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324 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Related Occupations Physical therapist assistants and aides work under the supervision of physical therapists. Other occupations in the healthcare field that work under the supervision of professionals include dental as­ sistants, medical assistants, occupational therapist assistants and aides, and pharmacy technicians.  Sources of Additional Information Information on a career as a physical therapist assistant and a list of schools offering accredited programs can be obtained from: The American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1488. Internet: http://www.apta.org  Personal Care and Service Occupations Animal Care and Service Workers (0**NET 39-2011.00, 39-2021.00)  Significant Points •  •  Animal lovers get satisfaction in this occupation, but aspects of the work can be unpleasant and physically and emotionally demanding. Most animal care and service workers are trained on the job, but advancement depends on experience, formal training, and continuing education.  Nature of the Work Many people like animals. But, as pet owners can attest, taking care of them is hard work. Animal care and service workers— which include animal caretakers and animal trainers—train, feed, water, groom, bathe, and exercise animals, and clean, disinfect, and repair their cages. They also play with the animals, provide com­ panionship, and observe behavioral changes that could indicate ill­ ness or injury. Boarding kennels, animal shelters, veterinary hospitals and clinics, stables, laboratories, aquariums, and zoologi­ cal parks all house animals and employ animal care and service workers. Job titles and duties vary by employment setting. Kennel attendants usually care for small companion animals like dogs and cats while their owners are working or traveling out of town. Beginning attendants perform basic tasks, such as cleaning cages and dog runs, filling food and water dishes, and exercising animals. Experienced attendants may provide basic animal healthcare, as well as bathe animals, trim nails, and attend to other grooming needs. Attendants who work in kennels also may sell pet food and supplies, assist in obedience training, help with breeding, or prepare animals for shipping. Animal caretakers who specialize in grooming, or maintaining a pet’s—usually a dog’s or cat’s—appearance are called groomers. Some groomers work in kennels, veterinary clinics, animal shel­ ters, or pet-supply stores. Others operate their own grooming busi­ ness. Groomers answer telephones, schedule appointments, discuss with clients their pets’ grooming needs, and collect information on the pet’s disposition and its veterinarian. Groomers often are the first to notice a medical problem, such as an ear or skin infection, that requires veterinary care. Grooming the pet involves several steps: An initial brush-out is followed by a first clipping of hair or fur using electric clippers, combs, and grooming shears; the groomer then cuts the nails, cleans the ears, bathes, and blow-dries the animal, and ends with a final clipping and styling. Animal caretakers in animal shelters perform a variety of duties and work with a wide variety of animals. In addition to attending to Digitizedthe for basic FRASER needs of the animals, caretakers also must keep records of https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  the animals received and discharged and any tests or treatments done. Some vaccinate newly admitted animals under the direction of a veterinarian or veterinary technician, and euthanize (painlessly put to death) seriously ill, severely injured, or unwanted animals. Ani­ mal caretakers in animal shelters also interact with the public, an­ swering telephone inquiries, screening applicants for animal adoption, or educating visitors on neutering and other animal health issues. Caretakers in stables are called grooms. They saddle and un­ saddle horses, give them rubdowns, and walk them to cool-off af­ ter a ride. They also feed, groom, and exercise the horses; clean out stalls and replenish bedding; polish saddles; clean and organize the tack (harness, saddle, and bridle) room; and store supplies and feed. Experienced grooms may help train horses. In zoos, animal care and service workers, called keepers, pre­ pare the diets and clean the enclosures of animals, and sometimes assist in raising them when they are very young. They watch for any signs of illness or injury, monitor eating patterns or any changes in behavior, and record their observations. Keepers also may an­ swer questions and ensure that the visiting public behaves respon­ sibly toward the exhibited animals. Depending on the zoo, keepers may be assigned to work with a broad group of animals such as mammals, birds, or reptiles, or they may work with a limited collec­ tion of animals such as primates, large cats, or small mammals. Animal trainers train animals for riding, security, performance, obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. Animal trainers do this by accustoming the animal to human voice and contact, and conditioning the animal to respond to commands. Trainers use sev­ eral techniques to help them train animals. One technique, known as a bridge, is a stimulus that a trainer uses to communicate the precise moment an animal does something correctly. When the **  '  '  -S**""  It | „ ^  HSijBiHsis  I  ■■AT  Animals have to befed every day, so animal care and service workers often work weekend and holiday shifts.  Service Occupations 325  animal responds correctly, the trainer gives positive reinforcement in a variety of ways: food, toys, play, rubdowns, or speaking the word “good.” Animal training takes place in small steps, and often takes months and even years of repetition. During the conditioning process, trainers provide animals mental stimulation, physical ex­ ercise, and husbandry care. In addition to their hands-on work with the animals, trainers often oversee other aspects of the animal’s care, such as diet preparation. Trainers often work in competitions or shows, such as the circus or marine parks. Trainers who work in shows also may participate in educational programs for visitors and guests. Working Conditions People who love animals get satisfaction from working with and helping them. However, some of the work may be unpleasant, as well as physically and emotionally demanding, and sometimes dan­ gerous. Most animal care and service workers have to clean animal cages and lift, hold, or restrain animals, risking exposure to bites or scratches. Their work often involves kneeling, crawling, repeated bending, and lifting heavy supplies like bales of hay or bags of feed. Animal caretakers must take precautions when treating ani­ mals with germicides or insecticides. The work setting can be noisy. Caretakers of show and sports animals travel to competitions. Animal care and service workers who witness abused animals or who assist in the euthanizing of unwanted, aged, or hopelessly injured animals may experience emotional stress. Those working for private humane societies and municipal animal shelters often deal with the public, some of whom might react with hostility to any implication that the owners are neglecting or abusing their pets. Such workers must maintain a calm and professional demeanor while they enforce the laws regarding animal care. Animal care and service workers may work outdoors in all kinds of weather. Hours are irregular: Animals have to be fed every day, so caretakers often work weekend and holiday shifts. In some ani­ mal hospitals, research facilities, and animal shelters, an attendant is on duty 24 hours a day, which means night shifts. The majority of full-time animal care and service workers work about 40 hours a week. Employment Animal care and service workers held a total of 145,000 jobs in 2000. Nearly 90 percent of this number worked as nonfarm animal caretakers; the remainder worked as animal trainers. Nonfarm ani­ mal caretakers worked primarily in boarding kennels, animal shel­ ters, stables, grooming shops, animal hospitals, and veterinary offices. A significant number also worked for animal humane soci­ eties, racing stables, dog and horse racetrack operators, zoos, theme parks, circuses, and other amusement and recreations services. In 2000, more than 1 out of every 4 nonfarm animal caretakers was self-employed. Employment of animal trainers was concentrated in animal ser­ vices that specialize in training horses, pets, and other animal spe­ cialties; and in commercial sports, training racehorses and dogs. About 4 in 10 animal trainers were self-employed. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most animal care and service workers are trained on the job. Employers generally prefer to hire people with some experience with animals. Some training programs are available for specific types of animal caretakers, such as groomers, but formal training is usually not necessary for entry-level positions. Animal trainers  often need to possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  However, some animal training jobs may require a bachelor’s degree and additional skills. For example, a marine mammal trainer usually needs a bachelor’s degree in biology, marine biology, animal sci­ ence, psychology, zoology, or related field, plus strong swimming skills and SCUBA certification. All animal trainers need patience, sensitivity, and experience with problem-solving and obedience. Certification is not mandatory for animal trainers, but several orga­ nizations offer training programs and certification for prospective animal trainers. Most pet groomers learn their trade by completing an informal apprenticeship, usually lasting 6 to 10 weeks, under the guidance of an experienced groomer. Prospective groomers may also attend one of the 50 State-licensed grooming schools throughout the country, with programs varying in length from 4 to 18 weeks. The National Dog Groomers Association of America certifies groomers who pass a written examination consisting of 400 questions, with a separate part testing practical skills. Beginning groomers often start by tak­ ing on one duty, such as bathing and drying the pet. They eventu­ ally assume responsibility for the entire grooming process, from the initial brush-out to the final clipping. Groomers who work in large retail establishments or kennels may, with experience, move into supervisory or managerial positions. Experienced groomers often choose to open their own shops. Beginning animal caretakers in kennels learn on the job, and usually start by cleaning cages and feeding and watering animals. Kennel caretakers may be promoted to kennel supervisor, assistant manager, and manager, and those with enough capital and experi­ ence may open up their own kennels. The American Boarding Ken­ nels Association (ABKA) offers a 3-stage, home-study program for individuals interested in pet care. The first two study programs address basic and advanced principles of animal care, while the third program focuses on in-depth animal care and good business procedures. Those who complete the third program and pass oral and written examinations administered by the ABKA become Cer­ tified Kennel Operators (CKO). Some zoological parks may require their caretakers to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, or a related field. Most require experience with animals, preferably as a volunteer or paid keeper in a zoo. Zookeepers may advance to senior keeper, assis­ tant head keeper, head keeper, and assistant curator, but few open­ ings occur, especially for the higher-level positions. Animal caretakers in animal shelters are not required to have any specialized training, but training programs and workshops are increasingly available through the Humane Society of the United States, the American Humane Association, and the National Ani­ mal Control Association. Workshop topics include cruelty investi­ gations, appropriate methods of euthanasia for shelter animals, and techniques for preventing problems with wildlife. With experience and additional training, caretakers in animal shelters may become adoption coordinators, animal control officers, emergency rescue drivers, assistant shelter managers, or shelter directors. Job Outlook Employment of animal care and service workers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. The pet population—which drives employment of animal caretakers in ken­ nels, grooming shops, animal shelters, and veterinary clinics and hospitals—is expected to remain stable or slightly increase. Pets remain popular and pet owners—including a large number of baby boomers whose disposable income is expected to increase as they age—may increasingly take advantage of grooming services, daily and overnight boarding services, training services, and veterinary services, spurring employment growth for animal caretakers, vet­ erinary assistants, and animal trainers.  