.................................. 22,000 bank officers should like to work in­
Business credit institutions . . .
dependently and to analyze detailed
Agricultural credit
5,000 information. The ability to communi­
cate, both orally and in writing, is
Rediscount and financing
1,000 important. They also need tact and

good judgment to counsel customers
and supervise employees.
In small banks, where the number
of positions is limited, advancement
to a management position may come
slowly. In large banks that have spe­
cial training programs, promotions
may occur more quickly. For a senior
position, however, an employee usu­
ally needs many years of experience.
Although experience, ability, and
leadership are emphasized for promo­
tion, advancement may be accelerated
by special study. Banks often provide
opportunities for workers to broaden
their knowledge and skills. Many banks
encourage employees to take courses at
local colleges and universities. In addi­
tion, banking associations, often in
cooperation with colleges and universi­
ties, sponsor numerous national or local
training programs for bank officers.
Their schools, located throughout the
country, each deal with a different
phase of banking. Persons enrolled pre­
pare extensively at home, then attend
annual sessions on subjects such as
commercial lending, installment credit,
international banking, corporate cash
management, and bank technology.
Banks also sponsor annual seminars
and conferences and provide textbooks
and other educational materials. Many
banks pay all or part of the costs for
those who successfully complete cours­

28/Occupational Outlook Handbook
es. (See the statement on bank tellers
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Bank operations have been revolu­
tionized by technological improve­
ments in computers and data process­
ing equipment. Knowledge of their
applications is important to upgrade
managerial skills and to enhance ad­
vancement opportunities.
Because banking is an essential part
of business, well-trained, experienced
managers may transfer to closely relat­
ed positions in other areas of finance or
to positions within other industries,
such as manufacturing, that need indi­
viduals with banking experience.

Related Occupations
Bank officers and managers combine
formal schooling with experience in
one or more areas of banking—such
as lending, credit operations, or risk
and loss control—to provide services
for customers. Other occupations
which require similar training and
ability include accountants and audi­
tors, budget officers, credit analysts,
securities consultants, and underwrit­
Sources of Additional Information
General information about banking
occupations, training opportunities,
and the banking industry itself is
available from:

Job Outlook
Employment of bank officers is expect­ American Bankers Association, 1120 Connect­
ed to increase faster than the average icut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
for all occupations through the mid- Bank Administration Institute, 60 Gould Cen­
1990’s. Expanded financial services of­ ter, Rolling Meadows, 111. 60008.
fered by banks will spur demand for National Association of Bank Women, Inc.,
bank managers to provide sound man­ National Office, 500 N. Michigan Ave., Chica­
go, 111. 60611.
agement and effective quality control.
of Financial Education, 111 E.
Although bank officers and managers The Institute Chicago, 111. 60601.
Wacker Dr.,
exhibit a relatively strong attachment to
Information on careers with the Fed­
their occupation, most job openings will eral Reserve System is available from:
result from the need to replace those
Board of Governors, The Federal Reserve Sys­
who transfer to other fields, retire, or tem, Personnel Division, Washington, D.C.
leave the occupation for other reasons. 20551, or from the personnel department of the
Because of the increasing number Federal Reserve bank serving each geographic
of qualified applicants, competition area.
State bankers’ associations can fur­
for bank managerial positions is ex­
pected to stiffen. Familiarity with oth­ nish specific information about job
er financial services—for example, in­ opportunities in their State. Or write
surance or securities—and with com­ directly to a particular bank to inquire
puters and data processing systems about job openings. For the names
may enhance one’s chances for em­ and addresses of banks, savings, and
ployment. Once employed, managers related institutions, as well as the
and officers are likely to work year names of their principal officers, con­
round, even during periods of slow eco­ sult one of the following directories.
nomic activity, because cyclical swings The A m erican B ank D irecto ry (Norcross, Ga.,
in the economy seem to have little im­ McFadden Business Publications).
P o lk ’s W orld B ank D irecto ry (Nashville, R.L.
mediate effect on banking activities.
Officer trainees with a bachelor’s de­
gree generally earned between $13,200
and $22,800 a year in 1984. Those with
master’s degrees generally started at
higher salaries. Graduates with a Mas­
ter of Business Administration were
offered starting salaries of $21,600 to
$42,000 a year in 1984.
Salaries of bank officers averaged
$28,600 in 1984. The salary level de­
pends upon the particular position and
the size and location of the bank. For
managers, as well as for other bank
employees, earnings are likely to be
lower in small towns than in big cities.
The top 10 percent of all bank officers
Digitized for earned over $52,000 a year in 1984.

Polk & Co.).

The U .S . S a vin gs an d L oan D irecto ry (Chica­

go, Rand McNally & Co.).

Health Services
(D.O.T. 074.131; 075.117-014, -022, -026, and -030;
079.117- 010, .131, .137, and .167-014; 161.117-018;
162.117- 014 and -022; 164.117-010; 165.117-010;
166.117- 010 and -018, .167-018, -026, -030, and -050;
169.167-030 and -034; 186.117-014 and -066; 187.117010, -018, -058, and -062, .167-034, -038, -046, -090,
-106 and -194; 189.177-014, .167-022, -030, and -050;
and 195.167.038)

Nature of the Work
Effective management of health care
organizations, and of the considerable

resources at their disposal, requires
competent managers. Like their coun­
terparts in any organization, health
services managers are responsible for
facilities, services, programs, staff,
budgets, and relations with other or­
Health services manager is an inclu­
sive term for individuals in many dif­
ferent positions who plan, organize,
and coordinate the delivery of care.
Hospitals provide nearly half the jobs
in this field. Among the other organi­
zations that employ health services
managers are clinics, health mainte­
nance organizations (HMO’s), nurs­
ing homes, home health agencies, re­
habilitation centers, and psychiatric
facilities; surgicenters, urgent care
centers, diagnostic imaging centers,
and other ambulatory care facilities;
and offices of doctors, dentists, and
other practitioners.
The job of managing a health facil­
ity has become highly complex due to
the rapid pace of change in medical
technology and the emergence of doz­
ens of specialty health professions, in
addition to significant changes in con­
sumer expectations, business practic­
es, and health care financing. As a
result, the need for professional man­
agers continues to grow.
Also contributing to the need for
professional management is the exten­
sive oversight and scrutiny to which
many health facilities are subject.
Both past performance and plans for
the future are subject to review by a
variety of groups and organizations,
including consumer groups, govern­
ment agencies, professional oversight
bodies, business coalitions, and even
the courts. Preparing for inspection
visits by observers from regulatory
bodies and submitting appropriate
records and documentation can be
time consuming as well as technically
Three functional levels of adminis­
tration are found in hospitals and oth­
er large health care settings—execu­
tive, internal management, and spe­
cialized staff. The chief executive
officer provides overall management
direction, but also is concerned with
com m unity o u tre a c h , planning,
policymaking, response to govern­
ment agencies and regulations, and
negotiating. The job often includes
speaking before civic groups, promot­
ing public participation in health pro­
grams, and coordinating the activities
of the organization with those of gov-

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/29
ernment or community agencies. In­
stitutional planning is an increasingly
important responsibility for chief ad­
ministrators, who must assess the
need for services, personnel, facili­
ties, and equipment and recommend
such changes as shutting down a ma­
ternity ward, for example, or opening
an outpatient clinic. Chief administra­
tors need leadership ability as well as
technical skills in order to respond
effectively to the community’s re­
quirements for health care while, at
the same time, satisfying demand for
financial viability, cost containment,
and public and professional account­
Day-to-day management, particu­
larly in large facilities, may be the
responsibility of one or more associ­
ate or assistant administrators, who
work with service unit managers and
staff specialists. Depending on the
size of the organization, associate or
assistant administrators may be re­
sponsible for budget preparation and
finance; personnel administration and
in-service training; information man­
agement; or coordination of the activ­
ities of the medical, nursing, physical
plant, and other operating depart­
As the health care system becomes
more complex, specialists in financial
management, marketing, strategic
planning, systems analysis, and labor
relations will need to be hired.
Although managers in hospitals and
nursing homes are both responsible
for the efficient operation of their fa­
cilities, their day-to-day duties differ
markedly. Hospitals are complex in
structure, housing a great many de­
partments—admissions, surgery, lab­
oratory, therapy, emergency medi­
cine, nursing, physical plant, medical
records, accounting, and so on. The
hospital administrator works with the
governing board in establishing gener­
al policies and operating philosophy
and provides direction to assistant ad­
ministrators, or vice presidents as
they may be called, and department
heads who carry out those policies.
The administrator coordinates the ac­
tivities of the assistant administrators
and department heads to assure that
the hospital runs efficiently, provides
high quality medical care, and recov­
ers adequate revenue to remain sol­
vent or make a profit.
Many of the same management
skills are needed by nursing home
administrators. However, administra­

Nursing home administrators must have business ability and be good at dealing with
tive staffs in nursing homes are typi­ ment fees low enough to attract ade­
cally much smaller than those in hos­ quate enrollments but high enough to
pitals—nursing home administrators operate successfully.
often have only one or two assistants,
sometimes none. As a result, nursing Working Conditions
home administrators “ get their hands Health services managers often work
into” the detailed management deci­ long hours. Facilities such as nurs­
sions much more than hospital admin­ ing homes and hospitals operate
istrators in all but the smallest hospi­ around the clock, and administrators
tals. They wear various hats—person­ and managers may be called at all
nel director, director of finance, hours to deal with emergencies. The
director of facilities, admissions direc­ job also may include travel to attend
tor, for example—analyzing data and meetings or to inspect health care
then making daily management deci­ facilities.
sions in all of these areas. In addition,
because many nursing home residents Employment
are long term, staying 2 years or Health services managers held about
more, these administrators must pro­ 336,000 jobs in 1984. Almost half of all
vide for the psychological and social jobs were in hospitals, as the follow­
well-being of residents, as well as for ing tabulation shows:
health care.
In the growing field of group
practice management, managers tend
T o ta l............................
to the administrative and manage­
ment functions involved in a large Hospitals..................................
Offices of physicians (M.D.’s
practice. Responsibilities include per­
and D.O.’s)..........................
sonnel, billing and collection, bud­
Nursing homes........................
geting, planning, and sometimes
Offices of dentists..................
Outpatient care facilities . . . .
Health services managers in health Medical and dental
maintenance organizations (HMO’s)
perform all of the functions of those in Offices of other health
large medical group practices, but
they perform one additional func­ Other........................................
tion—that of an insurance company.
HMO enrollees pay an annual fee that
Some health services managers di­
covers almost all care. HMO manag­ rect the operations of nurses’ regis­
ers must establish a comprehensive tries and medical and dental laborato­
medical benefit package with enroll­ ries.

30/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tration. About 70 schools had pro­
Training, Other Qualifications, and
grams leading to the master’s degree
As is generally true with managerial in hospital or health services adminis­
jobs, most entrants transfer from oth­ tration; about 20 of these programs
er occupations. Knowledge of man­ were in schools of public health.
agement principles and practices is Some schools offer joint degree pro­
the essential requirement for a posi­ grams, leading to a master’s in public
tion in this field, and such knowledge health and a master’s in business ad­
often is gained through work experi­ ministration, for example.
To enter graduate programs, appli­
ence. Nonetheless, formal education­
al preparation is important, especially cants must have a bachelor’s degree,
for those who wish to advance in the with courses in natural sciences, psy­
profession. Although a nurse supervi­ chology, sociology, statistics, ac­
sor may rise to director of nursing counting, and economics. Competi­
services based upon merit of perform­ tion for entry to these programs is
ance, for example, a master’s degree keen, and applicants need abovein health administration (MHA) is average grades to gain admission. The
usually necessary for advancement programs generally last between 2 and
beyond nursing director. For some 3 years. They include up to 1 year of
other positions, a degree in business, supervised administrative experience,
personnel administration, or public undertaken after completion of course
administration provides an appropri­ work in such areas as hospital organi­
ate background; many graduate pro­ zation and management, accounting
grams in these disciplines offer con­ and budget control, personnel admin­
istration, strategic planning, and man­
centrations in health administration.
Many hospitals are setting up sepa­ agement of health information sys­
rate ventures such as outpatient sur­ tems.
New graduates with master’s de­
gical centers, alcohol treatment cen­
ters, and home health care services. grees in health or hospital administra­
When they operate at a profit, sepa­ tion may be hired by hospitals as
rate companies such as these can fun­ assistant administrators or, more of­
nel needed revenue to the hospital. To ten, as department heads or project
operate and manage these subsidiary directors. Postgraduate residencies
companies, hospitals—or the corpora­ and fellowships are offered by hospi­
tions that run them—are looking out­ tals and other health facilities; these
side the health industry for managers are normally staff jobs.
Growing numbers of graduates from
with well-established skills in profit
and loss analysis, marketing, and fi­ master’s degree programs are taking
nance. Nonetheless, graduate educa­ jobs in HMO’s, large group medical
tion in health services administration practices, and clinics as these facili­
remains a prerequisite for many upper ties continue to flourish. Students
level administrative positions within should be aware, however, that
m idlevel jo b tran sfers betw een
hospitals and their subsidiaries.
Academic programs in health ad­ HMO’s, large medical groups, and
ministration, leading to a bachelor’s, hospitals may be difficult. Employers
master’s, or doctoral degree, are of­ place a high value on experience in
fered by colleges, universities, and similar settings because some of the
schools of public health, allied health, management skills are unique to each
and business administration. The var­ setting.
Relatively few master’s degree re­
ious degree programs provide differ­
ent levels of career preparation. The cipients take administrative positions
master’s degree—in hospital adminis­ in nursing homes or life-care commu­
tration, health administration, or pub­ nities, although graduates of the small
lic health—is regarded as the standard number of long-term care administra­
credential for many positions in this tion programs generally do so. Many
field. Educational requirements vary nursing home administrators pursue
with the size of the organization and graduate education while employed,
the amount of responsibility involved. however.
New recipients of bachelor’s de­
Generally, larger organizations re­
quire more specialized academic prep­ grees in health administration usually
begin their careers as administrative
aration than smaller ones do.
In 1984, about 100 colleges and uni­ assistants or assistant department
versities offered bachelor’s degree heads in larger hospitals, or as depart­
Digitized for programs in health services adminis­ ment heads or assistant administra­

tors in small hospitals or in nursing
The Ph.D. degree usually is re­
quired for positions in teaching, con­
sulting, or research. Nursing service
administrators are usually chosen
from among supervisory registered
nurses with administrative abilities
and advanced education.
Licensure is not required in most
areas of health services management,
except for nursing home or long-term
care administration. About 18 States
currently require at least 2 years of
college for licensure, while about 20
require a bachelor’s degree. All States
and the District of Columbia require
these administrators to pass a licens­
ing examination, and most students
prepare for it by completing a special
course of study. These preparatory
courses, usually consisting of 100 to
200 hours of study in long-term care
administration, are available through
some colleges, universities, and home
study programs. The licensing exami­
nation covers principles of adminis­
tration; management of a long-term
care facility; the role of government in
long-term care; environmental health
and safety; and medical, psychologi­
cal, and social aspects of patient care.
Nearly half the States require appli­
cants to complete an internship known
as an Administrator-in-Training pro­
gram before taking the licensure ex­
amination. This internship generally
lasts 1 year and is supervised by a
licensed administrator. Since require­
ments vary from State to State, per­
sons considering a career in long-term
care administration should investigate
licensing requirements where they
wish to work.
Health services managers are often
responsible for millions of dollars of
facilities and equipment and hundreds
of employees. They need a command
of business and communication skills
that allows them to make timely poli­
cy decisions and to motivate subordi­
nates to implement those decisions.
Administrators, especially head ad­
ministrators, of all types of health
organizations need to be self-starters.
In order to create an atmosphere
favorable to good patient care, man­
agers must like people, enjoy working
with them, and be able to deal effec­
tively with them. Managers also
should be good at public speaking.
Health services managers advance
in the profession by moving into more
responsible and higher paying posi­

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/31
tions. They may do this within their
own institution, or by shifting to an­
other health care facility or organiza­
tion. Frequently, the first job in a
large institution is fairly narrow in
scope—department head in charge of
purchasing, for example. Advance­
ment occurs with promotion to suc­
cessively more responsible jobs such
as assistant or associate administrator
and, finally, chief executive officer
(CEO). Health services managers
sometimes begin their careers in small
hospitals in positions with broad re­
sponsibilities, such as assistant admin­
istrator. Regardless of the path of ad­
vancement chosen, the ultimate occu­
pational goal in hospitals and nursing
homes is the position of CEO.
Outside the more traditional ave­
nues of advancement, many managers
take staff positions with the Veterans
Administration, U.S. Public Health
Service, or State or local departments
of public health. Others find positions
with voluntary health agencies such
as the American Cancer Society or
with trade and professional associa­
tions in the health care field. A grow­
ing number of jobs are available with
firms that provide health management
services on a contract basis. Jobs also
are available in health planning agen­
cies and professional review organiza­
tions. Individuals with academic train­
ing or experience in health administra­
tion are well suited for such positions.

Job Outlook
Employment of health services man­
agers is expected to grow much faster
than the average for all occupations
through the mid-1990’s as the industry
continues to diversify and assume a
for-profit orientation. Most job open­
ings, however, will result from the
need to replace personnel who trans­
fer to another field or retire.
The various areas of health services
management will grow at different
rates in the years ahead. This reflects
anticipated changes in the organiza­
tion and delivery of health care due to
overwhelming pressure to control
Hospitals account for by far the
largest proportion of health care
spending. They are likely to remain a
focal point for cost containment, and
will not contribute as heavily to job
growth in health services management
in the future as they did in the past.
Hospital employment is expected to
grow more slowly than average be­

tween now and 1995, and the number cies, adult day care programs, life
of hospitals may actually decline. Re­ care communities, and other residen­
structuring of the hospital industry— tial facilities.
Opportunities for health services
the spinning off of separate companies
to provide ambulatory surgery, alco­ managers in nursing homes should be
hol and drug rehabilitation, or home extremely favorable, in view of the
health care, for example—will reduce exceptionally rapid growth that is pro­
the number of jobs in hospitals, while jected for the population 85 years of
creating opportunities in the subsid­ age and above, expected to exceed 4
million persons by 1995. Compared to
The importance of the hospital sec­ people in their 60’s or 70’s, very old
tor for employment of health services people experience a greater incidence
managers should not be underestimat­ of chronic diseases and incapacitating
ed, however. The rapidly changing conditions, and are far more likely to
hospital environment will provide ca­ require institutional care. Nursing
reer and advancement opportunities homes will need additional managers
for managers with appropriate skills as these facilities add beds and ex­
and experience. As hospitals become pand the scope of their activities.
more specialized, concentrating on Some nursing homes, for example,
services that they are particularly well are already moving into the area of
suited to deliver—whether it be neo­ community care by setting up respite
natal care or bum treatment, for ex­ and adult day care programs.
Overriding concern for cost con­
ample—managers with strategic plan­
ning and marketing skills will be need­ tainment is producing shorter stays
ed. Managers will also be needed to for hospital patients and, at the same
plan, install, and oversee comprehen­ time, generating demand for “ after­
sive systems for monitoring and con­ care” in a rehabilitation unit, nursing
trolling resource use.
home, or at home. Rapid employment
Facilities that provide outpatient growth in the home health field is
care are expected to provide many of anticipated for the same reason, and
the new jobs for health services man­ also because of technological advanc­
agers. Demand will be stimulated by es that make it possible for patients to
the very rapid expansion of HMO’s receive services at home that previ­
and group medical practices, and the ously would have required a hospital
emergence of such outpatient facili­ stay. Examples are intravenous che­
ties as urgent care centers, surgicent- motherapy and home ventilators for
ers, cardiac rehabilitation centers, di­ respiratory support. Opportunities for
agnostic imaging centers, and well­ administrative positions in home
health will be found in visiting nurse
ness centers.
HMO’s continue to grow in number associations and other nonprofit agen­
and membership, and they will pro­ cies, in hospital-based home care pro­
vide numerous jobs for health serv­ grams, and in the rapidly expanding
ices managers through 1995. Physi­ for-profit sector.
cians forming group practices to take
New approaches to delivering care
advantage of economies of scale and for the sick and dying will create some
shared expenses are expected to pro­ openings in hospices, which may be
vide many opportunities for adminis­ freestanding or based within a hospi­
trators in the area of medical practice tal or nursing home. Hospice pro­
management. Ambulatory facilities grams are very small and take a per­
such as outpatient surgical centers sonal approach to each patient. The
and after-hours clinics are expected to hospice movement stresses emotional
experience very rapid growth due to and spiritual support for the dying
their convenience and competitive fee patient and the family, and ready
structure. As such facilities become availability of drugs to control the
more widespread, additional jobs will excruciating pain that often accompa­
be generated.
nies terminal cancer, the disease most
With better medical care and health­ often suffered by hospice patients.
ier lifestyles, Americans are living Because the movement is so new, it is
longer than ever before. Very rapid too soon to say what background
growth in the number of older people lends itself best to hospice manage­
in the years ahead is likely to exert ment.
strong pressure for an expansion of
Job opportunities for health admin­
long-term care facilities—not just istration graduates are expected to be
nursing homes, but home health agen­ best in HMO’s, group medical prac­

32/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tices, and nursing homes, although
these jobs may not pay as well as
hospital jobs. Traditionally a favored
employment setting for health admin­
istration graduates, hospital manage­
ment has become increasingly attrac­
tive to people with formal training in
business administration. The sudden­
ness of hospitals’ shift from a service
to a business orientation is expected
to sustain demand for new MBA grad­
uates. This development, coupled
with slow industry growth, will great­
ly intensify competition for entry level
jobs in hospital administration. One
result may be that new graduates will
be offered jobs at the department head
or staff level rather than at the assist­
ant administrator level, as was com­
monly the case until recently. Very
stiff competition for upper level man­
agement jobs will continue, a reflec­
tion of the pyramidal management
structure characteristic of most large
and complex organizations.
In nursing homes and other long­
term care facilities, where a graduate
degree in health administration is not
ordinarily a requirement, job opportu­
nities for individuals with strong bus­
iness or management skills will con­
tinue to be excellent.

The personal standing and perform­
ance of the administrator, hospital
size, geographic location, and the
type of hospital ownership are all fac­
tors in determining the earnings of
hospital administrators. According to
a survey of compensation conducted
for Modern Healthcare magazine, ad­
ministrators in hospitals with fewer
than 100 beds earned an average in­
come of about $44,000 in 1984. In
hospitals of 100 to 349 beds, adminis­
trators averaged $68,000 annually. In
the largest hospitals, those with more
than 1,000 beds, chief administrators
averaged almost $120,000. The asso­
ciate administrator is directly under
the chief administrator. Earnings for
associate administrators ranged from
an average of about $30,000 annually
in the smallest hospitals to about
$62,000 in very large hospitals.
Nursing and personal care home
administrators usually earn lower sal­
aries than those paid administrators of
hospitals of similar size. Chief admin­
istrators of home health care agencies
had average earnings of $25,000 to
$30,000 per year in 1984, according to
limited information available.

Management incentive bonuses
based on job performance are increas­
ingly commonplace in executive com­
pensation packages.
Starting salaries for recent gradu­
ates of master’s programs in health
administration averaged $27,000 in
1983, according to a national survey
conducted by the Association of Uni­
versity Programs in Health Adminis­
tration. Recent recipients of master’s
degrees in health administration start­
ing work in Veterans Administration
hospitals earned $21,804 a year in

Related Occupations
Health services managers plan pro­
grams, set policies, create marketing
plans, and coordinate the use of re­
sources for a health facilty agency.
Other administrators with similar re­
sponsibilities include social welfare
administrators, emergency medical
services coordinators, public health
directors, community organization di­
rectors, college or university depart­
ment heads, comptrollers, department
store managers, directors of data proc­
essing, and recreation superinten­
Sources of Additional Information
Information about health administra­
tion and academic programs in this
field is available from:
American College of Healthcare Executives,
840 North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, 111. 60611.
Association of University Programs in Health
Administration, 1911 Fort Myer Drive, Suite
503, Arlington, Va. 22209.
National Health Council, Health Careers Pro­
gram, 70 West 40th St., New York, N.Y. 10018.
American College of Health Care Administra­
tors, P.O. Box 5890, 8120 Woodmont Ave.,
Suite 200, Bethesda, Md. 20814.

The American Association of Homes
for the Aging maintains a listing of
positions available and positions want­
ed in nonprofit nursing homes, life care
communities, and housing for the eld­
erly. For details, write:
Job Mart, AAHA, 1050 17th St. NW„ Suite
770, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Hotel Managers and
(D.O.T. 187.117-038, .161-010, .167-026, -046, -078,
-106, -110, -122, -126; and 320)

Nature of the Work
Hotel managers are responsible for
the profitable operation of their estab­

lishments. They manage front office,
housekeeping, food service, and rec­
reational activities, and oversee man­
agement of the accounting, marketing
and sales, personnel, security, and
maintenance departments. Satisfying
guests, handling problems, and coping
with the unexpected are important
parts of the job.
In a small hotel or motel with a
limited staff, a manager may directly
supervise most, if not all, depart­
ments. Large hotel and motel chains
often centralize some activities, such
as purchasing and advertising, so that
individual hotels in the chain may not
need managers for these departments.
Managers who work for chains may
be assigned to organize a newly built
or purchased hotel or to reorganize an
existing hotel or motel that is not
operating successfully.

Working Conditions
Since hotels are open around the
clock, night and weekend work is
common. Hotel employees frequently
must work on shifts. Managers who
live in the hotel usually have regular
work schedules, but they may be
called for work at any time. Some
employees of resort hotels are manag­
ers during the busy season and have
other duties the rest of the year.
Hotel managers sometimes experi­
ence the pressures of coordinating a
wide range of functions. Conventions
and large groups of tourists may pre­
sent unusual problems. Dealing with
irate patrons can also be stressful.
The job can be particularly hectic for
front office managers around checkin
and checkout time.
Hotel and motel managers held about
83,000 wage and salary jobs in 1984.
An additional num ber—primarily
owners of small hotels and motels—
were self-employed.
Training, Other Qualifications, and
Experience generally is the most im­
portant consideration in selecting
managers. This especially applies to
food and beverage managers who re­
quire many skills. The hotel restau­
rant and cocktail lounge are often of
great importance to the success of the
entire establishment.
However, employers increasingly
seek managers with college or special­
ized postsecondary education. A

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/33
bachelor’s degree in hotel and restau­
rant administration provides particu­
larly strong preparation for a career in
hotel management. In 1984, over 100
colleges and universities offered 4year programs in this field. Several
hundred junior colleges, technical in­
stitutes, and other academic institu­
tions also have courses in hotel work
that provide a good background. How­
ever, because a greater number of
aspiring hotel managers are seeking
formal training, applicants to these
programs face increasing competition.
Included in many programs in hotel
management are courses in hotel ad­
ministration, accounting, economics,
marketing, housekeeping, food ser­
vice management and catering, hotel
maintenance engineering, and data
processing—reflecting the widespread
use of computers in hotel operations
such as reservations, accounting, and
housekeeping. Part-time or summer
work in hotels and restaurants is en­
couraged because the experience
gained and the contacts made with
employers may benefit students when
they seek full-time employment after
Managers should have initiative,
self-discipline, and the ability to orga­
nize and direct the work of others.
They must be able to solve problems
and concentrate on details.
Sometimes large hotels sponsor spe­
cialized on-the-job management train­
ing programs which enable trainees to
rotate among various departments
and gain a thorough knowledge of the
hotel’s operation. Other hotels may
help finance the necessary training in
hotel management for outstanding
Most hotels promote employees
who have proven their ability. Newly
built hotels, particularly those without
well-established on-the-job training
programs, often prefer experienced
personnel for managerial positions.
Large hotel and motel chains may
offer better opportunities for advance­
ment than small, independently owned
establishments. They have more ex­
tensive career ladder programs and
offer managers the opportunity to
transfer to another hotel or motel in
the chain or to the central office if an
opening occurs. Career advancement
can be accelerated by completion of
certification programs offered by the
associations listed below. These pro­
grams generally require a combination

Computers help hotel managers control costs.
of course work, examinations, and

Job Outlook
Employment of salaried hotel manag­
ers is expected to grow faster than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s as more large hotels
and motels are built. While business
travel will continue to grow, demand
for additional hotels and motels is
expected to stem primarily from in­
creased domestic and foreign tourism.
Most openings are expected to occur
as experienced managers transfer to
other occupations, retire, or stop
working for other reasons.
Applicants who have college de­
grees in hotel administration should
have a decided advantage in seeking
entry positions and later advance­
In 1983, average annual earnings of
salaried hotel managers and assistants
were about $30,000, according to a
survey by the American Hotel and
Motel Association. Fifty percent of
these managers earned between
$21,000 and $36,000; the top 10 per­
cent earned $47,000 or more. Gener­
ally, salaries are higher in larger ho­
Salaries varied greatly because of
differences in duties and responsibili­
ties. For example, general managers
averaged $43,000, whereas front office
managers averaged $21,000. The man­
ager’s level of experience is also an

important factor. In 1983, salaries of
general managers ranged from over
$20,000 to over $62,000; salaries of
front office managers ranged from
over $13,000 to almost $27,000. Man­
agers may earn bonuses ranging up to
20 percent of their basic salary in
some hotels. In addition, they and
their families may be furnished with
lodging, meals, parking, laundry, and
other services.
Most managers and assistants re­
ceive 5 to 10 paid holidays a year, paid
vacation, sick leave, life insurance,
medical benefits, and pension plans.
Some hotels offer profit sharing plans,
educational assistance, and other ben­
efits to their employees.

Related Occupations
Hotel managers and assistants are not
the only workers concerned with or­
ganizing and directing a business in
which pleasing people is very impor­
tant. Others with similar responsibili­
ties include apartment building man­
agers, department store managers,
and office managers.
Sources of Additional Information
For information on careers and schol­
arships in hotel management, send a
self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
The American Hotel and Motel Association
(AH&MA), 888 7th Ave., New York, N.Y.

For information on certification re­
quirements and educational programs
in hotel management, send a selfaddressed, stamped envelope to:

34/Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Educational Institute o f AH&MA, 1407 S.
Harrison Rd., Suite 310, East Lansing, Mich.

Information on careers in house­
keeping managem ent may be obtained
National Executive Housekeepers Association,
Inc., 1001 Eastwind Dr., Suite 301, W esterville,
Ohio 43081.

For a directory o f colleges and oth­
er sc h o o ls otfering program s and
courses in hotel and restaurant admin­
istration, write to:
Council on H otel, Restaurant, and Institutional
Education, Henderson Human Development
Building, Suite S208, University Park, Pa.

School Principals
and Assistant
(D.O.T. 091.107-010, 099.117-018)

Nature of the Work
Principals and assistant principals pro­
vide the leadership and managerial
skills required for a sch o o l’s sm ooth
operation. An effective principal is the
key to a good school.
The task o f principals has grown
more com plex in recent years. N ot
only are schools larger than ever b e­
fore— the result o f a continuing trend
toward consolidation— but they touch

the lives o f many people, som e o f
whom have becom e increasingly v o ­
cal in pursuing their goals. It takes
political and diplomatic as well as
administrative skills to handle the is­
sues that confront school leaders to­
day. But, as educators, principals
have the satisfaction o f knowing that
their work sm ooths the way to know l­
edge for their sch o o ls’ students.
Principals and assistant principals
plan and set goals. To achieve these
goals, they organize, coordinate, di­
rect, and evaluate the activities o f
school personnel, ensuring that they
m eet deadlines and keep to their bud­
Principals are the highest authority
in a school. They are responsible for
running the school according to the
standards set by the superintendent
and board o f education.
The principal sets the academ ic
tone for the entire school. High-qual­
ity instruction is the principal’s m ost
important responsibility. Principals
visit classroom s, review instructional
objectives, evaluate teachers, and ex ­
amine learning materials. They also
prepare budgets and administrative
reports, keep track o f attendance, and
see that supplies are properly requisi­
tioned and allocated. D espite such
paperwork, principals spend much o f
the day with people. They confer with
teachers and other staff—advising,

explaining, or answering procedural
questions; they m eet with students;
and they talk with parents and m em ­
bers o f the com m unity.
A ssistant principals may perform
som e o f the sam e duties as principals
and usually take over the responsibil­
ity for discipline, social and recre­
ational programs, health and safety,
and building and grounds m ainte­
nance. T hey may also provide individ­
ual or group counseling about person­
al, social, educational, or vocational

Working Conditions
Principals work in their offices, but
also spend time aw ay from their desks
at m eetings with teaching staff, parent
and teacher association s, the school
board, and civic groups; sitting in on
classes; attending school assem blies,
social, and sports events; and check­
ing school physical facilities.
Principals usually work more than a
standard 40-hour w eek; at night and
on w eek en d s, they often attend m eet­
ings or handle urgent problem s. U n­
like teachers, principals usually work
11 m onths a year.

E lem entary and secon d ary sch ool
principals and assistant principals held
about 125,000 job s in 1984, m ost o f
them in public school system s. Every
school has a principal, and larger
sch ools may have one or more assist­
ant principals. A ssistant principals are
g en era lly e m p lo y e d in seco n d a ry
sch ools, w hich tend to be larger than
elem entary schools.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Principals and assistant principals are usually required to have several years of
experience as classroom teachers.

All 50 States and the District o f C o­
lumbia require certification o f school
administrators. Certification require­
m ents may include good health and
character, U .S . citizenship or State
residency, graduate training in educa­
tional adm inistration, teaching experi­
en ce, and passing an exam ination. In­
form ation on specific requirem ents
may be obtained from State depart­
ments o f education.
Principals and assistant principals
are required by m ost school system s
to have several years o f experience as
classroom teachers. Som e teachers
m ove directly into principalships. Oth­
ers first gain experience in an admin­
istrative job— such as curriculum spe­
cialist; financial advisor; or director o f

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/35
audiovisual aids, arts, or special edu­
cation. A m aster’s degree in educa­
tional administration is also usually
The National Council for A ccredi­
tation o f T eacher Education accredits
graduate programs in educational ad­
ministration on nearly 300 cam puses.
T hese programs prepare people to be­
co m e e le m e n ta r y and se c o n d a r y
school principals. Educational admin­
istration includes courses in school
managem ent, school law, school fi­
nance and budgeting, curriculum de­
velopm ent and evaluation, supervi­
sion o f instruction, research design
and data analysis, personnel adm inis­
tration, com m unity relations, politics
in education, and leadership. A se ­
mester o f internship and field experi­
ence is recom m ended.
In addition to experience and edu­
catio n , principals need leadership
skills and managerial ability to direct,
m otivate, and inspire teachers, staff,
and students. B ecause their duties
may be rather loosely defined, school
administrators must also have a strong
sense o f direction and m otivation.
M oreover, they are frequently under
fire from many groups. Therefore,
self-confidence and the ability to with­
stand criticism are essential, as are
tact and com m unications skills. Prin­
cipals may advance by m oving to larg­
er schools or becom ing assistant su­
perintendents for a school district.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent o f principals and assist­
ant principals is expected to grow

more slow ly than the average for all
occupations through the m id-1990’s.
M ost job openings will be to replace
administrators who leave the profes­
Pupil enrollment is the basic factor
underlying the demand for school
principals. Elementary school enroll­
m ents have begun rising again and are
expected to continue to do so through
1995; secondary school enrollments
are expected to decline through 1990
and then increase to about the 1984
level by 1995. Therefore, m ost em ­
ploym ent growth will be among ele­
mentary school principals. H ow ever,
e x cess school capacity due to declin­
ing enrollments in the past may permit
som e school districts to absorb more
students without opening new schools
and hiring new principals. School con ­
solidation is also expected to continue
for at least a while longer, moderating
the demand.
Although openings for principals
are expected to increase, com petition
for job s may continue. Large numbers
o f teachers and other school person­
nel with graduate degrees in education
or ed u cational adm inistration will
com pete for these administrative po­

Salaries o f principals and assistant
principals vary according to position,
level o f responsibility, and the size
and geographic location o f the school.
In general, salaries are highest in the
Far W est and M id-Atlantic States and
low est in the Southeast. According to

the E ducational R esearch Service,
Inc., average salaries for principals
and assistant principals in 1984-85
were as follows:
Senior high sc h o o l.................. $42,094
Junior high/middle school. . . .
Elementary sch o o l.................. 36,452
Assistant principals:
Senior high sc h o o l..................
Junior high/middle school. . . .
Elementary sch o o l..................


Related Occupations
School administrators need organiza­
tional and leadership skills to manage
people, programs, and financial re­
sources successfully. The same abili­
ties are needed for administrative po­
sitions in health, welfare, religion, and
recreation. Related occupations in­
clude hospital adm inistrators, aca­
demic deans, directors o f agencies on
aging, library directors, college or uni­
versity department heads, recreation
and park directors, and museum cura­

Sources of Additional Information
For inform ation about careers in
school administration, contact:
American Association of School Administra­
tors, 1801 North Moore St., Arlington, Va.
The National Association o f Elementary School
Principals, 1615 Duke St., Alexandria, Va.
The National Association o f Secondary School
Principals, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, Va.

Management Support Occupations
Nature of the Work
M anagem ent support workers gather,
process, and analyze data and d evel­
op information enabling management
to formulate policy, improve proce­
dures, oversee daily operations, and
attain the organization’s goals.
A ccountants and auditors interpret
accounting records to prepare state­
m ents or advise on system s o f record­
ing costs or other financial data. U n ­
derwriters determ ine the appropriate
amount o f coverage in insurance pol­
icies. Loan officers evaluate and ap­
prove m ortgages and other loans.
Other financial officers include credit
counselors, estate planners, budget
officers, trust officers, fo r e ig n -e x ­
change traders, bonding agents, and
credit analysts, among others.
Personnel, training, and labor rela­
tions sp ecialists represent m anage­
ment or labor in collective bargaining
p roced u res; participate in recruit­
ment, selection, placem ent, training,
w elfare, safety, com pensation, and
prom otion o f em ployees; conduct job
analyses to provide occupational in­
formation; and interview and counsel
job applicants and em p loyees to de­
termine suitability for em ploym ent,
vocational training, rehabilitation, and
other em ploym ent developm ent pro­
M anagem ent analysts conduct or­
ganizational studies and evaluations,
develop procedures for new work pro­
c e sse s, conduct work simplification
and m easurem ent studies, and main­
tain system s and procedures manuals
to assist m anagem ent in operating
more efficiently.
Purchasing agents and buyers pur­
chase good s, m aterials, or business
services for internal u se, resale, or
further processing in industrial, gov­
ernm ental, b u sin ess, and other estab­
lishm ents. T hese w orkers establish
purchasing requirem ents for their or­
ganization, interview suppliers, nego­
tiate prices, and establish delivery
Inspectors and com pliance officers
enforce and advise on health, safety,
and other regulations pertaining to
people, anim als, plants, products, and
Digitized for 36

establishm ents. Included among the
numerous workers in this field are
specialists in construction, immigra­
tion, boilers, health care facilities,
transportation, cu sto m s, food and
drugs, industrial w aste, licen ses, and
agricultural com m odities.
Other management support occupa­
tions include business and promotion
agents— w ho represent clients in bus­
iness operations; administrative a ssis­
tants— who coordinate office services
such as personnel, budget prepara­
tion, housekeeping, and records con ­
trol; estim ators— w ho prepare cost e s ­
tim ates for manufacturing o f prod­
ucts, construction projects, or ser­
vices; and administrative secretaries,
security officers, and pursers, among

Working Conditions
Working conditions o f management
support workers vary. M uch o f the
work is on a continuing daily basis—
for exam ple, claims takers for unem ­
ploym ent benefits. Others, such as tax
accountants, experience peak season­
al workloads requiring much over­
time. Som e o f these workers, such as
em ploym ent interview ers and rev­
enue agents, have considerable con ­
tact with the public in an office set­
ting, while others spend much o f their
time away from the office— for exam ­
p le , c o n str u c tio n in sp e c to r s and
w holesale and retail buyers. D uties o f
som e o f these workers, such as com ­
pliance officers and construction in­
spectors, may be hazardous.

In 1984, management support workers
held over 2.4 million job s. Som e—
such as accountants and auditors; per­
sonnel, training, and labor relations
specialists; and purchasing agents—
are found in practically every indus­
try. Other management support o ccu ­
pations are concentrated in only a few
industries. Loan officers and cou n se­
lors and credit analysts, for exam ple,
are found primarily in banks and cred­
it agencies; and assessors, inspectors,
tax exam iners, tax collectors, and

revenue agents are em ployed alm ost
exclu sively in governm ent.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The need for technical know ledge in
these occupations is reflected in the
educational attainm ent o f m anage­
ment support personnel. In 1984, over
one-half o f all m anagem ent support
workers had com pleted 4 years or
more of college— com pared to over
one-fifth o f all workers. The median
number o f years o f schooling for man­
agem ent support workers w as 16 c o p pared to 12.8 for all workers. M anage­
m ent support workers are required to
keep abreast o f new techniques and
developm ents. For exam ple, in 1984,
one-fifth said they needed formal com ­
pany training to im prove their skills—
nearly double the proportion o f all
workers w ho said that.
To attain full professional status
and dem onstrate com petence in their
field , so m e m a n a g em en t su p p ort
workers must com plete certain educa­
tion and experience requirements or
pass license exam inations. For exam ­
ple, underwriters m ay be designated
as ‘fello w s’ and accountants may b e­
com e ‘certified public accou n tan ts.’
M anagem ent support workers who
dem onstrate technical ability and su­
pervisory skills are in a strong posi­
tion to advance to managerial job s—
for exam ple, accountant to treasurer,
personnel specialist to personnel di­
rector, and underwriter to underwrit­
ing manager.

Job Outlook
Overall, em ploym ent o f management
support workers is expected to in­
crease faster than the average for all
occupations through the m id-1990’s.
M uch faster than average growth is
exp ected among accountants and au­
ditors and em ploym ent interviewers.
The increasing volum e and com plexi­
ty o f financial information required o f
b u sin esses should spur strong demand
for accountants, w hile more em ploy­
ment interview ers will be needed to
help em ployers find properly trained
individuals to fill increasingly techni­

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/37
cal jo b s. On the other hand, little or
no change is expected in the em ploy­
ment o f claim s takers for unem ploy­
ment benefits and tax exam iners, tax
collectors, and revenue agents as gov­
ernment spending to staff such posi­
tions is not expected to grow.

Median annual earnings o f manage­
m ent support w ork ers w ere over
$22,600 in 1984— com pared to $17,000
for all workers. The middle 50 percent
earned betw een $17,000 and $31,800.
The low est 10 percent earned $12,900
or le ss, w hile the top 10 percent
earned over $43,700.
Earnings varied substantially by o c ­
cupation. Purchasing agents and buy­
ers o f farm products had median earn­
ings o f less than $19,500, whereas
m anagem ent a n a ly sts had m edian
earnings o f over $30,500.
The fo llo w in g H a n d b o o k sta te ­
ments present more detailed informa­
tion on a number o f management sup­
port occupations.

Accountants and
(D.O-T. 160 through .167-042, and .267-014)_________

Nature of the Work
Managers must have up-to-date finan­
cial information to make important
decisions. A ccountants and auditors
prepare, analyze, and verify financial
reports that furnish this kind o f infor­
mation to managers in all business,
industrial, and governm ent organiza­
Four major fields are public, man­
agem ent, and governm ent accounting,
and internal auditing. Public accoun­
tants have their own businesses or
work for accounting firms. M anage­
ment accountants, also called indus­
trial or private accountants, handle
the financial records o f their com pa­
ny. G overnm ent accountants and au­
ditors maintain and exam ine the rec­
ords o f governm ent agencies and au­
dit private b u sinesses and individuals
w hose dealings are subject to govern­
ment regulations. Internal auditors
verify the accuracy o f their firm’s fi­
nancial records and check for w aste
or fraud.
Within each field, accountants often
concentrate on one phase o f account­
ing. For exam ple, many public ac­

countants are em ployed primarily in
financial auditing (examining a client’s
financial records and reports and at­
testing that they are in comformity
with standards o f preparation and re­
porting). Others concentrate on tax
m atters, such as preparing incom e tax
forms and advising clients o f the tax
advantages and disadvantages o f cer­
tain business decisions. Still others
concentrate on consulting and offer
advice on a variety o f matters. They
might develop or revise an accounting
system to serve the needs o f clients
more effectively or give advice about
how to manage cash resources more
M anagement accountants, the larg­
est group o f accountants and auditors,
provide the financial information ex ­
ecutives need to make sound business
decisions. They may work in areas
such as taxation, budgeting, costs, or
investm ents.
Internal auditing is rapidly growing
in im portance as top m anagem ent
must increasingly base its decisions
on reports and records rather than
personal observation. Internal audi­
tors exam ine and evaluate their firm’s
financial and inform ation system s,
management procedures, and internal
controls to ensure that records are
accurate and controls are adequate to
protect against fraud and w aste. They
also review com pany operations—
evaluating their efficiency, effective­
ness, and com pliance with corporate
policies and procedures, law s, and
governm ent regulations.
A ccountants and auditors also work
for Federal, State, and local govern­
m ents. Many persons with accounting
backgrounds work for the Federal
G overnm ent as Internal Revenue Ser­
vice agents or in financial manage­
m ent, financial institution exam ina­
tion, and budget administration.
In addition, a small number o f per­
sons trained as accountants staff the
faculties o f business and professional
schools as accounting teachers, re­
searchers, or administrators. Som e
work part time as accountants or con ­
Computers are increasingly being
used in accounting and auditing. With
the aid o f special computer software
s y s t e m s , a c c o u n ta n ts su m m arize
transactions in standard formats for
financial records, put the data in spe­
cial formats that aid in financial or
m anagement analysis, and prepare in­
com e tax returns. Controls are placed

in system s to enable auditors to en­
sure the reliability o f the system s and
the integrity o f data. Software sys­
tem s com ing into use in accounting
and auditing g en erally are ea sily
learned and require few specialized
computer skills, but greatly reduce
the amount o f tedious manual work
with figures and records. N ew er, less
expensive personal com puters are en­
abling accountants and auditors in all
fields— even those w ho work indepen­
dently— to use these special software
system s and extract information from
large mainframe com puters. A few
accountants and auditors have exten­
sive computer skills and specialize in
correcting problem s with software
system s or developing special soft­
ware programs to meet unique data

Working Conditions
M ost accountants and auditors work
in offices and have regular hours. Selfem ployed accountants, w ho may set
up offices at hom e, work as many
hours as the business requires.
Tax accountants work long hours
under heavy pressure during the tax
season . A ccountants em ployed by
large firms may travel extensively to
audit or work for clients or branches
o f the firm.

Accountants and auditors held about
882.000 jobs in 1984; about 300,000
were Certified Public A ccountants
(CPA), 20,000 were licensed public
accountants (primarily self-em ployed
tax specialists), about 13,000 were
Certified Internal A uditors (C IA ),
about 4,000 were Certified Manage­
ment A ccountants (CM A), and over
3.000 were Certified Information S ys­
tem s Auditors (CISA). About 10 per­
cent o f all accountants were selfe m p lo y e d . L e s s than 10 p ercen t
worked part time.
M ost a c co u n ta n ts and auditors
work in urban areas where public ac­
counting firms and central or regional
offices o f businesses are concentrated.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
M ost public accounting and business
firms require applicants for accoun­
tant and internal auditor positions to
have at least a bachelor’s degree in
accounting or a closely related field.
Many em ployers prefer those with a
m aster’s degree in accounting or a

38/Occupational Outlook Handbook

Management accountants provide the financial information executives need to make
sound decisions.
m aster’s degree in business adm inis­
tration with a concentration in ac­
counting. A growing number o f em ­
ployers prefer applicants w ho are fa­
m iliar w ith c o m p u te r s and th eir
applications in accounting and inter­
nal auditing.
For beginning accounting and audit­
ing position s, the Federal G overn­
ment requires 4 years o f college (in­
cluding 24 sem ester hours in account­
ing or auditing) or an eq u ivalen t
com bination o f education and experi­
ence. H ow ever, applicants face com ­
petition for the lim ited number o f
openings in the Federal G overnm ent.
Previous experience in accounting
or auditing can help an applicant get a
job. M any colleges offer students an
o p p o r tu n ity to g a in e x p e r ie n c e
through summer or part-time intern­
ship programs conducted by public
accounting or business firms. Such
training is invaluable in gaining per­
manent em ploym ent in the field.
P rofessio n a l recogn ition through
certification or licensure also is e x ­
trem ely valuable. A nyone working as
a Certified Public A ccountant must
have a certificate and a license issued
by a State board o f accountancy. The
vast majority o f States require CPA
candidates to be college graduates,
but som e States substitute a certain
number o f years o f public accounting
exp erien ce for the educational re­
Digitized forquirem ent. Based on recom m enda­

tions made by the American Institute
o f Certified Public A ccountants, a few
States require or are considering re­
quiring CPA candidates to have train­
ing beyond the usual 4-year bache­
lor’s degree— for exam ple, a 5-year
bachelor’s degree or a m aster’s de­
gree. This requirement may becom e
more com m on in the com ing years.
All States use the four-part Uniform
CPA Exam ination, prepared by the
Am erican Institute o f Certified Public
A ccountants, to establish eligibility
for certification. The CPA exam ina­
tion is rigorous, and candidates are
not required to pass all four parts at
on ce. H ow ever, m ost States require
candidates to pass at least tw o parts
for partial credit. Many States require
all sections o f the test to be passed
within a certain period o f time. Most
States require applicants for a CPA
certificate to have som e public ac­
counting experience. For exam ple,
bachelor’s degree holders m ost often
need 2 years o f experience, while
m aster’s degree holders often need no
more than 1 year.
To becom e a licensed public ac­
countant (LPA) or “ accounting prac­
titioner,’’ som e States require only a
high school diploma; others require
college training. H ow ever, with dra­
matic growth in the number o f C P A ’s,
som e States no longer offer the LPA
designation. Information on require­
m ents may be obtained directly from

individual State boards o f accountan­
cy or from the N ational Society o f
Public A ccountants (N SP A ).
Professional societies grant other
form s o f certification on a voluntary
basis. The Institute o f Internal A udi­
tors, In c., confers the designation
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) upon
graduates from accredited colleges
and universities w ho have com pleted
2 y ears’ experience in internal audit­
ing and w ho have passed a four-part
exam ination. The E D P Auditors A s­
sociation confers the designation Cer­
tified Inform ation S ystem s Auditor
(CISA) upon candidates w ho pass an
exam ination and w ho have com pleted
.5 years’ experience in auditing, of
w hich at least 2 involved auditing
electronic data processing system s.
The N ational A ssociation o f A ccoun­
tants (N A A ) confers the Certificate in
M anagem ent A ccounting (CM A) upon
candidates w ho pass a series o f uni­
form exam inations and m eet specific
ed u cation al and p rofession al stan­
dards. The A ccreditation Council for
A ccountancy awards accreditation in
accountancy and taxation to persons
w ho have passed a com prehensive
exam ination. A ccreditation is main­
tained by com pleting mandatory con ­
tinuing education.
Persons planning a career in ac­
counting should have an aptitude for
m athem atics, be able to analyze, com ­
pare, and interpret facts and figures
quickly, and make sound judgm ents
based on this know ledge. T hey must
question how and w hy things are done
and be able to clearly com m unicate
the results o f their work, orally and in
writing, to clients and m anagem ent.
A ccountants and auditors must be
patient and able to concentrate for
long periods o f tim e. They must be
good at working with business sy s­
tem s and com puters as w ell as with
people. A ccuracy and the ability to
handle responsibility with limited su­
pervision are important.
Perhaps m ost important, because
m illions o f financial statem ent users
rely on their services, accountants
and auditors should have high stan­
dards o f integrity.
A growing number o f States require
both C P A ’s and licensed public ac­
countants to com plete a certain num­
ber o f hours o f continuing education
before licen ses can be renew ed. The
professional associations representing
accountants sponsor num erous cours­
es, sem inars, group study programs,

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/39
and other forms o f continuing educa­
tion. Increasingly, accountants and
auditors are learning how to operate
com puters so they can use accounting
software packages that enable raw
transactions data to be quickly trans­
form ed into a variety o f specialized
reports and tabulations.
Capable accountants and auditors
should advance rapidly; those having
inadequate academ ic preparation may
be assigned routine job s and find pro­
m otion difficult. M any graduates o f
junior colleges and business and cor­
respondence sch ools, as w ell as out­
standing bookkeepers and accounting
clerks w ho m eet the education and
experience requirements set by their
em ployers, are successful in landing
junior accounting positions.
Beginning public accountants usu­
ally start by assisting with auditing
work for several clients. T hey may
advance to intermediate positions with
more responsibility in 1 or 2 years and
to senior positions within another few
years. T hose w ho deal successfully
with top industry ex ecu tives often be­
com e supervisors, m anagers, or part­
ners, or transfer to execu tive p osi­
tions in private firms. Som e open their
ow n public accounting offices.
Beginning m anagement accountants
often start as ledger accountants, jun­
ior internal auditors, or as trainees for
technical accounting positions. They
may advance to ch ief plant accoun­
tant, ch ief cost accountant, budget
director, or manager o f internal audit­
ing. Som e b ecom e controllers, trea­
surers, financial vice-presidents, or
corporation presidents. M any corpo­
ration ex ecu tives have backgrounds
in accounting, internal auditing, and

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent o f accountants and audi­
tors is exp ected to grow m uch faster
than the average for all occupations
through the mid-1990’s due to the key
role these workers play in the man­
agem ent o f all types o f b u sin esses.
Although increased demand will gen­
erate many new jo b s, m ost openings
will result from the need to replace
workers w ho leave the occupation,
retire, or die. W hile accountants and
auditors tend to leave the profession
at a low er rate than m em bers o f m ost
other occupations, replacem ent needs
will be substantial because the o ccu ­
pation is large.
A s bu sin esses grow , the volum e

and com plexity o f inform ation on
budgets, expenditures, and taxes will
grow as w ell. Plant expansion, merg­
ers, or foreign investm ents may de­
pend upon the financial condition o f
the firm, tax implications o f the pro­
p osed action, and other con sid er­
ations. Thus requirements for accoun­
tants and auditors will grow. Require­
m ents may also be affected by changes
in legislation related to taxes, financial
reporting standards, business invest­
m ent, and other financial matters.
Small businesses are expected to rely
more and more on the expertise o f
accountants in planning and managing
their operations. In addition, increases
in investm ent and lending associated
with general econom ic growth also
should spur demand for accountants
and auditors. The increasing use o f
com puters in accounting should stim­
ulate the demand for accountants and
auditors familiar with their operation.
Opportunities are expected to be
favorable for college graduates seek ­
ing accounting and auditing jobs. Cer­
tified accountants, particularly C PA ’s,
should have a wider range o f job op­
portunities than other accountants.
H ow ever, com petition for jobs with
prestigious accounting firms will re­
main keen; a m aster’s degree in ac­
counting should be an asset. Opportu­
nities for accountants without a col­
lege degree will occur mainly in small
businesses and accounting firms.
M any em ployers prefer graduates
w ho have worked part time in a busi­
n e ss or accou n tin g firm w h ile in
school. In fact, experience has be­

com e so important that som e em ploy­
ers in business and industry seek per­
sons with 1 or 2 years’ experience for
beginning positions.
A ccountants rarely lose their jobs
w hen other workers are laid off during
hard econom ic tim es. Financial infor­
mation must be developed and tax
reports prepared regardless o f the
state o f the econom y.

A ccording to a 1984 College Place­
ment Council Salary Survey, bache­
lor’s degree candidates in accounting
r e c e iv e d offers averagin g around
$19,500 a year; m aster’s degree can­
didates, $23,200.
Beginning public accountants em ­
ployed by public accounting firms av­
eraged $19,100 a year in 1984, accord­
ing to a national survey. The middle
50 percent had starting salaries rang­
ing from $18,300 to $20,000. Salaries
o f junior public accountants w ho were
not ow ners or partners o f their firms
averaged $22,600, but som e had sala­
ries o f more than $30,000. Many ow n­
ers and partners o f firms earned con­
siderably more.
The starting salary o f management
accountants in private industry aver­
aged about $19,500 a year in 1984,
according to the same survey. The
middle 50 percent had starting annual
sa la ries ranging from $ 1 7 ,700 to
$21,800. Salaries o f nonsupervisory
m anagem ent accountan ts averaged
$32,200 in 1984, and som e o f the most
e x p erien ced had salaries o f over
$60,000. C hief management accoun-

Growth in the number of accounting degrees granted annually
has moderated since the mid-1970’s.

Bachelor’s degrees in accounting (thousands)

1972- 197373


1975- 1976- 1977- 197876

National Center for Education Statistics



1981- 198282

40/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tants w ho direct the accounting pro­
gram o f a com pany or one o f its e s­
tablishm ents averaged $47,400 a year.
Their salaries ranged from $30,000 to
more than $70,000, depending upon
the scope o f their authority and the
size o f their professional staff.
According to the sam e survey, be­
ginning trainee internal auditors aver­
aged $19,700 a year in 1984. The mid­
dle 50 percent had annual starting
sa la r ie s ranging from $ 1 6 ,6 0 0 to
$22,400. Internal auditors averaged
$29,000, but som e o f the m ost experi­
en ced had sa la ries o f m ore than
In the Federal G overnm ent, the
starting annual salary for junior ac­
countants and auditors w as about
$14,400 in early 1985. Candidates w ho
had a superior academ ic record could
begin at $17,800. Applicants with a
m aster’s degree or 2 years’ profes­
sional experience began at $21,800.
A ccountants in the Federal G overn­
ment averaged about $33,500 a year in
1984; auditors, about $34,200.

Related Occupations
Accountants and auditors design in­
ternal control system s and analyze
financial data. Others for w hom train­
ing in accounting is invaluable include
appraisers, budget officers, loan offic­
ers, financial analysts, bank officers,
actuaries, underwriters, tax collectors
and re v e n u e a g e n ts, F B I sp ecia l
agents, securities sales w orkers, and
purchasing agents.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about careers in public
accou n tin g and about com p eten cy
tests adm inistered in co lleg es and
public accounting firms may be ob­
tained from:
American Institute o f Certified Public Accoun­
tants, 1211 Avenue o f the Americas, New
York, N .Y . 10036.

Information on specialized fields o f
accounting and auditing is available
National Association o f Accountants, P.O. Box
433, 10 Paragon Dr., Montvale, N.J. 07645.
National Society o f Public Accountants and
Accreditation Council for Accountancy, 1010
North Fairfax St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.
The Institute o f Internal Auditors, 249 Maitland
A ve., P.O. Box 1119, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
The EDP Auditors A ssociation, 373 South
Schmale Rd., Carol Stream, 111. 60188.

For information on accredited ac­
Digitized for counting programs and educational in­

stitutions offering a specialization in
accounting, contact:
American Assembly of Collegiate Schools o f
Business, 605 Old Balias Rd., Suite 220, St.
Louis, Mo. 63141.

Construction and
Building Inspectors
(D.O.T. 168.167-030, -034, -038, -046, and -050; .267010, -102; 182.267; 850.387, .467)

Nature of the Work
Construction and building inspectors
exam ine the construction, alteration,
or repair o f highw ays, streets, sew er
and water system s, dams, bridges,
buildings, and other structures to in­
sure com pliance with building codes
and ordinances, zoning regulations,
and contract specifications. Inspec­
tors generally specialize in one partic­
ular type o f construction work. Broad­
ly categorized, these are building,
electrica l, m ech an ical, and public
works. Inspectors usually work alone
on small job s, but several may be
assigned to a large, com plex project.
B u ild i n g i n s p e c t o r s in sp e c t the
structural quality o f buildings. Som e
may specialize— for exam ple, in struc­
tural steel or reinforced con crete
buildings. Before construction, plan
checkers determine whether the plans
for the building or other structure
com ply with building code regulations
and are suited to the engineering and
environm ental demands o f the build­
ing site. They visit the worksite before
the foundation is poured to inspect the
positioning and depth o f the footings.
They inspect the foundation after it
has been com pleted. The size and
type o f structure and the rate o f com ­
pletion determine the number o f other
visits they must make. U pon com ple­
tion o f the project, they conduct a
final com prehensive inspection. In ad­
dition, inspectors working for private
industry may determine fire insurance
rates by assessing the type o f con ­
struction, building contents, availabil­
ity o f firefighting equipm ent, and risks
posed by adjoining buildings.
E le c tr ic a l in s p e c to r s inspect the in­
stallation o f electrical system s and
equipm ent to insure that they function
properly and com ply with electrical
c o d e s and sta n d a rd s. T h ey v isit
w orksites to inspect new and existing
wiring, lighting, sound and security
system s, and generating equipm ent.

They also may inspect the installation
o f the electrical wiring for heating and
air-conditioning system s, kitchen ap­
pliances, and other com ponents.
P l u m b i n g i n s p e c t o r s e x a m in e
plumbing sy stem s, including septic
tanks; plumbing fixtures and traps;
and w ater, sew er, and vent lines.
M e c h a n ic a l i n s p e c to r s inspect the
installation o f the m echanical com po­
nents o f kitchen appliances, heating
and air-conditioning equipm ent, gaso­
line and butane tanks, gas piping, and
gas-fired appliances. Som e specialize
in inspecting boilers.
P u b lic w o r k s in s p e c to r s insure that
Federal, State, and local governm ent
construction o f water and sew er sy s­
tem s, highw ays, streets, bridges, and
dams conform s to detailed contract
specifications. They inspect excava­
tion and fill operations, the placem ent
o f form s for con crete, concrete m ix­
ing and pouring, asphalt paving, and
grading operations. They record the
work and materials used so that con ­
tract paym ents can be calculated.
Public works inspectors may special­
ize in highw ays, reinforced concrete,
or ditches. Others specialize in dredg­
ing operations required for bridges
and dams or for harbors.
C onstruction and building inspec­
tors increasingly use com puters to
help them monitor construction activ­
ity. D etails about construction proj­
ects, building and occupancy permits,
and other information can be stored
and easily retrieved.
A lthough inspections are primarily
visual, inspectors often use tape m ea­
sures, survey instrum ents, metering
d evices, and test equipm ent such as
concrete strength m easurers. They of­
ten keep a daily log o f their work, take
photographs, file reports, and, if nec­
essary, act on their findings. For e x ­
am ple, construction inspectors notify
the construction contractor, superin­
tendent, or supervisor w hen they dis­
cover a detail o f a project that does
not co m p ly w ith the appropriate
co d es, ordinances, or contract speci­
fications. If the deficiency is not cor­
rected within a reasonable period of
tim e, governm ent inspectors have au­
thority to issue a “ stop-w ork” order.
M any inspectors also investigate re­
ported incidents o f “ b ootleggin g,”
that is, construction or alteration that
is being carried on w ithout proper
permits. V iolators o f permit law s are
directed to obtain permits and submit
to inspection.

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/41
Working Conditions
Construction and building inspectors
work indoors and out. T hey may
spend much o f their time in a field
office review ing blueprints, answering
letters or telephone calls, writing re­
ports, and scheduling in sp ection s.
The rest o f their time is spent inspect­
ing construction and building sites.
Inspection sites may be dirty and
cluttered with tools, m aterials, or d e­
bris. Inspectors may have to climb
ladders or several flights o f stairs, or
may have to crawl beneath buildings.
H ow ever, the work is not considered
Inspectors normally work regular
hours. H ow ever, if an accident occurs
at a construction site, such as a par­
tially collapsed concrete structure, in­
spectors must respond im m ediately
and may work irregular hours to com ­
plete their report.

Construction and building inspectors
held about 55,000 job s in 1984. Nearly
half worked for local governm ents,
primarily municipal or county build­
ing departm ents. The em ploym ent o f
local governm ent inspectors is con­
centrated in cities and in suburban
areas undergoing rapid growth. These
governm ents em ploy large inspection
staffs, including m ost o f the inspec­
tors w ho specialize in structural steel,
reinforced concrete, boiler, and eleva­
tor inspection.
Over 20 percent o f all construction
and building in sp ecto rs w ere em ­
ployed at the Federal and State levels.
Nearly half o f the construction in­
spectors em ployed by the Federal
Governm ent in 1984 worked for the
Department o f D efen se, primarily for
the U .S . Army Corps o f Engineers.
Other important Federal em ployers
include the T en n essee V alley Author­
ity and the Departm ents o f H ousing
and Urban D evelopm ent, Agriculture,
and Interior.
About one-third o f all inspectors
worked for private industry, over­
whelm ingly for construction com pa­
n ies. T he insurance industry em ­
ployed a relatively small number o f

Training, Other Qualifications, and
To becom e a construction or building
inspector, several years o f experience
as a construction contractor, supervi­
sor, or craft worker are generally re­

quired. M ost em ployers also require
an applicant to have a high school
diplom a. High sch o o l preparation
should include courses in drafting,
algebra, geom etry, and English.
Workers who want to becom e in­
sp ecto rs should h ave a thorough
know ledge o f construction materials
and practices in either a general area
like structural or heavy construction,
or in a specialized area such as elec­
trical or plumbing system s, reinforced
concrete, or structural steel. A signif­
icant num ber o f construction and
building inspectors have recent exp e­
rience as carpenters, electrician s,
plumbers, or pipefitters.
Many em ployers prefer inspectors
w ho have graduated from an appren­
ticeship program, have studied engi­
neering or architecture for at least 2
years, or have a degree from a com ­
munity or junior college, with courses
in construction technology, blueprint
reading, m athem atics, and building in­
Construction and building inspec­
tors must be in good physical condi­
tion in order to walk and climb about
construction sites. They also must
have a motor vehicle operator’s li­
cen se. In addition, Federal, State, and
many local governm ents usually re­
quire that inspectors pass a civil ser­
vice examination.
Construction and building inspec­
tors usually receive m ost o f their
training on the job. During the first
couple o f w eeks, working with an
e x p erien ced in sp ector, they learn
about inspection techniques; codes,
ordinances, and regulations; contract
specifications; and recordkeeping and
reporting duties. They begin by in­
specting less com plex types o f con ­
struction such as residential buildings.
The difficulty o f their assignm ents is
gradually increased until they are able
to handle com plex assignm ents. An
engineering degree is frequently need­
ed to advance to supervisory inspec­
Since they advise representatives of
the construction industry and the gen­
eral public on building code interpre­
tation, construction practices, and
technical developm ents, construction
and building inspectors must keep
abreast o f new building code develop­
m ents. Many em ployers provide for­
mal training programs to broaden in­
sp ectors’ knowledge o f construction
materials, practices, and inspection
techniques. Inspectors w ho work for

A building inspector monitors the installa­
tion of piping.
small agencies or firms that do not
conduct training programs can broad­
en their knowledge and upgrade their
skills by attending State-conducted
training programs or by taking college
or correspondence courses.
Certification enhances construction
inspectors’ chances for higher paying,
m ore resp on sib le p o sitio n s. Som e
States and cities require certification
for em ploym ent. Inspectors having
substantial experience and education
can attain certification by passing
stringent exam inations on construc­
tion techniques, materials, and code
requirements offered by the model
code organizations listed below .

Job Outlook
E m p lo y m en t o f co n stru ctio n and
building in sp ectors is exp ected to
grow more slow ly than the average for
all o ccu p a tio n s through the mid1990’s. Increased construction activi­
ty will spur demand for inspectors.
H ow ever, greater use o f computers to
store inform ation on con stru ction
projects m akes inspectors more pro­
ductive. In addition, the assumption
o f som e inspection functions by engi­
neers and m aintenance supervisors
e x p e d ite s co n stru ctio n and lim its
growth o f construction and building
inspector jobs.
Em ploym ent o f construction and

42/Occupational Outlook Handbook
For information about a career as a
State or local governm ent construc­
tion or building inspector, contact
your State or local em ploym ent ser­
Persons interested in a career as a
construction and building inspector
with the Federal Governm ent can ob­
tain information from:

building inspectors is not alw ays di­
rectly affected by changes in the level
o f building activity. U nlike m ost co n ­
struction occupations, inspectors do
not usually experience layoffs when
construction activity declines. During
these periods, m aintenance and reno­
vation generally continue, enabling in­
spectors to continue working full time
year round. In an upturn, new job s for
inspectors increase but not to the
sam e degree as construction activity.
M ost job openings will arise from
the need to replace inspectors w ho
retire or leave the occupation for oth­
er reasons. B ecau se o f the increasing
com plexity o f construction technolo­
gy and the trend toward the establish­
ment o f professional standards for in­
spectors, job prospects should be best
for highly experienced craft workers
w ho have som e college education or
w ho are certified as inspectors.

(D.O.T. 160.167-046; 168.161; .167-014 through -026,
-042, -062, -066, -074 through -086; .261; .264; .267
except -010, -014, -038, and -102; .287; .367; .387;
169.267-014, -030; .284; 184.163; 187.167-062;
188.167-038, -074, -090; 196.163; 959.367-018)


Nature of the Work

The median annual salary o f construc­
tion and build in g in sp e c to r s w as
$21,400 in 1984. The low est 10 percent
earned $11,200 or le ss, while the high­
est 10 percent earned over $35,900.
Salaries in large m etropolitan areas
are substantially higher than those in
small local jurisdictions. Salaries in
the North and W est are slightly higher
than salaries in the South.
The average salary o f inspectors in
the Federal Governm ent w as $25,100
in 1984.

Related Occupations
Construction and building inspectors
com bine a know ledge o f construction
principles and law with the ability to
coordinate data, diagnose problem s,
and com m unicate with people. Other
occupations involving a com bination
o f similar skills are drafters, estim a­
tors, industrial engineering tech n i­
cians, and surveyors.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about a career and certi­
fication as a construction or building
inspector is available from the follow ­
ing m odel code organizations:
International Conference o f Building Officials,
5360 South Workman Mill Rd., Whittier, Calif.
Building Officials and Code Administrators
International, Inc., 4051 West Flossmoor Rd.,
Country Club Hills, 111. 60477.
Southern Building Code Congress International,
Inc., 900 Montclair Road, Birmingham, Ala.

U .S. Office o f Personnel Management, 1900 E
St. NW „ Washington, D.C. 20415.

Inspectors and
Compliance Officers,
except Construction

Protecting the public from health and
sa fety hazards, prohibiting unfair
trade and em ploym ent practices, con ­
trolling immigration, preventing entry
o f prohibited matter, regulating busi­
ness practices, and raising revenue
are important responsibilities. Inspec­
tors and com pliance officers enforce
the laws and regulations that govern
these responsibilities. (Construction
and building inspectors are discussed
elsew here in the H a n d b o o k .)
Depending upon their em ployer, in­
spectors vary w idely in title and re­

Health Inspectors. Health inspectors
work with engineers, chem ists, m icro­
biologists, and health workers to in­
sure com pliance with public health
and safety regulations governing food,
drugs, cosm etics, and other consum er
products. They also administer regu­
lations that govern the quarantine o f
persons and products entering the
United States from foreign countries.
The major types o f health inspectors
are: Consum er safety, food, agricul­
tural quarantine, and environm ental
health inspectors. In addition, som e
inspectors work in a field closely re­
lated to food inspection— agricultural
com m odity grading.
M ost c o n s u m e r s a f e ty in s p e c to r s
specialize in food, feeds and pesti­
cid es, w eights and m easures, cosm et­
ics, or drugs and medical equipm ent.
Som e are proficient in several areas.
Working individually or in team s un­

der a senior or supervisory inspector,
they periodically check firms that pro­
duce, handle, store, and market food,
drugs, and cosm etics. They look for
inaccurate product labeling, and for
decom position or chem ical or bacteri­
ological contam ination that could re­
sult in a product becom ing harmful to
health. They use portable scales, cam ­
eras, ultraviolet lights, container sam ­
pling d ev ices, therm om eters, chem i­
cal testing kits, radiation m onitors,
and other equipm ent to ascertain vio­
lations. T hey send product sam ples
collected as part o f their exam inations
to laboratories for analysis.
After com pleting their inspection,
inspectors discuss their observations
with plant managers or officials and
point out areas w here corrective m ea­
sures are needed. They write reports
o f their findings, and, w hen n eces­
sary, com pile evidence that may be
used in court if legal action must be
taken to enforce the law.
Federal and State law s em power
f o o d i n s p e c to r s to inspect m eat, poul­
try, and their byproducts to insure
that they are w h olesom e and safe for
public consum ption. Working as an
onsite team under a veterinarian, they
inspect meat and poultry slaughtering,
processing, and packaging operations.
They also check for correct product
labeling and proper sanitation.
A g r ic u ltu r a l q u a r a n tin e in s p e c to r s

protect Am erican agricultural prod­
ucts from the spread o f foreign plant
pests and animal d iseases. To safe­
guard crops, forests, gardens, and
livestock , they inspect ships, aircraft,
railroad cars, and motor vehicles en­
tering the U nited States for restricted
or prohibited plant or animal materi­
E n v i r o n m e n ta l h e a lth

i n s p e c to r s ,

or sanitarians, w ho work primarily for
State and local governm ents, insure
that food , w ater, and air m eet govern­
ment standards. They check the clean­
liness and safety o f food and beverag­
es produced in dairies and processing
plants, or served in restaurants, h os­
pitals, and other institutions. They
often exam ine the handling, p rocess­
ing, and serving o f food for com pli­
ance with sanitation rules and regula­
tions. T hey oversee the treatment and
disposal o f sew age, refuse, and gar­
bage. They exam ine places where pol­
lution is a danger, test for pollutants,
and collect air or water sam ples for
analysis. T hey determ ine the nature

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/43
and cause o f pollution and initiate
action to stop it.
In large local and State health or
agriculture departm ents, environm en­
tal health inspectors m ay specialize in
milk and dairy products, food sanita­
tion, w aste control, air pollution, in­
stitutional sanitation, or occupational
health. In rural areas and small cities,
they may be responsible for a wide
range o f environm ental health activi­
A g r ic u ltu r a l c o m m o d ity g r a d e r s ap­
ply quality standards to aid the buying
and selling o f com m odities and to in­
sure that retailers and consum ers re­
ceive w holesom e and reliable prod­
ucts. They generally specialize in an
area such as eggs and egg products,
m eat, poultry, p rocessed or fresh
fruits and vegetables, grain, tobacco,
cotton, or dairy products. They exam ­
ine product sam ples to determ ine
quality and grade, and issue official
grading certificates. Graders also may
inspect the plant and equipment to
maintain sanitation standards.

Regulatory Inspectors. Regulatory in­
spectors insure com pliance with laws
and regulations that protect the public
welfare. Important types o f regulatory
inspectors are: Immigration; custom s;
air safety; railroad; motor vehicle; o c ­
cupational safety and health; mine;
wage-hour com pliance; and alcohol,
tobacco, and firearms inspectors.
I m m ig r a tio n in s p e c to r s interview
and exam ine people seeking to enter
the U nited States and its territories.
They inspect passports to determine
whether people are legally eligible to
enter and to verify their citizenship
status and identity. Immigration in­
spectors also prepare reports, main­
tain records, and process applications
and petitions for immigration or tem ­
porary residence in the United States.
C u s to m s in s p e c to r s enforce laws
governing imports and exports. Sta­
tioned at airports, seaports, and bor­
der crossing points, they exam ine,
count, w eigh, gauge, m easure, and
sample com m ercial cargoes entering
and leaving the U nited States to de­
termine adm issibility and the amount
o f tax that must be paid. They also
inspect baggage and articles worn by
passengers and crew m embers to in­
sure that all m erchandise is declared,
proper duties are paid, and contra­
band is not present.
P o s t a l in s p e c to r s observe the func­
tioning o f the postal system and rec­

om m end im provem ents. They investi­
gate criminal activities such as theft
and m isuse o f the mail. In instances o f
suspected mismanagement or fraud,
they conduct management or financial
audits. They collaborate with other
government agencies, such as the In­
ternal Revenue Service, as members
o f special task forces.
A v ia tio n s a f e ty in s p e c to r s insure
that Federal Aviation Administration
(FA A ) regulations which govern the
quality and safety o f aircraft equip­
ment and personnel are maintained.
A viation safety inspectors may in­
spect aircraft and equipment manu­
facturing, maintenance and repair, or
flight operations procedures. They
usually specialize in either com m er­
cial or general aviation aircraft. They
also exam ine and certify aircraft pi­
lots, pilot exam iners, flight instruc­
tors, schools, and instructional m ate­
R a i lr o a d in s p e c to r s verify the com ­
pliance o f railroad system s and equip­
ment with Federal safety regulations.
They investigate accidents and review
railroads’ operating practices.
M o to r v e h ic le in s p e c to r s verify the
com pliance o f autom obiles and trucks
with State requirements for safe oper­
ation and em issions. They inspect
truck cargoes to assure com pliance
with legal limitations on gross weight
and hazardous cargoes.
T r a f fic i n s p e c t o r s o v e r s e e the
scheduled service o f streetcar, bus, or
railway system s. They report condi­
tions hazardous to passengers and dis­
ruptive to service. They determine the
need for additional vehicles, revised
schedules, or other changes to im­
prove service.
O c c u p a tio n a l s a f e ty a n d h e a lth in ­
s p e c to r s visit places o f em ploym ent to

detect unsafe machinery and equip­
m ent or unhealthy working condi­
tions. They discuss their findings with
the em ployer or plant manager and
urge that violations be promptly cor­
rected in accordance with Federal,
S tate, or local governm ent safety
standards and regulations.
M in e in s p e c to r s work to insure the
health and safety o f miners. They visit
m ines and related facilities to obtain
information on health and safety con ­
ditions and to enforce safety laws and
regulations. They discuss their find­
ings with the management o f the mine
and issue notices describing violations
and hazards that must be corrected.
They also investigate and report on

mine accidents and may direct rescue
and firefighting operations when fires
or explosions occur.
W a g e -h o u r c o m p lia n c e in s p e c to r s

inspect em ployers’ time, payroll, and
personnel records to insure com pli­
ance with Federal laws on minimum
w ages, overtim e, pay, em ploym ent o f
minors, and equal em ploym ent oppor­
tunity. They often interview em ploy­
ees to verify the em ployer’s records
and to check for com plaints.
E q u a l o p p o r tu n ity r e p r e s e n t a tiv e s

ascertain and correct unfair em ploy­
ment practices through consultation
with and mediation betw een em ploy­
ers and minority groups.
A lc o h o l, to b a c c o , a n d f ir e a r m s in ­
s p e c to r s inspect distilleries, wineries,

and brew eries; cigar and cigarette
manufacturing plants; w holesale li­
quor dealers and importers; firearms
and exp losives manufacturers, deal­
ers, and users; and other regulated
facilities. They insure com pliance with
revenue laws and other regulations on
operating procedures, unfair com peti­
tion, and trade practices, and deter­
mine that appropriate taxes are paid.
S e c u r itie s a n d r e a l e s t a t e d ir e c to r s

implement regulations concerning se­
curities and real estate transactions.
Their departments investigate appli­
cations for registration o f securities
sales and com plaints o f irregular secu­
rities or real estate transactions, and
recom m end necessary legal action.
R e v e n u e o ffic e r s investigate delin­
quent tax returns and liabilities. They
discuss the resolution o f tax problems
with taxpayers and recom m end penal­
ties and prosecution w hen necessary.
A t te n d a n c e o ffic e r s investigate con­
tinued absences o f pupils from public
D e a le r c o m p lia n c e r e p r e s e n t a tiv e s

inspect franchised establishm ents to
a s c e r t a in c o m p lia n c e w i t h t he
franchiser’s policies and procedures.
They may suggest changes in financial
and other operations.
L o g g in g o p e r a tio n s in s p e c to r s re­
v ie w con tract logging op eration s.
They prepare reports and issue reme­
dial instructions for violations o f con­
tractual agreem ents and o f fire and
safety regulations.
T r a v e l a c c o m m o d a t io n s r a te r s in­
sp ect h o te ls, m o tels, restaurants,
cam pgrounds, and vacation resorts.
They evaluate travel and tourist ac­
com m odations for travel guide pub­
lishers and organizations such as tour­
ism promoters and autom obile clubs.

44/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Other inspectors and com pliance
officers include coroners, cod e in­
spectors, and mortician investigators.

Working Conditions
Inspectors and com pliance officers
live an active life; they m eet many
people and work in a variety o f envi­
ronm ents. Their job s often involve
considerable fieldwork, and som e in­
spectors travel frequently. They are
furnished with an autom obile or are
reimbursed for travel exp en ses.
At tim es, inspectors have unfavor­
able working conditions. For exam ­
ple, mine inspectors often are e x ­
posed to the sam e hazards as miners.
Custom s inspectors may be threat­
ened by sm ugglers and other crimi­
nals. F ood and alcohol, tob acco, and
firearms inspectors frequently com e
in contact with strong, unpleasant
odors. M any inspectors work long
and often irregular hours.

Inspectors and com pliance officers
held 122,000 jo b s in 1984. A bout 31
percent w ere em ployed by State g o v ­
ernm ents, 28 percent by the Federal
G overnm ent, and 25 percent by local
governm ents. The remainder— 16 per­
cent— w ere em p loyed in the U .S .
Postal Service and throughout the pri­
vate sector— primarily in insurance
com panies, hospitals, and m anufac­
turing firms.
The largest single em ployer o f co n ­
sumer safety inspectors is the U .S .

Customs inspector checks to see if import
duty has been paid.

Food and Drug Adm inistration, but
the majority work for State govern­
m ents. M ost food inspectors and agri­
cultural com m odity graders in proc­
essing plants are em ployed by the
U .S . Department o f Agriculture. A g­
ricultural quarantine inspectors work
for the U .S . Department o f Agricul­
ture. M ost environm ental health in­
spectors work for State and local g o v ­
ernm ents.
M ost Federal regulatory inspectors
work in regional and district offices
throughout the U nited States. The
Treasury Department em ploys inter­
nal revenue officers. A viation safety
inspectors work for the Federal A via­
tion Administration. The Department
o f Labor em ploys wage-hour com pli­
ance officers, and the Treasury D e­
partment em ploys alcohol, tobacco,
and firearms inspectors. Occupational
safety and health inspectors and mine
inspectors also work for the Depart­
ment o f Labor, as w ell as for many
State governm ents. Immigration in­
spectors are em ployed by the Depart­
ment o f Justice. Custom s inspectors
work for the Treasury Department.
Like agricultural quarantine inspec­
tors, immigration and custom s inspec­
tors work at U .S . airports, seaports,
and border crossing points, and at
foreign airports and seaports.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
B ecause o f the diversity o f functions,
qualifications for inspector and com ­
pliance officer job s differ greatly. R e­
quirem ents are a com bination o f edu­
cation, experience, and a written e x ­
a m in a tio n . E m p lo y e r s g e n e r a lly
prefer applicants with college train­
ing, including course work related to
the job.
F ood inspectors must have related
experience and pass an exam ination
based on specialized know ledge.
A viation safety in sp ectors m ust
have considerable experience in avia­
tion m aintenance and know ledge o f
the industry and relevant Federal
law s. In addition, FA A m echanic or
pilot and m edical certificates are re­
quired. Som e also are required to
have an FA A flight instructor rating.
M any aviation safety inspectors have
had flight training and m echanical
training in the Armed F orces. N o
written exam ination is required.
Applicants for mine safety inspec­
tor p o sition s generally m ust have
experience in mine safety, manage­

m ent, or supervision, or p o ssess a
skill such as that o f an electrician (for
mine electrical inspectors). In som e
ca ses, a general aptitude test may be
A pplicants for internal revenue of­
ficer job s must have a bachelor’s de­
gree or 3 years o f business, legal, or
in vestigative w ork exp erien ce that
displays strong analytical ability.
Som e civil service exam inations,
including those for agricultural quar­
antine in sp ecto rs and agricultural
com m odity graders, rate applicants
solely on their experience and educa­
tion and require no written exam ina­
Environm ental health inspectors,
called sanitarians in many States, usu­
ally must have a bachelor’s degree in
environm ental health or the physical
or biological scien ces. In m ost States,
th e y are lic e n s e d by e x a m in in g
All inspectors and com pliance of­
ficers are trained in applicable law s
and inspection procedures through a
com bination o f classroom and on-thejob training. In general, people w ho
want to enter this occupation should
be able to accept responsibility and
like detailed work. T hey should be
neat and personable and able to ex ­
press them selves w ell orally and in
Federal G overnm ent inspectors and
com pliance officers w h ose job per­
fo rm a n ce is sa tisfa c to r y a d v a n ce
through their career ladder to a sp ec­
ified full perform ance level. A bove
this level (usually supervisory posi­
tions), advancem ent is com petitive,
based on agency needs and individual
merit. A dvancem ent opportunities in
State and local governm ents and the
private sector are often similar to
those in the Federal G overnm ent.

Job Outlook
E m ploym ent o f inspectors and com ­
pliance officers as a group is expected
to increase more slow ly than the av­
erage for all occupations through the
m id-1990’s. E m ploym ent growth is
exp ected to be constrained by slow
growth in governm ent regulatory pro­
grams and in governm ent spending.
M ost job openings will be to replace
those w ho transfer to other occupa­
tions, retire, or leave the labor force
for other reasons.
E m ploym ent o f inspectors and com ­
pliance officers is seldom affected by
general econ om ic fluctuations. M ost

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/45
work in programs which enjoy wide
public support. A s a result, they are
less likely to lose their job s than many
other workers w hen governm ent pro­
grams are cut.

The median annual salary o f inspec­
tors and com pliance officers, except
construction, w as $23,700 in 1984.
The low est 10 percent earned less
than $15,600; the highest 10 percent
earned at least $38,800.
M ost starting Federal salaries were
around $14,400 a year in 1985. H ow ­
ever, som e inspectors and com pliance
officers— for exam ple, aviation safety
officers and postal inspectors— had
higher starting salaries.
In the Federal G overnm ent, the av­
erage annual salary was som ew hat
higher— $28,900— in 1984. Depending
upon the nature o f the inspection or
com pliance activity, the average sala­
ry varied substantially— from $18,800
to $42,100. Table 1 presents average
salaries for selected inspectors and
com pliance officers in the Federal
Governm ent in 1984.

Table 1. Salaries of selected Federal
inspectors and compliance officers,
T y p e o f in s p e c to r

A verage
sa la r y

Postal inspectors........................
Transportation inspectors—air,
aviation, motor carrier, rail­
road, and highway safety . . .
Consumer safety
Coal mine in sp ecto rs................
Wage and hour compliance
Civil rights and equal employ­
ment opportunity officials . . .
Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms
Internal revenue officers..........
Customs in s p e c to rs ..................
Food and agricultural com­
modity inspectors..................
Immigration in sp e c to rs............
Environmental health and
safety technicians..................




Related Occupations
Inspectors and com pliance officers
are responsible for seeing that laws
and regulations are obeyed. Revenue
agents, construction and building in­
spectors, fire marshals, State and lo­
cal police officers, custom s patrol of­
ficers, custom s special agents, and
fish and game wardens also enforce

Sources of Additional Information
Information on Federal Government
job s in available from offices o f the
State em ploym ent service, area of­
fices o f the U .S . Office o f Personnel
M anagement, and Federal Job Infor­
mation Centers in large cities through­
out the country. For information on a
career as a specific type o f inspector
or com pliance officer, the Federal de­
partment or agency that em ploys them
may also be contacted directly.
Information about State and local
governm ent job s is available from
State civil service com m issions, usu­
ally located in each State capital, or
from local governm ent offices.
Information about jobs in private
industry is available from the Job Ser­
vice. It is listed under “ Job Service’’
or “ E m ploym ent” in the State gov­
ernment section o f local telephone


U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Salaries o f inspectors and com pli­
ance officers in State and local g o v ­
ernm ents and in private industry are
generally low er than their Federal

A ccording to a 1984 survey by the
International Personnel M anagement
A ssociation, nonsupervisory environ­
mental health inspectors working for
selected U .S . cities and counties re­
ceived average starting salaries o f al­
m ost $18,700 in 1984; those working
for State governm ents started at about
$3,200 less. Experienced environm en­
tal health inspectors working for State
governm ents earned over $17,400, but
top supervisors and administrators
made as much as $27,500 in 1984.

Personnel, Training,
and Labor Relations
(D.O.T. 079.127-010; 099.167-010; 166.067-010, .117014, .167-010, -014, -022, -034, -038, -042, -046, .227010, .267-014, -018, -022, -026; 169.107-010, .207-010,

Nature of the Work
Attracting the best em ployees avail­
able and matching them to the jobs
they can do best is important for the

su ccess o f any organization. But many
enterprises are too large to permit
close contact betw een management
and em p loyees. Instead, personnel
and labor relations specialists provide
this link— helping management make
effective use o f em p lo y ees’ skills, and
helping em ployees find satisfaction in
their job s and working conditions. A l­
though som e job s in this field require
only limited contact with people out­
side the office, m ost involve frequent
contact. Dealing with people is an
essential part o f the job.
Personnel, training, and labor rela­
tions specialists concentrate on differ­
ent asp ects o f em p loyer-em p loyee
relations. Personnel specialists inter­
view , select, and recom m end appli­
cants for job openings; stay abreast o f
rules and regulations pertaining to af­
firmative action and equal em ploy­
ment opportunity; and help develop
policies on hiring and advancem ent.
They also handle wage and salary
administration, pensions and benefits,
and em ployee assistance programs.
Training specialists develop courses,
w orkshops, and other programs tai­
lored to the training needs o f an orga­
nization and its em ployees. Trainers
consult with managers and supervi­
sors about specific training needs,
prepare manuals and other materials
for use in training session s, and keep
em p loyees informed about training
o p p o r tu n itie s. “ L ab or r e la tio n s ”
m eans union-m anagem ent relations,
and labor relations specialists work in
unionized establishm ents, for the most
part. They help com pany officials pre­
pare for collectiv e bargaining se s­
sions, participate in contract negotia­
tions, and handle labor relations mat­
ters that com e up every day.
In a small organization, one person
can handle all aspects o f personnel
administration. By contrast, the per­
sonnel department in a large firm is
likely to include recruiters, interview ­
ers, job analysts, benefits specialists,
training specialists, and labor rela­
tions specialists. Personnel clerks and
assistants handle routine tasks such as
issuing form s, maintaining files, com ­
piling statistics, and answering inquir­
Personnel work often begins with
the recruiter, (D .O .T . 166.267-026),
w ho maintains contacts within the
com m unity and may travel exten sive­
ly— usually to college cam puses— to
search for promising job applicants.
Recruiters talk with applicants, and

46/Occupational Outlook Handbook
recom m end those w ho appear quali­
fied to fill vacancies. They may ad­
minister tests and check references.
T hese workers need to be thoroughly
familiar with the organization and its
personnel policies to discuss w ages,
working conditions, and promotional
opportunities with prospective em ­
ployees. T hey also need to keep in­
formed about equal em ploym ent op­
portunity (EEO) and affirmative ac­
tion guidelines.
EEO representatives or affirmative
action coordinators handle this area in
large organizations. They investigate
and resolve EEO grievances, exam ine
corporate practices for possible viola­
tions, and com pile and submit EEO
statistical reports.
Job analysts (D .O .T . 166.267-018),
som etim es called compensation ana­
lysts, do very exacting work. They
collect and exam ine detailed informa­
tion about job duties to prepare job
descriptions. T hese descriptions e x ­
plain the duties, training, and skills
each job requires. W henever a large
organization introduces a new job or
review s existing on es, it calls upon
the expert know ledge o f the job ana­
E sta b lish in g and m ain tain in g a
firm’s pay system is the principal job
o f the compensation manager (D .O .T .
166.167-022). A ssisted by staff sp e­
cialists, com pensation managers de­
vise w ays to ensure fair and equitable
pay rates. They may conduct surveys
to see how their rates com pare with
others and to see that the firm’s pay
scale com plies with laws and regula­
Training, or more broadly, human
resource developm ent, is a major spe­
cialization within personnel adm inis­
tration. Increasingly, m anagement is
com ing to recognize that training of­
fers a w ay o f developing skills, en­
hancing prod u ctivity, and building
loyalty to the firm. Training is w idely
accepted as a m ethod o f improving
em ployee morale, but this is only one
o f the reasons for its growing impor­
tance. Other factors include the com ­
plexity o f the work environm ent, the
rapid pace o f organizational and tech­
nological change, and the growing
number o f jo b s that are in fields where
new know ledge is constantly being
generated. In addition, advances in
learning theory have provided insights
into how adults learn, and how train­
ing can be organized to be m ost effec­
Digitized for tive for adults.

Training specialists (D.O.T. 079.127010 and 166.167-014) are responsible
for planning, organizing, and directing
a wide range o f training activities.
Trainers conduct orientation sessions
and arrange on-the-job training for
new em ployees. They help rank-andfile workers maintain and improve
their job skills and possibly prepare
for job s requiring greater skill. They
help supervisors deal more effectively
with em ployees. To prepare em ploy­
ees for future responsibilities, they
may set up individualized training
plans to strengthen skills or teach new
on es. Training specialists in som e
com panies set up programs designed
to develop executive potential among
em ployees in low er echelon positions.
Planning and program developm ent
is an important part o f the training
specialist’s job. In order to identify
and a ssess training needs within the
firm, trainers may confer with manag­
ers and supervisors or conduct sur­
v ey s. They also periodically evaluate
training effectiveness.
Depending on the size, goals, and
nature o f the organization, there may
be considerable differences in train­
ers’ responsibilities and in the meth­
ods they use. Training m ethods cur­
rently in use include on-the-job train­
ing; “ v estib u le” sch ools in w hich
shop conditions are dupliated for train­
ees prior to putting them on the shop
floor; apprenticeship training; class­
room training; programmed instruc­
tion, which may involve interactive
vid eos, videodiscs, and other com put­
er-aided instructional technologies;
simulators; conferences; and work­
Employee-benefits managers (D.O.T.
1 6 6 .1 1 7 -0 1 4 , - 0 2 2 ) h a n d le th e
co m p an y’s em ployee benefits pro­
gram, primarily its health insurance
and pension plans. Expertise in de­
signing and administering benefits pro­
grams continues to gain in importance
as benefits administration becom es in­
creasingly com plex. Familiarity with
health benefits is a top priority at
presen t, as more and m ore firms
search for w ays to respond to the
rising cost o f health insurance for em ­
ployees and retirees.
Corporate support for controlling
health care costs has resulted in new
roles and a broadened scope o f activ­
ity for benefits specialists— som e o f
whom work for consulting firms that
specialize in this area. C om panies
have begun to redesign benefit pack­

ages in order to encourage em ployees
to use less costly form s o f health care,
for exam ple. Increasingly, benefits
specialists need expert know ledge o f
health care delivery: Pre-admission
screening, m andatory second opin­
ions, and review o f how benefits are
used are exam ples o f issu es benefits
specialists are currently dealing with.
A nother major activity is tracking and
an alyzin g c o s ts — determ ining how
much health care the firm is paying
for, w hat serv ices em p lo y ees and
their dependents are getting for the
m oney, and what accounts for differ­
ences in the use and cost o f care.
In addition to health insurance and
pension coverage, many firms offer
their em ployees dental insurance, ac­
cidental death and disability insur­
ance, auto insurance, hom eow ners’
insurance, stock options, profit shar­
ing, and thrift/savings plans. Benefits
analysts and benefits administrators
handle these programs and also may
develop and coordinate services as
diverse as van-pooling, child care,
lunchroom s and com pany cafeterias,
n ew sletters, and health prom otion
and physical fitness.
A growing number o f firms provide
em ployee counseling programs, often
called em ployee assistance programs.
M ost often staffed by social workers
or psychologists, these programs may
be located in the personnel depart­
m ent, the m edical departm ent, or
elsew here within the firm. Som e em ­
ployee counseling programs are off­
site and staffed entirely by consult­
ants. T ypically, w orksite em ployee
counseling starts with an alcholism
program; expands to cover other ma­
jor problem s including drug abuse and
em otional disorders; and eventually
offers counseling for a wide range of
personal as w ell as job-related con ­
cerns, including marital, fam ily, legal,
consum er, and financial problem s.
Career counseling may be provided as
w ell. Som e firms offer personal, finan­
cial, and second careers counseling
for em ployees approaching retirement
Occupational safety and health pro­
grams are handled in various w ays. In
small com panies especially, accident
prevention and industrial safety are
the responsibility o f the personnel de­
partment— or o f the labor relations
specialist, if the union has a safety
representative. Increasingly, h ow ev­
er, a safety engineer or industrial hy­

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/47
gienist is in charge o f a separate safety
L a b o r r e la tio n s s p e c ia l is ts (D .O .T .
166.167-034) advise managem ent on
all aspects o f union-m anagem ent rela­
tions. W hen a collective bargaining
agreem ent is up for negotiation, they
provide background information for
m anagem en t’s p o sitio n , w hich re­
quires familiarity with econom ic and
wage data as w ell as exten sive know l­
edge o f labor law and collective bar­
gaining trends. Although the director
o f labor relations or other top-ranking
official representing the em ployer ne­
gotiates the agreem ent, the labor rela­
tions staff play an important role.
The labor relations staff interprets
and adm inisters the contract, particu­
larly grievance procedures. Labor re­
lations specialists might work with the
union on seniority rights under the
layoff procedure o f the contract, for
exam ple, or m eet with the union stew ­
ard about a grievance. D oing the job
well m eans staying abreast o f current
developm ents in labor law , including
arbitration d ecision s, and maintaining
continuing liaison with union officials.
Personnel specialists in governm ent
and those in large business firms do
essentially the sam e kind o f work,
although there are som e differences.
Public personnel specialists deal with
civil service em p loyees w hose jobs
are strictly classified as to entry re­
quirem ents, duties, and pay. T here­
fore much o f the em phasis in public
personnel work is on job analysis.
Training and career developm ent are
growing in im portance in the public
sector, how ever, and union activity
among governm ent workers has cre­
ated a need for labor relations special­
ists to handle negotiations, grievanc­
es, and arbitration ca ses for Federal,
State, and local governm ent agencies.

Working Conditions
Personnel work is office work. The
work is performed in pleasant sur­
roundings that are generally clean and
quiet. Personnel and training special­
ists usually work a standard 35- to
40-hour w orkw eek. Labor relations
specialists, how ever, m ay work long­
er hours— particularly w hen contract
agreem ents are being prepared and
Although m ost personnel, training,
and labor relations specialists work in
the office, som e travel exten sively.
Recruiters regularly attend p rofes­
sional m eetings and visit college cam ­

puses to interview prospective em ­

Personnel, training, and labor rela­
tions specialists held about 198,000
job s in 1984. Four out o f five jobs
were in private industry. Som e per­
sonnel, training, and labor relations
specialists work for labor unions. Oth­
ers are em ployed by, or operate, man­
agem ent consulting firms that special­
ize in such areas as com pensation,
pensions and benefits, and training
and staff developm ent.
A pproxim ately 41,000 personnel,
training, and labor relations special­
ists worked for Federal, State, and
local governm ents in 1984. They han­
dled recruitm ent, interview ing, job
classification, training, and related
matters for the N ation’s 16 million
public em p lo y ees: P olice officers,
firefighters, sanitation workers, teach­
ers, hospital workers, and many oth­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
B ecause o f the diversity o f duties and
level o f responsibility, the educational
backgrounds o f personnel, training,
and labor relations specialists vary
considerably. In filling entry level
jo b s, firms generally seek college grad­
uates. Som e em ployers prefer appli­
cants w ho have majored in personnel
administration or industrial and labor
relations, while others look for college
graduates with a technical or business
background. Still others feel that a
w ell-rounded liberal arts education is
M any colleges and universities have
programs leading to a degree in per­
sonnel and labor relations. Others of­
fer degree programs in personnel ad­
m inistration or personnel m anage­
m e n t. S o m e o ffe r d e g r e e s or
certificates in training and develop­
m ent. Depending on the school, prep­
aration for a career in human resourc­
es developm ent may be obtained in
departments o f business administra­
tion, education, instructional technol­
ogy, organizational developm ent, hu­
man services, com m unication, or pub­
lic administration.
B ecause an interdisciplinary back­
ground is appropriate for work in this
area, a com bination o f courses in the
social scien ces, behavioral scien ces,
and business is useful. Prospective
personnel specialists might take cours­

es in principles o f m anagem ent, orga­
nization dynam ics, and human rela­
tions. Other relevant courses include
business adm inistration, public ad­
ministration, psych ology, sociology,
political scien ce, econ om ics, and sta­
tistics. C ourses in labor law , co llec­
tive bargaining, labor econ om ics, la­
bor history, and industrial psychology
provide a valuable background for the
prospective labor relations specialist.
Graduate study in industrial or la­
bor relations is becom ing increasingly
important for those seeking work in
labor relations. A law degree seldom
is required for entry level job s, but
many people responsible for contract
negotiations are law yers, and a com ­
bination o f industrial relations courses
and law is highly desirable. Som e ex ­
perienced in personnel work m ove
into labor relations.
For many job s in this field, previous
experience is an asset; for som e, it is
essen tial. P ersonnel adm inistration
and human resource developm ent re­
quire the ability to work with individ­
uals as w ell as a com m itm ent to orga­
nizational goals. They also demand
skills that may be developed in many
w ays— selling, teaching, supervising,
and volunteering, among others. In
fact, the majority o f personnel and
labor relations job s are filled by p eo­
ple previously em ployed in another
occupation. This field offers clerical
workers opportunities for advance­
ment to professional positions. H ow ­
ever, more responsible positions may
be filled by experienced individuals
from other fields including business,
governm ent, education, and the mili­
tary. Social services administration
provides a suitable background, too.
Personnel, training, and labor rela­
tions sp ecialists should speak and
write effectively and be able to work

Personnel specialist explains company
procedures to a new employee.

48/Occupational Outlook Handbook
with people o f all levels o f education
and experience as part o f a team.
They m ust be patient to cope with
conflicting view points and em otional­
ly stable to deal with the unexpected
and the unusual. The ability to func­
tion under pressure is essential. Integ­
rity, fair m indedness, and a persua­
sive, congenial personality are impor­
tant qualities.
Entry level workers usually enter
form al or on-the-job training pro­
grams where they learn how to classi­
fy job s, interview applicants, or ad­
m inister e m p lo y ee ben efits. N e x t,
they are assigned to specific areas in
the p erson n el departm ent to gain
experience. Later, they may advance
within their ow n com pany, transfer to
another em ployer, or manage a major
elem ent o f the personnel program—
com pensation, training, or EEO/aflfirmative action, for exam ple.
W orkers in the middle ranks o f a
large organization often leave for a
more responsible job in a smaller or­
ganization. E xcep tio n a l em p lo y ees
may be prom oted to director o f per­
sonnel or labor relations. Others may
join a consulting firm or go into pri­
vate business. A Ph.D . is an asset for
teaching, writing, or consulting work.

Job Outlook
The number o f personnel, training,
and labor relations specialists is e x ­
pected to grow about as fast as the
average for all occupations through
the m id-1990’s. M ost growth will o c ­
cur in the private sector as em ployers
try to provide effective em ployee re­
lations programs for an expanding and
aging w ork force. R elatively little
growth is anticipated in public person­
nel administration. A s in virtually all
occupations, m ost job openings will
result from replacem ent needs.
D em and for p erson n el, training,
and labor relations specialists is g o v ­
erned by the staffing needs o f the firms
where they work. A rapidly expand­
ing business is likely to hire additional
personnel specialists— either as per­
manent em p loyees or consultants—
while a business that is reducing its
operations will require few er person­
nel w orkers. In any particular firm,
the size and the job duties o f the
personnel, training, and labor rela­
tions staff is determ ined by a variety
o f factors, including the firm’s organi­
zational philosophy and goals; the la­
bor-intensity and skill profile o f the
Digitized for industry; the pace o f technological

change; governm ent regulations, co l­
lective bargaining agreem ents, and
standards o f professional practice;
and labor market conditions.
Other factors stimulate demand for
personnel, training, and labor rela­
tions specialists. Legislation setting
standards in occupational safety and
health, equal em ploym ent opportuni­
ty, and pensions has substantially in­
creased the amount o f recordkeeping,
analysis, and report writing in the
personnel area. Data gathering and
analytical activities are bound to in­
crease as em ployers continue to re­
view and evaluate their personnel pol­
icies and programs. H ow ever, these
activities probably will not generate
many additional job s because o f the
productivity gains associated with the
autom ation o f personnel and payroll
Corporate recognition o f the impor­
tance o f human resource developm ent
is expected to result in greater invest­
ment in job-specific, em ployer-spo­
nsored training and retraining as a
response to productivity concerns,
the aging o f the workforce, and tech­
nological advances that can suddenly
leave large numbers o f em p loyees
with obsolete skills.
Although the number o f jobs in this
field is projected to increase through
the m id-1990’s, the job market is like­
ly to remain com petitive, given the
abundant supply o f recent college
graduates and experienced workers
with suitable qualifications.

Typical entry level jobs in the person­
nel field include job analyst, EEO
representative, benefits analyst, and
training specialist. T hese positions
generally require a bachelor’s degree
but no experience. Salaries vary w ide­
ly, and depend on the size and loca­
tion o f the firm as w ell as the nature o f
its business.
In the Federal G overnm ent, new
graduates with a bachelor’s degree
generally started at about $13,800 a
year in 1985. Those with a m aster’s
degree started at about $21,000.
In 1984, according to a survey con ­
ducted by A bbott, Langer, and A sso ­
ciates, the median salary for com pen­
sation analysts w as $25,150; for ben­
efits planning analysts, $23,989; for
em ployee counselors, $26,712; for re­
cru iters (p ro fessio n a l/m a n a g eria l),
$26,460; and for personnel informa­
tion specialists, $24,300. The median

salary for EEO affirmative action man­
agers was $35,000; for com pensation
and benefits m anagers, $33,417; for
training and organizational d evelop­
ment m anagers, $37,682; and for labor
relations m anagers, $37,500.
A ccording to a Bureau o f Labor
Statistics survey, average annual sal­
aries o f personnel directors in private
in d u stry ranged from $35 ,4 4 4 to
$65,874 in 1984. Top personnel and
labor relations ex ecu tives in large cor­
porations earned considerably more.

Related Occupations
All personnel, training, and labor re­
lations occupations are clo sely relat­
ed. Other workers w ho help people
find job s or help to make the work
environm ent safe and pleasant include
health and regulatory inspectors, o c­
cupational safety and health workers,
em ploym ent co u n selo rs, rehabilita­
tion counselors, college career plan­
ning and placem ent counselors, indus­
trial engineers, p sych ologists, and so ­
ciologists. Several o f these occupa­
tions are described elsew here in the
H andbook.

Sources of Additional Information
For general information on careers in
personnel and industrial relations,
write to:
American Society for Personnel Administra­
tion, 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, Va.

A ccred itation o f gen eralists and
specialists in the personnel and hu­
man resources field is offered through
the Personnel A ccreditation Institute.
For inform ation, contact:
Executive Director, Personnel Accreditation
Institute, 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria,
Va. 22314.

For a booklet on C a r e e r s in T ra in ­
in g a n d D e v e l o p m e n t , contact:
American Society for Training and D evelop­
ment, 600 Maryland A ve. SW ., Suite 305,
Washington, D.C. 20024.

Brochures describing a career with
the N ational Labor Relations Board
as a field exam iner or attorney are
available from:
Director o f Personnel, National Labor Rela­
tions Board, 1717 Pennsylvania A ve. NW .,
Washington, D.C. 20570.

The Industrial Relations Research
A ssociation periodically publishes a
list o f academ ic programs in industrial
relations in the I R R A N e w s l e t t e r . For
the current list, contact:
Industrial Relations Research Association, 7226
Social Science Building, 1180 Observatory Dr.,
Madison, Wis. 53706.

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/49

Purchasing Agents
(D.O.T. 162.117-018, -022 and -026; .157-030, -034,
and -038; .167-030; 163.117-010; and 169.167-054)

Nature of the Work
If an organization d oes not have the
right m aterials, supplies, or equip­
ment w hen they are needed, its entire
production p rocess or w orkflow could
be interrupted or halted. Purchasing
agents, also called industrial buyers,
see to it that the good s, materials,
supplies, and services purchased for
internal use by the organization are o f
suitable quality, sufficient quantity, at
the right price, and available when
needed. A gents in industry and g o v ­
ernment buy raw m aterials, m achin­
ery, parts and com ponents, furniture,
business m achines, veh icles, and o f­
fice supplies. S om e, called media buy­
ers, purchase advertising tim e and
space. B uyers w ho purchase m er­
chandise for resale, rather than for
internal u se , are d escribed in the
statem ent on buyers, retail and w h ole­
sale trade, elsew here in the H a n d ­

Purchasing ag en ts buy su p p lies
when the stock on hand reaches a
predeterm ined reorder point, when a
department in the organization requi­
sitions item s it n eeds, or w hen market
conditions are especially favorable.
Purchasing agents increasingly use
com puters to keep track o f inventory
levels, to p rocess routine orders, and
to determ ine w hen to make purchas­
es. Com puters are also used to main­
tain bidders’ lists, to record the histo­
ry o f vendor perform ance, and to is­
sue purchase orders. B ecause agents
often can purchase from many sourc­
es, their main job is selecting the
supplier w ho offers the best com bina­
tion o f quality, service, and price.
Purchasing agents use a variety o f
means to ch o o se suppliers. They com ­
pare listings in catalogs, directories,
and trade journals. T hey m eet with
salespersons to d iscuss item s to be
purchased, exam ine sam ples, and at­
tend dem onstrations o f products and
equipm ent. Frequently, agents invite
suppliers to bid on large orders and
then select the low est bidder among
those w ho m eet purchasing and d eliv­
ery date requirem ents.
Som etim es, purchasing agents ne­
gotiate for custom -m ade products or
sp ecia liz e d se r v ic e s. In crea sin g ly ,
they enter into long-term contracts
with vendors to guarantee future sup­

plies o f goods at the negotiated price.
In order to make this long-term com ­
m itm ent, purchasing agents must care­
fully evaluate vendors and take into
account the future needs o f the orga­
nization. N eed less to say, purchasing
agents must thoroughly understand
the characteristics and functions o f
the item s they purchase. In som e
ca ses, such as com puter equipm ent,
this requires considerable technical
know ledge. After placing an order,
the purchasing agent checks periodi­
cally to insure prompt delivery.
Purchasing agents d evelop good
business relationships with suppliers
in order to attain cost savings, favor­
able paym ent term s, quick delivery on
em ergency orders, or help in obtain­
ing scarce materials. A gents also work
closely with other em ployees in their
ow n organization. For exam ple, they
may discuss design o f custom -m ade
products with com pany engineers, de­
fects in purchased goods with quality
control technicians, or shipment prob­
lem s with workers in the shipping
Purchasing agents’ functions may
differ according to the type and size o f
the organization. In a large firm,
agents usually specialize in a com ­
m odity or group o f com m odities— for
exam ple, steel, lumber, cotton, or pe­
troleum products. In smaller organi­
zations, agents generally buy a wider
range o f goods, such as all raw m ate­
rials or all office supplies, furniture,
and business m achines. M any have

responsibility for arranging custodial,
w aste disposal, and other contractual
services. Purchasing managers usual­
ly supervise a group o f purchasing
agents handling a number o f related
goods and services.

Working Conditions
Purchasing agents generally work a
standard 35- to 40-hour w eek. Som e
overtim e may be necessary if, for e x ­
am ple, the supply o f critical materials
runs short. Although they spend m ost
o f their time in the office, som e travel
to suppliers, sem inars, or trade show s.

Purchasing agents held about 189,000
job s in 1984. M ore than 40 percent o f
all the job s were located in manufac­
turing, primarily in the machinery and
transportation equipm ent industries.
C onstruction com p an ies, hospitals,
sch ools, and advertising firms also are
large em ployers o f purchasing agents.
G overnm ent agen cies, primarily in
the Federal sector, provided over
one-seventh o f all jobs. B ecause o f its
com plex and exten sive purchasing re­
quirem ents, the Department o f D e­
fense em ploys about 70 percent o f all
purchasing agents in the Federal G ov­
ernm ent. Other im portant Federal
em ployers are the Department o f A g­
riculture, the General Services A d­
m inistration, and the Veterans A d­
Many purchasing agents work in
organizations that have few er than

Purchasing agents often discuss requirements with officials from different departments in
the firm.

50/Occupational Outlook Handbook
five em p loyees in the purchasing d e­
partment. Large business firms and
governm ent agen cies, how ever, have
much larger purchasing departments;
som e em ploy as many as 100 special­
ized purchasing agents.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although there are no universal edu­
cational requirem ents for entry level
job s, m ost large organizations require
a college degree and prefer applicants
with a m aster’s degree in business
administration or m anagem ent. Com ­
panies that manufacture m achinery or
chem icals may prefer applicants with
a technical background, such as engi­
neering or scien ce, w hile other com ­
panies hire business administration
majors as trainees. C ourses in pur­
chasing, accounting, econ om ics, and
statistics are helpful. Familiarity with
com puters also is desirable. Many
colleges and vocational institutes offer
courses in purchasing; a few colleges
offer a degree in this field.
Som e small com panies require a
bachelor’s degree; many others, how ­
ever, hire graduates o f associate de­
gree and vocational education pro­
grams in purchasing for entry level
job s. They also may prom ote clerks or
technicians in the purchasing depart­
ment. Regardless o f the size o f an
organization, how ever, a college d e­
gree is becom ing increasingly impor­
tant for advancem ent to m anagement
W hatever their educational back­
ground, beginning purchasing agents
are enrolled in com pany training pro­
grams and spend considerable time
learning about com pany operations
and purch asin g p ro ced u res. T h ey
work with experienced buyers to learn
about com m odities, prices, suppliers,
and negotiating techniques. They may
be assigned to production planning to
learn about the purchasing system ,
inventory records, and storage facili­
Junior agents purchase standard
and catalog item s. A s they gain know l­
edge and experience, they may be
prom oted to purchasing agent, then to
senior purchasing agent. Senior agents
purchase highly com p lex, usually cu s­
tom-m ade item s.
Purchasing agents must be able to
analyze the technical data in suppli­
e r s’ proposals, m ake buying d eci­
sions, and spend large am ounts o f
Digitized for m oney responsibly. The job requires

the ability to work independently and
a good memory for details. In addi­
tion, a purchasing agent must be able
to get along w ell with people to bal­
ance the needs o f personnel in the
orga n ization w ith budgetary c o n ­
straints and to negotiate with suppli­
ers. An agent may work with law yers,
contract administrators, and engineers
and scientists when involved in com ­
plex procurem ents.
A qualified purchasing agent can
becom e an assistant purchasing man­
ager in charge o f a group o f purchas­
ing agents and then advance to pur­
chasing m anager, director or vice
president o f purchasing, or director or
vice president o f materials manage­
m ent. At the top levels, duties may
overlap into other management func­
tions such as production, planning,
and marketing.
This occupation is becom ing in­
creasingly professionalized and spe­
cialized. Continuing education is e s ­
sential for advancem ent. M ost agents
participate in seminars offered by pro­
fessional societies and take college
courses in purchasing. Certification
enhances o n e’s chances for top man­
agem ent positions. In private indus­
try, the recognized mark o f experi­
ence and professional com petence is
the designation Certified Purchasing
Manager (CPM). It is conferred by the
N ational A ssociation o f Purchasing
M anagement, Inc., upon candidates
w ho pass four exam inations and m eet
educational and experience require­
m ents. In governm ent, the indications
o f professional com petence are the
designations Professional Public B uy­
er (PPB) and Certified Public Purchas­
ing Officer (CPPO), conferred by the
N ational Institute o f Governmental
Purchasing, Inc. The PPB is earned
by passing a two-part written exam i­
nation and meeting educational and
experience requirements. A candidate
must m eet more stringent basic re­
quirements and pass a three-part writ­
ten exam and an interview assessm ent
to earn the CPPO.
A s more and more purchasing is
conducted on a long-term basis, both
private and public purchasing agents
are specializing in contract purchas­
ing. The National Contract M anage­
ment A ssociation confers the designa­
tion s Certified A sso cia te C ontract
Manager (CACM) or Certified Profes­
sional C ontract M anager (CPCM )
upon those who m eet educational and

experience requirem ents and pass a
written exam ination.

Job Outlook
E m ploym ent o f purchasing agents is
exp ected to increase about as fast as
th e a v e r a g e fo r all o c c u p a tio n s
through the m id-1990’s as the volum e
o f goods and services produced in­
creases. G oods-producing firms will
expand purchasing departm ents to
handle the grow ing co m p lexity o f
manufacturing p rocesses and to help
keep costs o f production materials
and supplies to a minimum. Many
opportunities also should arise as ser­
vice-producing organizations (hospi­
tals, sch ools, and local and State gov­
ernm ents) also recognize the impor­
tance o f professional purchasers in
reducing co sts.
M ost job openings, how ever, will
continue to arise from the need to
replace purchasing agents w ho leave
their jo b s. M any purchasing agents
transfer to other occupations, often
sales or managerial positions. Others
retire or leave the labor force for other
Persons w ho have a m aster’s de­
gree in business administration and a
bachelor’s degree in purchasing, or in
engineering, scien ce, or business ad­
ministration with courses in purchas­
ing, should have the best opportuni­
ties. Graduates o f 2-year programs in
purchasing should continue to find
good opportunities, especially in small

M edian annual earnings for purchas­
ing agents w ere slightly over $21,000
in 1984. The middle 50 percent earned
betw een $16,500 and $30,000. The
bottom 10 percent earned less than
$13,000, and the top 10 percent earned
more than $39,000. The average start­
ing salary for purchasing agents in the
private sector w as $20,200 a year in
1984. E xperienced w orkers earned
b etw een $24,700 and $30,600, and
senior agents averaged $37,900.
In the Federal G overnm ent, begin­
ning purchasing agents w ho had co l­
lege degrees earned $14,390 or $17,824
in 1985, d ep en d in g on sc h o la stic
a ch ievem en t and ex p erien ce. Pur­
chasing agents in the Federal G overn­
m en t a v e r a g e d $ 2 9 ,9 0 0 in 1984.
Am ong State governm ents, earnings
ranged from $11,000 for beginning
purchasing agents to over $40,000 for
chiefs o f purchasing. G enerally, local

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/51
governm ent salaries are som ew hat
lower. H ow ever, purchasing agents in
som e major metropolitan areas earn
more than their State governm ent

Related Occupations
Other workers w ho negotiate and con­
tract to purchase equipm ent, supplies,
or other merchandise include retail
and w holesale buyers, procurement
services m anagers, and traffic manag­

Sources of Additional Information
Further information about careers in
purchasing and certification is avail­
able from:
National Association o f Purchasing Manage­
ment, Inc., P.O. Box 418, Oradell, N.J. 07649.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing,
Inc., 115 Hillwood A ve., Falls Church, Va.
National Contract Management Association,
6728 Old McLean Village Dr., McLean, Va.


(D.O.T. 169.167-058)

Nature of the Work
Insurance com panies assum e billions
o f dollars in risks each year by trans­
ferring the risk o f loss from their pol­
icyholders to them selves. Underwrit­
ers appraise and select the risks their
com pany will insure. The underwriter
must analyze information in insurance
applications, reports from loss control
consultants, medical reports, and ac­
tuarial studies (reports that describe
the probability o f insured loss) and
then decide whether to issue a policy.
An insurance com pany may lose bus­
iness to com petitors if the underwriter
appraises risks too conservatively or
it may have to pay more claim s if the
underwriting actions are too liberal.
(The term “ life underwriter” is in­
creasingly used in referring to insur­
ance sales workers; see the statem ent
on insurance sales workers elsew here
in the H a n d b o o k for a discussion o f
that occupation.)
When deciding that an applicant is
an acceptable risk, an underwriter
may outline the terms o f the contract,
including the amount o f the premium.
Underwriters frequently correspond
with policyholders, agents, and man­
agers about policy cancellations or
other requests for information. In ad­

dition, they som etim es accom pany
sales workers on appointments with
prospective custom ers.
M ost underwriters specialize in one
o f three major categories o f insur­
ance: Life, property and liability, or
health. T hey further sp ecialize in
group or individual policies. The prop­
erty and liability underwriter special­
izes by type o f risk insured, such as
fire, autom obile, marine, or w orkers’
com pensation. In cases where casual­
ty com panies insure in a single “ pack­
age” policy, covering various types o f
risks, the underwriter must be familiar
with different lines o f insurance. Some
underwriters, called commercial ac­
count underwriters, handle business
insurance e x clu siv ely . T hey often
evaluate a firm’s entire operation in
appraising its insurance application.
An increasing proportion o f insur­
ance sales are being made through
group contracts. A standard group
policy insures all persons in a speci­
fied group through a single contract at
uniform premium rates, generally for
life or health insurance protection.
The group underwriter analyzes the
overall com position o f the group to be
sure that the total risk is not e x c e s­
sive. Another type o f group policy
provides members o f a group— a labor
union, for exam ple— with individual
p o lic ie s reflecting their individual
needs. These generally are casualty
policies, such as those covering auto­
m obiles. The casualty underwriter an­
alyzes the application o f each group

mem ber and m akes individual ap­
praisals. Som e group underwriters
m eet with union or em ployer repre­
sentatives to discuss the types o f pol­
icies available to their group.

Working Conditions
Underwriters have desk jobs that re­
quire no unusual physical activity.
Their offices generally are com fort­
able and pleasant. A lthough som e
overtim e may be required, the normal
w orkw eek is 35-40 hours. Underwrit­
ers occasionally may attend meetings
away from home for several days.

Insurance underwriters held about
78,000 jobs in 1984. M ost life insur­
ance underwriters were in home of­
fices in a few large cities, such as N ew
York, San Francisco, Chicago, Dal­
las, Philadelphia, and Hartford.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
For beginning underwriting job s, most
large insurance com panies seek col­
lege graduates who have a degree in
liberal arts or business administration,
but a major in almost any field pro­
vides a good general background.
Som e small com panies hire persons
without a college degree for under­
writer trainee positions. In addition,
som e high school graduates w ho begin
as underwriting clerks may be trained
as underwriters after they dem on­
strate an aptitude for the work.

Underwriters evaluate risk and determine what policies their company will insure.

52/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Underwriter trainees begin by eval­
uating routine applications under the
close supervision o f an experienced
risk appraiser. They study claim files
to becom e familiar with factors a sso ­
ciated with certain types o f lo sses. As
they develop the n ecessary judgm ent,
they are assigned policy applications
that are more com plex and have a
greater face value.
Continuing education is necessary
for the underwriter to advance. Insur­
ance com panies generally pay tuition
for underwriting courses that their
trainees su ccessfu lly com plete; som e
also offer salary increases. Indepen­
dent study programs are available
through the A m erican Institute o f
Property and Liability Underwriters,
the Am erican C ollege o f Life U nder­
writers, the A cadem y o f Life U nder­
writers, the H ealth Insurance A sso c i­
ation o f Am erica, the Insurance Insti­
tute o f A m erica, and the Life Office
M anagem ent A sso c ia tio n . E x p eri­
enced underwriters can qualify as a
“ fello w ” o f the A cadem y o f Life U n ­
derwriters by passing a series o f e x ­
aminations and com pleting a paper on
a topic in the underwriting field. E x ­
aminations are given by the Institute
o f H om e Office Underwriters and the
H om e Office Life Underwriters A sso ­
ciation. D esignation as a “ fe llo w ” is
recognized as a mark o f achievem ent
in the underwriting field.
Underwriting can be a satisfying
career for persons w ho like working
with detail and enjoy evaluating infor­
m ation. In ad d ition , underw riters
must be able to make prompt deci­
sions and com m unicate effectively.
They must also be im aginative and
aggressive, especially w hen they have
to g et in fo r m a tio n from o u ts id e
E x p e r ie n c e d u n d erw riters w h o
com plete courses o f study may ad­
vance to ch ief underwriter or under­
writing manager. Som e underwriting
managers are prom oted to senior man­
agerial jo b s.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent o f underwriters is ex ­
pected to rise faster than the average
for all occupations through the mid1990’s as insurance sales continue to
expand. M ost job openings, how ever,
are expected to result from the need
to replace underwriters w ho transfer
to other occupations, retire, or stop
working for other reasons.
A number o f factors underlie the

expected growth in the volum e and
com plexity o f insurance and the re­
sulting need for underwriters. Over
the next decade, many more workers
will enter the 25-54 age group. People
in this age group have the greatest
need for life and health insurance.
They also need protection for hom es,
autom obiles, and other valuables. A
growing demand for insurance cover­
age for working wom en is also exp ect­
ed. Growing security con sciou sn ess
should also contribute to demand for
more insurance protection. N ew or
expanding businesses will need pro­
tection for new plants and equipm ent,
insurance for w orkers’ com pensation,
and product liability. C om petition
am on g in su ra n ce co m p a n ie s and
changes in regulations affecting in­
vestm ent profits also are expected to
increase the need for underwriters.
The increasing importance o f em ploy­
ee benefits should also result in more
opportunities in this field.
Since insurance is usually regarded
as a n ecessity regardless o f econom ic
conditions, underwriters are unlikely
to be laid off during a recession.

According to a survey o f property and
liability insurance com panies, person­
al lines (noncommercial) underwriters
earned a median salary o f $21,500 a
year in 1984, while com m ercial lines
underwriters earned $21,200 a year.
Senior personal lines underwriters re­
ceived a median salary o f $27,000,
while senior commercial lines under­
writers earned $25,600 a year. Under­
w riting su p erv iso rs earned about
$31,000 while underwriting managers
earned about $37,000 a year in 1984.
M ost insurance com panies have lib­
eral vacation policies and other em ­
ployee benefits. Alm ost all insurance
com panies provide employer-financed
group life and retirement plans.

Related Occupations
Underwriters make decisions on the
basis o f financial data. Other workers
with the same type o f responsibility
include auditors, loan officers, credit
m anagers, and real estate appraisers.

Sources of Additional Information
General information about a career as
an insurance underwriter is available
from the home offices o f many life
insurance and property and liability
insurance co m p a n ies. Inform ation

about career opportunities as an un­
derwriter also may be obtained from:
American Council o f Life Insurance, 1850 K St.
N W ., Washington, D.C. 20006.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William
St., N ew York, N .Y . 10038.
Alliance o f American Insurers, 1501 Woodfield
Rd., Suite 400 W ., Schaumburg, 111. 60195.
The National A ssociation o f Independent Insur­
ers, Public Relations Department, 2600 River
Rd., D es Plaines, 111. 60018.

Wholesale and Retail
(D.O.T. 162.157-018 and -022)

Nature of the Work
Buyers purchase, for resale, the best
available m erchandise at the low est
possible prices and expedite the deliv­
ery o f goods from the producer to the
consum er. The responsibilities o f buy­
ers vary by industry and product and
range from the mundane to the glam­
orous. For exam ple, w holesale gro­
cery buyers may spend many hours
deciding which brand o f cereal should
be prom oted in the grocery stores
they supply. In sharp contrast, appar­
el buyers in department stores may
attend a fashion show in Paris and buy
thousands o f dollars worth o f evening
dresses at one time.
W holesale and retail buyers are in­
tegral parts o f a com plex system o f
production, distribution, and m er­
chandising that caters to the vast va­
riety o f consum er needs and desires.
W holesale buyers purchase goods di­
rectly from manufacturers or from
other w holesale firms for resale to
retail firms or to com m ercial estab­
lishm ents and other institutions. R e­
tail b u y ers p u rch a se g o o d s from
w holesale firms or directly from man­
ufacturers for resale to the public.
( I n f o r m a t io n a b o u t p u r c h a s in g
agents— buyers w ho purchase goods
for internal use by their em ploying
firm— can be found elsew here in the
H a n d b o o k .)

W holesale buyers must be familiar
with the characteristics o f the many
com m odities they purchase from both
dom estic and foreign manufacturers.
They must supply, in a tim ely and
cost-effective manner, possibly hun­
dreds o f institutional buyers and retail
p u r c h a se r s w h o m ay be lo c a te d
throughout the N ation. T hese retail
outlets may range in size from giant
discount or department store chains

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Occupations/53
to small “ mom and p op ” stores. This
requires careful assessm ent o f manu­
facturers’ productive capacity and the
minimum inventory level necessary
for the w holesaler to promptly fill cur­
rent and future orders from retailers
and other com m ercial firms. W hole­
sale buyers often consult with retail
buyers, w ho are in closer contact with
the b u y in g p u b lic , to a n tic ip a te
changes in consum er preferences.
Retail buyers must know what m o­
tivates consum ers to buy. Before or­
dering m erchandise, they study mar­
ket research reports and past sales
records to determ ine w hich products
are in demand. They keep informed
about changes in existing products
and the developm ent o f new on es, and
also analyze econom ic conditions and
exam ine industry and trade publica­
Retail buyers must be familiar with
the many manufacturers and w h ole­
sale distributors in their industry.
Buyers must be able to assess the
resale value o f goods after a brief
inspection and make purchase deci­
sions quickly. They discuss m erchan­
dising problems with w holesale buy­
ers and store execu tives and discuss
sales prom otions with advertising per­
sonnel. They consult with assistant
buyers and sales persons w ho are in
daily contact with retail custom ers.
Retail buyers may direct assistants
w ho handle routine functions such as
verifying shipment orders and m oni­
toring inventory levels.
Technical advances in com puters
and other business equipm ent have
improved buyers’ efficiency. For ex ­
ample, com puters not only give w h ole­
sale buyers instant access to the sp ec­
ifications o f thousands o f com m odi­
ties, their inventory records, and their
retailers’ purchase records, but also
greatly speed up the selection and
ordering o f m erchandise directly from
the manufacturer. This expedites the
distribution o f m erchandise and de­
creases inventory storage and costs.
Computers also have taken over som e
o f the routine tasks o f retail buyers,
enabling them to concentrate on more
com p lex m erchandising fu n ctio n s.
For exam ple, cash registers con n ect­
ed to a com puter, known as point-ofsale terminals, allow retail chains to
m a in ta in c e n t r a liz e d , u p -to -th e minute sales and inventory records.
M oreover, retailers often are linked
through electron ic purchasing sy s ­
tems to w holesale distributors or to

their ow n com pany’s corporate head­
quarters. These com plex networks al­
low retailers to reorder goods elec­
tronically when supplies are low.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Familiarity with merchandise and with
w holesaling and retailing practices is
important for buyers, and many per­
sons with such experience transfer
Working Conditions
Buyers often operate under great pres­ into this occupation. High school and
sure since w holesale and retail trade postsecondary marketing and distrib­
establishm ents are highly com peti­ utive education programs can launch
tive. They work in com fortable, well- careers in wholesaling and retailing that
lighted offices at stores or in corporate lead eventually to a buyer’s position.
headquarters. Anticipating custom ­ (More information about marketing and
er’s preferences and ensuring that distributive education appears in the
goods are in stock when they are statement on retail trade sales workers
needed require resourcefulness, good elsewhere in the H a n d b o o k .) Vocation­
judgm ent, and self-confidence. B uy­ al schools, technical institutes, and
ers also must be able to make deci­ community colleges offer postsecond­
ary training that prepares students for
sions quickly and take risks.
Buyers frequently work more than careers in merchandising. Many colleg­
a 40-hour w eek because o f special es and universities offer associate de­
sales and conferences. They may have gree or bachelor’s degree programs in
to work evenings and w eekends to marketing and purchasing. An increas­
com plete work on time. Substantial ing number o f employers prefer appli­
traveling is required; m ost buyers cants who have a college degree.
Courses in merchandising or mar­
spend several days a month on the
keting may help in getting started in
road. H ow ever, many successful buy­
ers feel that the stimulation and ex ­ w holesaling and retailing. H ow ever,
m ost em ployers accept college gradu­
citem ent o f the job more than make up
ates from any field o f study for buyer
for the long hours and em otional
trainee program s, w hich com bine
classroom instruction in merchandis­
ing and purchasing with short rota­
tions to various jobs in the store. This
W holesale and retail buyers held about training introduces the new worker to
229,000 jobs in 1984. About two-thirds store operations and policies and to
o f the jobs were in retail firms. A l­ the fundam entals o f m erchandising
though buyers work in all parts o f the and management.
M ost trainees begin by selling mer­
country, most are in major m etropol­
itan areas, where w holesale and retail chandise, supervising sales workers,
stores are concentrated.
check in g in v o ices on material re-

Buyers frequently call suppliers to obtain information about products.

54/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ceived, and keeping account of stock
on hand, although widespread use of
computers in both wholesale and re­
tail trade has simplified many of these
tasks. They gradually assume buying
responsibilities—usually working as
assistant buyers for at least a year or
two before becoming buyers. Experi­
enced buyers may advance to mer­
chandise manager; some advance to
executive jobs such as general mer­
chandise manager for distributors, de­
partment stores, or chain stores.
M embership in professional and
trade associations is helpful in keep­
ing abreast of im provem ents and
changes in industry products and prac­
tices and can facilitate advancement
to more responsible positions.
Persons who wish to become buy­
ers should be good at planning and
decisionmaking and have an interest
in merchandising. Leadership ability
and communications skills are needed
to supervise sales persons and assistant
buyers and to deal effectively with man­
ufacturers’ representatives and store
executives. Familarity with computers
also is becoming increasingly impor­
tant. Because of the fast pace and pres­
sure of their work, buyers need physi­
cal stamina and emotional stability.
Job Outlook

Employment of buyers is expected
to grow about as fast as the aver­

age for all occupations through the
mid-1990’s, as the wholesale and re­
tail trade industries expand in re­
sponse to a growing population and
higher personal incomes. Most job
openings, however, will result from
replacement needs, because many ex­
perienced buyers transfer to other oc­
cupations such as sales or managerial
positions or leave the labor force tem­
porarily to assume household respon­
Som ew hat offsetting in creased
demand for buyers will be productiv­
ity gains resulting from the in­
creased use of computers to control
inventory, maintain records, and
to reorder merchandise. The num­
ber of qualified jo b s e e k e rs will
continue to exceed the number of
openings b ecau se m erchandising
a ttra c ts many college graduates.
Prospects are likely to be best for
qualified applicants who enjoy the
com petitive, fast-paced nature of

Median annual earnings of buyers
were $19,500 is 1984. Most earned
between $15,100 and $28,500 a year.
The lowest 10 percent averaged
less than $10,700, while the top 10
percent earned more than $38,000. A
buyer’s income depends upon the
amount and type of product pur­

chased, the employer’s sales volume
and, to some extent, the buyer’s se­
niority. Buyers for large wholesale
distributors and for mass merchandis­
ers such as discount or large chain
department stores are among the most
highly paid.
Buyers often earn cash bonuses
based on their performance. In addi­
tion, many firms have incentive plans,
such as profit sharing and stock op­
Related Occupations

Workers in other occupations who
need a knowledge of marketing and
the ability to assess consumer demand
are sales managers, comparison shop­
pers, m anufacturers’ sales representa­
tives, insurance sales agents, whole­
sale trade sales representatives, and
travel agents.
Sources of Additional Information

General information about a career in
retailing is available from:
National Mass Retailing Institute, 570 Seventh
A ve., N ew York, N .Y . 10018.

Information on schools that teach
retailing is available from your State
Director of Vocational Education and
National Association o f Trade and Technical
Schools, 2021 K St. N W ., Washington, D.C.

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects
Nature of the Work

Engineers, surveyors, and architects
do planning and design. Engineers de­
sign machines, processes, systems,
and structures. Surveyors measure
and lay out land and building bound­
aries. Architects design buildings and
other structures, as well as outdoor
Architects, engineers, and survey­
ors often work together on building
projects. Architects design the build­
ing, concentrating on the visual ap­
pearance as well as the needs of own­
ers and occupants; engineers design
the building’s mechanical, heating,
and electrical systems; and surveyors
lay out the building’s boundaries and
the boundaries of the land it occupies.
Engineers apply scientific and math­
ematical theories and principles to
solve practical technical problems.
Most work in one of the more than 25
specialties recognized by professional
societies. Electrical, mechanical, civ­
il, industrial, chemical, and aerospace
engineering are the largest. Although
many engineers work in design and
development, others work in testing,
production, operations, and mainte­
Architects also apply scientific and
mathematical theories and principles
to design and construct buildings
which are esthetically appealing and
safe, and which meet the needs of
their client.
Surveyors use mathematical and
scientific principles to measure and
lay out land areas and establish bound­
aries. They also research deeds, write
legal descriptions of land, and collect
information for maps and charts.
Training, Other Qualifications, and

The generally accepted standard for
engineers is a bachelor’s degree in
engineering, although those with de­
grees in natural science or mathemat­
ics may sometimes qualify as engi­
neers. Surveyors usually qualify for
their work with a combination of
postsecondary school courses and onthe-job training. Some obtain a junior

expected increases in construction ac­
tivity. How ever, opportunities for
both surveyors and architects may
vary from year to year as construction
activity fluctuates.

college degree in surveying. A bache­
lor’s degree in architecture is neces­
sary to become an architect. To offer
services to the public, architects, en­
gineers, and surveyors must also have
several years’ work experience and
pass a licensing examination.


Job Outlook

All occupations in this group, except
mining and nuclear engineers, are ex­
pected to grow at least as fast as the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s due to expected higher
levels of investm ent in industrial
plants and equipment as well as in
office buildings and other construction
projects. The employment of engi­
neers also will increase due to expect­
ed higher defense expenditures.
Employment opportunities for engi­
neers with degrees in engineering are
expected to be good through the mid1990’s. Employment of engineers is
expected to grow much faster than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s, although growth rates
for individual engineering specialties
vary. Employment of surveyors is ex­
pected to increase as fast as average;
employment of architects is expected
to increase faster than average due to

(D.O.T. 001.061-010 and .167-010)

Nature of the Work

Designing a building involves far more
than planning an attractive shape and
exterior. Buildings must also be func­
tional, safe, and economical and must
suit the needs of the people who use
them. Architects take all these things
into consideration when they design
Architects provide a wide variety of
professional services to individuals
and organizations planning a building
project. They are involved in all
phases of development, from the ini­
tial discussion of general ideas with
the client through construction. Their
duties require a variety of skills—
design, engineering, managerial, and
The architect and client first discuss
the purposes, requirements, and cost

Electrical and mechanical engineers are projected to have the
fastest growth.

Projected percent change in employment, 1984-95






Aerospace engineers
Chemical engineers
Civil engineers
Electrical engineers
Industrial engineers
Mechanical engineers
Metallurgical engineers1
Mining engineers
Nuclear engineers
Petroleum engineers
Includes ceramic and materials engineers.
Source Bureau of Labor Statistics


56/Occupational Outlook Handbook
of a project. Based on the discussions,
the architect prepares a program—a
report specifying the requirements the
design must meet. The architect then
prepares carefully scaled drawings
presenting ideas for meeting the cli­
ent’s needs.
After the initial proposals are dis­
cussed and accepted, the architect
develops final construction documents
that incorporate changes required by
the client. These documents show the
floor plans, elevations, building sec­
tions, and other construction details.
Accompanying these are drawings of
the structural system, air-condition­
ing, heating, and ventilating systems,
electrical system s, plumbing, and
landscape plans. Architects also spec­
ify the building materials and, in some
cases, the interior furnishings. In de­
veloping designs, architects follow
building codes, zoning laws, fire reg­
ulations, and other ordinances, such
as those that require easy access by
handicapped persons.
Throughout the planning stage, the
architect may make changes to satisfy
the client, who may decide that the
design is too expensive or may pro­
pose additions to the original plan.
The architect may also assist the cli­
ent in obtaining bids, selecting a con­
tractor, and negotiating the construc­
tion contract. As construction pro­
ceeds, the architect visits the building
site to ensure that the contractor is
following the design, using the speci­
fied materials, and that the quality of
work meets the specified standards.
The job is not complete until all con­
struction is finished, required tests are
made, and construction costs are paid.

Architects design a wide variety of
structures, such as office buildings,
churches, hospitals, houses, and air­
ports. They also design multibuilding
complexes for urban renewal projects,
college campuses, industrial parks,
and new towns. Besides designing
stru ctu res, architects may select
building sites, prepare cost and landuse studies, and conduct long-range
planning for land development.
On large projects or in large archi­
tectural firms, architects often spe­
cialize in one phase of the work, such
as design or administering construc­
tion contracts. This often requires
working with engineers, urban plan­
ners, interior designers, landscape ar­
chitects, and others.
The work of landscape architects
(D.O.T. 001.061-018) is closely relat­
ed to that of architects, although they
are usually considered separate occu­
pations. Landscape architects plan
the best use of land areas for such
projects as parks, airports, golf cours­
es, highways, factories, shopping
malls, and housing developm ents.
They use trees and shrubs to create a
pleasant environm ent and design
walkways and lighting. They advise
on potential land uses, analyze natural
features of a site, and work with ar­
chitects to harmonize buildings with
their surroundings.
Working Conditions

Architects generally work in a com­
fortable environment. Most of their
time is spent in offices advising cli­
ents, developing reports and draw­
ings, and working with other archi­
tects and engineers. However, they
also often work at construction sites
reviewing the progress of projects.
Architects may work under great
stress to meet deadlines and working
nights and weekends is common.

Most architects work in architectural firms
or are self-employed.

Architects and landscape architects
together held about 93,000 jobs in
1984. Most jobs were in architectural
firms—many of which employ fewer
than five workers. About one-third of
all architects were self-employed.
They practiced privately as partners
in architectural firms or on their own.
The remainder worked for builders,
real estate developers, or other busi­
nesses that have large construction
programs and for government agen­
cies responsible for housing, plan­
ning, or community development such

as the Departments of Defense, Inte­
rior, Housing and Urban Develop­
ment, and the General Services Ad­
A large proportion of architects
work in New York, Chicago, Los
Angeles, Boston, and Washington,
where many large architectural firms
are located. Increasing numbers of
architects are finding employment in
rapidly growing areas, especially in
the South and Southwest.
Training, Other Qualifications, and

All States and the District of Colum­
bia require individuals to be registered
(licensed) before they may call them­
selves architects or contract for pro­
viding architectural services. To qual­
ify for the registration examination, a
person generally must have at least a
Bachelor of Architecture degree from
a program accredited by the National
Architectural Accrediting Board and 3
years of acceptable experience in an
architect’s office. In many States, the
experience must be in the Intern Ar­
chitect Development Program, an ap­
prenticeship program for architects.
As a substitute for the professional
degree in architecture, a few States
still accept other combinations of for­
mal education and experience (usually
much more than 3 years) for admis­
sion to the registration examination,
but this route to a license is being
rapidly eliminated. Many architecture
school graduates work in the field
even though they are not registered.
However, a registered architect is re­
quired to take legal responsibility for
all work.
In 1985, the National Architectural
Accrediting Board had accredited the
programs of 92 schools offering pro­
fessional degrees in architecture. Most
of these schools offer either a 5-year
curriculum leading to a Bachelor of
Architecture degree or a 6-year cur­
riculum leading to a M aster of Archi­
tecture degree. Students also may
transfer to professional degree pro­
grams after completing a 2-year junior
or community college program in ar­
chitecture. Many architecture schools
also offer graduate education for those
who already have a first professional
degree. Although such graduate edu­
cation is not essential for practicing
architects, it is desirable for those
engaged in specialties or in research
and teaching. A typical college archi­
tecture program includes courses in

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects/57
architectural history and theory, de­
sign, graphics, engineering, and urban
planning, as well as in English, math­
ematics, physics, economics, comput­
er science, and the humanities.
Persons planning a career in archi­
tecture should have some artistic abil­
ity, at least to the extent of being able
to make reasonable freehand sketch­
es. They should have a capacity for
solving technical problems and should
be able to work independently. They
also must be prepared to work in a
competitive environment where lead­
ership and ability to work with others
are important. Flexibility and pa­
tience are needed when clients reject
plans or request changes after final
plans are developed. Students who
work for architects, engineers, or
building contractors during summer
vacations can gain useful experience.
New graduates usually begin in ar­
chitectural firms, where they prepare
architectural drawings and make mod­
els of structures under the direction of
a registered architect. They also may
design; administer construction con­
tracts; do research on building codes
and materials; or write specifications
for building materials, the method of
installation, the quality of finishes,
and many other related details. Grad­
uates with degrees in architecture also
enter other related fields such as
graphic, interior, or industrial design,
urban planning, civil engineering, or
In large firms, architects may ad­
vance to supervisory or managerial
positions. Some architects become
partners in established firms. Often,
however, the architect’s goal is to
have his or her own firm.
Job Outlook

Employment of architects is expected
to rise faster than the average for all
occupations through the mid-1990’s.
Demand for architects is highly de­
pendent upon the level of construc­
tion, particularly of nonresidential
structures such as office buildings,
factories, and shopping facilities. Rap­
id growth in this area is expected.
However, construction is sensitive to
cyclical changes in the economy. Dur­
ing recessions, architects face compe­
tition for job openings or clients and
layoffs may occur. F urtherm ore,
regardless of economic conditions,
there will continue to be competition
for jobs in the most prestigious firms
which offer good potential for career

advancement. Although the increas­
ing use of computer technologies such
as computer-aided design increases
efficiency, employment is not expect­
ed to be much affected because com­
puter technologies are being used to
make more and better designs rather
than to reduce the need for architects.
Although employment is expected
to rise faster than the average for all
occupations through 1995, most job
openings are expected to arise as ar­
chitects transfer to other occupations
or leave the labor force. However, the
number of job openings for architects
is small because the occupation is
small and few architects transfer to
other fields.

The median annual earnings for sala­
ried architects who worked full time
were about $28,600 in 1984. Most
earned between $20,000 and $37,000.
The top 10 percent earned more than
$40,000 and the lowest 10 percent,
less than $15,(K ).
Architects who are partners in wellestablished architectural firms or solo
practitioners generally earn much
more than their salaried employees,
but their income may fluctuate due to
changing business conditions. Archi­
tects may have difficulty getting estab­
lished in their own practices and may
go through a period when their ex­
penses are greater than their income.
In 1984, the average salary for ar­
chitects working in the Federal Gov­
ernment was about $35,600.
Related Occupations

Architects are concerned with the de­
sign and construction of buildings and
related structures. Others who engage
in similar work are building contrac­
tors, civil engineers, urban planners,
interior designers, industrial design­
ers, drafters, and surveyors.
Sources of Additional Information

General information about careers in
architecture can be obtained from:
Director, Education Programs, The American
Institute o f Architects, 1735 New York Ave.
NW „ Washington, D.C. 20006.

Specific questions on education for
a career in architecture should be ad­
dressed to:
The Association of Collegiate Schools o f Archi­
tecture, Inc., 1735 New York Ave. N W ., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20006.

Information about licensing and ex­
amination can be obtained from:

The National Council of Architectural Registra­
tion Boards, 1735 N ew York Ave. NW ., Suite
700, Washington, D.C. 20006.

For information about careers in
landscape architecture, contact:
American Society o f Landscape Architects,
1733 Connecticut A ve. N W ., Washington, D.C.

(D.O.T. 018.167-010, -014, -018, -026 and -034
through -050, .261-018, -022, and -026, and .262-010)

Nature of the Work

Surveyors establish official land and
water boundaries, write descriptions
of land for deeds, leases, and other
legal documents, measure construc­
tion and mineral sites, and collect
information for and prepare maps and
charts. Surveyors may also coordi­
nate findings with engineers and archi­
Land surveyors manage one or more
survey parties engaged in measuring
distances, directions, and angles be­
tween points and elevations of points,
lines, and contours on the earth’s sur­
face. They plan the fieldwork, select
survey reference points, and deter­
mine the precise location of natural
and constructed features of the survey
project area. They research legal rec­
ords and look for evidence of previous
boundaries. They record the results of
the survey, verify the accuracy of
data, and prepare plats, maps, and
A typical survey party is made up of
the party chief and one to six survey
technicians and helpers. The party
chief leads the day-to-day work activ­
ities of the party. Instrument assis­
tants adjust and operate surveying
instruments such as the theodolite
(used to measure horizontal and ver­
tical angles) and electronic distance
measuring (EDM) equipment. These
workers also compile notes, sketches,
and record the data obtained from
using these instruments into comput­
Geodetic surveyors use special highaccuracy techniques, including satel­
lite observations, to measure large
areas of the earth’s surface. Geophys­
ical prospecting surveyors mark sites
for subsurface exploration, usually
petroleum related. Marine surveyors
survey harbors, rivers, and other bod­
ies of water to determine shorelines,
topography of the bottom, depth, and
other features.

58/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Photogrammetrists prepare maps
and drawings by measuring and inter­
preting aerial photographs, using ana­
lytical processes and mathematical
formulas. Photogrammetrists are able
to make detailed maps of areas that
are inaccessible or difficult to survey
by other methods. Mosaicists and
map editors help develop and verify
map content from aerial photographs
and other reference sources.
A closely related occupation that
uses surveying techniques is geode­
sist. (The work of geodesists is de­
scribed in the statement on geologists,
geophysicists, and oceanographers
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Working Conditions

Surveyors usually work an 8-hour day
5 days a week. Sometimes they work
longer hours during the sum m er
months when weather and light con­
ditions are most suitable for field
The work of surveyors is active and
sometimes strenuous. Surveyors of­
ten stand for long periods and walk
long distances or climb hills with
heavy packs of instruments and equip­
ment. They also are exposed to all
types of weather. Occasionally, they
must commute long distances or find
temporary housing near the survey
Surveyors spend considerable time
on office duties, such as planning sur­
veys and preparing reports, computa­
tions, and maps. Most computations
and map drafting are done by using a

Surveyors use advanced instruments to
measure angles and distances.


Surveyors held about 44,000 jobs in
1984. Engineering, architectural, and
surveying firms employ nearly onehalf of all surveyors. Federal, State,
and local government agencies em­
ploy about one-fourth. Major Federal
Government employers are the U.S.
Geological Survey, the Bureau of
Land Management, the Army Corps
of Engineers, the Forest Service, the
National Ocean Survey, and the De­
fense Mapping Agency. Most survey­
ors in State and local government
agencies work for highway depart­
ments and urban planning and rede­
velopm ent agencies. C onstruction
firms, oil and gas extraction compa­
nies, and public utilities also employ
surveyors. About 5,000 surveyors
were self-employed.
Training, Other Qualifications, and

Most persons prepare for surveying
work by combining postsecondary
school courses in surveying with ex­
tensive on-the-job training. Some pre­
pare by obtaining a college degree
because some States now require a
4-year degree to be licensed as a sur­
veyor. A few 4-year colleges offer
bachelor’s degrees specifically in sur­
veying, while many others offer sev­
eral courses in the field. Junior and
community colleges, technical insti­
tutes, and vocational schools offer 1-,
2-, and 3-year programs in surveying
High school students interested in a
career in surveying should take cours­
es in algebra, geometry, trigonome­
try, drafting, mechanical drawing, and
computer science.
High school graduates with no for­
mal training in surveying usually start
as a member of a survey crew. After
several years of on-the-job experience
and formal training in surveying—ei­
ther in an institutional program or
from a correspondence school—work­
ers may advance to survey technician,
then to party chief, and finally to
licensed surveyor.
B eginners w ith p o stse c o n d a ry
school training in surveying can gen­
erally start as technicians. After gain­
ing experience, they may advance
through the technician ranks to party
chief or become a licensed surveyor.
Promotions to higher level positions
often are based on written examina­
tions as well as experience.
Photogrammetrists usually have a

bachelor’s degree in engineering or a
physical science. Most photogrammetry technicians have had some spe­
cialized postsecondary school train­
All 50 States license land survey­
ors. Requirements for licensure vary
among the States. G enerally, the
quickest route to licensure is a com­
bination of 4 years of college, 2 to 4
years of experience, and passing the
State licensing exam. As a prerequi­
site to licensure, some States now
require a bachelor’s degree in survey­
ing or in a closely related field such as
civil engineering or forestry with
courses in surveying. A few States
allow such graduates to take the li­
censing examination without experi­
ence in the field. In most States, how­
ever, persons without a degree may
qualify to take the licensing exam af­
ter 5 to 12 years of surveying experi­
Surveyors should have the ability to
visualize objects, distances, sizes,
and other abstract forms. Also, be­
cause mistakes can be very costly,
surveyors must make mathematical
calculations accurately while paying
close attention to the smallest detail.
Leadership qualities are important for
surveyors who supervise others.
Members of a survey party must be
in good physical condition to work
outdoors and carry equipment over
difficult terrain. They also need good
eyesight, coordination, and hearing to
communicate over great distances by
hand or voice signals.
Job Outlook

Employment of surveyors is expected
to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the mid1990’s. In addition to openings arising
from growth in the demand for these
workers, many will result from the
need to replace those who transfer to
other occupations or leave the labor
The anticipated growth in construc­
tion should create additional jobs for
surveyors who lay out streets, shop­
ping centers, housing developments,
factories, office buildings, and recrea­
tion areas. Construction and improve­
ment of the N ation’s roads and high­
ways also should create new survey­
ing positions. However, employment
may fluctuate from year to year be­
cause construction activity is highly
sensitive to changes in economic con­

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects/59
Some growth also may occur in
other related areas of surveying.

In 1985, high school graduates with
little or no training or experience
earned about $10,500 annually at en­
try level jobs on survey crews with
the Federal Government. Those with
1 year of related postsecondary train­
ing earned $11,460. Those with an
associate degree that included courses
in surveying generally started as in­
strument assistants with an annual
salary of $12,860. The average annual
salary for surveying technicians in

1984 was $15,900. In 1985, persons
starting as land surveyors with the
Federal Government earned $14,390
or $17,825 a year, depending on their
qualifications. The average annual sal­
ary for land surveyors in 1984 was
Limited information indicates that
salaries for surveyors and surveying
technicians in private industry are
generally comparable to those in the
Federal service.
Related Occupations

Other occupations concerned with ac­
curate measurement and delineation

of land areas, coastlines, and natural
and constructed features include car­
tographers, cartographic technicians,
and geodesists.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about career opportuni­
ties, licensure requirem ents, and
schools that offer training in surveying
is available from:
American Congress on Surveying and Mapping,
210 Little Falls St., Falls Church, Va. 22046.

General information on careers in
photogrammetry is available from:
American Society for Photogrammetry and Re­
mote Sensing, 210 Little Falls St., Falls Church,
Va. 22046.

The work of engineers has made it
possible to comm unicate by tele­
phone, radio, and TV; to travel in
space; and to prolong life. Future ac­
complishments could be increased en­
ergy supplies, computers with artifi­
cial intelligence, and a manned space
This section, which contains an
overall discussion of engineering, is
followed by separate statements on 10
branches of the profession—aero­
space; chemical; civil; electrical and
electronics; industrial; mechanical;
metallurgical, ceramic, and materials;
mining; nuclear; and petroleum engi­
Nature of the Work

Engineers apply the theories and prin­
ciples of science and mathematics to
the economical solution of practical
technical problems. Often their work
is the link between a scientific discov­
ery and its application. Engineers de­
sign machinery, products, systems,
and processes for efficient and eco­
nomical performance. They develop
electric power, water supply, and
waste disposal systems. They design
industrial machinery and equipment
for manufacturing goods, and heating,
air-co n d itio n in g , and v en tilatio n

equipment for more comfortable liv­
ing. Engineers also develop scientific
equipment to probe outer space and
the ocean depths; design defense and
weapons systems for the Armed Forc­
es; and design, plan, and supervise
the construction of buildings, high­
ways, and rapid transit systems. They
also design and develop consumer
products such as automobiles, home
appliances, electronic home entertain­
ment equipment, and systems for con­
trol and automation of manufacturing,
business, and management processes.
Engineers must consider many fac­
tors in developing a new product. For
example, in developing an industrial
robot, engineers must determine the
general way it will work, design, and
test all components, and fit them to­
gether in an integrated plan. They
must then evaluate its overall effec­
tiveness, cost, reliability, and safety.
This process applies to products as
different as lawnmowers, computers,
military weapons, and toys.
In addition to design and develop­
ment, many engineers work in testing,
production, operations, or mainte­
nance. They supervise production
processes in factories, determine the
causes of breakdowns, and test newly
manufactured products to maintain

Electrical engineering is the largest engineering specialty.

Employment, 1984 (thousands)


Chemical ifisif
Metallurgical1 ■
Nuclear 1 3
Mining ]











’ Includes ceramic and materials engineering.
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics




quality. They also estimate the time
and cost to complete projects. Some
work in engineering administration
and management, or in sales where an
engineering background enables them
to discuss the technical aspects of a
product and assist in planning its in­
stallation or use. (See the statement
on m anufacturers’ sales workers else­
where in the H andbook.) Some engi­
neers work as consultants.
Most engineers specialize; more
than 25 major specialties are recog­
nized by professional societies. With­
in the major branches are numerous
subdivisions. Structural, hydraulic,
and highway engineering, for exam­
ple, are subdivisions of civil engineer­
ing. Engineers also may specialize in
one industry, such as motor vehicles,
or in one field of technology, such as
propulsion or guidance systems.
Engineers in each branch apply
their knowledge to many fields. Elec­
trical engineers, for example, work in
the medical, computer, missile guid­
ance, or power distribution fields. Be­
cause complex problems cut across
traditional fields, engineers in one
field often work closely with special­
ists in scientific, other engineering,
and business occupations.
Often using calculators and com­
puters to solve mathematical equa­
tions which describe how a machine,
structure, or system operates, many
engineers also use computer-aided de­
sign systems to produce and analyze
designs. They also spend a great deal
of time writingI reports and consulting I
w ith o th e r e n g in e e rs . C om plex
projects require many engineers, each
working with a small part of the job.
Supervisory engineers are responsible
for entire projects.
Working Conditions

Some engineers are at a desk in an
office building almost all of the time
but others work in research laborato­
ries, industrial plants, or construction
sites where they inspect, supervise, or
solve onsite problems. Engineers in
specialties such as civil engineering
may work outdoors part of the time. A

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects/61
few engineers travel extensively to
plants or construction sites.

Engineering is the second largest pro­
fession, exceeded only by teaching. In
1984, engineers held over 1.3 million
jobs. Over one-half of all engineering
jobs were located in manufacturing
industries—mostly in electrical and
electronic equipment, machinery, air­
craft and parts, scientific instruments,
chemicals, motor vehicles, fabricated
metal products, and primary metals
industries. In 1984, 445,000 jobs were
in nonmanufacturing industries, pri­
marily in engineering and architectur­
al services, business and management
consulting services, communications
and utilities, and construction.
Federal, State, and local govern­
ments employed about 160,000 engi­
neers. Over half of the jobs were in
the Federal Government, mainly in
the Departments of Defense, Trans­
portation, Agriculture, Interior, and
Energy, and in the National Aeronau­
tics and Space Administration. Most
engineers in State and local govern­
ment agencies worked in highway and
public works departments.
Besides the jobs described above,
about 40,000 persons held engineering
faculty positions in colleges and uni­
versities in 1984. (See the statement
on college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.)
Engineers are employed in every
State, in small and large cities, and in
rural areas. Some branches of engi­
neering are concentrated in particular
industries and geographic areas, as
discussed in statements later in this
Training, Other Qualifications, and

A bachelor’s degree in engineering is
generally acceptable for beginning en­
gineering jobs. College graduates with
a degree in science or mathematics
and experienced technicians may also
qualify for some jobs.
Many 2- or 4-year college programs
in engineering technology prepare stu­
dents for practical design and produc­
tion work rather than for jobs that
require more theoretical scientific and
mathematical knowledge. Graduates
of such 4-year technology programs
may get jobs similar to those obtained
by graduates with a bachelor’s degree
in engineering. However, some em­
ployers regard them as having skills

between those of a technician and an
Graduate training is essential for
engineering faculty positions but is
not needed for the majority of entry
level engineering jobs. Many engi­
neers obtain a m aster’s degree how­
ever, because it often is desirable for
learning new technology or for pro­
About 260 colleges and universities
offer a bachelor’s degree in engineer­
ing, and over 90 colleges offer a bach­
elor’s degree in engineering technolo­
gy. Although most institutions offer
programs in the larger branches of
engineering, only a few offer some of
the smaller specialties. Also, course
offerings of the same title may vary.
For example, one chemical engineer­
ing program could emphasize industri­
al practices, preparing the student for
a job in industry, while another could
be more theoretical, a better choice
for the student preparing to take grad­
Table 1.

uate work. Therefore, students should
investigate curriculums carefully be­
fore selecting a college. Admissions
requirements for undergraduate engi­
neering schools usually include cours­
es in advanced high school mathemat­
ics and the physical sciences.
In a typical 4-year curriculum, the
first 2 years are spent studying basic
sc ie n c e s— m ath e m a tic s, p h y sics,
chem istry—and introductory engi­
neering and the humanities, social sci­
ences, and English. In the last 2 years,
most courses are in engineering, usu­
ally with a concentration in one branch
of engineering. Some programs offer a
general engineering curriculum; stu­
dents then specialize in graduate
school or on the job.
Some engineering schools and
2-year colleges have entered into
agreements whereby the 2-year col­
lege provides the initial engineering
education and the engineering school
automatically admits students for their

Degrees granted by engineering specialty, academic year 1982-83




T o ta l.............................................................
Aerospace, aeronautical, and astronautical
Agricultural engineering.........................................
Architectural engineering........................................
Bioengineering and biomedical engineering........
Ceramic engineering...............................................
Chemical engineering.............................................
Civil engineering.....................................................
Computer engineering............................................
Electrical, electronics, and communications
Engineering and related technologies..................










Engineering, general................................................
Engineering mechanics............................................
Engineering p h y sic s................................................
Engineering s c ie n c e ...............................................
Environmental health engineering........................
Geological engineering...........................................
Geophysical engineering........................................
Industrial engineering.............................................
Materials engineering.............................................
Mechanical engineering..........................................




Metallurgical engineering........................................
Mining and mineral engineering............................
Naval architecture and marine engineering........
Nuclear engineering...............................................
Ocean engineering...................................................
Petroleum engineering............................................
Systems engineering...............................................
Textile engineering.................................................
Other .........................................................................




SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics.





62/Occupational Outlook Handbook
last 2 years. In addition, some engi­
neering schools have arrangements
whereby a student spends 3 years in a
liberal arts college studying pre-eng­
ineering subjects and 2 years in the
engineering school and receives a
bachelor’s degree from each. Some
colleges and universities offer 5-year
m aster’s degree programs.
Some 5- or even 6-year cooperative
plans combine classroom study and
practical work experience. In this
way, in addition to gaining useful
experience, students can finance part
of their education. To keep up with
rapid advances in technology, most
engineers must continue their educa­
tion throughout their careers.
All 50 States and the District of
Columbia require licensing for engi­
neers whose work may affect life,
health, or property, or who offer their
services to the public. In 1984, almost
500,000 engineers were registered.
Registration generally requires a de­
gree from an accredited engineering
program, 4 years of relevant work
experience, and passing a State exam­
ination. Some States will not register
those with degrees in engineering
Beginning engineering graduates
usually do routine work under the
close supervision of experienced engi­
neers and, in larger companies, may
also receive formal classroom or sem­
inar-type training. As they gain knowl­
edge and experience, they are as­
signed more difficult tasks with great­
er independence to develop designs,
solve problems, and make decisions.
Engineers may become technical spe­
cialists or may supervise a staff or
team of engineers and technicians.
Some eventually become managers or
adm inistrators within engineering;
others leave engineering for nontech­
nical managerial, administrative, or
sales jobs. Some engineers obtain
graduate degrees in business adminis­
tration to improve advancement op­
portunities; others obtain law degrees
and become patent attorneys. Many
high level executives in government
and industry began their careers as
Engineers should be able to work as
part of a team and should have cre­
ativity, an analytical mind, and a ca­
pacity for detail. In addition, engi­
neers should be able to express them­
selves w ell—both o rally and in
Digitized for writing.

Job Outlook

Employment opportunities for those
with degrees in engineering are ex­
pected to be good through the mid1990’s. In addition, there may be
some opportunities for college gradu­
ates from related fields in certain en­
gineering jobs.
Employment of engineers is expect­
ed to increase much faster than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s. Although only a rela­
tively small proportion of engineers
leave the profession each year, most
job openings will arise from replace­
ment needs. Most replacement open­
ings are created by engineers who
transfer to management, sales, or oth­
er professional occupations rather
than by engineers who leave the labor
Much of the projected growth in
requirements for engineers will stem
from the expected higher levels of
investment in industrial plant and
equipment to meet the demand for
more goods and services and to in­
crease productivity. More engineers
also will be needed to develop and
manufacture defense-related products
and to improve transportation facili­
ties. Competitive pressures and ad­
vancing technology will force compa­
nies to improve and update product
designs more rapidly than in the past,
further adding to requirements.
Most industries are less likely to lay
off engineers than other w orkers.
Many engineers work on long-term
research and development projects or
in other activities which often contin­
ue even during recessions. However,
in industries such as electronics and
aerospace, large cutbacks in defense
or research and development expen­
ditures may result in layoffs for engi­
New computer-aided design sys­
tems enable an engineer to produce or
modify a design much more rapidly
than previously. This increased pro­
ductivity might result in decreased
employment opportunities for engi­
neers doing more routine tasks. How­
ever, most of these systems have been
used to improve the design process by
allowing many more design variations
to be produced and analyzed. There­
fore this technology is not expected to
affect employment growth signifi­
It is important for engineers to con­
tinue their education throughout their
careers because their value to their

employer depends on their knowledge
of the latest technology. The pace of
technological change varies by engi­
neering specialty and industry. Engi­
neers in high-technology areas such as
advanced electronics or aerospace
may find that their knowledge be­
comes obsolete rapidly. Even engi­
neers who continue their education
are vulnerable to obsolescence if the
particular technology or product they
have specialized in becomes obsolete.
Engineers whom employers consider
not to have kept up may find them­
selves passed over for promotions and
are particularly vulnerable to layoffs.
However, it is often these high-tech­
nology areas that offer the greatest
challenges, the most interesting work,
and the highest salaries. Therefore,
the choice of engineering specialty
and employer involves an assessment
not only of the potential rewards but
also of the risk of technological obso­
lescence later in one’s career.
Despite these problems, over the
long run the number of people seeking
jobs as engineers is expected to about
equal the number of job openings.
(The outlook for various branches is
discussed in the separate statements
that follow this introductory section.)
According to the College Placement
Council, engineering graduates with a
bachelor’s degree and no experience
averaged about $26,300 a year in pri­
vate industry in 1984; those with a
m aster’s degree and no experience,
$30,400 a year; and those with a
Ph.D ., $39,500. Starting offers for
those with the bachelor’s degree vary
by branch, as shown in the following
Petroleum engineering............
Chemical engineering..............
Electrical engineering..............
Metallurgical engineering........
Nuclear engineering................
Mechanical engineering..........
Aeronautical engineering........
Industrial engineering..............
Mining engineering..................
Civil engineering......................


Engineers in private industry in
1985 averaged $27,405 at the most
junior level, and $76,205 at senior
managerial levels. Experienced mid­
level engineers with no supervisory
responsibilities averaged $40,991.
(See table 2.)
In the Federal Government in 1985,
most engineers with a bachelor’s de-

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects/63
Table 2. Engineers’ salaries in
private industry by work level, 1985


I ..........
I I ........
V ........
V I........
V II. . . .

of all




Bureau of Labor Statistics.

gree and no experience could start at
$18,710 or $23,170 a year, depending
on their college records. Those with a
m aster’s degree could start at $25,980,
and those having a Ph.D. degree could
begin at $28,039. The average salary
for engineers in the Federal Govern­
ment was about $38,000 in 1984.
Related Occupations

Engineers apply the principles of
physical science and mathematics in
their work. Other occupations which
also use scientific and mathematical
principles are physical scientists, life
scientists, mathematicians, engineering
and science technicians, and architects.
Sources of Additional Information

General information on engineering
careers—including engineering school
requirements, courses of study, and
salaries—is available from:
JETS, Inc., 345 E. 47th St., N ew York, N.Y .
Society o f Women Engineers, 345 E. 47th St.,
New York, 10017.
National Society o f Professional Engineers,
1420 King St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

A list of accredited engineering pro­
grams may be obtained from:
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and
Technology, 345 E. 47th St., N ew York, N.Y .

Societies representing many of the
individual branches of engineering are
listed in this chapter. Each can pro­
vide information about careers in the
particular branch.

Aerospace Engineers
(D.O.T. 002.061 and .167)

Nature of the Work

Aerospace engineers design, develop,
test, and help produce commercial

and military aircraft, missiles, and
spacecraft. They develop new tech­
nologies in commercial aviation, de­
fense systems, and space exploration,
often specializing in areas like struc­
tural design, navigational guidance
and control, instrumentation and com­
munication, or production methods.
They also may specialize in one type
of aerospace product, such as passen­
ger planes, helicopters, satellites, or

Aerospace engineers held 48,000 jobs
in 1984. Over 6 out of 10 jobs were
located in the aircraft and parts and
guided missile and space vehicle in­
dustries. Federal Government agen­
cies, primarily the Department of De­
fense and the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, provided
almost 2 out of 10 jobs. Business and
engineering consulting firms, commu­
nications equipment manufacturing
firms, and commercial airlines ac­
counted for most of the remainder.
California, Washington, and Texas,
States with large aerospace manufac­
turers, have the most aerospace engi­
Job Outlook

Employment of aerospace engineers
is expected to grow faster than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s as Federal outlays in­
crease for new military aircraft, mis­
siles, and other aerospace systems.
Aerospace engineers also will be need­
ed to design and help produce new
commercial aircraft. Much of the pre­
sent fleet of airliners will have to be
replaced with quieter and more fuelefficient aircraft. Increased demand
for spacecraft, helicopters, and busi­
ness aircraft also will create opportu­
nities for aerospace engineers. How­
ever, the increasing sophistication of
aerospace products may mean that
many engineering jobs will be filled by
other engineering specialists such as
chemical, mechanical, or electrical
engineers. Despite the expected faster
than average growth in employment,
most job openings will result from the
need to replace aerospace engineers
who transfer to other occupations or
leave the labor force.
Since a large proportion of aero­
space engineering jobs are defense
related, cutbacks in defense spending
can result in layoffs of aerospace en­

Many aerospace engineers work in air­
craft, guided missile, and space vehicle
manufacturing industries.
Sources of Additional Information
American Institute o f Aeronautics and Astro­
nautics, Inc., 1633 Broadway, New York, N.Y.

(See introductory section of this
chapter for discussion of training re­
quirements and earnings.)

Chemical Engineers
(D.O.T. 008.061 and .167)

Nature of the Work

Chemical engineers work in many
phases of the production of chemicals
and chemical products. They design
equipment and plants and determine
and test methods of manufacturing the
products. Chemical engineers also
work in areas other than chemical
m anufacturing such as electronics
manufacturing or biotechnology. Be­
cause the duties of chemical engineers
cut across many fields, they apply
principles of chem istry, physics,
m athem atics, and mechanical and
electrical engineering. They frequent­
ly specialize in a particular operation
such as oxidation or polymerization.
Others specialize in a particular area
such as pollution control or the pro­
duction of a specific product like plas­
tics or rubber.

Chemical engineers held 56,000 jobs
in 1984. Two-thirds were in manufac-

64/Occupational Outlook Handbook
transportation, highw ay, and soil m e­
M any supervisory or administrative
positions, ranging from supervisor o f
a construction site to city engineer,
are held by civil engineers. Others
work as independent consultants.


(D.O.T. 005.061, .167 except -022; and 019.167-018)

Civil engineers held 175,000 jobs in
1984. Over 40 percent o f the job s were
in Federal, State, and local govern­
ment agencies. A lm ost a third o f the
job s w ere in firms that provide engi­
neering, design, and architectural con­
sulting services. The construction in­
dustry, public utilities, railroads, and
manufacturing industries accounted
for m ost o f the rest.
Working in all parts o f the country,
civil engineers usually are found in or
near major industrial and com m ercial
centers, often working at construction
sites, but som etim es in rem ote areas
or in foreign countries. In som e job s,
they often m ove from place to place to
work on different projects.

Nature of the Work

Job Outlook

Civil engineers, who work in the
oldest branch o f engineering, design
and supervise the construction o f
roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, w a­
ter supply and sew age system s, and
buildings. Major sp ecialties within
civil engineering are structural, hy­
d rau lic, en viron m en tal (sa n itary),

E m ploym ent o f civil engineers is ex ­
pected to increase faster than the av­
erage for all occupations through the
m id-1990’s. M ost job openings, how ­
ever, will result from the need to
replace civil engineers w ho transfer to
other occupations or leave the labor

Chemical engineers discuss chemical production process.
turing in d u stries, prim arily in the
chem ical, petroleum refining, and re­
lated in d u stries. A lm o st on e-fifth
w orked for engineering service or
consulting firms, and a small number
worked for governm ent agencies or as
independent consultants.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent o f chem ical engineers is
expected to grow faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the
mid-1990’s. M ost openings, how ever,
will result from the need to replace
chem ical engineers w ho transfer to
other occupations or leave the labor
A major factor underlying projected
em ploym ent growth is expansion in
the energy and chem ical industries.
The growing com plexity and autom a­
tion o f chem ical processes will require
additional chem ical engineers to de­
sign, build, and maintain the n eces­
sary plants and equipm ent. D evelop ­
ment o f new chem icals used in the
manufacture o f consum er goods, such
as plastics and synthetic fibers, will
create additional openings. A lso, the
field o f biotechnology may create op­
portunities for chem ical engineers.

Civil Engineers

Sources of Additional Information
American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 345
East 47th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.
American Chemical Society, Career Services,
1155 16th St. NW„ Washington,D.C. 20036.
(See introductory part o f this se c ­
tion for information on training re­

quirem ents and earnings.)

Civil engineers review project plans.

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects/65
A growing population and an e x ­
panding econ om y will result in a need
for more civil engineers to design and
co n str u c t tra n sp o rta tio n s y s te m s ,
manufacturing plants, office buildings,
and other structures. More civil engi­
neers also will be needed to repair or
replace existing roads, bridges, and
other public structures.
Construction and related industries,
including those providing design serv­
ices, em ploy many civil engineers.
Em ploym ent opportunities here may
d e c r e a s e d u rin g e c o n o m ic s lo w ­
d o w n s, w h en m any c o n s tr u c tio n
projects often are curtailed.

Sources of Additional Information
American Society of Civil Engineers, 345 E.
47th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.
(See introductory part o f this se c ­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

Electrical and electronics engineering is the largest branch of engineering.
many are em ployed in administration
and m anagement or technical sales.