326 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Demand for animal care and service workers in animal shelters is expected to remain steady. Communities are increasingly recogniz­ ing the connection between animal abuse and abuse toward humans, and should continue to commit funds to animal shelters, many of which are working hand-in-hand with social service agencies and law enforcement teams. Employment growth of personal and group animal trainers will stem from an increased number of animal own­ ers seeking training services for their pets, including behavior modi­ fication and feline behavior training. The outlook for caretakers in zoos, however, is not favorable due to slow growth in zoo capacity and keen competition for the few positions. Despite growth in demand for animal care and service workers, the overwhelming majority of jobs will result from the need to re­ place workers leaving the field. Many animal caretaker jobs that require little or no training have work schedules that tend to be flexible; therefore, they are attractive to people seeking their first job and for students and others looking for temporary or part-time work. Because many workers leave the occupation, the overall avail­ ability of jobs should be very good. Earnings Median hourly earnings of nonfarm animal caretakers were $7.67 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $6.48 and $9.59. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $5.78, and the top 10 per­ cent earned more than $12.70. Median hourly earnings in the in­ dustries employing the largest numbers of nonfarm animal caretakers in 2000 were as follows: Local government.................................................................................. Commercial sports................................................................................. Animal services, except veterinary.................................................... Retail stores, not elsewhere classified.............................................. Membership organizations, not elsewhere classified.................... Veterinary services.................................................................................  Barbers, Cosmetologists, and Other Personal Appearance Workers (0*NET 39-5011.00, 39-5012.00, 39-5092.00, 39-5093.00, 39-5094.00)  •  • •  Significant Points Job opportunities for cosmetologists should be favorable due to growing demand for cosmetology services. Barbers, cosmetologists, and most other personal appearance workers must be licensed. Very high proportions of personal appearance workers are self-employed; many also work flexible schedules.  Nature of the Work Barbers and cosmetologists, also called hairdressers and hairstyl­ ists, help people look neat and well-groomed. Other personal ap­ pearance workers, such as manicurists andpedicurists, shampooers, and skin care specialists provide specialized services that help cli­ ents look and feel their best. Barbers cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair. Also, they fit hair­ pieces, offer scalp treatments and facial massages, and shave male customers. In many States, barbers are licensed to color, bleach, or  $ 11.80 7-78 7 32  MISSUS-  7 •18 7l®2  Median hourly earnings of animal trainers were $10.54 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.59 and $16.19. The low­ est 10 percent earned less than $6.25, and the top 10 percent earned more than $20.85. Related Occupations Others who work extensively with animals include farmers, ranch­ ers, and agricultural managers; agricultural workers; veterinarians; veterinary technologists, technicians, and assistants, and biological medical scientists. Sources of Additional Information For more information on jobs in animal caretaking and control, and the animal shelter and control personnel training program, write to: >- The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L St. NW., Washington, DC 20037-1598. Internet: http://www.hsus.org For career information and information on training, certifica­ tion, and earnings of animal control officers at Federal, State, and local levels, contact:  > National Animal Control Association, RO. Box 480851, Kansas City,  MO 64148-0851. Internet: http://www.nacanet.org  To obtain a listing of State-licensed grooming schools, send a stamped, self-addressed, business size envelope to: ► National Dog Groomers Association of America, P.O. Box 101, Clark, PA 16113. Internet: http://www.nauticom.net/www/ndga  For information on State-licensed grooming schools and careers in pet grooming, contact:  >- The Madson Group, Inc., Dept. Petgroomer.com, 13775 A Mono Way,   Suite #224, Sonora, CA 95370. Internet: http://www.petgroomer.com https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Manicurists and pedicurists are the fastest growing cosmetology occupations.  Service Occupations 327  highlight hair and offer permanent wave services. A growing num­ ber of barbers are trained to provide skin care and nail treatments. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists provide beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling hair. They may advise clients on how to care for their hair, straighten or permanent wave hair, or lighten or darken hair color. Additionally, cosmetologists may train to give manicures, pedicures, and scalp and facial treatments; provide makeup analysis; and clean and style wigs and hairpieces. A growing number of workers offer specialized services. The largest and fastest growing of these are manicurists and pedicur­ ists, called nail technicians in some States. They work exclusively on nails and provide manicures, pedicures, coloring, and nail ex­ tensions to clients. Another group of specialists is skin care spe­ cialists, or estheticians, who cleanse and beautify the skin by giving facials, full-body treatments, head and neck massages, and remov­ ing hair through waxing. Electrologists use an electrolysis machine to remove hair. Finally, shampooers specialize in shampooing and conditioning clients’ hair in some larger salons. In addition to their work with clients, personal appearance work­ ers are expected to maintain clean work areas and sanitize all work implements. They may make appointments and keep records of hair color and permanent wave formulas used by their regular cli­ ents. A growing number actively sell hair products and other cos­ metic supplies. Barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers who operate their own salons have managerial duties that include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising. Working Conditions Barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers usually work in clean, pleasant surroundings with good lighting and ventilation. Good health and stamina are important because these workers are on their feet for most of their shift. Because prolonged exposure to some hair and nail chemicals may cause irri­ tation, special care is taken to use protective clothing, such as plas­ tic gloves or aprons. Most full-time barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal ap­ pearance workers put in a 40-hour week, but longer hours are com­ mon in this occupation, especially among self-employed workers. Work schedules may include evenings and weekends, when beauty salons and barbershops are busiest. Barbers and cosmetologists generally are busiest on weekends and during lunch and evening hours, therefore they arrange to take breaks during less popular times. Nearly half of all cosmetologists work part time or have variable schedules, double the rate for barbers and for all other workers in the economy. Employment Barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers held about 790,000 jobs in 2000. Nine out of 10 jobs were for barbers, hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists. Of the remaining jobs, manicurists and pedicurists held about 40,000; skin care specialists about 21,000; and shampooers about 20,000. Most of these workers are employed in beauty salons or barber shops, but they are also found in department stores, nursing and other residential care homes, and drug and cosmetics stores. Nearly every town has a barbershop or beauty salon, but employment in this occupation is concentrated in the most populous cities and States. Approximately half of barbers, cosmetologists, and other per­ sonal appearance workers are self-employed. Many own their own salon, but a growing number lease booth space or a chair from the  salon’s owner. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement All States require barbers, cosmetologists, and most other personal appearance workers to be licensed by the State in which they work. Qualifications for a license, however, vary. Generally, a person must have graduated from a State-licensed barber or cosmetology school and be at least 16 years old. A few States require applicants to pass a physical examination. Some States require graduation from high school while others require as little as an eighth grade education. In a few States, completion of an apprenticeship can substitute for graduation from a school, but very few barbers or cosmetologists learn their skills in this way. Applicants for a li­ cense usually are required to pass a written test and demonstrate an ability to perform basic barbering or cosmetology services. Some States have reciprocity agreements that allow licensed barbers and cosmetologists to apply for and obtain a license in a different State without additional formal training. Other States do not recognize training or licenses obtained in another State; conse­ quently, persons who wish to work in a particular State should re­ view the laws of that State before entering a training program. Public and private vocational schools offer daytime or evening classes in barbering and cosmetology. Full-time programs in barbering and cosmetology usually last 9 to 24 months, but training for manicurists and pedicurists, skin care specialists, and electrologists requires significantly less time. An apprenticeship program can last from 1 to 3 years. Shampooers generally do not need formal training or a license. Formal training programs in­ clude classroom study, demonstrations, and practical work. Stu­ dents study the basic services—haircutting, shaving, facial massaging, and hair and scalp treatments—and, under supervision, practice on customers in school “clinics.” Most schools also teach unisex hairstyling and chemical styling. Students attend lectures on the use and care of instruments, sanitation and hygiene, chemis­ try, anatomy, physiology, and recognition of simple skin ailments. Instruction also is provided in communication, sales, and general business practices. There are advanced courses for experienced barbers and cosmetologists in hairstyling, coloring, and the sale and service of hairpieces. After graduating from a training program, students can take the State licensing examination. The examination consists of a written test and, in some cases, a practical test of styling skills based on established performance criteria. A few States include an oral ex­ amination in which the applicant is asked to explain the procedures he or she is following while taking the practical test. In many States, cosmetology training may be credited towards a barbering license, and vice versa. A few States combine the two licenses into one hair styling license. Many States require separate licensing examina­ tions for manicurists, pedicurists, and skin care specialists. For many barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appear­ ance workers, formal training and a license are only the first steps in a career that requires years of continuing education. Because hairstyles change, new products are developed, and services ex­ pand to meet clients’ needs, personal appearance workers must keep abreast of the latest fashions and beauty techniques. They attend training at salons, cosmetology schools, or product shows. Through workshops and demonstrations of the latest techniques, industry representatives introduce cosmetologists to a wide range of prod­ ucts and services. As retail sales become an increasingly important part of salons’ revenue, the ability to be an effective salesperson becomes vital for salon workers. Successful personal appearance workers should have an under­ standing of fashion, art, and technical design. They should enjoy working with the public and be willing and able to follow clients’ instructions. Communication, image, and attitude play an impor­ tant role in career success. Some cosmetology schools consider  328 Occupational Outlook Handbook  “people skills” to be such an integral part of the job that they re­ quire coursework in this area. Business skills are important for those who plan to operate their own salons. During their first months on the job, new workers are given rela­ tively simple tasks or are assigned the simpler hairstyling patterns. Once they have demonstrated their skills, they are gradually per­ mitted to perform more complicated tasks such as giving shaves, coloring hair, or applying a permanent. As they continue to work in the field, more training is usually required to leam the techniques used in each salon and to build on the basics learned in cosmetol­ ogy school. Advancement usually takes the form of higher earnings as bar­ bers and cosmetologists gain experience and build a steady clien­ tele. Some barbers and cosmetologists manage large salons or open their own after several years of experience. Others teach in barber or cosmetology schools, or provide training through vocational schools. Other options include advancing to sales representatives, image or fashion consultants, or examiners for State licensing boards. Job Outlook Overall employment of barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers is projected to grow about as fast as the aver­ age for all occupations through 2010, because of increasing popu­ lation, incomes, and demand for cosmetology services. Job opportunities should be favorable, especially because numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force for other rea­ sons. Competition is expected for jobs and clients at higher paying salons, as applicants vie with a large pool of licensed and experi­ enced cosmetologists for these positions. The number of self-em­ ployed, booth-renting cosmetologists should continue to grow. Opportunities will be better for those licensed to provide a broad range of services. Employment trends are expected to vary among the different spe­ cialties within this grouping. For example, employment of barbers is expected to decline, due to a large number of retirements and the relatively small number of cosmetology school graduates opting to obtain barbering licenses. Employment of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists should grow about as fast as average, because of continuing demand for coloring services and other hair treatments, such as perms and waves, by teens and aging baby boomers. Rapid growth in the number of nail salons and full-service, day spas will generate numerous job openings for other personal ap­ pearance workers. Nail salons specialize in providing manicures and pedicures. Day spas typically provide a full range of services, including beauty wraps, manicures and pedicures, facials, and mas­ sages. Employment of manicurists and pedicurists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, while skin care specialists and shampooers should expect average employment growth. Earnings Barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers receive income from a variety of sources. They may receive com­ missions based on the price of the service or a salary based on num­ ber of hours worked. All receive tips and many receive commissions on the products they sell. In addition, some salons pay bonuses to employees who bring in new business. Median annual earnings in 2000 for salaried hairdressers, hair­ stylists, and cosmetologists, including tips and commission, were $17,660. The middle 50 percent earned between $14,000 and $23,910. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $33,220. Median annual earn­  ings were $17,620 in beauty shops and $ 17,570 in department stores. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Median annual earnings in 2000 for salaried barbers, including tips, were $ 17,740. The middle 50 percent earned between $ 13,580 and $24,540. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $33,040. Median annual earnings were $ 18,330 in beauty shops and $ 16,900 in barber shops. Among others in this group, median annual earnings, including tips, were $20,080 for skin care specialists; $15,440 for manicur­ ists and pedicurists; and $13,690 for shampooers. A number of factors determine total income for barbers, cosme­ tologists, and other personal appearance workers, including the size and location of the salon, the number of hours worked, clients’ tip­ ping habits, and competition from other barber shops and salons. A cosmetologist’s or barber’s initiative and ability to attract and hold regular clients also are key factors in determining their earn­ ings. Earnings for entry-level workers are usually low; however, for those who stay in the profession, earnings can be considerably higher. Although some salons offer paid vacations and medical ben­ efits, many self-employed and part-time workers in this occupation do not enjoy such common benefits. Related Occupations Other workers who provide a personal service to clients and usu­ ally must be professionally licensed or certified include massage therapists and fitness trainers and aerobics instructors. Sources of Additional Information A list of licensed training schools and licensing requirements for cosmetologists can be obtained from: ► National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences, 901 North Stuart St., Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22203-1816. Internet: http://www.naccas.org  Information about a career in cosmetology is available from: > National Cosmetology Association, 401 N. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago, IL 60611. Internet: http://www.salonprofessionals.org  For details on State licensing requirements and approved barber or cosmetology schools, contact the State boards of barber or cos­ metology examiners in your State capital.  Childcare Workers (0**NET 39-9011.00)  Significant Points • •  •  About 2 out of 5 childcare workers are self-employed; most of these are family childcare providers. A high school diploma and little or no experience are adequate for many jobs, but training requirements vary from a high school diploma to a college degree. High turnover should create good job opportunities.  Nature of the Work Childcare workers nurture and teach children of all ages in childcare centers, nursery schools, preschools, public schools, private house­ holds, family childcare homes, and before- and after-school pro­ grams. These workers play an important role in a child’s development by caring for the child when parents are at work or away for other reasons. Some parents enroll their children in nurs­ ery schools or childcare centers primarily to provide them with the opportunity to interact with other children. In addition to attend­ ing to children’s basic needs, these workers organize activities that  stimulate the children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and so­ cial growth. They help children explore their interests, develop their talents and independence, build self-esteem, and learn how to behave with others. Private household workers who are employed on an hourly ba­ sis usually are called baby-sitters. These childcare workers bathe, dress, and feed children; supervise their play; wash their clothes; and clean their rooms. They also may put them to sleep and waken them, read to them, involve them in educational games, take them for doctors’ visits, and discipline them. Those who are in charge of infants, sometimes called infant nurses, also prepare bottles and change diapers. Nannies generally take care of children from birth to age 10 or 12, tending to the child’s early education, nutrition, health, and other needs. They also may perform the duties of a general housekeeper, including general cleaning and laundry duties. Childcare workers spend most of their day working with chil­ dren. However, they do maintain contact with parents or guardians through informal meetings or scheduled conferences to discuss each child’s progress and needs. Many childcare workers keep records of each child’s progress and suggest ways that parents can increase their child’s learning and development at home. Some preschools, childcare centers, and before- and after-school programs actively recruit parent volunteers to work with the children and participate in administrative decisions and program planning. Most childcare workers perform a combination of basic care and teaching duties. Through many basic care activities, childcare work­ ers provide opportunities for children to leam. For example, a worker who shows a child how to tie a shoelace teaches the child while also providing for that child’s basic care needs. Childcare programs help children leam about tmst and gain a sense of security. Young children leam mainly through play. Recognizing the im­ portance of play, childcare workers build their program around it. They capitalize on children’s play to further language development (storytelling and acting games), improve social skills (working to­ gether to build a neighborhood in a sandbox), and introduce scien­ tific and mathematical concepts (balancing and counting blocks when building a bridge or mixing colors when painting). Thus, a less structured approach is used to teach preschool children, in­ cluding small group lessons, one-on-one instmction, and learning through creative activities, such as art, dance, and music. Interaction with peers is an important part of a child’s early de­ velopment. Preschool children are given an opportunity to engage in conversation and discussions, and leam to play and work coop­ eratively with their classmates. Childcare workers play a vital role in preparing children to build the skills they will need in school. (Statements on teacher assistants as well as teachers—preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school appear else­ where in the Handbook.) Childcare workers in preschools greet young children as they arrive, help them remove outer garments, and select an activity of interest. When caring for infants, they feed and change them. To ensure a well-balanced program, childcare workers prepare daily and long-term schedules of activities. Each day’s activities balance individual and group play and quiet and active time. Children are given some freedom to participate in activities in which they are interested. Workers in before- and after-school programs may help students with their homework or engage them in other extracurricular ac­ tivities. These activities may include field trips, learning about computers, painting, photography, and participating in sports. Some childcare workers may be responsible for taking children to school in the morning and picking them up from school in the afternoon.  