Electrical and
(D.O.T. 003.061, .167, and .187)

Nature of the Work
Electrical and electronics engineers
design, d evelop , test, and supervise
the manufacture o f electrical and elec­
tronic equipm ent. E lectrical equip­
ment includes pow er generating and
transm ission equipm ent used by elec­
tric utilities and electric m otors, ma­
chinery controls, and lighting and wir­
ing in buildings, autom obiles, and air­
craft. E lectronic equipm ent includes
radar, com p u ters, com m u n ication s
equipm ent, and consum er goods such
as TV sets and stereo com ponents.
The sp ecialties o f electrical and
electronics engineers include several
major areas— such as pow er distribut­
ing equipm ent, integrated circu its,
com puters, electrical equipm ent man­
ufacturing, or com m unications— or a
subdivision o f these areas— industrial
robot control sy stem s or aviation
electronics, for exam ple. Electrical
and electronics engineers design new
products, write perform ance require­
m en ts, and d e v e lo p m a in ten a n ce
schedules. They also test equipm ent,
solve operating problem s, and esti­
mate the time and cost o f engineering
projects. B esid es manufacturing and
research, developm ent, and design,

Electrical and electronics engineers
held over 390,000 jobs in 1984, making
it the largest branch o f engineering.
M ost jo b s were in firms that manufac­
ture electrical and electronic equip­
m ent, business m achines, profession­
al and scientific equipm ent, and air­
craft and parts. E n gin eerin g and
business consulting firms, public util­
ities, and governm ent agencies ac­
counted for m ost o f the remaining
job s. Som e electrical and electronics
engineers worked as independent con ­

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent opportunities for electri­
cal and electronics engineers are ex ­
pected to be excellent through the
m id-1990’s because em ploym ent is
expected to increase much faster than
the average for all occupations and
shortages o f electrical engineering
faculty and laboratory equipment may
act to restrict enrollm ents in electrical
engineering programs. D espite rapid
growth, how ever, the majority o f job
openings will result from the need to
replace electrical and electronics en­
gineers w ho transfer to other occupa­
tions or leave the labor force.
Although increased demand by bus­
in esses and governm ent for com put­
ers, com m unications equipm ent, and
military electronics is expected to ac­
count for much o f the projected em ­

ploym ent growth, consum er demand
for electrical and electronic goods and
increased research and developm ent
on robots and other types o f autom a­
tion should create additional jobs.
Since many electrical and electron­
ics engineering job s are defense relat­
ed , cu tb ack s in d efen se spending
could result in layoffs. Furthermore,
those w ho fail to keep up with the
rapid changes in technology in som e
electrical engineering specialties risk
tech n o lo g ica l o b so le sc e n c e , w hich
m akes them more susceptible to lay­
offs or, at a minimum, likely to be
passed over for advancem ent.

Sources of Additional Information
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/United States Activities Board, 1111 19th
St. NW., Suite 608, Washington, D.C. 20036.
(See introductory part o f this se c ­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

Industrial Engineers
(D.O.T. 012.061 -018, .067, .167 except -022, -026,
-034, -058, and -066, and .187)___________________

Nature of the Work
Industrial engineers determ ine the
m ost effective w ays for an organiza­
tion to use the basic factors o f produc­
tion— p eo p le, m ach in es, m aterials,
and energy. They are more concerned
with people and m ethods o f business
organization than are engineers in oth­
er specialties, w ho generally work
more with products or processes.

66/Occupational Outlook Handbook
dling system s, and industrial produc­
tion equipm ent.
The work o f m echanical engineers
varies by industry and function. Many
specialties have developed within the
field; they include m otor vehicles; en­
ergy co n v ersio n sy stem s; heating,
ventilating, and air-conditioning; in­
strumentation; and special machines
for industries such as petroleum , rub­
ber, plastics, and construction.
Large numbers o f m echanical engi­
neers do research, test, and design
work while others work in mainte­
nance, technical sales, and production
operations. M any are administrators
or managers. Som e work as consult­

Industrial engineers are more concerned with people and methods of business organi­ Employment
zation than are other engineers.
M echanical
To solve organizational, produc­
tion, and related problem s m ost effi­
ciently, industrial engineers design
data processing system s and apply
mathematical analysis such as opera­
tions research. T hey also d evelop
management control system s to aid in
financial planning and cost analysis,
design production planning and con ­
trol system s to coordinate activities
and control product quality, and de­
sign or im prove system s for the phys­
ical distribution o f goods and serv­
ices. Industrial engineers conduct sur­
veys to find plant locations with the
best com bination o f raw materials,
transportation, and taxes. They also
develop wage and salary administra­
tion system s and job evaluation pro­
gram s. M any industrial en gin eers
m ove into managem ent positions b e­
cause the work is clo sely related.

occupations through the mid-1990’s.
M ost job openings, how ever, will re­
sult from the need to replace industri­
al engineers who transfer to other
occupations or leave the labor force.
Industrial growth, more com plex
business operations, and the greater
use o f automation both in factories
and in offices underlie the projected
em ploym ent growth. Jobs also will be
created as firms seek to reduce costs
and increase productivity through sci­
entific management and safety engi­
Sources of Additional Information
Institute of Industrial Engineers, Inc., 25 Tech­
nology Park/Atlanta, Norcross, Ga. 30092.
(See introductory part o f this se c ­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

en gin eers held alm ost
237,000 job s in 1984. Over 3 out o f 5
job s were in manufacturing— m ost in
the m achinery, transportation equip­
ment, electrical equipm ent, and fabri­
cated metal products industries. B us­
iness and engineering consulting serv­
ic e s and g o v e r n m e n t a g e n c ie s
provided m ost o f the remaining job s.

Job Outlook
E m ploym ent opportunities for m e­
chanical engineers are expected to be
good. Their em ploym ent is expected
to increase much faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the
m id-1990’s as the demand for m achin­
ery and m achine tools grows and in­
dustrial m achinery and processes be­
com e increasingly com plex. M echan­
ical engineers also will be needed to

In d u s tr ia l e n g in e e r s h e ld a b o u t
125,000 job s in 1984; over 3 out o f 4
jobs w ere in manufacturing industries.
B ecause their skills can be used in
alm ost any type o f organization, in­
dustrial engineers are more w idely
distributed am ong industries than oth­
er engineers. For exam ple, som e even
work for insurance com panies, banks,
hospitals, and retail organizations.
Som e work for governm ent agencies
or are independent consultants.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent opportunities for indus­
trial engineers are exp ected to be
good; their em ploym ent is expected to

grow faster than the average for all

(D.O.T. 007.061, .161-022, -034, and -038, .167-014,
and .267)

Nature of the Work
M echanical engineers are concerned
with the use, production, and trans­
m ission o f m echanical pow er and
heat. They design and develop powerproducing m achines such as internal
com bustion engines, steam and gas
turbines, and jet and rocket engines.
They also design and develop pow er­
using machines such as refrigeration
and air-conditioning equipm ent, ro­
bots, machine tools, materials han­

A mechanical engineer designs industrial

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects/67
develop new energy and defense sy s­
tem s. D espite this expected em ploy­
ment growth, how ever, m ost job open­
ings will result from the need to re­
p la c e m e c h a n ic a l e n g in e e r s w h o
transfer to other occupations or leave
the labor force.

Sources of Additional Information
The American Society of Mechanical Engi­
neers, 345 E. 47th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.
(See introductory part o f this se c ­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

Ceramic, and
Materials Engineers
(D.O.T. 006.061; 011.061, .161, and .261-018; and

Nature of the Work
M etallurgical, ceram ic, and materials
engineers develop new types o f m et­
als and other materials tailored to
meet specific requirements— for e x ­
ample, materials that are heat resist­
ant, strong but lightweight, or highly
M ost metallurgical engineers work
in one o f the three main branches o f
metallurgy— extractive or chem ical,
physical, and m echanical or process.
E x tra c tiv e m eta llu rg ists are c o n ­
cerned with rem oving m etals from
ores, and refining and alloying them to
obtain useful metal. Physical m etal­
lurgists deal with the nature, struc­
ture, and physical properties o f metals
and their alloys, and with m ethods o f
converting refined m etals into final
products. M echanical m etallurgists
are concerned with p rocesses such as
casting, forging, rolling, and drawing
metals to work and shape them.
Ceramic engineers develop new c e ­
ramic materials and m ethods for mak­
ing ceram ic materials into useful prod­
ucts. Ceramics include all nonmetallic, inorganic materials which require
the use o f high temperature in their
processing. Ceramic engineers work
on products as diverse as glassw are,
electronic com p on en ts, autom obile
and aircraft engine com ponents, brick,
and tile.
Materials engineers evaluate tech­
nical and econom ic factors to deter­
mine w hich o f the many m etals, plas­
tics, cera m ics, or other m aterials
Digitized for available is best for each application.

Materials engineers also test and eval­
uate materials and develop new ones.

M etallurgical, ceram ic, and materials
engineers held about 19,000 jobs in
1984. One-fourth worked in metalp r o d u c in g in d u str ie s. T h ey a lso
worked in industries that manufacture
aircraft and parts, m achinery, and
electrical equipment, and in business
and engineering consulting firms and
governm ent agencies.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent o f metallurgical, ceram ­
ic, and materials engineers is exp ect­
ed to grow faster than the average for
all o ccu p a tio n s through the mid1990’s. M ost job openings, how ever,
will result from the need to replace
engineers who transfer to other o ccu ­
pations or leave the labor force.
More metallurgical, ceram ic, and
materials engineers will be needed by
the metalworking and other industries
to develop new metals and alloys as
w ell as to adapt current ones to new

applications. For exam ple, jet engines
require metals that can withstand ex ­
treme heat. A s the supply o f highgrade ores dim inishes, more metallur­
gical engineers will be required to
develop new w ays o f recycling solid
waste materials and processing lowgrade ores now regarded as unprofit­
able to mine.
More ceramic and materials engi­
neers will be needed to develop im­
proved materials and products, for
exam ple, ceramic autom obile engines
which are more fuel efficient than met­
al engines.

Sources of Additional Information
The Metallurgical Society of AIME, 420 Com­
monwealth Dr., Warrendale, Pa. 15086.
American Society for Metals, Metals Park,
Ohio 44073.
American Ceramic Society, 65 Ceramic Drive,
Columbus, Ohio 43214.
National Institute of Ceramic Engineers, 65
Ceramic Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43214.
(See introductory part o f this sec­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

68/Occupational Outlook Handbook

Mining Engineers
(D.O.T. 010.061 except -018)

Nature of the Work
Mining engineers find, extract, and
prepare minerals for manufacturing
industries to use. They design open
pit and underground m ines, supervise
the construction o f mine shafts and
tunnels in underground operations,
and devise m ethods for transporting
minerals to processing plants. Mining
engineers are responsible for the safe
and econom ical operation o f m ines,
including ventilation, water supply,
pow er, com m unications, and equip­
ment m aintenance. Som e mining engi­
neers work with geologists and m etal­
lurgical engineers to locate and ap­
p raise n ew ore d e p o s its . O th ers
develop new mining equipm ent or di­
rect mineral processing operations to
separate minerals from the dirt, rock,

and other materials they are mixed
with. Mining engineers frequently spe­
cialize in the mining o f one mineral,
such as coal or copper.
With increased em phasis on pro­
tecting the environm ent, many mining
engineers have been working to solve
problems related to land reclamation
and water and air pollution.

Mining engineers held about 7,200
job s in 1984. The mining industry pro­
vided over 3 out o f 5 jobs. Other jobs
w ere located in governm ent agencies,
engineering consulting firms, or in
manufacturing industries.
Mining engineers are usually em ­
ployed at the location o f mineral
deposits, often near small com m uni­
ties. H ow ever, th ose in research,
management, consulting, or sales
often are located in metropolitan

Job Outlook
E m ploym ent o f mining engineers is
expected to increase more slow ly than
th e a v e r a g e fo r all o c c u p a tio n s
through the m id-1990’s due to exp ect­
ed low growth in demand for coal and
other minerals. M ost job openings will
result from the need to replace the
large proportion o f mining engineers
w ho transfer to other occupations
each year.
The increase in demand for coal and
engineers em ployed in coal mining
will depend, to a great extent, on the
availability and price o f other energy
sources such as petroleum , natural
gas, and nuclear energy as w ell as the
price o f coal in other countries. H ow ­
ever, more technologically advanced
mining system s and further enforce­
m ent o f mine health and safety regu­
lations may increase the need for min­
ing engineers. A s easily mined dep os­
its are depleted, engineers must devise
m ore efficient m ethods for mining
low-grade ores. Em ploym ent oppor­
tunities also will arise as new alloys
and new uses for m etals increase the
demand for less w idely used ores.

Sources of Additional Information
The Society of Mining Engineers of AIME,
Caller Number D, Littleton, Colo. 80127.
(See introductory part o f this sec­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

Nuclear Engineers
(D.O.T. 008.061-030; 015.061, .067, .137, and .167)

Nature of the Work
N uclear engineers design, develop,
m onitor, and operate nuclear power
plants used to generate electricity and
pow er N avy ships. T hey also conduct
research on nuclear energy and radia­
tion. For exam ple, they may work on
the nuclear fuel cy cle— the produc­
tion, handling, and use o f nuclear fuel
and the safe disposal o f w aste pro­
duced by n u clea r en e r g y — or on
breeder reactors or fusion energy.
Som e specialize in the developm ent o f
nuclear w eapons; others develop in­
dustrial and m edical uses for radioac­
tive materials.


Mining engineers are responsible for the safe and economical operation of mines.

N uclear engineers held alm ost 9,700
jobs in 1984; over one-quarter w ere in
the Federal G overnm ent. N early half
o f all federally em ployed nuclear en-

Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects/69

Nuclear engineer examines a model of nuclear powerplant.
gineers w ere civilian em ployees o f the
N avy, about one-third worked for the
Nuclear Regulatory C om m ission, and
most o f the rest worked for the D e­
partment o f Energy or the T ennessee
Valley Authority. M ost nonfederally
em ployed nuclear engineers worked
for public utilities or engineering con­
sulting com panies. Som e worked for
m a n u fa ctu rers o f n u c le a r p o w er

Job Outlook

(See introductory part o f this sec­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

covery o f oil and gas from a petroleum
reservoir by determining and develop­
ing the m ost efficient production meth­
Since only a small proportion o f the
oil and gas in a reservoir will flow out
under natural forces, petroleum engi­
neers develop and use various en­
hanced recovery m ethods, such as
flooding the oil field with water to
force the oil to the surface. The best
m ethods in use today recover only
about half the oil. Petroleum engi­
neers’ research and developm ent in
the future will be directed at finding
w ays to increase the proportion o f oil
recovered in each reservoir.
Petroleum engineers also supervise
drilling operations, conduct research
on drilling m ethods, and develop new
m ethods to recover offshore oil and
gas. A s oil and gas becom e harder to
find, petroleum engineers must devel­
op m ethods o f recovery in areas that
were previously considered inaccessi­


Petroleum Engineers
(D.O.T. 010.061 except -014 and -026, .161-010 and
-014, and .167)

Nature of the Work
M ost petroleum engineers explore
and drill for oil and gas. They work to
achieve the maximum profitable re­

Petroleum engineers held over 22,000
jobs in 1984, m ostly in the petroleum
industry and closely allied fields. Em­
ployers include major oil com panies
and hundreds o f smaller, independent
oil exploration, production, and ser­
vice com panies. Engineering consult­
ing firms, governm ent agencies, and
equipment suppliers also em ploy pe-

Em ploym ent o f nuclear engineers is
expected to grow more slow ly than
th e a v e r a g e fo r all o c c u p a tio n s
through the m id-1990’s. M ost jo b
openings will result from the need to
replace nuclear engineers w ho retire
or leave the occupation.
B ecause o f a com bination o f reduc­
tion in the growth o f demand for e lec­
tric pow er due to energy conservation
and concerns over the safety o f nucle­
ar pow er, few nuclear pow er plants
are likely to be started before the mid1990’s. H ow ever, more nuclear engi­
neers will be needed to operate plants
presently under construction. In addi­
tion, more nuclear engineers may be
needed to im prove and enforce safety
standards and to work in defenserelated areas.

Sources of Additional Information
American N uclear Society, 555 North
Kensington Ave., LaGrange Park, 111. 60525.
Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc., Public Affairs
and Information Program, 7101 Wisconsin
Ave., Washington, D.C. 20014.

Petroleum engineers work mostly in areas where oil and gas are found.

70/Occupational Outlook Handbook
troleum engineers. Others work as
independent consultants.
M ost petroleum engineers work in
places where oil and gas are found.
Large numbers are em ployed in T ex­
as, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Califor­
nia. A lso, many Am erican petroleum
engineers work overseas in oil-produ­
cing countries.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent o f petroleum engineers

is expected to grow about as fast
as the average for all occupations
through the mid-1990’s, as econom ­
ic e x p a n sio n req u ires in crea sin g
supplies o f petroleum and natural
gas. With oil and gas becom ing
harder to find, more sophisticated
and expensive recovery m ethods will
be used to develop new sources
o f oil, such as offshore and in the
A rctic. D espite this exp ected em ­
ploym ent growth, m ost job openings

will result from the need to replace
petroleum engineers w ho transfer to
other occupations or leave the labor

Sources of Additional Information
Society of Petroleum Engineers, P.O. Box
833836, Richardson, Tex. 75083-3836.
(See introductory part o f this sec­
tion for information on training re­
quirements and earnings.)

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians
Nature of the Work
Natural and mathem atical scientists
seek know ledge o f the physical world
through observation, study, and e x ­
perim entation. The know ledge gained
through these research activities has
been used to develop new products,
increase productivity, provide greater
defense capabilities, protect the envi­
ronment, and improve health care.
Three subgroups make up this broad
occupational field: Physical scientists,
life scien tists, and com puter and math­
ematical occupations.
Physical scientists study the nature
o f matter and energy both on earth
and in the rest o f the universe (phys­
icists and ch em ists), h ow physical
p rocesses affect the earth (geologists
and geop h ysicists), and its atm osphere
(m eteorologists).
Life scientists study living orga­
nisms and their life p rocesses. B iolog­
ical scientists study all forms o f life
and life p rocesses. M ost biological
scientists specialize in certain areas o f
biology. For exam ple, entom ologists
study insects; p hysiologists study the
life processes o f plants or animals.
Agricultural scientists apply princi­
ples o f life scien ce to problem s in
agriculture such as improving crop
yield or breeding better animals. For­
esters and conservation scientists ap­
ply principles o f life scien ce to con ­
serving and increasing the productiv­
ity o f forests, rangelands, and soil.
Those in com puter and m athem ati­
cal occupations study m athem atics
and use it as a tool to solve practical
and theoretical problem s in business,
scien ce, and engineering. M athem ati­
cians, actuaries, statisticians, and sy s­
tem s an a ly sts apply m athem atical

techniques to problems in business,
health care, defense, and other areas.

which is a report on the student’s
original research.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Job Outlook

For som e natural science and mathe­
m atics jo b s, a bachelor’s degree is
adequate for entry. H ow ever, in fields
such as m athem atics, p hysics, biolo­
gy, or agricultural scien ce, an ad­
vanced degree is usually required for
entry into professional level jobs.
Undergraduate training for natural
sc ie n tists and m ath em atician s in­
cludes courses in their major field and
in related scientific fields.
In graduate school, students take
more advanced courses in their major
area o f study and in related sciences.
Requirements for the m aster’s or d oc­
tor’s degree usually include a thesis,

In the past, growth in em ploym ent of
natural scientists and mathematicians
has been related to an expanding
econom y and to increased research
and d ev elo p m en t (R& D) ex p en d i­
tures. Both governm ent and industry
are expected to increase their R&D
expenditures through the m id-1990’s
in order to expand basic knowledge o f
natural scien ce, develop new technol­
ogies and products, and protect the
environm ent. H ow ever, if the rate of
econom ic growth and actual R&D lev­
els and patterns differ from those as­
sum ed, the job outlook in many o ccu ­
pations described in this section would
be altered.

Among natural scientists and mathematicians, computer systems
analysts and actuaries are expected to have the most rapid growth.

Projected percent change in employment, 1984-95


Computer systems analysts
Biological scientists
Geologists and geophysicists
Agricultural scientists
Physicists and astronomers
Foresters and conservation
SOURCE Bureau of Labor Statistics


Computer and Mathematical Occupations
M athem atics and statistics are scien c­
es which, through the use o f quantita­
tive techniques, facilitate our under­
standing and expression o f ideas in
many kinds o f work. Although math­
em atics, statistics, and com puters are
used ex ten siv ely in m any o ccu p a­
tions, people in the occupations c o v ­
ered in this section o f the H a n d b o o k
use quantitative techniques to a much
greater degree than others, and often
d evise new techniques to solve prob­
lem s. M any persons with strong math­
em atical backgrounds teach mathe­
matics or do research in theory and in
applied mathem atical problem s. Stat­
isticians design and interpret surveys
and experim ents and test theories
dealing with people or things. Actuar­
ies use statistical and mathematical
techniques to a ssess the likelihood o f
risks that insurance com panies agree
to cover and to calculate the costs
associated with insuring such risks.
Computer system s analysts use math­
em atical, statistical, and accounting
techniques to design programmable
system s for solving business and sci­
entific problem s. (Computer program­
m ers, w ho develop the programs, are
discussed with other technicians else ­
where in the H a n d b o o k .) Operations
research analysts study management
and operational problem s and form u­
late mathem atical or sim ulation m od­
els o f problem s for solution by com ­
puters or other m ethods.
M ost occupations in this section
require at least a bachelor’s degree in
m athem atics, statistics, or com puter
scien ce. A double major, com bining
com puter scien ce with m athem atics
or statistics, is particularly desirable.
A graduate degree, preferably a doctor­
ate, is necessary for college teaching
and research positions and for advance­
ment in many nonacademic jobs.

(D.O.T. 020.167-010)

Nature of the Work
W hy do young persons pay more for
autom obile insurance than older per­
Digitized for 72

sons? H ow much should an insurance
policy cost? H ow much should an
organization contribute each year to
its pension fund? A nsw ers to these
and similar questions are provided by
actuaries who design insurance and
pension plans and keep informed on
their operation to make sure that they
are maintained on a sound financial
basis. Actuaries assem ble and analyze
statistics to calculate probabilities o f
death, sickness, injury, disability, un­
em ploym ent, retirement, and proper­
ty loss from accident, theft, fire, and
other hazards. They use this informa­
tion to determine the expected in­
sured loss. For exam ple, they may
calculate how many persons w ho are
21 years old today can be expected to
die before age 65— the probability that
an insured person might die during
this period is a risk to the com pany.
They must make sure that the price
charged for the insurance will enable
the com pany to pay all claim s and
exp en ses as they occur. Finally, this
price must be profitable and yet be
com petitive with other insurance com ­
panies. In a similar manner, the actu­
ary calculates premium rates and de­
termines policy contract provisions
for each type o f insurance offered.
M ost actuaries specialize in either life
and health insurance or property and
liability (casualty) insurance; a grow ­
ing num ber sp ecia lize in p en sio n
To perform their duties effectively,
actuaries must keep informed about
general econom ic and social trends,
and legislative, health, and other de­
velopm ents that may affect insurance
p ractices. B eca u se o f their broad
know ledge o f insurance, com pany ac­
tuaries may work in investm ent, group
underwriting, or pension planning de­
partments. Actuaries in execu tive po­
sitions help determine com pany poli­
cy. In that role, they may be called
upon to explain com plex technical
matters to com pany execu tives, g o v ­
ernment officials, policyholders, and
the public. They may testify before
public agencies on proposed legisla­
tion affecting the insurance business,
for e x a m p le, or exp lain intended

changes in premium rates or contract
provisions. T hey also may help com ­
panies develop plans to enter new
lines o f business.
The small number o f actuaries who
work for the Federal G overnm ent
usually deal with a particular insur­
ance or pension program, such as S o ­
cial Security or life insurance for v et­
erans and m em bers o f the Armed
Forces. A ctuaries in State govern­
ment regulate insurance com panies,
supervise the operations o f State re­
tirement or pension system s, work on
unem ploym ent insurance or w orkers’
com pensation problem s, and advise
on the impact o f proposed legislation.
Consulting actuaries set up pension
and welfare plans for private com pa­
nies, unions, and governm ent agen­
cies. T hey calculate future benefits
and determ ine the am ount o f em ploy­
er contributions. A ctuaries w ho are
enrolled under the provisions o f the
E m ployee Retirem ent Incom e Secur­
ity A ct o f 1974 (E R ISA ) evaluate
these pension plans and report on
their financial soundness.

Working Conditions
A ctuaries have desk job s that require
no unusual physical activity; their of­
fices generally are com fortable and
pleasant. T hey generally work be­
tw een 35 and 40 hours a w eek except
during busy periods, w hen overtim e
may be required, and they may be
required to travel to branch offices o f
their com pany or to clients.

A ctuaries held about 7,700 jobs in
1984. M any worked in insurance com ­
pany headquarters in N ew York, Hart­
ford, Chicago, Philadelphia, or B o s­
M ost o f these worked for life insur­
ance com panies; others worked for
property and liability (casualty) com ­
panies. The number o f actuaries em ­
ployed by an insurance com pany de­
pends on its volum e o f business and
the types o f insurance policies it of­
fers. Large com panies may em ploy
over 100 actuaries; others, generally
smaller com panies, may rely instead

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/73
on consulting firms, accounting firms,
or rating bureaus (associations that
supply actuarial data to member com ­
panies). Other actuaries work for pri­
vate organizations administering inde­
pendent pension and welfare plans or
for governm ent agencies.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A good educational background for a
beginning job in a large life or casualty
com pany is a bachelor’s degree with a
major in m athem atics or statistics; a
degree in actuarial scien ce is even
better. Som e com panies hire appli­
cants with a major in engineering,
econ om ics, or business administra­
tion, provided the applicant has a
working know ledge o f m athem atics,
including calculus, probability, and
statistics (20-25 hours). C ourses in
accounting, com puter scien ce, e c o ­
nom ics, and insurance also are useful.
Com panies prefer well-rounded indi­
viduals with a liberal arts background,
including social science and com m u­
nication, in addition to a good techni­
cal background. Although only 34 col­
leges and universities offer a degree in
actuarial sc ie n c e , several hundred
schools offer a degree in m athem atics
or statistics.
A strong background in mathem at­
ics is essential for persons interested
in a career as an actuary. It is an
advantage to pass, while still in school,
one or more o f the exam inations of­
fered by professional actuarial so ciet­
ies. Three societies sponsor programs
leading to full professional status in
their specialty. The S ociety o f A ctu­
aries gives 10 actuarial exam inations
for the life and health insurance and
pension field; the Casualty Actuarial
Society gives 10 exam inations for the
property and liability field; and the
American Society o f Pension Actuar­
ies gives 9 exam inations covering the
pension field. B ecause the first parts
o f the exam ination series o f each so­
ciety cover similar m aterials, students
need not com m it them selves to a spe­
cialty until they have taken three e x ­
aminations. T hese test com petence in
subjects such as linear algebra, nu­
merical m ethods, operations research,
probability, calculus, and statistics.
These first few exam inations help stu­
dents evaluate their potential as actu­
aries, and those w ho pass usually
have better opportunities for em ploy­
ment and higher starting salaries.
Actuaries are encouraged to com ­

Actuaries calculate probabilities of death, disability, sickness, injury, and retirement.
plete the entire- series o f exam inations
as soon as possible; com pletion gen­
erally takes from 5 to 10 years. Many
students pass tw o or more actuarial
exam inations before graduating from
college. Exam inations are given tw ice
each year. E xtensive home study is
required to pass the advanced exam i­
nations; many actuaries study 20-25
hours a w eek. Actuaries who com ­
plete five exam inations in either the
life insurance series or the pension
series or seven exam inations in the
casualty series are awarded “ associ­
a te ” m em bership in their society.
T hose who pass an entire series re­
ceive full membership and the title
“ fe llo w .”
Consulting pension actuaries who
service private pension plans and cer­
tify their solvency must be enrolled by
the Joint Board for the Enrollment o f
Actuaries. Applicants for enrollment
must m eet certain experience and ed­
ucation requirements as stipulated by
the Joint Board.
Beginning actuaries often rotate
among jobs to learn various actuarial
operations and different phases o f in­
surance work. At first, they prepare
tabulations for actuarial tables or per­
form other simple tasks. As they gain
e x p e r ie n c e , th e y m ay su p e r v ise
clerks, prepare correspondence and
reports, and do research.
A dvancem ent to more responsible
work as assistant, associate, and chief
actuary depends largely on job per­
form ance and the number o f actuarial
exam inations passed. Actuaries who
have a broad knowledge o f the insur­
ance, pension, and em ployee benefits

fields often advance to top administra­
tive and executive positions in under­
writing, accounting, or data process­
ing departments.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent o f actuaries is expected
to grow much faster than the average
for all occupations through the mid1990’s. M ost job openings, how ever,
are expected to arise each year to
replace actuaries who transfer to oth­
er occupations, retire, or stop work­
ing for other reasons. Job opportuni­
ties should be favorable for college
graduates w ho have passed at least
tw o actuarial exam inations while still
in school and have a strong mathemat­
ical and statistical background.
Em ploym ent in this occupation is
influenced by the volum e o f insurance
sales and pension plans, which is ex ­
pected to grow over the next decade.
Shifts in the age distribution o f the
population will result in a large in­
crease in the number o f people with
established careers and family respon­
sibilities. This is the group that tradi­
tionally has accounted for the bulk of
private insurance sales.
A s people live longer, they draw
health and pension benefits for a long­
er period, and more actuaries are
needed to recalculate the probabilities
o f such factors as death, sickness, and
length o f retirement. A s insurance
com panies branch out into more than
one kind o f insurance coverage, more
actuaries will be needed to establish
rates. Growth in new forms o f protec­
tion, such as dental, prepaid legal, and
kidnap insurance also will stimulate

74/Occupational Outlook Handbook
demand. As more States pass compet­
itive rating laws, many companies
that previously relied on rating bu­
reaus for actuarial data may create
their own actuarial departments or
use the services of consulting actuar­
The liability of companies for dam­
age resulting from their products has
received much attention in recent
years. Actuaries will continue to be
involved in the development of prod­
uct liability insurance, as well as med­
ical malpractice and workers’ com­
pensation coverage.
Insurance coverage is considered a
necessity by most individuals and
businesses, regardless of economic
conditions. Therefore, actuaries are
unlikely to be laid off during a reces­

In 1984, new college graduates enter­
ing the life insurance field without
having passed any actuarial exams
averaged about $18,000-$21,000, ac­
cording to estimates by the Society of
Actuaries. Beginners who had com­
pleted the first exam received be­
tween $20,000 and $23,000, and those
who had passed the second exam av­
eraged between $22,000 and $25,000,
depending on geographic location.
Insurance companies and consult­
ing firms give merit increases to actu­
aries as they gain experience and pass
examinations. Actuaries who became
associates in 1984 averaged between
$30,000 and $35,000 a year; actuaries
who became fellows during that year
a v e ra g e d b e tw e e n $40,000 and
$50,000. Fellows with additional years
of experience can earn substantially
more—top actuarial executives re­
ceived salaries of $55,000 a year and
Related Occupations
Actuaries assemble and analyze sta­
tistics in their day-to-day work. Other
workers whose jobs involve similar
skills include mathematicians, statisti­
cians, economists, financial analysts,
and engineering analysts.
Sources of Additional Information
For facts about actuarial qualifica­
tions and opportunities, contact:
American Society of Pension Actuaries, 1413 K
St. NW„ 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005.
Casualty Actuarial Society, One Penn Plaza,
250 West 34th St., New York, N.Y. 10119.
Society of Actuaries, 500 Park Blvd., Suite 440,
Itasca, 1 60143.

American Academy of Actuaries, 1835 K St.
NW., Suite 515, Washington, D.C. 20006.

Computer Systems
(D.O.T. 012.167-066; 020.062, .067-010, and .224;
and 109.067-010)

or experience in the field in which
they develop computer systems.
Some analysts improve systems al­
ready in use by developing better pro­
cedures or adapting the system to
handle additional types of data. Oth­
ers do research, called advanced sys­
tems design, to devise new methods
of systems analysis.

Working Conditions
Systems analysts work in offices in
comfortable surroundings. They usu­
ally work about 40 hours a week—the
same as other professional and office
w orkers. O ccasionally, how ever,
evening or weekend work may be
necessary to meet deadlines.

Nature of the Work
Systems analysts plan and develop
methods for computerizing business
and scientific tasks or improving com­
puter systems already in use. They
may work for the organization that
wants to install a system or for a
consulting firm that develops systems
under contract.
Analysts begin an assignment by Systems analysts held about 308,000
discussing the data processing prob­ jobs in 1984. Most systems analysts
lem with managers or specialists to work in urban areas for firms that
determine the exact nature of the manufacture durable goods, govern­
problem and to break it down into its ment agencies, banks, and insurance
component parts. If a retail chain companies, and data processing ser­
wishes to computerize its inventory vice firms.
Jobs for systems analysts are found
system, for example, systems ana­
throughout the country. Compared to
lysts will determine what information
must be collected, how it is to be the total work force, a larger propor­
processed, and the type and frequen­ tion of system analysts work in the
cy of reports to be produced. After N ortheast and W est reflecting the
they have defined the goals of the concentration of computer manufac­
system, they use techniques such as turing and data processing service
mathematical model building, sam­ firms in these regions.
pling, and cost accounting to plan the
Training, Other Qualifications, and
Once a design for the system has There is no universally accepted way
been developed, systems analysts pre­ of preparing for a job as a systems
pare charts and diagrams that de­ analyst because em ployers’ prefer­
scribe it in terms that managers and ences depend on the work being done.
other users can understand. They also
may prepare a cost-benefit and returnon-investment analysis to help man­
agement decide whether the proposed
system is satisfactory.
If the system is accepted, systems
analysts may determine what comput­
er hardware and software will be
needed to set up the system. They
also prepare specifications for pro­
grammers to follow and work with
them to “ debug,” or eliminate errors
from the system. (The work of com­
puter programmers is described else­
where in the Handbook.) The analyst
also would design any forms required
to collect data and distribute informa­
Because the possible uses for com­
puters are so varied and complex,
analysts usually specialize in either
business, scientific, or engineering ap­ Systems analysts must prepare specifica­
plications. Often, they have training tions for programmers to follow.

However, college graduates almost al­
ways are sought for these jobs; and,
for some of the more complex jobs,
persons with graduate degrees are
preferred. Employers usually want
analysts with a background in ac­
counting or business management for
work in a business environment, while
a background in the physical sciences,
applied mathematics, or engineering
is preferred for work in scientifically
oriented organizations. Many employ­
ers seek applicants who have a degree
in computer science, information sci­
ence, computer information systems,
or data processing. Regardless of col­
lege major, employers look for people
who are familiar with programming
languages. Courses in computer con­
cepts, systems analysis, and data base
management systems offer good prep­
aration for a job in this field.
Prior work experience is important.
About 7 out of 10 persons entering
this occupation typically transfer from
other occupations, such as engineer,
manager, and computer programmer.
Systems analysts must be able to
think logically, have good communi­
cation skills, and like working with
ideas and people. They often deal
with a number of tasks simultaneous­
ly. The ability to concentrate and pay
close attention to detail also is impor­
tant. Although systems analysts often
work independently, they also work
in teams on large projects. They must
be able to communicate effectively
with technical personnel, such as pro­
grammers and managers, as well as
with people who have no computer
Technological advances come so
rapidly in the computer field that con­
tinuous study is necessary to keep
skills up to date. Training usually
takes the form of 1- and 2-week cours­
es offered by employers and software
vendors. A dditional training may
come from professional development
seminars offered by professional com­
puting societies.
Indications of experience and pro­
fessional competence are the Certifi­
cate in Data Processing (CDP) and
Certificate of Systems Professional
(CSP). These designations are con­
ferred by the Institute for Certification
of Computer Professionals upon can­
didates who have 5 years of experi­
ence and who have passed a five-part
Systems analysts may be promoted
to senior or lead systems analysts

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/75
after several years of experience. Sys­
tems analysts who show leadership
ability also can advance to jobs as
managers of data processing depart­
ments. Systems analysts with several
years of experience may start their
own computer consulting firms.

Job Outlook
Employment of systems analysts is
expected to grow much faster than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s. The demand for sys­
tems analysts is expected to rise as
advances in technology lead to new
applications for computers. Factory
and office automation, telecommuni­
cations, and scientific research are
just a few areas where use of comput­
er systems will expand. About half of
all job openings for systems analysts
will result from replacement needs—
although a smaller proportion of sys­
tems analysts than of all professional
workers leave their occupation each
year. Most of the systems analysts
who leave the occupation transfer to
other jobs such as manager or engi­
College graduates who have had
courses in computer programming,
systems analysis, and other data proc­
essing areas as well as training or
experience in an applied field should
enjoy the best prospects for employ­
ment. Persons without a college de­
gree and college graduates unfamiliar
with data processing will face compe­
tition from the large number of expe­
rienced workers seeking jobs as sys­
tems analysts.
Median weekly earnings of systems
analysts who worked full time in 1984
were about $600. The middle 50 per­
cent earned between $485 and $745 a
week. The lowest 10 percent earned
less than $345; the highest tenth, more
than $870.
Earnings for beginning systems an­
alysts in private industry averaged
about $490 a week in 1984, according
to a survey conducted in urban areas
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Experienced workers earned about
$585, and lead system s analysts
earned about $690 weekly. In the Fed­
eral Government, the entrance salary
for recent college graduates with a
bachelor’s degree was about $345 a
week in early 1985.
Systems analysts working in the
West had the highest earnings and

those in the South, the lowest. Gener­
ally, earnings were greater in trans­
portation, public utilities, and manu­
facturing than in finance, trade, and

Related Occupations
Other workers in applied mathemat­
ics, business, and science who use
logic and reasoning ability to solve
problems are programmers, financial
analysts, urban planners, engineers,
mathematicians, operations research
analysts, and actuaries.
Sources of Additional Information
Further information about the occu­
pation of systems analyst is available
Association for Systems Management, 24587
Bagley Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44138.
Data Processing Management Association, 505
Busse Hwy., Park Ridge, 1 60068.

(D.Q.T. 020.067-014, .187-018; 199.267-014)_________

Nature of the Work
Mathematicians work in one of the
oldest and most basic sciences. Math­
ematicians today are engaged in a
wide variety of activities, ranging
from the creation of new theories to
the translation of scientific and mana­
gerial problems into mathematical
Mathematical work falls into two
broad classes: T heoretical (pure)
mathematics; and applied mathemat­
ics. However, these classes are not
sharply defined and often overlap.
T heoretical m athem aticians ad­
vance mathematical science by devel­
oping new principles and new rela­
tionships between existing principles
of mathematics. Although they seek
to increase basic knowledge without
necessarily considering its practical
use, this pure and abstract knowledge
has been instrumental in producing
m any scientific and engineering
achievements. For example, in 1854,
G.F.B. Riemann invented a seemingly
impractical non-Euclidian geometry
that was to become part of Albert
Einstein’s theory of relativity. Years
later, this theory contributed to the
creation of atomic power.
Applied mathematicians use mathe­
matics to develop theories, tech­
niques, and approaches to solve prac­
tical problems in business, govern-

76/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ment, engineering, and the natural
and social sciences. Their work rang­
es from analysis of the mathematical
aspects of launching communications
satellites to studies of the effects of
new drugs on disease.
Much work in applied mathematics,
however, is carried on by persons
other than mathematicians. In fact,
the number of workers using mathe­
matical techniques is many times
greater than the number actually des­
ignated as mathematicians.

government—primarily Federal—and
in service and manufacturing indus­
tries. The Department of Defense and
the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration are the primary em­
ployers of mathematicians working in
the Federal Government. Major em­
ployers within the services sector
were miscellaneous business services,
including research and development
laboratories; educational services;
and noncommercial educational and
research organizations. Within manu­
facturing, guided missiles and space
vehicles; aircraft; and office, comput­
ing, and accounting machine indus­
tries provided the most jobs.
Mathematicians work in all States
but are concentrated in those with
high-technology industries.

Working Conditions
Mathematicians working for govern­
ment agencies and private firms have
structured work schedules. They may
work alone with only computers, cal­
culators, and mathematical formulas
as company. Or they may be an inte­
gral part of a research team that in­ Training, Other Qualifications, and
cludes engineers, computer scientists, Advancement
and others. Deadlines, overtime work, An advanced degree is the preferred
special requests for information, and requirement for beginning teaching
travel to attend seminars or confer­ jobs, as well as for most research
positions. However, in most 4-year
ences may be part of their jobs.
Mathematics faculty have flexible colleges and universities, the Ph.D.
work schedules, dividing their time degree is necessary for full faculty
among teaching, research, consulting, status. The m aster’s degree is gener­
ally the minimum requirement for
and administrative responsibilities.
teaching jobs in 2-year and small 4year colleges.
A bachelor’s degree is considered
M athematicians held about 21,000
jobs in 1984. In addition, about 32,000 adequate preparation for some jobs in
persons held mathematics faculty po­ private industry and government. In­
sitions in colleges and universities. dividuals with this background usual­
(See the statement on college and uni­ ly assist senior mathematicians by
versity faculty elsewhere in the Hand­ performing computations and solving
less advanced problems in applied
Most mathematicians worked in the mathematics. The majority of bache­

lor’s degree holders work in related
fields such as computer science where
employment opportunities are rapidly
expanding. However, an advanced
degree is a prerequisite for the more
responsible positions. Many research
positions require the doctorate.
The bachelor’s degree in mathemat­
ics is offered by most colleges and
universities. M athem atics courses
usually required for a degree are ana­
lytical geometry, calculus, differential
equations, linear algebra, probability
theory and statistics, mathematical
analysis, and modern algebra. Many
colleges and universities urge or even
require students majoring in mathe­
matics to take several courses in a
field that uses or is closely related to
mathematics, such as computer sci­
ence, operations research, a physical
science, or economics. A double ma­
jor in mathematics and computer sci­
ence or mathematics and statistics is
particularly desirable. A prospective
college mathematics student should
take as many mathematics courses as
possible while in high school.
About 470 colleges and universities
offer the m aster’s degree in mathe­
matics; nearly 200 also offer the Ph.D.
In graduate school, students conduct
research and take advanced courses,
usually in a specific field of mathemat­
ics such as algebra, mathematical
analysis, or geometry.
For work in applied mathematics,
training in the field in which the math­
ematics will be used is very impor­
tant. Fields in which applied mathe­
matics is used extensively include
physics, actuarial science, engineer­
ing, and operations research; of in­
creasing importance are computer and
information science, business and in­
dustrial management, economics, sta­
tistics, chemistry and life sciences,
and the behavioral sciences.
M athem aticians should have a
working knowledge of computer pro­
gramming since most complex mathe­
matical computation is done by com­
Mathematicians need good reason­
ing ability, persistence, and the ability
to apply basic principles to new types
of problems. They must be able to
communicate well since they often
need to discuss the problem to be
solved with nonmathematicians.

Job Outlook
Employment of mathematicians is ex­
pected to increase about as fast as the

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/77
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s. Most job openings,
however, will arise from the need to
replace experienced mathematicians
who transfer to other occupations,
retire, or leave the labor force for
other reasons.
The shortage of Ph.D .’s in mathe­
matics is expected to continue, result­
ing in favorable employment opportu­
nities. In industry, holders of the doc­
torate in applied mathematics have
better employment prospects than
their theoretically oriented colleagues.
Holders of the doctorate in theoretical
mathematics should continue to have
good opportunities for teaching and re­
search jobs in colleges and universities.
Industry and government agencies
will need mathematicians for work in
operations research, m athematical
modeling, numerical analysis, com­
puter systems design and program­
ming, information and data process­
ing, applied mathematical physics, ro­
botics, market research, commercial
surveys, and as consultants in indus­
trial laboratories.
Holders of a master’s degree in math­
ematics may have difficulty finding a
job in college teaching or theoretical
research. However, there will be many
openings in applied areas such as com­
puter science and data processing.
Bachelor’s degree holders in math­
ematics with a strong background—
preferably a double major—in com­
puter science should have very good
opportunities in computerized data
processing activities in industry.
Those who meet State certification
requirements may become high school
mathematics teachers, who are cur­
rently in short supply. (For additional
information, see the statement on sec­
ondary school teachers elsewhere in
the Handbook.)

According to a 1984 College Place­
ment Council Survey, starting salary
offers for mathematics graduates with
a bachelor’s degree averaged about
$23,400 a year; for those with a mas­
ter’s degree, $28,800; and for new
graduates having the Ph.D., $35,600.
The average annual salary for all
working mathematicians was about
$35,400 in 1984.
In the Federal Government in 1985,
the average starting salary for mathe­
maticians having the bachelor’s de­
gree and no experience was either
$14,400 or $17,800 a year, depending

on their college records. Those with
the m aster’s degree averaged $21,800
or $26,400; and persons having the
Ph.D. degree started at either $26,400
or $31,600. The average salary for all
mathematicians in the Federal Gov­
ernment was about $36,900 in 1984.

Related Occupations
A degree in mathematics generally
qualifies one to enter related occupa­
tions such as actuarial scientist, stat­
istician, computer programmer, sys­
tems analyst, and operations research
analyst. In addition, a strong back­
ground in mathematics facilitates em­
ployment in fields such as engineer­
ing, economics, finance, and genetics.
Sources of Additional Information
Several brochures are available that
give facts about the field of mathemat­
ics, including career opportunities,
professional training, and colleges and
universities with degree programs.
Seeking Employment in the Mathe­
matical Sciences is available for $2, and
$2 for additional pairs of copies, from:
American Mathematical Society, P.O. Box
6248, Providence, R.I. 02940.

Professional Opportunities in Math­
ematics is available for $1.50 from:
Mathematical Association of America, 1529
18th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

For specific information on careers
in applied mathematics, contact:
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathemat­
ics, 1405 Architects Building, 117 S. 17th St.,
Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.

For information on a career as a
mathematical statistician, contact:
Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 3401 In­
vestment Blvd., No. 7, Hayward, Calif. 94545.

Information on Federal job oppor­
tunities is available from area offices
of the State employment service and
the U.S. Office of Personnel Manage­
ment or from Federal Job Information
Centers located in various large cities
throughout the country.
For information about careers in
noncollegiate academic institutions,
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,
1906 Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

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

Nature of the Work
Statistics are numbers that are assem­
bled, classified, and tabulated to help

describe the characteristics of the
world and its inhabitants. Statisticians
devise, carry out, and interpret the
numerical results of surveys and ex­
periments. In doing so, they apply
their knowledge of statistical methods
to a particular subject area, such as
economics, human behavior, natural
science, or engineering. They may use
statistical techniques to predict popu­
lation growth or economic conditions,
develop quality control tests for man­
ufactured products, analyze legal and
social problem s, or help business
managers and government officials
make decisions and evaluate the re­
sults of new programs.
Often statisticians are able to obtain
accurate information about a group of
people or things by surveying a small
portion, called a sample, of the group.
For example, to determine the size of
the total audience, television rating
services ask only a few thousand fam­
ilies, rather than all viewers, what
programs they watch. Statisticians de­
cide where and how to get the data,
determine the type and size of the
sample group, and develop the survey
questionnaire or reporting form. They
also prepare instructions for workers
who will tabulate the returns.
Since statistics are used in so many
areas, it sometimes is difficult to dis­
tinguish statisticians from specialists
in other fields who use statistics. For
example, a statistician working with
data on economic conditions may
have the title of economist.

Working Conditions
Statisticians usually work regular
hours in offices. Some statisticians
may travel occasionally to supervise
or set up a survey, or to gather statis­
tical data. Some may have fairly re­
petitive tasks, while others may have
a variety of tasks, such as in designing
a survey.
Statisticians held about 23,000 jobs in
1984. About 2 out of 3 of these jobs
were in industry, primarily in manu­
facturing, finance, and insurance com­
panies and in business service estab­
lishments such as consultants’ offices.
About one-third were in Federal,
State, or local government. Federally
employed statisticians were concen­
trated in the Departments of Com­
merce, Agriculture, Defense, Health
and Human Services, and Labor. Oth­
ers worked in hospitals, colleges and

78/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tistics although a good mathematics
background is essential.
Beginning statisticians who have
only the bachelor’s degree often spend
much of their time doing routine work
supervised by an experienced statisti­
cian. Through experience, they may
advance to positions of greater tech­
nical and supervisory responsibility.
However, opportunities for promo­
tion are best for those with advanced

Statisticians determine the size of the sample to be surveyed.
universities, and nonprofit organiza­
Although statisticians work in all
parts of the country, most are in met­
ropolitan areas such as New York
City; W ashington, D .C .; and Los
Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree with a major in
statistics or mathematics is the mini­
mum educational requirem ent for
many beginning jobs in statistics. For
other entry level statistical jobs, a
bachelor’s degree with a major in an
applied field such as economics or a
life science and a minor in statistics is
preferable. Teaching and research po­
sitions in institutions of higher educa­
tion and some research positions in
private industry require a graduate
degree in statistics.
Over 200 colleges and universities
offered statistics as a concentration
for a bachelor’s degree in 1984. Many
schools also offer either a degree in
mathematics or a sufficient number of
 in statistics to qualify gradu­

ates for beginning positions. Required
subjects for statistics majors include
mathematics through differential and
integral calculus, statistical methods,
and probability theory. Due to the
increasing use of computers for statis­
tical applications, a strong background
in computer science is highly recom­
mended; a double major in statistics
and computer science is particularly
desirable. For quality-control posi­
tions, training in engineering or phys­
ical or biological science is desirable.
For many market research, business
analysis, and forecasting jobs, cours­
es in economics and business admin­
istration are helpful.
In 1984, over 100 universities of­
fered m aster’s and doctoral degree
programs in statistics; a small number
offered only the m aster’s degree.
Many schools offer graduate-level
courses in applied statistics for stu­
dents majoring in biology, business,
economics, education, psychology,
and other fields. Acceptance into grad­
uate statistics programs does not re­
quire an undergraduate degree in sta­

Job Outlook
Employment opportunities for per­
sons who combine training in statis­
tics with knowledge of computer sci­
ence or a field of application are ex­
pected to be favorable through the
mid-1990’s. Although growth will be
average in this field, most openings
are expected to result from the need
to replace experienced statisticians
who transfer to other occupations,
retire, or leave the labor force for
other reasons.
Private industry will require in­
creasing numbers of statisticians for
quality control in manufacturing pro­
cesses such as m otor vehicle and
chemical production. Pharmaceutical
firms will need more statisticians to
assess the effectiveness of the rapidly
expanding number of drugs. Statisti­
cians with knowledge of engineering
and the physical sciences will find
jobs working with scientists and engi­
neers in research and development.
Business firms will rely more heavily
than in the past on statisticians to
forecast sales, analyze business con­
ditions, modernize accounting proce­
dures, and help solve management
problem s. Sophisticated statistical
services will increasingly be contract­
ed out to consulting firms.
Federal, State, and local govern­
ment agencies will need statisticians
in fields such as agriculture, demog­
raphy, transportation, social security,
health, education, energy conservation,
and environmental quality control.
Persons who graduate with a bach­
elor’s degree in statistics—especially
those with a strong background in
mathematics and computer science—
should encounter little difficulty in
finding jobs in private industry. Those
who meet State certification require­
ments may become high school statis­
tics teachers, a newly emerging field.
(For additional information, see the
statement on secondary school teach­
ers elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/79
M aster’s degree holders in statistics
should have very good employment
o p p o rtu n itie s. T hose w ith b a c k ­
grounds in computer science should
find many openings in computerized
data processing activities and in re­
search in private industry. Some may
find teaching positions in junior col­
leges and small 4-year colleges.
Ph.D .’s in statistics have excellent
employment prospects, especially in
large corporations and in colleges and
universities, which are increasingly
establishing separate departments of

In the Federal Government in 1985,
the average starting salary of statisti­
cians who had the bachelor’s degree
and no experience was $14,400 or
$17,800 a year, depending on their

college grades. Beginning statisticians
with the m aster’s degree averaged
$21,800 or $26,400. Those with the
Ph.D. began at $26,400 or $31,600.
The average annual salary for statisti­
cians in the Federal Government was
about $35,000 in 1984.
Salaries in private industry were
lower than those in the Federal Gov­
ernment, according to the limited data

Related Occupations
People in numerous occupations work
with statistics. Among them are actuar­
ies, computer programmers, computer
systems analysts, educators, engineers,
environmental scientists, financial ana­
lysts, health scientists, information sci­
entists, life scientists, mathematicians,
operations researchers, physical scien­
tists, and social scientists.

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

For information on a career as a
mathematical statistician, contact:
Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 3401
Investment Blvd., No. 7, Hayward, Calif.

Information on Federal job oppor­
tunities is available from area offices
of the State employment service and
the U.S. Office of Personnel Manage­
ment or from Federal Job Information
Centers located in various large cities
throughout the country.
For information about careers in
noncollegiate academic institutions,
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,
1906 Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091.

Physical Scientists
Physical scientists investigate the
structure and composition of the earth
and the universe. Many physical sci­
entists perform research designed to
increase basic scientific knowledge.
Others employ the results of research
to solve practical problems in devel­
oping new products, locating new
sources of oil, or forecasting the
This section covers four physical
science occupations—chemists; geol­
ogists and geophysicists; meteorolo­
gists; and physicists and astronomers.
Persons who teach the physical sci­
ences in colleges and universities are
discussed in the statement on college
and university faculty elsewhere in
the Handbook.
Most physicists have Ph.D .’s. The
jobs of many other physical scientists
also require a Ph.D., especially re­
search positions, but many jobs in
other physical science fields can be
entered with a bachelor’s or m aster’s
A knowledge of the physical scien­
ces (especially chemistry and physics)
is also required by engineers and life
scientists; these occupations are dis­
cussed elsewhere in the Handbook.

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

Nature of the Work
The clothes we wear, the foods we
eat, the houses in which we live—in
fact, most things that help make our
lives better, from medical care to a
cleaner environment—result, in part,
from the work done by chemists.
Chemists search for and put to
practical use new knowledge about
substances. Their research has result­
ed in the development of a tremen­
dous variety of new and improved
synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives,
drugs, electronic components, lubri­
cants, and other products. They also
develop processes which help save
energy and reduce pollution, such as
improved oil refining methods. Re­
search on the chemistry of living
Digitized for 80

things provides the basis for advances
in medicine, agriculture, and other
Most chemists work in research and
developm ent. In basic rese a rc h ,
chemists investigate the properties,
composition, and structure of matter
and the laws that govern the combina­
tion of elements and reactions of sub­
stances. In applied research and de­
velopment, they create new products
or improve existing ones, often using
knowledge gained from basic re­
search. For example, synthetic rubber
and plastics have resulted from re­
search on small molecules uniting to
form large ones (polymerization).
The process of developing a prod­
uct begins with descriptions of the
characteristics it should have. If sim­
ilar products exist, chemists test sam­
ples to determine their ingredients. If
no such product exists, chemists ex­
periment with various substances to
develop a product with the required
Some chemists work in production
and inspection. In production, chem­
ists prepare instructions for plant
workers which specify the kind and
amount of ingredients to use and the
exact mixing time for each stage in the
process. They also monitor automat­
ed processes to ensure proper product
yield and quality. At each step, sam­
ples are tested for quality to meet
industry and government standards.
Chemists keep records and prepare
reports showing results of tests. Oth­
ers work as marketing or sales repre­
sentatives who sell and provide tech­
nical information on chemical prod­
C hem ists often specialize in a
subfield of chem istry. A nalytical
chem ists determ ine the structure,
composition, and nature of substanc­
es, and develop new analytical tech­
niques. Their skills are often used to
identify the presence of chemicals—
for example, the kinds and amounts of
chemical pollutants in air or water.
Organic chemists study the chemistry
of carbon compounds. When com­
bined with other elements, carbon
forms a vast number of substances.

Many modern commercial products,
such as drugs, plastics, and fertilizers
have been developed by organic chem­
ists. Inorganic chemists study com­
pounds mainly consisting of elements
other than carbon. They may, for ex­
ample, develop materials for electron­
ic com ponents. Physical chem ists
study the physical characteristics of
atoms and molecules and investigate
how chemical reactions work. This
research may result in new and better
energy sources.
Biochemists, whose work encom­
passes both biology and chemistry,
are included under biological scien­
tists elsewhere in the Handbook.

Working Conditions
Chemists usually work regular hours
in offices and laboratories. Some are
exposed to health or safety hazards
when handling certain chemicals, but
there is little risk if proper procedures
are followed.
Chemists held over 85,000 jobs in
1984. Almost three-fifths of all chem­
ists work for manufacturing firms—
over one-half of these are in the chem­
ical manufacturing industry; the rest
are scattered throughout other manu­
facturing industries. Chemists also
work for State and local governments,
primarily in health and agriculture,
and for Federal agencies, chiefly the
Departments of Defense, Health and
Human Resources, and Agriculture.
Smaller numbers work for nonprofit
research organizations. In addition,
about 19,000 persons held chemistry
faculty positions in colleges and uni­
versities in 1984. (See the statement
on college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.)
Chemists are employed in all parts
of the country, but they are concen­
trated in large industrial areas.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree with a major in
chemistry or a related discipline is
sufficient for many beginning jobs as a
chemist. However, graduate training

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/81
is required for most research jobs, and
most college teaching jobs require a
Ph.D. degree. Beginning chemists
should have a broad background in
chemistry, with good laboratory skills.
Many colleges and universities offer
a bachelor’s degree program in chem­
istry. About 580 are approved by
the American Chemical Society. In
addition to required courses in analyt­
ical, inorganic, organic, and physical
chem istry, undergraduates usually
study mathematics, physics, and lib­
eral arts.
Several hundred colleges and uni­
versities award advanced degrees in
chemistry. Graduate students gen­
erally specialize in a subfield of
chemistry. Requirements for a mas­
ter’s and doctor’s degree usually in­
clude a thesis based on independent
Students planning careers as chem­
ists should enjoy studying science and
mathematics, and should like working
with their hands building scientific ap­
paratus and performing experiments.
Perseverance, curiosity, and the abil­
ity to concentrate on detail and to
work independently are essential.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree
generally begin their careers in gov­
ernment or industry by analyzing or
testing products, working in technical
sales or services, or assisting senior
chemists in research and development
laboratories. Employers may have
training and orientation program s
which provide special knowledge
needed for the employer’s type of
work. Candidates for an advanced de­
gree often teach or do research in
colleges and universities while work­
ing toward their degrees.
Beginning chemists with a m aster’s
degree can usually teach in a 2-year
college or go into applied research in
government or private industry. A
Ph.D. generally is required for basic
research, for 4-year college faculty
positions, and for advancement to
many administrative positions.
Many people with a bachelor’s de­
gree in chemistry enter other occupa­
tions in which a chemistry back­
ground is helpful, such as technical
writers and manufacturers’ sales rep­
resentatives and wholesale trade sales
workers in chemical marketing. Some
who hold bachelor’s degrees in chem­
istry enter medical, dental, veteri­
nary, or o th er health profession
schools. Others enter a wide range of

Graduate training is required for most research jobs in chemistry.
occupations with little or no connec­
tion to chemistry.

Job Outlook
Employment of chemists is expected
to grow more slowly than the average
for all occupations through the mid1990’s largely because the chemical
industry and other industries which
employ a large proportion of chemists
are expected to grow slowly. Howev­
er, many openings will result each
year as chemists transfer to other oc­
cupations or leave the occupation for
other reasons.
The majority of job openings are
expected to be in private industry,
primarily in the development of new
products. In addition, industrial com­
panies will need more chemists to do
biotechnology research and to devel­
op products and production processes
arising from this research.
Little growth in the employment of
chemistry faculty in colleges and uni­
versities is expected.
Chemistry graduates may become
high school teachers. However, they
usually are then regarded as science
teachers rather than chemists. Others
may qualify as engineers, especially if
they have taken some courses in en­
gineering. (See statements on second­
ary school teachers and engineers
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
According to the College Placement
Council, chemists with a bachelor’s
degree were offered starting salaries

averaging $21,100 a year in 1984;
those with a m aster’s degree, $26,700;
and those with a Ph.D., $35,500.
According to the American Chemi­
cal Society, salaries of their members
with a bachelor’s degree who were
experienced nonacademic chemists in
private industry averaged $34,000 a
year in 1984; for those with a m aster’s
degree, $39,000; and for those with a
Ph.D., $49,000.
In a Bureau of Labor Statistics sur­
vey, chemists in private industry av­
eraged $21,600 a year in 1984 at the
most junior level, and $63,100 at sen­
ior supervisory levels. Experienced
midlevel chemists with no superviso­
ry responsibilities averaged $37,600.
Depending on a person’s college
record, the annual starting salary in
the Federal Government in early 1985
for an inexperienced chemist with a
bachelor’s degree was either $14,390
or $17,824. Those who had 2 years of
graduate study began at $21,804 a
year. Chemists having a Ph.D. degree
started at $26,381 or $31,619. The
average salary for all chemists in the
Federal Governm ent in 1984 was
$36,800 a year.

Related Occupations
The work of chemical engineers, oc­
cupational safety and health workers,
agricultural scientists, biological sci­
entists, and chemical technicians is
closely related to the work done by
chemists. The work of other physical
and life science occupations may also
be similar to that of chemists.

82/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Sources of Additional Information
General information on career oppor­
tunities and earnings for chemists is
available from:
American Chemical Society, Career Services,
1155 16th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

Information on Federal job oppor­
tunities is available from local offices
of State employment services and the
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
or from Federal Job Information Cen­
ters located in various large cities
throughout the country.

Geologists and
(D.O.T. 024.061 except -014, .161, and .167)

Nature of the Work
Geologists and geophysicists study
the physical aspects and history of the
earth. They analyze information col­
lected through seismic prospecting,
which involves bouncing sound waves
off deeply buried rock layers; examine
surface rocks and samples of buried
rocks recovered by drilling; and study
information collected by satellites.
They also identify rocks, minerals,
and fossils, conduct geological sur­
veys, construct maps, and use instru­
ments such as the gravimeter and
magnetometer to measure the earth’s
gravity and magnetic field. An impor­
tant application of geological research
is locating oil, natural gas, and miner­

A geologist gathers rock samples.

Geologists and geophysicists exam­
ine chemical and physical properties
of specimens in laboratories under
controlled temperature and pressure.
They may study fossil remains of an­
imal and plant life or experiment with
the flow of water and oil through
rocks. Laboratory equipment used in­
cludes instruments such as the X-ray
diffractometer, which determines the
crystal structure of minerals, and the
petrographic microscope, used for
close study of rock and sediment sam­
Besides locating natural resources
and working in laboratories, geolo­
gists and geophysicists also advise
construction companies and govern­
ment agencies on the suitability of
proposed locations for buildings,
dams, or highways. Some administer
and manage research and exploration
The fields of geology and geophys­
ics are closely related but there are
some major differences. Geologists
study the composition, structure, and
history of the earth’s crust. They try
to find out how rocks were formed
and what has happened to them since
their formation. Geophysicists use the
principles of physics and mathematics
to study the earth’s internal composi­
tion, surface, and atmosphere and
also various forces such as its magnet­
ic, electrical, and gravitational fields.
Geologists and geophysicists usual­
ly specialize. Geological oceanogra­
phers study the ocean bottom. They
collect information using remote sens­
ing devices aboard ships or sometimes
from underwater research craft. Phys­
ical oceanographers study the physi­
cal aspects of oceans such as their
currents and their interaction with the
atmosphere. Geochemical oceanog­
raphers study the chemical composi­
tion, dissolved elements, and nutri­
ents of oceans. Although biological
scientists who study ocean life some­
times are called oceanographers (as
well as marine biologists), the work
they do is related to biology rather
than geology or geophysics. (See the
statement on biological scientists else­
where in the Handbook.) Hydrolo­
gists study the distribution, circula­
tion, and physical properties of under­
ground and surface waters. They may
study the form and intensity of precip­
itation, its rate of infiltration into the
soil, and its return to the ocean and
atm osphere. M ineralogists analyze
and classify minerals and precious

stones according to composition and
structure. Paleontologists study fos­
sils found in geological formations to
trace the evolution of plant and animal
life. Seismologists interpret data from
seismographs and other instruments
which measure small movements of
the earth to locate earthquakes and
earth q u ak e faults. Stratigraphers
study the distribution and arrange­
ment of sedimentary rock layers by
examining their fossil and mineral
content. M eteorologists sometimes
are classified as geophysical scien­
tists. (See the statement on meteorol­
ogists elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Most geologists and geophysicists di­
vide their time between fieldwork and
office or laboratory work. While in the
field, geologists often travel to remote
sites by helicopter or jeep and cover
large areas by foot. Exploration geol­
ogists and geophysicists often work
overseas or in remote areas, and geo­
logical and physical oceanographers
may spend considerable time at sea.
When not working outdoors, geolo­
gists are in offices and laboratories.

Geologists and geophysicists held
over 46,000 jobs in 1984. In addition,
about 8,500 persons held geology,
geophysics, and oceanography faculty
positions in colleges and universities.
(See the statement on college and uni­
versity faculty elsewhere in the Hand­
Over one-half were in oil and gas
companies or oil and gas field service
firms, many of which are involved in
oil and gas exploration. Many other
geologists worked for business ser­
vice and consulting firms, which often
provide services to oil and gas com­
panies. About 1 geologist in 6 was
self-employed, primarily as an indus­
try or government consultant.
The Federal Government employed
alm ost 7,000 geologists, geophysi­
cists, oceanographers, and hydrolo­
gists in 1984. Three-fifths worked for
the Department of the Interior in the
U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau
of Mines, and the Bureau of Reclama­
tion. Others worked for the Depart­
ments of Defense, Agriculture, and
Commerce. State agencies also em­
ploy geologists and geophysicists;
some work for State geological sur­
veys and State departments of conser­
vation. Geologists and geophysicists

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/83
also work for nonprofit research insti­
tutions and museums. Some are em­
ployed by American firms overseas
for varying periods of time.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree in geology or
geophysics is adequate for entry into
some lower level geology jobs, but
better jobs with good advancement
potential usually require at least a
m aster’s degree in geology or geo­
physics. Persons with strong back­
grounds in physics, mathematics, or
computer science also may qualify for
some geophysics jobs. A Ph.D degree
is essential for most research posi­
Over 500 colleges and universities
offer a bachelor’s degree in geology or
geophysics. Other programs offering
training for beginning geophysicists
include g eo p h y sical tech n o lo g y ,
geophysical engineering, geophysical
prospecting, engineering geology, pe­
troleum geology, and geodesy. In ad­
dition, more than 270 universities
award advanced degrees in geology or
Geologists and geophysicists need
to be able to work as part of a team.
They should be curious, analytical,
and able to communicate effectively.
Those involved in fieldwork must
have physical stamina.
Geologists and geophysicists usual­
ly begin their careers in field explora­
tion or as research assistants in labo­
ratories. They are given more difficult
assignment as they gain experience.
Eventually they may be promoted to
project leader, program manager, or
other management and research posi­
Job Outlook
Employment of geologists and geo­
physicists is expected to grow about
as fast as the average for all occupa­
tions through the mid-1990’s. Most
jobs for geologists and geophysicists
are in or related to the petroleum
industry. This industry has greatly
reduced exploration activities because
of the recent drop in the price of oil.
Steady prices for petroleum and ener­
gy conservation will make for little or
no growth in petroleum industry em­
ployment through the 1980’s. Howev­
er, because new sources of oil and gas
must be found eventually, exploration
activities should increase by 1995.
When this occurs, employment should

grow and job opportunities should
greatly improve. Furthermore, even
with little employment growth, many
openings will arise each year to re­
place geologists and geophysicists
who transfer to other occupations or
leave the occupation for other rea­
Geologists and geophysicists who
have knowledge and experience in
geophysical oil and gas exploration
techniques will have better employ­
ment opportunities than others. Also,
more geologists, especially those with
advanced degrees, will be needed to
conduct environmentally related re­

Median annual earnings of full-time
geologists and geophysicists were
about $42,000 in 1984, according to
limited information. Surveys by the
College Placement Council indicate
that graduates with bachelor’s de­
grees in physical and earth sciences
received average starting offers of
$22,800 a year in 1984. Graduates with
m aster’s degrees in geology and relat­
ed geological sciences received aver­
age starting offers of $29,300 a year.
In the Federal Government in early
1985, geologists and geophysicists
having a bachelor’s degree could be­
gin at $14,390 or $17,824 a year, de­
pending on their college records.
Those having a m aster’s degree could
start at $17,824 or $21,804 a year;
those having the Ph.D. degree, at
$26,381 or $31,619. In 1984, the aver­
age salary for geologists in the Federal
Government was about $38,000 a year
and for geophysicists, about $40,300 a
Related Occupations
Many geologists and geophysicists
work in the petroleum and natural gas
industry. This industry also employs
many other workers who are involved
in the scientific and technical aspects
of petroleum and natural gas explora­
tion and extraction, including draft­
ers, engineering technicians, science
technicians, petroleum engineers, and
surveyors. Also related to the work of
geologists and geophysicists are other
physical science occupations such as
physicists, chemists, and meteorolo­
gists, as well as mathematicians, com­
puter scientists, and cartographers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on training and career
opportunities for geologists is avail­
able from:
American Geological Institute, 4220 King St.,
Alexandria, Va. 22302.

Information on training and career
opportunities for geophysicists is
available from:
American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida
Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20009.
Society of Exploration Geophysicists, P.O.
Box 70240, Tulsa, Okla. 74170.

For information on Federal Gov­
ernment careers, contact:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20415.

(D.O.T. 025.062-010)

Nature of the Work
Meteorology is the study of the atmo­
sphere, which is the air that surrounds
the earth. Meteorologists study the
atmosphere’s physical characteristics,
motions, and processes, and the way
the atmosphere affects the rest of our
environment. The best known appli­
cation of this knowledge is in under­
standing and forecasting the weather.
However, weather information and
meteorological research also are ap­
plied in many other areas, such as air
pollution control, fire prevention, ag­
riculture, air and sea transportation,
and the study of trends in the earth’s
Meteorologists who forecast the
weather, known professionally as op­
erational or synoptic meteorologists,
are the largest group of specialists.
They study weather information, such
as air pressure, temperature, humidi­
ty, and wind velocity, and apply phys­
ical and mathematical relationships to
make short-range and long-range pre­
dictions. Their data come from weath­
er satellites and observers in many
parts of the world. Although some
forecasters still prepare and analyze
weather maps, most data now are
plotted and analyzed by computers.
Some meteorologists engage in ba­
sic and applied research. For exam­
ple, physical meteorologists study the
chemical and physical properties of
the atmosphere. They do research on
the effect of the atmosphere on trans­
mission of light, sound, and radio
waves, and study factors affecting for­
mation of clouds, rain, snow, and oth-

84/Occupational Outlook Handbook
local governments and for nonprofit
In addition to government, private
weather consulting firms and engi­
neering services firms employ many
meteorologists. Commercial airlines
employ m eteorologists to forecast
weather along flight routes and to
brief pilots on atmospheric condi­
tions. Other meteorologists work for
radio and television stations and com­
panies that design and manufacture
meteorological instruments and air­
craft and missiles.
In addition to civilian meteorolo­
gists, thousands of members of the
Armed Forces do forecasting and oth­
er meteorological work.

average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s. Little or no growth in
employment is expected in the Na­
tional W eather Service, which em­
ploys about half of all meteorologists.
Most new jobs will be created in pri­
vate industry as more organizations
recognize the value of private weather
forecasting and meteorological serv­
ices. Nevertheless, most of the job
openings in this very small occupation
will arise from the need to replace
those who transfer to other occupa­
tions or leave the labor force. Persons
with an advanced degree in meteorol­
ogy should have the best job pros­

Training, Other Qualifications, and

The average salary for meteorologists
employed by the Federal Government
was $39,400 in 1984. In early 1985,
meteorologists in the Federal Govern­
ment with a bachelor’s degree and no
experience received starting salaries
of $14,390 or $17,824 a year, depend­
ing on their college grades. Those
with a m aster’s degree could start at
$17,824 or $21,804; those with the
Ph.D. degree, at $26,381 or $31,619.


A meteorologist records weather data.
er weather phenomena. Other meteo­
rologists, known as climatologists,
study trends in climate and analyze
past records of wind, rainfall, sun­
shine, and temperature to determine
the general pattern of weather that
makes up an area’s climate. These
studies are used to plan heating and
cooling systems, design buildings, and
aid in effective land utilization.

Working Conditions
Jobs in weather stations, most of
which operate around the clock 7 days
a week, often involve night work and
rotating shifts. Most stations are at
airports or in or near cities; some are
in isolated and remote areas. Meteo­
rologists in smaller weather stations
generally work alone; in larger ones,
they work as part of a team.

Meteorologists held about 5,500 jobs
in 1984. In addition, about 1,000 per­
sons held meteorology faculty posi­
tions in colleges and universities. (See
the statement on college and universi­
ty faculty elsewhere in the Hand­
The largest employer of civilian me­
teorologists is the National Weather
Service, where about 1,800 work at
stations in all parts of the United
States and in a small number of for­
eign areas. The Department of De­
fense employs over 200 civilian mete­
Digitized for orologists. A few work for State and

A bachelor’s degree with a major in
meteorology is the usual minimum
requirem ent for beginning jobs in
weather forecasting. However, em­
ployers prefer to hire those with an
advanced degree, and an advanced
degree is increasingly necessary for
For research and college teaching
and for many top level positions in
other meteorological activities, an ad­
vanced degree, preferably in meteo­
rology, is essential. People with grad­
uate degrees in other sciences also
may qualify if they have advanced
courses in m eteorology, physics,
mathematics, and chemistry.
Over 100 colleges and universities
offer degrees in meteorology. In addi­
tion, some departments of physics,
earth science, or geophysics also offer
many atmospheric science and related
courses. Before selecting a degree
program in m eteorology, students
should investigate the particular em­
phasis of the program, since many
meteorology programs are combined
with the study of a related scientific or
engineering field.
Beginning meteorologists often start
in jobs involving routine data collec­
tion, computation, or analysis and are
given more difficult assignments as
they gain experience. Experienced
meteorologists may advance to vari­
ous supervisory or adm inistrative
jobs. A few meteorologists establish
their own weather consulting serv­

Job Outlook
Employment of meteorologists is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations con­
cerned with the physical environment
include foresters and conservation
scientists, geologists and geophysi­
cists, and environmental engineers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on career opportunities in
meteorology is available from:
American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon
St., Boston, Mass. 02108.

For facts about job opportunities
with the National W eather Service,
National Weather Service/Personnel, 1-RAS/
DC23, Rockville, Md. 20782.

Physicists and
(D .O .T. 021.067-010, 023.061-010, -014, and .067-010)

Nature of the Work
The flight of the space shuttle, the
accuracy of advanced medical instru­
ments, and even the safety of the
family car depend on research by
physicists. Through systematic obser­
vation and experimentation, physi­
cists use mathematical terms to de­

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/85
scribe the structure and behavior of
the universe and the interaction of
matter and energy. Physicists also de­
velop theories that describe the fun­
damental forces and laws of nature.
Determining the basic laws governing
phenomena such as gravity, electro­
magnetism, and nuclear interactions
leads to discoveries and innovations
that advance nuclear energy, elec­
tronics, communications, aerospace
technology, and medical instrumenta­
Astronomy is usually considered a
subfield of physics. Astronomers use
the principles of physics and mathe­
matics to answer questions about the
fundamental nature of the universe,
such as its origin and history and the
evolution of the solar system.
Most physicists work in research
and development. Some do basic re­
search to increase scientific knowl­
edge. For example, they investigate
the structure of the atom or the nature
of gravity. The equipment that physi­
cists design for their research can of­
ten be applied to other areas. For
example, lasers (devices that amplify
light and emit it in a highly directional,
intense beam) are used in surgery;
microwave devices are used for ov­
ens; and measurement techniques and
instruments can detect the kind and
number of cells in blood or the amount
of mercury or lead in foods.
Many physicists conduct applied
research and help develop new devic­
es, products, and processes. For in­
stance, their knowledge of solid-state
physics led to the development of
transistors and then to the integrated
circuits used in calculators and com­
puters. A small number work in in­
spection, testing, quality control, and
other production-related jobs in in­
dustry. Some do consulting work.
Almost all astronomers do research.
Most of their time is spent analyzing
the large quantities of data collected
by their own and others’ observations
and writing scientific papers on the
results of their research. Most astron­
omers spend only a few weeks each
year making observations with tele­
scopes, radio telescopes, and other
instruments (some in orbiting satel­
lites) that can detect electromagnetic
radiation from distant sources. Con­
trary to the popular image, astrono­
mers alm ost never actually look
through a telescope because photo­
graphic and electronic radiation de­

tecting equipment is more effective
than the human eye.
Most physicists specialize in one or
more branches of the science—ele­
m entary-particle physics; nuclear
physics; atomic, electron, or molecu­
lar physics; physics of condensed
matter; optics; acoustics; health phys­
ics; plasma physics; and the physics
of fluids. Some specialize in a subdi­
vision of one of these branches. For
example, subdivisions of solid-state
physics include superconductivity,
crystallography, and semiconductors.
However, since all physics involves
the same fundamental principles, sev­
eral specialties may overlap, and in
the course of their careers physicists
frequently switch from one subfield to
Growing numbers of physicists are
specializing in fields such as biophys­
ics, chemical physics, and geophysics
in which physics and a related science
are combined. Furthermore, the prac­
tical applications of physicists’ work
increasingly have merged with engi­

Working Conditions
Physicists generally work regular
hours in laboratories, classrooms, and
offices. Most physicists do not en­
counter unusual hazards in their work.
Some physicists need to travel to use
national or international facilities such
as particle accelerators, and astrono­
mers who make observations may
need to travel to observatories, which
are usually in remote locations, and
frequently work at night.

centrations and large college and uni­
versity enrollments.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Graduate training in physics or a
closely related field is almost essential
for most entry level jobs in physics
and for advancement. The doctorate
usually is required for full faculty sta­
tus at colleges and universities and for
industrial or government jobs direct­
ing research and development pro­
grams. A doctorate is also the usual
requirement for a job in astronomy.
Those having m aster’s degrees may
qualify for some research jobs in pri­
vate industry and in the Federal Gov­
ernment as well as for teaching jobs in
2-year colleges. In universities, most
teach and assist in research while
studying for their Ph.D.
Those having bachelor’s degrees
may qualify for a few applied research
and development jobs in private in­
dustry and in the Federal Govern­
ment. Some are employed as research
or teaching assistants in colleges and
universities while studying for ad­
vanced degrees. Many with under­
graduate physics degrees work in en­
gineering and other scientific fields.
(See statements on engineers, geolo­
gists and geophysicists, programmers,
and systems analysts elsewhere in the
About 750 colleges and universities
offer a bachelor’s degree in physics.

Physicists held almost 20,000 jobs in
1984. In addition, almost an equal
number of persons held physics facul­
ty positions in colleges and universi­
ties. (See the statement on college and
university faculty elsewhere in the
H andbook.) The Federal Govern­
ment, mostly the Departments of De­
fense and Commerce, employed about
3 out of 10 physicists. About a quarter
worked for independent research and
developm ent laboratories. O thers
worked for electrical equipment man­
ufacturers, noncommercial research
laboratories, engineering services
firms, and colleges and universities as
nonfaculty researchers.
Although physicists are employed
in all parts of the country, most are in
areas that have heavy industrial con­

A physicist adjusts equipment to be used
in an experiment.

86/Occupational Outlook Handbook
The undergraduate program provides
a broad background in the science and
serves as a base for later specializa­
tion either in graduate school or on
the job. Some typical physics courses
are m echanics, electrom agnetism ,
electronics, optics, thermodynamics,
and atomic and molecular physics.
Students also take many courses in
About 250 colleges and universities
offer advanced degrees in physics. In
graduate school, the student, with fac­
ulty guidance, usually works in a spe­
cific subfield of physics. Graduate stu­
dents, especially candidates for Ph.D.
degrees, spend a large portion of their
time conducting research.
About 70 universities offer the
Ph.D. degree in astronomy. These
programs include advanced courses in
astronomy, physics, and mathemat­
ics. Some schools require that gradu­
ate students spend several months
working at an observatory. The usual
qualification for entrance to a gradu­
ate program in astronomy is a bache­
lor’s degree in astronomy, physics, or
mathematics with a physics minor.
Students planning a career in phys­
ics should have an inquisitive mind,
mathematical ability, and imagina­
tion. They should be able to work on
their own, since physicists, particular­
ly in basic research, often receive
only limited supervision.
Physicists, especially those who
hold less than a Ph.D., often begin
their careers doing routine laboratory
tasks. After some experience, they
are assigned more complex tasks and
may advance to work as project lead­
ers or research directors. Some work
in top management jobs. Physicists
who develop new products or pro­
cesses sometimes form their own com­

panies or join new firms to exploit
their own ideas.

Job Outlook
Employment of physicists is expected
to grow more slowly than the average
for all occupations through the mid1990’s. Most job openings will arise as
physicists transfer to other occupa­
tions or leave the occupation for other
reasons. Despite projected slower
than average growth, employment op­
portunities may improve if the num­
ber of graduate degrees in physics
awarded to U.S. citizens continues to
decline. Some with advanced degrees
in physics will be needed to teach in
colleges and universities, but opportu­
nities will be better in private indus­
Many physicists work in research
and development (R&D). The antici­
pated increase in R&D expenditures
through 1995 should result in in­
creased employment for physicists. If
actual R&D expenditure levels and
patterns differ significantly from those
assumed, however, the outlook would
be altered.
Persons with only a bachelor’s de­
gree in physics are not qualified to
enter most physicist jobs. However,
many with bachelor’s degrees in phys­
ics find jobs as engineers, technicians,
or computer specialists. Others be­
come high school physics teachers.
However, they are usually regarded
as teachers rather than as physicists.
(See the statem ent on secondary
school teachers elsew here in the

Starting salaries for physicists in pri­
vate industry averaged about $30,000
a year in 1984 for those with a mas­
ter’s degree, according to an Ameri­

can Institute of Physics survey of de­
gree recipients; for those with a Ph.D.,
Depending on their college records,
physicists with a bachelor’s degree
could start in the Federal Government
in early 1985 at either $14,390 or
$17,824 a year. Beginning physicists
having a m aster’s degree could start at
$17,824 or $21,804, and those having
the Ph.D . degree could begin at
$26,381 or $31,619. Average earnings
for all physicists in the Federal Gov­
ernment in 1984 were $43,400 a year.
Starting salaries for physics college
and university faculty with the Ph.D.
averaged $25,000 in 1984, according
to the American Institute of Physics.
(See the statement on college and uni­
versity teachers elsew here in the
Handbook.) Many faculty physicists
supplement their regular incomes by
working as consultants and taking on
special research projects.

Related Occupations
Physics is closely related to other sci­
entific occupations such as chemistry,
geology, and geophysics. Engineers
and engineering and science techni­
cians also use a knowledge of the
principles of physics in their work.

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

For a
tion on
send 25

pamphlet containing informa­
careers in astronomy and on
offering training in the field,
cents to:

Dr. Charles R. Tolbert, Education Officer,
American Astronomical Society, Astronomy
Dept., University of Virginia, Box 3818 Univer­
sity Station, Charlottesville, Va. 22903.

Life Scientists
Life scientists study living organisms
and their life processes, such as
growth, reproduction, and behavior.
They apply knowledge gained from
research to specific goals such as the
development of drugs, special varie­
ties of plants, and ways of maintaining
a cleaner environment. They are con­
cerned with the origin, preservation,
and development of life, from the larg­
est animal to the smallest living cell.
Biological scientists study the basic
life processes of plants and animals,
and agricultural scientists apply their
knowledge of biology to agricultural
problems. Foresters and conservation
scientists use their knowledge of life
science to manage and conserve the
natural resources of forests, rangelands, and soil. Detailed information
about training requirements and job
outlook in these occupations appears
in the three statements that follow.

(D.O.T. 040.061-010, -014, -018, -038, -042, and -058;
041.061-014, -018, -046, and -082)

Nature of the Work
The work done by agricultural scien­
tists has played an important part in
making American agriculture the most
productive in the world. Agricultural
scientists study farm crops and ani­
mals and develop ways of improving
their quantity and quality. They look
for ways to increase yields with less
labor, control pests and weeds more
effectively, and conserve soil and wa­
ter. Agricultural science is closely re­
lated to biological science in that both
involve the study of living organisms;
agricultural scientists then apply this
knowledge to solving practical prob­
lems in agriculture.
A high proportion of all agricultural
scientists manage or administer re­
search and development projects or
marketing or production operations in
companies that produce agricultural
chemicals or machinery. Many do re­
search and development. Some spend
most of their time in laboratories, but

some in research and development
spend much of their time working
with plants and animals in the field.
Some agricultural scientists work as
consultants to business firms or to
Agricultural scientists usually spe­
cialize in one of the following areas.
Agronomists (D.O.T. 040.061-010) are
concerned with the growth and im­
provement of field crops. They im­
prove the quality and yield of crops
such as corn, wheat, and cotton by
developing new growth methods or by
controlling diseases, pests, and weeds.
Some agronomists may specialize in a
particular crop or crop problem.
Animal scientists (D.O.T. 040.061014) do research on the breeding,
feeding, and diseases of domestic
farm animals.
Dairy scientists (D.O.T. 040.061018) and poultry scientists (D.O.T.
040.061- 042) conduct research on the
breeding, feeding, and management of
dairy cattle and poultry.
H orticulturists (D.O.T. 040.061038) work with orchard and garden
plants such as fruit and nut trees,
vegetables, and flowers. They seek to
improve plant culture methods for the
beautification of communities, homes,
parks, and other areas as well as for
increasing crop quality and yields.
Soil scientists (D.O.T. 040.061-058)
study soil characteristics, map soil
types, and determine the best types of
crops for each soil. They study the
responses of various types of soils to
fertilizers, tillage practices, crop rota­
tion, and other actions which affect
the soil.
Animal breeders (D.O.T. 041.061014) and plant breeders (D .O .T.
041.061- 082) breed plants and animals
to develop and improve their econom­
ic and esthetic characteristics.
Entom ologists (D.O.T. 041.061046) study insects and their relation to
plant and animal life.
Apiculturists (D.O.T. 041.061-018)
study the culture and breeding of bees.

Working Conditions
Agricultural scientists generally work
regular hours in offices and laborato­

ries. Some agricultural scientists
spend much time outdoors conducting
research on farms or agricultural re­
search stations.

Agricultural scientists held about
20.000 jobs in 1984. In addition, about
17.000 persons held agricultural sci­
ence faculty positions in colleges and
universities in 1984. (See the state­
ment on college and university faculty
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Almost half of all agricultural scien­
tists work for Federal, State, or local
g o v e rn m e n ts. A bout 15 p e rc e n t
worked for the Federal Government
in 1984, mostly in the Department of
Agriculture. Large numbers worked
for State governments at State agri­
cultural colleges or agricultural re­
search stations. Some work for agri­
cultural service companies; others
work for fertilizer companies, seed
companies, and wholesale distribu­
tion companies. Over 2,000 agricul­
tural scientists were self-employed in
1984, mainly as consultants.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training requirements for agricultural
scientists depend on the specialty and
the type of work performed. A Ph.D.
degree in an agricultural science spe­
cialty is usually required for college
teaching, independent research, and
for advancement to many administra­
tive and management jobs. A m aster’s
degree is sufficient for some jobs in
applied research. A bachelor’s degree
is adequate preparation for some jobs
in sa le s, in s p e c tio n , and o th e r
nonresearch areas, but, in some cas­
es, promotions may be limited for
those who hold no higher degree.
Those who hold degrees in related
sciences such as biology, chemistry,
or physics also may enter some agri­
cultural science jobs.
All States have at least one landgrant college which offers agricultural
science curriculums. Many other col­
leges and universities also offer some
kind of agricultural science courses.
Since some schools may not offer all
specialties, students should investi87

88/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Employment opportunities in agri­
cultural science for those with only a
bachelor’s degree are limited. Howev­
er, a bachelor’s degree in agricultural
science is useful for occupations such
as farmer or farm manager, Coopera­
tive Extension Services worker, agri­
cultural products inspector, techni­
cian, or purchasing agent for agricul­
tural commodities, or for employment
in businesses that deal with farmers
such as fertilizer or seed companies or
farm equipment manufacturers.