Concern over school-age children being home alone before and https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Service Occupations 329  SHI  Most childcare workers perform a variety ofbasic care and teaching duties. after school has spurred many parents to seek alternative ways for their children to constructively spend their time. The purpose of before- and after-school programs is to watch over school-age chil­ dren during the gap between school hours and their parents’ work hours. These programs also may operate during the summer and on weekends. Before- and after-school programs may be operated by public school systems, local community centers, or other private organizations. Helping to keep young children healthy is an important part of the job. Childcare workers serve nutritious meals and snacks and teach good eating habits and personal hygiene. They ensure that children have proper rest periods. They identify children who may not feel well or who show signs of emotional or developmental problems and discuss these matters with their supervisor and the child’s parents. In some cases, childcare workers help parents iden­ tify programs that will provide basic health services. Early identification of children with special needs, such as those with behavioral, emotional, physical, or learning disabilities, is im­ portant to improve their future learning ability. Special education teachers often work with these preschool children to provide the individual attention they need. (Special education teachers are dis­ cussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) Working Conditions Preschool or childcare facilities include private homes, schools, re­ ligious institutions, workplaces in which employers provide care for employees’ children, and private buildings. Individuals who provide care in their own homes generally are called family childcare providers. Nannies and babysitters usually work in the pleasant and com­ fortable homes or apartments of their employers. Most are day workers who live in their own homes and travel to work. Some live in the home of their employer, generally with their own room and bath. They often become part of their employer’s family, and may derive satisfaction from caring for them. Watching children grow, leam, and gain new skills can be very rewarding. While working with children, childcare workers often improve the child’s communication, learning, and other personal skills. The work is never routine; new activities and challenges mark each day. However, childcare can be physically and emotion­ ally taxing, as workers constantly stand, walk, bend, stoop, and lift to attend to each child’s interests and problems. To ensure that children receive proper supervision, State or local regulations may require certain ratios of workers to children. The  330 Occupational Outlook Handbook  ratio varies with the age of the children. Child development experts generally recommend that a single caregiver be responsible for no more than 3 or 4 infants (less than 1 year old), 5 or 6 toddlers (1 to 2 years old), or 10 preschool-age children (between 2 and 5 years old). In before- and after-school programs, workers may be re­ sponsible for many school-age children at one time. The working hours of childcare workers vary widely. Childcare centers usually are open year round, with long hours so that parents can drop off and pick up their children before and after work. Some centers employ full-time and part-time staff with staggered shifts to cover the entire day. Some workers are unable to take regular breaks during the day due to limited staffing. Public and many private preschool programs operate during the typical 9- or 10-month school year, employing both full-time and part-time workers. Family childcare providers have flexible hours and daily routines, but may work long or unusual hours to fit parents’ work schedules. Live-in nannies usually work longer hours than those who have their own homes. However, if they work evenings or weekends, they may get other time off. Turnover in this occupation is high. Many childcare workers leave the occupation temporarily to fulfill family responsibilities or to study, or for other reasons. Some workers leave permanently because they are interested in pursuing another occupation or be­ cause of dissatisfaction with long hours, low pay and benefits, and stressful conditions. Employment Childcare workers held about 1.2 million jobs in 2000. Many worked part time. About 2 out of 5 childcare workers are self-employed; most of these are family childcare providers. Twelve percent of all childcare workers are found in childcare centers and preschools, and about 3 percent work for religious in­ stitutions. The remainder work in other community organizations, State and local government, and private households. Some childcare programs are for-profit centers; some of these are affiliated with a local or national chain. Religious institutions, community agen­ cies, school systems, and State and local governments operate non­ profit programs. Only a very small percentage of private industry establishments operate onsite childcare centers for the children of their employees. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement The training and qualifications required of childcare workers vary widely. Each State has its own licensing requirements that regulate caregiver training, ranging from a high school diploma, to commu­ nity college courses, to a college degree in child development or early-childhood education. Many States require continuing educa­ tion for workers in this field. However, State requirements often are minimal. Childcare workers generally can obtain employment with a high school diploma and little or no experience. Local gov­ ernments, private firms, and publicly funded programs may have more demanding training and education requirements. Some employers prefer to hire childcare workers with a nation­ ally recognized childcare development credential, secondary or postsecondary courses in child development and early childhood education, or work experience in a childcare setting. Other em­ ployers require their own specialized training. An increasing num­ ber of employers require an associate degree in early childhood education. Schools for nannies teach early childhood education, nutrition, and childcare. Childcare workers must be enthusiastic and constantly alert, an­ ticipate and prevent problems, deal with disruptive children, and provide fair but firm discipline. They must communicate effec­ Digitizedtively for FRASER with the children and their parents, as well as other teachers https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  and childcare workers. Workers should be mature, patient, under­ standing, and articulate, and have energy and physical stamina. Skills in music, art, drama, and storytelling also are important. Those who work for themselves must have business sense and manage­ ment abilities. Opportunities for advancement are limited. However, as childcare workers gain experience, some may advance to supervi­ sory or administrative positions in large childcare centers or pre­ schools. Often, these positions require additional training, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Other workers move on to work in resource and referral agencies, consulting with parents on available child services. A few workers become involved in policy or advo­ cacy work related to childcare and early childhood education. With a bachelor’s degree, workers may become preschool teachers or become certified to teach in public or private schools at the kinder­ garten, elementary, and secondary school levels. Some workers set up their own childcare businesses. Job Outlook High turnover should create good job opportunities for childcare workers. Many childcare workers leave the occupation each year to take other jobs, to meet family responsibilities, or for other rea­ sons. Qualified persons who are interested in this work should have little trouble finding and keeping a job. Opportunities for nannies should be especially good, as many workers prefer not to work in other people’s homes. Employment of childcare workers is projected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Employment growth of childcare workers should be considerably slower than in the last two decades because demographic changes that fueled much of the past enrollment growth are projected to slow. Labor force participation of women of childbearing age will increase very little, and this group of women will decline as a per­ centage of the total labor force. However, the number of children under 5 years of age is expected to rise gradually over the projected 2000-10 period. The proportion of youngsters enrolled full- or part­ time in childcare and preschool programs is likely to continue to increase, spurring demand for additional childcare workers. Changes in perceptions of preprimary education may lead to in­ creased public and private spending on childcare. If more parents believe that some experience in center-based care and preschool is beneficial to children, enrollment will increase. Concern about the behavior of school-age children during nonschool hours should in­ crease demand for before- and after-school programs. The diffi­ culty of finding suitable nannies or private household workers also may force many families to seek out alternative childcare arrange­ ments in centers and family childcare programs. Government policy often favors increased funding of early childhood education pro­ grams, and that trend should continue. Government funding for before- and after-school programs also is expected to increase over the projection period. The growing availability of governmentfunded programs may induce some parents who otherwise would not enroll their children in center-based care and preschool to do so. Some States also are increasing subsidization of the childcare services industry in response to welfare reform legislation. This reform may cause some mothers to enter the workforce during the projection period as their welfare benefits are reduced or eliminated. Earnings Pay depends on the educational attainment of the worker and the type of establishment. Although the pay generally is very low, more education usually means higher earnings. Median hourly earnings of wage and salary childcare workers were $7.43 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $6.30 and $9.09. The lowest 10  Service Occupations 331  percent earned less than $5.68, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $10.71. Median hourly earnings in the industries em­ ploying the largest numbers of childcare workers in 2000 were as follows: Residential care......................................................................... Elementary and secondary schools............................................. Civic and social associations...................................................... Child daycare services............................................................... Miscellaneous amusement and recreation services......................  $8.71 8.52 6.98 6.74 6.65  Earnings of self-employed childcare workers vary depending on the hours worked, the number and ages of the children, and the location. Benefits vary, but are minimal for most childcare workers. Many employers offer free or discounted childcare to employees. Some offer a full benefits package, including health insurance and paid vacations, but others offer no benefits at all. Some employers offer seminars and workshops to help workers learn new skills. A few are willing to cover the cost of courses taken at community colleges or technical schools. Live-in nannies get free room and board. Related Occupations Childcare work requires patience; creativity; an ability to nurture, motivate, teach, and influence children; and leadership, organiza­ tional, and administrative skills. Others who work with children and need these qualities and skills include teacher assistants; teach­ ers—preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary; and special education teachers. Sources of Additional Information For eligibility requirements and a description of the Child Develop­ ment Associate credential, contact: >- Council for Professional Recognition, 2460 16th St. NW., Washington, DC 20009-3575. Internet: http://www.cdacouncil.org For eligibility requirements and a description of the Certified Childcare Professional designation, contact: >- National Childcare Association, 1016 Rosser St., Conyers, GA 30012. Internet: http://www.nccanet.org For information about a career as a nanny, contact: >- International Nanny Association, 900 Haddon Ave., Suite 438, Collingswood, NJ 08108. Internet: http://www.nanny.org State Departments of Human Services or Social Services can supply State regulations and training requirements for childcare workers.  