For information on careers in horti­
cultural science, send a stamped, selfaddressed envelope to:
American Society for Horticultural Science,
701 North Saint Asaph St., Alexandria, Va.

Information on Federal job oppor­
tunities is available from local offices
of State employment services and the
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
or from Federal Job Information Cen­
ters located in various large cities
throughout the country.


Agricultural scientists develop ways of im­
proving crop quantity and quality.
gate carefully the course offerings of
the schools they are considering. Re­
quirements for advanced degrees usu­
ally include fieldwork and laboratory
research as well as classroom studies
and preparation of a thesis based on
independent research.
Agricultural scientists should be
able to work independently or as part
of a team and must be able to commu­
nicate their findings clearly and con­
cisely, both orally and in writing.
Agricultural scientists who have ad­
vanced degrees usually begin in re­
search or teaching jobs. With experi­
ence, they may advance to jobs such
as supervisors of research programs.

Job Outlook
Employment of agricultural scientists
is expected to grow about as fast as
the av erag e fo r all o c c u p atio n s
through the mid-1990’s. In addition to
jobs arising from growth in demand
for agricultural scientists, many open­
ings will occur as workers transfer to
other occupations or leave the occu­
pation for other reasons.
Many agricultural scientists are sup­
ported by Federal funding, which is
not expected to grow, but employ­
ment of agricultural scientists in­
volved in research may grow rapidly
in private industry as advances such
as recombinant DNA being made in
biotechnology are applied to agricul­
Digitized for ture.

According to the College Placement
Council, beginning salary offers for
agricultural scientists with a bache­
lor’s degree averaged $17,000 a year
in 1984.
In the Federal Government in 1985,
agricultural scientists with a bache­
lor’s degree could start at $14,390 or
$17,824 a year, depending on their
college records. Those having a mas­
ter’s degree could start at $17,824 or
$21,804, depending on their academic
records or work experience; and those
with a Ph.D. degree could begin at
$26,381 or $31,619 a year. Agricultur­
al scientists in the Federal Govern­
ment averaged about $33,600 a year in

Related Occupations
The work of agricultural scientists is
closely related to that of biologists as
well as to other natural scientists such
as chemists and physicists. It is also
related to agricultural production oc­
cupations such as farmer and farm
manager and to Cooperative Exten­
sion Services workers as well as to
foresters and conservation scientists.
Certain specialties of agricultural sci­
ence are also related to other occupa­
tions. For example, the work of ani­
mal scientists is related to that of
veterinarians; horticulturists, to land­
scape architects; and soil scientists, to
soil conservationists.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on careers in agricultural
science is available from:
Science and Education Higher Education Pro­
grams, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ad­
ministration Building, 14th St. and Indepen­
dence Ave. SW., Washington, D.C. 20250.
American Society of Agronomy, 677 S. Segoe
Rd., Madison, Wis. 53711.
Crop Science Society of America, 677 S. Segoe
Rd., Madison, Wis. 53711.
Soil Science Society of America, 677 S. Segoe
Rd., Madison, Wis. 53711.

Biological Scientists
(D.O.T. 041.061, except -010, -014, -018, -046, -054,
-070, -074, and -082)

Nature of the Work
Biological scientists study all aspects
of living organisms and the relation­
ship of animals and plants to their
environment. Although many special­
ize in some area such as ornithology
(the study of birds) or microbiology
(the study of microscopic organisms),
all have in common the study of life.
Many biological scientists are pri­
marily involved in research and devel­
opment. Some conduct basic research
to increase knowledge of living orga­
nisms. Others in applied research use
this knowledge in activities such as
developing new medicines, increasing
crop yields, and improving the envi­
ronment. Those working in laborato­
ries must be familiar with research
techniques and the use of laboratory
equipment and computers. Much re­
search, however, is performed out­
side of laboratories. For example, a
botanist may do research in the vol­
canic valleys of Alaska to see what
plants grow there.
Other biological scientists work in
management or administration, for
example planning and administering
programs for testing foods and drugs
and directing activities at zoos or bo­
tanical gardens. Some work as con­
sultants to business firms or to gov­
ernment, while others test and inspect
foods, drugs, and other products or
write for technical publications. Some
work in sales and service jobs for
companies manufacturing chemicals
or other technical products. (See the
statements on m anufacturers’ sales
representatives and wholesale trade
sales workers elsewhere in the Hand­
Recently, advances in basic biolog­

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/89
ical knowledge, especially in genetics,
have resulted in a new field called
biotechnology which involves recom­
bining the genetic material of animals
or plants, enabling them to do things
they couldn’t do before. For example,
the human gene that codes for the
production of insulin has been insert­
ed into bacteria, causing them to pro­
duce human insulin. This insulin, used
by diabetics, is much purer than insu­
lin from animals, the only previous
source. Biotechnology has opened up
many new research opportunities and
commercial applications of biological
science. An increasing portion of the
world’s drugs, food, and chemicals
will probably be produced using
biotechnology processes, which may
lead to major medical advances.
Most biological scientists who come
under the broad category of biologist
(D.O.T. 041.061-030) are further clas­
sified by the type of organism they
study or by the specific activity they
Biochemists (D.O.T. 041.061-026)
study the chemical composition of liv­
ing things. They try to understand the
complex chemical combinations and
reactions involved in metabolism, re­
production, growth, and heredity.
Botanists (D.O.T. 041.061-038) deal
primarily with plants and their envi­
ronment. Some study all aspects of
plant life, while others specialize in
areas such as identification and clas­
sification of plants, the structure and
function of various plant parts, the
biochemistry of plant processes, and
the causes and cures of plant diseases.
Microbiologists (D.O.T. 041.061058) investigate the growth and char­
acteristics of microscopic organisms
such as bacteria, viruses, and molds.
Medical microbiologists study the re­
lationship between bacteria and dis­
ease or the effect of antibiotics on
bacteria. Other microbiologists spe­
cialize in soil bacteriology (the effect
of microorganisms on soil fertility),
virology (viruses), or immunology
(mechanisms that fight infections).
Physiologists (D.O.T. 041.061-078)
study life functions of plants and ani­
mals under normal and abnormal con­
ditions. Physiologists may specialize
in functions such as growth, repro­
duction, photosynthesis, respiration,
or movement, or in the physiology of
a certain area or system of the body.
Zoologists (D.O.T. 041.061-090)
study various aspects of animals—
their origin, behavior, diseases, and

life processes. Some experiment with
live animals in controlled or natural
surroundings while others dissect
dead animals to study their structure.
Zoologists are usually identified by
the animal group studied—ornitholo­
gists (birds), mammalogists (mam­
mals), herpetologists (reptiles), and
ichthyologists (fish).
Some biological scientists apply
their knowledge to a number of areas
and may be classified by the functions
performed. Ecologists, for example,
study the relationship between orga­
nisms and their environments and the
effects of influences such as pollut­
ants, rainfall, temperature, and alti­
tude on organisms. For example, ecol­
ogists examine plankton (microscopic

water plants and animals) and mea­
sure the radioactive content of fish to
determine the effects of pollution.
Agricultural scientists, who may
also be classified as biological scien­
tists, are included in a separate state­
ment elsewhere in the Handbook.

Working Conditions
Biological scientists generally work
regular hours in offices, laboratories,
or classrooms and usually are not ex­
posed to unsafe or unhealthy condi­
tions. However, some work with dan­
gerous organisms or toxic substances
in the laboratory. They could be ex­
posed if safety procedures are not
followed. Many biological scientists
such as botanists, ecologists, and zo-

Biological scientists study all aspects of living organisms.

90/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ologists take field trips which involve
strenuous physical activity and prim­
itive living conditions.

Biological scientists held over 54,000
jobs in 1984. In addition, an almost
equal number of persons held biology
faculty positions in colleges and uni­
versities. (See the statement on col­
lege and university faculty elsewhere
in the Handbook.)
Over one-third of all biological sci­
entists worked in private industry,
mostly in commercial research and
developm ent laboratories and the
pharmaceutical, chemical, and food
industries. About one-tenth worked in
nonteaching positions in colleges and
universities, and others worked for
nonprofit research organizations and
foundations or hospitals.
Over one-quarter worked for the
Federal Government, mainly in the
Departments of Agriculture, Interior,
and Defense, and in the National In­
stitutes of Health. State and local gov­
ernments employed about 1 in 6. A
few were self-employed.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The Ph.D. degree generally is re­
quired for college teaching, indepen­
dent research, and for advancement
to administrative research positions
and other management jobs. A mas­
ter’s degree is sufficient for some jobs
in applied research. The bachelor’s
degree is adequate preparation for
some beginning jobs, but promotions
often are limited for those who hold
no higher degree. Some new gradu­
ates with a bachelor’s degree start
their careers as biological scientists in
testing and inspecting jobs, or get jobs
related to biological science such as
technical sales or service representa­
tives. They also can become senior
biology technicians, medical laborato­
ry technologists and technicians or,
with courses in education, high school
biology teachers. (See the statement
on secondary school teachers else­
where in the Handbook.) Many with a
bachelor’s degree in biology enter
medical, dental, veterinary, or other
health profession schools. Some enter
a wide range of occupations with little
or no connection to biology.
Most colleges and universities offer
bachelor’s degrees in biological sci­
ence and many offer advanced de­
grees. Curriculums for advanced de­

grees in biological science often em­
phasize a particular area of biological
science such as microbiology or bota­
ny because it is almost impossible to
gain a detailed knowledge of all areas
of biological science. Not all universi­
ties offer all curriculums. Require­
ments for advanced degrees usually
include fieldwork and laboratory re­
search as well as classroom studies
and preparation of a thesis. Biological
scientists who have advanced degrees
usually begin in research or teaching
jobs. With experience, they may ad­
vance to jobs such as supervisors of
research programs.
Prospective biological scientists
should be able to work independently
or as part of a team and must be able
to communicate their findings clearly
and concisely, both orally and in writ­
ing. Biological scientists conducting
field research in remote areas must
have physical stamina.

Job Outlook
Employment of biological scientists is
expected to increase about as fast as
the average for all o c c u p atio n s
through the mid-1990’s due to recent
advances in genetic research that
could lead to new drugs, improved
plants, and medical discoveries. Ad­
vances in biotechnology should result
in many additional research jobs for
biological scientists in private indus­
try; additional jobs also are likely to
be created by the production., by bio­
logical methods, of products which
are presently made by chemical or
other methods. Efforts to preserve the
environment should also result in
growth. Employment of biologists is
expected to grow slowly in govern­
ment. In addition to jobs arising from
growth in demand for biological scien­
tists, job openings will occur as some
biological scientists transfer to other
occupations or leave the labor force.
Employment opportunities for bio­
logical scientists are expected to be
better for those with advanced de­
grees, but the employment outlook
will vary by specialty. Those who
have the ability to do research related
to the genetic, cellular, and biochem­
ical areas of biology should experi­
ence better employment opportunities
than those in other specialties. How­
ever, many persons with a bachelor’s
degree in biological science find jobs
as science or engineering technicians
or medical laboratory technologists.
Some become high school biology

teachers. However, they are usually
regarded as teachers rather than biol­
Biological scientists rarely lose their
jobs during recessions, since most are
em ployed on long-term research
projects or in agriculture, activities
which are not much affected by eco­
nomic fluctuations.

According to the College Placement
Council, beginning salary offers in pri­
vate industry in 1984 averaged $16,800
a year for bachelor’s degree recipients
in biological science.
In the Federal Government in 1985,
biological scientists having a bache­
lor’s degree could begin at $14,390 or
$17,824 a year, depending on their
college records. Those having the
m aster’s degree could start at $17,824
or $21,804, depending on their aca­
demic records or work experience;
those having the Ph.D. degree could
begin at $26,318 or $31,619 a year.
Biological scientists in the Federal
Government averaged $35,500 a year
in 1984.

Related Occupations
Many occupations are related in some
way to the work of biological scien­
tists since they deal with living orga­
nisms. These include the conservation
occupations of forester, forestry tech­
nician, range manager, and soil con­
servationist, as well as agricultural
scientist, soil scientist, oceanogra­
pher, and life science technician. The
wide array of health occupations are
all related to those in the biological
sciences, as are occupations dealing
with raising plants and animals such
as farmer and farm worker, florist,
and nursery worker.

Sources of Additional Information
General information on careers in bi­
ological science is available from:
American Institute of Biological Sciences, 1401
Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va. 22209.
American Physiological Society, Membership
Services Dept., 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda,
Md. 20814.
Dr. David L. Dilcher, Secretary, Botanical So­
ciety of America, Dept, of Biology, Indiana
University, Bloomington, Ind. 47405.
American Society of Zoologists, P.O. Box
2739, California Lutheran College, Thousand
Oaks, Calif. 91360.

For information on careers in bio­
chemistry, contact:
American Society of Biological Chemists, 9650
Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Md. 20814.

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/91
For information on careers in micro­
biology, contact:
American Society for Microbiology, 1913 I St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20006.

Information on Federal job oppor­
tunities is available from local offices
of State employment services and the
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
or from Federal Job Information Cen­
ters located in various large cities
throughout the country.

Foresters and

season for grazing. At the same time,
however, they try to conserve the soil
and vegetation for other uses such as
wildlife habitats and outdoor recrea­
Soil conservationists provide tech­
nical assistance to farmers, ranchers,
and others concerned with the conser­
vation of soil, water, and related nat­
ural resources. They develop pro­
grams that are designed to get the
most productive use of land without
damaging it. Soil conservationists do
most of their work in the field. Con­
servationists visit areas with erosion

problems, find the source of the prob­
lem, and develop programs to combat
Foresters and conservation scien­
tists often specialize in one area of
work, such as timber management,
outdoor recreation, or forest econom­

Working Conditions
Working conditions for foresters and
conservation scientists vary consider­
ably. Their image as solitary horse­
back riders singlehandedly protecting
large areas of land far from civiliza-

(D.O.T. 040.061-030, -034, -046, -050, -054, and -062;
.261; 049.127; and 169.167-022)

Nature of the Work
Forests and rangelands serve a varie­
ty of needs: They provide habitats for
wildlife, serve as sites for recreational
activities, and supply lumber, live­
stock forage, minerals, and water.
Foresters and conservation scientists
manage, develop, and help protect
these and other natural resources.
Foresters plan and supervise the
growing, protection, and harvesting of
trees. They map forest areas, estimate
the amount of standing timber and
future growth, and manage timber
sales. Foresters also protect the trees
from fire, harmful insects, and dis­
ease. Some foresters also protect
wildlife and manage watersheds; de­
velop and supervise camps, parks,
and grazing lands; and do research.
Foresters in extension work provide
information to forest owners and to
the general public.
Range managers, also called range
conservationists, range ecologists, or
range scientists, manage, improve,
and protect rangelands to maximize
their use without damaging the envi­
ronment. Rangelands cover more than
1 billion acres of the United States,
mostly in the W estern States and
Alaska. They contain many natural
resources: Grass and shrubs for ani­
mal grazing, wildlife habitats, water
from vast watersheds, recreation fa­
cilities, and valuable mineral and en­
ergy resources. Rangelands also serve
as areas for scientific study of the
environment. Range managers help
ranchers attain optimum livestock
production by determining the num­
ber and kind of animals to graze, the
grazing system to use, and the best

Foresters protect trees from harmful insects and disease.

92/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tion no longer holds true. Modern
foresters and conservation scientists
spend a great deal of time working
with people. They deal regularly with
landowners, loggers, forestry techni­
cians and aides, farmers, and ranch­
The work can still be physically
demanding, though. Many foresters
and conservation scientists often work
outdoors in all kinds of w eather,
sometimes in remote areas. To get to
these areas, they use airplanes, heli­
copters, four-wheel drive vehicles,
and horses. Foresters and conserva­
tion scientists also may work long
hours fighting fires or on search-andrescue missions.

Foresters and conservation scientists
held more than 25,000 jobs in 1984.
Over one-half worked for the Federal
Government, primarily in the Depart­
ment of Agriculture. About one-fifth
worked for State governments. The
remainder worked in private industry,
mainly for lumber, paper, and logging
companies, and for local governments
and consulting firms. A few were selfemployed either as consultants or for­
est owners.
Most soil conservationists work for
the Federal Government, mainly with
the Department of Agriculture’s Soil
Conservation Service.
Although foresters and conserva­
tion scientists work in every State,
employment is concentrated in the
W estern and S outheastern States
where many national forests and parks
are located and where most of the
lumber and pulpwood producing for­
ests are located. Range managers
work almost entirely in the Western
States where most of the rangeland is
located. Soil conservationists, on the
other hand, are employed in almost
every county in the country.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree in forestry is the
minimum educational requirement for
professional careers in forestry. How­
ever, due to keen job competition and
the increasingly complex nature of the
forester’s work, many employers pre­
fer graduates who hold advanced de­
grees. Certain jobs such as teaching
and research require advanced de­
In 1984, about 50 colleges and uni­
versities offered bachelor’s or higher

degrees in forestry; 46 of these were
accredited by the Society of American
Foresters. Curriculums stress the lib­
eral arts and communications skills as
well as technical forestry subjects.
Courses in forest economics and bus­
iness administration supplement the
stu d e n t’s scientific and technical
knowledge. Many colleges require
students to spend one summer in a
field camp operated by the college. All
schools encourage summer jobs that
give experience in forest or conserva­
tion work.
A bachelor’s degree in range man­
agement or range science is the usual
minimum educational requirement for
range managers. Graduate degrees in
range management generally are re­
quired for teaching and research posi­
tions and may be helpful for advance­
ment in other jobs. In 1984, about 35
colleges and universities offered de­
grees in range management or range
science. A number of other schools
offered some courses in range man­
agement. Specialized range manage­
ment courses combine plant, animal,
and soil sciences with principles of
ecology and resource management.
Desirable electives include econom­
ics, forestry, hydrology, agronomy,
wildlife, animal husbandry, computer
science, and recreation.
Very few colleges and universities
offer degrees in soil conservation.
Most soil conservationists have de­
grees in agronomy, agricultural edu­
cation, or general agriculture; a few
have degrees in related fields such as
wildlife biology, forestry, and range
management. Programs of study gen­
erally include 30 semester hours in
natural resources or agriculture, in­
cluding at least 3 hours in soils.
In addition to meeting the intellec­
tual demands of forestry and conser­
vation work, foresters and conserva­
tion scientists must enjoy working
outdoors, be physically hardy, and be
willing to move—often to remote plac­
es. They must also be able to work
well with people and have good com­
munication skills.
Recent forestry and range manage­
ment graduates usually work under
the supervision of experienced forest­
ers or range managers. After gaining
experience, they may advance to more
responsible positions. In the Federal
Government, an experienced forester
may supervise an entire forest area,
and may advance to regional forest
supervisor or to a top administrative

position. In private industry, foresters
start by learning the practical and ad­
ministrative aspects of the business.
Many foresters work their way up to
top managerial positions within their
Soil conservationists usually begin
working within one county or conser­
vation district and with experience
may advance to the area and State
level. Also, soil conservationists can
transfer to related occupations such
as farm management advisors or land

Job Outlook
Employment of foresters and conser­
vation scientists is expected to grow
more slowly than the average for all
occupations through the mid-1990’s.
Employment should continue to grow
faster in private industry than in Fed­
eral and State governments, where
budget limitations are likely to re­
strain growth. More foresters and
range managers will be needed in pri­
vate industry to ensure an increasing
output from forests and rangelands.
Also, private owners of timberland
and grazing land are likely to employ
more foresters and range managers as
they recognize the need for—and the
higher profitability of—improved for­
estry, logging, and range management
practices. However, the employment
of soil conservationists is expected to
change little through the mid-1990’s
since the Federal Government, the
major employer, is not expected to
increase its employment of soil con­
servationists. Most job openings for
foresters and conservation scientists
will be created by the need to replace
those who retire or transfer to other

Most graduates entering the Federal
Government as foresters, range man­
agers, or soil conservationists in 1985
with a bachelor’s degree started at
$14,400 a year, although those with
high grades or a m aster’s degree could
start at $17,800. In 1984, the average
Federal salary for foresters was near­
ly $31,000; for range conservationists,
about $26,600; and for soil conserva­
tionists, about $28,100.

Related Occupations
Foresters and conservation scientists
are not the only workers concerned
with managing, developing, and pro­
tecting natural resources. Other work­

Natural Scientists and Mathematicians/93
ers with similar responsibilities in­
clude agricultural scientists, agricul­
tural engineers, biological scientists,
farmers, farm managers, ranchers,
and wildlife managers.

Sources of Additional Information
General information about the forest­
ry profession and lists of schools of­
fering education in forestry are avail­
able from:

Society of American Foresters, 5400 Grosvenor
Lane, Bethesda, Md. 20814.
American Forestry Association, 1319 18th St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Information about a career as a
range manager as well as a list of
schools offering training is available
Society for Range Management, 2760 W. 5th
Ave., Denver, Colo. 80204.

For information about career op­

portunities in the Federal Govern­
ment, contact:
Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Depart­
ment of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agri­
culture, P.O. Box 2417, Washington, D.C.
Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of
Agriculture, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, D.C.

Social Scientists, Social W orkers,
Religious Workers, and Lawyers
Many of the workers described in this
section of the Handbook are con­
cerned with the social needs of peo­
ple. For example, clinical psycholo­
gists help the mentally or emotionally
disturbed adjust to life through behav­
ior modification programs and other
techniques. Social workers in a wide
range of settings address the needs of
individuals, fam ilies, groups, and
communities. Their work may involve
anything from helping an elderly per­
son adjust to life in a nursing home to
organizing fundraising for community
social welfare activities. Recreation
w orkers help people enjoy their
nonworking hours by organizing ac­
tivities in camps, community centers,
playgrounds, and other settings. Reli­
gious workers counsel people in their
faith and provide spiritual and moral
leadership within their communities.
Lawyers advise clients of their legal
rights and obligations and suggest par­
ticular courses of action in personal
and business matters.
People in these types of jobs must
be tactful, compassionate, and sensi­
tive to the needs of others. Their
manner must inspire trust and confi­
dence. In fact, religious workers, law­
yers, and others are bound by strict
rules of ethics and may not disclose
matters discussed in confidence with
clients. Patience also is a vital person­
al characteristic as clients often are
confused, hesitant, fearful, or angry.
They may not fully understand their
circumstances and may have difficulty
expressing themselves.
Other workers described in this sec­
tion conduct basic and applied re­
search in the social sciences. They
deal primarily with data and things
rather than people. They use estab­
lished methods to assemble a body of
fact and theory that contributes to
human knowledge. Social scientists
investigate all aspects of human soci­
ety—from an anthropologist studying
the origins of the human race or a
historian studying an ancient civiliza­


tion to a political scientist analyzing
the results of Presidential elections or
a market research analyst conducting
a survey of consumer preferences.
Through their studies and analyses,
social scientists help educators, gov­
ernment officials, business executives,
and others to address broad social,
economic, and political questions.
The ability to think logically and
methodically and to analyze data is
essential to social science research.
Other important personal characteris­
tics include objectivity, openminded­
ness, and systematic work habits.
Good oral and written communication
skills also are necessary.
While training and educational re­
quirements vary among the occupa­
tions in this cluster, advanced training
leading to a doctoral or equivalent
professional degree is increasingly
necessary for employment in certain
settings, for “ professional” recogni­
tion, and for advancement. Some po­
sitions for which entry was possible
with a bachelor’s degree now require
a m aster’s degree or suitable experi­
ence. These occupations require more
training than most occupations in the
The Handbook statements that fol­
low include more detailed information
on the nature of the work and training
requirements. Information on employ­
ment, earnings, working conditions,
and job outlook also is presented.

(D .O .T . 110)

Laws affect every aspect of our soci­
ety. They regulate the entire spectrum
of relationships among individuals,
groups, businesses, and governments.
They define rights as well as restric­
tions, covering such diverse activities
as judging and punishing criminals,
granting patents, drawing up business
contracts, paying taxes, settling labor

disputes, constructing buildings, and
administering wills.
Because social needs and attitudes
are continually changing, the legal
system that regulates our social, polit­
ical, and economic relationships also
changes. Lawyers, also called attor­
neys, link the legal system and socie­
ty. To perform this role, they must
understand the world around them
and be sensitive to the numerous as­
pects of society that the law touches.
They must comprehend not only the
words of a particular statute, but the
human circumstances it addresses as
As our laws grow more complex,
the work of lawyers takes on broader
significance. Laws affect our lives in
new ways as the legal system takes on
regulatory tasks in areas such as
transportation, energy conservation,
consum er protection, the environ­
ment, and social welfare. Lawyers
interpret these laws, rulings, and reg­
ulations for individuals and busi­

Nature of the Work
In our society, lawyers act as both
advocates and advisors. As advo­
cates, they represent one of the op­
posing parties in criminal and civil
trials by presenting arguments that
support the client in a court of law. As
advisors, lawyers counsel their clients
as to their legal rights and obligations
and suggest particular courses of ac­
tion in business and personal matters.
W hether acting as advocates or ad­
visors, nearly all attorneys have cer­
tain activities in common. Probably
the most fundamental activities are
the interpretation of the law and its
application to a specific situation.
This requires in-depth research into
the purposes behind the applicable
laws and into judicial decisions that
have applied those laws to circum­
stances similar to those currently
faced by the client. Based on this
research, the attorney helps clients

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/95
decide what actions would best serve
their interests.
A growing number of lawyers are
using computers in legal research.
While all lawyers continue to employ
law libraries to prepare cases, some
supplement their search of the con­
ventional printed sources with com­
puter software packages that automat­
ically search the legal literature and
identify legal texts that may be rele­
vant to a specific subject. In litigation
that involves many supporting docu­
ments, lawyers may also use comput­
ers to organize and index the material.
Tax lawyers are also increasingly us­
ing computers to make tax computa­
tions and explore alternative tax strat­
egies for clients.
Lawyers must deal with people in a
courteous, efficient manner and not
disclose matters discussed in confi­
dence with clients. They hold posi­
tions of great responsibility, and are
obligated to adhere to strict rules of
Finally, most lawyers write reports
or briefs which must communicate
clearly and precisely. The more de­
tailed aspects of a lawyer’s job de­
pend upon his or her field and posi­
While all licensed attorneys are al­
lowed to represent parties in court,
some appear in court more frequently
than others. A few lawyers specialize
in trial work. These lawyers need an
exceptional ability to think quickly
and speak with ease and authority,
and must be thoroughly familiar with
courtroom rules and strategy. Trial
lawyers still spend most of their time
outside the courtroom conducting re­
search, interviewing clients and wit­
nesses, and handling other details in
preparation for trial.
Although most lawyers deal with
many different areas of the law, a
significant number concentrate on one
branch of law, such as admiralty, pro­
bate, or international law. Communi­
cations lawyers, for example, may
represent radio and television stations
in court and in their dealings with the
Federal Communications Commis­
sion. They help established stations
prepare and file license renewal appli­
cations, employment reports, and oth­
er documents required by the FCC on
a regular basis. They also keep their
clients informed of changes in FCC
regulations. Communications lawyers
help individuals or corporations buy

or sell a station or establish a new
Lawyers who represent public util­
ities before the Federal Energy Regu­
latory Commission and other Federal
and State regulatory agencies handle
matters involving utility rates. They
develop strategy, arguments, and tes­
timony; prepare cases for presenta­
tion; and argue the case. These law­
yers also inform clients about changes
in regulations and give advice about
the legality of their actions.
Still other lawyers advise insurance
companies about the legality of insur­
ance transactions. They write insur­
ance policies to conform with the law
and to protect companies from unwar­
ranted claims. They review claims
filed against insurance companies and
represent companies in court.
Lawyers in private practice may
concentrate on areas such as litiga­
tion, wills, trusts, contracts, mortgag­
es, titles, and leases. Some manage a
person’s property as trustee or, as
executor, see that provisions of a cli­
ent’s will are carried out. Others han­
dle only public interest cases—civil or
criminal—which have a potential im­
pact extending well beyond the indi­
vidual client. Attorneys hope to use
these cases as a vehicle for legal and
social reform.
A lawyer may be employed full time
by a single client. If the client is a
corporation, the lawyer is known as
house counsel and usually advises a
company about legal questions that
arise from its business activities.
These questions might involve pat­
ents, government regulations, a busi­
ness contract with another company,
a property interest, or a collective
bargaining agreement with a union.
Attorneys employed at the various
levels of government constitute still
another category. Criminal lawyers
may work for a State attorney gener­
al, a prosecutor or public defender, or
a court. At the Federal level, attor­
neys may investigate cases for the
Department of Justice or other agen­
cies. Lawyers at every government
level help develop laws and programs,
draft and interpret legislation, estab­
lish enforcement procedures, and ar­
gue cases.
Other lawyers work for legal aid
societies—private, nonprofit corpora­
tions established to serve poor people
in particular areas. These lawyers
generally handle civil rather than crim­
inal cases.

A relatively small number of trained
attorneys work in law schools. Most
are faculty members who specialize in
one or more subjects, while others
serve as administrators. Some work
full time in nonacademic settings and
teach part time. (For additional infor­
mation, see the statement on college
and university faculty elsewhere in
the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Lawyers do most of their work in
offices, law libraries, and courtrooms.
They som etim es m eet in clients’
homes or places of business and,
when necessary, in hospitals or pris­
ons. They frequently travel to attend
meetings; to gather evidence; and to
appear before courts, legislative bod­
ies, and other authorities.
Salaried lawyers in government and
private corporations generally have
structured work schedules. Lawyers
in private practice may work irregular
hours while conducting research, con­
ferring with clients, or preparing briefs
during nonoffice hours. Lawyers gen­
erally work long hours and are under
particularly heavy pressure when a
case is being tried. Preparation for
court includes keeping abreast of the
latest laws and judicial decisions.
Although work generally is not sea­
sonal, the work of tax lawyers and
other specialists may be an exception.
Since lawyers in private practice can
determine their own workload, many
stay in practice well beyond the usual
retirement age.
Lawyers held about 490,000 jobs in
1984. About four-fifths of them prac­
ticed privately, either in law firms or
in solo practices. Most of the remain­
ing lawyers held positions in govern­
ment, the majority at the local level.
In the Federal Government, lawyers
are concentrated in the Departments
of Justice, Treasury, and Defense, but
they work for other Federal agencies
as well. Others are employed as house
counsel by public utilities, transporta­
tion firms, banks, insurance compa­
nies, real estate agencies, manufac­
turing firms, welfare and religious or­
ganizations, and other business firms
and nonprofit organizations. Some
salaried lawyers also have indepen­
dent practices; others work as law­
yers part time while in another occu­
Many people trained as attorneys

96/Occupational Outlook Handbook

Lawyers counsel clients on their legal rights and obligations and suggest courses of
are not employed as lawyers; they
work as judges, law clerks, law school
professors, and managers and admin­
istrators and in a variety of other

Training, Other Qualifications, and
To practice law in the courts of any
State, a person must be licensed, or
admitted to its bar, under rules estab­
lished by the State’s supreme court.
Applicants for admission to the bar
must pass a written bar examination;
however, Wisconsin and West Virgin­
ia drop this requirement for graduates
of their own law schools. Most States
also require applicants to pass a sep­
arate w ritten ethics exam ination.
Lawyers who have been admitted to
the bar in one State occasionally may
be admitted in another State without
taking an examination if they meet
that State’s standards of good moral
character and have a specified period
of legal experience. Federal courts
and agencies set their own qualifica­
tions for those practicing before them.
To qualify for the bar examination
in most States, an applicant must
complete at least 3 years of college
and graduate from a law school ap­
proved by the American Bar Associ­

ation (ABA) or the proper State au­
thorities. (ABA approval signifies that
the law school—particularly its li­
brary or faculty—meets certain stan­
dards developed by the association to
promote quality legal education.) In
1984, the American Bar Association
approved 174 law schools. Others
were approved by State authorities
only. With certain exceptions, gradu­
ates of schools not approved by the
ABA generally are restricted to taking
the bar examination and practicing in
the State in which the school is locat­
ed; most of these schools are in Cali­
fornia. Seven States accept the study
of law in a law office or in combination
with study in a law school; only Cali­
fornia accepts the study of law by
correspondence as qualification for
taking the bar examination. Several
States require registration and ap­
proval of students by the State Board
of Law Examiners, either before they
enter law school or during the early
years of legal study.
Although there is no nationwide bar
examination, 46 States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia require the Multi­
state Bar Examination (MBE) as part
of the State bar examination. The
MBE, covering issues of broad inter­
est, is given in addition to a locally

prepared part of the State bar exami­
nation. States vary in their treatment
of MBE scores.
The required college and law school
education usually takes 7 years of
full-time study after high school—4
years of undergraduate study fol­
lowed by 3 years in law school. Al­
though some law schools accept a
very small number of students after 3
years of college, most require appli­
cants to have a bachelor’s degree. To
meet the needs of students who can
attend only part time, a number of law
schools have night or part-time divi­
sions which usually require 4 years of
study. In 1983, about one-eighth of all
graduates of ABA-approved schools
were part-time students.
Preparation for a career as a lawyer
really begins in college. Although
there is no recommended “ prelaw”
major, the choice of an undergraduate
program is important. Certain courses
and activities are desirable because
they give the student the skills needed
to succeed both in law school and in
the profession. Essential skills—the
ability to write, to read and analyze,
to think logically, and to communicate
verbally—are learned during high
school and college. An undergraduate
program that cultivates these skills
while broadening the student’s view
of the world is good. Majors in the
social sciences, natural sciences, and
humanities all are suitable, although a
student should not specialize too nar­
rowly. Regardless of one’s major,
courses in English, a foreign lan­
guage, public speaking, government,
p h ilo so p h y , h isto ry , eco n o m ics,
mathematics, and computer science,
among others, are useful.
Students interested in a particular
aspect of law may find related courses
helpful; for example, engineering and
science courses for the prospective
patent attorney, and accounting for
the future tax lawyer. In addition,
typing is advisable simply for conve­
nience in law school and beyond, and
because it facilitates use of comput­
Acceptance by most law schools
depends on the applicant’s ability to
demonstrate an aptitude for the study
of law, usually through good under­
graduate grades, the college admis­
sion test, and the Law School Admis­
sion Test (LSAT), administered by
the Law School Admissions Service.
The quality of the applicant’s under­
graduate school, any prior work expe­

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/97
rience, and sometimes a personal in­
terview are also taken into consider­
Competition for admission to many
law schools is intense. Enrollments
rose very rapidly during the early
1970’s, with applicants far outnum­
bering available seats. Since then, law
school enrollments have increased
slowly, but applicants to many law
schools still greatly exceeed the num­
ber that can be admitted. Enrollments
are expected to level off during the
late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and com­
petition for admission to some law
schools is expected to ease some­
what. However, competition for ad­
mission to the more prestigious law
schools will remain stiff.
During the first year or year and a
half of law school, students generally
study fundamental courses such as
constitutional law, contracts, proper­
ty law, torts, judicial procedures, and
legal writing. In the remaining time,
they may elect specialized courses in
fields such as tax, labor, or corpora­
tion law. Practical experience often is
acquired by participation in schoolsponsored legal aid or legal clinic ac­
tivities, in the school’s moot court
competitions in which students con­
duct appellate arguments, in practice
trials under the supervision of experi­
enced lawyers and judges, and through
research and writing on legal issues
for the school’s law journals.
In 1984, law students in 29 States
and the District of Columbia were
required to pass the Multistate Profes­
sional Responsibility Exam ination
(MPRE), which tests their knowledge
of the ABA codes on professional
responsibility and judicial conduct. In
some States, the MPRE may be taken
during law school, usually after com­
pleting a course on legal ethics.
A number of law schools have clin­
ical programs where students gain le­
gal experience through practice trials
and law school projects under the
supervision of practicing lawyers and
law school faculty. Law school clini­
cal programs might include work in
legal aid clinics, for example, or on
the staff of legislative committees.
Part-time or summer clerkships in law
firms, government agencies, and cor­
porate legal departments also provide
experience that can be extremely
valuable later on. Such training can
provide references or lead directly to
a job after graduation, and can help
students decide what kind of practice

best suits them. Clerkships also may
be an important source of financial
Graduates receive the degree of
juris doctor (J.D.) or bachelor o f law
(LL.B.) as the first professional de­
gree. Advanced law degrees are desir­
able for those planning to specialize,
do research, or teach. Some law stu­
dents pursue joint degree programs,
which generally require an additional
year. Joint degree programs are of­
fered in a number of areas, including
law and business administration and
law and public administration.
After graduation, lawyers must
keep in fo rm ed a b o u t legal and
nonlegal developm ents that affect
their practice. An attorney represent­
ing electronics manufacturers, for ex­
ample, must follow trade journals and
the latest Federal regulations. Attor­
neys in the Department of State must
remain well versed in current events
and international law, while divorce
lawyers read about the changing role
of the family in modern society. Many
law schools and State and local bar
associations provide continuing edu­
cation courses that help lawyers stay
abreast of recent developments.
The practice of law involves a great
deal of responsibility. Persons plan­
ning careers in law should like to work
with people and be able to win the
respect and confidence of their cli­
ents, associates, and the public. Integ­
rity and honesty are vital personal
qualities. Perseverance and reasoning
ability are essential to analyze com­
plex cases and reach sound conclu­
sions. At times, lawyers need creativ­
ity when handling new and unique
legal problems.
Most beginning lawyers start in sal­
aried positions. Newly hired salaried
attorneys usually act as research as­
sistants to experienced lawyers or
judges. After several years of progres­
sively responsible salaried employ­
ment, many lawyers are admitted to
partnership in their firm, or go into
practice for themselves. Some law­
yers, after years of practice, become
judges or full-time law school faculty
or administrators; a growing number
have advanced degrees in other fields
as well.
Some persons use their legal train­
ing in administrative or managerial
positions in various departments of
large corporations. A transfer from a
corporation’s legal department to an­
other department often is viewed as a

way to gain administrative experience
and rise in the ranks of management.

Job Outlook
Despite strong growth in the demand
for lawyers, the sizable number of law
school graduates entering the job mar­
ket each year has created keen com­
petition for jobs. The number of law
school graduates has more than dou­
bled since 1970, as shown in the ac­
companying chart. While the number
of graduates js expected to level off
through the mid-1990’s, competition
for salaried jobs is likely to continue.
New graduates, together with quali­
fied lawyers seeking to transfer from
other occupations, should continue to
outnumber salaried openings, particu­
larly in large metropolitan areas.
Employment of lawyers grew very
rapidly during the last decade. Much
faster-than-average growth is expect­
ed to continue through the mid-1990’s
as increased population and business
activity help sustain the strong de­
mand for attorneys. This demand also
will be spurred by growth of legal
action in such areas as consumer pro­
tection, the environment, and safety,
and an anticipated increase in the use
of legal services by middle-income
groups through legal clinics and pre­
paid legal service programs. Employ­
ment growth will continue to be con­
centrated in private salaried jobs. The
number of self-employed lawyers is
expected to grow slowly as it becomes
increasingly difficult to establish a
profitable small practice, due to the
growing complexity of law, which en­
courages specialization, and the cost
of maintaining up-to-date legal re­
search materials.
Turnover of jobs in this occupation
is low because its members are well
paid and enjoy considerable social
status, and a substantial educational
investment is required for entry. Nev­
ertheless, most job openings will stem
from the need to replace lawyers who
transfer to other occupations, retire,
or stop working for other reasons.
Employers will continue to be se­
lective in hiring new lawyers. Gradu­
ates of prestigious law schools and
those who rank high in their classes
should find salaried positions with law
firms, on the legal staffs of corpora­
tions and government agencies, or as
law clerks for judges. Graduates of
less prominent schools and those with
lower scholastic ratings may experi­
ence some difficulty in finding salaried

98/Occupational Outlook Handbook

The number of law degrees granted annually
has grown slowly since the mid-1970’s.
Law degrees (thousands)

SOURCE: National Center tor Education Statistics
jobs. Some graduates may be forced
to accept positions for which they are
overqualifed or in areas outside their
field of interest. An increasing propor­
tion will enter fields where legal train­
ing is an asset but not normally a
requirement. For example, banks, in­
surance firms, real estate companies,
government agencies; and other orga­
nizations seek law graduates to fill
many administrative, managerial, and
business positions.
Due to the competition for jobs, a
law graduate’s geographic mobility
and experience assume greater impor­
tance. The willingness to relocate may
be an advantage in getting a job, but to
be licensed in a new State a lawyer
may have to take an additional bar
examination. In addition, employers
increasingly seek graduates who have
advanced law degrees and experience
in a particular field such as tax, patent,
or admiralty law.
Establishing a new practice proba­
bly will continue to be best in small
towns and expanding suburban areas,
as long as an active market for legal
services already exists. In such com­
munities, competition is likely to be
less than in big cities, and new law­
yers may find it easier to become
known to potential clients; also, rent
and other business costs are some­
what lower. Nevertheless, starting a
new practice will remain an expensive
and risky undertaking that should be
weighed carefully. Most salaried posi­
tions will remain in urban areas where
government agencies, law firms, and
Digitized forbig corporations are concentrated.

Some lawyers are adversely af­
fected by cyclical swings in the econ­
omy. During recessions, the demand
for some discretionary legal services,
such as planning estates, drafting
wills, and handling real estate transac­
tions, declines. Also, corporations are
less likely to litigate cases when de­
clining sales and profits result in bud­
getary restrictions. Although few law­
yers actually lose their jobs during
these times, earnings may decline for
many. Some corporations and law
firms will not hire new attorneys until
business improves. Several factors,
however, mitigate the overall impact
of recessions on lawyers. During re­
cessions, individuals and corporations
face other legal problems, such as
bankruptcies, foreclosures, and di­
vorces, that require legal action. Fur­
thermore, the continuous emergence of
new laws and legal interpretations will
create new opportunities for lawyers.

In 1984, starting salaries for recent
law school graduates ranged from
about $10,000 a year in some public
in te re s t program s to m ore than
$40,000 in some larger law firms. Be­
ginning attorneys in private industry
averaged nearly $29,000 in 1984. In
the Federal Government, annual start­
ing salaries for attorneys in 1985 were
about $21,800 or $26,400, depending
upon academic and personal qualifica­
tions. Factors affecting the salaries
offered to new graduates include: Ac­
ademic record; type, size, and loca­
tion of employers; and the desired

specialized educational background.
The field of law makes a difference, too.
Patent lawyers, for example, generally
are among the highest paid attorneys.
Salaries of experienced attorneys
also vary widely according to the
type, size, and location of the employ­
ers. The average salary of the most
experienced lawyers in private indus­
try in 1984 was nearly $88,000. Gen­
eral attorneys in the Federal Govern­
ment averaged around $44,100 a year
in 1984; the relatively small number of
patent attorneys in the Federal Gov­
ernment averaged around $53,300.
Lawyers starting their own practice
may need to work part time in other
occupations during the first years to
supplement their income. Lawyers on
salary receive increases as they as­
sume greater responsibility. Incomes
of lawyers in practice usually grow as
their practices develop. Lawyers who
are partners in law firms generally earn
more than those who practice alone.

Related Occupations
Legal training is useful in many other
occupations. Some of these are legal
assistant, arbitrator, hearing examin­
er, journalist, patent agent, title exam­
iner, legislative assistant, lobbyist,
FBI special agent, political office hold­
er, and corporate executive.

Sources of Additional Information
The Prelaw H andbook, published by
Law School Admission Services, Box
2000, Newtown, Pa. 18940, provides
information on prelaw study and ap­
plying to law schools. Copies may be
available in public or school libraries.
Information on law schools, finan­
cial aid for law students, and law as a
career is available from:
Information Services, American Bar Association,
750 North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, 111. 60611.
(There may be a slight charge for publications.)

For information on the placement
of law graduates and the legal profes­
sion in general, contact:
National Association for Law Placement, Ad­
ministrative Office, 440 First St. N.W ., Suite
302, Washington, D.C. 20001.

Information on legal education is
available from:
Association of American Law Schools, 1
Dupont Circle NW., Suite 370, Washington,
D.C. 20036.

The specific requirements for ad­
mission to the bar in a particular State
may be obtained at the State capital
from the clerk of the Supreme Court
or the Secretary of the Board of Bar

Social Scientists and Urban Planners
Nature of the Work
Social scientists study all aspects of
human society—from the distribution
of products and services to newly
formed religious groups or plans for
modern mass transportation systems.
Social science research provides in­
sights that help us understand the
many different ways in which individ­
uals and groups make decisions, exer­
cise power, or respond to change.
Through their studies and analyses,
social scientists and urban planners
assist educators, government officials,
business leaders, and others to solve
social, economic, and environmental
Research is a basic activity for
many social scientists. They use es­
tablished methods to assemble a body
of fact and theory that contributes to
human knowledge. Applied research
usually is designed to produce infor­
mation that will enable people to
make better decisions or manage their
affairs more effectively. Interviews
and surveys are widely used to collect
facts, opinions, or other information.
Data collection takes many other
forms, however, including living and
working among the people studied;
archeological investigations; the anal­
ysis of historical records and docu­
ments; experiments with human sub­
jects or lower animals in a psycholog­
ical laboratory ; and the administration
of standardized tests and question­
Regardless of their field of special­
ization, social scientists are concerned
with some aspect of society, culture,
or personality.
A n th r o p o lo g is t s study the way of
life, remains, language, and physical
characteristics of people in all parts of
the world; they compare the customs,
values, and social patterns of different
cultures. Anthropologists generally
concentrate in one of four subfields:
Cultural anthropology, archeology,
linguistics, or physical anthropology.
Most anthropologists specialize in
cultural anthropology, studying the
customs, cultures, and social lives of
groups in a wide range of settings
from nonindustrialized societies to

modern urban cultures. Archeologists
study cultures from artifacts and other
remains in the ground. Linguistic an­
thropologists study the role of lan­
guage in various cultures. Physical
anthropologists study the evolution of
the human body and look for the ear­
liest evidence of human life.
E c o n o m is ts study the way we allo­
cate our resources to produce a wide
variety of goods and services. They
conduct surveys and analyze data to
determine public preferences for these
goods and services. Most economists
are concerned with the practical appli­
cations of economic policy in a partic­
ular area, such as finance, labor, agri­
culture, transportation, energy, or
health. Others develop theories to ex­
plain economic phenomena such as
unemployment or inflation.
G e o g r a p h e r s study the interrela­
tionship of man and the environment.
Geographers specialize, as a rule.
Economic geographers deal with the
geographic distribution of an area’s
economic activities. Political geogra­
phers are concerned with the relation­
ship of geography to political bound­
aries—local, national, and in te r­
national. Physical geographers study
the physical characteristics of the
earth. Urban geographers study cities
and metropolitan areas, while regional
geographers study the physical, cli­
matic, economic, political, and cultur­
al characteristics of a particular region
or area, which may range in size from
a river basin to a State, country, or
continent. Cartographers design and
construct maps and charts. Medical
geographers study the effect of the
environment on health.
H is to r ia n s describe and analyze
past events through writing and re­
search. Historians usually specialize
in a specific' country or geographic
region; in a particular time period; or
in a particular field, such as social,
intellectual, political, or diplomatic
history. Biographers collect detailed
information on individuals. Genealo­
gists trace family histories, and other
historians help preserve and protect
historic buildings and sites.
P o lit ic a l s c ie n tis t s investigate the

ways in which political power is gained
and used. They study a wide range of
subjects such as Soviet-American re­
lations, the beliefs and institutions of
nations in Asia and Africa, the politics
of a New England town or a major
metropolis, and the decisions of the
U.S. Supreme Court. Studying topics
such as public opinion, political
decisionmaking, and ideology, they
analyze the structure and operation of
governments as well as informal polit­
ical entities. Depending on the topic
under study, a political scientist might
conduct a public opinion survey or
analyze election results.
P s y c h o l o g is ts study human behav­
ior and use their expertise to counsel
or advise individuals or groups. Their
research also assists advertisers, pol­
iticians, and others interested in influ­
encing or motivating people. While
clinical psychology is the largest spe­
cialty, psychologists specialize in
many other fields such as counseling,
experimental, social, or industrial psy­
S o c io lo g i s ts analyze the behavior
of groups or social systems such as
families, neighborhoods, or clubs. So­
ciologists may specialize in a particu­
lar field such as criminology, rural
sociology, or medical sociology.
U r b a n a n d r e g io n a l p la n n e r s devel­
op comprehensive plans and programs
for the use of land for industrial and
public sites. Planners prepare for sit­
uations that are likely to develop as a
result of population growth or social
and economic change.

Working Conditions
Most social scientists have regular
hours. While working alone behind a
desk, they read and write research
reports. Many experience the pres­
sures of deadlines and tight schedules,
and sometimes must work overtime.
Their routine may be interrupted by
telephone calls, letters to answer, spe­
cial requests for information, meet­
ings, or conferences. Travel may be
necessary to collect information or
attend meetings. Social scientists on
foreign assignment must adjust to un­
familiar cultures and climates.


10O/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Some social scientists do fieldwork.
For example, anthropologists and ar­
cheologists often must travel to re­
mote areas to live among the people
they study or stay for long periods at
the site of their excavations.

Social scientists held about 186,000
jobs in 1984. They work for a wide
range of employers including govern­
ment agencies; research organizations
and consulting firms; labor unions,
trade associations, and nonprofit or­
ganizations; hospitals and other health
facilities; and business firms.
About 1 out of 5 social scientists is
self-employed and involved in coun­
seling, consulting, research, and relat­
ed activities. In addition, many per­
sons with graduate training in a social
science discipline, usually a doctoral
degree, are employed by colleges and
universities where they characteristi­
cally combine teaching with research
and consulting. (For more informa­
tion, see the Handbook statement on
college and university faculty.) As a
source of employment, the academic
world is more important for graduates
in sociology or political science than
for graduates in urban and regional
planning or psychology.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The Ph.D. or equivalent degree is a
minimum requirement for most posi­
tions in colleges and universities and
is important for advancement to many
top-level nonacademic posts. Gradu­

ates with m aster’s degrees have more
limited professional opportunities, al­
though the situation varies a great
deal by field. For example, job pros­
pects for m aster’s degree holders in
urban and regional planning are bright­
er than for m aster’s degree holders in
sociology. Bachelor’s degree holders
have very limited opportunities and in
most social science occupations do
not qualify for “ professional” posi­
tions. The bachelor’s degree does,
however, provide a suitable back­
ground for many different kinds of
“junior professional” jobs, such as
research assistan t, adm inistrative
aide, or management trainee.
Training in statistics and mathemat­
ics is essential for most social scien­
tists. Mathematical and other quanti­
tative research methods are increas­
ingly used in economics, geography,
political science, experimental psy­
chology, and other fields. The ability
to use computers for research purpos­
es is a “ m ust” in many disciplines.
Depending on their jobs, social sci­
entists and urban planners may need a
wide range of personal characteris­
tics. Because they constantly seek
new information about people, things,
and ideas, intellectual curiosity and
creativity are two fundamental per­
sonal traits. The ability to think logi­
cally and methodically is important to
a political scientist comparing the
merits of various forms of govern­
ment. The ability to analyze data is
important to an economist studying
proposals to reduce Federal budget
deficits. O bjectivity, openm inded­

While the number of social science graduates with a
bachelor’s degree has declined in response to shrinking demand,
the number with an advanced degree has remained stable.
Degrees awarded (thousands)
















M aster’s and d o c to r’s


_J_____ C~;; . i______ 1
_____ L _
_____ 1
______ 1
_____ J______1

1970-71 71-72 72-73 73-74 74-75 75-76 76-77 77-78 78-79 79-80 80-81 81-82 82-83
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics


ness, and systematic work habits are
important in all kinds of social science
research. Perseverance is essential for
an anthropologist, who might spend
years accumulating artifacts from an
ancient civilization. Emotional stabil­
ity and sensitivity are vital to a clinical
psychologist working with mental pa­
tients. And, of course, written and
oral communication skills are essen­
tial to all these workers.

Job Outlook
Employment of social scientists is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s. Most job openings,
however, will result from the need to
replace social scientists who transfer
to other occupations, retire, or stop
working for other reasons.
Overall, the num ber of degrees
awarded in the social sciences is ex­
pected to exceed job openings and
result in strong competition for jobs.
Prospects are better in some disci­
plines than in others, however. The
predominance of academic employ­
ment in such disciplines as anthropol­
ogy, history, political science, and
sociology may cause severe problems
for these specialists through the mid1990’s as college enrollments decline.
Compared to the past, few academic
positions will be available, and efforts
are continuing to acquaint new gradu­
ates in these fields with alternative or
nontraditional career opportunities in
areas such as program administration
and evaluation. As in the past, top
graduates of leading universities will
have a decided advantage in compet­
ing for jobs, especially for the limited
number of academic jobs. Other con­
siderations that affect employment
opportunities in these occupations in­
clude degree level; specific skills and
experience; desired work setting; sal­
ary requirements; and geographic mo­

According to the College Placement
Council, persons with a bachelor’s
degree in a social science field re­
ceived offers averaging about $18,400
a year in 1984. Persons with a mas­
ter’s degree in a social science field
received starting offers that averaged
According to a 1983 National Re­
search Council survey, the median
annual salary of doctoral social scien­
tists ranged from $34,000 to $36,000.

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/101
In the Federal Government, social
scientists with a bachelor’s degree
and no experience could start at
$14,400 or $17,800 a year in 1985,
depending on their college records.
Those with a m aster’s degree could
start at $21,800, and those having a
Ph.D. degree could begin at $26,400,
while unusually qualified individuals
could start at $31,600. The average
salary of all social scientists working
for the Federal Government in 1984
was about $37,700.

Related Occupations
A number of fields related to social
science are covered elsewhere in the
H a n d b o o k . See the statements on
law yers, statisticians, m athem ati­
cians, computer programmers, com­
puter systems analysts, reporters and
correspondents, social workers, reli­
gious workers, college and university
faculty, and counselors.

The number of graduates has declined in all social science fields
except economics and international relations.
Degrees awarded, all levels (thousands)




--------- !----------- 1

Consortium of Social Science Associations,
1200 17th St. NW., Suite 520, Washington,
D.C. 20036.

More detailed information about
economists, psychologists, sociolo­
gists, and urban and regional planners
is presented in the H a n d b o o k state­
ments that follow this introductory



Political science
and government
Economics and
international relations
Source National Center for Education Statistics
Association of American Geographers, 1710
16th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20009.

Cartography and Related Fields
For information on careers in car­
tography, surveying, and geodesy,
American Congress on Surveying and Mapping,
210 Little Falls St., Falls Church, Va. 22046.

For information on careers and a
list of schools that offer courses in
photogrammetry and satellite data in­
terpretation, contact:
American Society of Photogrammetry, 210 Lit­
tle Falls St., Falls Church, Va. 22046.

For information about careers, job
openings, grants and fellowships, and
schools that offer training in anthro­
pology, and for a copy of G e ttin g a
J o b O u ts id e th e A c a d e m y (special
publication no. 14), contact:
The American Anthropological Association,
1703 New Hampshire Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20009.

For information about careers in
archeology, contact:
Society for American Archeology, 1511 K St.
NW., Suite 716, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Two pamphlets that provide infor­
mation on careers and job openings
for geographers— G e o g r a p h y - T o m o ­
r r o w ’s C a r e e r and C a r e e r s in G e o g r a ­
p h y —and the annual publication list­
ing schools offering various programs
in geography—A G u id e to D e p a r t ­
m e n ts o f G e o g r a p h y in th e U .S . a n d
C a n a d a —may be obtained from:




Sources of Additional Information
For general information concerning
the social sciences, contact:


ing nonacademic careers. Also,

G u id e to G r a d u a te S tu d y in P o litic a l
S c ie n c e may be purchased. In addi­

tion, a monthly newsletter listing job
openings, primarily academic, is avail­
able to members of the association.
P r o g r a m s in P u b lic A ffa ir s a n d A d ­
m in is tr a tio n , a biennial directory that

contains data on the academic content
of programs, the student body, the
format of instruction, and other infor­
mation, may be purchased from:
National Association of Schools of Public Af­
fairs and Administration, 1120 G St. NW., Suite
520, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Information on careers and job
openings for historians and on schools
offering various programs in history is
available from:


American Historical Association, 400 A St.
SE., Washington, D.C. 20003.

Nature of the Work

General information on careers for
historians is available from:
Organization of American Historians, 112 North
Bryan St., Bloomington, Ind. 47401.

For additional information on ca­
reers for historians, send a self-ad­
dressed, stamped envelope to:
American Association for State and Local His­
tory, 708 Berry Rd., Nashville, Tenn. 37204.

Political Science
The American Political Science As­
sociation, 1527 New Hampshire Ave.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036, offers
a career pamphlet for undergraduates
and another—A l te r n a tiv e C a r e e r s f o r
P o l i t i c a l S c i e n c e —for faculty and
graduate students interested in pursu­

(D.O.T. 050.067)

Economists study the way a society
uses scarce resources such as land,
labor, raw materials, and machinery
to provide goods and services. They
analyze the results of their research to
determine the costs and benefits of
making, distributing, and using re­
sources in a particular way. Their
research might focus on topics such as
energy costs, farm prices, or com­
modity imports.
Some economists who are primarily
theoreticians may develop theories
through the use of mathematical mod­
els to explain the causes of business
cycles and inflation or the effects of
unemployment and tax policy. Most
economists, however, are concerned
with practical applications of econom­

102/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ic policy in a particular area, such as
finance, labor, agriculture, transporta­
tion, energy, or health. They use their
understanding of economic relation­
ships to advise business firms, insur­
ance companies, banks, securities
firms, industry associations, labor
unions, government, and others.
Depending on the topic under study,
economists may devise methods and
procedures for obtaining data they
need. For example, sampling tech­
niques may be used to conduct a sur­
vey, and econometric modeling tech­
niques may be used to develop projec­
tions. Preparing reports usually is an
important part of the economist’s job.
He or she may be called upon to
review and analyze all the relevant
data, prepare tables and charts, and
write up the results in clear, concise
Being able to present economic and
statistical concepts in a meaningful
way is particularly important for econ­
omists whose research is policy di­
rected. Market research analysts who
work for business firms may be asked
to provide management with informa­
tion to make decisions on marketing
and pricing of company products; to
look at the advisability of adding new
lines of merchandise, opening new
branches, or diversifying the compa­
ny’s operations; to analyze the effect
of changes in the tax laws; or to
prepare economic and business fore­
casts. Business economists working
for firms that carry on operations

abroad may be asked to prepare fore­
casts of foreign economic conditions.
Economists who work for govern­
ment agencies assess economic condi­
tions in the United States and abroad
and estimate the economic impact of
specific changes in legislation or pub­
lic policy. For example, they may
study how changes in the minimum
wage affect teenage unemployment.
Most government economists are in
the fields of agriculture, business, fi­
nance, labor, transportation, urban
economics, or international trade. For
example, economists in the U.S. De­
partment of Commerce study domes­
tic production, distribution, and con­
sumption of commodities or services;
those in the Federal Trade Commis­
sion prepare industry analyses to as­
sist in enforcing Federal statutes de­
signed to eliminate unfair, deceptive,
or monopolistic practices in interstate
commerce; and those in the Bureau of
Labor Statistics analyze data on pric­
es, wages, employment, and produc­

Working Conditions
Economists working for government
agencies and private firms have struc­
tured work schedules. They may work
alone with only reports, statistical
charts, computers, and calculators for
company. Or they may be an integral
part of a research team. Most work
under pressure of deadlines, tight
schedules, and heavy workloads, and
sometimes must work overtime. Their
routine may be interrupted by special
requests for data, letters, meetings, or
conferences. Travel may be necessary
to collect data or attend conferences.
Economics faculty have flexible
work schedules, dividing their time
among teaching, research, consulting,
and administrative responsibilities.


Some economists study the interrelation­
ships of the Nation’s business firms.

Economists held about 38,000 jobs in
1984. Private industry—particularly
economic and market research firms,
management consulting firms, securi­
ties and investment companies, ad­
vertising firms, and utilities—em ­
ployed over three-fifths of all econo­
mists. The remainder were employed
by a wide range of government agen­
cies, primarily in the Federal Govern­
ment. The Departments of Agricul­
ture, Labor, and State are the largest
Federal employers. Some economists
run their own consulting businesses.
A number of economists combine a

full-time job in government or busi­
ness with part-time or consulting work
in another setting.
Employment of economists is con­
centrated in large cities. The largest
numbers are in New York City and
Washington, D.C. Some work abroad
for com panies w ith m ajor in te r­
national operations; for the Depart­
ment of State and other U.S. Govern­
ment agencies; and for international
Besides the jobs described above,
an estimated 22,000 persons held eco­
nomics and marketing faculty posi­
tions in colleges and universities. (For
information about this occupation,
see the statement on college and uni­
versity faculty elsewhere in the Hand­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree with a major in
economics or marketing is sufficient
for many beginning research, admin­
istrative, management trainee, and
sales jobs. The undergraduate curric­
ulum in clu d es c o u rse s such as:
M icroeconom ics; m acroeconom ics;
business cycles; economic and busi­
ness history; economic development
of selected areas; money and banking;
international econom ics; public fi­
nance; industrial organization; labor
econom ics; com parative economic
systems; economics of national plan­
ning; urban economic problems; mar­
keting; consumer analysis; psycholo­
gy; sociology; organizational behav­
ior; and business law. In addition,
courses in mathematics, business and
economic statistics, sampling theory
and survey design, and computer sci­
ence are highly recommended.
Graduate training increasingly is re­
quired for most economist jobs and
for advancement to more responsible
positions. Areas of specialization at
the graduate level include advanced
economic theory, mathematical eco­
nomics, econometrics, economic sta­
tistics, history of economic thought,
and comparative economic systems
and planning. Other areas include
economic history, economic develop­
ment, environmental and natural re­
source economics, industrial organi­
zation, marketing, institutional eco­
nom ics, in tern atio n al econom ics,
labor economics, monetary econom­
ics, public finance, regional and urban
economics, and social policy. Stu­
dents should select graduate schools

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/103
strong in specialties in which they are
interested. Some schools help gradu­
ate students find internships or parttime employment in government agen­
cies, economic consulting firms, or
market research firms. Work experi­
ence and contacts can be useful in
testing career preferences and learn­
ing about the job market for econo­
In the Federal Government, candi­
dates for entrance positions generally
need a college degree with a minimum
of 21 semester hours of economics
and 3 hours of statistics, accounting,
or calculus. However, because com­
petition is keen, additional education
or experience may be required.
For a job as a college instructor in
many junior colleges and small 4-year
schools, a m aster’s degree generally is
the minimum requirement. In some
colleges and universities, however, a
Ph.D. is necessary for appointment as
an instructor. The Ph.D. and exten­
sive publication are required for a
professorship and for tenure, which
are increasingly difficult to obtain.
In government, industry, research
organizations, and consulting firms,
economists who have a graduate de­
gree usually can qualify for more re­
sponsible research and administrative
positions. A Ph.D. is necessary for
top positions in many organizations.
Many corporation and government
executives have strong backgrounds
in economics or marketing.
Over 1,200 colleges and universities
offer bachelor’s degree programs in
economics and marketing; over 600,
m aster’s; and about 130, doctoral pro­
Persons considering careers as
economists should be able to work
accurately with detail since much time
is spent on data analysis. Patience and
persistence are necessary because
economists may spend long hours on
independent study and problem solv­
ing. At the same time, they must be
able to work well with others. Econ­
omists must be objective and system­
atic in their work and be able to ex­
press themselves effectively both oral­
ly and in writing. Creativity and
intellectual curiosity are essential for
success in this field, just as they are in
other areas of scientific endeavor.

Job Outlook
Employment of economists is expect­
ed to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the mid

1990’s. Most job openings will result
from the need to replace experienced
economists who transfer to other oc­
cupations, retire, or leave the labor
force for other reasons.
Overall, economists are likely to
have more favorable job prospects
than most other social scientists. Op­
portunities should be best in manufac­
turing, financial services, advertising
agencies, research organizations, and
consulting firms, reflecting the com­
plexity of the domestic and inter­
national economies and increased re­
liance on quantitative methods of an­
alyzing business trends, forecasting
sales, and planning of purchasing and
production. The continued need for
economic analyses by lawyers, ac­
countants, engineers, health service
administrators, urban and regional
planners, environmental scientists,
and others will also increase the num­
ber of jobs for economists. Little
change is expected in the employment
of economists in the Federal Govern­
ment—in line with the rate of growth
projected for the Federal work force
as a whole. Average growth is expect­
ed in the employment of economists
in State and local government. While
courses in economics are increasingly
popular, college enrollments are ex­
pected to decline through the mid1990’s—resulting in little or no em­
ployment growth in colleges and uni­
versities. As a result, many highly
qualified economics graduates will en­
ter nonacademic positions.
A strong background in economic
theory, statistics, and econometrics
provides the tools for acquiring any
specialty within the field. Those
skilled in quantitative techniques and
their application to economic model­
ing and forecasting and market re­
search, including the use of comput­
ers, should have the best job opportu­
Persons who graduate with a bach­
elor’s degree in economics through
the mid-1990’s should face very keen
competition for the limited number of
economist positions for which they
qualify. However, many will find em­
ployment in government, industry,
and business as management or sales
trainees, or as research or administra­
tive assistants. Those with strong
backgrounds in mathematics, statis­
tics, survey design, and computer sci­
ence may be hired by private firms for
market research work. Those who
meet State certification requirements

may become high school economics
teachers. (For additional information,
see the statement on secondary school
teachers elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Candidates who hold m aster’s de­
grees in economics face very strong
competition, particularly for teaching
positions in colleges and universities.
However, some may gain positions in
junior and community colleges. Those
with a strong background in market­
ing and finance may have the best
prospects in business, banking, adver­
tising, and management consulting
Ph.D .’s are likely to face competi­
tion for academic positions, although
top graduates from leading universi­
ties should have little difficulty in ac­
quiring teaching jobs. However, a
larger number of Ph.D .’s will have to
accept jobs at smaller or less presti­
gious institutions. Ph.D .’s should have
favorable opportunities to work as
economists in government, industry,
educational and research organiza­
tions, and consulting firms.

According to a 1984 salary survey by
the College Placement Council, per­
sons with a bachelor’s degree in eco­
nomics received an average starting
salary of about $20,000 a year; in
m arketing and distribution, about
Median annual earnings of full-time
economists were about $29,000 in
1984. The middle 50 percent earned
between $24,300 and $41,700 annual­
ly. The lowest 10 percent earned un­
der $16,100, while the highest 10 per­
cent earned over $52,000.
The median base salary of business
economists in 1984 was $50,000, ac­
cording to a survey by the National
Association of Business Economists.
About one-third of those responding
also had income from secondary em­
ployment. Economists in general ad­
ministration and international eco­
nomics commanded the highest sala­
ries; those in market research and
econometrics, the lowest. The highest
paid business economists were in the
mining, retail and wholesale trade,
and securities and investment indus­
tries; the lowest paid were in the ed­
ucation, transportation, and publish­
ing industries.
The Federal Government recogniz­
es education and experience in certi­
fying applicants for entry level posi­
tions. In general, the entrance salary

104/0ccupational Outlook Handbook
for economists having a bachelor’s
degree averaged about $14,400 a year
in 1985; however, those with superior
academic records could begin at about
$17,800. Those having a m aster’s de­
gree could qualify for positions at an
annual salary of about $21,800. Those
with a Ph.D. could begin at about
$26,400, while unusually qualified in­
dividuals could start at $31,600. Econ­
omists in the Federal Government av­
eraged around $39,500 a year in 1984.

Related Occupations
Economists are concerned with un­
derstanding and interpreting financial
matters, among other subjects. Others
with jobs in this area include financial
analysts, bank officers, accountants
and auditors, underwriters, actuaries,
securities sales workers, credit ana­
lysts, loan officers, and budget of­
Sources of Additional Information
For information on schools offering
graduate training in economics, con­
American Economic Association, 1313 21st
Ave. South, Nashville, Tenn. 37212.

For information on careers in busi­
ness economics, contact:
National Association of Business Economists,
28349 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 201, Cleveland,
Ohio 44122.

For information about careers and
salaries in market research, contact:
American Marketing Association, 250 South
Wacker Dr., Chicago, 111. 60606.

For information about careers in
noncollegiate academic institutions,
Joint Council on Economic Education, 2 Park
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

(D.O.T. 045.061, .067, .107-022, -026, -030, -034, and

Nature of the Work
Psychologists study human behavior
and mental processes to understand
and explain people’s actions. Some
research psychologists investigate the
physical, emotional, or social aspects
of human behavior. Other psycholo­
gists in applied fields counsel and con­
duct training programs; do market re­
search; or provide health services in
hospitals or clinics.
Like other social scientists, psy­
chologists collect and test the validity

of data and formulate hypotheses. Re­
search methods depend on the topic
under study. Psychologists may gath­
er information through controlled lab­
oratory experim ents; performance,
aptitude, and intelligence tests; obser­
vation, interview s, and question­
naires; clinical studies; or surveys.
Computers are widely used to record
and analyze this information.
Psychologists usually specialize.
Experimental psychologists study be­
havior processes and work with hu­
man beings and lower animals such as
rats, monkeys, and pigeons; promi­
nent areas of experimental research
include motivation, learning and re­
tention, sensory and perceptual pro­
cesses, and genetic and neurological
factors in behavior. Developmental
psychologists study the patterns and
causes of behavioral change as people
progress through life; some concern
themselves with behavior during in­
fancy and childhood, while others
study changes that take place during
maturity and old age. Personality psy­
chologists study human nature, indi­
vidual differences, and the ways in
which those differences develop. So­
cial psychologists examine people’s
interactions with others and with the
social environment; prominent areas
of study include group behavior, lead­
ership, attitudes, and interpersonal
perception. Comparative psycholo­
gists study the behavior of humans
and lower animals. Physiological psy­
chologists study the relationship of
behavior to the biological functions of
the body. Psychologists in the field of
psychometrics develop and apply pro­
cedures for measuring psychological
variables such as intelligence and per­
Clinical psychologists generally
work in hospitals or clinics, or main­
tain their own practices. They help
the mentally or emotionally disturbed
adjust to life. They interview patients;
give diagnostic tests; provide individ­
ual, family, and group psychotherapy;
and design and carry through behav­
ior modification programs. Clinical
psychologists may collaborate with
physicians and other specialists in de­
veloping treatment programs. Some
clinical psychologists work in univer­
sities where they train graduate stu­
dents in the delivery of mental health
services. Others administer communi­
ty mental health programs. Counsel­
ing psychologists use several tech­
niques, including interviewing and

testing, to advise people on how to
deal with problems of everyday liv­
ing—personal, social, educational, or
vocational. Educational psychologists
design, develop, and evaluate educa­
tional programs. School psychologists
work with teachers and parents to
evaluate and resolve students’ learn­
ing and behavior problems. Industrial
and organizational psychologists ap­
ply psychological techniques to per­
sonnel administration, management,
and marketing problems. They are
involved in policy planning, training
and development, psychological test
research, counseling, and organiza­
tional developm ent and analysis,
among other activities. For example,
an industrial psychologist may work
with management to develop better
training programs and to reorganize
the work setting to improve worker
productivity. Engineering psycholo­
gists, often employed in factories and
plants, develop and improve human/
machine systems, military equipment,
and industrial products. Community
p sychologists apply psychological
knowledge to problems of urban and
rural life. Consum er psychologists
study the psychological factors that
determine an individual’s behavior as
a consumer of goods and services.
Health psychologists counsel the pub­
lic in health maintenance to help peo­
ple avoid serious emotional or physi­
cal illness. Other areas of specializa­
tion include environmental psychol­
ogy, population psychology, psychol­
ogy and the arts, history of psycholo­
gy, psychopharmacology, and mili­
tary and rehabilitation psychology.

Working Conditions
A psychologist’s specialty and place
of employment determine his or her
working conditions. For example,
clinical and counseling psychologists
in private practice have pleasant,
comfortable offices and set their own
hours. H ow ever, they often have
evening hours to accommodate their
clients. Some employed in hospitals,
nursing homes, and other health facil­
ities often work evenings and week­
ends, while others in schools and clin­
ics work regular hours. Psychologists
employed by academic institutions di­
vide their time among teaching, re­
search, and administrative responsi­
bilities. Some maintain part-time clin­
ical practices as well. In contrast to
the many psychologists who have
flexible work schedules, some in gov-

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/105
ernment and private industry have
more structured schedules. Reading
and writing research reports, they of­
ten work alone behind a desk. Many
experience the pressures of deadlines,
tight schedules, heavy workloads, and
overtime work. Their routine may be
interrupted frequently. Travel may be
required to attend conferences or con­
duct research.

Psychologists held about 97,000 jobs
in 1984. Educational institutions—pri­
marily elem entary and secondary
schools—employed about 40 percent
of all salaried psychologists in posi­
tions involving counseling, testing,
special education, research, and ad­
ministration. Hospitals, clinics, reha­
bilitation centers, nursing homes, and
other health facilities employed more
than 1 out of 4 psychologists; govern­
ment agencies at the Federal, State,
and local levels, about 1 out of 6. The
Veterans Administration, the Depart­
ment of D efense, and the Public
Health Service employ more psychol­
ogists than other Federal agencies.
They also are employed by social ser­
vice organizations, research organiza­
tions, management consulting firms,
market research firms, and other bus­
After several years of experience,
some psychologists enter private prac­
tice or set up their own research or
consulting firms. M ore than onefourth of all psychologists are selfemployed.
Besides the jobs described above,
an estimated 19,000 persons held psy­
chology faculty positions at colleges
and universities. (For information
about this occupation, see the state­
ment on college and university faculty
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
Training, Other Qualifications, and
A doctoral degree is often required for
employment as a psychologist, partic­
ularly in the academic world. Under­
standably, entrants to this occupation
are older, on average, than entrants to
other professional occupations. Peo­
ple with doctorates in psychology
(Ph.D or Psy.D.—Doctor of Psychol­
ogy) qualify for a wide range of re­
sponsible research, clinical, and coun­
seling positions in universities, pri­
vate industry, and government.
People with a m aster’s degree in
psychology can administer and inter­

Clinical psychology accounts for over one-third
of all doctoral degrees awarded in psychology.

Percent of doctoral degrees awarded by subfield, 1983





includes organizational psychology.
SOURCE: National Research Council
pret tests as psychological assistants.
Under the supervision of psycholo­
gists, they can conduct research in
laboratories, counsel patients, or per­
form administrative duties. They may
teach in 2-year colleges, or work as
school psychologists or counselors.
(See the H andbook statem ent on
People with a bachelor’s degree in
psychology are qualified to assist psy­
chologists and other professionals in
community mental health centers, vo­
cational rehabilitation offices, and cor­
rectional programs; to work as re­
search or administrative assistants;
and to take jobs as trainees in govern­
ment or business. However, without
additional academic training, their ad­
vancement opportunities are limited.
In the Federal Government, candi­
dates having at least 24 semester
hours in psychology and one course in
statistics qualify for entry level posi­
tions. Competition for these jobs is
keen, however. Clinical psychologists
generally must have completed the
Ph.D. or Psy.D. requirements and
have served an internship; vocational
and guidance counselors usually need
2 years of graduate study in counsel­
ing and 1 year of counseling experi­
At least 1 year of full-time graduate
study is needed to earn a m aster’s
degree in psychology. Requirements
usually include practical experience in
an applied setting or a m aster’s thesis
based on a research project. For ex­
ample, a m aster’s degree in school

psychology requires 2 years of course
work and a 1-year internship.
Three to five years of graduate
work usually are required for a doc­
toral degree. The Ph.D. degree culmi­
nates in a dissertation based on origi­
nal research. Courses in quantitative
research methods, which include the
use of computers, are an integral part
of graduate study and usually neces­
sary to complete the dissertation. The
Psy.D., based on practical work and
examinations rather than a disserta­
tion, prepares students for clinical and
other applied positions. In clinical or
counseling psychology, the require­
ments for the doctoral degree general­
ly include an additional year or more
of internship or supervised experi­
Com petition for adm ission into
graduate programs is keen. Some uni­
versities require an undergraduate
major in psychology. Others prefer
only basic psychology with courses in
the biological, physical, and social
sciences, statistics, and mathematics.
Over 1,500 colleges and universities
offer a bachelor’s degree program in
psychology; about 400, a m aster’s;
about 300, a Ph.D. In addition, about
30 professional schools of psycholo­
gy—some affiliated with colleges or
universities—offer the Psy.D. The
American Psychological Association
(APA) presently accredits Ph.D. train­
ing programs in clinical, counseling,
and school psychology as well as
Psy.D. programs. In 1984, 123 colleg­
es and universities offered fully ap­
proved programs in clinical psycholo-

106/Occupational Outlook Handbook

People pursuing a career in psychology must be emotionally stable, mature, and able to
deal effectively with people.
gy (including 7 Psy.D. programs); 32
in counseling psychology; and 22 in
school psychology (including 1 Psy.D.
program). APA also has accredited
about 275 institutions that provide in­
ternships for doctoral students in clin­
ical and counseling psychology.
Although financial aid is becoming
increasingly difficult to obtain, some
universities aw ard fellow ships or
scholarships, or arrange for part-time
employment. The Veterans Adminis­
tration (VA) offers predoctoral train­
eeships to interns in VA hospitals,
clinics, and related training agencies.
The National Science Foundation, the
Department of Health and Human
Services, the Armed Forces, and
many other organizations also provide
financial aid.
Psychologists who want to enter
independent practice must meet certi­
fication or licensing requirements. In
1984, all States and the District of
Columbia had such requirements. Li­
censing laws vary by State, but gen­
erally require a doctorate in psychol­
ogy and 2 years of professional expe­
rience. In addition, m ost S tates
require that applicants pass an exam­
ination. Most State boards administer
a standardized test. Some States cer­
tify those with m aster’s level training
as psychological assistants or associ­

ates. Some States require continuing
education for relicensure.
Most States require that licensed or
certified psychologists limit their prac­
tice to those areas in which they have
developed professional competence
through training and experience.
The American Board of Profession­
al Psychology recognizes professional
achievement by awarding diplomas
primarily in clinical, counseling, fo­
rensic, industrial and organizational,
and school psychology. Candidates
need a doctorate in psychology, 5
years of experience, and professional
endorsements; they also must pass an
People pursuing a career in psy­
chology must be emotionally stable,
mature, and able to deal effectively
with people. Sensitivity, compassion,
and the ability to lead and inspire
others are particularly important for
clinical work and counseling. Re­
search psychologists should be able to
do detailed work independently and
as part of a team. Verbal and writing
skills are necessary to communicate
research findings. Patience and perse­
verance are vital qualities because re­
sults from psychological treatment of
patients or research often are long in

Job Outlook
Employment of psychologists is ex­
pected to increase faster than the av­
erage for all occupations through the
mid-1990’s. Largely because of the
substantial investment in training re­
quired to enter this specialized field,
psychologists have a strong attach­
ment to their occupation—only a rel­
atively small proportion leave the pro­
fession each year. Nevertheless, most
job openings are expected to result
from replacement needs.
Several factors may help maintain
the demand for psychologists: In­
creased emphasis on health mainte­
nance rather than treatm ent of illness;
public concern for the development of
human resources, including the grow­
ing elderly population; and increased
testing and counseling of children.
Government funding of these services
could affect the demand for psycholo­
Some openings are likely to occur
as psychologists study the effective­
ness of health, education, military,
law enforcement, and consumer pro­
tection programs. Psychologists also
are increasingly studying the effects
on people of technological advances
in areas such as agriculture, energy,
the environment, and the conserva­
tion and use of natural resources.
Because college enrollments are ex­
pected to decline through the mid1990’s, little or no employment growth
is expected in colleges and universi­
ties. As a result, there will be keen
competition for academic positions.
Although outstanding Ph.D. holders
from leading universities should have
no difficulty in obtaining teaching jobs
at top schools, a larger number of
Ph.D .’s will be forced to take jobs at
smaller, less prestigious institutions.
Some may accept part-time or tempo­
rary assignments with little or no hope
of gaining tenure. As a result, many
highly qualified graduates are expect­
ed to seek nonacademic jobs.
Persons holding doctorates from
leading universities in applied areas
such as clinical, counseling, health,
and engineering psychology should
have particularly good prospects. Psy­
chologists with extensive training in
quantitative research methods and
computer science will have a compet­
itive edge over applicants without this
Persons with only a m aster’s degree
in psychology will probably continue
to encounter severe competition for

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/107
the limited number of jobs for which
they qualify. Nevertheless, some may
find jobs as counselors in schools or
as psychological assistants in commu­
nity mental health centers.
Bachelor’s degree holders can ex­
pect very few opportunities in this
field. Some may find jobs as assistants
in rehabilitation centers. Those who
meet State certification requirements
may become high school psychology
teachers. (For more information, see
the statement on secondary school
teachers elsewhere in the Handbook.)

According to a 1983 survey by the
National Research Council, the medi­
an annual salary of psychologists with
a doctoral degree was about $35,800.
In educational institutions, the medi­
an was about $33,600; in State and
local government, about $32,300; in
hospitals and clinics, about $32,700;
in other nonprofit organizations, about
$29,800; and in business and industry,
about $48,000. Ph.D. or Psy.D. psy­
chologists in private practice and in
applied specialties generally have
higher earnings than other psycholo­
The Federal Government recogniz­
es education and experience in certi­
fying applicants for entry level posi­
tions. In general, the average starting
salary for psychologists having a bach­
elor’s degree was about $14,400 a year
in 1985; those with superior academic
records could begin at $17,800. Coun­
seling psychologists with a m aster’s
degree and 1 year of counseling expe­
rience could start at $21,800. Clinical
psychologists having a Ph.D . or
Psy.D. degree and 1 year of internship
could start at $26,400; unusually qual­
ified individuals could start at $31,600.
The average salary for psychologists
in the Federal Government was about
$39,800 a year in 1984.
Related Occupations
Psychologists are trained to evaluate,
counsel, and advise individuals and
groups. Others who do this kind of
work are psychiatrists, social work­
ers, clergy, special education teach­
ers, and counselors.
Sources of Additional Information
For information on careers, educa­
tional requirements, licensing, and fi­
nancial assistance, contact:
American Psychological Association, Educa­
tional Affairs Office, 1200 17th St. NW., Wash­
Digitized for ington, D.C. 20036.

For information about a career as a
school psychologist, contact:
National Association of School Psychologists,
10 Overland Dr., Stratford, Conn. 06497.

Information about State licensing
requirements is available from:
The American Association of State Psychology
Boards, P.O. Box 4389, Montgomery, Ala.

Information on traineeships and fel­
lowships also is available from colleg­
es and universities that have graduate
departments of psychology.

(D.O.T. 054)

Nature of the Work
Sociologists study human society and
social behavior by examining the
groups and social institutions that
people form. These include families,
tribes, com m unities, and govern­
ments, as well as a variety of social,
religious, political, business, and oth­
er organizations. Sociologists study
the behavior and interaction of groups,
trace their origin and growth, and an­
alyze the influence of group activities
on individual members. Some sociol­
ogists are concerned primarily with
the characteristics of social groups
and institutions. Others are more in­
terested in the ways individuals are
affected by the groups to which they
Fields of specialization for sociolo­
gists include social organization, so­
cial stratification and mobility, racial
and ethnic relations, social psycholo­
gy, urban sociology, rural sociology,
political sociology, industrial sociolo­
gy, applied sociology, and evaluation
research. Other important specialties
include medical sociology—the study
of social factors that affect mental and
public health; demography—the study
of the size, characteristics, and move­
ment of populations; gerontology—
the study of aging and the special
problems of aged persons; environ­
mental sociology—the study of the
effect of the physical environment and
technology on people; clinical sociol­
ogy—intervention in social systems
for assessment and change; and crim­
inology—the study of factors produc­
ing deviance from accepted legal and
cultural norms.
Sociological research, like other
kinds of social science research, in­
volves collecting information, assess­

ing its validity, and analyzing the re­
sults. Sociologists usually conduct
surveys or engage in direct observa­
tion to gather the data they need. For
example, after providing for con­
trolled conditions, a sociologist might
test the effects of different styles of
leadership on individuals in a small
group. A medical sociologist might
study the incidence of lung cancer in
an area contaminated by industrial
pollutants. Sociological researchers
also evaluate the efficacy of different
kinds of social programs. They might
examine and evaluate particular pro­
grams of income assistance, job train­
ing, or remedial education. Increas­
ingly, sociologists apply statistical
and computer techniques in their re­
search. The results of sociological re­
search aid educators, lawmakers, ad­
ministrators, and others interested in
social problems and social policy. So­
ciologists often work closely with
community groups and members of
other professions including psycholo­
gists, physicians, economists, urban
and regional planners, political scien­
tists, anthropologists, law enforce­
ment officials, and social workers.
Some sociologists are primarily ad­
ministrators. They apply their profes­
sional knowledge in areas as diverse
as intergroup relations, family coun­
seling, public opinion analysis, law
enforcem ent, education, personnel
administration, public relations, re­
gional and community planning, and
health services planning. They may,
for example, administer social service
programs in family and child welfare
agencies or develop social policies
and programs for government, com­
munity, youth, or religious organiza­
A number of sociologists are em­
ployed as consultants. Using their ex­
pertise and research skills, they ad­
vise on such diverse problems as half­
way houses and foster care for the
mentally ill; ways of counseling exoffenders; and market research for
advertisers and manufacturers. In­
creasingly, sociologists are involved
in the evaluation of social and welfare

Working Conditions
Most sociologists do a lot of desk
work—reading and writing reports on
their research. Sociologists working
in government agencies and private
firms have structured work schedules,
and many experience the pressures of

108/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ning positions in research firms, con­
sulting firms, educational institutions,
corporations, professional and trade
associations, hospitals, and welfare or
other nonprofit organizations. Some
sociologists have private practices in
counseling, research, or consulting.
Besides the jobs described above,
about 13,000 persons held sociology
faculty positions in colleges and uni­
versities. (For more information about
this occupation, see the statement on
college and university faculty else­
where in the Handbook.)

Sociologists assess the effects of popula­
tion movements.
deadlines, tight schedules, heavy
workloads, and overtime. Their rou­
tine may be interrupted by numerous
telephone calls, letters, requests for
information, and meetings. Travel
may be required to collect data for
research projects or to attend profes­
sional conferences. Sociologists in
private practice may work evenings
and weekends to accommodate cli­
Sociology faculty have flexible work
schedules, dividing their time be­
tween teaching, research, consulting,
and administrative responsibilities.