Flight Attendants (O’NET 39-6031.00)* •  • •  Significant Points Job duties are learned through intensive formal training after workers are hired. The opportunity for travel attracts many to this career, but the job requires working nights, weekends, and holidays and frequently being away from home.  Nature of the Work Major airlines are required by law to provide flight attendants for the safety of the traveling public. Although the primary job of the flight attendants is to ensure that safety regulations are followed, they also  try to make flights comfortable and enjoyable for passengers. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  . ‘Kwkxd  Although the primaryjob offlight attendants is to ensure that safety regulations are followed, they also try to make flights comfortable and enjoyable for passengers.  At least 1 hour before each flight, flight attendants are briefed by the captain, the pilot in command, on such things as emergency evacuation procedures, crew coordination, length of flight, expected weather conditions, and special passenger issues. Flight attendants make sure that first aid kits and other emergency equipment are aboard and in working order and that the passenger cabin is in or­ der, with adequate supplies of food, beverages, and blankets. As passengers board the plane, flight attendants greet them, check their tickets, and tell them where to store coats and carry-on items. Before the plane takes off, flight attendants instruct all passen­ gers in the use of emergency equipment and check to see that seat belts are fastened, seat backs are in upright positions, and all carryon items are properly stowed. In the air, helping passengers in the event of an emergency is the most important responsibility of a flight attendant. Safety-related actions may range from reassuring passengers during occasional encounters with strong turbulence to directing passengers who must evacuate a plane following an emer­ gency landing. Flight attendants also answer questions about the flight; distribute reading material, pillows, and blankets; and help small children, elderly or disabled persons, and any others needing assistance. They may administer first aid to passengers who be­ come ill. Flight attendants generally serve beverages and other refreshments and, on many flights, heat and distribute precooked meals or snacks. Prior to landing, flight attendants take inventory of headsets, alcoholic beverages, and moneys collected. They also report any medical problems passengers may have had, and the condition of cabin equipment. In addition to performing flight duties, flight attendants sometimes make public relations appear­ ances for the airlines during “career days” at high schools and at fundraising campaigns, sales meetings, conventions, and other goodwill occasions. Lead, or first, flight attendants, sometimes known as pursers, oversee the work of the other attendants aboard the aircraft, while performing most of the same duties. Working Conditions Because airlines operate around-the-clock year-round, flight atten­ dants may work nights, holidays, and weekends. In most cases, agreements between the airline and the employees’ union deter­ mine the total monthly working time. Attendants usually fly 75 to 85 hours a month and, in addition, generally spend about 75 to 85 hours a month on the ground preparing planes for flights, writing  332 Occupational Outlook Handbook  reports following completed flights, and waiting for planes to ar­ rive. Because of variations in scheduling and limitations on flying time, many flight attendants have 11 or more days off each month. They may be away from their home base at least one-third of the time. During this period, the airlines provide hotel accommoda­ tions and an allowance for meal expenses. The combination of free time and discount air fares provides flight attendants the opportunity to travel and see new places. However, the work can be strenuous and trying. Short flights require speedy service if meals are served, and turbulent flights can make serving drinks and meals difficult. Flight attendants stand during much of the flight and must remain pleasant and efficient, regardless of how tired they are or how demanding passengers may be. Occasionally, flight attendants must deal with disruptive passengers. Flight attendants are susceptible to injuries because of the job demands in a moving aircraft. Back injuries and mishaps opening overhead compartments are common. In addition, medical prob­ lems can occur from irregular sleeping and eating patterns, dealing with stressful passengers, working in a pressurized environment, and breathing recycled air. Employment Flight attendants held about 124,000 jobs in 2000. Commercial airlines employed the vast majority of all flight attendants, most of whom live in their employer’s home base city. A small number of flight attendants worked for large companies that operated com­ pany aircraft for business purposes. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Airlines prefer to hire poised, tactful, and resourceful people who can interact comfortably with strangers and remain calm under duress. Applicants usually must be at least 18 to 21 years old. Flight attendants must have excellent health and the ability to speak clearly. In addition, there generally are height requirements, and most air­ lines want candidates with weight proportionate to height. Prospective flight attendants usually must be willing to relocate, although many flight attendants are able to commute to and from their home base. Applicants must be high school graduates. Those having several years of college or experience in dealing with the public are preferred. More and more flight attendants being hired are college graduates. Highly desirable areas of concentration in­ clude such people-oriented disciplines as psychology and educa­ tion. Flight attendants for international airlines generally must speak a foreign language fluently. Some of the major airlines prefer can­ didates who can speak two major foreign languages for their inter­ national flights. Once hired, candidates must undergo a period of formal train­ ing. The length of training, ranging from 4 to 7 weeks, depends on the size and type of carrier and takes place in the airline’s flight training center. Airlines that do not operate training centers gener­ ally send new employees to the center of another airline. Airlines may provide transportation to the training centers and an allowance for board, room, and school supplies. However, new trainees are not considered employees of the airline until they successfully com­ plete the training program. Some airlines may actually charge indi­ viduals for training. Trainees learn emergency procedures such as evacuating an airplane, operating emergency systems and equip­ ment, administering first aid, and water survival tactics. In addi­ tion, trainees are taught how to deal with disruptive passengers and hijacking and terrorist situations. New hires learn flight regula­ tions and duties, company operations and policies, and receive in­ struction on personal grooming and weight control. Trainees for the international routes get additional instruction in passport and  customs regulations. Towards the end of their training, students go https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  on practice flights. Additionally, flight attendants must receive 12 to 14 hours of annual training in emergency procedures and passen­ ger relations. After completing initial training, flight attendants are assigned to one of their airline’s bases. New flight attendants are placed on “reserve status” and are called on either to staff extra flights or to fill in for crewmembers who are sick or on vacation or rerouted. When not on duty, reserve flight attendants must be available to report for flights on short notice. They usually remain on reserve for at least 1 year but, in some cities, it may take 5 to 10 years or longer to advance from reserve status. Flight attendants who no longer are on reserve bid monthly for regular assignments. Be­ cause assignments are based on seniority, usually only the most experienced attendants get their choice of assignments. Advance­ ment takes longer today than in the past because experienced flight attendants are remaining in this career longer than they used to. Some flight attendants become supervisors, or take on additional duties such as recruiting and instructing. Their experience also may qualify them for numerous airline-related jobs involving contact with the public, such as reservation ticket agents or public relations specialists. Job Outlook Opportunities should be favorable for persons seeking flight atten­ dant jobs because the number of applicants is expected to be roughly the same as the number ofjob openings. Those with at least 2 years of college and experience in dealing with the public should have the best chance of being hired. The majority ofjob openings through the year 2010 should be due to the need to replace flight attendants who transfer to other occupations or who leave the labor force. Many flight attendants are attracted to the occupation by the glamour of the airline industry and the opportunity to travel, but some eventu­ ally leave in search of jobs that offer higher earnings and require fewer nights away from their families. Employment of flight attendants is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Growth in population and income is expected to boost the number of airline passengers. Airlines enlarge their capacity by increasing the num­ ber and size of planes in operation. Because FAA safety rules re­ quire one attendant for every 50 seats, more flight attendants will be needed. Employment of flight attendants is sensitive to cyclical swings in the economy. During recessions, when the demand for air travel declines, many flight attendants are put on part-time status or laid off. Until demand increases, few new flight attendants are hired. Earnings Median annual earnings of flight attendants were $38,820 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $28,200 and $56,610. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,090, and the highest 10 per­ cent earned more than $83,630. According to data from the Association of Flight Attendants, beginning flight attendants had median earnings of about $14,847 a year in 2000. However, beginning pay scales for flight atten­ dants vary by carrier. New hires usually begin at the same pay scale regardless of experience, and all flight attendants receive the same future pay increases. Flight attendants receive extra compen­ sation for night and international flights and for increased hours. In addition, some airlines offer incentive pay for working holidays or taking positions that require additional responsibility or paper­ work. Most airlines guarantee a minimum of 65 to 75 flight hours per month, with the option to work additional hours. Flight atten­ dants also receive a “per diem” allowance for meal expenses while on duty away from home. In addition, flight attendants and their  Service Occupations 333  immediate families are entitled to free fares on their own airline and reduced fares on most other airlines. Flight attendants are required to purchase uniforms and wear them while on duty. The airlines usually pay for uniform replace­ ment items, and may provide a small allowance to cover cleaning and upkeep of the uniforms. The majority of flight attendants hold union membership, pri­ marily with the Association of Flight Attendants. Others may be members of the Transport Workers Union of America, the Interna­ tional Brotherhood of Teamsters, or other unions. Related Occupations Other jobs that involve helping people as a safety professional, while requiring the ability to be calm even under trying circumstances, include emergency medical technicians and paramedics and firefighting occupations. Sources of Additional Information Information about job opportunities and qualifications required for work at a particular airline may be obtained by writing to the airline’s personnel office.  