Sociologists held about 5,600 jobs in
1984. Government agencies employ
about 4 out of 10 sociologists to deal
with such subjects as poverty, crime,
public assistance, population policy,
social rehabilitation, community de­
velopment, mental health, racial and
ethnic relations, and environmental
impact studies. Sociologists in the
Federal Government work primarily
for the Departments of Health and
Human Services, Interior, Agricul­
ture, and Defense. Sociologists spe­
cializing in demography work for
international organizations such as
the World Bank, the United Nations,
and the World Health Organization
and Federal agencies such as the Bu­
Digitized for reau of the Census. Sociologists also
hold managerial, research, and plan­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The Ph.D. degree is required for ap­
pointment to permanent teaching and
research positions in colleges and uni­
versities and is essential for many
senior level positions in research in­
stitutes, consulting firms, corpora­
tions, and government agencies. As
the academic job market gets tighter
through the mid-1990’s, a Ph.D. will
be increasingly required for virtually
all academic and professional sociolo­
gist positions.
Sociologists with m aster’s degrees
can qualify for administrative and re­
search positions in public agencies
and private businesses. Training in
research, statistical, and computer
methods is an advantage in obtaining
such positions. Advancement oppor­
tunities generally are more limited for
m aster’s degree holders than for
Ph.D .’s. Sociologists with m aster’s
degrees may qualify for teaching po­
sitions in junior colleges and for some
college instructorships.
Most bachelor’s degree holders in
sociology get jobs in related fields.
Many work as social workers, coun­
selors, or recreation workers in public
and private welfare agencies. Others
are employed as interviewers or as
administrative or research assistants.
Sociology majors with sufficient train­
ing in statistical and survey methods
may qualify for positions as junior
analysts or statisticians in business or
research firms or government agen­
In the Federal Government, candi­
dates generally need a college degree
with 24 semester hours in sociology,
including course work in theory and
methods of social research. However,
since competition for the limited num­
ber of positions is keen, advanced
study in the field is highly recom­

About 150 colleges and universities
offer doctoral degree programs in so­
ciology; most of these also offer a
m aster’s degree. In 170 schools, the
m aster’s is the highest degree offered,
and about 900 schools have bachelor’s
degree programs. Sociology depart­
ments offer a wide variety of courses
including sociological theory, field
methods, social statistics and quanti­
tative methods, crime and deviance,
social psychology, sex roles, popula­
tion, social stratification, social con­
trol, small group analysis, urban soci­
ology, rural sociology, social organi­
zations, and sociology of religion,
law, the arts, war, politics, education,
work and occupations, and mental
Some departm ents of sociology
have highly structured program s,
while others are relatively unstruc­
tured and leave most course selection
up to individual students. Depart­
ments have different requirements re­
garding foreign language skills, cours­
es in statistics, internships, and com­
pletion of a thesis for the m aster’s
The choice of a graduate school is
important for people who want to be­
come sociologists. Students should
select a school that has adequate re­
search facilities and offers appropriate
areas of specialization such as theory,
demography, clinical sociology, or
quantitative methods. Opportunities
to gain practical experience also may
be available, and sociology depart­
ments may help place students in bus­
iness or research firms and govern­
ment agencies.
Certification by the Clinical Sociol­
ogy Association (CSA) is necessary
for a small number of clinical sociolo­
gy positions. Certification require­
ments generally include at least 1 year
of experience that demonstrates com­
petence in clinical sociology, a doc­
torate from an accredited school, and
successful demonstration of compe­
tency at C S A -sponsored training
workshops or conferences.
The ability to work independently is
important for sociologists. Intellectual
curiosity is an essential trait; research­
ers must have inquiring minds and a
desire to find explanations for the phe­
nomena they observe. Like other so­
cial scientists, sociologists must be
objective in gathering information
about social institutions and behavior;
they need analytical skills in order to
organize data effectively and reach

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/109
valid conclusions; and they must be
careful and systematic in their work.
Because communicating their findings
to other people is an important part of
the job, sociologists must be able to
speak well and to write clearly and

Job Outlook
Employment of sociologists is expect­
ed to increase more slowly than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s. Most openings are ex­
pected to result from the need to re­
place sociologists who transfer to oth­
er occupations, retire, or leave the
labor force for other reasons. Some
increased demand for sociologists is
likely to arise from demographic re­
search and the need to evaluate and
administer programs designed to cope
with social and welfare problems.
The number of persons who gradu­
ate with advanced degrees in sociolo­
gy through the mid-1990’s is likely to
greatly exceed the available job open­
ings. Graduates with a Ph.D. will face
increasingly keen competition for ac­
ademic positions, and those with de­
grees from the most outstanding insti­
tutions will have an advantage in se­
curing teaching jobs.
An increasing proportion of Ph.D .’s
will enter nonacademic careers. Some
may take research and administrative
positions in government, research or­
ganizations, and business firms. Those
well trained in quantitative research
m ethods, including survey te c h ­
niques, advanced statistics, and com­
puter science, will have the widest
choice of jobs. For example, private
firms that contract with the govern­
ment to evaluate social programs and
conduct other research increasingly
seek sociologists with strong quantita­
tive skills. Demand is expected to be
strong for those with training in prac­
tice areas such as clinical sociology,
criminology, environmental sociolo­
gy, medical sociology, social geron­
tology, and demography. For exam­
ple, additional demographers may be
sought to help businesses plan mar­
keting and advertising programs and
to help developing countries analyze
censuses, prepare population projec­
tions, and formulate long-range public
planning programs. More gerontolo­
gists may be needed to help formulate
programs for our expanding elderly
population. Sociologists with training
in other applied disciplines, such as
public policy, public administration,

and business administration, will be
attractive to employers seeking man­
agerial and administrative personnel.
Persons with a m aster’s degree will
find few, if any, academic positions,
even in junior and community colleg­
es. They also will face strong compe­
tition for the nonacademic positions
open to them. Some may find research
and administrative jobs in research
firms, business, and government. For
exam ple, sociologists with back­
grounds in business and quantitative
research methods may find opportuni­
ties in market research firms.
Bachelor’s degree holders will find
few opportunities for jobs as profes­
sional sociologists. As in the past,
many graduates will take positions as
trainees and assistants in business,
industry, and government. As with
advanced degree holders, extensive
training in quantitative research meth­
ods provides these graduates with the
most marketable skills. Some may
find positions in social welfare agen­
cies. For those planning careers in
law, journalism , business, social
work, recreation, counseling, and oth­
er related disciplines, sociology pro­
vides an excellent background. Those
who meet State certification require­
ments may become high school soci­
ology teachers. (For more informa­
tion, see the statement on secondary
school teachers elsew here in the

According to a 1983 survey by the
National Research Council, the medi­
an annual salary of sociologists and
a n th r o p o lo g is ts c o m b in e d w as
$32,100. For those in educational in­
stitutions, it was $31,800, and in bus­
iness and industry, $36,300.
The Federal Government recogniz­
es education and experience in certi­
fying applicants for entry level posi­
tions. In general, the average entrance
salary for sociologists with a bache­
lor’s degree was about $14,400 or
$17,800 a year in 1985, depending
upon the applicant’s academic record.
The starting salary for those with a
m aster’s degree was about $21,800 a
year, and for those with a Ph.D.,
about $26,400, while unusually quali­
fied individuals could start at $31,600.
Sociologists in the Federal Govern­
ment averaged around $38,700 a year
in 1984.
In general, sociologists with the
Ph.D. degree earn substantially higher

salaries than those without the doctor­
al degree. Some sociologists supple­
ment their regular salaries with earn­
ings from other sources, such as con­
sulting or counseling work.

Related Occupations
Sociologists are not the only people
whose jobs require an understanding
of social processes and institutions.
Others whose work demands such ex­
pertise include anthropologists, econ­
omists, geographers, historians, polit­
ical scientists, psychologists, urban
and regional planners, reporters and
correspondents, and social workers.
Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on careers,
and graduate departments of sociolo­
gy is available from:
The American Sociological Association, 1722 N
St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

For information about careers in
demography, contact:
Population Association of America, 806 15th St.
NW„ Suite 640, Washington, D.C. 20005.

For information about careers in
clinical sociology, contact:
Clinical Sociology Association, RD2, Box
141A, Chester, N.Y. 10918.

For information about careers in
rural sociology, contact:
Rural Sociology Society, Department of Soci­
ology, Montana State University, Bozeman,
Mont. 59717.

For information about careers in
criminology, contact:
American Society of Criminology, 1314 Kinnear
Road, Suite 212, Columbus, Ohio 43212.

Urban and Regional
(D.O.T. 188.167-110 and 199.167-014)

Nature of the Work
Urban and regional planners, often
called community or city planners,
develop programs to provide for fu­
ture growth and revitalization of ur­
ban, suburban, and rural communities
and their regions. They help local of­
ficials make decisions on social, eco­
nomic, and environmental problems.
Planners examine community facil­
ities such as health clinics and schools
to be sure these facilities can meet the
demands placed upon them. They also
keep abreast of the legal issues in­
volved in community development or
redevelopment and changes in hous­
ing and building codes. Because sub-

110/Occupational Outlook Handbook
urban growth has increased the need
for better ways of traveling to the
urban center, the planner’s job often
includes designing new transportation
systems and parking facilities.
Urban and regional planners pre­
pare for situations that are likely to
develop as a result of population
grow th or social and econom ic
change. They estimate, for example,
the community’s long-range needs for
housing, transportation, and business
and industrial sites. Working within a
framework set by the community gov­
ernment, they analyze and propose
alternative ways to achieve more effi­
cient and attractive urban areas.
Before preparing plans for longrange community development, urban
and regional planners prepare detailed
studies that show the current use of
land for residential, business, and
community purposes. These reports
include such information as the loca­
tion of streets, highways, water and
sewer lines, schools, libraries, and
recreational sites. They also provide
information on the types of industries
in the community, characteristics of
the population, and employment and
economic trends. With this informa­
tion, urban and regional planners pro­
pose ways of using undeveloped land
and design the layout of recommend­
ed buildings and other facilities such
as subway stations. They also prepare
materials that show how their pro­
grams can be carried out and what

they will cost. As in many other fields,
planners increasingly use computers
to record and analyze information.
Urban and regional planners often
confer with land developers, civic
leaders, and other public planning of­
ficials. They may prepare materials
for community relations programs,
speak at civic meetings, and appear
before legislative committees to ex­
plain their proposals.
In large organizations, planners usu­
ally specialize in areas such as physi­
cal design, public transportation, com­
munity relations, and the renovation
or reconstruction of rundown busi­
ness districts. In small organizations,
planners must be able to do several
kinds of work.

county, or regional—employ over 3
out of 5. An increasing proportion of
public agency planners work in small
jurisdictions with populations under
50,000. State and Federal agencies
that deal with housing, transportation,
or environmental protection employ
most of the rest. The largest Federal
employers are the Departments of
Transportation, Defense, and Hous­
ing and Urban Development.
Some planners do consulting work,
either part time in addition to a regular
job, or full time for a firm that pro­
vides services to private developers
or government agencies. Some plan­
ners work for surveying firms, market
research organizations, or large land

Working Conditions
Urban and regional planners spend
most of their time in offices. To be
familiar with areas that they are devel­
oping, however, they occasionally
spend time outdoors examining the
features of the land under consider­
ation for development, its current use,
and the types of structures existing on
it. Although most planners have a
scheduled 40-hour workweek, they
sometimes must attend evening or
weekend meetings or public hearings
with citizens’ groups.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Employers often seek workers who
have advanced training in urban or
regional planning. Most entry jobs in
Federal, State, and local government
agencies require 2 years of graduate
study in urban or regional planning, or
the equivalent in work experience.
Although the m aster’s degree in plan­
ning is the usual requirement at the
entry level, some people who have a
bachelor’s degree in city planning,
architecture, or engineering may qual­
ify for beginning positions. Courses in
real estate, finance, and management
are highly recommended. In addition,
familiarity with statistical techniques
and computer usage is desirable.
In 1984, about 80 accredited colleg­
es and universities offered a m aster’s
degree in urban or regional planning.
Although students holding a bache­
lor’s degree in planning, architecture,
or engineering may earn a m aster’s
degree after 1 year, most graduate
programs in planning require 2 years.
Graduate students spend considerable
time in w orkshops or laboratory
courses learning to analyze and solve
urban and regional planning problems
and often are required to work in a
planning office part time or during the
Candidates for jobs in Federal,
State, and local government agencies
usually must pass civil service exam­
inations to become eligible for ap­
The American Institute of Certified
Planners, a branch of the American
Planning Association (APA), grants
certification to individuals with the
appropriate combination of education

Urban and regional planners held
about 17,000 jobs in 1984. Local gov­
ernm ent planning agencies—city,

Urban and regional planners analyze business and residential needs for land.

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/111
and professional experience who pass
an examination. Data on APA mem­
bership indicate that certified urban
planners tend to hold the more re­
sponsible, better paying positions in
their field.
Planners must be able to think in
terms of spatial relationships and vi­
sualize the effects of their plans and
designs. They should be flexible and
able to reconcile different viewpoints
to make constructive policy recom­
mendations. The ability to write clear­
ly and effectively is important.
After a few years’ experience, ur­
ban and regional planners may ad­
vance to assignments requiring a high
degree of independent judgment such
as designing the physical layout of a
large development or recommending
policy, program, and budget options.
Some are promoted to jobs as plan­
ning directors and spend a great deal
of time meeting with officials in other
o rg an iz atio n s, speaking to civic
groups, and supervising other profes­
sionals. Further advancement occurs
through a transfer to a large city with
more complex problems and greater

Job Outlook
Employment of urban and regional
planners is expected to grow more
slowly than the average for all occu­
pations through the mid-1990’s. De­
mand will be spurred by the continu­
ing importance of environmental, eco­
nomic, and energy planning; interest
in zoning and land-use planning in
undeveloped and nonmetropolitan ar­
eas, including coastal areas; the need
to replace old public facilities such as
bridges, highways, and sewers; and

expected population growth in subur­
ban locations and in the South and
West. However, slow growth in local
government spending through the mid1990’s is expected to limit growth of
urban planner jobs. Therefore, most
jobs will arise from the need to re­
place experienced planners who trans­
fer to other occupations, retire, or
leave the labor force for other rea­
In recent years, qualified applicants
have exceeded openings in urban or
regional planning, and the situation is
expected to persist. As a result, some
persons trained as planners may have
to accept jobs in other areas of public
policy and administration. An increas­
ing proportion are expected to find
urban planner or research or adminis­
trative jobs in the private sector—in
real estate development firms, con­
sulting firms, banks, utility compa­
nies, and engineering, architectural,
and surveying firms.
Graduates of academic institutions
with accredited planning programs
should have the best job prospects.
With increasing com petition, geo­
graphic mobility and the willingness
to work in small towns or rural areas
are important for many jobseekers.

According to a 1983 survey by the
American Planning Association, ur­
ban and regional planners earned a
median annual salary of about $29,600.
The median annual salary of planners
in city, county, and other local gov­
ernments was $28,100; in State gov­
ernments, $30,000; in private consult­
ing firm s, $35,000; in b u sin e ss,
$35,000; and in nonprofit foundations,

$30,000. For planners with over 10
years’ experience, county and joint
city /c o u n ty agencies paid about
$35,000 annually, while private busi­
nesses and consulting firms paid about
$44,400. Directors of public planning
agencies earned as much as $7,000
more than staff members at compara­
ble levels of experience. Salaries of
planners in large jurisdictions may be
as much as $6,000 a year higher than
their counterparts in'sm all jurisdic­
Planners with a m aster’s degree
were hired by the Federal Govern­
ment at a starting average salary of
$21,800 a year in 1985. In some cases,
persons having less than 2 years of
graduate work could enter Federal
service as interns at yearly salaries of
about $14,400 or $17,800. Salaries of
urban and regional planners employed
by the Federal Government averaged
$38,200 a year in 1984.

Related Occupations
Urban and regional planners develop
plans for the orderly growth of urban
and rural communities. Others whose
work is related to the work of plan­
ners include architects, landscape ar­
chitects, city managers, civil engi­
neers, geographers, and urban design­
Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on careers and
salaries in urban and regional plan­
ning, a list of schools offering training,
and job referrals are available from:
American Planning Association, 1776 Massa­
chusetts Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Social and Recreation Workers
Those considering a career in social
work or recreation should be “ people
oriented,” for helping people is what
the work is all about. Social workers
and recreation workers use a variety
of techniques to help people cope with
crises or live fuller lives.
Social workers assist individuals
and families whose lives are being
torn apart by poverty, alcoholism,
drug abuse, behavior problems, or
illness. They find families to adopt or
provide foster care for children whose
parents are unable to take care of
them; see that needy families are able
to give their children proper food,
health care, and schooling; and step in
when there is evidence of parental
neglect or abuse. School social work­
ers help students who have severe
personal or family problems. Group
workers give guidance and support so
that young people will develop into
responsible adults. Some social work­
ers do corrections work, by counsel­
ing juvenile delinquents and serving
as probation officers or parole of­
ficers. Medical social workers counsel
hospital patients and advise the fami­
ly—perhaps suggesting arrangements
for home care after the patient leaves
the hospital. Psychiatric social work­
ers, usually employed in hospitals,
clinics, or mental health centers, help
patients respond to their treatment
and serve as a link with the family and
the community at large.
The profession is giving growing
attention to directing and influencing
social change. Social planners work
with health, housing, transportation,
and other planners to suggest ways of
making communities more wholesome
places in which to live. Social workers
use various forms of direct action to
help people deal with some of the basic
forces that shape their lives. They may,
for example, do research to identify
community needs; draft legislation; or
comment on government proposals in
areas such as housing, health, and so­
cial and welfare services. Or they may
help organizations in the community
work for social betterment.
Recreation workers, too, help indi­
viduals and groups in a number of


different ways. They develop and su­
pervise activity programs for chil­
dren, teenagers, and adults. Some
specialize in therapeutic recreation,
and plan and coordinate activities for
people who are handicapped, emo­
tionally disturbed, or chronically ill.
Recreation workers often operate as
part of a team, working with thera­
pists, nurses, physicians, social work­
ers, counselors, and educators.
People enter professional positions
in social work and recreation from a
variety of backgrounds. To a certain
extent, an applicant’s formal educa­
tion determines the amount of respon­
sibility given and advancement oppor­
tunities. A m aster’s in social work
(MSW) is preferred or required for
many social work positions, while a
college degree with a major in recrea­
tion is increasingly important for those
aspiring to a career in recreation or
leisure services. In both fields, how­
ever, training is offered at the associ­
ate, bachelor’s, m aster’s, and Ph.D.
levels. Ordinarily, a candidate with an
associate degree would be offered a
job as an activity leader or casework
aide, while someone with a Ph.D.
would be considered for a position in
teaching, research, or administration.
But the job market does not always
operate as predictably as this; actual
hiring decisions vary from time to
time and place to place. Experience,
or academic training in a related field,
may be the decisive consideration.
New graduates are likely to experi­
ence competition for jobs through the
mid-1990’s. However, the job market
will be more crowded in some fields of
specialization and some parts of the
country than in others. More detailed
information about the job outlook ap­
pears in the statements that follow.

Social Workers
(D.O.T. 189.267-010, 195.107-010 through -046, .137010, .164-010, .167-010, -014, -030, and -034, .267018, .367-018 and -026)

Nature of the Work
Social workers are community trou­
bleshooters. Through direct counsel­

ing, referral to other services, or
policymaking and advocacy, they help
individuals, families, and groups cope
with their problems. Those in the area
of planning and policy help people
understand how social systems oper­
ate and propose ways of bringing
about needed change in institutions
such as health services, housing, or
education. Among the major helping
professions, social work is distin­
guished by a tradition of concern for
the poor and the disadvantaged.
The nature of the problem and the
time and resources available deter­
mine which of several social work
methods will be used. When neces­
sary, the social worker refers clients
to other professional or community
resources. Using their training in hu­
man behavior, personality theory, and
social group relations, for example,
social workers might identify the need
for assistance of children, teenagers,
young adults, or older persons in plac­
es such as co m m u n ity c e n te rs ,
schools, hospitals, nursing homes,
and correctional institutions. Social
workers work in conjunction with or
coordinate the efforts of civic, reli­
gious, business, and union organiza­
tions to com bat social problem s
through community programs. For a
neighborhood or larger area, they may
help plan and develop health, hous­
ing, welfare, and recreation services.
Social workers often coordinate exist­
ing services, organize fundraising for
community social welfare activities,
and aid in developing new community
Social workers who specialize in
family services counsel individuals,
work to strengthen personal and fam­
ily relationships, and help clients cope
with problems. They provide informa­
tion and referral services in many ar­
eas—family budgeting and money
management, locating housing, home­
maker assistance for the elderly, job
training, and day care for children of
working parents.
Improving the well-being of chil­
dren and youth is the job of social
workers who specialize in child wel­
fare. They may advise parents on the

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/113
care of severely handicapped infants,
counsel children and youth with social
adjustment difficulties, and arrange
homemaker services during a parent’s
illness. Social workers may institute
legal action to protect neglected or
abused children, help unmarried par­
ents, and counsel couples about adop­
tion. After proper evaluation and
home visits, they may place children
for adoption or in foster homes or
institutions. If children have serious
problems in school, child welfare
workers may consult with parents,
teachers, counselors, and others to
identify the underlying problems.
Medical social workers are trained
to help patients and their families with
problems that may accompany illness
or inhibit recovery and rehabilitation.
They work in hospitals, hospices,
health m aintenance organizations,
nursing homes, rehabilitation centers,
and offices of physicians.
Hospital social workers may work
with patients or with families of pa­
tients suffering from emotionally dev­
astating illnesses. Discharge planning
is an increasingly important area of
practice for hospital social workers
because prospective payment, Medi­
care’s new system of paying for hos­
pital care, has made timely discharge
a factor in the hospital’s financial
well-being. Other roles are evolving,
too. In some hospitals, social workers
undertake primary care functions in
departments of pediatrics or obstet­
rics. They may help organize health
screening and health education pro­
grams, collaborate with community
agencies to coordinate care, or coor­
dinate employee assistance programs.
The mental health field attracts the
most social workers. Much effort has
gone into developing community res­
idential facilities and an array of sup­
portive services for the mentally dis­
abled—services such as outreach, cri­
sis intervention, social rehabilitation,
and training in skills of everyday liv­
ing, to name a few. Social workers
provide these services in community
mental health centers, outpatient psy­
chiatric clinics, and “ drop-in” cen­
ters. Providing individual and group
therapy is one of the principal tasks of
social workers in State mental hospi­
tals, Veterans Administration hospi­
tals, private psychiatric hospitals, and
psychiatric units of general hospitals.
Many of the small but growing num­
ber of social workers in private prac­
tice are clinical social workers. Like

other mental health professionals,
they offer psychotherapy or counsel­
ing to individuals, families, or groups.
They might counsel the families of
troubled adolescents, help couples
deal with marital difficulties, or orga­
nize group sessions for families of
cancer victims, for example.
Social workers who specialize in
the field of aging are also increasing in
number. They plan and evaluate serv­
ices for the elderly, and help older
persons and their families deal with
difficulties brought about by dimin­
ished capacities and changed circum­
stances. In nursing homes, for exam­
ple, they help patients and their fam­
ilies adjust to the need for long-term
institutional care.
Other social workers specialize in
corrections. Correctional treatm ent
specialists provide direct services for
inmates of penal or correctional insti­
tutions, while probation and parole
officers help offenders who are eligible
for parole readjust to society. They
counsel on the social problems that
arise on returning to family and com­
munity life, and also may help secure
necessary education, training, em­
ployment, or community services.

Working Conditions
Most social workers have a 5-day, 35to 40-hour week. However, many,
particularly in private agencies, work
part time. Many work evenings and
weekends to meet with clients, attend
com m unity m eetings, and handle
emergency situations. Extra leave is
generally granted for overtime. Be­

cause social workers often must visit
clients or attend meetings, some trav­
el may be necessary.

Social workers held 335,000 jobs in
1984. About 2 out of 5 jobs were in
State, county, or municipal govern­
ment agencies; relatively few were in
the Federal Government. Social work­
ers in the public sector are employed
primarily in departments of human
resources, social services, mental
health, health, housing, education,
and corrections. Those in the private
sector work for voluntary nonprofit
agencies; community and religious or­
ganizations; hospitals, nursing homes,
and home health agencies; and other
human service agencies.
Job settings vary considerably.
Some social workers are employed in
business and industry, as “ industrial”
or “ occupational” social workers.
They generally are located in the per­
sonnel department or health unit, and
support employee welfare through
counseling, educational program s,
and referral to community agencies.
Industrial social workers might, for
example, counsel employees about
emotional problems, alcoholism, or
drug abuse.
Although employment is concen­
trated in urban areas, many social
workers work with rural families. A
small number of social workers—em­
ployed by the Federal Government
and the United Nations or one of its
affiliated agencies— serve in other
parts of the world.

Listening is an important part of a social worker’s job.

114/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Training, Other Qualifications, and
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum
requirement for most professional po­
sitions in this field. Besides the bach­
elor’s in social work (BSW), under­
graduate majors in psychology, soci­
ology, and related fields satisfy hiring
requirements in many social service
agencies. A m aster’s degree in social
work (MSW) is generally required for
positions in the mental health field and
is almost always necessary for super­
visory, administrative, or research
positions. A doctorate in social work
usually is required for teaching and is
desirable for some research and ad­
ministrative jobs.
In 1985, there were 354 accredited
BSW programs and 89 MSW pro­
grams. BSW programs prepare gradu­
ates for direct service positions such
as caseworker or group worker. Class­
room instruction is offered in social
work practice, social welfare policies,
human behavior and the social envi­
ronment, and social research meth­
ods. All accredited programs require
400 hours of supervised field experi­
An MSW degree is preferred for
clinical positions and is a decided as­
set for advancement to a supervisory
position. It is essential for social
workers in private practice. Two years
of specialized study, including 900
hours of supervised field instruction,
or internship, are required to earn a
m aster’s degree in social work. Field
placement affords an opportunity to
test one’s suitability for social work
practice. At the same time, the stu­
dent may develop expertise in a spe­
cialized area and make personal con­
tacts that later are helpful in securing
a permanent job. Previous training in
social work is not required for entry
into a graduate program, but courses
such as psychology, sociology, eco­
nomics, political science, history, so­
cial anthropology, and urban studies,
as well as social work, are recom­
mended. Some graduate schools offer
accelerated MSW programs for quali­
fied applicants.
A limited number of scholarships
and fellowships are available for grad­
uate education. A few social welfare
agencies grant workers educational
leave to obtain graduate education.
Career advancement usually takes
the form of promotion to supervisor,
administrator, or director, although
some social workers go into teaching,

research, or consulting. Like other
administrators, directors of social ser­
vice agencies hire, train, and super­
vise staff, develop and evaluate agen­
cy programs, make budget decisions,
solicit funds, and represent the agen­
cy in public.
Private practice offers variety, pres­
tige, and the potential for much higher
pay than most agency jobs. Social
workers who wish to advance profes­
sionally without taking the superviso­
ry or administrative route often con­
sider private practice. Ordinarily, this
means clinical practice—counseling
individuals or groups—although some
private practitioners specialize in or­
ganizational consulting. Not only an
MSW but sufficiently varied work
experience to develop a network of
contacts for referral purposes is usu­
ally a prerequisite for a career as a
private practitioner. Entrepreneurial
ability is important for success in this
rapidly developing but highly compet­
itive field.
In addition to experience, which is
essential, advancement in the social
service field often requires an ad­
vanced degree. More than 40 schools
of social work offer post-m aster’s pro­
grams, most of which lead to a doc­
toral degree. Increasingly, social
workers seeking to broaden their ca­
reer options are pursuing graduate
studies in related fields including hu­
man services administration, public
administration, business administra­
tion, health services administration,
education, and law. A number of
graduate programs have developed
joint degree programs in social work
and another discipline.
In 1985, 33 States had licensing or
registration laws regarding social work
practice and the use of professional
titles. Voluntary certification is of­
fered by the National Association of
Social W orkers (N A SW ), w hich
awards the title ACSW (Academy of
Certified Social Workers) to those
who qualify. For clinical social work­
ers, professional credentials include
listing in the N A S W R e g i s t e r o f C lin ­
ic a l S o c ia l W o r k e r s or in the R e g i s t r y
o f H e a lth C a r e P r o v id e r s in C lin ic a l
S o c ia l W o rk .

Social workers should be emotion­
ally mature, objective, and sensitive,
and should possess a basic concern
for people and their problems. They
must be able to handle responsibility,
work independently, and maintain
good working relationships with cli­

ents and coworkers. Volunteer, parttime, or summer work as a social
work aide offer ways of testing one’s
interest in pursuing a career in this

Job Outlook
Employment of social workers is ex­
pected to increase faster than the av­
erage for all occupations through the
mid-1990’s, reflecting public and pri­
vate response to the needs of a grow­
ing and aging population. Demand for
social workers is governed by fund­
ing; trends in public, private, and
third-party spending for social work
services are largely responsible for
patterns of job growth. The need to
replace social workers who leave the
occupation or stop working is expect­
ed to be the principal source of jobs,
Prospects in public agencies are not
as bright as they once were, due to the
em ploym ent impact of anticipated
budget constraints plus the trend
toward “ declassification” that is tak­
ing hold in more and more States.
Declassification, or revision of State
civil service regulations, may dampen
demand for MSW ’s in public agencies
since BSW’s can legally perform the
same job under revised regulations.
D espite som ew hat slow er growth
through the mid-1990’s, State and lo­
cal governments will retain their im­
portance as a leading employer of
social w o rk ers, and replacem ent
needs alone will generate many job
openings in this sector.
In e le m e n ta ry and s e c o n d a ry
schools, little job growth is foreseen.
Substantial expansion in the number
of school social workers has already
occurred in response to the Education
for All Handicapped Children Act of
1975; only modest expansion is ex­
pected through 1995. This reflects an­
ticipated trends in elementary and
secondary school enrollments.
Prospects for hospital social work­
ers are difficult to assess. A major
employment setting, hospitals provide
1 out of every 10 social work jobs.
Financing and organizational changes
in this sector will affect the nature of
the hospital social worker’s job: Con­
tacts with community agencies and
organizations will take on unprece­
dented importance because of the piv­
otal role of discharge planning. Social
w orkers in com m unity-based pro­
grams for the elderly reportedly are
being recruited for hospital social

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/115
work jobs because of their extensive
knowledge of community resources.
Less certain are prospects for growth.
It seems unlikely that employment of
hospital social workers will increase
much, if at all, in view of the antici­
pated slowdown in hospital industry
Home health is emerging as an in­
creasingly important area of practice,
not only because hospitals are moving
to release patients more quickly, but
because of the prevalence of function­
al disabilities among older persons
requiring assistance in activities of
daily living. Social workers in the
home health field are primarily en­
gaged in evaluation, assessment, and
case management, on the one hand,
and administration and supervision,
on the other.
Demand for social workers is ex­
pected to grow in outpatient facilities,
including health maintenance organi­
zations (HMO’s) and rehabilitation
facilties that offer alcohol and drug
abuse programs. Financing is not an
obstacle, as a rule; HM O’s provide
comprehensive care for a preestab­
lished fee, and alcohol and drug reha­
bilitation programs often are covered
by employers or by health insurance,
although some patients pay their own
costs. Services provided by social
workers in HMO’s include counseling
on teenage pregnancy, stress manage­
ment, substance abuse, abortion, cri­
sis intervention for cases of spouse or
child abuse, assistance for the elderly,
and case management.
Substantial growth is projected for
social work jobs in private agencies
that provide services for abused and
neglected children, troubled youth,
rape and spouse abuse victims, older
people and their families, refugees,
farm workers, couples with marital
difficulties, and so forth.
Opportunities for social workers in
private practice will continue to ex­
pand, in part because of growing ac­
ceptance of private social work prac­
tice by the profession and by the pub­
lic at large, but also because of the
anticipated availability of funding
from health insurance and from an
increasingly affluent population will­
ing to pay for professional help with
personal problems. Growing corpo­
rate support for employee assistance
programs is expected to spur demand
for the services of private practition­
ers, some of whom contract with cor­
porations to run training sessions on

group dynamics, or counsel employ­
ees on a variety of problems.
Entry into private practice does not
guarantee success. Private practition­
ers must be able to market themselves
to prospective purchasers of their
services such as schools, health care
providers, corporations, or individu­
als. Moreover, they must be prepared
to deal with competition from psy­
chologists, psychiatric nurses, coun­
selors, and other mental health pro­
Job prospects for social workers
vary a great deal. Opportunities differ,
depending upon academic credentials,
experience, and field of practice. Geo­
graphic location is a consideration,
too. Competition is keen in cities
where training programs for social
workers abound. This competition is
certain to intensify if social services
are cut back in response to budget
pressures on State and local govern­
ments. At the same time, population
growth in the Sunbelt States is spur­
ring expansion of social service pro­
grams there, and some isolated rural
areas are finding it difficult to attract
and retain qualified staff.
Trends in enrollment in social work
education will affect job prospects for
social w orkers through the mid1990’s. The number of social work
degrees awarded each year peaked in
the late 1970’s and has been declining
ever since (see chart). A number of
factors, of which the impending de­
crease in the college-age population is
the most important, point to a contin­
ued decline.

If fewer people prepare for social
work careers while demand continues
to grow, conditions in the job market
are likely to improve. Job search
problems of MSW’s should abate and
prospects for BSW’s probably will
improve. Very strong competition will
continue, however, for the substantial
number of associate and bachelor’s
degree holders seeking entry level hu­
man service jobs that do not require
formal preparation in social work.

Salaries for social workers at all levels
vary greatly by type of agency (pri­
vate or public; Federal, State, or lo­
cal) and geographic region, but gener­
ally are highest in large cities and in
States with sizable urban populations.
Private practitioners, administrators,
teachers, and researchers often earn
considerably more than other types of
social workers.
The average minimum salary for
social caseworkers (positions requir­
ing a BSW) was about $15,700 in 1984,
according to a survey conducted by
the International Personnel Manage­
ment Association; for casework su­
p ervisors (positions requiring an
MSW), the average minimum salary
was about $20,100.
The average annual starting salary
for social workers in hospitals and
medical centers (positions requiring
an MSW) was about $19,300 in 1984,
according to a survey conducted by
the U niversity of Texas M edical
Branch. The average salary for expe-

The number of degrees awarded in social work is declining.

Degrees from accredited programs (thousands)

SOURCE: Council on Social Work Education

116/Occupational Outlook Handbook
rienced social workers in these set­
tings was about $25,500.
In the Federal Government, social
workers with an MSW started at
$21,804 in 1985; average earnings for
social workers in the Federal service
were $30,800 in 1984. Graduates with
a Ph.D. or job experience may start at
a higher salary. Most social workers
in the Federal Government are em­
ployed by the Veterans Administra­
tion and the Departments of Health
and Human Services, Education, Jus­
tice, and Interior.

Related Occupations
Through direct counseling or referral
to other services, social workers help
people solve a range of personal prob­
lems. Workers in occupations with
similar duties include the clergy, coun­
selors, counseling psychologists, and
vocational rehabilitation counselors.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about career opportu­
nities in social work, contact:
N ational A sso cia tio n o f S ocial W orkers, 7981
E astern A v e ., S ilver Spring, M d. 20910.

The Council on Social Work Edu­
cation publishes an annual D ir e c to r y
o f A c c r e d i t e d B S W P r o g r a m s and D i ­
r e c to r y
gra m s,

o f A c c r e d ite d


P ro­

which may be purchased for
$2 each, postpaid. These and other
publications are available from:
C ouncil on S ocial W ork E du cation , 1744 R St.
N W „ W ashington, D .C . 20009.

Recreation Workers
(D.O.T. 159.124-010; 187.137-010; 195.227-010 and
-014; and 352.167-010)

Nature of the Work
As leisure time in our lives increases,
opportunities for organized recreation
become more important. Recreation
workers plan, organize, and direct ac­
tivities that help people enjoy and
benefit from leisure hours. These
workers hold a wide range of jobs
which bring them in contact with peo­
ple of all ages, socioeconomic levels,
and degrees of emotional and physical
Recreation programs, whether in­
stitutionally or community based, are
as diverse as the people they serve.
Employment settings range from pris­
tine wilderness areas to health clubs
in the city center. At local play­
grounds and community centers, for

example, recreation personnel orga­
nize and conduct a variety of leisure
activities, including arts, crafts, fit­
ness, and sports. Other employment
settings include parks, camps, camp­
grounds, and recreatio n al areas;
schools, churches, and synagogues;
retire m e n t com m unities, nursing
homes, senior centers, and adult day
care programs; military bases; and
correctional institutions.
C a m p c o u n s e lo r s lead and instruct
campers in nature-oriented forms of
recreation such as swimming, hiking,
and horseback riding as well as out­
door education. They also provide
campers with specialized instruction
in a particular area such as music,
drama, gymnastics, tennis, or com­
puters. In resident camps, the staff
must insure that the campers have
adequate living conditions.
Recreation personnel in industry
organize and direct leisure activities
and athletic programs for employees
and their families such as bowling and
softball leagues, social functions, and,
to an increasing extent, exercise and
fitness programs.
Recreation workers should not be
confused with r e c r e a tio n a l th e r a p i s ts ,
who help individuals recover or adjust
to illness, disability, or specific social
problems. The work of recreational
therapists is described elsewhere in
the H a n d b o o k .
Recreation workers occupy a vari­
ety of positions at different levels of
responsibility. R e c r e a t i o n l e a d e r s
provide face-to-face leadership and
are responsible for a recreation pro­
gram ’s daily operation. They may
give instruction in crafts, games, and
sports; keep records; and maintain
recreation facilities. Recreation lead­
ers who give instruction in specialties
such as art, music, drama, swimming,
or tennis are called a c t iv i ty s p e c ia l­
is ts . They often conduct classes and
coach teams in the activity in which
they specialize. A camp counselor,
who is generally a recreation leader,
may also be an activity specialist.
Recreation leaders usually work un­
der a supervisor.
R e c r e a tio n s u p e r v is o r s plan pro­
grams to meet the needs of the popu­
lation they serve; supervise recreation
leaders, sometimes over an entire re­
gion; and direct specialized activities.

Working Conditions
While the average week for recreation
workers is 35-40 hours, people enter­

ing this field should expect some night
work and irregular hours. Workers
often spend much time outdoors.
The work setting for recreation
workers may be anywhere from a va­
cation cruise ship to a woodland rec­
reational park. Generally, employ­
ment follows overall population pat­
terns; most jobs are in the urban and
suburban areas where the majority of
Americans live. Jobs in camping are
found mostly in the less populated
areas of the country because of the
outdoor orientation of camping pro­
grams. Some camp workers receive
room and board as part of their com­

R e c re a tio n w o rk e rs h eld a b o u t
123,000 jobs in 1984. (This estimate
does not include many summer work­
ers.) Nearly 40 percent of the jobs
were in government agencies, primar­
ily in park and recreation departments
at the municipal and county levels.
State park systems employ some rec­
reation workers, and the Federal Gov­
ernment employs a small number of
recreation specialists, sports special­
ists, outdoor recreation planners, and
recreation assistants and aides for
programs run by the Veterans Admin­
istration and the Departments of De­
fense and Interior.
Nearly 25 percent of the jobs were
in membership organizations with a
civic, social, fraternal, or religious
o rientation—the Boy Scouts, the
Y.W .C.A., and Red Cross, for exam­
ple. Not quite 15 percent were in
programs run by social service orga­
nizations (senior centers and adult
day care programs, for example) or in
residential care facilities such as half­
way houses, group homes, and insti­
tutions for delinquent youth.
Other employers include nursing
homes and, increasingly, commercial
recreation establishments—including
amusement parks, sports and enter­
tainment centers, wilderness and sur­
vival enterprises, tourist attractions,
vacation excursions, hotels and other
resorts, camps, health spas, athletic
clubs, apartment complexes, and oth­
er settings.
The recreation field is characterized
by an unusually large number of parttime, seasonal, and volunteer jobs.
Some volunteers serve on local park
and recreation boards and commis­
sions. The vast majority, however,
serve as volunteer activity leaders at

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/117
local playgrounds, or in youth organi­
zations, camps, nursing homes, hos­
pitals, senior centers, and other set­
tings. Volunteer experience and parttime work during school may lead to a
full-time job. The largest number of
paid employees in the recreation field
are part-time or seasonal workers.
Typical jobs include summer camp
counselors and playground leaders,
lifeguards, craft specialists, and after­
school and weekend recreation pro­
gram leaders. Many jobs are filled by
teachers and college students.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Educational requirements for jobs in
this field range from a high school
diploma or less for many summer jobs
to graduate education for administra­
tive positions in large public systems.
Many applicants for full-time career
positions are college graduates with
majors in recreation, leisure studies,
or physical education, but a bache­
lor’s degree in any liberal arts field
may be appropriate. Some jobs re­
quire specialized training in a particu­
lar field, such as art, music, drama, or
athletics, and some require special
certification, such as holding a lifesav­
ing certificate to teach swimming.
A college degree is not always nec­
essary. Some recreation positions are
filled by high school graduates, while
others are filled by graduates of asso­
ciate degree programs in parks and
recreation, social work, and other hu­
man service disciplines. A number of
jobs in this field are held by college
students who work part time while
earning a degree.
Most supervisors have a bachelor’s
degree plus experience. Persons with
academic preparation in parks and
recreation management, leisure stud­
ies, physical education, fitness man­
agement, and related fields generally
have better prospects for career ad­
vancement, although this varies from
one employer to another.
A bachelor’s degree and experience
are considered minimum requirements
for administrators. However, increas­
ing numbers are obtaining m aster’s
degrees in parks and recreation as
well as in related disciplines. Many
persons in other disciplines, including
social work, forestry, and resource
management, pursue graduate degrees
in recreation.
In industrial recreation, or “ em­
ployee services’’ as this field is more

At local playgrounds, recreation workers organize and coach sports programs.
commonly called, companies prefer
applicants with a bachelor’s degree in
recreation and a strong background in
business administration.
In 1984, about 200 community and
junior colleges offered associate de­
gree park and recreation programs,
and 300 colleges and universities of­
fered programs leading to a bache­
lor’s, m aster’s, or Ph.D. degree.
The Council on A ccreditation,
sponsored by the National Recreation
and Park Association and the Ameri­
can Association for Leisure and Rec­
reation, accredits park and recreation
curriculums at the bachelor’s degree
level. Accredited programs provide
broad exposure to the history, theory,
and philosophy of park and recreation
management. Courses are offered in
community organization; supervision
and administration; recreational needs
of special populations such as the eld­
erly or handicapped; and supervised
fieldwork. Students have an opportu­
nity to specialize in areas such as
therapeutic recreation, park manage­
ment, outdoor recreation, industrial
or commercial recreation, and camp
The American Camping Associa­
tion has developed a curriculum for
camp director education in colleges
and universities. Many national youth
associations offer training courses for

camp directors at the local and region­
al levels.
Persons planning recreation careers
must be good at motivating people
and sensitive to their needs. Good
health and physical stamina are re­
quired. Activity planning calls for cre­
ativity and resourcefulness. Willing­
ness to accept responsibility and the
ability to exercise judgment are im­
portant qualities since recreation per­
sonnel often work alone. To increase
their leadership skills and understand­
ing of people, students are advised to
obtain related work experience in high
school and college. Such experience
may help students decide whether
their interests really point to a human
service career. Students also should
talk to local park and recreation pro­
fessionals, school guidance counse­
lors, and others.
Certification for this field is offered
by the National Recreation and Park
Association (NRPA) and the Ameri­
can Camping Association. Over 30
States have adopted NRPA standards
for park/recreation technicians and
park/recreation professionals. The
American Camping Association certi­
fies individuals who meet their stan­
dards of professional competence,
and so does the National Employee
Services and Recreation Association.
Neither registration nor certifica­

118/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tion is usually required for employ­
ment or advancement in this field.
However, employers faced with an
abundance of qualified applicants are
likely to give preference to those with
professional credentials.

Job Outlook
Employment of recreation workers is
expected to grow faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the
mid-1990’s. Factors that point to fu­
ture expansion of this field include a
growing number of people with both
leisure time and the money to pur­
chase leisure services; rapidly in­
creasing demand for recreational op­
portunities in nursing homes, senior
centers, and retirement communities;
and more activity programs for spe­
cial populations such as the emotion­
ally disturbed. Most job openings,
however, will result from replacement
The outlook for recreation workers
depends to a large extent on local
governm ent funding. Budget con­
straints are likely to continue, al­
though priorities as well as resources
for public services vary from one
community to another. Park and rec­
reation programs often are among the
first to be cut when budget problems
Camping, however, is supported
primarily by the private sector—by
profitmaking firms as well as volun­
tary agencies—and therefore is not as
vulnerable to budget cuts as publicly
funded recreation programs. Indus­
try-sponsored recreation and fitness
programs are popular with employers,
who see them as a means of holding
down employee health care costs.
Continued growth in these programs
is foreseen.
Because the field is open to all col­
lege graduates regardless of major,
the number of applicants for full-time
positions in recreation greatly ex­

ceeds the number of job openings.
Keen competition for jobs is expected
to continue. Individuals with recrea­
tion experience, and those with for­
mal training in recreation, are expect­
ed to have the best opportunities for
staff positions. Those with graduate
degrees should have the best opportu­
nities for supervisory or administra­
tive positions.
Commercial recreation is expected
to offer more favorable opportunities
than either the public or voluntary
sectors. Hiring practices in commer­
cial recreation vary a great deal, how­
ever, and employers’ preference for
applicants with formal training in rec­
reation, physical education, and relat­
ed fields has not been clearly estab­
The market for recreation and ac­
tivity jobs in the field of aging is likely
to remain competitive due to the large
number of qualified applicants. Al­
though employers seek recreational
therapists when staffing programs for
severely disabled older persons, they
consider applicants from a variety of
backgrounds for programs that serve
the “ well elderly.” This greatly in­
creases the amount of competition for
recreation jobs in senior centers, re­
tirement communities, and local park
and recreation department programs
for the elderly. Activities programs in
nursing homes, too, attract an abun­
dance of jobseekers.

According to a 1984 survey by the
International Personnel Management
Association, municipalities paid rec­
reation workers with a bachelor’s de­
gree an average beginning salary of
about $15,000; experienced workers,
about $19,000. Recreation supervisors
earned about $20,500 to start ; experi­
en ced su p e rv iso rs e a rn e d a b o u t
According to the American Camp­

ing Association, the average salary for
camp directors was about $1,600 a
month in municipally operated camps
in 1984. Salaries for camp directors in
private camps were somewhat higher.
Most public and private recreation
agencies provide vacation and other
fringe benefits such as sick leave and
hospital insurance.

Related Occupations
Recreation workers must exhibit lead­
ership and sensitivity in dealing with
people. Other occupations that re­
quire similar personal qualities in­
clude recreation therapists, social
workers, parole officers, human rela­
tions counselors, school counselors,
clinical and counseling psychologists,
and teachers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about careers in recrea­
tion and instructions for ordering a
directory of educational programs are
available from:
N ation al R ecreation and Park A sso c ia tio n , D i­
v ision o f P rofession al S e r v ic es, 3101 Park C en­
ter D r., A lexandria, V a. 22302.
A m erican A sso c ia tio n for L eisu re and R ecrea­
tion, 1900 A sso c ia tio n D r., R esto n , V a. 22091.

The NRPA also publishes a bulletin
of job openings twice monthly.
For information on careers in indus­
trial recreation, contact:
N ation al E m p lo y ee S erv ices and R ecreation
A s s o c ia t io n , 2 4 0 0 S o u th D o w n in g S t.,
W estch ester, 111. 60153.

For information on careers in camp­
ing and summer counselor opportuni­
ties, send request and postpaid return
envelope to:
A m e ric a n C am p in g A s s o c ia t io n , B rad ford
W ood s, M artinsville, Ind. 46151.

For information about a career as
an activity coordinator in a nursing
home, contact:
A m erican H ealth Care A sso c ia tio n , 1200 15th
St. N W ., W ash in gton, D .C . 20005.

Religious Workers
Most religious workers are members
of the clergy. A career in the clergy
requires considerations different from
those in other career fields. Persons
entering the ministry, priesthood, or
rabbinate should do so primarily be­
cause they possess a strong religious
faith and a desire to help others. Nev­
ertheless, knowledge about the pro­
fession, how to prepare for it, and the
kind of life it offers is important.
The number of clergy needed de­
pends largely on the number of people
who participate in organized religious
groups. This affects the number of
churches and synagogues established
and pulpits to be filled. In addition to
the clergy who serve congregations,
many others teach or act as adminis­
trators in seminaries and in other ed­
ucational institutions; still others
serve as chaplains in the Armed Forc­
es, industry, correctional institutions,
hospitals, or on college campuses;
some serve as missionaries or work in
social welfare agencies.
Persons considering a career in the
clergy should seek the counsel of a
religious leader of their faith to aid in
evaluating their qualifications. Most
important are a deep religious belief
and a desire to serve the spiritual
needs of others. Priests, ministers,
and rabbis also are expected to be
models of moral and ethical conduct.
A person considering one of these
fields must realize that the civic, so­
cial, and recreational activities of a
member of the clergy often are influ­
enced and restricted by the customs
and attitudes of the community.
The clergy should be sensitive to
the needs of others and able to help
people deal with these needs. The job
demands an ability to speak and write
effectively, to organize, and to super­
vise others. The person entering this
field also must enjoy studying, be­
cause the occupation requires contin­
uous learning and demands consider­
able initiative and self-discipline.
In addition to the clergy, some lay
people are religious workers. Many
coordinate the activities of various
denominational groups to meet the
religious needs of students or direct

religious school programs designed to
promote religious education among
members of their faith. Like members
of the clergy, they sometimes provide
counseling and guidance on marital,
health, financial, and religious prob­
lems. Lay people are assuming an
increasingly important role in nonliturgical functions.
Education and training require­
ments as well as job prospects for the
clergy vary widely among faiths and
even among branches within some
faiths, as does the need for lay work­
ers. A detailed discussion of training
requirements, job prospects, and oth­
er information on the clergy in the
three largest faiths in the United
States—Protestant, Roman Catholic,
and Jewish—is presented in the fol­
lowing statements. Information on the
clergy in other faiths and on lay reli­
gious workers may be obtained direct­
ly from leaders of the respective

within a denomination. In many de­
nominations, ministers follow a tradi­
tional order of worship; in others,
they adapt the services to the needs of
youth and other groups within the
congregation. Most services include
Bible reading, hymn singing, prayers,
and a sermon. In some denomina­
tions, Bible reading by a member of
the congregation and individual testi­
monials may constitute a large part of
the service.
Ministers serving small congrega­
tions generally work personally with
parishioners. Those serving large con­
gregations have greater administrative
responsibilities and spend consider­
able time working with committees,
church officers, and staff, besides oth­
er duties. They may share specific
aspects of the ministry with one or
more associates or assistants, such as
a minister of education who assists in
educational programs for different age
groups, or a minister of music.

Working Conditions

Protestant Ministers
(D.O.T. 120.007)

Nature of the Work
Protestant ministers lead their congre­
gations in worship services and ad­
m inister the various rites of the
church, such as baptism, confirma­
tion, and Holy Communion. They
prepare and deliver sermons and give
religious instruction. They also per­
form marriages; conduct funerals;
counsel individuals who seek guid­
ance; visit the sick, aged, and handi­
capped at home and in the hospital;
com fort the bereaved; and serve
church members in other ways. Many
Protestant ministers write articles for
publication, give speeches, and en­
gage in interfaith, community, civic,
educational, and recreational activi­
ties sponsored by or related to the
interests of the church. Some minis­
ters teach in seminaries and colleges
and universities.
The services that ministers conduct
differ among Protestant denomina­
tions and also among congregations

Ministers are “ on call’’ for any seri­
ous troubles or emergencies that in­
volve or affect members of their
churches. They also may work long
and irregular hours in administrative,
educational, and community service
Many of the ministers’ duties are
sedentary, such as reading or doing
research in a study or a library to
prepare sermons or write articles.
In some denominations, ministers
are reassigned by a central body to a
new pastorate every few years.

In 1984, there were an estimated
416.000 Protestant ministers, of whom
252.000 served individual congrega­
tions. Others worked in closely relat­
ed fields such as chaplains in hospi­
tals, the Armed Forces, universities,
and correctional institutions. While
there are numerous denominations,
most ministers are employed by the
five largest Protestant bodies—Bap­
tist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyteri­
an, and Episcopalian.
All cities and most towns in the
1 19

120/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Persons who have denominational
qualifications for the ministry usually
are ordained after graduation from a
seminary or after serving a probation­
ary pastoral period. Denominations
that do not require seminary training
ordain clergy at various appointed
times. For example, some Evangelical
churches may ordain ministers with
only a high school education.
Men and women entering the clergy
often begin their careers as pastors of
small congregations or as assistant
pastors in large churches.

Job Outlook

Preparing a sermon is an important responsibility of ministers.
United States have at least one Prot­
estant church with a full-time minis­
ter. Although most ministers are lo­
cated in urban areas, many serve two
or more small congregations in less
densely populated areas. Some small
churches increasingly are employing
part-time ministers who are seminary
students, retired ministers, or holders
of secular jobs. Unpaid pastors serve
other churches with tight budgets.
Some churches em ploy specially
trained members of the laity to con­
duct nonliturgical functions.

Training and Other Qualifications
Educational requirements for entry
into the Protestant ministry vary great­
ly. Some denominations have no for­
mal educational requirem ents, and
others ordain persons having various
types of training in Bible colleges,
Bible institutes, or liberal arts colleg­
In 1984, about 140 American Prot­
estant theological schools were ac­
credited by the Association of Theo­
logical Schools in the United States
and Canada. These admit only stu­
dents who have received a bachelor’s
degree or its equivalent with a liberal
arts major from an accredited college.
Many denominations require a 3-year
course of professional study in one of
these accredited schools or seminar­
ies after college graduation for the
degree of master of divinity.
Recommended preseminary or un­
dergraduate college courses include
English, history, philosophy, natural

sciences, social sciences, fine arts,
music, religion, and foreign languag­
es. These courses provide a knowl­
edge of modern social, cultural, and
scientific institutions and problems.
However, students considering theo­
logical study should contact, at the
earliest possible date, their denomina­
tions and the schools to which they
intend to apply, to learn how to pre­
pare for the program they hope to
The standard curriculum for ac­
credited theological schools consists
of four major categories: Biblical, his­
torical, theological, and practical.
Courses of a practical nature include
pastoral care, preaching, religious ed­
ucation, and administration. Many ac­
credited schools require that students
work under the supervision of a fac­
ulty member or experienced minister.
Some institutions offer doctor of min­
istry degrees to students who have
completed additional study, usually 2
or more years, and served at least 2
years as a minister. Scholarships and
loans are available for students of
theological institutions.
In general, each large denomination
has its own school or schools of the­
ology that reflect its particular doc­
trine, interests, and needs. However,
many of these schools are open to
students from other denominations.
Several interdenominational schools
associated with universities give both
undergraduate and graduate training
covering a wide range of theological
points of view.

The pressures of rising costs and in­
adequate financial support due to the
anticipated slow growth in church
membership are expected to result in
only limited growth in the need for
ministers through the mid-1990’s. The
number of persons being ordained has
been increasing, and this trend is like­
ly to continue. As a result, new grad­
uates of theological schools are ex­
pected to face increasing competition
in finding positions, and more experi­
enced ministers will face competition
in moving to larger congregations with
greater responsibility. The supplydemand situation will vary among de­
nominations and geographic regions.
For example, more favorable pros­
pects are expected for ministers in
Evangelical churches. Ministers will­
ing to work in rural areas, especially
those adjacent to metropolitan re­
gions, also should have relatively fa­
vorable opportunities. Most of the
openings for ministers through the
mid-1990’s will arise from the need to
replace retirees, and, to a lesser ex­
tent, those who die or leave the min­
Employment alternatives for newly
ordained Protestant ministers who are
unable to find positions in parishes
include working in youth counseling,
family relations, and welfare organi­
zations; teaching in religious educa­
tional institutions; and serving as
chaplains in the Armed Forces, hos­
pitals, universities, and correctional

Salaries of Protestant clergy vary sub­
stantially, depending on age, experi­
ence, denomination, size and wealth
of congregation, and geographic loca­
tion. Based on limited information,
the estimated average annual income
of Protestant ministers was about

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/121
$18,000 in 1984. In large, wealthier
denom inations, ministers averaged
$25,000 or more. Fringe benefits, such
as housing and transportation, may
add as much as 25 percent to a minis­
ter’s annual salary. Increasingly, min­
isters with modest salaries earn addi­
tional income from employment in
secular occupations.

Related Occupations
Protestant ministers advise and coun­
sel individuals and groups regarding
their religious as well as personal,
social, and vocational development.
Other occupations involved in this
type of work include social workers,
clinical and counseling psychologists,
teachers, and counselors.

Sources of Additional Information
Persons who are interested in entering
the Protestant ministry should seek
the counsel of a minister or church
guidance worker. Each theological
school can supply information on ad­
mission requirem ents. Prospective
ministers also should contact the or­
dination supervision body of their par­
ticular denomination for information
on special requirements for ordina­
Occupational information about the
Protestant ministry can also be ob­
tained from:
N ational C ou ncil o f C h urch es, P rofession al
Church L eadership, R oom 770, 475 R iverside
D r., N e w Y ork, N .Y . 10115.

Rabbis serve either Orthodox, Con­
servative, Reform, or Reconstruction­
ist congregations. Regardless of their
particular point of view, all Jewish
congregations preserve the substance
of Jewish religious worship. Congre­
gations differ in the extent to which
they follow the traditional form of
worship—for example, in the wearing
of head coverings, the use of Hebrew
as the language of prayer, or the use
of instrumental music or a choir. The
format of the worship service and,
therefore, the ritual that the rabbis use
may vary even among congregations
belonging to the same branch of Juda­
Rabbis also may write for religious
and lay publications and teach in theo­
logical seminaries, colleges, and uni­

Working Conditions
Rabbis work long hours and are “ on
call” to visit the sick, comfort the
bereaved, and counsel those who
need it. Community and educational
activities may also require long or
irregular hours.
Some of their duties are intellectual
and sedentary, such as studying reli­
gious texts, researching and writing
sermons and articles for publication,
and preparing lectures for adult edu­
Rabbis have a good deal of indepen­
dent authority, since they have no

formal hierarchy. They are responsi­
ble only to the board of trustees of the
congregations they serve.

In 1984, there were an estimated 6,500
practicing rabbis. Over 1,100 Ortho­
dox rabbis served congregations,
many of them relatively small. In ad­
dition, 800 Conservative, 750 Reform,
and 65 Reconstructionist rabbis had
synagogues. Most of the rest taught in
Jewish Studies programs at colleges
and universities. Others worked as
chaplains in the military services, in
hospitals and other institutions, or in
one of the many Jewish community
service agencies.
Although rabbis serve Jewish com­
munities throughout the Nation, they
are concentrated in major metropoli­
tan areas that have large Jewish pop­

Training and Other Qualifications
To become eligible for ordination as a
rabbi, a student must complete a
course of study in a seminary. En­
trance requirements and the curricu­
lum depend upon the branch of Juda­
ism with which the seminary is asso­
About 30 seminaries train Orthodox
rabbis. The Rabbi Isaac Elchanan
Theological Seminary and the Beth
Medrash Govoha Seminary are repre­
sentative of Orthodox seminaries. The

(D.Q.T. 120.007)___________________________________

Nature of the Work
Rabbis are the spiritual leaders of
their congregations, and teachers and
interpreters of Jewish law and tradi­
tion. They conduct religious services
and deliver sermons on the Sabbath
and on Jewish holidays. Like other
clergy, rabbis conduct weddings and
funeral services, visit the sick, help
the poor, comfort the bereaved, su­
pervise religious education programs,
engage in interfaith activities, and in­
volve themselves in community af­
Rabbis serving large congregations
may spend considerable time in ad­
ministrative duties, working with their
staffs and committees. Large congre­
gations frequently have an associate
or assistant rabbi. Many assistant rab­
bis serve as educational directors.

A rabbi discusses religious school curriculum with parent.

122/Occupational Outlook Handbook
former requires a bachelor’s degree
for entry and has a formal 3-year
ordination program. The latter has no
formal admission requirements but
may require more years of study for
ordination. The training is rigorous.
When students have become suffi­
ciently learned in the Talmud, the
Bible, and other religious studies,
they may be ordained with the ap­
proval of an authorized rabbi, acting
either independently or as a repre­
sentative of a rabbinical seminary.
The Jewish Theological Seminary
of America trains rabbis for the Con­
servative branch. The Hebrew Union
College—Jewish Institute of Religion
trains rabbis for the Reform branch.
Both seminaries require the comple­
tion of a 4-year college course, as well
as earlier preparation in Jewish stud­
ies, for admission to the rabbinical
program leading to ordination. A stu­
dent with a strong background in Jew­
ish studies can complete the course at
the Conservative seminary in 4 years;
for other enrollees, the course may
take as long as 6 years. Normally, 5
years of study are required to com­
plete the rabbinical course at the Re­
form seminary, including 1 year of
preparatory study in Jerusalem. Ex­
ceptionally w ell-prepared students
can shorten this 5-year period to a
minimum of 3 years.
The Reconstructionist Rabbinical
College trains rabbis in the newest
branch of Judaism. A bachelor’s de­
gree is required for admission. The
rabbinical program is based on a 5year course of study which emphasiz­
es, in each year, a period in the histo­
ry of Jewish civilization. Graduates
are awarded the title “ Rabbi” and,
with special study, can earn the Doc­
tor of Hebrew Letters degree.
In general, the curriculums of Jew­
ish theological seminaries provide stu­
dents with a comprehensive knowl­
edge of the Bible, Talmud, Rabbinic
literature, Jewish history, theology,
and courses in education, pastoral
psychology, and public speaking. Stu­
dents get extensive practical training
in dealing with social and political
problems in the community. Training
for alternatives to the pulpit, such as
leadership in community services and
religious education, is increasingly
Some seminaries grant advanced
academic degrees in fields such as
Biblical and Talmudic reasarch. All
Jewish theological seminaries make

scholarships and loans available.
Newly ordained rabbis usually begin
as leaders of small congregations, as­
sistants to experienced rabbis, direc­
tors of Hillel Foundations on college
campuses, teachers in seminaries and
other educational institutions, or
chaplains in the Armed Forces. As a
rule, experienced rabbis fill the pulpits
of large and well-established Jewish

Job Outlook
The job outlook for rabbis varies
among the four major branches of
Orthodox clergy currently face keen
competition because the number of
graduates from Orthodox seminaries
is increasing at a more rapid pace than
the number of pulpits. Orthodox rab­
bis willing to work in rural areas
should have the best prospects.
Rabbis in the Conservative branch
are expected to have good employ­
ment opportunities—primarily in in­
ner cities and areas that attract many
As a result of increasing member­
ship, Reform rabbis should have good
employment opportunities, especially
in small communities.
Reconstructionist rabbis also are
expected to have good employment
opportunities. Membership is expand­
ing rapidly and demand is expected to
exceed supply.
Many rabbis who do not seek a
pulpit work for Jewish social service
agencies. Others may teach in a reli­
gious educational institution, or serve
as chaplain in the Armed Forces or in
hospitals, universities, or correctional

Income varies, depending on the size
and financial status of the congrega­
tion, as well as its denominational
branch and geographic location. Rab­
bis usually earn additional income
from gifts or fees for officiating at
ceremonies such as bar mitzvahs and
Based on limited information, annu­
al earnings of rabbis generally ranged
from $25,000 to $75,000 in 1984, in­
cluding fringe benefits.

Related Occupations
Rabbis advise and counsel individuals
and groups regarding their religious as
well as personal, social, and vocation­
al development. Other occupations in­

volved in this type of work include
social workers, clinical and counsel­
ing psychologists, teachers, and coun­

Sources of Additional Information
Persons who are interested in becom­
ing rabbis should discuss their plans
for a vocation with a practicing rabbi.
Information on the work of rabbis and
allied occupations can be obtained
T he Rabbi Isaac E lchanan T h eological Sem i­
nary, 2540 A m sterdam A v e ., N e w Y ork, N .Y .
10033. (O rthodox)
B eth M edrash G o v o h a Sem inary, 626 Seven th
S t., L ak ew o o d , N .J . 08701. (O rthodox)
T he Jew ish T h eological Sem inary o f A m erica,
3080 B road w ay, N e w Y ork, N .Y . 10027. (C on­
H eb rew U n ion C ollege— Jew ish Institute o f R e­
ligion, D irector o f A d m issio n s, at any one o f
three cam puses: 1 W . 4th S t., N e w Y ork, N .Y .
10012; 3101 C lifton A v e ., C incinn ati, O hio
45220; 3077 U n iversity M all, L o s A n g eles, Cal­
if. 90007. (R eform )
R econ stru ction ist R abbinical C o lleg e, Church
R oad and G reen w ood A v en u e, W y n co te, Pa.

Roman Catholic
(D .O .T. 120.007)

Nature of the Work
Roman Catholic priests attend to the
spiritual, pastoral, moral, and educa­
tional needs of the members of their
church. They deliver sermons, admin­
ister the sacraments of marriage and
of penance, and preside at liturgical
functions, such as funeral services.
They also comfort the sick, console
and counsel those in need of guid­
ance, and assist the poor. In recent
years, some priests have paid increas­
ing attention to nonliturgical concerns
such as human rights and social wel­
A priest’s day usually begins with
morning meditation and Mass and
may end with the hearing of confes­
sions or an evening visit to a hospital
or home. Many priests direct and
serve on church committees, work in
civic and charitable organizations,
and assist in community projects.
The two main classifications of
priests—diocesan (secular) and reli­
gious—have the same powers, ac­
quired through ordination by a bish­
op. The differences lie in their way of
life, their type of work, and the church

Social Scientists, Social Workers, Religious Workers, and Lawyers/123
authority to whom they are immedi­
ately subject. Diocesan priests gener­
ally work individually in parishes as­
signed by the bishop of their diocese.
Religious priests generally work as
part of a religious order, such as the
Jesuits, Dominicans, or Franciscans.
They may engage in specialized activ­
ities, such as teaching or missionary
work, assigned by superiors of their
Both religious and diocesan priests
hold teaching and administrative posts
in Catholic seminaries, colleges and
universities, and high schools. Priests
attached to religious orders staff a
large proportion of the church’s insti­
tutions of higher education and many
high schools, whereas diocesan priests
are usually concerned with the paro­
chial schools attach ed to parish
churches and with diocesan high
schools. The members of religious or­
ders do most of the missionary work
conducted by the Catholic Church in
this country and abroad.

Working Conditions
Priests spend long and irregular hours
working for the church and the com­
Religious priests are assigned duties
by their superiors in their particular
orders. Some religious priests serve
as missionaries in foreign countries
where they may live under difficult
and primitive conditions. Some live a
communal life in monasteries where
they devote themselves to prayer,
study, and assigned work.
Diocesan priests are “ on call” at all
hours to serve their parishioners in
emergency situations. They also have
many intellectual duties including
study of the scriptures and keeping
abreast of current religious and secu­
lar events in order to prepare ser­
mons. Diocesan priests are responsi­
ble to the bishop in the diocese.

Training and Other Qualifications
Preparation for the priesthood gener­
ally requires 8 years of study beyond
high school in 1 of about 240 seminar­
ies. Preparatory study may begin in
the first year of high school, at the
college level, or in theological semi­
naries after college graduation.
High school seminaries provide a
college preparatory program that em­
phasizes English grammar, speech,
literature, and social studies. Latin is
required and modern languages are
encouraged. In growing Hispanic
communities, knowledge of Spanish is
useful. The seminary college offers a
liberal arts program stressing philoso­
phy and religion, the study of man
through the behavioral sciences and
history, and the natural sciences and
mathematics. In many college semi­
naries, a student may concentrate in
any of these fields.
The remaining 4 years of preparation
include sacred scripture; dogmatic,
moral, and pastoral theology; homilet­
ics (art of preaching); church history;
liturgy (Mass); and canon law. Field­
work experience usually is required; in
recent years, this aspect of a priest’s
training has been emphasized. Dioce­
san and religious priests attend different
major seminaries where slight varia­
tions in the training reflect the differ­
ences in their duties. Priests commit
themselves not to marry.
Postgraduate work in theology is
offered at a number of American
Catholic universities or at ecclesiasti­

cal universities around the world, par­
ticularly in Rome. Also, many priests
do graduate work in fields unrelated to
theology. Priests are encouraged by
the Catholic Church to continue their
studies, at least informally, after ordi­
nation. In recent years, continuing
education for ordained priests has
stressed social sciences, such as soci­
ology and psychology.
Young men never are denied entry
into seminaries because of lack of
funds. In seminaries for secular priests,
scholarships or loans are available.
Those in religious seminaries are fi­
nanced by contributions of benefactors.
A newly ordained secular priest
usually works as an assistant pastor or
curate. Newly ordained priests of re­
ligious orders are assigned to the spe­
cialized duties for which they are
trained. Depending on the talents, in­
terests, and experience of the individ­
ual, many opportunities for greater
responsibility exist within the church.

Job Outlook
More priests will be needed in the
years ahead to provide for the spiritu­
al, educational, and social needs of
the increasing number of Catholics. In
recent years, the number of ordained
priests has been insufficient to fill the
needs of newly established parishes
and other Catholic institutions, and to
replace priests who retire, die, or
leave the priesthood. This situation is
likely to persist and perhaps worsen,
if the drop in seminary enrollment

There were approxim ately 58,000
priests in 1984, according to the Offi­
cial Catholic Directory. Over 19,000—
primarily diocesan priests—served
congregations. There are priests in
nearly every city and town and in
many rural communities. The major­
ity are in metropolitan areas, where
most Catholics reside. Large numbers
of priests are located in communities
near Catholic educational and other

A priest explains the ceremonial procedures to the future newlyweds.

124/Occupational Outlook Handbook
continues and if an increasing propor­
tion of priests retires as expected.
In response to the shortage of priests,
certain traditional functions may now
be performed by lay deacons and by
teams of clergy and laity. Presently
about 6,700 lay deacons have been or­
dained to preach and perform liturgical
functions such as distributing Holy
Communion and reading the gospel at
the Mass. Teams of clergy and laity
undertake nonliturgical functions such
as hospital visits and meetings. These
trends are expected to increase. Priests
will continue to offer Mass, administer
sacraments, and hear confession, but
may be less involved in teaching and
administrative work.

Diocesan priests’ salaries vary from
diocese to diocese. Based on limited
information, most salaries range from
$4,000 to $6,000 a year. The diocesan
priest also may receive a car allow­

ance, free room and board in the par­
ish rectory, and fringe benefits such as
group insurance and retirement bene­
fits in the diocese.
Religious priests take a vow of pov­
erty and are supported by their reli­
gious order.
Priests who do special work related
to the church, such as teaching, usu­
ally receive a partial salary which is
less than a lay person in the same
position would receive. The differ­
ence between the usual salary for
these jobs and the salary that the
priest receives is called “ contributed
service.” In some of these situations,
housing and related expenses may be
provided; in other cases, the priest
must make his own arrangements.
Some priests doing special work may
receive the same compensation that a
lay person would receive.

Related Occupations
Roman Catholic priests advise and

counsel individuals and groups re­
garding their religious as well as per­
sonal, social, and vocational develop­
ment. Other occupations involved in
this type of work include social work­
ers, clinical and counseling psycholo­
gists, teachers, and counselors.

Sources of Additional Information
Young men interested in entering the
priesthood should seek the guidance
and counsel of their parish priests.
For information regarding the differ­
ent religious orders and the secular
priesthood, as well as a list of the
seminaries which prepare students for
the priesthood, contact the diocesan
Director of Vocations through the of­
fice of the local pastor or bishop.
Occupational information about the
Roman Catholic priesthood can also
be obtained from:
National Catholic Vocation Council, 1307 S.
Wabash Avenue, Chicago, 111. 60605.

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians,
Archivists, and Curators
Teaching, librarianship, and counsel­
ing are “ people-oriented” fields that
involve helping others learn, acquire
information, or gain insight into them­
selves. Archivists and curators are
more involved with “ things.” They
may also help people learn and gain
information, but do not usually work
as closely with them as teachers, li­
brarians, and counselors. These pro­
fessionals usually require a bachelor’s
degree, although some require a mas­
ter’s or doctoral degree.
Teaching is one of the largest occu­
pations in the United States. In 1984,
kindergarten and elementary school
teachers held about 1.4 million jobs,
secondary school teachers held 1.0
million, and college and university
teachers held about 730,000. Many
others held jobs as teachers in pre­
school programs and nursery schools;
in public and private vocational edu­
cation programs; in dance, music, and
art studios; and in other places.
L ibrarianship and counseling are
much smaller fields. In 1984, librari­
ans and audiovisual specialists held
approximately 160,000 jobs and coun­
selors about 150,000. Archivists and
curators held an estimated 11,000 jobs
in 1984.
Teaching takes place in many dif­
ferent settings, and most people would
agree that education is a lifelong proc­
ess. But perhaps our most influential
educational experiences occur during
the period of formal education, begin­
ning in preschool or kindergarten and
extending through early adulthood.
Teachers help students gain the skills
they need to function in the world
around them, encouraging them to
explore many subjects and master
some; to identify interests and values;
to learn to make decisions; and to
think for themselves.
Librarianship is undergoing pro­
found changes as libraries try to keep
up with the information explosion,
assimilate new technology, and re­
spond to budget pressures. Many li­

and vocational guidance in a wide
range of settings, including schools
and colleges, rehabilitation centers,
community mental health centers,
halfway houses, and counseling cen­
ters for women, minorities, veterans,
ex-ofifenders, and alcohol or drug
abusers. Some employers require a
m aster’s degree in counseling, coun­
seling psychology, social work, or a
related field, but others do not.
Archivists and curators acquire,
catalog, restore, maintain, and exhibit
historical documents, works of art,
plants, buildings, and battle sites.
Most archivists and curators work for
Federal, State, or local government
agencies or private museums.
Job prospects in some occupations,
such as college and university faculty,
and archivists and curators are ex­
pected to be competitive overall. Job
p ro sp e c ts fo r elem en tary school
teachers are expected to be more fa­
vorable as enrollments increase. Best
job opportunities for counselors are
expected in nonschool settings, and
for librarians in special libraries.
More detailed information on job

braries are restructuring services and
looking for new ways to share re­
Public libraries, long thought of as
centers for recreational reading, are
enlarging the scope of their activities
and finding additional ways to serve
the community—as information and
referral services, cultural centers, and
learning centers or “ open universi­
ties.” School libraries, also called
media centers because so much of
their collection is not in printed form,
have become an integral part of the
learning experience in elementary and
secondary schools. College and uni­
versity libraries provide both refer­
ence collections for students and sup­
port for highly specialized research.
Special libraries and documentation
centers, which generally tailor serv­
ices to a single group of users, have
led the field in the use of computers
for information storage and retrieval.
Expertise in library automation is im­
portant for all kinds of librarians,
Counseling has many, dimensions.
Counselors provide personal, social,

Growth in education-related occupations will vary greatly
through the mid-1990’s.

Projected percent change in employment, 1984-95
-1 5

-1 0








and elementary
school teachers
and curators
school teachers1
College and
university faculty
1No growth until after 1990.
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics


126/Occupational Outlook Handbook
outlook and alternative careers ap­
pears in the statements that follow.

Kindergarten and
Elementary School
(D.O.T. 092.227-010, -014; 094.224-010, .227-010
through -022; 099.224-010)

Nature of the Work
Kindergarten and elementary school
teachers play a vital role in the deveh
opment of children. What is learned
or not learned in the early years can
shape children’s views of themselves
and the world, and affect later success
or failure in school and work.
K in d e rg a rte n and e le m e n ta ry
school teachers introduce children to
the basics of mathematics, language,
science, and social studies. They try
to instill good study habits and an
appreciation for learning, as well as
observe and evaluate each child’s per­
formance and potential. Elementary
school teachers may use films, slides,
computers, or instructional games to
help children learn in creative ways.
They also arrange class trips, speak­
ers, and class projects.
Teachers keep track of their stu­
dents’ social development and health.
They observe each child’s behavior
and discuss problems—such as habit­
ual resistance to authority—with the
parents. Teachers also report health

problems to parents and school health
Most elementary school teachers
instruct a group of children in several
subjects while providing individual at­
tention as much as possible. In some
schools, two or more teachers team
teach and are jointly responsible for a
group of students or for a particular
subject. An increasing number of ele­
mentary school teachers specialize
and teach one or two subjects to sev­
eral classes. Some teach subjects such
as music, art, or physical education,
/while others concentrate on the spe­
cial needs of certain groups—those
who have reading problems or those
who do not speak English, for exam­
Much of a teacher’s work occurs
outside the classroom. Teachers gen­
erally prepare lessons and grade pa­
pers at home, attend faculty meetings,
and supervise extracurricular activi­
ties after school. They also serve on
faculty committees such as those to
revise curricula or to evaluate the
school’s objectives and the students’
performance. To stay up to date on
educational materials and teaching
techniques, they may participate in
workshops and other inservice activi­
ties or take college courses.
Many schools employ teacher aides
to do clerical work and supervise
lunch and blayground activities so
that teachers' can give more individual
attention to students.

Job prospects for kindergarten and elementary school teachers have improved.

Working Conditions
Teachers spend much of their time
standing or walking. Kindergarten
teachers may join their students on
the floor to finger paint, cut out pic­
tures, or do other crafts.
A teacher may often have to deal
with disruptive, disrespectful, and
som etim es even violent children.
Teachers may also have students of
widely different backgrounds and abil­
ities in the same classroom—those
who have little knowledge of English
and those who are handicapped, for
example. This can be physically, men­
tally, and emotionally taxing.
Most elementary school teachers
work a traditional 2-sem ester, 10month school year with a 2-month
vacation. Teachers on a 10-month
schedule may teach in the summer
session or take other jobs. Many en­
roll in college courses or special work­
shops. Some teachers in year-round
schools work 8-week sessions, are off
1 week between sessions, and have a
long midwinter break. This 12-month
schedule makes it difficult for teachers
to take supplemental jobs.
In most States, the public schools
must be in session a minimum number
of days. This number varies from 175
to 205 days. In 1985, the average
number of instruction days was 184.
Most States as well as the District
of Columbia have tenure laws that
protect the jobs of teachers who have
taught satisfactorily for a certain num­
ber of years. A teacher normally must
serve a satisfactory probationary pe­
riod of 3 years before attaining tenure.
Tenure is not an automatic guarantee
of job security, but it does provide
some protection.

Kindergarten and elementary school
teachers held 1,381,000 jobs in 1984.
M ost elem entary school teachers
work in public schools that have stu­
dents in kindergarten through grade
six; however, some teach in middle
schools that cover the 3 or 4 years
between the lower elementary grades
and 4 years of high school. Fourteen
percent of elementary school teachers
work in private schools.
Since kindergarten and elementary
school teachers work directly with
students, their employment is distrib­
uted geographically much the same as
the population.

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/127
Training, Other Qualifications, and
All 50 States and the District of Co­
lum bia require public elem entary
school teachers to be certified by
State education authorities. Some
States require teachers in private and
parochial schools to be certified as
well. Generally, certification is grant­
ed by the State Board of Education,
the State Superintendent of Educa­
tion, or a Certification Advisory Com­
Teachers may be certified to teach
either the early childhood grades (usu­
ally nursery school through the third
grade) or the elem entary grades
(grades one through six or eight).
Some teachers obtain certification to
teach special education or reading at
the elementary school level.
Requirements for certification vary
by State, and school systems may
have additional hiring requirements.
In all States and the District of Colum­
bia, however, public kindergarten and
elementary school teachers must have
a bachelor’s degree from an institu­
tion with an approved teacher educa­
tion program. Teacher training pro­
grams include a variety of liberal arts
courses as well as student teaching
and prescribed professional education
courses such as philosophy of educa­
tion, psychology of learning, and
teaching methodology. Many States
require teachers to obtain a m aster’s
degree within a certain period after
beginning work.
Seventeen States require applicants
for certification to be tested for com­
petency either in basic skills, subject
matter, teaching skills, or a combina­
tion of these. Twenty-six States have
health requirements. Initial teaching
certificates range from 1 year to life,
but life certificates are becoming less
common. Complete information on
requirements for elementary school
teaching is available from State de­
partments of education or superinten­
dents of schools.
Information about whether a partic­
ular teacher training program is ap­
proved can be obtained from the insti­
tution offering the training or from the
State department of education: Many
States have reciprocity agreements
that allow teachers who are certified
in one State to become certified in
K in d e rg a rte n and e le m e n ta ry
school teachers should be creative,
dependable, patient, and competent in

the same rate in all parts of the coun­
try, however. Largely because of mi­
gration to the South and West, popu­
lation growth (and therefore the in­
crease in enrollments) is expected to
be greater in those regions.
W hether an elem entary school
teacher “ shortage” develops depends
not only on demand for teachers but
on supply as well. The basic sources
of teacher supply are recent graduates
qualified to teach at the elementary
school level and former teachers seek­
ing reentry to the occupation. The
greater availability of jobs, rising sal­
aries, and heightened public interest
in education are encouraging more
Job Outlook
Job prospects for kindergarten and people to prepare for elem entary
elementary school teachers are ex­ school teaching and may also attract
pected to improve. Employment is more people from the teacher reserve
expected to grow faster than the aver­ pool. The reserve pool is very large
age for all occupations through the because many elem entary school
mid-1990’s, reflecting rising enroll­ teachers are women who left teaching
ments. Additional positions also are for household responsibilities and also
expected as a result of lower pupil- because there had been an oversupply
teacher ratios. Many job openings will of these teachers for many years. In
also occur to replace teachers who 1982-83, more than one-third of those
leave the profession. If the number of who entered elementary school teach­
new college graduates prepared to ing had not worked the previous year
teach in elementary school remains at because of household responsibilities,
the current level, there may be more tf supply responses are adequate, a
shortage of elementary school teach­
openings than qualified applicants.
Enrollment levels and employment ers will not develop.
Employment of teachers is also sen­
of classroom teachers are closely as­
sociated. The National Center for Ed­ sitive to changes in State and local
ucation Statistics projects enrollments expenditures for education. Pressure
to increase over the next decade from from taxpayers to limit taxes, and
27.2 million to almost 32 million, re­ spending is likely to inhibit employ­
flecting the rise in the number of ment growth, while recent emphasis
on improving the quality of education
births beginning in the mid-1970’s.
Enrollment growth will not occur at could stimulate it.

handling classroom situations. Most
important, they should be vitally in­
terested in the educational and emo­
tional development of children.
As teachers gain experience, they
may advance to supervisory, adminis­
trative, or specialized positions within
the school system. Often, however,
these positions require additional
training and certification and the num­
ber of positions is limited. As a result,
for mcSil teachers, advancement con­
sists of higher pay rather than addi­
tional responsibility or a higher posi­

The elementary school age population will increase after 1985.

Population 5 to 13 years of age (millions)



Source Bureau of the Census





128/Occupational Outlook Handbook
Although computers are being used
in elementary schools, they are not
expected to affect teacher employ­
ment, since their major use is for
teaching computer concepts, learning
enrichment, and remedial drill and
practice exercises.

According to the National Education
Association, public elementary school
teachers averaged $23,092 a year in
1984-85. Generally, the Mid-Atlantic
and far western States paid the high­
est salaries.
Collective bargaining agreements
cover an increasing number of teach­
ers. In 1984, 33 States and the District
of Columbia had laws that required
collective bargaining in teacher con­
tract negotiations, and an additional 9
States perm itted such bargaining.
Most public school systems that en­
roll 1,000 students or more bargain
with teacher organizations over wag­
es, hours, and the terms and condi­
tions of employment.
Related Occupations
Kindergarten and elementary school
teaching requires a wide variety of
skills and aptitudes, including organi­
zational and administrative abilities; a
talent for working with children; com­
munication skills; the power to influ­
e n c e , motivate, and train others; cre­
ativity; and leadership ability. Work­
ers in other occupations that require
som e of th ese a p titu d e s include
childcare attendants; trainers and em­
ployee development specialists; em­
ploym ent interview ers; librarians;
personnel specialists; public relations
specialists; and social workers and
Sources of Additional Information
Information on certification require­
ments is available from local school
systems and State departments of ed­
Information on teachers’ unions
and education-related issues can be
obtained from:
American Federation of Teachers, 555 New
Jersey Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20001.

General information on the teaching
professions can be obtained from lo­
cal or State affiliates of the National
Education Association.
A list of colleges and universities
accredited by the National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education
can be
 obtained from:

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher
Education, 1919 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite
202, Washington, D.C. 20006.

Secondary School
(D.O.T. 091.221-010, .227-010; 094.224-010, .227-010
through -022; 099.244-010, and .227-022)

Nature of the Work


The high school years are a time of
transition from childhood to adult­
hood. Secondary school teachers fa­
cilitate this process. They help stu­
dents delve more deeply into subjects
introduced in elementary school and
learn more about themselves and the
Secondary school teachers instruct
students in a specific subject, such as
English, Spanish, mathematics, histo­
ry, or biology. They may teach a
variety of related courses. Social stud­
ies teachers, for example, may in­
struct two 9th grade classes in Amer­
ican History, two 12th grade classes
in Contemporary American Problems,
and another class in World Geogra­
phy. For each class, teachers develop
lesson plans; prepare, give, and grade
examinations; and arrange special ac­
tivities, such as a class project to
devise an urban redevelopment plan
for a city.
Teachers design their classroom
presentations to meet the individual
needs and abilities of as many as 150
students in five different classes. They
may arrange tutoring for students or
give advanced assignments for highly
motivated pupils.
Teachers use a variety of instruc­
tional materials including films, slides,
overhead projectors, and computer
terminals. They may arrange field
trips, such as planetarium visits to
supplement classroom work on as­
Science teachers also supervise lab­
oratory work, and vocational educa­
tion teachers teach shop classes to
give students “ hands-on” experience
with instruments, tools, and machin­
In addition to classroom teaching,
secondary school teachers prepare
lessons and grade papers at home,
oversee study halls and homerooms,
supervise extracurricular activities,
and attend meetings with parents and
school personnel. Teachers also par­
ticipate in workshops and college

classes to keep up to date on their
subject specialty and on develop­
ments in education.

Working Conditions
Teaching involves long periods of
standing and talking and can be phys­
ically, mentally, and emotionally tir­
ing. Dealing with disruptive students
can be especially exhausting.
Since teachers also spend time in
activities outside the classroom, they
may work over 40 hours a week. Most
teachers w ork the traditional 10month school year with a 2-month
vacation. Teachers on a 10-month
schedule may teach in summer ses­
sions or take other jobs. Many enroll
in college courses or special work­
shops. Teachers in districts with a
year-round schedule work 8 weeks,
are on vacation for 1 week, and have a
5-week m idw inter break. In most
States, schools must be in session a
minimum number of days. This num­
ber varies from 175 to 205 days. In
1985, the average number of instruc­
tion days was 184.
The District of Columbia and most
States have tenure laws that protect
the jobs of teachers who have taught
satisfactorily for a certain number of
years. A teacher normally must serve
a satisfactory probationary period of 3
years before attaining tenure. Tenure
is not an automatic guarantee of job
security, but it does provide some
S e c o n d a ry school te a c h e rs held
1,045,000 jobs in 1984. More than 90
percent taught in public schools. Since
teachers work directly with students,
their employment is distributed much
the same as the population.
Training, Other Qualifications, and
All 50 States and the District of Co­
lum bia req u ire public secondary
school teachers to be certified. Many
States require teachers in private and
parochial schools to be certified as
well. Usually certification is granted
by the State Board of Education, the
State Superintendent of Education, or
a Certification Advisory Committee.
Requirements for certification to
teach at the secondary school level
vary by Stat6, and school systems
may have additional requirem ents.
However, in all States and the District
of Columbia, teachers need a bache-

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/129
lor’s degree from an approved teacher
training program with a prescribed
number of credits in the subject they
plan to teach. They must also com­
plete student teaching and other pro­
fessional education courses. Many
States require teachers to obtain grad­
uate degrees within a certain time
after being hired.
Seventeen States require applicants
for teacher certification to be tested
for competency either in basic skills,
subject matter, teaching skills, or a
combination of these. Twenty States
also have health requirements. Initial
teaching certificates vary from 1 year
to life. Life certificates are becoming
less common.
Some States have set up alternate
or provisional certification plans to
attract talented college graduates who
do not have education courses needed
to qualify for a regular certificate.
Under most plans, entrants must have
a major in the subject to be taught and
pass a general or subject area exami­
nation. They teach under the close
supervision of experienced educators
and take a limited number of college
courses in education or participate in
specially designed classes. If they are
successful, they are eligible for regu­
lar certification. Information on regu­
lar and alternate certification require­
ments for secondary school teaching
is available from any State depart­
ment of education or superintendent
of schools.
Information about whether a partic­
ular teacher training program is ap­
proved can be obtained from the insti­
tution offering the training or from the
State department of education. Many
States have reciprocity agreements
that allow teachers who are certified
in one State to become certified in
Secondary school teachers should
be good at working with young peo­
ple, knowledgeable in their special
subject, and able to motivate students
and to impart knowledge to them.
With additional preparation and
certification, experienced teachers
may be able to move into positions as
school librarians, reading specialists,
curriculum specialists, or guidance
counselors. However, for most sec­
ondary school teachers, advancement
takes the form of a higher salary rath­
er than a different job. Relatively few
teachers move into administrative or
supervisory positions in a public
school system. To do so usually re­

quires at least 1 year of graduate edu­
cation, several years of classroom
teaching, and sometimes a special cer­

Job Outlook
An oversupply of secondary school
teachers has existed for many years.
Nevertheless, job prospects have im­
proved somewhat in recent years be­
cause the number of new graduates
prepared to teach has dropped sharp­
ly. Science, mathematics, and com­
puter programming teachers are—and
may remain—in short supply because
employers in private industry and
government offer higher salaries to
people trained in these fields. Some
schools also report difficulty in finding
enough teachers qualified in special
education, vocational education, and
bilingual education.
The primary sources of teacher sup­
ply are recent college graduates qual­
ified to teach secondary school and
former teachers seeking to reenter the
profession. Although reentrants have
experience in th eir fav o r, many
schools prefer to hire new graduates
who command lower salaries and
whose training is more recent.
Employment of secondary school
te a c h e rs is ex p e cte d to d ecline
throughout the 1980’s and to start
increasing during the early 1990’s. By
1995, employment is projected to be
slightly above the 1984 level. Pupil
enrollment is the primary factor un­
derlying the demand for teachers. The
National Center for Education Statis­
tics projects that enrollment in sec-

In addition to teaching classes, secondary
school teachers supervise study halls and
homerooms, advise students, and attend
ondary schools will continue to de­
cline through 1990. Enrollments will
begin increasing after 1990, reflecting
the rise in births beginning in the mid1970’s. Employment of teachers is
expected to be somewhat higher than
enrollment trends indicate because of
anticipated lower pupil-teacher ratios.
Nearly all openings for secondary
school teachers will stem from the
need to replace teachers who leave
the profession.
Although computers are being in­
creasingly used in secondary schools,

The decline in the high school age population
will not be reversed until the early 1990’s.

Population 14 to 17 years of age (millions)







7X A^ 1 6


•1 I

l#pi j | j
| l l jj






t j _______i _




Source Bureau of the Census






130/Occupational Outlook Handbook
they are not expected to affect teacher
employment, since their major use is
for teaching computer science and for
keeping records. Two other trends
may affect teacher employment. Pres­
sure from taxpayers to limit taxes and
spending is likely to inhibit employ­
ment growth, while recent emphasis
on improving the quality of education
could stimulate it.

According to the National Education
Association, public secondary school
teachers averaged $24,276 a year in
1984-85. Generally, salaries were high­
est in the Mid-Atlantic States and in
the Far West.
Collective bargaining agreements
cover an increasing number of teach­
ers. In 1984, 33 States and the District
of Columbia had laws that required
collective bargaining in teacher con­
tract negotiations, and an additional 9
States permitted such bargaining.
In some schools, teachers receive
extra pay for coaching sports and
working with students in extracurric­
ular activities such as music, drama,
or school publications. Some teachers
earn extra income by working in the
school system during summer ses­
sions. Others hold summer jobs out­
side the school system.
Related Occupations
Secondary school teaching requires a
wide variety of skills and aptitudes,
including organizational, administra­
tive, and recordkeeping abilities; re­
search and communication skills; the
power to influence, m otivate, and
train others; and creativity. Workers
in other occupations requiring some
of these aptitudes include: School ad­
ministrators, counselors, trainers and
employee developm ent specialists,
employment interviewers, librarians,
personnel managers, public relations
representatives, sales representatives,
and social workers.
Sources of Additional Information
Information on certification require­
ments and approved teacher training
institutions is available from State de­
partments of education.
Information on teachers’ unions
and education-related issues may be
obtained from:
American Federation of Teachers, 555 New
Jersey Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20001.

General information on the teaching
obtained from lo­

Digitized forprofessions can be

cal or State affiliates of the National
Education Association.
A list of colleges and universities
accredited by the National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education
can be obtained from:
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher
Education, 1919 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite
202, Washington, D.C. 20006.

Adult and Vocational
Education Teachers
(D.O.T. 075.127-010; 090.222; 097.227-010 and -014;
099.223, .227-014, -018, -026, and -030; 149.021;
150.027-014; 151.027-014; 151.027-014; 152.021;
153.227-014; 159.227; 166.227; 239.227; 621.221;
683.222; 689.222; 715.221; 740.221; 789.222; 806.227;
and 919.223)

Nature of the Work
Vocational and adult education plays
a significant role in postsecondary ed­
ucation. For millions of people, the
road to a satisfying career begins
when they enroll in a vocational edu­
cation program. These programs pre­
pare them for specific jobs that do not
require a college degree, and cover
such diverse fields as agriculture, con­
struction trades, data processing,
word processing, home economics,
and health services. In contrast, adult
or continuing education programs of­
fer out-of-school adults a wide array
of courses that do not specifically pre­
pare them for an occupation. Instead,
these programs are designed to help
students improve the quality of their
lives by improving their health, teach­
ing them hobbies, and expanding their
general knowledge. Course offerings
range from basic education for school
dropouts to aerobics to photography.
Adult and vocational education
teachers generally teach courses relat­
ed to their field of specialization.
Teaching methods vary by subject,
but usually teachers try to promote
the students’ active involvement in
learning. For example, a technical
school class in automotive repair may
take place in a classroom equipped
like an auto repair shop. Students
learn by actually repairing cars, using
all the tools and equipment used by
experienced repairers. In this way,
the students receive ample hands-on
experience and learn by performing
tasks and correcting mistakes.
Other courses, held in regular class­
room settings, also stress learning by
doing. An instructor teaching a course

in real estate may give a lecture on
Federal and State regulations, and
then require the class to properly fill
out all required forms and documents.
Similarly, teachers of creative classes
such as painting, photography, or pot­
tery dem onstrate the proper tech­
niques before having the students ap­
ply them. The instructor then pro­
vides constructive criticism so the
students can learn from their mis­
One of the most challenging areas in
vocational and adult education is the
Adult Basic Education (ABE) pro­
gram, sponsored by the Federal Gov­
ernment. It provides instruction in
reading, writing, and mathematics up
to the eighth grade level for adults.
This program also may prepare stu­
dents to take the General Educational
D evelopm ent Exam ination (GED),
which gives successful students the
equivalent of a high school diploma.
Another component of the ABE is
teaching English to non-English-spe­
aking people.
Adult basic education students may
lack proper study habits, language
skills, and self-confidence and require
more attention and patience than oth­
er students. Teachers in this program
must be able to deal with students at
different levels of development. They
must generate a positive reaction from
the beginning, making the new stu­
dent comfortable, developing trust,
and helping students better under­
stand their own needs and aims. For
these teachers, the ability to listen is
almost as important as the ability to
teach. They must also select books,
slides, games, or other materials that
will make learning as meaningful and
pleasurable as possible.
These teachers should be familiar
with the community agencies and re­
sources to which people may be re­
ferred when personal problems are
beyond the scope of the program.
Because many needy people are re­
luctant to seek out these programs,
teachers must be aware of the need to
recruit new participants. One of the
best ways is to encourage participants
to tell others about the adult basic
education program.
In addition to time spent in the
classroom, both adult and vocational
education teachers must prepare les­
sons and assignments, grade papers,
and do related paperwork on their
own time. In addition, they may at­
tend occasional faculty m eetings.

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/131
M ost im p o rtan t, they m ust stay
abreast of developments in their area
of expertise.

Working Conditions
Teaching involves extended periods
of standing and talking and can be
both physically and mentally tiring.
Adult basic education teachers may
experience em otional stress when
dealing with students who are having
personal problems, but they also can
experience deep satisfaction when
their students succeed.
Many adult and vocational educa­
tion teachers work part time. Their
hours depend on the number and type
of courses they teach. Some part-time
teachers spend no more than 3 hours a
week in classes, while others spend as
many as 15 hours. Many courses are
offered at night or on weekends, and
range from 1-day m inisessions to
courses of standard semester length.
Adult and vocational education teach­
ers held about 256,000 jobs in 1984.
Almost half work part time, a larger
proportion than for other teachers.
People teaching courses taken for
credit, including adult basic education
teachers and many vocational educa­
tion teachers, usually work full time.
Most of those who teach pottery, art,
music, dance, and other noncredit
courses work part time.
Adult and vocational programs are
offered by many institutions, includ­
ing vocational schools, technical insti­
tutions, career centers, colleges and
universities, governm ent agencies,
business firms, labor unions, and reli­
gious organizations.
Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training requirements vary widely by
State and by subject. For example, an
instructor teaching masonry skills is
only required to have experience in
the field, whereas an instructor in hor­
ticulture may be required to have at
least a m aster’s degree and, in some
States, a Ph.D. As a rule, teachers in
the blue-collar trades must be licensed
or must demonstrate that they have
reached the journeym an level; teach­
ers in the health fields must be regis­
tered or licensed; dance teachers usu­
ally are required to have completed
formal training at a reputable dance
academy; and photography teachers
must submit a portfolio of their work.

Other teachers usually are required to
have several years’ professional expe­
rience in their specialty.
Most States and the District of Co­
lumbia require adult basic education
teachers to have a bachelor’s degree
from an approved teacher training
program. In addition, some States re­
quire these teachers to be certified;
certification requirements vary wide­
ly, but generally include courses in
the psychological and emotional needs
of adult students.
Adult and vocational education
teachers should enjoy working with
people and get real satisfaction shar­
ing their knowledge with others. They
also need good communication skills
and the ability to motivate others.
For part-time teachers, advance­
ment generally takes the form of high­
er pay. Full-time teachers, however,
can often move up to administrative
positions if they have proven admin­
istrative ability.

Job Outlook
Employment of adult and vocational
education teachers is expected to
grow about as fast as the average for
all occupations through the mid-1990’s
as the demand for adult and vocation­
al education programs continues to
rise. Vocational education teachers
will be needed to train young adults
for jobs and to retrain older workers
whose jobs have been eliminated due
to changing technology and changes
in business practices. The need to
retrain older workers is expected to
offset the decline in the number of
young people 16 to 24 years of age,

the age group most likely to enroll in a
vocational program.
Also contributing to the demand is
the increased participation by adults
in part-time instruction. This partici­
pation has increased substantially dur­
ing the past decade, reflecting the rise
in the adult population and the grow­
ing emphasis on leisure time and selfimprovement. As the baby-boom gen­
eration matures and the population
gets older, demand for these programs
is expected to continue to rise. The
rising educational attainment of the
work force also may have had an
impact on the growth of adult basic
education programs, as it has become
more and more difficult to get a good
job without basic academic skills.
This trend also is likely to continue.
The major source of job openings
for adult and vocational educational
teachers will stem from the need to
replace persons who leave the occu­
pation. Because many of these teach­
ers work part time, their attachment
to the occupation is weak and turn­
over is quite high. Although most op­
portunities will be for part-time teach­
ers, opportunities for full-time posi­
tions should be exceptionally good for
persons qualified to teach computer
technology, automotive mechanics,
medical technology, and office skills.

In 1984, the median hourly earnings of
all adult and vocational education
teachers were $9.70. The middle 50
percent earned between $6.75 and
$14. The lowest 10 percent earned less
than $4.75 while the top 10 percent
earned more than $18 per hour. How-

Many adult and vocational education teachers work part time.

132/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ever, earnings vary widely according
to subject, academ ic credentials,
experience, and region of the country.
According to the limited data avail­
able, adult basic education teachers
had average earnings of betw een
$11.50 and $17 an hour in 1984. Earn­
ings of persons teaching data process­
ing ranged between $8.50 and $15.50
an hour, and those of blue-collar
trades instructors ranged betw een
$7.50 and $14. Teachers of other sub­
jects generally earned less.
Earnings also vary considerably by
type of institution. For example, colleg­
es and universities generally pay the
highest salaries and vocational/technical institutes the lowest. Most institu­
tions pay full-time and part-time teach­
ers the same hourly wages, although
part timers receive no fringe benefits.

Related Occupations
Adult and vocational education teach­
ing requires a wide variety of skills
and aptitudes, including organizational,
adm inistrative, and communication
skills; the power to influence, motivate
and train others; and creativity. Other
occupations that use these aptitudes are
other teachers, vocational and academ­
ic counselors, school administrators,
public relations specialists, and em­
ployee development specialists.
Sources of Additional Information
Information on the Adult Basic Edu­
cation program and certification re­
quirements is available from State de­
partments of education.
For information about vocational
education teaching positions, contact
the department of vocational educa­
tion in your State.
General information on vocational
education is available from:
American Vocational Association, 2020 N. 14th
St., Arlington, Va. 22201.

For information on other adult edu­
cation teaching positions, contact the
parks and recreation department of
your local government, local schools,
colleges and universities, and organiza­
tions such as the YMCA and YWCA.

College and
University Faculty
(D.O.T. 090.227-010)___________________________

Nature of the Work
Millions of people attend college for
personal enrichment or for skills need­

ed for a job. Although the majority are
recent high school graduates, the num­
ber of older students on campus is
growing. Many are homemakers pre­
paring to enter or reenter the work
force; others have returned to school
to obtain courses for advancement in
their present job or for a career
College and university faculty mem­
bers provide instruction in particular
fields of study to meet the needs of
these students. Faculty members gen­
erally teach several different courses
in the same field—freshman composi­
tion and 18th century English litera­
ture, for example. They may instruct
undergraduates, graduate students, or
both. Usually, more experienced fac­
ulty members teach the higher level
College and university faculty may
lecture in classrooms that seat hun­
dreds of students, lead seminars for
only a few students, or supervise stu­
dents in laboratories. Some use teach­
ing assistants who may lead discus­
sion sections or grade exams. Closedcircuit television, com puters, and
other teaching aids are frequently
College faculty members keep up
with developments in their field by
reading current literature and partici­
pating in professional activities. They
also conduct and publish the results of
their own scholarly research. Some
college faculty members may experi­
ence a serious conflict between their
responsibilities to their students and
the pressure to “ publish or perish.”
Those at universities generally spend
the most time doing research; those in
2-year colleges, the least.
In addition to preparation, instruc­
tion, and research, college and univer­
sity faculty members may advise stu­
dents and work with student organiza­
tions. Department heads also have
administrative duties. Most faculty
members serve on academic or ad­
ministrative committees of the college
or university.

Working Conditions
College faculty members generally
have flexible schedules, dividing their
time among teaching, research, advis­
ing, and administrative responsibili­
ties. They may work staggered hours
and teach classes at night. The normal
teaching load usually is heavier in
2-year and community colleges, where
less emphasis is placed on research

and publication. College faculty have
even greater flexibility during the
summer and school holidays, during
which they may conduct research,
prepare course and teaching materi­
als, teach short-term summer classes,
travel, or pursue hobbies. College fac­
ulty also have the intangible reward of
being exposed to new ideas and shar­
ing in the growth and development of
Over 90 percent of all full-time col­
lege and university faculty work in
institutions that have tenure systems
(the assurance of continuing employ­
ment with freedom from dismissal
without cause and due process). N ear­
ly two-thirds of these faculty mem­
bers are tenured. Under a tenure sys­
tem, a faculty member usually re­
ceives 1-year c o n tra cts during a
probationary period lasting at least 3
years and ordinarily no more than 7
years; some universities award 2- or
3- year contracts. After the probation­
ary period, institutions consider facul­
ty members for tenure. Declining en­
rollments and budgetary constraints,
however, have made tenure increas­
ingly difficult for faculty members to
gain. Colleges and universities are
turning to short-term contracts and to
part-time faculty to save money.

College and university faculty held
731,000 jobs in 1984. About 2 out of 3
faculty members holding the rank of
professor, associate professor, assist­
ant professor, adjunct professor, lec­
turer, or instructor were full time, and
almost 1 out of 3 was part time. Ap­
proximately 30,000 were full-time ju n ­
ior instructors. In addition, thousands
of graduate students, employed as as­
sistant instructors, teaching fellows,
teaching assistants, or laboratory as­
sistants, taught part time.
Public institutions, which constitute
less than one-half of all colleges and
universities, employ over 70 percent
of all full-time instructional faculty.
They employ about two-thirds of the
full-time faculty in all universities and
4- year colleges, and 95 percent in all
2-year institutions.
Nearly one-third of full-time faculty
teach in universities; almost one-half
work in 4-year colleges; and over onefifth teach in 2-year colleges.
A few part-time faculty work in
more than one institution of higher
education. Others are primarily em­
ployed outside of an academic set-

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/133
ting—in government, private indus­
try, or in nonacadem ic research.
These people—sometimes referred to
as “ adjunct faculty” —may teach as
little as one course a semester.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The overwhelming majority of full­
time college and university faculty are
in four academic ranks: Professors,
associate professors, assistant profes­
sors, and instructors. A small propor­
tion are lecturers.
Most faculty members enter the
profession as instructors and have at
least a m aster’s degree. Because com­
petition for positions is so keen, many
4-year colleges and universities con­
sider only doctoral degree holders for
entry level academic appointments.
At 2-year institutions, a doctorate
may not be necessary.
Doctoral programs usually require 4
years or more of study beyond the
bachelor’s degree, including intensive
research for a doctoral dissertation
that makes an original contribution to
the candidate’s field of study. A work­
ing knowledge of one or more foreign
languages (or com puter languages)
and, in many fields, advanced mathe­
matical and statistical techniques are
often required as well. S tudents
should consider carefully their aca­
demic potential and motivation before
beginning doctoral studies.
Advancement through the academ­
ic ranks in 4-year institutions usually
requires a doctorate plus college
teaching experience, even in institu­
tions that hire m aster’s degree holders
as instructors.
Academic, administrative, and pro­
fessional contributions affect advance­
ment opportunities in this field. Re­
search, publication, consulting work,
and other forms of professional recog­
nition all have a bearing on a college
faculty member’s chances of promo­
College faculty need inquiring, ana­
lytical minds and a strong desire to
pursue and disseminate knowledge.
As teachers and researchers, they
should be able to communicate well,
both orally and in writing. And as
models for their students, they should
be dedicated to the principles of aca­
demic integrity and intellectual hones­
ty. College faculty need to be open to
new ideas—from their students, peers,
and the nonacademic community.

Job prospects for college teachers vary by academic field.
Job Outlook
Employment of college and university
faculty is expected to decline through
the mid-1990’s. The basic factor un­
derlying the demand for college facul­
ty is enrollment. Enrollments, which
peaked during the early 1980’s, are
expected to decline through the mid1990’s as the traditional college-age
population decreases. A growing num­
ber of adults have entered college in
recent years, many on a part-time
basis, but adult enrollments are not

expected to completely offset the de­
cline in traditional-age college stu­
dents. Employment opportunities may
be better in community colleges that
emphasize programs for adult learn­
ers. In general, however, fewer stu­
dents will mean fewer college faculty
Because employment of college and
university faculty will decline, job
openings will result entirely from re­
placement needs. In any given aca­
demic institution, the number of va-

The college age population is expected to
decline through the mid-1990’s.

Population 18 to 24 years of age (millions)



SOURCE Bureau of the Census





134/Occupational Outlook Handbook
cancies will be influenced by the age
of current faculty, tenure patterns and
policies, and retirement practices.
Competition for openings will be
keen, particularly in prestigious insti­
tutions. Many graduates may have to
accept part-time or short-term aca­
demic appointments that offer little
hope of tenure. An increasing propor­
tion of prospective college and univer­
sity faculty members will have to seek
nonacademic positions. And some
persons holding graduate degrees may
have to enter positions that have not
previously required a master’s degree
or a Ph.D.
Some fields will offer brighter em­
ployment prospects for college faculty
than others, of course. Departments
that report shortages include engi­
neering, computer science, physical
sciences, and mathematics—areas
that offer very attractive jobs outside
the academic setting. Employment of
college faculty is related to the
nonacademic job market in other fields
in another way: There is an “ echo
effect” as good job prospects in a
field—engineering, for example—
cause large numbers of students to
sign up for courses, creating a demand
for more teachers. On the other hand,
a bad job market may cause a field
temporarily to lose its popularity with
college students—and reduce demand
for faculty.

Earnings vary widely according to
faculty rank and type of institution.
Faculty members in 4-year institu­
tions earn higher salaries, on the av­
erage, than those in 2-year schools.
According to a 1984-85 survey by the
American Association of University
Professors, salaries for all full-time
faculty on 9-month contracts aver­
aged around $31,000; professors,
$39,900; a s s o c ia te p ro fe s s o rs ,
$25,300; assistant professors, $24,600;
and instructors, $19,200.
Since over 86 percent of full-time
faculty members have 9-month con­
tracts, many have additional summer
earnings from consulting, teaching,
research, writing for publication, or
other employment.
Some college and university faculty
members enjoy benefits offered by
few other professions, including tu­
ition waivers for dependents, housing
allowances, travel allowances, and
paid sabbatical leaves. In many insti­
Digitized for tutions, faculty members are eligible

for a sabbatical leave after 6 or 7 years
of employment.

Related Occupations
College and university faculty func­
tion both as teachers and researchers.
They must have an aptitude for com­
municating information and ideas. Re­
lated occupations include: Trainers
and employee development special­
ists, writers, consultants, lobbyists,
and policy analysts. Their research
activities are often similar to those of
their colleagues in industry, govern­
ment, and nonprofit research organi­
Sources of Additional Information
Professional societies generally pro­
vide information on employment op­
portunities in their fields. Names and
addresses of these societies appear in
the statements on specific occupa­
tions elsewhere in the Handbook.

(D.O.T. 045.107-010, -014, -018, -038, -042, .117-010;
090.107-010; and 169.267.026)

Nature of the Work
Counselors help individuals deal with
personal, social, educational, and ca­
reer problems and concerns. Their
duties depend on the individuals or
groups they serve and the settings in
which they work. School and college
counselors help students understand
themselves better—their abilities, in­
terests, talents, and personality char­
acteristics—and help translate these
into realistic academic and career op­
tions. They may run career informa­
tion centers and career education pro­
grams. They may use tests or other
tools to help students understand
themselves and their options. High
school counselors keep up to date on
college admission requirements, en­
trance exams, and financial aid as well
as job training in local trade or tech­
nical schools and apprenticeship pro­
grams. They help students find parttime and summer work and, for those
who are not going to college, full-time
jobs. They also help students with
social, behavioral, and personal prob­
lems. They may deal with students
individually, or, in cases where prob­
lems are widespread, as in drug or
alcohol abuse, they may initiate group
counseling sessions. Counselors often
consult and work closely with par­

ents, teachers, school psychologists,
school nurses, and social workers.
Elementary school counselors work
with younger children, observing them
during classroom and play activities
and conferring with their teachers and
parents in order to evaluate their
strengths, problems, or special needs.
They work to establish a home and
school environment in which the child
will learn, grow, and develop. College
counselors and student development
specialists provide a broad range of
counseling services in 2-year commu­
nity or junior colleges and 4-year col­
leges and universities. Counselors
also work in college placement of­
fices, dealing with students and alum­
ni. These counselors are generally
known as college career planning and
placement counselors.
R ehabilitation counselors help
physically, mentally, emotionally, or
socially handicapped individuals to
become self-sufficient and productive
citizens. Rehabilitation counselors
evaluate their clients’ potential for
employment and arrange for medical
care, rehabilitation programs, occupa­
tional training, and job placement. To
do this, they learn about their clients
by talking with them, evaluating
school and medical reports, and con­
sulting with family members. They
also confer with physicians, psychol­
ogists, and occupational therapists
about the types of work their clients
could perform. They then recommend
an appropriate rehabilitation program
and specialized training to help the
disabled individual become more in­
dependent and more employable.
Since employment success is an im­
portant goal of rehabilitation counsel­
ing, counselors keep in touch with
employers about job openings and the
training required.
Employment counselors help indi­
viduals make wise career decisions.
Along with their client, they explore
his or her education, training, work
history, interests, skills, personal
traits, and physical capacities. They
may arrange for aptitude and achieve­
ment tests. These counselors may
suggest specific employers and appro­
priate ways of applying for work, and
give advice on resume writing and
interviewing. They may contact em­
ployers for their clients. After place­
ment, counselors follow up to deter­
mine if additional assistance is re­
Mental health counselors help indi­

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/135
viduals deal with a wide range of
personal and social problems such as
drug and alcohol abuse, family con­
flicts, including child and spouse
abuse, suicide, work problems, crim­
inal behavior, and problems of aging.
They also counsel rape victims, indi­
viduals and families trying to cope
with illness and death, and people
with emotional problems. Mental
health counselors work closely with
other specialists, including psychia­
trists, psychologists, clinical social
workers, and psychiatric nurses.

Working Conditions
Rehabilitation and employment coun­
selors generally work a standard 40hour week. Self-employed counselors
and those working in mental health
and community agencies often work
evenings to counsel clients who work
during the day. College career plan­
ning and placement counselors may
have to work overtime and irregular
hours, especially during recruiting pe­
Most school counselors work the
traditional 10-month school year with
a 2-month vacation, although an in­
creasing number are employed on 10
1/2- or 11-month contracts. They gen­
erally have the same hours as teach­
Since privacy is essential to permit
confidential and frank discussions
with their clients, counselors usually
have private offices.
Counselors held 152,000 jobs in 1984.
Almost 2 out of 3 of these jobs were in
educational services. Most of these
were in secondary schools; some were
in elementary schools and colleges
and universities. State and local reha­
bilitation agencies and Veterans Ad­
ministration rehabilitation programs
and hospitals were major employers
of rehabilitation counselors. Some
worked in private rehabilitation agen­
cies as well as in nonprofit organiza­
tions such as Goodwill Industries and
Lighthouse for the Blind.
Counselors also worked in many
types of public and private communi­
ty mental health and social service
agencies and organizations such as
family (marriage) counseling services,
halfway houses and homes for chil­
dren and the handicapped, offender
rehabilitation agencies, self-help orga­
nizations such as Alcoholics Anony­
mous and drug rehabilitation organi­

zations, and in religious organizations
providing similar services.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Generally, a master’s degree in stu­
dent personnel counseling, student
personnel services, rehabilitation
counseling, counseling psychology,
psychology, or a related field is re­
quired. In some cases, individuals
with a bachelor’s degree in psycholo­
gy, sociology, counseling, or rehabil­
itation services are qualified, particu­
larly if they have worked in related
fields, such as social work, teaching,
interviewing, job placement, psychol­
ogy, or personnel.
Counselor education programs at
the graduate level are available in
close to 500 colleges and universities,
usually in departments of education or
psychology. One to two years of grad­
uate study are usually required for a
master’s degree. Most graduate pro­
grams include supervised experience
in counseling. Graduate courses in­
clude counseling theory and tech­
niques, assessment and evaluation,
individual and group counseling, ca­
reer development information, and
community resources. About 29 grad­
uate counselor education programs
are currently accredited by the Coun­
cil for Accreditation of Counseling
and Related Educational Programs.
Many counselors are certified or
licensed. The National Board for Cer­
tified Counselors examines profes­
sional credentials and conducts a na­

tional examination for those who wish
to have the designation of “ National
Certified Counselor.’’
Most States require public school
counselors to have both counseling
and teaching certificates. Depending
on the State, a master’s degree in
counseling and 2 to 5 years of teaching
experience may be required for a
counseling certificate. State depart­
ments of education can provide spe­
cific information.
Vocational and related rehabilita­
tion agencies generally require a mas­
ter’s degree in rehabilitation counsel­
ing, counseling and guidance, or coun­
seling psychology for rehabilitation
counselor jobs. Some, however, may
accept applicants with a bachelor’s
degree in rehabilitation services,
counseling, psychology, or related
fields. Experience in employment
counseling, job development, psy­
chology, education, and social work
may be helpful.
Approximately 30 colleges and uni­
versities offer a bachelor’s degree in
rehabilitation services education. In
1985, the Council on Rehabilitation
Education accredited 77 graduate pro­
grams in rehabilitation counseling.
Usually, 2 years of study—including a
period of supervised work experi­
ence—are required for the master’s
For jobs in most State vocational
rehabilitation agencies, counselors
must score competitively on a written
examination and be evaluated by a
board of examiners. Many employers

Counselor discusses course selection with high school students.

136/Occupational Outlook Handbook
require rehabilitation counselors to be Job Outlook
certified. To become certified, coun­ Overall employment of counselors is
selors must meet educational and expected to grow about as fast as the
experience standards established by average for all occupations through
the Commission on Rehabilitation the mid-1990’s. Most job openings
Counselor Certification, and pass a will result from the need to replace
counselors who transfer to other fields
written examination.
Some States require counselors in or leave the labor force.
Employment of school counse­
public employment offices to have a
master’s degree; others do not. Most lors—the largest specialty area—is
counselors in State employment agen­ expected to grow slowly. Pupil enroll­
cies have a bachelor’s degree plus ment is the major factor affecting em­
additional courses in guidance and ployment of school counselors. Ele­
mentary school enrollments are pro­
Mental health counselors generally je cted to increase sub stan tially
have a master’s degree or doctorate in through 1995, but enrollments in sec­
mental health counseling, another area ondary school, where most school
of counseling, or in psychology or counselors work, will not increase.
social work. Mental health counselors The number of counselors in colleges
can be certified by the National Acad­ and universities is expected to decline
emy of Certified Clinical Mental as college enrollments decrease.
Employment of rehabilitation and
Health Counselors. A master’s de­
employment counselors, who work
gree, a period of supervised intern­
ship, and a passing grade on an exam­ primarily for State and local govern­
ination are required for certification. ments, is expected to increase about
In addition, a number of States re­ as fast as the average for all occupa­
tions through the mid-1990’s, while
quire a license for private practice.
faster than average growth is expect­
Some employers provide an initial
ed for mental health counselors and
period of training for newly hired
others who work with individuals with
counselors or counselor trainees. personal and social problems such as
Many agencies have work-study pro­ marital or other family difficulties, al­
grams whereby employed counselors coholism, drug abuse, and aging. Pri­
can earn graduate degrees. Profes­ vate practice, community and social
sional counselors must meet continu­ service agencies, and the develop­
ing education requirements for certifi­ ment of human resource and employ­
cation and licensure. They do this ee assistance programs in private bus­
through participation in graduate stud­ iness and industry are expected to be
ies, workshops, institutes, and per­ areas of growth.
sonal studies.
Persons interested in counseling Earnings
should have a strong interest in help­ According to a recent survey, the av­
ing others and the ability to inspire erage salary of school counselors in
respect, trust, and confidence. They the 1984-85 academ ic year was
should be able to work independently $27,593. Salaries varied by size, grade
level, and locality of the school. Av­
or as part of a team.
School counselors may advance by erage salaries were lowest in the
moving to a larger school; becoming Southeast and highest in the Far West.
director or supervisor of counseling or Salaries of rehabilitation, mental
pupil personnel services; or, with fur­ health, and employment counselors
are usually somewhat lower than those
ther graduate education, becoming an
of school counselors.
educational psychologist, vocational
Some counselors supplement their
psychologist, school psychologist, or income by part-time consulting or oth­
school administrator. Usually, educa­ er work with private or public coun­
tional or vocational psychologists seling centers, government agencies,
must have the doctoral degree.
or private industry.
Rehabilitation, mental health, and
employment counselors may advance Related Occupations
to supervisory or administrative jobs Counselors help people evaluate their
in their agencies. Some counselors interests, abilities, and disabilities, as
move into research, consulting work, well as help them deal with personal,
or college teaching, or go into private social, academic, and career prob­
lems. Others who help people in sim­
Digitized forpractice.

ilar ways include college and student
personnel workers, teachers, person­
nel workers and managers, social
workers, psychologists, psychiatrists,
members of the clergy, occupational
and physical therapists, training and
employee development specialists,
and equal employment opportunity/
affirmative action specialists.

Sources of Additional Information
For general information about coun­
selors, contact:
American Association for Counseling and D e­
velopment, 5999 Stevenson A ve., Alexandria,
Va. 22304.

For information on training pro­
grams accredited by the Council for
Accreditation of Counseling and Re­
lated Educational Programs, contact:
Council for Accreditation o f Counseling and
Related Educational Programs, American A s­
sociation for Counseling and Developm ent,
5999 Stevenson A ve., Alexandria, Va. 22304.

For information on national certifi­
cation requirements and procedures,
National Board for Certified Counselors, 5999
Stevenson A ve., Alexandria, Va. 22304.

State departments of education can
supply information on colleges and
universities that offer training in guid­
ance and counseling as well as on
State certification and licensure re­
State employment service offices
can supply information about their job
opportunities and entrance require­
For information about rehabilita­
tion counseling, contact:
National Rehabilitation Counseling A ssocia­
tion, 633 So. Washington St., Alexandria, Va.
National Council on Rehabilitation Education,
c/o Maddux O ’M alley, Inc., 2921 Ermine Way,
Farmers Branch, Tex. 75234.

A list of accredited graduate pro­
grams in rehabilitation counseling may
be obtained from:
Council on Rehabilitation Education, 185 North
Wabash St., Room 1617, Chicago, 111. 60601.

For a list of federally funded pro­
grams offering training in rehabilita­
tion counseling, contact:
Division o f Resource D evelopm ent, Rehabilita­
tion Services Administration, U .S . Department
o f Education, 330 C St. SW ., Washington, D.C.


For information on certification re­
quirements for rehabilitation counse­
lors, contact:
Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certi­
fication, 1156 Shure Dr., Suite 350, Arlington
Heights, 111. 60004.

For information on certification re­

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/137
quirements for mental health counse­
lors, contact:
National Academy o f Certified Clinical Mental
H ealth C ou nselors, 5999 S tevenson A v e .,
Alexandria, Va. 22304.

(D.O.T. 100 except 100.367-018)

Nature of the Work
Librarians make information available
to people. They serve as a link be­
tween the public and the millions of
sources of information by selecting
and organizing materials and making
them accessible.
Library work is divided into two
basic functions: User services and
technical services. Librarians in user
services—for example, reference and
children’s librarians—work directly
with users to help them find the infor­
mation they need. Librarians in tech­
nical services such as acquisitions li­
brarians and catalogers acquire and
prepare materials for use and deal less
frequently with the public.
The size of the collection affects the
scope of the job. In small libraries or
information centers, librarians gener­
ally handle all aspects of the work.
They select, purchase, and process
materials; publicize services; provide
reference help; supervise the support
staff; prepare the budget; and oversee
other administrative matters. In large
libraries, librarians specialize in a sin­
gle area, such as acquisitions, catalog­
ing, bibliography, reference, circula­
tion, or administration. Or they may
handle special collections.
Building and maintaining a strong
collection are essential activities in
any library, large or small. Acquisi­
tions librarians (D.O.T. 100.267-010)
select and order books, periodicals,
films, and other materials. They read
book reviews and study publishers’
announcements and catalogs to keep
up with current literature. They con­
fer with booksellers and seek advice
from library users before making a
final decision. A knowledge of book
publishing and business acumen are
After materials have been received,
other librarians prepare them for use.
Classifiers (D.O.T. 100.367-014) clas­
sify materials by subject matter. They
may skim through publications and
assign classification numbers. Cata­
logers (D.O.T. 100.387-010) supervise

assistants who prepare cards or other
access tools that indicate the title,
author, subject, publisher, date of
publication, and location in the li­
brary. Many libraries have computer­
ized their acquisition and cataloging
functions. This has resulted in faster
and greater availability of materials to
the library user.
Bibliographers (D.O.T. 100.367010), who usually work in research
libraries, compile lists of books, peri­
odicals, articles, and audiovisual ma­
terials on particular subjects. They
also recommend materials to be ac­
quired in subject areas with which
they are familiar. Special collections
librarians (D.O.T. 100.267-014) col­
lect and organize books, pamphlets,
manuscripts, and other materials in a
specific field, such as rare books, ge­
nealogy, or music. They may prepare
reports and exhibits to inform schol­
ars and other researchers about im­
portant additions to the collection.
Librarians are also classified ac­
cording to the type of library in which
they work: Public libraries, school
library/media centers, academic li­
braries, and special libraries.
Public librarians serve people of all
ages and from all walks of life, includ­
ing persons who, because of physical
handicaps, cannot use conventional
print materials. The professional staff
of a large public library system in­
cludes the chief librarian, an assistant
chief, and division heads who plan
and coordinate the work of the entire
system. The system also may include
librarians who supervise branch li­
braries and specialists in acquisitions,
cataloging, special collections, and
user services.
Some public librarians work with
specific groups of readers. Children’s
librarians (D.O.T. 100.167-018) find
materials children will enjoy and show
children how to use the library. They
may plan and conduct special pro­
grams such as story hours or film
programs. They often work with
school and community organizations.
Adult services librarians handle mate­
rials suited to the needs and interests
of adults. They may help to conduct
education programs, such as commu­
nity development, public affairs, cre­
ative arts, problems of the aging, and
home and family. Young adult librar­
ians (D.O.T. 100.167-034) help junior
and senior high school students select
and use books and other materials.
They may organize programs of inter­

est to young adults, such as book or
film discussions or concerts of record­
ed music. They also may coordinate
the library’s work with school pro­
grams. Community outreach librari­
ans and b o o km o b ile librarians
(D.O.T. 100.167-014) develop library
services to meet the needs of special
groups within the community. They
might arrange for materials to be
brought to a migrant labor camp, an
inner city housing project, or a nurs­
ing home, for example.
School librarians (D.O.T. 100.167030) teach students how to use the
school library/media center. Working
with teachers and media specialists,
school librarians familiarize students
with the library’s resources. They
prepare lists of materials on certain
subjects and help select materials for
school programs. They also select,
order, and organize materials. The
library/media center is viewed as an
integral part of the school’s overall
instructional program, and many
school librarians work closely with
classroom teachers in curriculum de­
velopment. They assist teachers in
developing study units and sometimes
participate in team teaching.
In large high schools and in many
community colleges, the media cen­
ter’s collection of films, tapes, cas­
settes, records, and other materials is
maintained by a school library media
specialist (D.O.T. 100.167-030) or an
audiovisual librarian (D.O.T. 100.167010). Media center professionals also
develop audiovisual materials and
work with teachers on curriculum.
Academic librarians serve students,
faculty members, and researchers in
colleges and universities. They work
closely with members of the faculty to
ensure that the library has reference
materials required for the courses of­
fered. They also maintain the quality
of research collections.
Special librarians (D.O.T. 100.167026) work in information centers or
libraries maintained by government
agencies and corporations such as
p h arm aceu tical com panies, and
banks, as well as by law firms, adver­
tising agencies, museums, profession­
al associations, medical centers, and
research laboratories. They build and
arrange the organization’s specialized
information resources, usually limited
to subjects of particular interest to the
organization. Special librarians may
conduct literature searches, compile
bibliographies, or prepare abstracts.

138/Occupational Outlook Handbook
A growing number of libraries are
tied into remote computer data bases
through their computer terminals.
This makes it less important than it
once was for a library to own the
materials its users want, since they
can be accessed remotely by comput­
er or sent by facsimile machines.
More libraries are also maintaining
their own computerized data bases.
These libraries may employ informa­
tion scientists (D.O.T. 109.067-010)
who design information storage and
retrieval systems and develop proce­
dures for collecting, organizing, inter­
preting, and classifying information.

Working Conditions
Libraries generally are busy, demand­
ing, even stressful places to work.
Contact with people, which often is a
major part of the job, can be taxing.
Physically, the job may require much
standing, stooping, bending, and
Librarians typically work a 5-day,
35- to 40-hour week. Public and col­
lege librarians may work some week­
ends and evenings. School librarians
generally have the same workday
schedule as classroom teachers and
similar vacation schedules. A 35- to
40-hour week during normal business

hours is common for special librari­

Librarians held 155,000 jobs in 1984;
in addition, audiovisual specialists
held 7,800 jobs in library/media cen­
ters. Most of the librarian jobs were in
school libraries; the rest were in pub­
lic, academic, and special libraries. A
small number of librarians served as
consultants or administered State and
Federal library programs.
Training, Other Qualifications, and
A master’s degree in library science
(M.L.S.) is necessary to obtain an
entry level professional position in
most public, academic, and special
libraries. About 120 schools offered
such degrees in 1984. However, most
employers prefer graduates of l of the
59 library education programs in the
United States accredited by the Amer­
ican Library Association. Educational
preparation for school librarianship is
more diverse, reflecting the consider­
able differences among the States in
standards and certification require­
ments for public school librarians.
Most graduate schools of library
science require graduation from an
accredited 4-year college or university

and good grades. A broad undergrad­
uate background, with well-defined
major and minor areas of study, is
appropriate preparation for graduate
library ed u catio n . Some library
schools require a reading knowledge
of at least one foreign language.
A typical graduate program in li­
brary science includes basic courses
in the foundations of librarianship,
including the history of books and
printing, intellectual freedom and cen­
sorship, and the role of libraries in
society. Other basic courses cover
material selection and processing; ref­
erence tools; and user services. Ad­
vanced courses are offered in such
areas as resources for children or
young adults; classification, catalog­
ing, indexing, and abstracting; library
administration; and library automa­
tion. Because virtually all aspects of
routine library operation are subject
to automation, many library schools
encourage students to take courses in
computer and information science.
The master of library science pro­
gram provides a general, all-round
preparation for library work, but some
people specialize in a particular area
such as archives, media, or library
automation. A Ph.D. degree in library
science is advantageous for a college
teaching position or for a top admin­
istrative post, particularly in a college
or university library or in a large li­
brary system.
In special libraries or research li­
braries, a master’s degree, doctorate,
or professional degree in the appropri­
ate subject specialization is highly de­
sirable. And in academic libraries, an
advanced degree may be essential for
promotion to a senior level position.
State certification requirements for
public school librarians vary widely.
Most States require that school librar­
ians be certified as teachers. A degree
in library science may not be re­
quired, for, in many schools, the li­
brary has become the “ learning re­
sources center” and is staffed by me­
dia personnel with a variety of
educational backgrounds. Although
some media professionals have a bach­
elor’s or master’s degree in library
science, others have a degree in media
resources, educational technology, or
audiovisual communications. State
departments of education can provide
information about specific require­
Some States require certification of
public librarians employed in munici­

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/139
is expected to decline, a reflection of
the overall decline in college enroll­
ments expected through the mid1990’s. The situation will vary from
institution to institution, however.
In school libraries, a large sector,
slow employment growth is foreseen,
overall. Although elementary school
enrollments are increasing, secondary
school enrollments will remain virtu­
ally unchanged during the 1984-95 pe­
Opportunities should be favorable
for librarians with specialized knowl­
edge in scientific and technical fields
including medicine, law, business, en­
gineering, and the physical and life
sciences. These jobs are available in
special libraries and research librar­
ies, for the most part. Individuals with
a command of a foreign language or a
background in cataloging or in work­
ing with children should also find bet­
ter job opportunities. Individuals
skilled in computerized library sys­
tems will also be in demand, because
of the widespread use of computers to
store and retrieve information and to
Job Outlook
Employment of librarians is expected handle routine operations such as or­
to grow more slowly than the average dering, cataloging, and circulation
for all occupations through the mid- control.
Although more and more libraries
1990’s. Most job openings will result
from the need to replace librarians are automated and librarians have to
who transfer to other fields, retire, or know how to use a computer, the
leave the occupation for other rea­ judgment and knowledge of a profes­
sional librarian will still be needed.
Information management outside
The demand for individuals with
library skills outside traditional li­ the traditional library setting, a rapid­
brary settings is expected to help ease ly developing field, is expected to of­
the tight job market for librarians. fer many employment opportunities
Nontraditional library settings such as for library school graduates and prac­
bibliographic cooperatives, regional ticing librarians with backgrounds in
information networks, and informa­ information science and library auto­
tion search services are expected to mation. Private industry, consulting
be good places of employment. These firms, and information brokers who
settings employ systems analysts, market information all need qualified
database specialists, managers, and people to set up and maintain informa­
researchers. Some of these jobs re­ tion systems.
quire a knowledge of both libraries
and computers; others, only a knowl­ Earnings
edge of libraries. Furthermore, the Salaries of librarians vary by the indi­
number of library school graduates, vidual’s qualifications and the type,
which has been declining since the size, and location of the library.
Starting salaries of graduates of li­
mid-1970’s, may continue to decrease
slowly. Therefore, the oversupply brary school master’s degree pro­
could abate, and employment pros­ grams accredited by the American Li­
brary Association averaged $18,791 in
pects brighten.
Employment in public libraries, like 1984, and ranged from $17,232 in pub­
government employment in general, is lic libraries to $20,423 in school librar­
expected to grow slowly. Faced with ies. Beginning salaries of new library
tighter operating budgets, many li­ school graduates in special libraries
braries are expected to hire fewer averaged $20,233. Experienced school
librarians averaged $23,173 during the
additional librarians.
Employment of academic librarians 1983-84 school year, according to the

pal, county, or regional library sys­
tems. State library agencies can pro­
vide information about these require­
In the Federal Government, which
currently hires about 90 librarians a
year, beginning positions require com­
pletion of a 4-year college course and
a master’s degree in library science,
or demonstration of the equivalent in
experience and education by a passing
grade on an examination.
Because there are many qualified
jobseekers, employers in some locali­
ties may require some experience for
what used to be entry level positions.
Graduates who have participated in
internship programs and work-study
programs or who have worked part
time may have an employment advan­
tage over other new graduates.
Experienced librarians may ad­
vance to administrative positions. A
master’s degree in business or public
administration may help to obtain
such positions.

Educational Research Service. The
average salary for special librarians
was $28,421 in 1984. The median sal­
ary for librarians in college and uni­
versity libraries was $26,000. Librari­
ans in the Federal Government aver­
aged about $31,530 in 1984.

Related Occupations
Librarians play an important role in
the transfer of knowledge and ideas
by providing people with access to the
information they need and want. Jobs
requiring similar analytical, organiza­
tional, and communicative skills in­
clude archivists, information scien­
tists, museum curators, publishers’
representatives, research analysts, in­
formation brokers, and records man­
Sources of Additional Information
Information on librarianship, includ­
ing a listing of accredited education
programs and information on scholar­
ships or loans, may be obtained from:
American Library Association, 50 East Huron
St., Chicago, 111. 60611.

For information on a career as a
special librarian, write to:
Special Libraries Association, 1700 18th St.,
N W „ Washington, D.C. 20009.

Material about a career in informa­
tion science may be obtained from:
American Society for Information Science,
1010 16th St. N W „ Washington, D.C. 20036.

Information on graduate schools of
library and information science can be
obtained from:
Association for Library and Information Sci­
ence Education, 471 Park Lane, State College,
Pa. 16803.

Information on Federal assistance
for library training is available from:
Center for Libraries and Education Improve­
ment, U .S . Department o f Education, 400
Maryland A ve. SW ., Brown Bldg., Room 613,
Washington, D.C. 20202.

Those interested in a position as a
librarian in the Federal service should
write to:
Office o f Personnel Management, 1900 E St.
N W „ Washington, D.C. 20415.

Information concerning require­
ments and application procedures for
positions in the Library of Congress
may be obtained directly from:
Personnel Office, Library o f Congress, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20540.

State library agencies can furnish
information on scholarships available
through their offices, requirements for
certification, and general information
about career prospects in the State.
Several of these agencies maintain job

140/Occupational Outlook Handbook
“ hotlines” which report current open­
ings for librarians in the State.
State boards of education can fur­
nish information on certification re­
quirements and job opportunities for
school librarians.

Archivists and
(D .O .T. 101; 102 except .261-014 and .367-010; 109
except .067-010 and .137-010)

Nature of the Work
Curiosity about the past seems to be
part of human nature. Many persons
study a previous era for the sake of
knowledge alone. Others want to gain
more insight into some aspect of
today’s world. And some hope to use
this knowledge as a clue to the future.
Whatever the purpose or subject—the
development of armaments, changing
fashions, numismatic collections, art
collections, historic properties, col­
lections of Presidential papers, or the
course of subatomic research—archi­
vists and curators attempt to present
the information in an attractive, yet
instructive, manner.
Archivists and curators search for,
acquire, assemble, catalog, restore if
necessary, exhibit, maintain, and
store items of interest. These items
may be almost anything—historical
docum ents, corporation records,
works of art, stamp collections, min­
eral collections, maps, movies, medi­
cal and scientific instruments, plants,
arboreta, animals, buildings, or battle
sites. The collection may be of special
interest to children, hobbyists, scien­
tists, researchers, corporations, in­
habitants of a specific locality, history
buffs, or an ethnic group, or of inter­
est to the public at large.
Archivists determine what portion
of the vast amount of information pro­
duced by government agencies, cor­
porations, educational institutions,
and other organizations should be
made part of a historical record and
sometimes an exhibit. Archivists may
modify existing classification systems
to facilitate retrieval of subject matter
for future use. They determine the
form of storage—for example, original
documents, microfilm, microfiche, or
magnetic tape. Since substantial
amounts of information are now being
stored on tape, basic knowledge of
computer language and usage is in­
Digitized creasingly useful to archivists.

Archivists may serve in an advisory
or research capacity for their employ­
ers or for scholars, scientists, journal­
ists, and various agencies and institu­
tions. This may require expertise in a
specific discipline or knowledge of the
political, economic, social, and mili­
tary history of a period.
Curators determine the form and
nature of the collection of items to be
exhibited, often in consultation with
museum directors, other curators, re­
searchers, and specialists. From ini­
tial research to final exhibition, cura­
tors oversee and, in smaller museums,
personally undertake many activities.
Curators select the appropriate
number and kind of items to comprise
the collection. Curators may acquire
items through purchases, gifts, field­
work, intermuseum loans, or from the
museum’s own inventory with the
help of the registrar and collections
manager. (The registrar is responsible
for the movement of items—their
packing, insurance, and cataloging—
in and out of the museum. The collec­
tions manager keeps track of items in
the museum’s inventory.)
In preparation for an exhibition,
curators work with technicians and
specialists such as museum techni­
cians, exhibit specialists, educators,
and related personnel to plan and pre­
pare the form and contents of the
exhibit. Conservation technicians, re­
storers, and armorer technicians re­
store the exhibit items—old sculp­
tures, buildings, or artifacts from an­
other era—as closely as possible to
their original condition. The restora­
tion may require substantial historical
and archeological research by the cu­
rator and research associates and con­
sultations in the art shops and labora­
tories where restoration activities take
An attractive and educational exhi­
bition may result in good attendance,
favorable public relations, and in­
creased revenue for the museum.
Curators may train or help establish
museum education programs for mu­
seum attendants and docents (unpaid
volunteers) who lead guided tours to
enhance viewers’ appreciation and
understanding of exhibits. Many vol­
unteers are women; increasing num­
bers are students hoping to acquire
valuable experience. Without these
volunteers, many large museums
would have to restrict their activities
and many small museums would prob­
ably close.

In large museums, curators may
divide their time between meetings
with museum administrators such as
museum directors, budget officers,
and program directors to help formu­
late policy, and meetings with assist­
ant curators, conservators, and de­
partment heads to help implement the
museum’s programs. In small muse­
ums, their responsibilities may in­
clude the functions of most, if not all,
museum occupations.

Working Conditions
Archival work is sedentary and quiet.
The work can be tedious, painstaking,
and require meticulous attention to
detail. Many archivists work alone,
and most work in offices with only one
or two other persons. This is true
even for large employers such as gov­
ernments or universities. There is lit­
tle contact with the public, except
when working in a library. Some­
times, strong interest in an archival
display may require contact with the
press and response to public inquiries.
Teaching or research duties often re­
sult in interpersonal contact through
attendance at classes and meetings or
travel to collect information.
Curators also usually work in a qui­
et office environm ent. H owever,
working conditions vary depending
upon the type and size of museum.
In art museums with typically small
items, little physical activity is re­
quired. Working in museums with col­
lections of large objects such as tap­
estries and animal specimens may be
more physically demanding. Oversee­
ing collections in botanical gardens
and other outdoor museums may re­
quire substantial walking.
In small museums with generally
limited budgets, new items can be
acquired only ocasionally, but in large
museums with more funds at their
disposal, curators may travel exten­
sively to add to the collection. They
might visit a private collector, a com­
mercial establishment, or another mu­
seum, or even participate in an arche­
ological expedition or botanical explo­
ration. Maintenance and restoration
activities also may require travel—to
studios where paintings are being re­
stored or laboratories where animal
specimens are being prepared for dis­
play. Curators working as administra­
tors of distant historic sites may also
travel. In some cases, these adminis­
trators temporarily live at—as in the

Teachers, Counselors, Librarians, Archivists, and Curators/141
case of a historic house—or near the

Archivists and curators held an esti­
mated 11,000 jobs in 1984. About 40
percent were in Federal, State, and
local government agencies. About 30
percent were in private museums;
most of the remainder were in univer­
sities, colleges, and libraries.
In the Federal Government, most
archivists are employed in the Nation­
al Archives and Records Administra­
tion, while others are employed by the
Department of Defense to manage
military archives. Most museum cura­
tors in the Federal Government are
employed in the Smithsonian Institu­
tion, in the military museums of the
Department of Defense, and in arche­
ological and other museums managed
by the Department of Interior. All
State governments have archival or
historical records sections, and many
employ archivists. Both State and lo­
cal governments have numerous his­
torical museums, parks, and zoos em­
ploying curators.
A small but growing number of
large corporations have established
archival or records centers, employ­
ing archivists to manage the growing
volume of historical records required
by law or necessary to the firms’ op­
erations. Religious and fraternal orga­
nizations, professional associations,
and research firms also increasingly
employ archivists and curators.
Over 10 percent of all archivists and
20 percent of all curators work part
time, primarily in small archival cen­
ters and museums.
Training, Other Qualifications, and
Employment as an archivist or cura­
tor generally requires graduate train­
ing and substantial practical or work
experience. Many archivists and cura­
tors work in archives, museums, or
libraries while completing their formal
Most archivists have at least one
master’s degree, and many have a
doctorate or second master’s degree
in library science. Archivists com­
monly earn undergraduate and gradu­
ate degrees in history, economics, or
related fields, including courses in ar­
chival or library science. Of the more
than 70 institutions of higher learning
offering courses or practical training

in archival science, about 30 offer the
master’s degree and over 10 offer the
Continuing education is very impor­
tant. Workshops sponsored by the
National Archives and Records Ad­
ministration include: Establishing ar­
chives; problems of acquisition—for
example, appraisal and forgeries;
problems relevant to access and se­
curity of information; and administra­
tion—for example, budgeting, pro­
gram planning, and resource alloca­
tion. M eetings and conferences
sponsored by the Society of American
Archivists and other archival associa­
tions enable archivists to keep up with
developments in their field such as the
increasing use of computers to store
and access information.
Archivists should have good eye­
sight, since information to be stored
may be printed matter, handwritten
manuscripts, or visual materials such
as photographs and film, and legibility
may be poor. The ability to read rap­
idly to extract the pertinent informa­
tion from large amounts of data is
required. Archivists also must be able
to effectively organize large amounts
of information and write clear, suc­
cinct instructions for its efficient re­
trieval and use.
Archival units usually are very
small, and promotion opportunities
are limited. Advancement generally is
through transferring to a larger unit.
When the archival activity is ancillary
to other activities—for example, in a
library or a museum—archivists may
become librarians or manuscript cura­
The minimum requirements for em­
ployment as a curator, even in small
museums, are a bachelor’s degree in
museum studies (museology) or in a
discipline reflecting the museum’s spe­
cialty—for example, art, anthropolo­
gy, or archeology—and experience in
museum activities such as art restora­
tion and exhibit design. For some po­
sitions, curators gain permanent em­
ployment status after completing an
internship including full-time museum
work supplem ented by self-paid
courses in museum practices. In large
museums, a master’s degree in muse­
um studies or a related subject has
become the minimum educational re­
quirement; employers prefer appli­
cants with a doctorate. For some po­
sitions, experience may be substituted
for an advanced degree.
About 60 institutions of higher

Some curators oversee art restoration
learning offer undergraduate courses
in museum studies, while nearly 40
grant the bachelor’s degree and over
90 grant the master’s degree.
Curatorial positions often require
knowledge in a number of fields.
One’s academic background should
include courses in social sciences—
such as history and economics—and
in life sciences—such as botany and
zoology. For historic and artistic con­
servation activities, courses in chem­
istry, physics, and in painting and
other crafts are desirable. Since cura­
tors—particularly those in small mu­
seums—may have administrative and
managerial responsibilities, courses in
administration, budget, collections
management, fund raising, and public
relations also are recommended.
Curators must be flexible because
of their wide variety of duties. A good
aesthetic sense is helpful in the design
and presentation of exhibits. Manual
dexterity may be helpful when super­
vising or collaborating with craft
workers in the erection of exhibits or
restoration of various objects. The
ability to maintain good personal rela­
tions is important in coordinating the
efforts of museum personnel. Public
relations skills are valuable in increas­
ing museum attendance and in finding
sponsors for financial backing.
Continuing education is also very
im portant for curators. To keep
abreast of improvements in museum

142/Occupational Outlook Handbook
operating techniques, they attend con­
ferences and meetings sponsored by
the Association of American Muse­
ums and other museum associations.
They monitor developments in muse­
um activities, such as restoration tech­
niques, by attending workshops spon­
sored by large museums such as the
Smithsonian Institution.
Curators usually advance by ac­
quiring a position in a larger museum.
Earning an advanced degree is very
important, as is the publication of
articles and reports in learned jour­
nals. In very large museums, curators
can advance to administrative posi­
tions such as program planner or mu­
seum director.

Job Outlook
Employment of archivists and cura­
tors is expected to increase more
slowly than the average for all occu­
pations through the mid-1990’s. Little
expansion of governmental archival
and museum activities is expected. A
reversal of the decline in funding of
private museums is not anticipated.
Archivists can improve their job
opportunities by including courses in
library science in their graduate cur­
ricula. Graduates with doctoral de­
grees will be offered the most respon­
sible, best paying jobs. Some employ­
ment opportunities will arise in related
fields such as librarian, records man­
ager, collection manager, and manu­
script c u r a t o r . H o w e v e r , e m p l o y m e n t
in these fields also is expected to grow
relatively slowly.
Competition for curatorial positions
will intensify because of an increasing
oversupply of well-trained applicants.

Many candidates may have to work
part time, as an intern, or even as a
volunteer in an assistant curatorial or
research associate position after com­
pleting their formal education. For
others, substantial work experience in
collection management, exhibit de­
sign, or restoration will be necessary
before permanent curatorial status is

Earnings of archivists and curators
vary considerably depending upon the
type and size of the employer. For
example, salaries of archivists in the
Federal Government are, on the aver­
age, much higher than those of archi­
vists employed in religious organiza­
tions. Salaries of curators in large,
well-funded museums may be several
times higher than those in small mu­
seums. Natural history museums tend
to pay the highest salaries; general
history museums, the lowest. Gener­
ally, Federal salaries are higher than
those in State governments which, in
turn, are higher than in local govern­
Starting salaries in the Federal Gov­
ernment depend upon the applicant’s
degree and experience. In 1985, inex­
perienced archivists with a bachelor’s
degree started at $14,400 while those
with experience started at $17,800.
Applicants with a master’s degree
started at $21,800. Curators with a
bachelor’s degree and experience or
with a master’s degree started at
$21,800. Applicants with a master’s
degree and experience or with a doc­
torate started at either $26,400 or
$31,600. Archivists and curators em­

ployed by the Federal Government
averaged about $34,500 a year in 1984.

Related Occupations
Archivists’ and curators’ interests in
preserving and displaying documents
and objects are shared by anthropolo­
gists, arborists, archeologists, arti­
facts conservators, botanists, ethnol­
ogists, folklorists, genealogists, histo­
rians, horticulturists, information
specialists, librarians, paintings re­
storers, records managers, and zoolo­
Sources of Additional Information
Information about careers as an archi­
vist and schools offering courses in
archival science is available from:
Society o f American Archivists, 600 South Fed­
eral St., Suite 504, Chicago, 111. 60605.

For general information about ca­
reers as a curator and schools offering
courses in curatorial science, contact:
A m erican A sso c ia tio n o f M useum s, 1055
Thomas Jefferson St. N W ., Washington, D.C.

For information about curatorial ca­
reers in parks, botanical gardens, and
museums, contact:
American Association o f Zoological Parks and
Aquariums, Oglebay Park, W heeling, W est Va.
American A ssociation o f Botanical Gardens
and Arboreta, P.O. B ox 206, Swarthmore, Pa.

For information about conservation
and preservation careers, contact:
American Institute for Conservation o f Historic
and Artistic Works, 3545 Williamsburg Lane
N W ., W ashington, D.C . 20008.
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Office
o f Personnel Administration, 1785 M assachu­
setts A ve. N W ., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Health Diagnosing and Treating
Health practitioners diagnose, treat,
and strive to prevent illness and dis­
ease. While all of them practice the art
of healing, they differ in methods of
treatment and areas of specialization.
Physicians—both doctors of medicine
and doctors of osteopathy—prescribe
medications, exercise, proper diet,
and surgery. Manipulation of muscles
and bones, especially the spine, is the
primary form of treatment given by
chiropractors. Optometrists special­
ize in eye care and podiatrists treat
foot diseases and deformities. Den­
tists emphasize not only the treatment
but the prevention of problems asso­
ciated with the teeth and gums. Vet­
erinarians treat animals and inspect
meat, poultry, and other food as part
of public health programs.
Among the health practitioners
whose work is described in this sec­
tion of the Handbook, the most nu­
merous are physicians, who held
476,000 jobs in 1984. The other prac­
titioner occupations are much small­
er, as the following tabulation shows:
P h y s ic ia n s ( M . D . ’s a n d
D . O . ’s ) ............................................
D e n t i s t s .................................................
V e t e r i n a r i a n s ....................................
C h ir o p r a c t o r s ....................................
O p t o m e t r i s t s ....................................
P o d i a t r i s t s .........................................

4 7 6 ,0 0 0
1 5 6 ,0 0 0
4 0 ,0 0 0
3 1 ,0 0 0
2 9 ,0 0 0
1 1 ,0 0 0

Training to become a health practi­
tioner is much more rigorous than
training for most other professional
occupations, but practice also offers
unusual rewards. Incomes of health
practitioners greatly exceed the aver­
age and generally are higher than
those of other professional workers
with similar years of graduate educa­
tion. Furthermore, health practition­
ers enjoy great prestige within the
community, and most derive consid­
erable satisfaction from knowing that
their work contributes directly to the
well-being of others.
All health practitioners must have
the ability and perseverance to com­
plete the years of study required.

They should be emotionally stable,
able to make decisions in emergen­
cies, and have a strong desire to help
the sick and injured. Sincerity and an
ability to gain the confidence of pa­
tients also are important qualities.
Among these six health practitioner
occupations, minimum training re­
quirements vary from 6 to 9 years of
postsecondary education. After col­
lege, prospective physicians must
complete 3- or 4-year programs of
medical education, followed by at
least 1 year of graduate training in a
hospital (residency or internship).
Physicians who specialize, and most
M.D.’s do, spend several years in
training after their residency to quali­
fy for specialty board examinations.
Two years of college are required for
entry to the 4-year chiropractic
schools. Optometrists, podiatrists,
and veterinarians all must complete a
minimum of 2 years of college before
beginning the 4-year program.
Occupational licensing is a distinc­
tive feature of the health sector. The
right to practice medicine, dentistry,
nursing, pharmacy, and several other
professions—and the right to call one­
self a physician, dentist, nurse, or
pharmacist—is regulated by law. Each
of the 50 States has legislation govern­
ing the kinds of tasks that may be
performed by a given health profes­
sional and specifying the training and
proof of competence necessary for
practice. Complementing the occupa­
tional licensure laws is a system of
granting professional credentials, in
which associations and other nongov­
ernmental bodies attest to an individ­
ual’s competence through certifica­
tion or registration.
The employment outlook for health
practitioners is expected to remain
favorable through the mid-1990’s, but
the market is changing as supply over­
takes demand. The physician shortage
identified during the 1960’s and early
1970’s has vanished as a result of
legislative measures designed to ex­

pand supply. In fact, medical school
graduates are finding it unexpectedly
difficult to secure the residency of
their choice and—later on—to start a
practice. Established practitioners re­
port that they are seeing fewer pa­
tients than they would like.
Nonetheless, physicians in private
practice generally work 60 hours a
week or more, and their earnings po­
tential exceeds that in most other oc­
cupations. In the years ahead, de­
mand for their services will continue
to grow, for the population is increas­
ing—especially the number of older
people, who are relatively heavy us­
ers of health care. Moreover, rural
communities and inner city neighbor­
hoods remain underserved.
The American health care system is
likely to change in a number of ways
in the years ahead as a result of efforts
to control the very rapid increase in
health care costs. For example, prac­
tice patterns are likely to change. Solo
practice is already beginning to give
way to group practice and a variety of
salaried arrangements, and this trend
is likely to accelerate as more and
more young practitioners accept sala­
ried positions. Salaried positions for
physicians are found in health mainte­
nance organizations; multispecialty
group practices; ambulatory, emer­
gency, critical care, and subspecialty
procedure facilities; the Armed Forc­
es and the Veterans Administration;
and in other institutional settings. Es­
pecially in areas already well served
with practitioners, new graduates ap­
pear willing to sacrifice traditional
practice patterns (and income poten­
tial) in favor of ensured earnings, reg­
ular hours, and protection from some
of the more stressful elements of prac­
Changes in the employment situ a­
tion of physicians will affect other
health practitioners, and competition
for patients is already evident. Some
specialists are moving into general
practice as referrals for specialty work


144/Occupational Outlook Handbook
fall off. Competition appears to be
mounting between physicians, on the
one hand, and other providers, includ­
ing optometrists, podiatrists, chiro­
practors, clinical psychologists, phys­
ical therapists, and nurse midwives,
on the other. In dentistry, the ample
supply of dentists may dampen pros­
pects for dental auxiliaries (hygienists
and assistants). However, relations
among the health occupations are
complex, and the net effect of an
abundance of physicians and dentists
is uncertain. For more detailed infor­
mation about the outlook in individual
p rac titio n e r occupations, see the
statements that follow.

( D .O .T . 079.101-010)

Nature of the Work
Chiropractic is a system of treatment
based on the principle that a person’s
health is determined largely by the
nervous system, and that interference
with this system impairs normal func­
tions and lowers resistance to disease.
Chiropractors take patient histo­
ries, conduct physical examinations,
and give treatm ents for illness and
injury. Because of the emphasis on
the spine and its position, most chiro­
practors use X-rays to help locate the
source of patients’ difficulties. Chiro­
practors treat patients primarily by
manual manipulation (adjustments) of
parts of the body, especially the spinal
column. In addition to manipulation,
chiropractors use water, light, mas­
sage, ultrasound, electric, and heat
therapy. They also prescribe diet,
supports, exercise, and rest. Most
State laws specify the types of supple­
m en ta ry tre a tm e n t p e rm itte d in

Chiropractors treat patients primarily by
manually adjusting the spine.

chiropractic. Chiropractors do not
prescribe drugs or surgery.

Working Conditions
Almost all chiropractors work in pri­
vate offices that are clean and com­
fortable. The average workweek is
about 40 hours, usually including some
evening and weekend time to accom­
modate patients who work. Because
most chiropractors are self-employed,
they can set their own hours.

Chiropractors held about 31,000 jobs
in 1984. About 95 percent of active
chiropractors were in private prac­
tice; about 70 percent of these were in
solo practice—that is, they had no
partners. Only 8 percent practiced in
groups of three or more practitioners.
Some were salaried assistants of es­
tablished practitioners or worked for
chiropractic clinics. A small number
taught or conducted rese a rc h at
chiropractic colleges.
Chiropractors often locate in small
communities—about half work in cit­
ies of 50,000 inhabitants or less.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All 50 States and the District of Co­
lum bia reg u la te th e p ra c tic e of
chiropractic and grant licenses to chi­
ropractors who meet educational re­
quirements and pass a State board
examination. Many States have reci­
procity agreements that permit chiro­
practors already licensed in another
State to obtain a license without tak­
ing an examination.
The type of practice perm itted
(scope of practice) and the education­
al requirements for a license vary con­
siderably from one State to another,
but in general, State licensing boards
require successful completion of a 4year chiropractic course following 2
years of college. Thirty-eight State
boards recognize only academic train­
ing in chiropractic colleges accredited
by the Council on Chiropractic Edu­
cation. Some States require specific
college courses such as English , chem­
istry, biology, or physics. Several
States require that chiropractors pass
a basic science examination. The N a­
tional Board of Chiropractic Examin­
ers’ test given to chiropractic students
is accepted by 48 State boards in place
of a State examination. To maintain
licensure, 41 States require that chiro­
practors complete a specified number

of hours of continuing education each
year to remain current in the field.
In 1984, 9 of the 15 chiropractic
colleges in the United States were
fully accredited by the Council on
Chiropractic Education; 5 others were
r e c o g n iz e d c a n d id a te s w o rk in g
toward accreditation. All chiropractic
colleges require applicants to have a
minimum of 2 years of undergraduate
study, including courses in English,
the social sciences, chemistry, biolo­
gy, physics, and mathematics.
C hiropractic colleges em phasize
courses in manipulation and spinal
adjustments. M ost offer a broader
curriculum, however, including sub­
jects such as physiotherapy and nutri­
tion. During the first 2 years, most
chiropractic colleges emphasize class­
room and laboratory work in subjects
such as anatomy, physiology, and bio­
chemistry, while the last 2 years stress
clinical experience. Students complet­
ing chiropractic education earn the
degree of D octor of C hiropractic
Chiropractic requires keen observa­
tion to detect physical abnormalities
and considerable hand dexterity but
not unusual strength or endurance.
Persons desiring to become chiroprac­
tors should be able to work indepen­
dently and handle responsibility. The
ability to work with detail is impor­
tant. Sympathy and understanding are
desirable qualities for dealing effec­
tively with patients.
Newly licensed chiropractors usu­
ally seek to set up a new practice,
purchase an established one, or enter
into partnership with an established
practitioner. Because of the financial
investm ent necessary to open and
equip an office, some take salaried
positions with established chiroprac­
tors to acquire the experience and the
funds needed.

Job Outlook
Job opportunities for chiropractors
through the m id-1990’s will stem from
employment growth that is expected
to be faster than the average for all
occupations and also from the need to
replace experienced chiropractors
who leave the profession.
Demand for chiropractic is related
to the ability of patients to pay for
services, either directly or through
health insurance, and to public ac­
ceptance of the profession, which ap­
pears to be growing. At present, new­
ly graduated chiropractors are enter­

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners/145
ing practice with little difficulty.
However, the number of graduates
from chiropractic colleges has in­
creased fourfold since the early
1970’s, and enrollments are expected
to continue to grow. As more students
graduate, new chiropractors may en­
counter competition establishing a
practice in areas where other practi­
tioners already are located.

In chiropractic, as in other types of
independent practice, earnings are
relatively low in the beginning. From
the limited data available, new gradu­
ates who worked as associates to es­
tablished practitioners earned about
$15,000 a year in 1984. Experienced
chiropractors averaged about $60,000,
after expenses, according to a survey
conducted by the American Chiro­
practic Association.

Related Occupations
Chiropractors diagnose, treat, and
work to prevent diseases, disorders,
and injuries. They emphasize the im­
portance of the nervous system for
good health. Others whose profes­
sions require similar skills include
acupuncturists, audiologists, dentists,
naturopathic doctors, optometrists,
osteopaths, podiatrists, speech pa­
thologists, and veterinarians.

Sources of Additional Information
The board of licensing in each State
capital can supply information on
State license requirements for chiro­
practors. Information on license re­
quirem ents and limitations on the
scope of practice for all States is con­
tained in The Directory available for
$10 from:
Federation o f Chiropractic Licensing Boards,
501 East California A v e ., Glendale, Calif.

General information on chiropractic
as a career is available from:
American Chiropractic Association, 1916 Wil­
son Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22201.
International Chiropractors Association, 1901
L St. N W „ Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20036.

For a list of chiropractic colleges,
as well as general information on
chiropractic as a career, contact:
C ouncil on C hiropractic E du cation , 3209
Ingersoll A ve., D es M oines, Iowa 50312.

For information on requirements
for admission to a specific chiropractic
college, contact the admissions office.

(D.O.T. 072)

Nature of the Work
Dentists examine teeth and tissues of
the mouth to diagnose and treat dis­
eases or abnormalities. They take Xrays, place protective plastic shields
on ch ild ren s’ teeth , fill cavities,
straighten teeth, repair fractured
teeth, and treat gum disease. Dentists
extract teeth only when necessary and
may provide artificial dentures. They
also perform corrective surgery of the
gums and supporting bones. In addi­
tion, they clean teeth and provide
other preventive services.
Although dentists spend most of
their time with patients, they may
devote some time to laboratory work
such as making dentures and inlays.
Dentists in large cities generally send
their laboratory work to commercial
firms, however. Some dentists em­
ploy dental hygienists to clean pa­
tients’ teeth and provide instruction
for patient self-care. Dentists may
also employ other assistants to per­
form office work, assist in “ chairside”
duties, and provide therapeutic serv­
ices under their supervision. (The
work of dental hygienists and dental
assistants is described elsewhere in
the Handbook.)
Technological advances in dentistry
affect the materials and techniques
that dentists employ in their work.
For example, dentists are now using
new composite materials to repair
fractured or disfigured teeth. As new
technologies are proven and adopted,
the nature of dentistry changes.
Most dentists are general practi­
tioners who provide many types of
dental care; about 20 percent practice
in one of the eight specialty areas
recognized by the American Dental
Association (ADA). The largest group
of specialists are orthodontists, who
straighten teeth. The next largest
group, oral and maxillofacial sur­
geons, operate on the mouth and
jaw s. The remainder specialize in
pedodontics (dentistry for children);
periodontics (treating the gums);
prosthodontics (making artificial teeth
or dentures); endodontics (root canal
therapy); public health dentistry; and
oral pathology (diseases of the mouth).

Working Conditions
Most dental offices are open 5 days a
week, and some dentists have evening

hours. Dentists usually work between
35 and 45 hours a week, although
some 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.

Dentists held about 156,000 jobs in
1984. Because some dentists hold
more than one job, the number of jobs
exceeds the number of dentists in
practice—nearly 138,000, according
to the U.S. Public Health Service.
Nine out of ten dentists are in pri­
vate practice. Of the remainder, about
half do research, teach, or hold posi­
tions in dental schools. Some work in
hospitals and clinics. About 2,000
dentists work in the Federal service,
predominantly in the hospitals and
clinics of the Veterans Administration
and the U.S. Public Health Service.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All 50 States and the District of Co­
lumbia require dentists to be licensed.
To qualify for a license in most States,
a candidate must graduate from a den­
tal school approved by the Commis­
sion on Dental Accreditation and pass
written and practical examinations. In
1984, candidates in 49 States and the
District of Columbia could fulfill part
of the State licensing requirements by
passing a written examination given

Dentistry requires manual dexterity as well
as diagnostic skills.

146/Occupational Outlook Handbook
by the National Board of Dental Ex­
aminers. Most State licenses permit
dentists to engage in both general and
specialized practice. In 16 States and
the District of Columbia, however, a
dentist must obtain a specialty license
before practicing as a “ specialist.”
Requirements include 2 or 3 years of
graduate education and, in some cas­
es, completion of a special State ex­
amination. Extra education also is
necessary in the other 34 States, but
the dental profession, not the State
licensing authority, regulates the spe­
cialist’s practice. To practice in a dif­
ferent State, a licensed dentist usually
must pass that State’s examination.
However, about 20 States grant li­
censes to dentists from other States
on the basis of their credentials. Den­
tists who want to teach or do research
usually spend an additional 2 to 4
years in advanced dental training in
programs operated by dental schools,
hospitals, and other institutions of
higher education.
Dental schools require a minimum
of 2 to 4 years of college-level
predental education. In fact, most
dental students are college graduates.
Four out of five of the students enter­
ing dental schools in 1984 had a bach­
elor’s or m aster’s degree. Predental
education must include courses in the
sciences and humanities.
All dental schools participate in a
nationwide testing program, and, in
selecting stu d en ts, they consider
scores earned on these tests along
with the applicants’ overall grade
point average (GPA), science course

G PA , and in fo rm a tio n g a th e re d
through recommendations and inter­
views. Many State-supported dental
schools give preference to residents of
the State.
Dental school generally lasts 4 aca­
demic years, although one institution
condenses the program into 3 calen­
dar years and another program lasts 5
years. Studies begin with classroom
instruction and laboratory work in ba­
sic sciences including anatomy, micro­
biology, biochemistry, and physiolo­
gy. Courses in preclinical technique
and beginning courses in clinical sci­
ences also are provided at this time.
During the last 2 years, the student
treats patients chiefly in dental clinics.
Most dental colleges award the de­
gree of Doctor of Dental Surgery
(D.D.S). An equivalent degree, Doc­
tor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), is
conferred by 20 schools.
Earning a dental degree is a costly
process, but financial aid is available
from the Federal and State govern­
ments, health-related organizations,
industry, and dental schools. Many
dental students rely on student loans
to finance their professional training.
D entistry requires both manual
skills and a high level of diagnostic
ability. Dentists should have good vi­
sual memory, excellent judgment of
space and shape, and a high degree of
manual dexterity, as well as scientific
ability. Good business sense, selfdiscipline, and the ability to instill
confidence are helpful for success in
private practice. High school students
who want to become dentists are ad­

Although dental school enrollments are declining,
the job outlook remains competitive.
First-year enrollments (thousands)


1975- 1976- 1977- 1978- 197976

1980- 198181

SOURCE: American Dental Association, Council on Dental Education




vised to take courses in biology, chem­
istry, health, and mathematics.
Most dental graduates work for es­
tablished dentists to gain experience
and save money to equip an office of
their own. Some dentists purchase
established practices or open new
practices. Others may enter residency
training programs in approved hospi­
tals or dental schools. Dentists who
enter the Armed Forces are commis­
sioned as captains in the Army and
Air Force and as lieutenants in the
Navy. Graduates of recognized dental
schools are eligible for positions in the
Federal service and for commissions
(equivalent to lieutenants in the Navy)
in the U.S. Public Health Service.

Job Outlook
Employment of dentists is expected to
grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the mid-1990’s.
Among the factors responsible for an­
ticipated job growth are changes in
population size and structure, which
are expected to boost demand for re­
storative dentistry. As the baby-boom
generation m atures, large numbers of
middle-aged Americans will be candi­
dates for more intensive dental care.
Unlike younger people, who have
benefited from advances in dental
health, people born before the 1950’s
tend to have intricate dental work that
will require complicated maintenance
as they grow older.
Also contributing to job growth for
dentists are growing public awareness
that regular dental care helps prevent
and control dental disease, and fairly
widespread dental insurance, which
make it easier for people to purchase
dental care.
Because of the abundant supply of
practitioners, however, the private
practice of dentistry is growing in­
creasingly competitive in many areas
of the country. The number of dental
school graduates rose sharply be­
tween 1965 and 1975, as new dental
schools were established. The period
of expansion came to an end in the
late 1970’s, and first-year enrollments
have fallen from a peak of 6,300 stu­
dents in 1978-79 to about 5,000 in
1984-85 (see chart). The downturn re­
flects a number of factors, including
the rising cost of dental education,
lower returns on the investment in
dental education as greater competi­
tion for business dampens dentists’
earnings, and a smaller applicant pool.
Dental school enrollments are expect­

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners/147
ed to continue to decline through the
1980’s. Nonetheless, the total number
of practicing dentists will continue to
grow substantially because many
more new graduates will enter the
profession each year than will retire
or otherwise leave dentistry.
An oversupply of dentists may de­
velop in some localities and intensify
in others. If so, various market adjust­
ments are likely in those places—in­
creased evening and weekend office
hours (although total hours may be
reduced), more competitive fee struc­
tures, and less intensive use of dental
assistants and dental hygienists, for
example. To build clientele, dentists
are likely to experiment with new
ways of providing care and may, for
e x a m p le, re a c h o u t to h ith e rto
underserved groups such as the elder­
ly. Educational advertising campaigns
are being used to increase public
awareness of the importance of regular
dental care. Aimed at that half of our
population who are not under the regu­
lar care of a dentist, this strategy seeks
to broaden the dental care market.
Fluoridation of community water
supplies and improved dental hygiene
prevent tooth and gum disorders and
preserve teeth that might otherwise be
extracted. However, since the pre­
served teeth may need care in the
future, these measures may increase
rathet than decrease the demand for
dental care. There will continue to be
a need for dentists to teach in dental
colleges, adm inister dental public
health programs, and serve in the
Armed Forces.
In a departure from the usual pat­
tern, replacement needs create rela­
tively few job opening for dentists.
This reflects the fact that dentists
have a distinctive employment pat­
tern: once having completed their
training and entered dental practice,
they tend to work continuously until
they reach retirement age. Some older
dentists reduce their hours of work
because of ill health or desire for
leisure, but very few individuals leave
dentistry to take up other careers. A
comparable degree of occupational at­
tachment is found in only a few other
occupations, notably among other
health practitioners, who, like den­
tists, have a considerable investment
in training.

During the first year or two of prac­
tice, dentists often earn little more

than the minimum needed to cover
expenses, but their earnings usually
rise rapidly as their practice develops.
Specialists generally earn consider­
ably more than general practitioners.
The average income of dentists in
general practice was about $60,000 a
year in 1984, according to the limited
information available. Those in spe­
c ia lty p ra c tic e s av erag ed a b o u t
$95,000 a year. In the Federal Gov­
ernm ent, new graduates of dental
schools could expect to start at
$26,400 a year in 1985. Experienced
dentists working for the Federal Gov­
ernment in 1984 averaged $54,000;
some earned as much as $68,000.
Location is one of the major factors
affecting the income of dentists who
open their own offices. For example,
in high-income urban areas, dental
services are in great demand. Howev­
er, a practice can be developed most
quickly in small towns, where new
dentists can become known easily and
where they may face less competition
from established practitioners. Al­
though income 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
Except for em ergencies, dental
work generally can be postponed.
During periods of high unemployment
and economic hardship, therefore,
dentists tend to experience a reduc­
tion in the volume of work and lower

Related Occupations
Dentists examine, diagnose, and treat
various oral diseases and abnormali­
ties. Others whose work involves per­
sonal contact and requires a long and
rigorous period of scientific training
include psychologists, optometrists,
physicians, veterinarians, and podia­

Sources of Additional Information
For information on dentistry as a ca­
reer and a list of accredited dental
schools, contact:
American Dental Association, Council on Den­
tal Education, 211 E. Chicago A ve., Chicago,
111. 60611.
American Association o f Dental Schools, 1619
Massachusetts Ave. NW ., Washington, D.C.

The American Dental Association
also will furnish a list of State boards
of dental examiners. Persons interest­
ed in practicing dentistry should ob­
tain the requirements for licensure

from the board of dental examiners of
the State where they plan to work.
Prospective dental students should
contact the office of student financial
aid at the schools to which they apply
for in form ation on sch o larsh ip s,
grants, and loans, including Federal
financial aid.

(D .O .T . 079.101-018)

Nature of the Work
Half the people in the United States
wear glasses or contact lenses. Op­
tometrists (doctors of optometry) pro­
vide much of the vision care these
people need.
Optometrists should not be con­
fused with either ophthalmologists or
dispensing opticians. Ophthalmolo­
gists are physicians (doctors of medi­
cine or osteopathy) who specialize in
medical eye care, eye diseases, and
injuries; perform eye surgery; and
prescribe drugs or other eye treat­
ment, as well as lenses. Dispensing
opticians fit and adjust eyeglasses and
contact lenses according to prescrip­
tions written by ophthalmologists or
optometrists; they do not examine
eyes or prescribe treatm ent. (See
statements on physicians and dispens­
ing opticians elsewhere in the Hand­
Optometrists examine people’s eyes
to diagnose vision problems and de­
tect signs of disease and other abnor­
mal conditions. They also test to in­
sure that the patient has proper depth
and color perception and the ability to
focus and coordinate the eyes. When
necessary, they prescribe lenses and
other treatment. When optometrists
diagnose diseases requiring treatment
beyond the optometric scope of prac­
tice, they arrange for consultation
with the appropriate health care prac­
titioners. Most optometrists supply
the prescribed eyeglasses or contact
lenses. Optometrists also prescribe vi­
sion therapy or other treatm ent which
does not require surgery. In 45 States,
optometrists may use drugs for diag­
nosis; in 7 of these States, they may
also use drugs to treat eye diseases.
Although most optometrists are in
general practice, some specialize in
work with the elderly or with chil­
dren. Others work with partially sight­
ed persons, who use microscopic or
telescopic lenses. Still others concen-

148/Occupational Outlook Handbook
trate on contact lenses or vision ther­
apy. Optometrists teach, do research,
consult, and serve on health advisory
committees of various kinds.

Working Conditions
Optometrists work in places—usually
their own offices—that are clean, well
lighted, and comfortable. The work
requires a lot of attention to detail.
B ecause o p to m e trists, like other
health practitioners, generally are selfemployed, they have considerable
flexibility in setting their hours of
work, and often continue to practice
after the normal retirement age. Many
independent practitioners work well
over 40 hours a week, including time
on Saturday and in the evening.