Gaming Services Occupations (0**NET 39-1011.00, 39-1012.00, 39-3011.00, 39-3012.00, 39-3019.99, 39-3099.99)  •  •  •  Significant Points Usually there are no minimum educational requirements; each casino establishes its own requirements for education, training, and experience. Workers need a license issued by a regulatory agency, such as a casino control board or commission; licensure requires proof of residency in the State in which gaming workers are employed. Job prospects are best for those with a degree or certification in gaming or a hospitality-related field, previous casino gaming training or experience, and strong interpersonal and customer service skills.  Nature of the Work Legalized gambling in the United States today includes casino gam­ ing, State lotteries, parimutuel wagering on contests such as horseracing, and charitable gaming. Gaming, the playing of games of chance, is a multibillion-dollar industry that is responsible for the creation of a number of unique service occupations. The majority of all gaming services workers are employed in casinos. Their duties and titles may vary from one establishment to another. Despite differences in job title and task, however, workers perform many of the same basic functions in all casinos. Some positions are associated with oversight and direction—supervision, surveillance, and investigation—while others involve working with the games or patrons themselves, performing such activities as tend­ ing slot machines, handling money, writing and mnning tickets, and dealing cards. Like nearly every business establishment, casinos have workers who direct and oversee day-to-day operations. Gaming supervi­ sors oversee the gaming operations and personnel in an assigned area. They circulate among the tables and observe the operations to for ensure that all of the stations and games are covered for each Digitized FRASER https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  ■J  Most gaming services workers are employed in casinos.  shift. It also is not uncommon for gaming supervisors to explain and interpret the operating rules of the house to the patrons who may have difficulty understanding the rules. Gaming supervisors also may plan and organize activities to create a friendly atmosphere for the guests staying in their hotels or casino hotels; and, periodi­ cally, they address and adjust service complaints. Some gaming occupations demand specially acquired skills— dealing blackjack, for example—that are unique to casino work. Others require skills common to most businesses, such as the abil­ ity to conduct financial transactions. In both capacities, the work­ ers in these jobs interact directly with patrons in attending to slot machines, making change, cashing or selling tokens and coins, writ­ ing and running for other games, and dealing cards at table games. Part of their responsibility is to make those interactions enjoyable. Slot key persons, also called slot attendants, slot technicians or slot key persons, coordinate and supervise the slot department and its workers. Their duties include verifying and handling payoff winnings to patrons, resetting slot machines after completing the payoff, and refilling machines with money. Slot key persons must be familiar with a variety of slot machines and be able to make minor repairs and adjustments to the machines as needed. If major repairs are required, slot key persons determine whether the slot machine should be removed from the floor. Working the floor as front-line personnel, they enforce safety rules and report hazards. Gaming and sportsbook writers and runners assist in the opera­ tions of games such as bingo and keno. They scan tickets pre­ sented by patrons and calculate and distribute winnings. Some writers and runners operate the equipment that randomly selects the numbers. Others may announce numbers selected, pick up tickets from patrons, collect bets, or receive, verify, and record patrons’ cash wagers. Gaming dealers operate table games such as craps, blackjack, and roulette. Standing or sitting behind the table, dealers provide dice, dispense cards to players, or run the equipment. Some dealers also monitor the patrons for infractions of casino rules. Gaming dealers must be skilled in customer service and in executing their game. Dealers determine winners, calculate and pay winning bets, and collect losing bets. Because of the fast-paced work environ­ ment, most gaming dealers are competent in at least two games— usually blackjack and craps. Working Conditions The atmosphere in casinos is generally fun-filled and often consid­ ered glamorous. However, casino work can also be physically de-  334 Occupational Outlook Handbook  manding. Most occupations require that workers stand for long periods; some require the lifting of heavy items. The “glamorous” atmosphere exposes casino workers to certain hazards, such as ciga­ rette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Noise from slot machines, gaming tables, and talking workers and patrons may be distracting to some workers, although workers wear protective headgear in areas where loud machinery is used to count money. Most casinos are open 24 hours a day and offer three staggered shifts. Employment Gaming services’ occupations held 167,000 jobs in 2000. Employ­ ment by occupational specialty was distributed as follows: Gaming dealers.......................................... Gaming supervisors.................................... Slot key persons.......................................... Gaming and sports book writers and runners All other gaming service workers................  88,000 31.000 14.000  12.000 21,000  The majority are found in the hotel and amusement and recre­ ation services industries. Gaming services workers are employed in land-based or riverboat casinos in 11 States—Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, and South Dakota. The largest number works in landbased casinos in Nevada, and the second-largest group works in similar establishments in New Jersey. Mississippi, which boasts the greatest number of riverboat casinos in operation, employs the most workers in that venue. In addition, there are 27 States with Indian casinos. Legal lotteries are held in 37 States and the District of Columbia, and parimutuel wagering is legal in 40 States. Forty-six States and the District of Columbia also allow charitable gaming. For most workers, gaming licensure requires proof of residency in the State in which gaming workers are employed. But some gaming services workers do not limit themselves to one State, or even one country. Some workers find jobs on the small number of casinos located on luxury cruise liners, traveling the world while living and working aboard. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Usually, there are no minimum educational requirements for entrylevel gaming workers, although most employers prefer a high school diploma or GED. However, entry-level gaming services workers are required to have a license issued by a regulatory agency, such as a casino control board or commission. Applicants for a license must provide photo identification, proof of residency in the State in which they anticipate working, and pay a fee. Age requirements vary by State. The licensing application process also includes a background investigation. In addition to a license, gaming services workers need superior customer service skills. Casino gaming workers provide entertain­ ment and hospitality to patrons, and the quality of their service con­ tributes to an establishment’s success or failure. Therefore, gaming workers need good communication skills, an outgoing personality, and the ability to maintain their composure even when dealing with angry or demanding patrons. Personal integrity also is important because workers handle large amounts of money. Each casino establishes its own requirements for education, train­ ing, and experience. Almost all casinos provide some in-house train­ ing in addition to requiring certification. The type and quantity of classes needed may vary. Many institutions of higher learning offer training classes toward certification in gaming, as well as offering an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in a hospitality-related field such as hospitality Digitizedmanagement, for FRASER hospitality administration, or hotel management. One https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  example is the Atlantic Cape Community College’s Casino Career Institute in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Using a combination of a large mock casino and classroom instruction, the Institute offers train­ ing in games, supervisory programs, slot attendant and slot repair technician work, slot department management, and surveillance and security. Gaming services workers who manage money should have some experience handling cash or using calculators or adding machines. For such positions, most casinos administer a math test to assess an applicant’s level of competency. Most casino supervisory staff have an associate or bachelor’s degree. Supervisors who do not have a degree usually substitute hands-on experience for formal education. Regardless of their edu­ cational background, however, most supervisors gain experience in other gaming occupations before moving into supervisory positions because knowledge of games and casino operations is essential for these workers. Gaming supervisors must have leadership qualities and good communication skills to supervise employees effectively and to deal with patrons in a way that encourages return visits. Slot key persons do not need to meet formal educational require­ ments to enter the occupation, but completion of slot attendant or slot technician training is helpful. As with most other gaming work­ ers, slot key persons receive on-the-job training during the first sev­ eral weeks of employment. Most slot key positions are entry level, so a desire to learn is important. Slot key persons need good com­ munication skills and an ability to remain calm, even when dealing with angry or demanding patrons. Personal integrity also is impor­ tant because these workers handle large sums of money. Gaming and sportsbook writers and runners must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Most of these workers receive on-thejob training. Because gaming and sportsbook writers and runners work closely with patrons, they need excellent customer service skills. Nearly all gaming dealers are certified. Certification is avail­ able through 2- or 4-year programs in gaming or a hospitality-re­ lated field. Experienced dealers, who often are able to attract new or return business, have the best job prospects. Dealers with more experience are placed at the “high roller” tables. Advancement opportunities in casino gaming depend less on workers’ previous casino duties and titles than on their ability and eagerness to learn new jobs. For example, an entry-level gaming worker eventually might advance to become a dealer or card room manager or to assume some other supervisory position. Job Outlook Employment in gaming services occupations is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. Asa di­ rect result of increasing demand for additional table games in gam­ ing establishments, the most rapid growth is expected among gaming dealers. Job prospects in gaming services occupations are best for those with a degree or certification in gaming or a hospitality-re­ lated field, previous casino gaming training or experience, and strong interpersonal and customer service skills. In addition to job open­ ings arising from employment growth, opportunities will result from the need to replace workers transferring to other occupations or leaving the labor force. Gaming has increased, reflecting growth in the population and in disposable income. More domestic and international competi­ tion for gaming patrons, and higher expectations among gaming patrons for customer service, should result in more jobs for gaming services workers. Job growth is expected in established gaming areas such as Las Vegas, Nevada, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in other States and areas that may legalize gaming in the com­ ing years, including the development of more gaming establish­ ments on Indian tribal lands.  