Optometrists held about 29,000 jobs in
1984. The number of jobs is greater
than the number of practicing optom­
etrists because some optom etrists
hold two jobs or maintain two offices.
For exam ple, an optom etrist may
have a full-time private practice and
also work part time in another prac­
tice, clinic, or vision care center. In
recent years, some optometrists have
chosen commercial practice rather
than private practice. Optometrists
who work in commercial vision care
centers are not always salaried em­
ployees, however. Recently, the trend
has been for optometrists to buy fran­
chises from large retail optical chains,
thereby operating as independent bus­

iness owners rather than employees of
the chain.
Although the majority of optome­
trists are in solo practice, a growing
number are in partnership or group
practices. This trend, especially pro­
nounced among younger optometrists,
is associated with education-related
indebtedness and the high cost of set­
ting up a solo practice. For the same
reason, some optometrists work as
salaried employees in the offices of
established practitioners. Salaried
jobs with health maintenance organi­
zations and other types of health care
clinics are becoming more attractive
as well.
Some optometrists work in health
centers and eye clinics or teach in
schools of optometry. Others work
for the Veterans Administration, pub­
lic and private health agencies, and
insurance companies.
Some optometrists in private prac­
tice also act as consultants to indus­
trial safety programs, insurance com­
panies, manufacturers of ophthalmic
products, and others.
More than 9 out of 10 optometrists
work full time.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States and the District of Colum­
bia require that optometrists be li­
censed. Applicants for a license must
have a Doctor of Optometry degree
from an accredited optometric school
or college and pass a State board
examination. In some States, appli­

Optometrists use sophisticated instruments to examine patients’ eyes.

cants can substitute the examination
of the National Board of Examiners in
Optometry, given in the second, third,
and fourth years of optometric school,
for part or all of the written State
examination. Some States allow appli­
cants to be licensed without lengthy
examination if they have a license in
another State. In 46 States, optome­
trists must earn continuing education
credits in optometry to renew their
The Doctor of Optometry degree
requires a minimum of 6 or 7 years of
higher education consisting of a 4year professional degree program pre­
ceded by at least 2 or 3 years of
preoptometric study at an accredited
university, college, or junior college.
Most optometry students enter with at
least a bachelor’s degree. In 1985,
there were 16 schools and colleges of
optometry in the United States ac­
credited by the Council on Optome­
tric Education of the American Opto­
metric Association. Requirements for
admission to these schools usually
include courses in English, m athemat­
ics, physics, chemistry, and biology
or zoology. Some schools also require
courses in psychology, social studies,
literature, philosophy, and foreign
languages. All applicants must take
the Optometry College Admissions
Test (OCAT). Competition is keen for
adm ission to o p to m etry schools.
Therefore, superior grades in pre­
optometric college courses may en­
hance one’s chances for acceptance.
Because most optometrists are selfemployed, business ability, self-disc­
ipline, and the ability to deal with
patients tactfully are necessary for
Many beginning optometrists enter
into associate practice with an optom­
etrist or other health professional.
Others purchase an established prac­
tice or set up a new practice. Some
take salaried positions to obtain expe­
rience and the necessary funds to start
their own practice.
Optometrists wishing to advance in
a specialized field may study for a
m aster’s or Ph.D. degree in visual
science, physiological optics, neuro­
physiology, public health, health ad­
ministration, health information and
communication, or health education.
One-year postgraduate clinical resi­
dency programs also are available in
optometric specialties including fami­
ly practice optom etry, pediatric op­
tometry, geriatric optometry, low vi­

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners/149
sion rehabilitation, vision training,
contact lenses, hospital-based optom­
etry, and primary care optometry.
Optometrists who enter the Armed
Forces as career officers have the op­
portunity to work toward advanced
degrees and to do research on vision

Related Occupations

Job Outlook

Sources of Additional Information

Employment of optometrists is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations through the mid1990’s. The growth and changing age
structure of the population are major
factors underlying anticipated job
growth. Visits to both optometrists
and ophthalmologists are substantial­
ly higher for persons over the age of
45, reflecting the onset of vision prob­
lems in middle age. Also likely to spur
demand for optometric services are
rising per capita income (which per­
mits people to pay for more frequent
doctor visits) and greater recognition
of the importance of vision care.
Replacement needs are expected to
produce additional job openings in the
years ahead. In this occupation, re­
placement needs arise almost entirely
from retirements and deaths. Optom­
etrists, like other health practitioners,
have a strong attachment to their pro­
fession and generally remain in prac­
tice until they leave the labor force;
few transfer to other occupations. Be­
cause a third of all active optometrists
are between 50 and 65 years of age, it
is likely that a large number of expe­
rienced optometrists will leave the
profession by the mid-1990’s.

In 1984, net earnings of new optome­
try graduates in their first full year of
practice averaged about $27,000. Ex­
p e rie n ce d o p to m e trists averaged
about $55,000 annually. Optometrists
working for the Federal Government
earned an average of $31,600 a year in
1984. Incomes vary greatly, depend­
ing upon location, specialization, and
other factors. Optometrists who start
out by working on a salaried basis
tend to earn more money initially than
optometrists who set up their own
solo practice. However, in the long
run, those with their own private
practice generally earn more than
those employed by other optom e­
trists, hospitals, health agencies, re­
tail stores, or other firms.

Workers in other occupations who
apply logical thinking and scientific
knowledge to prevent, diagnose, and
treat disease, disorders, or injuries in
humans or animals are chiropractors,
dentists, osteopathic physicians, phy­
sicians, podiatrists, and veterinarians.
For information on optometry as a
career, write to:
American Optometric Association, Education
and Manpower Division, 243 North Lindbergh
Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63141.

Additional career information and a
listing of accredited optometric edu­
cational institutions, as well as re­
quired preoptometry courses, can be
obtained from:
Association of Schools and Colleges o f Optom­
etry, Suite 410, 600 Maryland A ve. SW ., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20024.

The Board of Optometry in the cap­
ital of each State can supply informa­
tion on licensing requirements.
For information on admission re­
quirements and sources of financial
aid, including Federal loans and schol­
arships, contact individual optometry

(D .O .T . 070 a n d 071)

Nature of the Work
Physicians perform medical examina­
tions, diagnose illnesses, and treat
people who are suffering from injury

or disease. They also advise patients
on maintaining good health. There are
two types of physicians: the M .D.—
Doctor of Medicine—and the D.O.—
Doctor of Osteopathy. Despite differ­
ences in training and philosophy of
treatment, both M .D .’s and D .O .’s
use all accepted methods of treat­
ment, including drugs and surgery.
O steopathic physicians, how ever,
p la c e s p e c ia l e m p h a s is on the
musculoskeletal system of the body—
b o n e s, m u sc le s, lig a m e n ts, and
nerves. One of the basic treatments or
therapies used by osteopathic physi­
cians centers on manipulating this
system with the hands.
Physicians may be general practi­
tioners or they may specialize in a
particular field of medicine. Most
D .O .’s are general practitioners, pro­
viding primary care; about 25 percent
are specialists. On the other hand,
about 85 percent of the M .D .’s who
provide patient care are specialists.
(See chart). The largest of the medical
specialties for which there is graduate
medical training are internal medi­
cine, family medicine, general sur­
gery, obstetrics and gynecology, psy­
chiatry, pediatrics, radiology, anes­
thesiology, ophthalmology, pathol­
ogy, and orthopedic surgery. Some of
the prim ary care specialties have
shown especially rapid growth—fam­
ily practice, internal medicine, and
pediatrics. Some physicians combine
the practice of medicine with research
or teaching in medical schools.
Advances in medical technology in
recent years have been many and dra-

Specialists outnumber general practitioners.
Percent of physicians by specialty group, 1983

General practice
and family practice

Source: American Medical Association

150/Occupational Outlook Handbook
made. Liver and kidney transplants,
laser surgery, and ultrasound and
magnetic resonance imaging are but a
few of these new technologies. Some
are opening entirely new areas of
medical practice; others are replacing
traditional treatm ent methods.
The emphasis on technology has
implications for the way physicians
are trained and the way they practice
medicine. High-technology medicine
requires extensive skills and training.
Its dominant role in American medical
care underlies the system of specialty
medicine, whereby most M .D .’s are
specialists and few are general practi­
tioners. Further, the cost of technolo­
gy is largely responsible for making
the hospital the site of the most ad­
vanced medical care. Only hospitals
and very large clinics or group medi­
cal practices can afford to purchase
the most costly equipment. It is be­
yond the means of individual physi­
cians or small groups.

Working Conditions
Physicians who practice alone or in
small groups generally work long, ir­
regular hours. Most specialists work
fewer hours each week than general
practitioners. As doctors approach re­
tirement age, they may accept fewer
new patients and tend to work shorter
hours. However, many continue in
practice well beyond 70 years of age.
Contractual arrangem ents in the
rapidly evolving outpatient care sec­
tor vary enormously. An outpatient
surgical center, for example, may be

operated by several physicians as a
group medical practice. Work pat­
terns of such physicians resemble
those of other physicians in group
practice. Physicians in many outpa­
tient care settings such as health
maintenance organizations (HMO’s)
and urgent care centers are salaried
employees. They generally work a
standard 40-hour week, although some
are moonlighters and work on a parttime basis.

Physicians held about 476,000 jobs in
1984. Because young physicians in
particular frequently “ m oonlight,”
the number of jobs exceeds the num­
ber of individuals who are in prac­
tice—about 435,000 M .D .’s and 20,000
D .O .’s in 1984, according to the Amer­
ican Medical Association and the
American Osteopathic Association.
About half of all physicians are in
office-based practice. Few of these
are solo practitioners. As medical
care shifts from hospitals to outpa­
tient settings, the number and size of
group medical practices are growing.
Sometimes organized as clinics and
sometimes as a group of physicians in
the same or different specialties, large
groups can realize economies of scale
and can afford expensive equipment
that is beyond the means of solo prac­
About one-fourth of all physicians
were residents or full-time staff mem­
bers in hospitals in 1984. The rest
practiced in a variety of settings, in­

The number of physicians in salaried positions is growing.

cluding HM O’s, clinics, urgent care
centers, birthing centers, surgicenters, public health clinics, schools,
prisons, and business firms.
The N ortheast has the highest ratio
of physicians to population; the South,
the lowest. M ore than half of all
D .O .’s practice in cities and towns of
fewer than 50,000 residents. M .D .’s,
on the other hand, have tended to
locate in urban areas, close to hospital
and educational centers, so many ru­
ral areas have been underserved. Cur­
rently, more medical students are be­
ing exposed to practice in rural com­
munities with the direct support of
educational centers and hospitals in
more populous areas. Some rural ar­
eas offer physicians guaranteed mini­
mum incomes to offset the relatively
low earnings typical in rural medical
Osteopathic physicians are located
chiefly in those States that have osteo­
pathic hospitals. In 1984, three-fifths
of all D .O .’s were in Florida, Michi­
gan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio,
T ex as, and M isso u ri. S ev en teen
States and the District of Columbia
each had fewer than 50 osteopathic
physicians in 1984.

Training and Other Qualifications
All States, the District of Columbia,
and Puerto Rico require physicians to
be licensed. Licensure requirements
for both D .O .’s and M .D .’s include
graduation from an accredited profes­
sional school, successful completion
of a licensing examination, and, in
most States, 1 or 2 years of supervised
practice in an accredited graduate
medical education program (internship/residency). The licensing exami­
nation taken by most graduates of
U.S. medical schools is the National
Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
test that all States except Texas and
Louisiana accept.
G ra d u a te s o f fo re ig n m ed ical
schools generally begin practice in the
United States after completing a U.S.
hospital residency training program.
To enter an approved residency, grad­
uates of foreign medical schools usu­
ally must pass an examination admin­
istered by the Educational Commis­
sion for Foreign Medical Graduates
and be certified by that organization.
After 1 year of work in an approved
residency, foreign medical graduates,
as well as graduates of U.S. medical
schools who have not taken the
NBME test, must take the Federation

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners/151
Licensure Examination (FLEX) that
alljurisdictions accept. Although phy­
sicians licensed in one State usually
can get a license to practice in another
without further examination, some
States limit reciprocity.
Of the 127 accredited schools in the
United States in which students can
begin study for the M.D. degree, 126
award the degree of Doctor of Medi­
cine (M.D.). One school offers a 2year program in the basic medical
sciences to students who transfer to
another medical school for the last
semesters of study. Fifteen schools of
osteopathic medicine award the de­
gree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medi­
cine (D.O.).
The minimum educational require­
ment for entry to a medical or osteo­
pathic school is normally 3 years of
college; some schools require 4 years.
A few medical schools allow excep­
tional students to begin their profes­
sional study after 2 years of college.
Most students have at least a bache­
lor’s degree, and many have advanced
Required premedical study includes
undergraduate work in English, phys­
ics, biology, and inorganic and organ­
ic chemistry. Students also should
take courses in the humanities, math­
ematics, and the social sciences to
acquire a broad general education.
Studies have shown that medical stu­
dents with undergraduate majors in
the humanities do as well in their
medical studies as those who major in
the sciences or a “ premedical curric­
ulum .”
Medicine is a popular field of study,
and applicants must compete for entry
with highly motivated students who
generally have excelled in preprofes­
sional education. Factors considered
by the schools in admitting students
include their academic record and
their scores on the Medical College
Admission Test, which almost all ap­
plicants take. Consideration also is
given to the applicant’s character,
personality, and leadership qualities,
as shown by personal interviews, let­
ters of recommendation, and extracur­
ricular activities. Osteopathic colleges
give considerable weight to a favor­
able recommendation by an osteo­
pathic physican familiar with the ap­
plicant’s background. Many Statesupported schools give preference to
State residents and, sometimes, to
residents of nearby States.
Students spend the first semesters

of medical school primarily in labora­ at least 3 years in the Armed Forces
tories and classrooms learning basic upon graduation.
Persons who wish to become phy­
meclical sciences such as anatomy,
biochemistry, physiology, pharmacol­ sicians must have a strong desire to
ogy, microbiology, and pathology. serve the sick and injured. They must
Students in most schools gain some be self-motivated and competitive to
clinical experience with patients dur­ survive the pressures of premedical
ing the first 2 years of study, learning and medical education and the de­
to take case histories, perform exam­ manding workload during the interninations, and recognize symptoms. ship/residency that follows medical
During the last semesters, students school. They must study a great deal
work under supervision in hospitals to keep up with the latest advances in
and clinics to learn the important as­ medical science. Sincerity and a pleas­
pects of acute, chronic, preventive, ant personality are helpful in gaining
and rehabilitative care. Through these the confidence of patients. Physicians
required rotations in internal medi­ should be emotionally stable and able
cine, obstetrics and gynecology, pedi­ to make decisions in emergencies.
In view of the variation in State
atrics, psychiatry, and surgery, they
gain experience in the diagnosis and laws, students interested in becoming
physicians should study carefully the
treatment of illness.
After graduation, almost all M .D .’s professional and legal requirements of
complete 1 or 2 years of graduate the State in which they plan to prac­
medical education (residency). Nearly tice.
all D .O .’s serve a 12-month rotating
internship (including experience in Job Outlook
surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, Job o p p o rtu n itie s for physicians
through the mid-1990’s will reflect
and other specialties.)
Physicians who have completed 1 fa s te r than average em ploym ent
year of graduate medical education growth plus the need to replace expe­
and enter active military duty initially rienced physicians who leave the med­
serve as captains in the Army or Air ical profession.
Population growth and aging con­
Force or as lieutenants in the Navy.
Graduates also qualify for profession­ tribute to the need for more physi­
al medical positions in the Federal cians. Especially rapid growth is pro­
civil service.
jected for the elderly population,
Physicians seeking certification in a which makes much greater use of phy­
specialty spend from 3 to 5 years— sicians’ services than younger per­
depending on the specialty—in ad­ sons. Demand for medical care is gov­
vanced residency training, followed erned by ability to pay, and access to
by 2 or more years of practice in the physicians’ services is widespread as
specialty. Training in a medical spe­ a result of broad health insurance cov­
cialty is lengthy and rigorous but vir­ erage—through private insurance,
tually indispensable in view of the now a standard employee benefit, as
enormous amount of information to well as through public programs in­
be absorbed. Moreover, technologi­ cluding Medicare and Medicaid. In
cally based medical practice requires addition, more physicians will be
such a high level of skill that an ex­ needed for medical research and for
tensive period of supervised experi­ the growing fields of public health,
ence is necessary. Passing the appro­ rehabilitation, and industrial medi­
priate specialty board examination is cine.
the final step in becoming a boardReplacement needs in medicine and
certified M.D. or D.O.
osteopathic medicine account for few­
Physicians who want to teach or do er job openings than in most other
research may take graduate work occupations, because physicians ex­
leading to a m aster’s or Ph.D. degree hibit very strong attachment to their
in a field such as biochemistry or work. Once having completed training
and entered medical practice, physi­
A physician’s training is very cost­ cians tend to remain in the labor force
ly. However, loans and scholarships until they retire. M oreover, relatively
are available from the Federal Gov­ few leave medicine for other careers.
ernment, State and local governments,
The supply of physicians may ex­
and private sources. To receive this ceed demand in the decade ahead.
aid, the student may have to demon­ The prospective oversupply reflects
strate financial need or agree to serve past decisions about expanding the

152/Occupational Outlook Handbook
capacity of the N atio n ’s m edical
schools, and has relatively little to do
with sweeping changes in the organi­
zation and financing of health care
that are currently underway. About 20
years ago, a perceived shortage of
doctors ignited an explosion in medi­
cal school enrollments that ended in
the late 1970’s. Enrollm ent levels
have changed little since then, but
that expansion left in place an en­
larged student “ pipeline” that will
produce an abundant supply of newly
trained practitioners through the mid1990’s.
Foreign-trained physicians (includ­
ing U.S. citizens who receive their
medical training abroad) are an impor­
tant element in the N ation’s supply of
physicians, although the Bureau of
Health Professions expects fewer for­
eign-trained physicians to enter prac­
tice in the decade ahead than was true
in the past.
The N ation’s health care system is
being altered in im portant ways.
Changes in the way government pays
for hospital care under Medicare and
Medicaid, together with efforts by in­
surance companies and major corpo­
rations to contain outlays for employ­
ee health benefits, have sharply blunt­
ed the rising use of hospitals and
shifted some of that demand to outpa­
tient facilities.
The implications of these changes
for physicians will be greatest in the
area of practice setting and contractu­
al arrangements (salaried employee or
fee-for-service practitioner). The in­
creased popularity of HM O’s, free­

standing birthing centers, and other
outpatient facilities means that more
physicians are working in what are
still viewed as “ nontraditional” prac­
tice settings. As these and other
emerging organizations play an in­
creasingly dominant role in the medi­
cal care market, more and more phy­
sicians will work for a salary.
It is possible that prepaid arrange­
ments such as HM O’s could dampen
demand for physicians. If, as scat­
tered evidence suggests, HM O’s can
provide care with fewer physicians
than fee-for-service practice, acceler­
ated growth of HMO’s would mean
fewer new jobs for physicians than
currently anticipated.
Competition for graduate medical
residencies will intensify since the
number of first-year residency posi­
tions will closely match the number of
graduates from U.S. medical schools.
Newly trained physicians are likely to
experience competition as they seek
to launch a practice. Competition will
be especially stiff in large cities, and in
areas considered attractive due to ed­
ucational or recreational resources or
natural beauty. Physicians in many
such areas already report declines in
patient load or earnings. Those who
are willing to locate in inner cities,
rural areas, and other places where
doctors are not in oversupply should
have little difficulty.
Intensified competition due to sub­
stantial growth in the supply of newly
qualified M .D .’s and D .O .’s is certain
to affect physicians’ earnings.

High medical school enrollments have contributed to
the increasingly competitive outlook for physicians.
First-year enrollments (thousands)

Stipends of medical school graduates
serving as residents in hospitals vary
according to the type of residency,
geographic area, and size of the hos­
pital, but allowances of $20,000 to
$24,000 a year are common. Many
hospitals also provide full or partial
room and board and other mainte­
nance allowances to residents.
Graduates who had completed ap­
proved 3-year residencies but had no
other medical experience received a
starting salary at V eterans’ Adminis­
tration hospitals of about $44,400 a
year in 1985. In addition, those work­
ing full time received up to $13,000 in
other cash benefits or “ special” pay­
Newly qualified physicians who es­
tablish their own practice must make
a sizable financial investment to equip
a modern office. During the first year
or two of independent practice, phy­
sicians 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 among the highest
average annual earnings of any occu­
pational group. According to informa­
tion from the American Medical As­
sociation, physicians in pediatrics and
family or general practice had average
earnings, after expenses, of just over
$71,000 in 1984. Surgeons averaged
about $152,000 after expenses. The
average income of all physicians for
1984 was about $108,400. Earnings of
physicians depend on factors such as
the region of the country; patients’
income; and the physician’s skill, per­
sonality, professional reputation, and
experience. Self-employed physicians
usually earn more than those in sala­
ried positions.

Related Occupations
Physicians work to prevent, diagnose,
and treat diseases, disorders, and in­
juries. Professionals in other occupa­
tions that require similar kinds of skill
and critical judgm ent include audiolo­
gists, chiropractors, dentists, optom ­
etrists, podiatrists, speech patholo­
gists, and veterinarians.

Sources of Additional Information

SOURCES: Association of American Medical Colleges; American Association of Colleges of

Osteopathic Medicine

For a list of approved medical schools,
as well as general information on pre­
medical education, financial aid, and
medicine as a career, contact:
A m e ric a n M e d ic a l A s s o c ia t io n , 535 N .
Dearborn St., Chicago 111. 60610.

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners/153
Association o f American Medical Colleges,
One Dupont Circle N W ., Suite 200, Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.

For general information on osteo­
pathic medicine as a career, contact:
American O steopathic A ssociation, Depart­
ment o f Public Relations, 212 East Ohio St.,
Chicago, 111. 60611.
American Association o f Colleges o f O steo­
path ic M ed ic in e , 6110 E x e c u tiv e B lv d .,
Rockville, Md. 20852.

Information on Federal scholar­
ships and loans is available from the
directors of student financial aid at
schools of medicine and osteopathic
medicine. Information about Armed
Forces Health Professions Scholar­
ships is available from any local mili­
tary recruiting office.
Persons who wish to practice med­
icine or osteopathic medicine in a par­
ticular State should inquire about
licensure requirements directly from
the board of examiners of that State.

(D.O.T. 079.101-022)

Nature of the Work
Because we use them so often in
walking, running, or just standing, we
are constantly and painfully aware
when our feet hurt. A growing number
of foot sufferers visit a doctor of
podiatric medicine, or podiatrist, for
relief. Podiatrists diagnose and treat
diseases and disorders of the foot.
Much of their practice is devoted to
treating soft-tissue complaints such as
corns, bunions, calluses, ingrown toe­
nails, and skin and nail diseases. To
help in diagnosis, podiatrists take Xrays and order laboratory tests. De­
pending on the condition, they may fit
corrective devices, prescribe drugs,
order physical therapy, or recom ­
mend proper shoes. Surgery, per­
formed in hospitals, outpatient sur­
gery centers, clinics, or podiatrists’
offices, is an increasingly important
part of podiatric practice.
Podiatrists are trained to identify
systemic diseases such as arthritis,
diabetes, and heart disease. If they
find symptoms of a systemic disorder,
they refer the patient to a medical
doctor while continuing to treat the
foot problem.
Most podiatrists provide all types of
foot care. After completing additional
training, however, some specialize in
podiatric surgery, orthopedics (bone,
muscle, and joint disorders), podo-

pediatrics (children’s foot ailments, or
podogeriatrics (foot problems of the

Working Conditions
Podiatrists usually work independent­
ly in their own offices. They generally
work 40 hours a week, and they set
their hours to suit their practice.

Podiatrists held about 11,000 jobs in
1984. While the majority of podiatrists
are in private practice, some are em­
ployed by other podiatrists. Hospi­
tals, health maintenance organiza­
tions, and podiatric medical colleges
employ podiatrists as well. The Vet­
erans A dm inistration and public
health departments also employ podi­
Like other health practitioners, po­
diatrists work mainly in large cities,
but geographic imbalances are espe­
cially pronounced in podiatric medi­
cine. This reflects the fact that the
majority of podiatry students are res­
idents of the six States in which
podiatric education is offered, and,
after graduation, many of them prefer
to set up practice close to home. This
pattern has left large areas of the
country, particularly in the South and
Southw est, with few practitioners
even though the total number of podi­
atrists has grown substantially in re­
cent years.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States and the District of Colum­
bia require a license for the practice of
podiatric medicine. To qualify for a
license, an applicant must graduate
from an accredited college of podiatric
medicine and pass a written and oral
examination. In some States, appli­
cants can substitute the examination
of the National Board of Podiatric
Examiners, given in the second and
fourth years of podiatry school, for
part or all of the written State exami­
nation. Many States grant licenses
without further examination to podia­
trists already licensed by another
The six colleges of podiatric medi­
cine are located in California, Illinois,
Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, and
Ohio. Minimum entrance require­
ments include 3 years of undergradu­
ate college work with courses in En­
glish, chemistry, biology or zoology,
physics, and mathematics. Most en­

trants surpass the minimum require­
ments. About 85 percent of the class
entering in 1984 held at least a bache­
lor’s degree, and the average enrollee
had an overall grade point average of
“ B” or better. All colleges of podiatric
medicine require applicants to earn an
acceptable score on the Medical Col­
lege Admissions Test.
Of the 4 years in podiatry school,
the first 2 are spent in classroom in­
struction and laboratory work in anat­
omy, bacteriology, chemistry, pathol­
ogy, physiology, pharmacology, and
other basic sciences. During the final
2 years, students gain clinical experi­
ence while continuing their academic
studies. Graduates are awarded the
degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medi­
cine (D.P.M.).
Additional education and experi­
ence are necessary to practice in a
specialty. C urrently, about threefourths of all graduates complete 1-3
years of graduate education (some­
times called a residency or preceptorship) following the D.P.M. degree.
Competition for admission to residen­
cy programs is keen. Since licensure
requirements in eight States (Arizona,
California, Georgia, Michigan, New
Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and
Virginia) call for completion of at least
1 year of post graduate education,
failure to secure a residency can limit
a new graduate’s practice options.
First-year residencies provide clinical
training and experience in primary
care in one or more disciplines such as
orthopedics, pathology, radiology,
surgery, and emergency care. Sec­
ond- and third-year residencies pro­
vide more extensive training in a spe­
cialty, usually in surgery. Board cer-

Podiatrists diagnose and treat foot prob­

154/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tification is offered in two specialties:
Podiatric orthopedics and podiatric
Federal, State, and private loans
are available for students to pursue
full-time study leading to a degree in
podiatric medicine. Private funding
and work-study programs are also
Persons planning a career in podia­
try should have scientific aptitude and
manual dexterity, and like detailed
work. A good business sense and con­
geniality also are assets, as in any
medical profession.
Most newly licensed podiatrists set
up their own practices. Some pur­
chase established practices, or take
salaried positions to gain the experi­
ence and money they need to begin
their own practices.


Newly licensed podiatrists build their
practices over a number of years. In­
come during the first several years is
usually low but generally rises signif­
icantly as the practice grows. From
the limited information available, a
net income of about $50,000 a year is
common for established podiatrists.
Newly licensed podiatrists hired by
V eterans A dm inistration hospitals
earned starting salaries betw een
$26,381 and $31,619 in 1985.
Related Occupations

Podiatrists work to prevent, diagnose,
and treat diseases, disorders, and in­
juries. Other occupations that require
similar skills include audiologists, chi­
ropractors, dentists, optometrists, os­
teopathic physicians, speech patholo­
gists, and veterinarians.

Job Outlook

Employment of podiatrists is expect­
ed to grow much faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the
mid-1990’s as podiatric medicine con­
tinues to gain recognition as a health
profession, causing more people to
turn to podiatrists for foot care. The
growing popularity of jogging, tennis,
racquetball, and other fast-moving
sports will spur demand in the special­
ty of podiatric sports medicine. The
aging of the population will also in­
crease demand for podiatrists. Many
older people have foot problems.
Because health insurance helps peo­
ple pay for podiatric care, widespread
access to health insurance will con­
tribute to increased demand in the
years ahead—provided current bene­
fit patterns are not altered substantial­
ly. Generally speaking, Medicare and
most private health insurance pro­
grams cover acute medical and surgi­
cal foot services as well as diagnostic
X-rays, fracture casts, and leg braces;
Medicaid podiatry benefits vary enor­
mously from State to State. Routine
foot care—including the removal of
corns and calluses—is not ordinarily
paid for by health insurance. Health
maintenance organizations and other
prepaid plans may provide routine
foot care, however.
In addition to opportunities created
by rapid growth in employment, many
openings will result from the need to
replace podiatrists who retire or stop
working for other reasons. Opportuni­
ties for graduates to establish new
practices, as well as to enter salaried
Digitized forpositions, should be favorable.

Sources of Additional Information

Information on colleges of podiatric
medicine, entrance requirements, curriculums, and student financial aid is
available from:
American Association of Colleges of Podiatric
Medicine, 6110 Executive Blvd., Suite 204,
Rockville, Md. 20852.

F o r ad d itio n al in fo rm atio n on
podiatric medicine as a career, con­
American Podiatric Medical Association, 20
Chevy Chase Circle NW., Washington, D.C.

For information about financial as­
sistance programs administered by
the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, write to:
Division of Student Assistance, Health Re­
sources and Services Administration, 5600
Fishers Lane, Rockville, Md. 20857.

(D.O.T. 073. except .361-010)

Nature of the Work

Think of a veterinary doctor and you
may picture someone caring for the
family cat or dog. Three out of four
veterinarians engage in private prac­
tice—they may treat small animals or
pets exclusively, concentrate on large
animals (livestock, generally), or have
a mixed practice of both large and
small animals. Veterinarians diagnose
medical conditions, perform surgery
on sick and injured animals, and pre­
scribe and administer medicines and

Some veterinarians engage in re­
search, inspection, or education. It is
not generally understood that veteri­
narians contribute to medical research
in the field of human health care.
Veterinarians may join physicians and
scientists in carrying out research at
an academic medical center, for ex­
ample, and explore such topics as
techniques of organ transplantation or
the efficacy of a new drug. Some vet­
erinarians are in regulatory medicine
or public health: They inspect food,
investigate outbreaks of disease, and
work in scientific laboratories. These
veterinarians help prevent the out­
break and spread of animal diseases,
some of which—like rabies—can be
transmitted to human beings.
Protection of the population from
environmental hazards is a major con­
cern of the small but significant num­
ber of veterinarians who specialize in
toxicology or animal pathology. Al­
though there have been impressive
successes in controlling diseases
transm itted through food anim als,
changing technology and more com­
plex methods of food production pre­
sent new threats to food safety. Resi­
dues from herbicides, pesticides, and
antibiotics used in food production
pose a particular problem. Scientific
advances in livestock production
have, paradoxically, created a need
for veterinarians capable of dealing
with contamination of the food chain
by toxic chemicals.
Some veterinarians teach in veteri­
nary colleges, work in zoos or animal
laboratories, or engage in a combina­
tion of clinical and research activities.
Working Conditions

Veterinarians usually treat pet ani­
mals in hospitals and clinics. Those in
large animal practice usually work out
of well-equipped mobile clinics and
drive considerable distances between
farms and ranches to care for their
animal patients. V eterinarians are
sometimes exposed to injury, disease,
and infection. Those in private prac­
tice often work long hours. Veterinar­
ians in rural areas may work outdoors
in all kinds of weather. Because they
are self-employed, veterinarians in
private practice usually can continue
working beyond normal retirem ent

Veterinarians held about 40,000 jobs
in 1984. Most were in private practice.

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners/155
The Federal Government employed
about 2,300 veterinarians in civilian
jobs, chiefly in the U.S. Department
of Agriculture and the U.S. Public
Health Service. Other employers of
veterinarians are State and local gov­
ernments, international health agen­
cies, colleges of veterinary medicine,
medical schools, research laborato­
ries, livestock farm s, animal food
companies, and pharmaceutical com­
Veterinarians are located in all parts
of the country, and the type of prac­
tice generally varies according to geo­
graphic setting. Veterinarians in rural
areas mainly treat farm animals; those
in small towns usually engage in gen­
eral practice; those in cities and sub­
urban areas often limit their practice
to pets.
Training, Other Qualifications, and

All States and the District of Colum­
bia require that veterinarians be li­
censed. To obtain a license, appli­
cants must have a Doctor of Veteri­
nary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.)
degree from an accredited college of
veterinary medicine and pass written
and, in most States, oral State board
pro ficien cy e x a m in a tio n s. Som e
States issue licenses without further
examination to veterinarians already
licensed by another State.
For veterinarians seeking positions
in research and teaching, an addition­
al m aster’s or Ph.D. degree usually is
required or, increasingly, specialty
board certification in a field such as
pathology, toxicology, or laboratory
animal medicine. Veterinarians who
seek specialty board certification must
complete an approved residency pro­
gram, pass the board’s examination,
and meet any other board require­
The D.V.M. or V.M.D. degree re­
quires a minimum of 6 years of college
consisting of at least 2 years of
preveterinary study that emphasizes
the physical and biological sciences
and a 4-year professional degree pro­
gram. Several veterinary medical col­
leges require 3 years of preveterinary
work, and most successful applicants
have completed 4 years of college. In
addition to rigorous academic instruc­
tion, professional training includes
considerable practical experience in
diagnosing and treating animal dis­
eases, performing surgery, and per­
forming laboratory work in anatomy,

biochemistry, and other scientific and
medical subjects.
In 1985, all 27 colleges of veterinary
medicine in the United States were
accredited by the Council on Educa­
tion of the American Veterinary Med­
ical Association (AVMA). Admission
to these schools is highly competitive.
Each year there are many more qual­
ified applicants than the schools can
accept. Serious applicants usually
need grades of “ B ” or better, espe­
cially in science courses. Experience
in part-time or summer jobs working
with animals is advantageous. Colleg­
es usually give preference to residents
of the State in which the college is
located, because these schools are
largely State supported. In the South
and West, regional educational plans
permit cooperating States without vet­
erinary schools to send students to
designated regional schools. In other
areas, colleges that accept out-ofState students give priority to appli­
cants from nearby States that do not
have veterinary schools.
The Federal Government provides
some loans for students in schools of
veterinary medicine, subject to the
availability of funds; service in an
underserved area after graduation may
cancel the student’s obligation to re­
pay the loan.
Most veterinarians begin as em­
ployees or partners in established
practices. Those who can afford the
substantial investm ent needed for
drugs, instruments, and other startup
costs may set up their own practices.
An even greater investment is needed
to open an animal hospital or pur­
chase an established practice.
Newly trained veterinarians may
qualify for civilian jobs with the U.S.
Government as meat and poultry in­
spectors, disease-control workers, ep­
idemiologists, research assistants, or
commissioned officers in the U.S.
Public Health Service. A license is not
required for Federal employment.
Job Outlook

Employment of veterinarians is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations through the mid1990’s, primarily because of growth in
the companion animal (horses, dogs,
and other pets) population. Emphasis
on scientific methods of raising and
breeding livestock and poultry, and
growth in public health and disease
control programs also will stimulate
the demand for veterinarians. In addi-

Veterinarians usually treat pets in hospi­
tals or clinics.
tion, many new veterinarians will be
needed each year to replace those
who retire or die.
The supply of veterinarians is pro­
jected to grow even faster than de­
mand, however, which means that
new veterinary school graduates may
encounter stiff competition as they set
out to establish a clinical practice.
Veterinary school enrollments have
nearly doubled since the mid-1960’s.
It seems likely that graduations will
stabilize at current levels through
1995, but even so, the number of
active veterinarians will grow so sub­
stantially that an oversupply is a
strong possibility. This would affect
new graduates setting up “ small ani­
mal” or pet practices the most. An
oversupply might mean competition
among practitioners for business; lower-than-anticipated earnings; or diffi­
culty securing a salaried position.
The outlook is bright for veterinar­
ians with specialty training, which
generally involves at least 2 years of
formal education beyond the basic
veterinary medicine degree. Demand
for specialists in toxicology and pa­
thology is expected to remain strong,
as is the demand for faculty at colleg­
es of veterinary medicine.

Newly graduated veterinarians work­
ing in private practices of established
veterinarians typically earned $19,000
to $21,000 in 1984. After 2 years,

156/Occupational Outlook Handbook
earnings rise significantly. The aver­
age net earnings of all veterinarians in
private practice were about $46,000 in
Newly graduated veterinarians em­
ployed by the Federal Government
started at $24,700 a year in 1985. The
average annual salary of veterinarians
in the F e d e ra l G overnm ent was
$40,000 in 1985.
Related Occupations

Veterinarians use their professional
training to prevent, diagnose, and
treat diseases, disorders, and injuries.

Others who require similar skills are
audiologists, chiropractors, dentists,
optometrists, physicians, podiatrists,
and speech pathologists.
Sources of Additional Information

A pamphlet entitled Today’s Veteri­
narian presents information on veter­
inary medicine as a career and lists
accredited colleges of veterinary med­
icine. A free copy may be obtained by
submitting a request, together with a
self-addressed, stam ped, businesssize envelope, to:

American Veterinary Medical Association, 930
N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, 111. 60196.

Information on opportunities for
veterinarians in the U.S. Department
of Agriculture is available from:
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service,
Field Service Office, Employment Services,
Butler Square West, 5th Floor, 100 N. 6th St.,
Minneapolis, Minn. 55403.
Food Safety and Quality Service, Personnel
Division, Butler Square West, 4th Floor, 100 N.
5th St., Minneapolis, Minn. 55403.

For information on scholarships,
grants, and loans, contact the finan­
cial aid officer at the veterin ary
schools to which you wish to apply.

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists,
Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician
The health professionals described in
this section of the Handbook care for
the sick, help the disabled, and advise
individuals and communities on ways
of maintaining and improving their
health. Nursing is by far the largest of
these occupations: Registered nurses
held nearly 1.4 million jobs in 1984.
Most of the other occupations de­
scribed here are much smaller. Physi­
cian assistants and occupational ther­
apists, for example, each held about
25,000 jobs in 1984, while recreational
therapists accounted for 17,000 jobs.
Registered nurses work primarily in
hospitals, where they provide direct
patient care, assist in surgery and di­
agnostic procedures, train and super­
vise other members of the staff, pro­
vide health education for patients and
their families, organize health promo­
tion activities for the community, and
handle administrative tasks. A grow­
ing number of registered nurses work
in long-term care facilities such as
nursing homes, rehabilitation centers,
and mental hospitals. Some engage in
occupational or school nursing, while
others work in clinics, health mainte­
nance organizations, or physicians’
offices, or do private duty nursing.
Community and home health is an
increasingly important practice set­
ting for registered nurses. With addi­
tional training and experience, regis­
tered nurses may assume the respon­
sibilities of nurse practitioners, nurse
midwives, or nurse anesthetists. In
these expanded roles, nurses perform
tasks that otherwise would be per­
formed by a physician.
Three principal kinds of nursing ed­
ucation prepare students for careers
as registered nurses: Diploma, associ­
ate degree, and bachelor’s degree pro­
grams. The differences should be un­
derstood by the prospective nursing
student. However, all nursing educa­
tion programs share the goals of teach­
ing nurses the scientific basis of nurs­

ing practice, familiarizing them with of therapists, are discussed in the
the latest treatment and rehabilitation Handbook statement on counselors.
A number of other therapists aid in
techniques, and equipping them to
understand patients’ medical, social, rehabilitation. Orientation therapists
fo r the blind help newly blinded per­
and psychological needs.
The relatively new occupation of sons learn to move about unassisted;
physician assistant (PA) involves di­ to handle such everyday activities as
rect patient care by workers who are dressing, grooming, eating, and using
trained to perform many of the more the telephone; and to communicate by
routine tasks normally carried out by means of Braille, reading machines,
a physician. These include taking or other devices. Art, dance, and mu­
medical histories, doing routine exam­ sic therapists help patients resolve
inations, and making hospital rounds. physical, emotional, or social prob­
Physician assistants work under the lems through nonverbal means of
direction of a physician, usually right communication. Horticultural thera­
in the office. Some, however, practice pists use gardening for therapeutic
in rural health clinics, prisons, and purposes—as a group activity for per­
other places where physicians are not sons with mental or emotional prob­
readily available. Training commonly lems, for example. A bachelor’s de­
lasts 2 years. Admission to PA train­ gree with a health profession special­
ing is highly competitive, and most ization is standard preparation for
students already have a background in most therapy occupations. For some
one of the health professions. Legal jobs, a m aster’s degree is essential.
Dietitians and pharmacists also use
provisions permitting physician assis­
tants to practice are not uniform special skills and expertise to assist
throughout the country, in part be­ sick or disabled persons, although
they do not provide direct patient
cause the occupation is so new.
Therapists use a variety of tech­ care. Having completed college pro­
niques to help patients who are in­ gram s th at include b acteriology,
jured, physically or mentally disabled, chemistry, and other sciences, these
or emotionally disturbed. Physical workers draw on scientific knowledge
therapists use exercise and other treat­ to devise therapeutic treatments or
m ents to help p a tie n ts in cre ase give advice on the effects of diet or
strength, mobility, and coordination. drugs. Both fields offer opportunities
Occupational therapists teach skills to practice in a variety of settings.
of everyday living, including voca­ Dietitians plan diets to meet the nutri­
tional skills. Their goal is to help pa­ tional needs of groups as diverse as
tients adapt to their limitations and hospital patients, school children,
learn to be as self-sufficient as possi­ prisoners, and hotel guests. Pharma­
ble. Speech pathologists and audiolo­ cists generally work in hospitals or
gists work with children and adults community pharmacies where they
who have speech, language, or hear­ dispense drugs and medicines pre­
ing impairments. Recreational thera­ scribed by health practitioners. Like
pists, also known as therapeutic rec­ other health professionals, dietitians
reation workers, use sports, games, and pharmacists sometimes teach or
crafts, and hobbies as part of the do consulting work in addition to their
rehabilitation of mentally ill, mentally primary job.
retarded, or physically handicapped
Pharm acists, physical therapists,
persons. Rehabilitation counselors, and registered nurses must have a
whose work is closely related to that license to practice. Students consider-


158/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ing one of these careers should inves­
tigate the licensing requirements in
the State where they plan to work.
C om plem enting the occu p atio n al
licensure laws is a voluntary system
of gaining credentials, in which pro­
fessional associations and other non­
governmental bodies attest to an indi­
vidual’s competence through certifi­
cation or registration.
Employment in these occupations
is expected to grow at different rates
through the mid-1990’s, reflecting the
impact of anticipated changes in the
health care system. Growing concern
about cost has set in motion a number
of developments that are likely to
transform the entire system by 1995.
Of foremost importance is the trend
toward greater reliance on outpatient,
in-home, and community-based serv­
ices, and less reliance on inpatient
hospital care.
Health insurance terms that pre­
scribe which services are reimburs­
able will be more important than ever
in determining the industry and occu­
pational “ mix” of health sector em­
ployment. Providing Medicare cover­
age for hospice services, for example,
has helped stimulate demand for nurs­
es, social workers, and pastoral coun­
selors in hospices, although it is impor­
tant to bear in mind that volunteers
provide most hospice care. Similarly,
if nursing home and other long term
care benefits were covered by private
health insurance, demand for nursing
and therapy personnel might rise even
faster than currently anticipated.
Several other sections of the Hand­
book contain statements on health ca­
reers. Check the alphabetical index at
the back to locate the statements on
health services managers, dental as­
sistants, medical assistants, nursing
aides and psychiatric aides, dispens­
ing opticians, and dental laboratory
Books and brochures on health ca­
reers are available in libraries, coun­
seling centers, and bookstores. The
Sources of Additional Information
section at the end of each Handbook
statement identifies organizations that
can provide pamphlets, lists of ac­
credited schools, and sources of fi­
nancial aid. For an overview of jobs in
the health field, including some jobs
not covered in the H andbook, request
a copy of “ 200 Ways to Put Your Tal­
ent to Work in the Health Field” from:
National Health Council, 70 West Fortieth St.,

Digitized forNew York, N.Y. 10018.

Dietitians and
(D-O.T. 077 except .121-010)

Nature of the Work

Nutrition is the science of food and its
effect on the body. It is concerned
with the nutrients in food, their use in
body chem istry, and—in the final
analysis—the relationship betw een
diet and health. Nutritionists counsel
individuals and groups; set up and
supervise food service systems for
institutions such as hospitals, hotels,
prisons, and schools; and promote
sound eating habits through education
and research. The term “ nutritionist”
applies to a number of different pro­
fessionals involved with food science
and human nutrition. Among these
are dietitians, food technologists, and
home economists.
Among dietitians, major areas of
specialization include administration,
education, research, and clinical and
community dietetics.
Administrative dietitians apply the
principles of nutrition and sound man­
agement to large-scale meal planning
and preparation, such as that done in
company cafeterias, schools, and oth­
er institutions. They supervise the
planning, preparation, and service of
meals; select, train, and direct food
service supervisors and workers; bud­
get for and purchase food, equipment,
and supplies; enforce sanitary and
safety regulations; and prepare rec­
ords and reports. Increasingly, dieti­
tians utilize computer programs to
plan meals that satisfy nutritional re­
quirements and are economical at the
same time. Dietitians who are direc­
tors of dietetic departments also de­
cide on departmental policy; coordi­
nate dietetic services with the activi­
ties of other departments; and are
responsible for the dietetic depart­
ment budget, which in large organiza­
tions may amount to millions of dol­
lars annually.
Clinical dietitians, sometimes called
therapeutic dietitians, generally work
in hospitals, nursing homes, or clin­
ics. They assess patients’ nutritional
needs, develop and implement nutri­
tion care plans, and evaluate and re­
port the results. Clinical dietitians
confer with doctors and other mem­
bers of the health care team about
patients’ nutritional care, instruct pa­
tients and their families on the re­

quirements and importance of their
diets, and suggest ways to maintain
these diets at home. Computer pro­
grams enable dietitians to provide pa­
tients and their physicians with a com­
plete nutritional analysis of food in­
Technological advances in nutri­
tional support for the critically ill have
enhanced the clinical dietitian’s role.
In the hospital, dietitians oversee the
preparation of custom-mixed highnutrition formulas for patients who
are critically or terminally ill. In the
home health field, they help develop
and oversee sophisticated nutritional
therapies for hom ebound patients
who, because of surgery or illness, are
unable to eat regular foods.
Community dietitians or nutrition­
ists may counsel individuals and
groups on sound nutrition practices to
prevent disease, maintain health, and
rehabilitate persons recovering from
illness. They may engage in teaching
and research with a community health
focus. This work covers areas such as
special diets, meal planning and prep­
aration, and food budgeting and pur­
chasing. Dietitians or nutritionists in
this field usually are associated with
community health programs; they may
be responsible for planning, develop­
ing, coordinating, and administering a
nutrition program or a nutrition com­
ponent within the community health
program. They work mainly for public
and private health and social service
a g e n c ie s , in c lu d in g “ m e a ls-o n wheels” programs, congregate meals
for older Americans, and nutritional
programs for women with infants and
young children.
Research dietitians seek ways to
improve the nutrition of both healthy
and sick people. They may study nu­
trition science and education, food
management, food service systems
and equipment, or how the body uses
food. Other research projects may in­
vestigate the nutritional needs of the
aging, persons who have chronic dis­
eases, or space travelers. Research
dietitians need advanced training in
this field and usually are employed in
medical centers or educational facili­
ties, or they may work in community
health programs.
Working Conditions

Although most work 40 hours a week,
dietitians and nutritionists in hospitals
may sometimes work on weekends,
and those in commercial food services

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/159
have somewhat irregular hours. Dieti­
tians and nutritionists spend much of
their time in clean, well-lighted, and
well-ventilated areas, such as research
laboratories, classrooms, or offices
near food preparation areas. Howev­
er, they do spend time in kitchens and
serving areas that often are hot and
steamy. Dietitians and nutritionists in
clinical settings may be on their feet a
lot; those involved in consulting spend
a significant amount of time traveling.

Dietitians and nutritionists held about
48,000 jobs in 1984. Health care facil­
ities, including hospitals, nursing
homes, and clinics, are a major source
of jobs in this field, accounting for
nearly 3 out of 5 jobs in 1984. Business
firms that provide food services for
hospital patients on a contract basis
employ a small but growing number of
dietitians and nutritionists.
Colleges, universities, and school
systems provide approximately 1 job
in 10, as do child care or residential
care facilities. Other jobs are found in
a variety of settings, including prison
systems, hotel and restaurant chains,
and business firms that provide food
service for their employees.
Many dietitians work as consult­
ants, either full time or part time. In
addition to serving on the staff of a
hospital, for example, a dietitian may
be a consultant for another health care
facility. Nursing homes use consult­
ants to provide much of their dietitic
Training, Other Qualifications, and

A bachelor’s degree with a major in
foods and nutrition or institution man­
agement is the basic educational re­
quirement for this field. This degree
can be earned in about 270 colleges
and universities, usually in depart­
ments of home economics and food
and nutrition sciences. Required col­
lege courses include food and nutri­
tion, institution management, chemis­
try, bacteriology, and physiology.
Other important courses are mathe­
matics, statistics, computer science,
psychology, sociology, and econom­
ics. It is also possible to prepare for
this profession by receiving an ad­
vanced degree in nutrition, food ser­
vice management, or related sciences
and providing evidence of qualifying
work experience.
To qualify for professional creden­

Hospital dietitians supervise the preparation of meals for patients on special diets.

tials as a Registered Dietitian (R.D.),
the American Dietetic Association
(ADA) recommends completion of a
coordinated undergraduate program
which includes an internship; comple­
tion of a bachelor’s degree, plus an
approved dietetic internship or 3 years
of approved qualified experience; or 6
months of approved qualified experi­
ence plus an advanced degree. The
internship lasts 6 to 12 months and
combines clinical experience under a
qualified dietitian with some class­
room work. In 1984, 104 internship
program s were accredited by the
ADA. Coordinated undergraduate
programs enable students to complete
their clinical experience requirement
while obtaining their bachelor’s de­
gree. In 1984, 67 such programs were
offered by medical schools and by
departments of allied health and home
economics in colleges and universi­
ties. These programs are accredited
by the ADA.
Experienced dietitians may advance
to assistant or associate director or
director of a dietetic department. Ad­
vancement to higher level positions in
teaching and research requires gradu­
ate education; public health nutrition­
ists usually must earn a graduate de­
gree. Graduate study in institutional
or business administration is valuable

to those interested in administrative
Clinical specialization offers anoth­
er path to career advancement. As a
result of scientific advances that have
increased our understanding of the
role of nutrition in treating disease,
clinical specialization is on the rise.
Specialty areas for clinical dietitions
include cancer, heart disease, and di­
Persons who plan to become dieti­
tians or nutritionists should have or­
ganizational and administrative ability
as well as scientific aptitude, and
should be able to work well with peo­
ple. Among the courses recommend­
ed for high school students interested
in careers as dietitians are home eco­
nomics, business administration, biol­
ogy, health, mathematics, and chem­
Job Outlook

Employment of dietitians is expected
to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the mid-1990’s to
meet the expanding needs for individ­
ual and group meals in nursing homes,
hospitals, retirem ent and life care
communities, and social service pro­
grams of various kinds. Most job
openings, however, will result from
the need to replace experienced work­

160/Occupational Outlook Handbook
ers who stop working or transfer to
other occupations. A number of expe­
rienced dietitians and nutritionists are
moving into management positions in
private industry, for example.
The factors that underlie future
growth in demand for health serv­
ices—population growth and aging,
emphasis on health education and
promotion of prudent lifestyles, and
widespread ability to pay for care
through public and private health in­
surance—will spur demand for dieti­
tians and nutritionists. Demand is also
expected to grow in commercial set­
tings, including catering firms, restau­
rant chains, and medical supply firms.
In addition, dietitians and nutritionists
will be needed to staff community
health programs, to provide nutrition­
al counseling for employer-sponsored
wellness and fitness programs, and to
conduct research in food and nutri­
Staffing flexibility can be facilitated
by using full-time and part-time staff.
For this reason, opportunities for
part-time employment should remain

Entry level salaries of hospital dieti­
tians averaged $18,980 a year in 1984,
according to a national survey con­
ducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch. Many experienced
hospital dietitians earned more than
$28,000 a year.
The starting salary in the Federal
Government for those with a bache­
lor’s degree was about $14,390 in
1984. The average Federal salary for
dietitians was about $27,800 in 1984.
Dietitians usually receive benefits
such as paid vacations, sick leave,
holidays, health insurance, and retire­
ment benefits.
Related Occupations

Dietitians and nutritionists apply the
principles of nutrition in a variety of
situations. Other workers with similar
duties include food and home econo­
mists, executive chefs, and food ser­
vice managers.
Sources of Additional Information

For information on accredited dietetic
internship and coordinated undergrad­
uate programs, scholarships, registra­
tion, and a list of colleges providing
training for a professional career in

The American Dietetic Association, 430 North
Michigan Ave., Chicago, 1 1 60611.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Man­
agement, Washington, D.C. 20415,
has information on hiring require­
ments for dietitians in Federal hospi­
tals and for public health nutritionists
and dietitians in the U .S. Public
Health Service.
The Veterans Administration em­
ploys dietitians and maintains a list of
eligible applicants. Graduates inter­
ested in VA positions may obtain ap­
plication forms by calling, toll free,
800-368-6008. Residents of Virginia
should call 800-552-3045. Those inter­
ested in a VA career as a dietitian are
encouraged to visit the personnel of­
fice of any VA medical center.

(D.O.T. 076.121-010)

Nature of the Work

Occupational therapists treat people
of all ages who are mentally, physical­
ly, developmentally, or emotionally
disabled. Therapists provide their pa­
tients with specialized activities which
aid them in mastering the skills neces­
sary to perform daily tasks at home, at
work, at school, and in the communi­
ty. For those with a disability, being
able to perform a daily activity such
as getting dressed without assistance
is an important step toward a life that
is as independent, productive, and
satisfying as possible.
Like other health professionals, oc­
cupational therapists usually work as
a member of a team which may in­
clude a physician, nurse, physical
therapist, psychologist, rehabilitation
counselor, and social worker. Team
members evaluate the patient in terms
of their individual specialties and con­
sult with each other to arrive at an
overall assessment of the patient’s
capacities, skills, and abilities. To­
gether they develop goals that meet
the patient’s needs, and decide what
treatment methods to use.
Various activities^ are used as ther­
apy tools. They are designed to pre­
pare patients to return to work, devel­
op or restore basic functions, and aid
in adjustment to disabilities. When
working with children, occupational
therapists often use toys and games to
teach a variety of skills. With other

patients, occupational therapists use
activities of daily living such as meal
preparation, bathing, and dressing,
which patients practice in clinic areas
set up as kitchens and bathrooms.
Woodworking, leatherwork, or other
therapeutic activities are used to in­
crease motor skills, strength, endur­
ance, concentration, and motivation
as preparation for applying these skills
to the tasks of daily life.
Occupational therapists often work
with patients who have lost basic
functional skills such as unaided
movement of their limbs. Loss of mo­
tor skills and coordination may result
from spinal cord injury, for example,
or be associated with a chronic dis­
ease such as m uscular dystrophy.
Therapists provide individuals with
adaptive equipment such as wheel­
chairs, splints, and aids for eating and
dressing. They may design and make
special equipment for disabled pa­
tients and recommend changes in the
home or work environment to facili­
tate functioning.
C om puter-aided adaptive equip­
ment offers the prospect of indepen­
dence to some severely disabled per­
sons. Examples are devices that would
allow paraplegic and quadriplegic pa­
tients to communicate while confined
to a wheelchair or bed, and micropro­
cessors designed to help paraplegics
walk. As such devices move out of the
research and development stage, oc­
cupational therapists will be involved
in helping patients learn to use them.
Occupational therapists in mental
health settings treat individuals who
may be mentally ill, mentally retard­
ed, or emotionally disturbed. Among
the emotional disorders that occupa­
tional therapists encounter are alco­
holism, drug abuse, depression, eat­
ing disorders, and stress-related disor­
ders. The occupational therapist’s
goal is to provide the patient with the
functional as well as cognitive, social,
and organizational skills necessary to
develop a healthier lifestyle. Thera­
pists provide individual and group ac­
tivities to help people learn to cope
with the daily stresses of life and to
manage their work and leisure more
efficiently. These activities may in­
clude crafts that require planning and
time management skills, budgeting,
shopping, meal preparation and home­
making, self-care, and using commu­
nity resources such as public trans­
portation and service agencies.
Although they are not necessarily

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/161
expert in all these activities, occupa­
tional therapists must know enough
about them to understand their thera­
peutic values and to set them into
O ccupational therapists tend to
work with specific disability or age
groups. For instance, approximately 3
out of 5 occupational therapists work
principally with persons who have
physical disabilities; the rest work
with patients who have psychological,
emotional, or developmental prob­
lems. Some work only with children
and young adults; others work exclu­
sively with the elderly.
Besides working with patients, oc­
cupational therapists may supervise
student therapists, occupational ther­
apy assistants, volunteers, and auxil­
iary nursing workers. The chief occu­
pational therapist in a hospital may
teach medical and nursing students
the principles of occupational thera­
py. Many therapists supervise occu­
pational therapy departments, coordi­
nate patient activities, or are consult­
ants to public health departments and
mental health agencies. Some teach or
conduct research in colleges and uni­
Keeping notes is an important part
of an occupational therapist’s job.
Some of the records for which an
occupational therapist may be respon­
sible include an initial evaluation,
progress notes, reports to the physi­
cian, special internal staff notes, Medi­
care records, and discharge notes.
Working Conditions

Although occupational therapists gen­
erally work a standard 40-hour week,
they may occasionally have to work
evenings or weekends. Their work
environment varies according to the
setting and available facilities. In a
large rehabilitation center, for exam­
ple, the therapist may work in a spa­
cious room equipped with machines,
handtools, and other devices that of­
ten generate noise. In a nursing home,
the therapist may work in a kitchen
when using food preparation as ther­
apy. In a hospital, therapists may
work directly with patients in the
ward. W herever they work and what­
ever equipment they use, they gener­
ally have adequate lighting and venti­
lation. The job can be physically tiring
because therapists are on their feet
much of the time.


Occupational therapists held more
than 25,000 jobs in 1984. The largest
number of jobs were in hospitals, in­
cluding a substantial number in reha­
bilitation and psychiatric hospitals.
Employment of occupational thera­
pists in school systems rose sharply in
response to requirements established
by the Education for All Handicapped
Children Act of 1975. Today, large
numbers of therapists work in school
systems and schools for handicapped
children. Other major employers in­
clude nursing homes, home health
agencies, community mental health
centers, adult day care programs, out­
patient clinics, and residential care
A small but rapidly growing number
of occupational therapists are in pri­
vate practice. Some are solo practi­
tioners, while others are in multi­
specialty group practices or consult­
ing firms. They typically see patients
referred to them by physicians or oth­
er health professionals.
Private practitioners also provide
occupational therapy services on a
contract or consultant basis. Largely
because of incentives in the health
care financing system, much of the
occupational therapy furnished in
nursing homes, adult day care pro­
grams, and home health agencies is
provided by contract rather than by
staff therapists.
Training, Other Qualifications, and

Preparation for this field requires a
bachelor’s degree in occupational
therapy. Twenty-nine States and the
District of Columbia require a license
to practice occupational therapy. Ap­
plicants for a license must have a
degree or certificate from an accredit­
ed educational program and pass the
American Occupational Therapy As­
sociation’s certification examination.
Certification is available by exami­
nation through the American Occupa­
tional Therapy Association, which
awards the title of registered occupa­
tional therapist (OTR) to qualified ap­
In 1984, entry Jevel education was
offered in 62 bachelor’s degree pro­
grams, 11 postbaccalaureate certifi­
cate programs for students with a de­
gree other than occupational therapy,
and 36 m aster’s degree programs.
Coursework in occupational thera­
py programs includes physical, bio-

Occupational therapists help patients re­
gain manual dexterity and coordination.

logical, and behavioral sciences and
the application of occupational thera­
py theory and skills. These programs
also require students to work for 6 to
9 months in hospitals, health agen­
cies, or schools to gain experience in
clinical practice.
Entry to educational programs is
highly competitive, and applicants are
screened carefully. Persons consider­
ing this profession should have aboveaverage academic performance and
grades of “ B ” or better in biology,
chemistry, and other high school sci­
ence courses. In addition to biology
and chemistry, high school students
interested in a career as an occupa­
tional therapist are advised to take
courses in health, art, and the social
sciences. In choosing among appli­
cants, many educational programs
weigh heavily any previous job expe­
rience in a health care setting. College
students who consider transferring
from another academic discipline to
an occupational therapy program in
their sophomore or junior year need
superior grades because competition
for entrance to programs is more in­
tense after the freshman year.
Persons considering this career
must be able to work with people of
all ages, temperaments, and personal­
ities. To gain patients’ confidence, it
is necessary to have a warm, friendly
personality that inspires both trust
and respect. It is also necessary to
have ingenuity and imagination in
adapting activities to individual needs.
The potential therapist also needs to

162/Occupational Outlook Handbook
be skilled, patient, and resourceful in
teaching, since patients often have
difficult learning problems.
Newly graduated occupational ther­
apists generally begin as staff thera­
pists. Advancement is chiefly to su­
pervisory or administrative positions;
some therapists pursue advanced ed­
ucation to teach or conduct research.
Job Outlook

Employment in this occupation is ex­
pected to increase much faster than
the av erag e for all o c c u p atio n s
through the mid-1990’s due to antici­
pated demand in the areas of rehabil­
itation, mental health, and long-term
The number of people who need
re h a b ilita tiv e s e rv ic e s w ill rise
through 1995. Advances in medical
technology will continue to save
young lives that only a few years ago
would have been lost—children with
birth defects, for example, and acci­
dent victims, a disproportionate num­
ber of whom are teenagers and young
adults. M oreover, as the baby-boom
generation begins to move into middle
age, a period of increased risk of heart
disease and stroke, demand for cardi­
ac rehabilitation programs is expected
to rise. Finally, substantial growth is
projected for the population 85 years
of age and above, an age group that
suffers a very high incidence of dis­
abling conditions.
Demand for occupational therapists
will be affected in the years ahead by
changes in the way health care is
delivered and paid for. Perhaps the
foremost consequence of current and
anticipated changes in the payment
system is a redefinition of the role of
the hospital. In the future, more health
services will be delivered on an out­
patient basis. This will affect occupa­
tional therapy as well as other health
Occupational therapists in general
hospitals will provide their services
on a more intensive basis since pa­
tients will be hospitalized for shorter
periods, and therapists will be less
likely than in the past to see a patient
through the entire course of treat­
ment. Instead, they will refer patients
for further care to occupational ther­
apists in rehabilitation facilities, nurs­
ing homes, and home health agencies.
Not surprisingly, hospitals are expect­
ed to provide relatively few of the new
jobs for occupational therapists over
Digitized forthe next decade. Hospitals, nonethe­

less, are likely to remain the largest
single employer of occupational ther­
apists, and turnover alone will create
numerous openings.
Restructuring of the health industry
is likely to create more jobs for occu­
pational therapists in private practice.
Private practitioners often work on a
contract basis and treat patients in a
wide variety of settings, including
hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilita­
tion centers, adult day care programs,
and at home.
The home is emerging as an increas­
ingly important practice site, not only
because of changes in the way treat­
ment is provided in hospitals, but be­
cause of the prevalence of functional
disabilities among older persons, plus
consumer preference for health care
in home or community-based settings.
The home health field is expected to
experience spectacular growth by the
mid-1990’s, and should provide excel­
lent opportunities for occupational
Job prospects in occupational ther­
apy are expected to be excellent
through the mid-1990’s. Enrollments
in occupational therapy program s
have leveled off in recent years, pri­
marily because programs are operat­
ing at capacity. Barring a significant
expansion in the number or size of
educational programs, the number of
graduates is projected to fall short of
job openings due to em ploym ent
growth and replacement needs.

Beginning salaries for occupational
therapists in hospitals averaged about
$18,900 a year in 1984, according to a
national survey conducted by the Uni­
versity of Texas Medical Branch. Ex­
perienced occupational therapists
earned between $21,300 and $25,700;
some administrators earned as much
as $33,000.
In 1985, the starting salary for ther­
apists employed by the Federal Gov­
ernment, most of whom worked for
the V eterans Adm inistration, was
$17,824 a year. The average salary
paid occupational therapists with the
F e d e ra l G o v ern m en t w as a b o u t
$24,000 in 1984.
Related Occupations

Occupational therapists use special­
ized knowledge to help patients return
to their normal activities and achieve
maximum independence. Other work­
ers performing similar duties include

orthotists, prosthetists, physical ther­
apists, speech pathologists and audi­
ologists, rehabilitation counselors,
recreational therapists, art therapists,
music therapists, and dance thera­
Sources of Additional Information

For more information on occupational
therapy as a career, a list of education
programs, and requirements for certi­
fication, write to:
American Occupational Therapy Association,
1383 Piccard Dr., Rockville, Md. 20850.

(D .O .T. 074.161-010 and -014)

Nature of the Work

The complexity and potential side ef­
fects of the thousands of drugs on the
market have caused health profes­
sionals and the public alike to rely
increasingly on the special knowledge
of the pharmacist. In addition to pro­
viding information about drugs and
drug treatm ents, pharm acists dispense
drugs and medicines prescribed by
physicians, podiatrists, and dentists.
Pharmacists must understand the use,
composition, and effect of drugs and
how they are tested for purity and
strength. They may maintain patient
medication profiles and advise physi­
cians on the proper selection and use
of medicines. Compounding—the ac­
tual mixing of ingredients to form
powders, tablets, capsules, ointments,
and solutions—is now only a small but
important part of a pharm acist’s prac­
tice, since most medicines are pro­
duced by manufacturers in the dose
and form used by the patient.
Pharmacists practicing in communi­
ty pharmacies may have other duties.
Besides dispensing medicines, some
pharmacists buy and sell nonhealthrelated merchandise, hire and super­
vise personnel, and oversee the gen­
eral operation of the pharmacy. Other
pharm acists, how ever, practice in
community pharmacies that dispense
only medicines, medical supplies, and
health accessories. Increasingly, phar­
macists give advice about and provide
home health care supplies.
Pharmacists in hospitals and clinics
dispense inpatient and outpatient pre­
scription medications and advise the
medical staff on the selection and ef­
fects of drugs. They may make sterile
solutions, buy medical supplies, teach

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/163
in health professions schools, and per­
form administrative duties. They also
may be involved in patient education,
monitoring of drug regimens, and drug
use review. In addition, pharmacists
work as consultants to the medical
team on drug therapy and patient care
in hospitals, nursing homes, and other
health care facilities. Their role is cru­
cial to safe, efficient, and proper ther­
apeutic care.
Some pharmacists prepare and dis­
pense radioactive pharm aceuticals.
Called radiopharmacists or nuclear
pharmacists, they apply the principles
and p ra c tic e s o f p h a rm a cy and
radiochemistry to produce radioactive
drugs that are used for patient diagno­
sis and therapy.
Working Conditions

Pharmacists usually work in a clean,
well-lighted, and well-ventilated area
that resembles a small laboratory.
Shelves are lined with hundreds of
different drug products. In addition,
some items are refrigerated and many
controlled substances (narcotics, de­
pressants, and stimulants) are kept
under lock and key. Pharm acists
spend a lot of time on their feet. When
working with potentially dangerous
substances—such as certain antican­
cer drugs suspected of having long­
term side effects—pharmacists must
take the proper safety precautions,
such as wearing gloves and masks.
Because pharmacies in many commu­
nities and hospitals are open around
the clock, pharmacists in those set­
tings may have to work evenings,
nights, weekends, and holidays.

Pharmacists held about 151,000 jobs
in 1984.
About a fifth of all pharmacists own
their own businesses; the others hold
salaried positions. As the accompany­
ing chart shows, most pharmacists
practice in community pharmacies—
independently owned or part of a
chain. The rest practice in hospitals,
pharmaceutical manufacturing com­
panies, wholesaling companies, and
government and educational institu­
tions, for the most part. A growing
number are employed in ambulatory
care settings such as health mainte­
nance organizations (HMO’s), ambu­
latory surgery centers, and outpatient
care centers. Pharmacy services in
nursing homes generally are provided

Hospital pharmacists prepare injections and intravenous solutions.

on a consultant or contract basis rath­
er than by staff pharmacists.
Pharmacists employed by the Fed­
eral Government work chiefly in hos­
pitals and clinics of the Veterans Ad­
m inistration and the U .S. Public
Health Service. Other Federal agen­
cies that employ pharm acists—for
their drug knowledge, as well as to
dispense drugs—include the Depart­
ment of Defense, the Food and Drug
Administration and other branches of
the Department of Health and Human
Services, and the Drug Enforcement
Administration. State and local health
agencies and pharmaceutical and oth­
er professional associations also em­
ploy pharmacists.
Some pharmacists hold more than
one job. They may work a standard
week in their primary work setting
and work several hours a week in a
secondary setting, as a consultant to a
nursing home or clinic, for example.
Pharmacy also offers opportunities for
part-time employment; about 1 phar­
macist in 8 works part time. Most
towns have at least one pharmacy
with one pharmacist or more in atten­
dance. Most pharmacists, however,
practice in or near cities and in those
States that have the largest popula­
tions. All States require a licensed
pharmacist to be in attendance during
pharmacy hours. Self-employed phar­
macists usually work more hours per
week than those in salaried positions
because of the additional responsibil­
ity of managing a business.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

A license to practice pharmacy is re­
quired in all States, the District of
Columbia, and U.S. territories. To
obtain a license, one must graduate
from an accredited pharmacy program
(a few States allow graduation from
certain foreign pharmacy programs),
pass a State board examination, be
over 21, demonstrate good character,
and—in all States—have a specified
amount of practical experience or
serve an internship under the supervi­
sion of a licensed pharmacist. Intern­
ships generally are served in a com­
munity or hospital pharmacy. In 1984,
all States except California, Florida,
and Hawaii granted a license without
reexamination to qualified pharma­
cists already licensed by another
State. Many pharmacists are licensed
to practice in more than one State.
Many States require continuing edu­
cation for license renewal.
At least 5 years of study beyond
high school are required to graduate
from program s accredited by the
American Council on Pharmaceutical
Education in the 72 colleges of phar­
macy. Five years are needed to obtain
a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a
Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.) de­
gree, the degrees received by most
graduates. A Doctor of Pharmacy
(Pharm.D.) degree normally requires
6 years during which an intervening
baccalaureate degree is not awarded.
Students who already hold the bacca-

164/Occupational Outlook Handbook

laureate degree may be admitted to
Pharm.D. program s, but the com­
bined period of study is usually longer
than 6 years. Most pharmacy schools
offer the baccalaureate degree, and
over one-third also offer the profes­
sional doctorate degree; seven schools
offer only the latter. The Pharm.D.
degree as well as the B .S. and
B.Pharm. degrees may serve as the
entry degree for licensure as a phar­
Admission requirements vary. A
few colleges admit students directly
from high school. Most colleges of
pharmacy, however, require entrants
to have completed 1 or 2 years of
prepharmacy education in an accred­
ited junior college, college, or univer­
sity. A prepharmacy curriculum usu­
ally emphasizes mathematics and ba­
sic sciences, such as chem istry,
biology, and physics, but also in­
cludes courses in the humanities, so­
cial sciences, and business adminis­
tration. Because entry requirements
vary among colleges of pharmacy,
prepharm acy students should ac­
quaint themselves with the require­
ments of the school they wish to at­
The bachelor’s degree in pharmacy
is the minimum educational qualifica­
tion for most positions in the profes­
sion. An increasing number of stu­
dents are enrolled in advanced profes­
sio n a l p ro g ra m s le a d in g to th e
Pharm.D. degree. The Pharm.D. de­
gree is increasingly required for clini­
cal pharmacy work. A m aster’s or
Digitized for Ph.D. degree in pharmacy or a related

field usually is required for research
work, and a Pharm.D., m aster’s, or
Ph.D. usually is necessary for admin­
istrative work or college teaching. At
least 55 colleges of pharmacy offer the
M aster of Science degree and at least
48 offer the Ph.D. degree. Although a
number of pharmacy graduates inter­
ested in further training pursue an
advanced degree in pharmacy, there
are other options. Some enter 1- or
2-year residency programs in hospital
or clinical pharmacy. Others go to
medical, dental, or law school, or pur­
sue graduate degrees in related disci­
A reas of special study include
pharm aceutics and pharm aceutical
chem istry (physical and chem ical
properties of drugs and dosage forms),
pharmacology (effects of drugs on the
body), pharmacognosy (drugs derived
from plant or animal sources), hospi­
tal pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, and
pharm acy adm inistration. Clinical
pharmacy is the application of basic
and pharmaceutical science education
and the use of this knowledge to solve
drug management problems in the
care of institutionalized patients.
Courses in pharmacy administration
are particularly helpful to pharmacists
who become executives or managers.
All colleges of pharm acy offer
courses in pharmacy practice, de­
signed to teach students the skills in­
volved in compounding and dispens­
ing prescriptions, and to strengthen
their understanding of professional
ethics and responsibilities. In many
cases, professional training increas­

ingly emphasizes direct patient care
as well as consultative services to
other health professionals.
Colleges of pharmacy are offering a
growing number of courses that in­
struct students in the use of comput­
ers in the pharm acy. Increasingly,
pharmacists use computers to file and
record prescriptions. Some use them
for patient medication profiles, so that
they can alert patients and their phy­
sicians of potential problems, such as
drug interactions. Computers are also
used for inventory control, billing,
and other administrative and clerical
P h a rm a c e u tic a l m a n u fa c tu re rs,
chain drug stores, State and national
pharm acy associations, colleges of
pharm acy, and other organizations
award scholarships annually to stu­
dents studying full time toward a de­
gree in pharmacy.
P rospective p harm acists should
have business sense and the ability to
gain the confidence of clients and pa­
tients. H onesty, integrity, orderli­
ness, and accuracy are important at­
Pharmacists often begin as employ­
ees in community pharmacies. After
they gain experience and secure the
necessary capital, they may become
owners or part owners of pharmacies.
A pharmacist with experience in a
chain drug store may advance to a
managerial position, and later to a
higher executive position within the
company. Hospital pharmacists who
have the necessary training and expe­
rience may advance to director of
pharmacy service or to other admin­
istrative positions. Pharmacists in in­
dustry often have opportunities for
advancement in management, sales,
research, quality control, advertising,
production, packaging, and other ar­
Some individuals put their pharma­
ceutical training to work in related
fields. For example, pharmacists are
hired as sales or medical service rep­
resentatives by pharm aceutical manu­
facturers and wholesalers. They pro­
vide medicines to community pharm a­
cies and to hospitals and inform health
personnel about new drugs. Other
pharmacists teach in colleges of phar­
macy, supervise the manufacture of
pharmaceuticals, or are involved in
research and the development of new
medicines. Pharmacists also edit or
write technical articles for pharma­
ceutical journals. Some combine phar­

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/165
maceutical and legal training in jobs as
patent lawyers or consultants on phar­
maceutical and drug laws.

for example, report difficulty attract­
ing and retaining pharmacists.

Job Outlook
Employment of pharmacists is ex­
pected to grow more slowly than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s. This reflects the fact
that most jobs for pharmacists are
found in drug stores or hospitals, in­
dustry sectors that are expected to
experience slower growth than in the
past. Nevertheless, the growth and
aging of the population will create
some new jobs. The projected in­
crease in the elderly population is
especially important, for the number
of prescriptions influences demand for
pharmacists, and the elderly are rela­
tively heavy users of medicine.
Other factors likely to increase de­
mand for pharm acists through the
mid-1990’s include the likelihood of
scientific advances that will make
more drug products available for the
prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
of diseases; new developments in ad­
ministering medication, such as skin
patches and implantable pumps; wellinformed consumers, increasingly so­
phisticated about health care and avid
for detailed information about drugs
and their consequences; and the wide­
spread availability of health insur­
ance, which generally pays for pre­
scription drugs.
Health maintenance organizations
and other facilities in the rapidly ex­
panding outpatient care sector should
offer good employment opportunities
for pharmacists, but it is important to
bear in mind that such facilities ac­
count for a very small share of jobs in
this field.
As in most other occupations, the
majority of job openings will result
from the need to replace pharmacists
who leave the profession. In pharma­
cy, this generally means retirement,
for pharmacists, like physicians and
dentists, tend to remain in the field
until they retire. Relatively few trans­
fer to other lines of work.
The job outlook for pharmacists is
expected to be good; a rough balance
between supply and demand is antic­
ipated through the mid-1990’s. More­
over, if enrollments in pharmacy col­
leges decline while demand for phar­
macists continues to grow, shortages
may develop in some communities or
employment settings. Some hospitals,

Salaries of pharmacists are generally
influenced by the location, size, and
type of employer, as well as the duties
and responsibilities of the position.
Median annual earnings of full-time,
salaried pharm acists w ere about
$29,600 in 1984; the middle 50 percent
earned between $24,200 and $36,200.
Ten percent earned less than $16,600
and 10 percent more than $41,900.
Pharmacists working in chain drug
stores had an average base salary of
$32,200 per year, while pharmacists
working in independent drug stores
averaged $28,200, according to a sur­
vey by Drug Topics magazine. In gen­
eral, the highest salaries were paid on
the West Coast.
The average starting salary for phar­
macists working in hospitals, medical
schools, and medical centers was
about $24,700 a year in 1984, accord­
ing to a national survey by the Uni­
versity of Texas Medical Branch; ex­
p e rie n c e d p h a rm a c is ts in th e s e
workplaces averaged about $31,600 a
year. Pharmacists who do consulting
work in addition to their primary job
may have total earnings considerably
higher than this. Experienced phar­
macists, particularly owners or man­
agers of pharmacies, often earn con­
siderably more.
The minimum entrance salary in the
Federal Government for a new gradu­
ate with a bachelor’s degree from an
approved pharmacy degree program
was about $17,800 a year in 1985.
However, most graduates qualified
for a beginning salary of about $21,800
a year; those with 2 years of graduate
work, about $26,400 a year. Pharma­
cists with additional years of experi­
ence may start at a higher salary. The
average salary for all federally em­
ployed pharmacists was about $29,200
in 1984.
According to a survey conducted
by the American Association of Col­
leges of Pharmacy, average annual
salaries of full-time personnel in col­
leges of pharmacy during 1984 were as
follows: Deans, about $62,800; assist­
ant and a s so c ia te d e a n s, a b o u t
$47,100; full p ro fe sso rs, around
$49,400; associate professors, around
$38,300; assistant professors, about
$31,100; and in stru cto rs, around
With the proliferation of chain drug

stores, the increasing difficulty of
owning a pharmacy, and reductions in
hospital budgets, some pharmacists
have joined unions. The main unions
organizing pharmacists are the United
Food and Commercial Workers Inter­
national Union, Local 1199—Drug,
Hospital, and Health Care Workers,
an affiliate of the Retail, Wholesale
and Department Store Union, and the
National Union of Hospital and Health
Care Employees.

Related Occupations
Pharmacists dispense the prescription
orders of physicians, dentists, and
other health practitioners and are re­
sponsible for selecting, compounding,
dispensing, and preserving drugs and
medicines. Workers in other profes­
sions requiring similar educational
training and who work with pharma­
ceutical compounds or perform relat­
ed duties include pharmaceutical sci­
entists, pharmaceutical chemists, and

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on pharmacy
as a career, preprofessional and pro­
fessional requirements, programs of­
fered by all the colleges of pharmacy,
and student financial aid is available
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy,
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 602, Bethesda,
Md. 20814.

General information on pharmacy is
available from:
American Pharmaceutical Association, 2215
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, D.C.

General information on indepen­
dent retail pharmacies is available
National Association of Retail Druggists, 205
Daingerfield Road, Alexandria, Va. 22314.

General information on the chain
drug store industry is available from:
National Association of Chain Drug Stores,
Inc., 413 N. Lee St., P.O. Box 1417-D49,
Alexandria, Va. 22313.

Inform ation concerning hospital
pharmacy can be obtained from:
American Society of Hospital Pharmacists,
4630 Montgomery Avenue, Bethesda, Md.

For a list of accredited colleges of
pharmacy, contact:
American Council on Pharmaceutical Educa­
tion, 311 West Superior St., Chicago, 11 . 60610.

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

166/Occupational Outlook Handbook
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy,
O’Hare Corporate Center, 1300 Higgins Rd.,
Suite 103, Park Ridge, 1 1 60068.

Information on specific college en­
trance requirements, curriculums, and
financial aid is available from the dean
of any college of pharmacy.

Physical Therapists
(D .O .T. 076.121-014)

Nature of the Work
Physical therapists plan, organize,
and administer treatment in order to
restore functional mobility, relieve
pain, and prevent or limit permanent
disability for those suffering from a
disabling injury or disease. Their pa­
tients include accident victims, hand­
icapped children, and stroke victims.
Physical therapy also is used in the
treatment of multiple sclerosis, cere­
bral palsy, nerve injuries, amputa­
tions, fractures, arthritis, heart dis­
ease, and other conditions.
Therapists may treat patients with a
wide variety of problems, or they may
specialize in pediatrics, geriatrics, or­
thopedics, sports medicine, neurolo­
gy, or cardiopulmonary diseases.
Initially, physical therapists review
and evaluate the patient’s condition
and medical records, perform tests or
measurements, and interpret the find­
ings. Then they develop a treatment
plan in cooperation with the patient’s

physician. The goal is to help patients
attain maximum functional indepen­
dence, muscle strength, and physical
skills and, at the same time, adapt to
what may be a drastic change in phys­
ical abilities. Patients often are suffer­
ing emotional as well as physical
stress, and treatment requires sensi­
tivity in addition to technical profi­
ciency on the part of the therapist.
Since treatments may be prolonged,
the full cooperation of the patient is
very important. As a first step., there­
fore, physical therapists familiarize
themselves with patients’ personal
backgrounds, as well as with their
medical histories, and make an effort
to gain their trust and confidence. The
therapist-patient relationship can be
highly important in determining the
effectiveness of the treatment.
Therapeutic procedures include ex­
ercise for increasing strength, endur­
ance, coordination, and range of mo­
tion; electrical stimulation to activate
paralyzed muscles; instruction in car­
rying out everyday activities and in
the use of assistive devices; and the
application of massage, heat, cold,
light, water, electricity, or ultrasound
to relieve pain or improve the condi­
tion of muscles and skin. To carry out
these procedures, therapists must
have detailed knowledge of human
anatomy and physiology and know
what steps may be taken to treat the
effects of disease and injury.

Treatment can be more effective
and progress faster if patients and
their families understand the purpose
and plan and know just how they can
help. Physical therapy services in­
clude instructing patients and their
families in how to carry on prescribed
treatm ent programs at home. They
may need specific instruction in the
techniques of muscle contraction and
relaxation or in the care and use of
braces or prosthetic appliances.
As they treat their patients, physi­
cal therapists continually monitor and
assess them, in order to identify prob­
lems and evaluate progress. This helps
them decide whether to modify the
treatm ent plan, to end treatm ent, or to
continue as before. Physical thera­
pists may provide the treatm ent per­
sonally or supervise the work of an­
other therapist or a physical therapist
Physical therapists keep a variety of
notes and records, including initial
evaluations, daily progress notes, phy­
sician reports, internal staff notes, in­
terdisciplinary conference notes, and
discharge notes. Documentation must
be maintained to track the patient’s
progress and to identify areas requir­
ing more or less attention in subse­
quent treatm ent visits. Records are
also kept for legal purposes; physical
therapists are legally responsible for
their actions whenever they evaluate
a patient, plan a physical therapy pro­
gram, and carry it out. Finally, accu­
rate records are needed for reimburse­
ment purposes to justify the cost of
each treatm ent billed.

Working Conditions
The working environment of physical
th e ra p is ts v a rie s from sp e cia lly
equipped physical therapy depart­
ments of hospitals or clinics to private
homes where furniture may need to be
moved to provide room for treatment.
Thus, a physical therapist must be
Evening and weekend hours may be
required, especially for those in pri­
vate practice, who must be available
at times convenient for their patients.
The job can be physically demanding.
In addition to standing for long peri­
ods, therapists must move equipment
and help patients turn, stand, or walk.


Gaining a patient’s confidence is an important part of a physical therapist’s job.

Physical therapists held about 58,000
jobs in 1984. Some jobs are part time.
Hospitals are the largest single em-

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/167
ployer of physical therapists, provid­
ing 2 out of 5 jobs in 1984. Many other
jobs in this field are in rehabilitation
facilities, home health agencies, and
nursing homes. These may be either
staff or contract positions. Therapists
also work in residential facilities for
handicapped children, school sys­
tems, clinics, health maintenance or­
ganizations, and physicians’ offices.
A substantial number of physical
therapists are in private practice. (See
chart.) W hether in solo practice, group
practice, or associated with a rehabil­
itation consulting firm, private practi­
tioners normally treat clients referred
to them by physicians. (In some
States, physical therapists treat cli­
ents who come directly to them with­
out a physician referral.) Private prac­
titioners also provide physical therapy
services on a contract or consultant
basis. Their clients are institutions or
organizations such as nursing homes,
home health agencies, adult day care
programs, and hospitals.
Some therapists teach, conduct re­
search, or serve as consultants.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All States, the District of Columbia,
and the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico require a license to practice
physical therapy. Applicants must
have a degree or certificate from an
accredited physical therapy educa­
tional program prior to taking the
licensure examination.
Three different types of programs
provide educational preparation for
entry level jobs in this field: Bache­
lor’s degree program s in physical
therapy; certificate (or second bache­
lor’s degree) programs for those who
already hold a bachelor’s in another
field, such as biology; and entry level
m aster’s degree programs in physical
In 1985, entry level training was
offered in 89 bachelor’s degree pro­
grams, 5 certificate programs, and 13
m aster’s degree programs. One of the
m aster’s degree programs is spon­
sored jointly by the U.S. Army and
Baylor University; graduates are com­
missioned as officers in the Army.
Efforts are underway to raise entry
level educational requirements from
the bachelor’s to the m aster’s degree
level. More than half of the programs
currently offering bachelor’s degrees
expect to have a m aster’s degree pro­
gram in place by 1990.

The majority of physical therapists work in nonhospital settings.

Percent employed by work setting, 1984








Private practice


Rehabilitation centers
Home health agencies


Nursing homes
School systems
SOURCE: American Physical Therapy Association
The physical therapy curriculum in­
cludes science courses such as anato­
my, physiology, neuroanatomy, and
neurophysiology; it also includes spe­
cialized courses such as biomechan­
ics, human growth and development,
manifestations of disease and trauma,
and courses in specific therapeutic
procedures. Besides receiving class­
room instruction, students get super­
vised clinical experience administer­
ing physical therapy to patients in
hospitals and other treatment centers.
Competition for entry to physical
therapy programs is keen. Conse­
quently, students interested in enroll­
ing in a physical therapy program
must attain superior grades in their
earlier studies, especially in science
courses. High school courses that are
useful include health, biology, chem­
istry, social science, mathematics,
and physics.
Personal traits that physical thera­
pists need include patience, tact, re­
sourcefulness, and emotional stability
to help patients and their families un­
derstand the treatments and adjust to
their handicaps. 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.
Indeed, such experience is required
for admission to most education pro­
A graduate degree combined with
clinical experience increases opportu­

nities for advancement, especially to
teaching, research, and administrative

Job Outlook
Employment of physical therapists is
expected to grow much faster than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s because of anticipated
growth in the areas of rehabilitation
and long-term care. Many additional
openings will result from replacement
Most new positions for physical
therapists will result from the expan­
sion of services for people with phys­
ical disabilities—a highly diverse
group. It includes the elderly, whose
number will rise sharply by 1995. Es­
pecially rapid growth is projected for
the population age 85 and above, a
group that suffers a high incidence of
disabling conditions such as arthritis
or stroke. Also, some surgical proce­
dures are more common among elder­
ly patients. Anticipated growth in hip
replacements, knee replacements, and
other surgical procedures used to
treat diseased or arthritic joints, as
well as other conditions, will heighten
demand for postoperative physical
Only part of the growth in the num­
ber of persons requiring rehabilitation
services will stem from the elderly
population. As the baby-boom gener­
ation moves into middle age, a period
of increased risk of heart disease and
stroke, demand for cardiac rehabilita­
tion programs is expected to rise.
Young persons, too, may need physi­

168/Occupational Outlook Handbook
cal therapy. Advances in medical
technology have saved lives that only
a few years ago would have been lost:
Children with severe birth defects, for
example, and car crash victims, a dis­
proportionate number of whom are
teenagers and young adults. Future
biomedical developments are certain
to permit even more people to survive
traumas that in the past would have
been fatal, thereby creating a need for
rehabilitative care.
Other factors likely to spur demand
for physical therapy services include
the growing importance of sports med­
icine and widespread interest in health
promotion. As more people engage in
regular exercise programs, the num­
ber of injuries that require physical
therapy treatm ent will grow as well.
Among the health promotion and dis­
ease prevention programs that are
gaining in popularity are those de­
signed to prevent or treat osteoporosis
(a degenerative bone disease) and low
back pain. These call upon the exper­
tise of the physical therapist.
Demand for physical therapists will
be affected in the years ahead by
changes in the way health care is
delivered and paid for. Perhaps the
forem ost consequence of the new
payment system is a redefinition of
the role of the hospital. In the future,
more and more health services will be
delivered on an outpatient basis. Phys­
ical therapists in general hospitals will
be expected to provide their services
on a more intensive basis since pa­
tients will be hospitalized for shorter
periods, and they will be less likely
than in the past to see a patient
through the entire course of treat­
ment. Instead, they will refer patients
for further care by physical therapists
in rehabilitation facilities, nursing
homes, and home health agencies.
Not surprisingly, hospitals are expect­
ed to provide fewer new jobs for phys­
ical therapists than they did in the
past. Hospitals, nonetheless, will re­
main a major employer of physical
therapists, and turnover alone will
create many openings.
Restructuring of the health industry
is likely to create additional opportu­
nities for physical therapists in private
practice; favorable third-party reim­
bursement policies will contribute to
the very rapid growth anticipated in
this area.
Home health is an increasingly im­
portant area of practice, not only be­
Digitized forcause of changes in the way treatment

is provided in hospitals, but because
of the prevalence of functional disabil­
ities among older persons, plus con­
sumer preference for health care in
home or community-based settings.
The home health field is expected to
experience spectacular growth by the
mid-1990’s, and should provide excel­
lent opportunities for physical thera­
Job prospects in physical therapy
should continue to be ex cellen t
through the mid-1990’s. New gradu­
ates are in great demand, and the
number of people completing training
programs is expected to fall short of
that needed to fill job openings. Total
enrollments in accredited physical
therapy programs have remained rel­
atively stable since the mid-1970’s. If
program completions remain at cur­
rent levels while demand for rehabili­
tation services continues to grow,
prospects for jobseekers may become
even more favorable than they are

Starting salaries in hospitals for new
physical therapy graduates averaged
about $19,600 a year in 1984, accord­
ing to a national survey conducted by
the U niversity of Texas M edical
Beginning therapists employed by
the Federal Government earned start­
ing salaries of $17,824 a year in 1985.
The average salary paid therapists
was about $24,600 annually; supervi­
sory therapists may earn more than

Physician Assistants
(D .O .T . 079.364-018)


Nature of the Work
The occupation of physician assistant
(PA) cam e into being during the
1960’s, when physicians were in short
supply. Additional education enabled
medical corpsmen trained during the
Vietnam conflict, as well as some
nurses and others with patient-care
experience, to relieve physicians of
many essential but time-consuming
tasks. PA’s interview patients, take
medical histories, perform physical
examinations, order laboratory tests,
make tentative diagnoses, and pre­
scribe appropriate treatm ents. Studies
show they have the ability to care for
8 out of 10 people who visit a family
practitioner’s office in any one day.
PA’s, however, always work under
the direction of a licensed “ supervis­
ing p h y sic ia n .” A lternative titles
sometimes used by these workers are
MEDEX and physician associate.
About half of all PA ’s assist physi­
cians in such specialty areas as pedi­
atrics and surgery. They perform rou­
tine procedures such as physical ex­
am inations, provide postoperative
care, and assist during complicated
medical procedures such as cardiac
c a th e te riz a tio n s. T hese specialist
PA’s include child health associates,
o rth o p e d ic p h y s ic ia n a s s is ta n ts ,
urologic physician assistants, sur­
geon assistants, and emergency room
physician assistants.

Working Conditions
Related Occupations
Physical therapists are concerned with
the treatment and rehabilitation of
persons with physical or mental dis­
abilities or disorders. They may use
exercise, massage, heat, water, elec­
tricity, and various therapeutic devic­
es to help their patients gain indepen­
dence. Others who do similar work
include o c c u p a tio n a l th e ra p is ts ,
speech pathologists and audiologists,
orthotists, prosthetists, respiratory
therapists, chiropractors, and athletic

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on a career as
a physical therapist and a list of ac­
credited educational program s in
physical therapy are available from:
American Physical Therapy Association, 1111
North Fairfax St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

Physician assistants work in the same
places as physicians. Hospitals, clin­
ics, and physicians’ offices usually
provide a comfortable, well-lighted
environment, although PA ’s must of­
ten stand for long periods and do
considerable walking.
The workweek and schedule vary
according to the setting. Some emer­
gency room PA ’s work 24-hour shifts
twice weekly, and others work three
12-hour shifts each week. The work­
week of PA ’s who work in physicians’
offices may include some night office
hours or early morning hospital rounds
to visit patients. PA ’s in clinics usual­
ly work a 5-day, 40-hour week.

Physician assistants held about 25,000
jobs in 1984. They most commonly
work for physicians in private prac-

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/169
tice. However, hospitals employ an
increasing proportion of PA’s—now
about 20 percent. A small but growing
number work for health maintenance
organizations (HMO’s), other prepaid
health plans, or clinics.
Despite efforts to encourage physi­
cians to practice where they are need­
ed most, many rural areas and inner
cities remain underserved. Almost 20
percent of all Americans live in coun­
ties with a population of less than
50,000, yet less than 10 percent of all
active physicians practice in these ar­
eas. The PA’s who practice there—
amounting to 40 percent of all PA’s—
provide badly needed health care.
Although most PA’s in medically
underserved areas are associated with
physicians in private practice, some
work in clinics, where a physician
may be available just 1 or 2 days each
week. For the rest of the week, a PA
working with one or more nurses,
technicians, or medical assistants pro­
vides all health care services. PA’s in
these clinics usually have quick tele­
phone access to a physician for con­
sultation. The Rural Health Clinics
Service Act of 1977 helped promote
this type of practice by making reim­
bursement by Medicare easier.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
In the early years of the occupation,
informal training was not uncommon,
but today, nearly all States require
that new PA ’s complete an approved
program. Approximately 16,500 PA’s
had completed such training programs
by 1984. Fifty-two educational pro­
grams for primary care physician as­
sistants and three programs for sur­
geon assistants were approved by the
Committee on Allied Health Educa­
tion and Accreditation (CAHEA) of
the American Medical Association.
Admission requirements vary, but 2
years of coursework at the college
level in science or one of the health
professions is usually the minimum
requirement. About half of all appli­
cants hold a bachelor’s or m aster’s
degree but fully one-third hold no for­
mal degree beyond high school.
A background that includes “ hands
on” health care experience is an im­
portant qualification for entry to these
highly competitive programs. Most
programs require applicants to have
experience working directly with pa­
tients. Jobs that provide the requisite
clinical experience range from medi­

Long-term job prospects for physician assistants are difficult to assess.
cal technologist to registered nurse.
The type of job is not particularly
important; what counts is a back­
ground in direct patient contact.
Educational programs are generally
2 years in length, although some are
longer and a few are shorter. Most PA
program s are located in m edical
schools, schools of allied health, or
4-year colleges; a few are located in
community colleges or are hospital
based. Regardless of the institutional
sponsorship, most accredited PA pro­
grams have clinical teaching affilia­
tions with medical schools or medical
school faculty.
PA education begins with a class­
room or didactic phase that lasts 6 to
24 months. Classroom instruction in­
cludes human anatomy, physiology,
microbiology, clinical pharmacology,
applied psychology, clinical medicine,
and medical ethics. During the pro­
gram’s last 9 to 15 months, students
do supervised clinical work designed
to develop practitioners’ skills. Clini­
cal training begins with a series of
clinical practice assignments or rota­
tions. These rotations include family
practice, inpatient and ambulatory
medicine, general surgery, obstetrics
and gynecology, emergency medi­
cine, internal medicine, psychiatry,
and pediatrics. Sometimes, one or
more of the rotations are served under
the “ preceptorship” or supervision of
a physician who is seeking to hire a
PA. This learning experience often
leads to a permanent position.
The number of PA programs that

award a bachelor’s degree has been
growing, and currently about twothirds of the programs do so. Most of
the remaining programs offer a certif­
icate and/or associate degree; two
lead to a m aster’s degree.
M ED EX p ro g ram s, w hich last
about 18 months, are slightly shorter
than other PA programs. MEDEX
programs are designed for people who
have had extensive patient-care expe­
rience, usually as medical corpsmen
or registered nurses. This background
allows for a shorter period of class­
room training and increased emphasis
on clinical experience. MEDEX stu­
dents usually gain most of their super­
vised clinical experience working with
the physician who will hire them upon
Postgraduate education for PA’s,
termed the “ PA residency,” is a re­
cent developm ent. Residency pro­
grams, as yet unaccredited, are avail­
able in emergency medicine, general
surgery, neonatology, and occupa­
tional medicine.
State laws and regulations govern
the use of the title “ physician assist­
ant” and the scope of PA practice in
all but a few States. Most States re­
quire that PA’s be graduates of ac­
credited educational programs, and 39
States require that PA ’s be certified
by the National Commission on Cer­
tification of Physician A ssistants,
(NCCPA). NCCPA certification at­
tests to clinical knowledge; in 1984,
about 13,000 PA’s had gained certifi­

170/Occupational Outlook Handbook
The PA ’s scope of practice—the
duties he or she may perform—is de­
termined in some States by the super­
vising physician and in others by the
State’s regulatory agency. There is
considerable variation in State laws
and regulations, and changes com­
monly occur. Aspiring PA’s should
investigate the laws and regulations
where they wish to practice.
Individuals planning a career as a
physician assistant should be consci­
entious and willing to study a great
deal throughout their career to keep
up with m edical advances. They
should exhibit leadership, self-conf­
idence, and emotional stability. A
pleasant personality, patience, and
the ability to deal with all kinds of
people are essential.
Formal lines of advancement have
not evolved within this young profes­
sion. There are no head PA’s in hos­
pitals or nursing homes as there are
head nurses; by the very nature of the
profession, individual PA’s are super­
vised by physicians. Since a supervis­
ing physician shares responsibility for
the quality of care rendered by the
PA, this relationship must be a close
Some PA ’s advance after additional
education to practice in a specialty
area such as emergency medicine;
others advance with experience to
added responsibilities and higher earn­
ings, although earnings generally level
off within 7 or 8 years after gradua­

Job Outlook
Employment of PA ’s is expected to
grow much faster than the average for
all occupations through the mid1990’s. The occupation, though still
small, has already experienced ex­
traordinary growth: The number of
formally trained PA’s was fewer than
100 in 1970.
Over the past decade, as the num­
ber of PA’s has grown, their role in
delivering health care has expanded
as well. In the early years, PA ’s
worked mostly in physicians’ offices
and rural clinics. Although many jobs
for PA’s continue to be found in pri­
vate practice, particularly in family
practice, PA’s work in a variety of
settings. (See chart.)
A trend toward practice in institu­
tions is taking hold. A growing num­
ber of PA’s provide care to medically
underserved populations—prison in­
Digitized formates or residents of nursing homes

and other long-term care institutions,
for example. In addition, hospitals are
an increasingly attractive workplace
for PA’s. Hospitals hire PA’s to re­
place resident physicians and foreign
medical graduates as the number of
surgical residency programs is re­
duced and fewer foreign graduates
enter the country.
Followup data reveal that nearly all
newly trained PA’s find work. New
graduates may have to accept jobs in
medically underserved areas, but they
do not view this as a hardship. Most
PA students report a preference to
practice in a small city or town.
Long-term prospects for PA’s are
difficult to assess, largely because of
unresolved issues in payment for their
services. Restrictions on health insur­
ance, Medicare, and other kinds of
third-party reimbursement for serv­
ices provided by PA’s is one of the
most important questions clouding the
profession’s future. Studies have es­
tablished that substituting PA’s for
some physicians can lower costs with­
out reducing the quality of care. How­
ever, the majority of health insurance
programs do not pay for services per­
formed solely by a PA. Uncertainty
regarding payment makes some phy­
sicians reluctant to hire PA’s.
Another unsettling factor is the di­
versity of State laws that regulate the
kinds of services PA’s may perform.
In some States, they have the author­
ity to make medical decisions and
prescribe treatment without the im­
mediate supervision of a physician. In
others, they are allowed to practice

only where a licensed physician is
present. Most States restrict the types
of drugs a PA can prescribe, and some
States prohibit PA’s from writing pre­
scriptions altogether. Furtherm ore,
laws regarding PA practice are under
review in some States, where propos­
als to expand their scope of practice
have aroused the opposition of other
health providers. Some physicians
may be reluctant to hire PA’s without
knowing what rules will govern their
use in coming years.
The now-plentiful supply of physi­
cians affects prospects for PA ’s. In
the early 1960’s, the Federal Govern­
ment took steps to expand the number
of g rad u a tes from U .S . m edical
schools. Medical school enrollment
has doubled in the past two decades,
and the number of physicians in prac­
tice has risen sharply. Barring a major
surge in demand for medical services,
the increasingly abundant supply of
physicians is expected to lower pa­
tient loads for physicians and possibly
decrease the demand for PA’s in ur­
ban areas.
Some developments could heighten
rather than curtail demand for PA ’s.
More doctors are locating in medical­
ly underserved areas, which could
open up additional employment op­
portunities for PA ’s. The growing
popularity of health maintenance or­
ganizations and other kinds of prepaid
health plans is also likely to spur de­
mand. Such plans, which provide
complete health care services to mem­
bers for a set annual charge, employ
physican assistants, nurse-midwives,

Physician assistants work in a variety of settings.
D is trib u tio n o f e m p lo y m e n t, 1 9 8 4

P h ysic ia n s’ 1 /
o ffice s


9% /

O ther |—

SOURCE: American Academy of Physician Assistants

V -------- 1H ospitals

31 %




___ | n iin io s

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/171
and nurse practitioners in place of
some physicians. If HM O’s take on a
significantly expanded role in health
care, demand for PA’s would un­
doubtedly rise.
The aging of the population could
also affect employment of PA’s. Com­
pared to younger people, the elderly
visit physicians more often, spend
more money on medicine and drugs,
and spend much more time in hospi­
tals. Resolution of the third-party re­
imbursement issue could lead to great­
er employment of PA’s by nursing
homes and home health agencies that
serve the elderly.
Also affecting the outlook for PA’s
are enrollments in PA training pro­
grams. In recent years, enrollments
have leveled off. If enrollments re­
main stable while demand for PA’s
continues to grow, job opportunities
for these workers should be even
more favorable.

1117 North 19th St., Suite 300, Arlington, Va.

The Association’s publication enti­
tled National Directory o f Physician
Assistant Programs lists educational
programs and describes each pro­
gram’s accreditation status, admis­
sion procedures and requirements,
and cost. Information on certification
requirements is also given. Contact
the Association for price and ordering
For eligibility requirements and a
description of the Physician Assistant
N ational C ertifying Exam ination,
write to:
National Commission on Certification of Physi­
cian Assistants, Inc., 3384 Peachtree Rd. NE.,
Suite 560, Atlanta, Ga. 30326.

(D.O.T. 076.124-014)

In 1984, physician assistants starting
work in hospitals and medical centers
averaged about $20,500, according to
a national survey conducted by the
University of Texas Medical Branch.
Typically, the highest pay for PA’s in
these settings was about $27,000, al­
though some earned as much as
The average salary of PA’s in all
settings was about $27,500 in 1984.
PA’s in HM O’s, hospitals, and physi­
cians’ offices earn slightly more than
those in clinics.
Veterans Administration hospitals
started PA’s at about $17,800 a year in
1985. Average earnings for all federal­
ly employed PA ’s were about $26,400
in 1984.

Related Occupations
Other health workers who provide
direct patient care that requires a sim­
ilar level of skill and training include
nurse practitioners, physical thera­
pists, occupational therapists, and
speech and hearing clinicians.

Sources of Additional Information
For more information about the pro­
fession, send for the brochure, Physi­
cian Assistant, available free from:
American Academy of Physician Assistants,
1117 North 19th St., Suite 300, Arlington, Va.

Information on individual PA train­
ing programs also is available from:
Association of Physician Assistant Programs,

Nature of the Work
Recreational therapists provide serv­
ices to people who are mentally, phys­
ically, or emotionally disabled. These
workers are also known as therapeu­
tic recreation specialists, a job title
that draws attention to the fact that
theirs is a health profession. The work
of the recreational therapist should
not be confused with that of the rec­
reation worker, who provides recre­
ational activities for the sole purpose
of enjoyment. (See the statement on
recreation workers elsewhere in the
Recreational therapists employ rec­
reational and leisure activities as a
form of treatment—much as other
practitioners use surgery, drugs, nu­
trition, exercise, or psychotherapy.
Therapists strive to minimize patients’
symptoms and to improve their phys­
ical, mental, and emotional well-be­
ing. Enhancing the patient’s ability to
function in everyday life is the pri­
mary goal of recreational therapy; en­
joyable and rewarding activities pro­
vide the means for working toward
that goal.
Activities employed by recreational
therapists are as varied as the inter­
ests and abilities of the people they
serve. They might, for example, orga­
nize athletic events, dances, arts and
crafts or musical activities, atten­
dance at movies, field trips, or poetry
readings. Apart from sheer enjoy­
ment, activities such as these provide

opportunities for exercise and social
participation. Other goals that the
therapist might have in mind when
planning an activity include relieving
anxiety, building confidence, or pro­
moting independence.
Recreational therapy is a relatively
new field. Closely related to occupa­
tional therapy, it shares with that pro­
fession a view that activities that seem
ordinary to most of us can put dis­
abled persons on the road to recov­
ery—or lead to improvement, at any
rate. Together with the “ expressive”
therapies—art, music, dram a, and
dance—recreational therapy owes
much to the discovery that soldiers
suffering from battle fatigue, shock,
and emotional trauma responded fa­
vorably to organized treatment pro­
grams. During World War II, for ex­
ample, the Veterans Administration
(VA) organized medical recreational
activities in VA hospitals.
Recreational therapists are found in
a variety of settings, including mental
hospitals, psychiatric “ day hospi­
tals,” community mental health cen­
ters, nursing homes, adult day care
programs, residential facilities for the
mentally retarded, school systems,
and prisons. They are often located in
the activities department or therapy
department of an organization. These
departments are staffed by therapists
and their assistants from several dis­
ciplines—occupational therapy, mu­
sic, dance, and art therapy, to name a
few. Together with other health pro­
fessionals, they assess the patient’s
functioning, develop a treatment plan,
and monitor progress as the plan is
carried out. Job responsibilities also
include directing the support staff. At
times, it is the therapeutic assistant
who actually conducts recreational
programs and spends the most time
with the patients.
The specifics of the recreational
therapist’s job vary with the employ­
ment setting and capacities of the pa­
tients or clients served. In a hospital
setting, for example, the recreational
therapist usually works as a member
of a team that may include a physi­
cian, nurse, clinical psychologist, so­
cial worker, and other rehabilitation
professionals. Team members evalu­
ate the patient from the perspective of
their various specialties and then de­
velop a coordinated treatm ent plan.
During the initial session in a hos­
pital therapy department, the recre­
ational therapist might chat with the

172/Occupational Outlook Handbook
patient and family to put them at ease
before directing the conversation
toward the patient’s interests, enthu­
siasms, or hobbies—anything that of­
fers a clue to activities that could be
incorporated into a treatm ent pro­
The therapist needs information
about the patient’s physical, mental,
and emotional status in order to set
realistic goals and recommend suit­
able activities. To obtain this informa­
tion, the therapist pores through med­
ical records, talks with other members
of the staff, and observes the patient’s
behavior. Next, the therapist prepares
a list of activities that capitalize on the
patient’s strengths and interests.
Progress is likely to be slow; some­
times, there is no progress at all. Rec­
reational therapists understand this,
and set goals accordingly. A patient
who has trouble socializing, for exam­
ple, may express interest in chess but
be overwhelmed by the prospect of
actually playing since that involves
interaction with another person. The
therapist would proceed slowly, first
letting the patient observe a game and
then assigning a therapeutic assistant
to serve as a chess partner for weeks
or even months—as long as it took for
the patient to gain the confidence to
seek out other patients as partners.
Recreational therapists are careful
to observe patients’ reactions to the
activities in which they are involved.
The therapist might note, for exam­
ple, that one patient participates in
outdoor activities more enthusiasti­
cally than before; another is ready for
activities that require teamwork; still
another patient, formerly coopera­
tive, has become combative and dis­
ruptive. Observations such as these
provide the basis for the therapist’s
periodic review of each patient’s ac­
tivity program. The program is apt to
be modified as the patient’s condition
Documentation is an important part
of the recreational therapist’s job.
Among the records the therapist must
keep are th e in itia l e v a lu a tio n ,
progress notes, reports to the physi­
cian, internal staff notes, Medicare
records, and discharge notes. These
records are used to keep track of the
patient’s condition, document treat­
ment programs, and monitor progress.
In nursing homes, recreational ther­
apists evaluate residents’ capabilities
much as they do in hospitals. They
Digitized forlook at medical records, talk with res­

idents to learn about their interests,
and discuss their condition with other
members of the staff. Often, the ther­
apist groups residents according to
common or shared interests and sim­
ilar ability levels, and plans field trips,
entertainment events, baking, exer­
cise, dancing activities, and the like
for the group. The therapist docu­
ments residents’ responses to the ac­
tivities and continually searches for
ways of heightening residents’ enjoy­
ment of recreational and leisure activ­
ities, not just in the facility, but in the
surrounding community as well.
Because nursing home residents are
likely to remain in the facility for
months or even years, the activities
program makes a big difference in the
quality of their lives. Without the
stimulation of interesting events, the
daily routine of a nursing home can be
monotonous and depressing, and res­
idents are apt to deteriorate. In some
nursing homes, recreational therapists
direct the activities program. In other
facilities, activities coordinators plan
and carry out the program under the
part-time supervision of a consultant
who is either a recreational therapist
or an occupational therapist.
The recreational therapist in a com­
munity setting might work in a day
care center for the elderly, for exam­
ple, or in a program for mentally re­
tarded adults operated by a county
recreation departm ent. No m atter
what the disability, recreational ther­
apists in community settings have a
challenging job in pulling together the
resources to provide recreational op­
portunities for disabled persons. Or­
ganizational ability, flexibility, and in­
genuity are essential. Before an activ­
ity such as wheelchair basketball can
take place, for example, space must
be secured and equipment rented;
prospective participants interviewed;
and clients, staff, and volunteers ad­
vised of timetables and logistics. Be­
cause clients generally live at home
with their families or in group residen­
tial facilities such as halfway houses,
transportation to and from the activity
site is an important concern. In insti­
tutional settings such as hospitals and
nursing hom es, transportation re ­
quires less planning and coordination.
Therapeutic goals are identified be­
fore the event takes place. Once the
program has been planned and publi­
cized, the therapist interviews each
individual who signs up, and may also
discuss the upcoming event with the

client’s physician to be sure that the
event is suitable for the client’s con­
dition. For example, if the physician
indicates that an individual would get
very upset in a competitive situation,
the therapist may suggest a team
event rather than a chess match: Less
intense competition may help clients
learn how to deal with losing and
eventually to gain enough control of
their impulses to participate in more
competitive activities. In addition, the
therapist acts as the leader of these
events and many times supervises as­
sistants as well.

Working Conditions
Working conditions vary according to
the em ploym ent setting, facilities
available, and the activity being im­
plemented. In a clinical setting, for
example, recreational therapists might
work directly in a hospital ward or a
spacious activity room. In a nursing
home, the recreational therapist might
work in a room equipped with arts and
crafts materials.
In a community setting, the recre­
ational therapist is likely to be in sev­
eral different places in the course of a
day or a week. Interviewing clients
and planning events take place in an
office, but when leading activities, the
therapist might be in a gymnasium,
outdoors on a nature walk, or in a
swimming pool.
In general, recreational therapists
work in well-lighted, well-ventilated
areas. The job may be physically tir­
ing because therapists often are on
their feet all day. Recreational thera­
pists generally work a standard 40hour week, although weekend and
evening hours occasionally are re­
quired. Therapists holding superviso­
ry positions may be required to work
overtime depending upon the work­

Recreational therapists held about
17,000 jobs in 1984. Many of the jobs
were in rehabilitation, psychiatric,
and other specialty hospitals. Other
employers of recreational therapists
include general hospitals, nursing
homes, community mental health cen­
ters, adult day care programs, school
systems, residential facilities for the
mentally retarded, and a variety of
community programs for people with
A small number of therapists are
self-employed, providing recreational

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/173
therapy services on a contract basis,
for the most part. A self-employed
therapist might develop and oversee
activities programs for several small
nursing homes or community pro­
grams, for example.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A degree in therapeutic recreation, or
in recreation with an emphasis on
therapeutic recreation, is the usual
requirement for professional positions
in this field. An associate degree sat­
isfies hiring requirements in many
nursing homes, while a bachelor’s de­
gree ordinarily is necessary in com­
munity and clinical settings.
Hiring requirements are changing.
In the past, individuals with degrees
in psychology, sociology, social work,
and other human service fields found
jobs as recreation therapists. Increas­
ingly, however, formal preparation in
therapeutic recreation is expected. In­
dividuals without such preparation
are likely to be hired as therapeutic
assistants rather than as therapists.
Three States—Georgia, Maryland,
and Utah—regulate the practice of
recreational therapy. Georgia and
Utah have licensure requirem ents,
while Maryland requires recreational
therapists in long-term care facilities
to be certified (or eligible for certifica­
Certification is available through
the National Council for Therapeutic
Recreation Certification (NCTRC),
which awards credentials for thera­
peutic recreation specialists and ther­
apeutic recreation assistants. Many
employers prefer to hire certified rec­
reational therapists; some insist on
the NCTRC credential.
More than 160 accredited programs
in recreational therapy are offered at
the college or university level. Most
of these are bachelor’s degree pro­
grams, although some are associate or
m aster’s degree programs. There are
a few doctoral programs in therapeu­
tic recreation.
Entry level preparation for a job as
a recreational therapist is available at
both the bachelor’s and m aster’s lev­
el. Associate degree programs do not
ordinarily lead to therapist jobs. In­
stead, graduates qualify for hospital
jobs as therapeutic assistants, or for
nursing home jobs as activities spe­
cialists. A graduate degree is general­
ly required for teaching, research, and
administrative positions in this field.

Helping patients enjoy themselves is an important part of a recreational therapist’s job.
Academic programs in therapeutic
recreation emphasize coursework in
the physical, biological, and behavior­
al sciences and require 360 hours of
internship under the supervision of a
certified therapeutic recreation spe­
To put disabling and handicapping
conditions into context, these pro­
grams provide a solid foundation in
human anatomy and physiology. They
deal with society’s response to dis­
ability as well as biological, psycho­
logical, and social consequences for
the disabled individual. In the realm
of professional practice, courses deal
with programming for special popula­
tions; assessment and referral proce­
dures; assistive techniques including
self-help skills, signing, and orienta­
tion and mobility; adaptive devices
and medical equipment; current treat­
ment approaches; legal issues in deliv­
ering services to special populations;
and professional ethics.
Persons considering this career
must be able to work with people of
all ages, temperaments, and personal­
ities. To gain patients’ confidence, it
is necessary to have a warm, friendly
personality that inspires both trust
and respect. In addition to these qual­
ities, it is necessary to have ingenuity
and imagination in adapting activities
to individual needs. The potential
therapist must be skilled, patient, and
resourceful in teaching and dealing
with patients.
Newly graduated recreational ther­
apists generally begin as staff thera­
pists. Advancement is chiefly to su­

pervisory or administrative positions.
Some therapists teach, conduct re­
search, or do consulting work on a
contract basis.

Job Outlook
Employment of recreational thera­
pists is expected to grow faster than
the av erag e for all o c c u p atio n s
through the mid-1990’s due to antici­
pated growth in the areas of rehabili­
tation and long-term care.
Future changes in the size and age
structure of the population mean that
there will be many more people with
disabilities in 1995 than there are to­
day. Substantial growth is expected
for the population age 85 and above,
an age group that suffers a very high
incidence of disabling conditions. Be­
cause of better health care, people
with developmental disabilities such
as Down’s syndrome are living longer
than they used to, so the number of
mentally retarded persons is expected
to grow. Significant growth is also
projected for the mentally ill, in part
because of the very large number of
young adults who have reached the
age of peak risk for schizophrenia and
other chronic mental illnesses.
Public and private response to the
needs of older people is expected to
spur rapid employment growth in
nursing homes, retirement and life
care communities, adult day care pro­
grams, and social service agencies. In
the areas of mental health and mental
retardation, continued support for
deinstitutionalizing residents of large
public facilities is expected to create

174/Occupational Outlook Handbook
strong and sustained pressure, at State nity-based programs. Internships may
and local levels, for community resi­ prove especially valuable for students
dences and programs for the physical­ interested in community practice. In
ly and mentally disabled.
recreational therapy, as in other hu­
Hospitals will account for practical­ man service fields, internships and
ly none of the projected employment volunteer work provide contacts that
increase, and most job openings in may prove invaluable in finding a job.
hospitals will be generated by the
Job prospects are expected to be
need to replace experienced workers favorable for graduates of accredited
who transfer to other occupations or programs in therapeutic recreation.
stop working.
Currently, there are reports of a short­
In the large public mental hospital age of qualified recreational therapists
sector, for example, little job growth in some areas, rural areas in particu­
is foreseen because of constraints on lar. In metropolitan areas and locali­
State government spending and con­ ties where training programs abound,
tinued support for the policy of dein­ competition for jobs is keener.
stitutionalization. If current trends
persist, private psychiatric hospitals Earnings
will diverge from the rest of the hos­ Salaries of recreational therapists vary
pital sector and register rapid employ­ according to employment setting, ed­
ment growth. Among the reasons for ucational background, work experi­
this are broad third-party coverage for ence, and region of the country. Start­
acute inpatient psychiatric care; grow­ ing salaries for recreational therapists
ing public acceptance of formal treat­ in institutions and programs funded
ment for drug abuse and alcoholism; by State mental health or mental re­
and lessening of the stigma attached tard atio n agencies ranged from
to receiving mental health care. Job $14,500 to $19,500 a year in 1985,
prospects for recreational therapists according to a survey by the National
in private psychiatric facilities should Theraputic Recreation Society. The
be favorable, although it is important starting salary for theraputic recrea­
to bear in mind that this specialty tion specialists in Veterans Adminis­
tration facilities was $17,824 a year in
sector is small.
Slow growth in the hospital sector 1985.
Recreational therapists employed
will be more than offset, however, by
by hospitals, medical schools, and
burgeoning demand for recreational
therapists in nursing homes, commu­ medical centers had average starting
nity programs, and residential facili­ salaries of $17,000 a year in 1984,
ties for people with handicapping con­ according to a survey by the Univer­
ditions. Demographic trends and in­ sity of Texas Medical Branch. Top
dustry expansion are the main reasons salaries of experienced recreational
for very rapid growth in recreational therapists averaged $23,400.
therapy jobs in the nursing home sec­
tor. Growth could be even more rapid Related Occupations
than currently anticipated, depending Recreational therapists design activi­
on future developments in nursing ties to help people with disabilities
home staffing. A broad-based effort to lead more fulfilling and independent
improve the quality of care in nursing lives. Other workers who have similar
homes would undoubtedly lead to ad­ jobs are orientation therapists for the
ditional jobs for recreational thera­ blind, art therapists, drama therapists,
pists, since there is general agreement dance therapists, music therapists,
that well-designed activities programs occupational therapists, and rehabili­
promote residents’ physical and men­ tation counselors.
tal health. Quality of nursing home Sources of Additional Information
care is the subject of attention at all For information about careers in rec­
levels of government, but it is impos­ reational therapy, contact:
sible to predict whether public con­ N ational Therapeutic R ecreation S o c iety , 3101
cern will produce pressure for staffing Park C enter D r., A lexandria, V a. 22302.
Certification information may be
Community programs for special obtained from:
populations are expected to expand N ational C ouncil for T herapeutic R ecreation
significantly in the years ahead. Lo­ C ertification, P.O . B ox 16126, A lexandria, V a.
cating a job may require persistence, 22302.
Academic programs in therapeutic
however, in view of the small scale

and developmental nature of commu­ recreation are listed in the National

Recreation and Park Association’s Di­
rectory o f College!University Pro­
grams in Recreation, Leisure Services
and Resources. The latest edition may
be purchased from:
N R P A , 3101 Park C enter D r., A lexandria, Va.

The A m erican A sso ciatio n of
Health, Physical Education, Recrea­
tion, and Dance also publishes a di­
rectory listing academic programs in
therapeutic recreation. For price and
ordering information, contact:
A A H P E R D , P .O . B o x 704, W aldorf, M d. 20601.

For a pamphlet on careers in mental
health, write:
Public Inquiries, N ation al In stitute o f M ental
H ealth , 5600 F ish ers L a n e, R o ck v ille, M d.

For a pamphlet on careers in nurs­
ing homes, write:
A m erican H ealth Care A sso c ia tio n , 1200 15th
St. N W „ W ash in gton , D .C . 20005.

Information about employment op­
portunities in Veterans Administra­
tion medical centers is available from
local VA medical centers.

Registered Nurses
(D .O .T . 075.124-010 and -014, .127-014, -018, -022,
-026, and -030, .137-010, .264-010 and -014, .371-010,
.374-010, -014, -018, and -022)

Nature of the Work
Registered nurses (R.N.’s) handle a
variety of tasks related to both health
and illness. Typically concerned with
the “ whole person,” registered nurs­
es deal with patients’ mental and emo­
tional functioning as well as their
physical needs. They observe, assess,
and record symptoms, reactions, and
progress; administer medications; as­
sist in convalescence and rehabilita­
tion; instruct patients and their fami­
lies in proper care; and help individu­
als and groups take steps to improve
or maintain their health. The work
setting determines the scope of the
nurse’s responsibilities.
Hospital nurses constitute by far
the largest group of nurses. Most are
staff nurses who provide skilled bed­
side nursing care and carry out the
medical regimen prescribed by physi­
cians. They may also supervise li­
censed practical nurses, aides, and
orderlies. Hospital nurses usually
work with groups of patients who re­
quire similar nursing care. For in­
stance, some nurses work with pa­
tients who have had surgery; others

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/175
care for children, the elderly, or the
mentally ill.
Registered nurses working in nurs­
ing homes provide bedside nursing
care to patients convalescing from
surgery or an illness, and to those
suffering from chronic illnesses and
disabilities. They also supervise li­
censed practical nurses and nursing
Private duty nurses give individual
care to patients who need constant
attention. They may work in a home,
a hospital, or a nursing home or reha­
bilitation center.
Community health nurses care for
patients in clinics, schools, retirement
and life care communities, and other
community settings. A growing num­
ber provide home health care. They
instruct patients and families in health
care and give periodic care as pre­
scribed by a physician. They may
instruct community groups in proper
nutrition and exercise and arrange for
immunizations, blood pressure test­
ing, and other health screening mea­
sures. These nurses work with com­
munity leaders, teachers, parents, and
physicians in community health edu­
cation. Some community health nurs­
es work in schools.
Office nurses assist physicians, den­
tal surgeons, and, occasionally, den­
tists in private practice, clinics, and
health maintenance organizations.
Sometimes they perform routine lab­
oratory and office work in addition to
their nursing duties.
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 at work, provide needed
nursing care, arrange for further med­
ical care if necessary, and offer health
counseling. They also may assist with
health examinations and inoculations.

Working Conditions
Nurses generally work indoors in
well-lighted, comfortable buildings.
Community health nurses may be re­
quired to travel to patients in all types
of weather. For those nurses who care
for the ill and infirm, the physical
demands of patient care can be stren­
uous. Nurses in general need physical
stamina because they spend consider­
able time walking and standing. When
treating patients with infectious dis­
eases such as hepatitis and AIDS,

nurses must rigidly adhere to guide­
lines regarding cleanliness and sterili­
ty. Emotional stability is required to
cope with human suffering and fre­
quent emergencies. Because patients
in hospitals and nursing homes re­
quire care at all times, staff nurses in
these institutions may have to work
nights, weekends, and holidays.

R e g iste re d n u rs e s h eld ab o u t
1,377,000 jobs in 1984. Two out of
three jobs were in hospitals, as the
following tabulation shows:
P ercent
T o t a l .........................................


H o s p i t a l s ..............................................
O ffic e s o f p h y s ic ia n s ( M .D . ’s
a n d D . O . ’s ) ....................................
G o v e r n m e n t .........................................
N u r s in g a n d p e r s o n a l c a r e
f a c i l i t i e s ............................................
E d u c a t io n a l s e r v i c e s .....................
P e r s o n n e l s u p p ly s e r v i c e s ..........
H e a lt h a n d a llie d s e r v ic e s n o t
e ls e w h e r e c l a s s i f i e d ..................
O u tp a tie n t c a r e f a c i l i t i e s .............
O t h e r ........................................................


Between one-fourth and one-third
of all nursing jobs are part time.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
To obtain the license to practice that
is required by all States and the Dis­
trict of Columbia, nurses must gradu­
ate from an approved school of nurs­
ing and pass a national examination
administered by each State. Nurses
may be licensed in more than one
State, either by examination or en­
dorsement of a license issued by an­
other State. Some States require con­
tinuing education for license renewal.
In 1984, about 1,477 nurse training
programs were offered in the United
States. In addition, 154 master’s de­
gree and 31 doctoral degree programs
provided advanced education in nurs­
Nursing training programs vary in
length from 2 to 5 years after gradua­
tion from high school, depending on
the nature of the program. Programs
offered by community and junior col­
leges take about 2 years and lead to an
associate degree; hospital-based pro­
grams last 3 years and lead to a diplo­
ma; college and university programs
require 4 or 5 years and lead to a
baccalaureate degree.
There is considerable controversy

Job prospects for registered nurses are
expected to be highly favorable.
about the relative merits of the vari­
ous nurse training programs. Some
employers have specific preferences,
but, with few exceptions, graduates of
all these programs qualify for entry
level staff nurse positions after pass­
ing the licensing examinations.
Individuals considering a career in
nursing should bear in mind that the
kind of program they choose—associ­
ate, diploma, or bachelor’s degree—
will affect their future opportunities.
For supervisory or administrative po­
sitions, for jobs in public health agen­
cies, and for admission to graduate
nursing programs, for example, a
bachelor’s degree in nursing is neces­
sary. Those considering research,
consulting, teaching, or a clinical spe­
cialization also should start their nurs­
ing education in a bachelor’s program.
Some R .N .’s trained in diploma or
associate degree programs subse­
quently enter baccalaureate degree
programs to prepare for a broader
scope of nursing practice, but this can
be a costly and time-consuming way
of securing baccalaureate level prepa­
All nurse training programs include
classroom instruction and supervised
nursing practice in hospitals and other
health facilities. Students take cours­
es in anatomy, physiology, microbiol­
ogy, nutrition, psychology, and nurs­
ing. Increasingly, nursing students
learn the latest clinical and adminis­
trative uses of computers in medicine.
In hospitals, for example, nurses rou­

176/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tinely use computers to enter or re­
trieve information about patients such
as X-rays, laboratory test results, or
medication orders.
Nursing students also receive su­
pervised clinical experience in various
hospital departments—pediatrics and
surgery, for example. Students in
bachelor’s degree programs as well as
in some of the other programs are
assigned to public health departments,
visiting nurse associations, and other
community agencies to learn how to
care for patients in clinics and in pa­
tients’ homes. Varying amounts of
general education are combined with
nursing education in all three types of
Persons who want to pursue a nurs­
ing career should have a sincere de­
sire to serve humanity and be sympa­
thetic to the needs of others. Nurses
must be able to accept responsibility
and direct or supervise the activity of
others; they must have initiative, and
in appropriate situations be able to
follow orders precisely or determine if
additional consultation is required;
and they must use good judgment in
From staff positions in hospitals,
experienced nurses may be promoted
to increasingly responsible jobs, many
of which can be obtained through
experience and good performance.
For nurses who choose a career in
management, advancement can in­
clude the assistant head nurse or head
nurse position. From there, assistant
director, director, and vice president
positions are possible. Increasingly,
positions at the management level re­
quire a graduate degree in nursing or
health services administration, with
emphasis on finance. Executive level
nursing positions require business
judgment and strong negotiation skills.
Graduate programs are offered in col­
leges or universities and usually last 12 years. Applicants must be R.N .’s,
preferably with some experience in
beginning management.
For nurses who prefer close contact
with patients, career advancement
may mean becoming a clinical nurse
specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse
clinician, or nurse anesthetist. Gradu­
ate level preparation is necessary to
reach these positions, all of which are
distinguished by the ability to exercise
a high degree of independent judg­
ment in assessing nursing problems
and determining priorities of care.
Digitized forTraining is offered in hospitals and

universities, normally lasts 1-2 years, registered nurses and “ multicompetand leads to a certificate or master’s ent” technicians for allied health
degree. Applicants must be R .N.’s workers is likely to occur in some
and many programs require up to 2 hospitals. In addition, registered nurs­
years of nursing experience in a rele­ es will be sought for technically de­
vant specialty.
manding but “ generalist” responsibil­
Nurse anesthetists complete a cer­ ities in the rapidly growing outpatient
tificate program allowing them to ad­ care sector. They may be preferred
minister anesthesia under the direc­ over more specialized personnel for
tion of a physician. Nurse practition­ jobs in health maintenance organiza­
ers and nurse midwives have graduate tions, ambulatory surgery centers,
level training in diagnostic and health group medical practices, and other
assessment skills that enables them to outpatient settings.
perform certain duties normally per­
The home is an increasingly impor­
formed by a physician. Clinical nurse tant practice site, not only because of
specialists and nurse clinicians have changes in the way treatment is pro­
expertise in a clinical area such as vided in hospitals, but because of the
pediatrics or gerontology/geriatrics prevalance of functional disabilities
which usually is obtained through among older persons and consumer
completion of a master’s degree pro­ preference for care in home or com­
munity-based settings. The home
A growing number of nurses are health field is expected to experience
moving into the business side of health spectacular growth by the mid-1990’s,
care. Their nursing expertise and and should provide excellent opportu­
training to work as members of a team nities for R .N .’s.
prepare them for management posi­
The nursing home sector—a major
tions in fields such as ambulatory, employer of registered nurses—is also
acute, and chronic care services. expected to expand due to the project­
Some are employed by large health ed increase in the number of elderly
care corporations in areas like health people requiring this level of care. In
planning and development, market­ addition, cost containment pressures
ing, and quality assurance. Others run on hospitals to release patients as
their own businesses, such as home soon as possible will require nursing
home care for those recovering from
health care agencies.
surgery, stroke, or other major epi­
sodes. Patients such as these will stay
Job Outlook
Employment of registered nurses is in the nursing home for a relatively
expected to rise much faster than the brief time, but they will require inten­
average for all occupations through sive services—intravenous therapy,
the mid-1990’s in response to the feeding tubes, and respirator sup­
health care needs of a growing and port—that necessitate advanced nurs­
aging population.
ing skills. Job opportunities for R .N .’s
The rapidly growing demand for in nursing homes should be excellent,
registered nurses is in part a function especially in view of the chronic short­
of their training, which permits them age of nurses experienced by many
to work effectively in a wide variety of facilities.
The supply of registered nurses is
roles and employment settings. Over
the years, staffing patterns for hospital roughly in balance with demand at
nursing personnel have shifted in the present, although there are shortages
direction of greater reliance on regis­ in certain areas—in rural communi­
tered nurses and less use of licensed ties, big city hospitals, and such spe­
practical nurses and nursing aides. cialties as geriatrics. At the same
The growth of intensive care, coro­ time, competition is expected to per­
nary care, and other special units for sist for the more desirable, higher
seriously ill patients has spurred de­ paying jobs, especially in areas con­
mand for clinically specialized nursing sidered highly attractive because of
personnel. Such nurses are equipped climate or recreational or cultural fa­
to handle the highly sophisticated cilities, and in areas where training
programs abound. Nurses with a bach­
equipment used in hospitals.
The trend toward greater reliance elor’s degree should have the best
on registered nurses is expected to prospects in those areas.
Overall, job opportunities for nurs­
accelerate because of prospective pay­
ment, Medicare's new system of pay­ es during the coming decade will re­
ing for hospital care. Substitution of flect the interplay of demand and sup­

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/177
ply, and a highly favorable job market
seems likely. Recent graduates of
nursing school are a major source of
supply for the profession. The number
of new graduates is expected to de­
cline by the mid-1990’s, although de­
mand is projected to burgeon. In set­
tings or communities that experience
a shortage of nurses, employers are
likely to respond with higher pay and
other incentives designed to attract
licensed R.N .’s not currently active in
the field. Some are at home caring for
families; others have transferred to
other kinds of jobs. Supply might also
be augmented by R .N.’s who rein­
state their licenses in order to return
to work, and by part-time workers
who switch to full time.

Median annual earnings of registered
nurses who worked full time in 1984
were about $21,000. The middle 50
percent earned between about $18,000
and $26,000. The lowest 10 percent
earned about $15,000 or less. The top
10 percent, many of whom probably
were head or supervisory nurses,
earned more than $31,000.
RN staff nurses in nursing homes
had median annual salaries of approx­
imately $17,300 in 1984, according to
a survey by the Hospital Compensa­
tion Service.
In 1985, the Veterans Administra­
tion paid inexperienced nurses who
had a diploma or an associate degree a
starting salary of $16,040 a year; those
with a bachelor’s degree, $18,763.
Nurses employed in all Federal Gov­
ernment agencies earned an average
of about $24,500 in 1984.
Starting salaries of registered nurs­
es employed in hospitals, medical
schools, and medical centers aver­
aged about $18,800 a year in 1984,
according to a national survey con­
ducted by the University of Texas
Medical Branch. Experienced R.N .’s
averaged about $25,300. This survey
also showed that head nurses aver­
aged starting salaries of about $23,100;
salaries for experienced head nurses
averaged $30,600. Beginning nurse
anesthetists averaged $28,200; those
with experience, $37,300.
Registered nurses in home health
agencies had average salaries of about
$17,500 a year in 1983, according to a
Home Care Agency Survey conduct­
ed by the Select Committee on Aging
of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Most hospital and nursing home

nurses receive extra pay for work on
evening or night shifts. Nearly all re­
ceive from 5 to 13 paid holidays a
year, at least 2 weeks of paid vacation
after 1 year of employment, and health
and retirement benefits.

Related Occupations
Other occupations with responsibili­
ties and duties similar to those of
registered nurses include: Occupa­
tional therapists, paramedics, physi­
cal therapists, physician assistants,
and respiratory therapists.
Sources of Additional Information
The National League for Nursing
(NLN) publishes a variety of materi­
als about nursing and nursing educa­
tion, including a list of approved
schools of nursing and information on
student financial aid. One brochure
describes master’s degree programs
to prepare nurse practitioners, clinical
specialists, and nurse educators. For
a complete list of NLN publications,
write for a career information bro­
chure. Send your request to:
C om m unications Departm ent, N ational L eague
for N ursing, 10 Colum bus C ircle, N e w York,
N .Y . 10019.

Information on career opportunities
as a registered nurse is available from:
A m erican N u rses’ A ssociation , 2420 Pershing
R d ., K ansas C ity, M o. 64108.

Information about employment op­
portunities in Veterans Administra­
tion medical centers is available from
local Veterans Administration medi­
cal centers and also from:
Recruitm ent and P lacem ent S ervice, V eterans
A dm inistration, 810 V erm ont A ve. N W ., W ash­
ington, D .C . 20420.

For information on nursing careers
in hospitals, contact:
Am erican H ospital A ssociation , D ivision o f
Nursing, 840 North Lake Shore D r., C hicago,
111. 60611.

For a copy of Health Careers in
Long-Term Care, write:
A m erican H ealth Care A ssociation , 1200 15th
St. N W ., W ashington, D .C . 20005.

(D.O.T. 079.361)

Nature of the Work
Respiratory therapists treat patients
who have cardiopulmonary (heartlung) problems that interfere with
breathing. Treatment may range from

giving temporary relief to patients
with chronic asthma or emphysema to
emergency care for heart failure,
stroke, drowning, or shock. Respira­
tory therapists are among the first
specialists called for emergency treat­
ment of acute respiratory conditions
arising from head injury or drug poi­
soning. Their role is a highly respon­
sible one because a patient who stops
breathing for longer than 3 to 5 min­
utes has little chance of recovery
without serious brain damage. If oxy­
gen is cut off for more than 9 minutes,
death results.
Respiratory care usually involves
one or more of the four major kinds of
treatment: Administering oxygen and
oxygen mixtures; using humidity and
aerosol mists to keep the respiratory
tract moist or to deliver medication;
administering chest physical therapy,
which includes exercises to reduce
the effort of breathing, as well as
tapping and coughing procedures to
help clear the lungs; and operating
mechanical ventilators that replace or
assist natural breathing. Mechanical
ventilators help sustain life when a
patient is unable to breathe spontane­
ously. This may happen for a number
of reasons—because a patient is in a
coma, for example, or has paralysis of
the respiratory muscles, severe lung,
head, or chest injury, or damage from
smoke inhalation.
Respiratory therapists set up, oper­
ate, and monitor special equipment,
including ventilators, positive pres­
sure breathing machines, and oxygen
tents. They help with a variety of
diagnostic procedures to determine
the levels of oxygen and carbon diox­
ide in the blood, the volume of air
taken into the lungs, and so on. They
also administer treatments such as
bronchopulm onary drainage and
breathing exercises.
Respiratory therapists often treat
patients who have undergone surgery;
anesthesia depresses respiration, so
respiratory therapy may be prescribed
to restore full, deep breathing and
protect the patient against respiratory
illness that could complicate recov­
ery. In addition, respiratory therapists
commonly treat patients with chronic
obstructive pulmonary diseases such
as emphysema, bronchitis, and asth­
ma. Such diseases are a major cause
of illness and death in the United
Providing respiratory care at home
is a rapidly expanding area of prac-

178/Occupational Outlook Handbook
tice. Respiratory therapists have long tory therapists are potentially hazard­
administered oxygen to patients in ous because they are used and stored
their homes. Increasingly, however, under pressure. However, adherence
mechanical ventilators and other so­ to safety precautions and regular
phisticated life support systems are maintenance and testing of equipment
being used in the home. Therapists minimize the risk of injury.
show patients and their families how
to use the equipment. Many of the Employment
people who receive home respiratory Respiratory therapists held about
care will need it for the rest of their 55,000 jobs in 1984. About 9 out of 10
lives. They can be taught how to op­ jobs were located in hospitals in de­
erate complex equipment themselves, partments of respiratory care, anes­
with several visits a month from res­ thesiology, or pulmonary medicine.
piratory therapists to inspect or clean Oxygen equipment rental companies,
the equipment and ensure its proper ambulance services, nursing homes,
and home health agencies accounted
Respiratory care is moving into new for most of the remaining jobs.
areas, notably cardiac care, and a
growing number of respiratory thera­ Training, Other Qualifications, and
pists are being cross-trained in pulmo­ Advancement
nary and cardiac procedures.
Respiratory care equipment has be­
Other duties include keeping rec­ come more complex in recent years,
ords of the cost of materials and and formal training is increasingly im­
charges to patients, and maintaining portant for entry to the field. Volun­
and making minor repairs to equip­ tary certification is available through
ment. Some therapists teach or super­ the National Board for Respiratory
vise other respiratory therapy person­ Care. Many employers consider such
certification important in choosing
among candidates. Several States re­
quire respiratory therapy workers to
Working Conditions
Respiratory therapists generally work be licensed.
Training for respiratory therapy is
a 40-hour week. Because hospitals
operate around the clock, therapists offered at the postsecondary level in
may be required to work evenings or hospitals, medical schools, colleges
weekends. Respiratory therapists and universities, trade schools, voca­
spend long periods standing and, in an tional-technical institutes, and the
emergency, may work under a great Armed Forces. In 1984, about 220
deal of stress. Gases used by respira­ programs in respiratory therapy were

The growing number of patients with cardiopulmonary problems will spur demand for
respiratory therapists.

accredited by the Committee on Al­
lied Health Education and Accredita­
tion (CAHEA) of the American Med­
ical Association. Another 178 pro­
grams offered CAHEA-accredited
preparation for respiratory therapy
Formal training programs vary in
length and in the credential or degree
awarded. About 23 of the CAHEAaccredited therapist programs are 4year programs that lead to a bache­
lor’s degree; most of the others are
somewhat shorter in length and lead
to an associate degree. Technician
courses usually last about 1 year and
graduates are awarded certificates.
Areas of study for both types of pro­
grams include human anatomy and
physiology, ch em istry , physics,
m icrobiology, and m athem atics.
Technical courses deal with proce­
dures, equipment, and clinical tests.
People who want to enter this field
should enjoy working with people and
should be sensitive to patients’ phys­
ical and psychological needs. Respira­
tory therapy workers must pay atten­
tion to detail, follow instructions, and
work as part of a team. Operating
com plicated resp irato ry therapy
equipment requires mechanical ability
and manual dexterity.
High school students interested in a
career in respiratory care are encour­
aged to take courses in health, biolo­
gy, mathematics, and physics, for a
working knowledge of science and
math is essential. Respiratory care
involves basic mathematical problem­
solving—an ability to use percentag­
es, fractions, logarithms, exponents,
and algebraic equations, and a knowl­
edge of the English and metric sys­
tems of measuring. Calculus is not
required but is helpful. An under­
standing of chemical and physical
principles such as general gas laws,
the states of matter, chemical reac­
tions at the atomic level, and the pe­
riodic table is also important. Com­
puting medication dosages and calcu­
lating gas concentrations are just two
examples of the need for knowledge
of science and mathematics.
Respiratory therapy technicians and
assistants can advance to the therapist
level by taking the appropriate cours­
es. Some technicians work part time
while studying to be therapists.
Respiratory therapists advance in
clinical practice by moving from care
of “ general” to “ critical” patients.
Extra skills are needed to judge the

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/179
condition of patients with problems in
other organ systems (heart, kidney,
etc.) as well as in breathing. Thera­
pists require the ability to combine
breathing care with many other nurs­
ing and medical functions.
Therapists may also advance into
supervision and management posi­
tions and, with additional academic
training or experience, may direct the
respiratory therapy department. Cre­
dentials as a Registered Respiratory
Therapist (RRT) often are required for
administrative positions.
The field of education also offers
opportunities for career development.
Jobs for hospital “ in-service” educa­
tors are widely available, especially
for therapists with skills or training in
teaching. Many therapists have found
careers as instructors in respiratory
therapy education programs; with ad­
ditional academic preparation, they
are eligible to advance up the line to
professor or program director.

Job Outlook
Employment of respiratory therapists
is expected to grow faster than the
average for all occupations through
the mid-1990’s, despite pressures to
curb the rising cost of health care and
a marked slowing of job growth in
hospitals. Public support for high
quality care, technological advances
in the diagnosis and treatment of res­
piratory disease, and the increasing
incidence of cardiopulmonary dis­
eases such as emphysema are the ma­
jor factors contributing to anticipated
growth in this occupation. In addition,
the rate of surgery is on the rise,
particularly among the rapidly grow­
ing population 65 years of age and
An acceleration of the trend toward
outpatient surgery, together with a
change in the amount and kind of
respiratory care delivered in hospi­
tals, could cause employment of res­
piratory therapists to grow more slow­
ly than currently anticipated. The lat­
ter is a strong possibility, for medical
opinion as to the treatment value of
the various forms of respiratory care
is mixed, and hospital administrators
and third-party payers (chiefly Medi­
care, Medicaid, and insurance compa­
nies) are expected to try to limit the
use of respiratory care to situations
where it is clearly appropriate and
beneficial. Pressures to cut labor costs
may lead some hospitals to alter staff­
ing patterns—replacing respiratory

therapists with respiratory therapy
technicians, registered nurses, or car­
diopulmonary technicians, for exam­
Home health care is a bright spot on
the horizon, but it is important to bear
in mind that this very rapidly growing
field accounts for a relatively small
share of respiratory therapy jobs. Op­
portunities in respiratory care should
be highly favorable through the mid1990’s in home health agencies, equip­
ment rental companies, and firms that
provide respiratory care on a contract
basis. Hospital-based home health
programs will provide excellent job
prospects, too. As in other occupa­
tions, however, most job openings
will result from the need to replace
workers who transfer to other jobs or
stop working altogether.

Information on gaining credentials
as a respiratory therapy worker can
be obtained from:
The N ational Board for R espiratory Care, In c.,
11015 W est 75th T errace, S h aw n ee M ission ,
K ans. 66214.

For the current list of CAHEAaccredited educational programs for
respiratory therapy occupations,
Joint R ev iew C om m ittee for R espiratory Ther­
apy E d u cation , Suite 200, 1701 W . E u less
B lv d ., E u le ss, T ex. 76040.

Many respiratory therapy workers
receive formal training in hospitals,
vocational-technical institutes, pri­
vate trade schools, and other noncollegiate settings. Local hospitals
can provide information on training
opportunities for this and other health

The starting salary of respiratory ther­ Speech Pathologists
apists employed in hospitals averaged
and Audiologists
about $17,136 a year in 1984, accord­
ing to a survey by the University of (D.O.T. 076.101 and .107)
Texas Medical Branch. Experienced
respiratory therapists in hospitals Nature of the Work
earned an average salary of $23,100 a Almost 1 American in 10 is unable to
speak or hear clearly. Speech, lan­
year in 1984.
guage, and hearing impairments can
In 1985, the Federal Government
paid respiratory therapists with 2 hinder communication and cause
years of CAHEA-accredited post­ problems throughout life. Children
secondary school training starting sal­ who have difficulty speaking, under­
standing language, or hearing cannot
aries of about $13,000.
Respiratory therapy workers in hos­ participate fully with others in play or
pitals receive the same benefits as classroom activities. Sometimes these
other hospital personnel, including children are thought to have mental or
health insurance, retirement benefits, emotional problems, when in fact the
vacations, and sick leave. Some em­ problem is language or hearing. Adults
ployers provide tuition assistance and with speech, language, or hearing im­
other educational benefits, uniforms, pairments may have problems on the
job, and withdraw socially to avoid
and parking.
frustration and embarrassment. Old
age almost invariably brings some de­
Related Occupations
gree of hearing loss. Severe loss, if
Respiratory therapy workers, under not treated, can result in diminished
the supervision of a physician, admin­ pleasure in everyday activities, social
ister respiratory care and life support isolation, and—even worse—wrong­
to patients with heart and lung diffi­ ful labeling of elderly people as “ con­
culties. Other workers who care for, fused.”
treat, or train people to improve their
Speech pathologists and audiolo­
physical condition include: Dialysis gists assist people such as these by
technicians, emergency medical tech­ evaluating their speech, language, or
nicians, licensed practical nurses, reg­ hearing abilities and providing treat­
istered nurses, occupational thera­ ment. Speech pathologists work with
pists, and physical therapists.
those who have communicative disor­
ders resulting from total or partial
hearing loss, brain injury, cleft palate,
Sources of Additional Information
Information concerning a career in voice pathology, learning disabilities,
mental retardation, emotional prob­
respiratory care is available from:
lems, foreign dialect, or other causes.
A m erican A ssociation for R espiratory Therapy,
Audiologists assess and treat hearing
1720 Regal R ow , Suite 112, D allas, T ex. 75235.

180/Occupational Outlook Handbook
problems, sometimes by fitting and
dispensing hearing aids. However,
speech and hearing are so interrelated
that, to be competent in one of these
fields, one must be familiar with both.
The duties of speech pathologists
and audiologists vary with education,
experience, and place of employment.
In clinics, such as those in schools
and hospitals, they use diagnostic pro­
cedures to identify and evaluate
speech, language, and hearing disor­
ders. Then, in cooperation with phy­
sicians, psychologists, physical thera­
pists, and counselors, they develop
and implement an organized program
of therapy. Those in school systems
generally have other duties as well.
They work with administrators in de­
veloping programs, counsel parents
on prevention, and assist teachers
with classroom activities to develop
oral communication skills.
Although most speech pathologists
and audiologists do some administra­
tive work, directors of clinics and
coordinators of speech, language, and
hearing in schools, health depart­
ments, or other government agencies
may be totally involved in administra­

Working Conditions
Work is generally performed in clean,
comfortable surroundings, and speech
pathologists and audiologists spend
most of their time at a desk or table.
Although the job is not physically
demanding, the close attention to de­

tail and intense concentration needed
can be mentally exhausting. A great
deal of satisfaction can be gained from
seeing a client improve. Lack of
progress, on the other hand, can be
very frustrating.

Speech pathologists and audiologists
held about 47,000 jobs in 1984. Over
two-thirds of these jobs were in ele­
mentary and secondary schools and
colleges and universities. Speech, lan­
guage, and hearing centers, hospitals,
nursing homes, and offices of physi­
cians employed most of the remain­
A relatively small number of speech
pathologists and audiologists are in
private practice. Some are solo prac­
titioners who operate their own of­
fices, while others are in multi­
specialty group practices or consult­
ing firms. They typically see patients
referred to them by physicans or other
health practitioners.
Training, Other Qualifications, and
A master’s degree in speech-language
pathology or audiology is the standard
credential in this field. Medicare, Med­
icaid, and other third-party payers,
for example, pay for speech-language
pathology services only if they are
provided by a licensed practitioner
(licensure requires a master’s degree).
For reimbursement in States that do
not have licensure laws, Medicare and

Industrial audiologist testing a worker’s hearing.

Medicaid require a master’s degree
and completion or participation in 300
hours of supervised clinical experi­
Speech and hearing specialists in
public schools must have a practice
certificate issued by the State educa­
tional agency. While some States per­
mit individuals with a bachelor’s de­
gree in speech pathology or audiology
to practice in public schools, they
may be classified as special education
teachers rather than speech patholo­
gists or audiologists.
In 36 States, licenses are required
for those offering speech pathology
and audiology services in private prac­
tice, clinics, or other settings outside
of schools. Although licensure re­
quirements vary somewhat, all States
require graduation from a master’s
degree program in speech-language
pathology or audiology, 300 hours of
supervised clinical experience, and an
About 235 colleges and universities
offered master’s or Ph.D. programs in
speech-language pathology and audi­
ology in 1985. Approximately twothirds of the master’s degree pro­
grams were accredited by the Ameri­
can Speech-Language-Hearing Asso­
ciation (ASHA). Courses include ad­
vanced anatomy and physiology of
the areas involved in hearing, speech,
and language; acoustics; psychologi­
cal aspects of communication; and
analysis of speech production, lan­
guage abilities, and auditory pro­
cesses. Graduate students also take
courses in the evaluation and treat­
ment of speech, language, and hearing
disorders and receive supervised clin­
ical training in communicative disor­
Most individuals with a master’s
degree acquire the Certificate of Clin­
ical Competence (CCC) offered by the
American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association. To earn the CCC, a per­
son must have a master’s degree or its
equivalent, complete a 9-month in­
ternship, and pass a national written
Speech pathologists and audiolo­
gists should be able to approach prob­
lems objectively and have a concern
for the needs of others. They also
should have considerable patience
and compassion, because a client’s
progress often is slow. In addition,
they should be able to work with
detail, to accept responsibility, to

Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Therapists, and Physician Assistants/181
work independently, and to direct

Job Outlook
Employment of speech pathologists
and audiologists is expected to in­
crease about as fast as the average for
all occupations through the mid1990’s. Anticipated changes in the
size and age structure of the popula­
tion will mean a substantial increase
in the number of people with commu­
nicative disorders. Because hearing
loss is strongly associated with old
age, very rapid growth in the popula­
tion age 75 and above will cause the
number of hearing-impaired persons
to skyrocket by 1995.
While the aging of the population is
expected to spur job growth, it is
important to understand that clinical
need alone does not govern demand.
Other factors that will influence job
growth through 1995 include the de­
gree to which the public seeks treat­
ment for speech and hearing disor­
ders; the extent of referrals from fam­
ily m em bers, te a c h e rs, n u rses,
physicians, and others; the price of
speech and hearing services; ability to
pay for them, whether out of pocket
or through third-party reimbursement;
legal mandates requiring services for
the handicapped; and the impact of
health care cost containment mea­
Substantial growth in the number of
speech pathologists and audiologists
in school systems has already oc­
curred in response to the Education
for All Handicapped Children Act of
1975. Consequently, little job growth
is foreseen in elementary and second­
ary schools, which presently provide
the majority of jobs in this field. This

reflects anticipated enrollment trends,
as well as the availability of special
education teachers, who provide some
speech and hearing services.
Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabili­
tation centers, and home health agen­
cies are expected to provide nearly
half the new jobs in this field through
1995, in response to projected demand
for rehabilitation and long-term care
services. Contributing to employment
growth in this area, for example, is the
anticipated expansion of rehabilita­
tion programs for stroke victims.
Speech and hearing services in nurs­
ing homes and home health agencies
are often provided by private practi­
tioners employed on a contract basis.
Opportunities for private practitioners
are expected to be excellent in the
years ahead, and the number of speech
pathologists and audiologists in pri­
vate practice—though small—is likely
to rise sharply. This reflects practice
patterns as well as reimbursement
policies. Evaluation and treatment of
communicative disorders usually in­
volve outpatient visits unless other
conditions are present. Thus, speech
and hearing services can be brought
into the home, or to a school, hospi­
tal, nursing home, or rehabilitation
facility on an as-needed basis. This
flexibility in treatment site is an im­
portant factor in the anticipated ex­
pansion of private practice opportuni­
Job prospects in speech pathology
and audiology should be very good
through the mid-1990’s. New gradu­
ates are in demand, and the number of
people completing training programs
could fall short of that needed to fill
job openings. Enrollments in master’s
degree programs have remained rela­

tively stable since the late 1970’s. If
program completions remain at cur­
rent levels and demand for rehabilita­
tion services continues to increase,
prospects for jobseekers should be­
come even more favorable than they
are today.

Audiologists in hospitals and medical
centers were paid about $19,800 to
$34,900 a year in 1984, compared to
about $20,200 to $34,000 for speech
pathologists, according to a national
survey conducted by the University
of Texas Medical Branch.
The annual starting salary in the
Federal Government for speech pa­
thologists and audiologists with a
master’s degree was about $21,800 in
early 1985. Those having a doctoral
degree were eligible to start at about
Related Occupations
Speech pathologists and audiologists
specialize in the diagnosis and treat­
ment of speech, language, and hearing
problems. Workers in other rehabili­
tation occupations include occupa­
tional therapists, physical therapists,
recreational therapists, and rehabilita­
tion counselors.
Sources of Additional Information
State departments of education can
supply information on certification re­
quirements for those who wish to
work in public schools.
General information on speech pa­
thology and audiology is available
A m erican S p eech-L angu age-H earing A sso c ia ­
tion, 10801 R ock ville P ik e, R o ck v ille, M d.

Health Technologists and Technicians
Many jobs in the health field owe their
existence to the development of new
laboratory procedures, diagnostic
techniques, and treatment methods.
Quite a few of these involve clinical
applications of the computer made
possible by the microchip. Clinical
laboratories have been transformed
by the installation of automated in­
struments that offer low-cost analyses
in minutes. Elsewhere in the hospital,
new kinds of equipment—computed
tomography (CT) scanners, dialysis
machines, and ultrasound scanners,
for example—have made possible ear­
lier and more accurate diagnoses and
more effective treatment. Technolo­
gies that are candidates for wide­
spread use in the years ahead include
magnetic resonance imaging, brain
wave mapping, laser surgery, and or­
gan transplantion. However, the field
of medicine is changing so rapidly that
it is impossible to predict what the
next generation of devices will bring.
Four statements in this section of
the Handbook describe health careers
that involve operating or monitoring
biomedical equipment: Radiologic
technologists, electrocardiograph
technicians, electroencephalographic
technologists and technicians, and
clinical laboratory technologists and
Most radiologic technologists oper­
ate the familiar X-ray machine, but
some specialize. Computed tomographers, for example, use equipment
linked to a computer for cross-section
X-rays of the brain or other parts of
the body. Diagnostic medical sonographers use equipment which pro­
duces an image from sound waves
reflected from the body to examine
internal organs. Nuclear medicine
technologists use radioactive sub­
stances that show up during imaging,
and radiation therapy technologists
operate the equipment used to treat
cancer patients.
Electrocardiograph (EKG) techni­
cians operate equipment that moni­
tors a patient’s heart action. Cardiol­
ogy technology includes far more than
the EKG, however, and cardiology
Digitized for 1 8 2

technologists of various kinds per­
form or assist with phonocardiograms,
echocardiograms, angiograms, stress
tests, cardiac catheterizations, and
other tests that enable physicians to
detect and diagnose heart problems.
For example, heart patients scheduled
for surgery may be given an echocar­
diogram (an ultrasound procedure)
before cardiac catheterization, often
the last step before an operation. Nu­
clear cardiology and digital subtrac­
tion angiography are new cardiac
technologies that are likely to gain in
Dialysis technicians, who operate
kidney machines, and perfusionists,
who operate the heart-lung machines
used in coronary bypass surgery, are
examples of health workers who op­
erate equipment on which patients’
lives depend.
Some health occupations are auxil­
iary jobs redesigned to extend the
services of highly skilled health prac­
titioners. Dental hygienists expand
dental services without sacrificing the
quality of care. Emergency medical
technicians are specially trained to
provide medical attention when no
physician or nurse is available—typi­
cally at the site of a fire, automobile
accident, or other emergency.
Practical nursing is by far the larg­
est of the health occupations de­
scribed in this section of the Hand­
book. Other large occupations are
clinical laboratory technologist and
radiologic technologist. Most other
health technologist occupations are
small. In fact, fragmentation into a
large number of small and highly spe­
cialized occupations is typical of the
health field today.
The distinction between a health
technologist and a health technician
lies in the complexity of the job. Tech­
nologists have more responsibility
than technicians, and therefore need
more training, which varies with the
occupation. For example, medical
technologists, who use laboratory
techniques to test specimens of body
fluids and tissues for evidence of dis­
ease, need a bachelor’s degree in

medical technology, chemistry, or
biochemistry. Medical technicians
usually are graduates of 2-year pro­
Preparation for these careers var­
ies. Some workers learn their skills on
the job through classroom and labora­
tory study combined with closely su­
pervised clinical experience. As a
rule, the newer the occupation, the
more likely that training will be pro­
vided on the job. Such is the case, for
example, for hospital personnel who
operate magnetic resonance scanners.
In most health technologist occupa­
tions, however, workers are trained
formally in hospitals, medical centers,
community colleges, 4-year colleges
and universities, vocational-technical
institutes, or trade schools. Training
requirements for specific occupations
are described in the statements that
The Committee on Allied Health
E d u c a t i o n a nd A c c r e d i t a t i o n
(CAHEA) accredits educational pro­
grams for 23 allied health occupa­
tions. Information about accredited
programs is published annually in the
Allied Health Education Directory,
which may be purchased from:
Departm ent o f A llied H ealth E ducation and
A ccreditation , A m erican M ed ical A sso cia tio n ,
535 N . D earborn S t., C h icago, Illinois 60601.

Books and brochures on health ca­
reers are available in libraries, coun­
seling centers, and bookstores. The
Sources of Additional Information
section at the end of each Handbook
statement identifies organizations that
can provide career information, in­
cluding brochures that describe the
work and lists of training programs.
For an overview of jobs in the health
field, including some not covered in
the Handbook, request a copy of “ 200
Ways to Put Your Talent to Work in
the Health Field” from:
N ation al H ealth C ou n cil, In c., 70 W est 40th
S t., N e w Y ork , N .Y . 10018.

A wide-ranging effort to slow the
rate of increase in health care costs is
changing the organization and deliv­
ery of health care in the United States.

Health Technologists and Technicians/183
New approaches to paying for care,
more stringent review prior to the
purchase of expensive equipment,
fewer diagnostic tests and procedures
per episode of illness, fewer hospital
admissions, and far greater use of
outpatient and home care are among
the trends that will shape the health
industry in the years ahead. A slow­
down in industry employment growth
is a virtual certainty. The various
health occupations will fare differ­
ently, however, reflecting differences
in patterns of illness, sources of pay­
ment, the kinds of organizations that
provide care, and staffing. Specific
factors that are expected to influence
demand through the mid-1990’s are
explained in the Job Outlook sections
of the statements that follow.

Clinical Laboratory
Technologists and
(D.O.T. 078.121-010, .161-010, .221-010, .261-010 and
-014, .281-010, .361-014 and -030, .381-010 and -014,
and .687-010)

Nature of the Work
Laboratory tests play an important
part in the detection, diagnosis, and
treatment of disease. They are essen­
tial in detecting the presence of ill­
nesses in which there are changes in
the body fluids and tissues. Examples
of such changes include chemical
changes in the blood, urine, or other
body fluids; increases or decreases in
the count of various types of white or
red blood cells; microscopic changes
in the structure of the cells of a dis­
eased tissue or organ; and the pres­
ence of parasites, viruses, or bacteria
in the blood or tissue.
Although physicians use the results
of laboratory evaluation and diagno­
sis, they do not perform the tests
themselves. Instead, the tests are
done by clinical laboratory personnel.
These specialists provide laboratory
services ranging from routine tests to
highly complex analyses, and their
level of skill and educational prepara­
tion vary accordingly. This section of
the Handbook discusses the work of
two levels of laboratory personnel:
Technologists and technicians.
Medical technologists have a bach­
elor’s degree in science, as a rule.
They perform complicated chemical,
biological, hematological, microscop­

ic, and bacteriological tests. These handling of specimens, materials, and
may include chemical tests to deter­ equipment are used. The work can be
mine, for example, the blood choles­ stressful because patients’ lives or
terol level, or microscopic examina­ types of treatment often depend on
tion of the blood to detect the pres­ the quick and accurate analysis of
ence of diseases such as leukemia. laboratory tests.
Technologists microscopically exam­
ine other body fluids; make cultures of Employment
body fluid or tissue samples to deter­ Clinical laboratory technologists and
mine the presence of bacteria, para­ technicians held about 236,000 jobs in
sites, or other micro-organisms; and 1984. Most worked in hospitals. Oth­
analyze the samples for chemical con­ ers worked in independent laborato­
tent or reaction. They also type and ries, physicians’ offices, clinics, pub­
cross-match blood samples for trans­ lic health agencies, pharmaceutical
firms, and research institutions. Large
Technologists in small laboratories reference laboratory facilities general­
perform many types of tests, while ly are concentrated in metropolitan
those in large laboratories usually spe­ areas. Some laboratory workers work
cialize. Among the areas in which part time.
they can specialize are biochemistry
In 1984, Veterans Administration
(the chemical analysis of body fluids), hospitals and laboratories employed
blood bank technology (the collection about 3,900 medical technologists and
and preparation of blood products for about 1,800 medical laboratory tech­
transfusion), cytotechnology (the nicians. Others worked for the U.S.
study of human body cells), hematol­ Public Health Service.
ogy (the study of blood cells), histol­
ogy (the study of human tissue), and Training, Other Qualifications, and
microbiology (the study of bacteria Advancement
and other micro-organisms).
The usual requirement for a beginning
Most medical technologists perform job as a medical technologist is a
tests related to the examination and bachelor’s degree with a major in
treatment of patients. Others do re­ medical technology or in one of the
search, develop laboratory tech­ life sciences, biology or biochemistry,
niques, teach, or perform administra­ for example. It is also possible to
tive duties.
qualify through on-the-job experience,
Medical laboratory technicians gen­ specialized training, or a combination
erally have an associate degree or a of these.
diploma or certificate from a private
Bachelor’s degree programs in med­
postsecondary trade or technical ical technology include substantial
school. They are midlevel laboratory
workers who function under the su­
pervision of a medical technologist or
laboratory supervisor. They perform
a wide range of routine tests and lab­
oratory procedures which do not re­
quire the analytical knowledge of
medical technologists. Like technolo­
gists, they may work in several areas
or specialize in one field.

Working Conditions
Clinical laboratory personnel general­
ly work a 5-day, 40-hour week. Be­
cause hospital laboratories provide
service round the clock, workers there
may work evenings, nights, week­
ends, and holidays. Laboratory work­
ers may spend a great deal of time on
their feet.
Laboratories generally are well
lighted and clean. Although unpleas­
ant odors and infectious materials of­
ten are present, few hazards exist if
proper methods of sterilization and

Medical technologists use sophisticated
equipment to detect specimen changes.

184/Occupational Outlook Handbook
course work in chemistry, biological
sciences, microbiology, and mathe­
matics, with the senior year of course
work devoted to acquiring the knowl­
edge and skills used in the clinical
laboratory. These programs are of­
fered by colleges and universities as
well as by hospitals. The hospital pro­
grams generally are affiliated with col­
leges or universities and lead to a
bachelor’s degree, although a few
hospital programs require a bache­
lor’s degree for entry.
Many universities offer advanced
degrees in medical technology and
related clinical laboratory sciences for
technologists who plan to specialize in
a certain area of laboratory work or in
teaching, administration, or research.
Medical laboratory technicians ac­
quire their training in a variety of
ways, including community and junior
colleges, hospitals, and vocational
and technical schools. Many pro­
grams last 2 years and lead to an
associate degree. Some medical labo­
ratory technicians are trained in the
Armed Forces.
Persons interested in a clinical lab­
oratory career should be careful about
selecting an educational program. Pro­
spective employers—hospitals and in­
dependent laboratories—may have
preferences as to program accredita­
tion. (Accreditation indicates that an
educational program m eets estab­
lished standards.) Educational pro­
grams should be able to provide infor­
mation about the kinds of jobs ob­
tained by g rad u ates, educational
costs, the length of time the educa­
tional program has been in operation,
instructional facilities, and faculty
Nationally recognized accrediting
agencies in the allied health field in­
clude the Committee on Allied Health
E d u c a ti o n a n d A c c r e d i t a t i o n
(CAHEA) in cooperation with the Na­
tional Accrediting Agency for Clinical
Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), and
the Accrediting Bureau of Health Ed­
ucation Schools (ABHES). CAHEA
accredits programs that provide edu­
cation for 23 allied health occupations
including m edical te c h n o lo g ists,
cytotechnologists, histologic techni­
cians, specialists in blood bank tech­
nology, and medical laboratory tech­
nicians. ABHES accredits training
programs for medical laboratory tech­
nicians and medical assistants.
Licensure and certification are well
 in the health field as meth­

ods of assuring the skill and compe­
tence of personnel. Licensure refers
to the process by which a government
agency authorizes individuals to en­
gage in a given occupation and use a
particular job title. Occupational li­
censing takes place at the State level.
Five States—California, Florida, Ha­
waii, Nevada, and Tennessee—re­
quire medical technologists or medi­
cal laboratory technicians to be li­
censed. Other States, such as Georgia,
require registration. More information
is available from State boards of oc­
cupational licensing or from State Oc­
cupational Information Coordinating
Certification is a voluntary process
by which a nongovernmental organi­
zation such as a professional society
grants recognition to an individual
who m eets prescribed standards.
Widely accepted by employers in the
health industry, certification is a pre­
requisite for some jobs, and often is
necessary for career advancement.
Agencies that certify medical labora­
tory technologists and technicians in­
clude the Board of Registry of the
American Society of Clinical Patholo­
gists in conjunction with the Ameri­
can Association of Blood Banks, the
American Medical Technologists, the
National Certification Agency for
Medical Laboratory Personnel, and
the Credentialing Commission of the
International Society of Clinical Lab­
oratory Technology. These agencies
have different requirements for certi­
fication and different organizational
Accuracy, dependability, and the
ability to work under pressure are
important personal characteristics for
a medical laboratory worker. These
workers must be able to pay close
attention to detail and be very precise
in their work because small differ­
ences or changes can be important.
Manual dexterity and normal color
vision are highly desirable. With the
rapid spread of automated laboratory
equipment, mechanical and electronic
skills are increasingly valued.
Technologists may advance to su­
pervisory positions in certain areas of
laboratory work, or, after several
years’ experience, to chief medical
technologist in a large hospital. Man­
ufacturers of laboratory equipment
and supplies hire technologists as
sales or technical representatives or
to work in the research and develop­
ment of new products. Graduate edu­

cation in one of the biological scienc­
es, chemistry, management, or educa­
tion usually speeds advancem ent.
Technicians can advance to technolo­
gists by getting additional education
and experience.

Job Outlook
Em ploym ent of clinical laboratory
workers is expected to grow more
slowly than the average for all occu­
pations through the mid-1990’s. Most
openings will result from the need to
replace experienced laboratory per­
sonnel who transfer to other occupa­
tions or stop working altogether.
The pressure to contain health care
costs is expected to slow job growth
in this field. Hospitals, the leading
employer of clinical laboratory per­
sonnel, will be more severely affected
by the slowdown than other kinds of
employers (commercial laboratories,
clinics, and offices of physicians) if
current trends persist through 1995.
Implementation of a new approach to
paying hospitals for the services they
provide has affected clinical laborato­
ries. M any tests, previously per­
formed routinely as part of either a
regular physical examination or the
normal admissions procedure, have
been dropped. There is a strong push
to “ target” laboratory tests, doing
only those that are essential.
Laboratory tests nevertheless are
an integral part of modern medicine
and the volume of testing is expected
to continue to grow. The increase will
be caused by population growth; by
the rapid increase in middle-aged and
older people and the concomitant in­
crease in disease and disability; and
by the development of new diagnostic
tests, such as the blood test for the
antibody to the virus believed to
cause Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS). An area of labora­
tory testing that is likely to expand
significantly is imm unodiagnostics,
tests that are able to spot major dis­
eases such as cancer and heart disease
in their early, presymptomatic stages.
Also contributing to the relatively
slow rate of job growth projected
through 1995 is automation. While use
of automated equipment in clinical
laboratories is already widespread,
new equipment is certain to be intro­
duced during the coming decade.
Some of this new equipm ent will
mechanize operations that are now
done manually, such as a complete
automated urine analysis, but much of

Health Technologists and Technicians/! 85
it will represent more sophisticated
versions of existing technologies.
New, improved machines will per­
form more tests from more depart­
m ents more quickly. The greater
speed will allow a faster “ turnaround
tim e,” so the results can be utilized
sooner by physicians, and patients
can be released sooner.
Computerization of clinical labora­
tories is bound to be implemented in
ever more wide-ranging and creative
ways. The use of computers, especial­
ly microcomputers or personal com­
puters, will not only aid in the testing
aspect—in quality control, for exam­
ple—but also in the managerial, ad­
ministrative, and clerical aspects of
laboratory operations. Clinical labora­
tories will likely be run in a more
efficient, cost-saving manner than be­
The use of robots for clinical labo­
ratory testing is in the early stages.
Due to the high cost of such equip­
ment, the use of robots will likely be
restricted to large commercial labora­
tories for the foreseeable future. As
they are im plem ented, how ever,
robotic applications will put an addi­
tional damper on employment growth.
Due to financial incentives in the
new payment system for hospital care,
some laboratory testing is likely to
shift from hospitals to other settings.
These settings include commercial
laboratories (sometimes called refer­
ence laboratories), physicians’ of­
fices, health maintenance organiza­
tions, surgicenters, and ambulatory
care clinics. Employment of clinical
laboratory personnel is expected to
rise more rapidly in these settings
than in hospitals because their share
of the market for laboratory services
will grow.
Nonetheless, several forces will op­
erate to restrain growth in nonhospital
settings. In addition to the laborsaving
effect of automation and computeriza­
tion, the regulatory environment will
play a role. Currently, physicians’ of­
fices—and other places, such as clin­
ics, that are directed by physicians—
are the least regulated area of labora­
tory testing. As long as a physican so
directs, any employee can perform
the tests, whether a nurse, medical
assistant, secretary, or medical tech­
nologist. M anufacturers of clinical
laboratory equipment have been mak­
ing strenuous efforts to produce ma­
chinery specifically tailored to these
environments, and have succeeded in

making the equipment “ user friend­
ly.” Hence it is feasible, from a prac­
tical as well as a legal standpoint, for
nonclinical laboratory personnel in
physicians’ offices to perform lab
work. Assuming no change in the reg­
ulatory climate, employment of clini­
cal laboratory workers in physicians’
offices almost certainly will grow more
slowly than the volume of lab work
performed in those offices.
B ecause the new er lab o ra to ry
equipment is easier to use and labora­
tory owners seek to restrain labor
costs, employment of technicians is
expected to grow faster than that of
technologists through the mid-1990’s.
Technologists will still be needed,
however, to analyze the more com­
plex tests and to advise physicians on
the use of tests.

Salaries of clinical laboratory person­
nel vary depending on the employer
and geographic location. In general,
those in large cities receive the high­
est salaries.
Starting salaries for medical tech­
nologists employed by hospitals, med­
ical schools, and medical centers av­
eraged about $18,200 a year in 1984,
according to a survey conducted by
the U niversity of Texas M edical
B ra n c h . B eg in n in g s a la rie s fo r
cytotechnologists averaged about
$16,900; for histology technicians,
about $14,200; and for medical labo­
ratory technicians, about $13,800. Ac­
cording to the same survey, experi­
enced medical technologists working
in hospitals, medical schools, and
m edical c e n te rs av erag ed a b o u t
$23,700 a year in 1984; cytotechnolo­
gists, about $21,200; medical labora­
tory technicians, about $18,200; and
histology technicians, about $18,000.
Chief medical technologists em­
ployed in hospitals earned average
annual salaries ranging from $25,300
to $31,000 in 1985, depending on the
size of the establishment, according to
the Executive Compensation Service,
Inc., a subsidiary of The Wyatt Com­
pany, Fort Lee, New Jersey.
The Federal Government paid med­
ical technologists a starting salary of
about $14,400 a year in 1985. Those
having experience, superior academic
achievement, or a year of graduate
study entered at about $17,800. Start­
ing salaries for technicians began at
$12,900 a year in 1985, depending on
education and experience. Medical

technologists in the Federal Govern­
ment averaged about $22,800 in 1984,
and medical laboratory technicians,
about $17,700.

Related Occupations
Clinical laboratory technologists and
technicians perform a wide variety of
tests to help physicians diagnose and
treat disease. Their principal activity
is the analysis and identification of
substances. Other workers who per­
form laboratory tests include biology
specimen technicians, criminalists,
food testers, sample testers, veteri­
nary laboratory technicians, and wa­
ter purification chemists.

Sources of Additional Information
Career information is available from:
American Society of Clinical Pathologists,
Board of Registry, P.O. Box 12270, Chicago,
1 60612.
American Society for Medical Technology, 330
Meadowfern Drive, Houston, Tex. 77067.
American Medical Technologists, 710 Higgins
Rd., Park Ridge, 1 60068.
American Association of Blood Banks, Suite
600, 1117 N. 19th St., Arlington, Va. 22209.
American Association for Clinical Chemistry,
1725 K St. NW., Suite 1010, Washington, D.C.
American Society of Cytology, Attn: CPRC
Secretary, 130 South 9th Street, Suite 810,
Philadelphia, Pa. 19107.
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education
Schools, Oak Manor Office, 29089 U.S. 20
West, Elkhart, Ind. 46514.
National Certification Agency for Medical Lab­
oratory Personnel, 1725 DeSales St. NW., Suite
403, Washington, D.C. 20036.
International Society for Clinical Laboratory
Technology, 818 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo.

For a list of CAHEA-accredited ed­
ucational programs for clinical labora­
tory personnel, write:
Committee on Allied Health Education and