Service Occupations 335  Earnings Wage earnings for gaming services workers vary according to oc­ cupation, level of experience, training, location, and size of the gam­ ing establishment. The following tabulation shows the range of median earnings for various gaming services occupations in 2000: Gaming supervisors................................................................. $37,900 Slot key persons...................................................................... 21,620 Gaming and sports book writers and runners........................... 17,100 Gaming dealers....................................................................... 13,330 Related Occupations Many other occupations provide hospitality and customer service. Some examples of related occupations are security guards and gam­ ing surveillance officers, recreation and fitness workers, sales worker supervisors, cashiers, gaming change persons and booth cashiers, retail salespersons, gaming cage workers, and tellers. Sources of Additional Information For additional information on careers in gaming, visit your public library and your State gaming regulatory agency or casino control commission. Information on careers in gaming also is available from: >- American Gaming Association, 555 13thSt.NW., Suite lOlOEast, Wash­ ington, DC 20004. Internet: http://www.americangaming.org  Personal and Home Care Aides (Q* *NET 39-9021.00)  • •  Significant Points Numerous job openings will result from very fast employment growth and high replacement needs. Education required for entry-level jobs is generally minimal, but earnings are low.  Nature of the Work Personal and home care aides help elderly, disabled, and ill persons live in their own homes or in residential care facilities instead of in a health facility. Most work with elderly or disabled clients who need more extensive care than family or friends can provide. Some aides work with families in which a parent is incapacitated and small children need care. Others help discharged hospital patients who have relatively short-tenn needs. (For information on home health aides, see the statement on nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides, elsewhere in the Handbook.) Personal and home care aides—also called homemakers, caregivers, companions, and personal attendants—provide house­ keeping and routine personal care services. They clean clients’ houses, do laundry, and change bed linens. Aides may plan meals (including special diets), shop for food, and cook. Aides also may help clients move from bed, bathe, dress, and groom. Some accom­ pany clients outside the home, serving as a guide and companion. Personal and home care aides also provide instruction and psy­ chological support. They may advise families and patients on such things as nutrition, cleanliness, and household tasks. Aides also may assist in toilet training a severely mentally handicapped child, or just listen to clients talk about their problems. In home care agencies, it usually is a registered nurse, a physical therapist, or a social worker who assigns specific duties and super­ vises personal and home care aides. Aides keep records of services  performed and of clients’ condition and progress. They report https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  ■  '  Personal and home care aides provide housekeeping and routine personal care services.  changes in the client’s condition to the supervisor or case manager. Aides work in cooperation with other healthcare professionals, in­ cluding registered nurses, therapists, and other medical staff. Working Conditions The personal and home care aide’s daily routine may vary. Aides may go to the same home every day for months or even years. How­ ever, most aides work with a number of different clients, each job lasting a few hours, days, or weeks. Aides often visit four or five clients on the same day. Surroundings differ from case to case. Some homes are neat and pleasant, while others are untidy or depressing. Some clients are pleasant and cooperative; others are angry, abusive, depressed, or otherwise difficult. Personal and home care aides generally work on their own, with periodic visits by their supervisor. They receive detailed instruc­ tions explaining when to visit clients and what services to perform. Many aides work part time, and weekend hours are common. Aides are individually responsible for getting to the client’s home. They may spend a good portion of the working day traveling from one client to another. They are particularly susceptible to falls in­ side and outside clients’ homes and injuries resulting from all types of overexertion when assisting patients. Mechanical lifting devices that are available in institutional settings are seldom available in patients’ homes.  336 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Employment Personal and home care aides held about 414,000 jobs in 2000. Most aides are employed by social services agencies, home health agencies, or residential care facilities. Self-employed aides have no agency affiliation or supervision, and accept clients, set fees, and arrange work schedules on their own. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement In some States, this occupation is open to individuals with no for­ mal training. On-the-job training is generally provided. Other States may require formal training, depending on State law. The National Association for Home Care offers national certification for personal and home care aides. Certification is a voluntary demonstration that the individual has met industry standards. Successful personal and home care aides like to help people and do not mind hard work. They should be responsible, compassion­ ate, emotionally stable, and cheerful. In addition, aides should be tactful, honest, and discreet because they work in private homes. Aides also must be in good health. A physical examination includ­ ing State-mandated tests, such as those for tuberculosis, may be required. Advancement for personal and home care aides is limited. In some agencies, workers start out performing homemaker duties, such as cleaning. With experience and training, they may take on per­ sonal care duties.  Most employers give slight pay increases with experience and added responsibility. Aides usually are paid only for the time worked in the home. They normally are not paid for travel time between jobs. Employers often hire on-call hourly workers and provide no benefits. Related Occupations Personal and home care aide is a service occupation combining duties of caregivers and social service workers. Workers in related occu­ pations that involve personal contact to help others include childcare workers; nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides; occupational therapist assistants and aides; and physical therapist assistants and aides. Sources of Additional Information General information about training and referrals to State and local agencies about opportunities for personal and home care aides, a list of relevant publications, and information on certification are available from: >- National Association for Home Care, 228 7th St. SE., Washington, DC 20003. Internet: http://www.nahc.org  Recreation and Fitness Workers (0*NET 39-9031.00, 39-9032.00)  Job Outlook A large number ofjob openings are expected for personal and home care aides because of much faster than average employment growth and high replacement needs. Personal and home care aides is ex­ pected to be one of the fastest growing occupations through the year 2010. The number of elderly people is projected to rise substantially. This age group is characterized by mounting health problems re­ quiring some assistance. In addition to the elderly, there will be an increasing reliance on home care for patients of all ages. This trend reflects several developments: efforts to contain costs by moving patients out of hospitals and nursing facilities as quickly as pos­ sible; the realization that treatment can be more effective in famil­ iar surroundings rather than clinical surroundings; and the development and improvement of medical technologies for in-home treatment. In addition to job openings created by the increase in demand for these workers, replacement needs are expected to produce nu­ merous openings. Turnover is high, a reflection of the relatively low skill requirements, low pay, and high emotional demands of the work. For these same reasons, many people are reluctant to seek these jobs. Therefore, persons who are interested in this work and suited for it should have excellent job opportunities, particu­ larly those with experience or training as personal care, home health, or nursing aides. Earnings Median hourly earnings of personal and home care aides were $7.50 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $6.43 and $8.53 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $5.74, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $ 10.13 an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of per­ sonal and home care aides in 2000 are shown below: Residential care........................................................................... $7.97 Job training and related services...................................................... 7.85 Nursing and personal care facilities................................................. 7.82 Individual and family services.......................................................... 7.75  Home health care services................................................................ 6-49 https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Significant Points •  •  Educational requirements for recreation workers range from a high school diploma to a graduate degree, whereas fitness workers usually need certification. Competition will remain keen for full-time career positions in recreation; however, job prospects for fitness workers will be more favorable.  Nature of the Work People spend much of their leisure time participating in a wide va­ riety of organized recreational activities, such as aerobics, arts and crafts, the performing arts, camping, and sports. Recreation and fitness workers plan, organize, and direct these activities in local playgrounds and recreation areas, parks, community centers, health clubs, fitness centers, religious organizations, camps, theme parks, and tourist attractions. Increasingly, recreational and fitness work­ ers also are found in workplaces, where they organize and direct leisure activities and athletic programs for employees of all ages. Recreation workers hold a variety of positions at different levels of responsibility. Recreation leaders, who are responsible for a rec­ reation program’s daily operation, primarily organize and direct par­ ticipants. They may lead and give instruction in dance, drama, crafts, games, and sports; schedule use of facilities; keep records of equip­ ment use; and ensure that recreation facilities and equipment are used properly. Workers who provide instruction and coach groups in specialties such as art, music, drama, swimming, or tennis may be called activity specialists. Recreation supervisors oversee recreation leaders and plan, organize, and manage recreational activities to meet the needs of a variety of populations. These workers often serve as liaisons between the director of the park or recreation center and the recreation leaders. Recreation supervisors with more-specialized re­ sponsibilities also may direct special activities or events or oversee a major activity, such as aquatics, gymnastics, or performing arts. Directors of recreation and parks develop and manage compre­ hensive recreation programs in parks, playgrounds, and other set­ tings. Directors usually serve as technical advisors to State and  Service Occupations 337  local recreation and park commissions and may be responsible for recreation and park budgets. Camp counselors lead and instruct children and teenagers in outdoor-oriented forms of recreation, such as swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and camping. In addition, counselors provide campers with specialized instruction in activities such as archery, boating, music, drama, gymnastics, tennis, and computers. In resi­ dent camps, counselors also provide guidance and supervise daily living and general socialization. (Workers in a related occupation, recreational therapists, help individuals recover from or adjust to illness, disability, or specific social problems; this occupation is described elsewhere in the Handbook.) Fitness workers instruct or coach groups or individuals in vari­ ous exercise activities. Because gyms and health clubs offer a variety of exercise activities such as weightlifting, yoga, aerobics, and ka­ rate, fitness workers typically specialize in only a few areas. Fit­ ness trainers help clients assess their level of physical fitness and help them set and reach fitness goals. They also demonstrate vari­ ous exercise activities and help clients improve their techniques. They may keep records of their clients’ exercise sessions to analyze their progress towards physical fitness. Personal trainers work with clients on a one-on-one basis in either a gym or the client’s home. Aerobics instructors conduct group exercise sessions that involve aerobic exercise, stretching, and muscle conditioning. Some fit­ ness workers may perform the duties of both aerobics instructors and fitness trainers. Fitness directors oversee the operations of a  Recreation andfitness workers lead and give instruction in various  activities such as aerobics, crafts, and drama. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  health club or fitness center. Their work involves creating and main­ taining programs that meet the needs of the club’s members. (Work­ ers in a related occupation—athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers—participate in organized sports; this occupation is described elsewhere in the Handbook.) Working Conditions Recreation and fitness workers may work in a variety of settings— for example, a health club, cruise ship, woodland recreational park, or a playground in the center of a large urban community. Regard­ less of setting, most recreation workers spend much of their time outdoors and may work in a variety of weather conditions, whereas most fitness workers spend their time indoors at fitness centers and health clubs. Recreation and fitness directors and supervisors, how­ ever, typically spend most of their time in an office, planning pro­ grams and special events. Directors and supervisors generally engage in less physical activity than do lower-level recreation and fitness workers. Nevertheless, recreation and fitness workers at all levels risk suffering injuries during physical activities. Most recreation and fitness workers work about 40 hours a week. People entering this field, especially camp counselors, should ex­ pect some night and weekend work and irregular hours. About 3 out of 10 work part time, and many recreation jobs are seasonal. Employment Recreation and fitness workers held about 427,000 jobs in 2000, and many additional workers held summer jobs in this occupation. About 63 percent were recreation workers; the rest were fitness trainers and aerobics instructors. Of those with year-round jobs as recreation workers, more than one-third worked in park and recre­ ation departments of municipal and county governments. Nearly 1 in 5 recreation workers worked in membership organizations, such as the Boy or Girl Scouts or Red Cross, or worked for programs run by social service organizations, including senior centers, adult daycare programs, or residential care facilities like halfway houses, group homes, and institutions for delinquent youths. Another 1 out of 10 recreation workers worked for nursing and other personal care facilities. Almost all fitness trainers and aerobics instructors were employed in physical fitness facilities, health clubs, and fitness centers, mainly within the amusement and recreation services industry or member­ ship organizations. Other employers of recreation and fitness work­ ers included commercial recreation establishments, amusement parks, sports and entertainment centers, wilderness and survival enterprises, tourist attractions, vacation excursion companies, ho­ tels and resorts, summer camps, and apartment complexes. About 26,000 recreation and fitness workers were self-employed; many of these were personal trainers. The recreation field has an unusually large number of part-time, seasonal, and volunteer jobs. These jobs include summer camp counselors, lifeguards, craft specialists, and after-school and week­ end recreation program leaders. In addition, many teachers and college students accept jobs as recreation and fitness workers when school is not in session. The vast majority of volunteers serve as activity leaders at local day-camp programs, or in youth organiza­ tions, camps, nursing homes, hospitals, senior centers, and other settings. Some volunteers serve on local park and recreation boards and commissions. Volunteer experience, part-time work during school, or a summer job can lead to a full-time career as a recre­ ation worker. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Educational requirements for recreation workers range from a high school diploma—or sometimes less for many summer jobs—to  338 Occupational Outlook Handbook  graduate degrees for some administrative positions in large public recreation systems. Full-time career professional positions usually require a college degree with a major in parks and recreation or leisure studies, but a bachelor’s degree in any liberal arts field may be sufficient for some jobs in the private sector. In industrial recre­ ation, or “employee services” as it is more commonly called, com­ panies prefer to hire those with a bachelor’s degree in recreation or leisure studies and a background in business administration. Specialized training or experience in a particular field, such as art, music, drama, or athletics, is an asset for many jobs. Some jobs also require certification. For example, a lifesaving certificate is a prerequisite for teaching or coaching water-related activities. Gradu­ ates of associate degree programs in parks and recreation, social work, and other human services disciplines also enter some career recreation positions. High school graduates occasionally enter ca­ reer positions, but this is not common. Some college students work part time as recreation workers while earning degrees. A bachelor’s degree and experience are preferred for most rec­ reation supervisor jobs and required for most higher level adminis­ trator jobs. However, increasing numbers of recreation workers who aspire to administrator positions obtain master’s degrees in parks and recreation or related disciplines. Certification in the rec­ reation field also may be helpful for advancement. Also, many persons in other disciplines, including social work, forestry, and resource management, pursue graduate degrees in recreation. Programs leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation, leisure studies, or related fields are offered at sev­ eral hundred colleges and universities. Many also offer master’s or doctoral degrees in this field. In 2000, 100 bachelor’s degree pro­ grams in parks and recreation were accredited by the National Rec­ reation and Park Association (NRPA). Accredited programs provide broad exposure to the history, theory, and practice of park and rec­ reation management. Courses offered include community organi­ zation; supervision and administration; recreational needs of special populations, such as the elderly or disabled; and supervised field­ work. Students may specialize in areas such as therapeutic recre­ ation, park management, outdoor recreation, industrial or commercial recreation, or camp management. Certification in the recreation field is offered by the NRPA Na­ tional Certification Board. The NRPA, along with its State chap­ ters, offers certification as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) for those with a college degree in recreation, and as a Certified Park and Recreation Associate (CPRA) for those with less than 4 years of college. Other NRPA certifications in­ clude Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) and Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) Certification. Continuing education is necessary to remain certified. Generally, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors must obtain a certification in the fitness field to obtain employment. Certifica­ tion may be offered in various areas of exercise such as personal training, weight training, and aerobics. There are many organiza­ tions that offer certification testing in the fitness field, including the American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, and National Strength and Conditioning Association. Certification generally is good for two years, after which workers must become recertified. Recertification is accomplished by at­ tending continuing education classes. Most fitness workers are re­ quired to maintain a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Some employers also require workers to be certified in first aid. An increasing number of employers require fitness workers to have a bachelor’s degree in fields related to health or fitness, such as exercise science or physical education. Some employers allow  workers to substitute a college degree for certification, while others https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  require both a degree and certification. A bachelor’s degree (and, in some cases, a master’s degree in exercise science, physical edu­ cation, or a related area), along with experience, usually is required to advance to management positions in a health club or fitness cen­ ter. Many fitness workers become personal trainers, in addition to their main job in a fitness center or as a full-time job. Some work­ ers go into business for themselves and open up their own fitness centers. Persons planning recreation and fitness careers should be out­ going, good at motivating people, and sensitive to the needs of oth­ ers. Excellent health and physical fitness are required due to the physical nature of the job. As in many fields, managerial skills are needed to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. College courses in management, business administration, accounting, and personnel management are helpful for advancement to supervisory or managerial positions. Job Outlook Competition will be keen for career positions for recreation work­ ers because this field attracts many applicants and because the num­ ber of career positions is limited compared with the numerous lower level seasonal jobs. Opportunities for staff positions should be best for persons with formal training and experience gained in part-time or seasonal recreation jobs. Those with graduate degrees should have the best opportunities for supervisory or administrative posi­ tions. Opportunities are expected to be better for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors because of relatively rapid growth in em­ ployment. Job openings for both recreation and fitness workers also will stem from the need to replace the large numbers of work­ ers who leave these occupations each year. The recreation field provides a large number of temporary, sea­ sonal jobs. These positions, which typically are filled by high school or college students, generally do not have formal education require­ ments and are open to anyone with the desired personal qualities. Employers compete for a share of the vacationing student labor force and, although salaries in recreation often are lower than those in other fields, the nature of the work and the opportunity to work outdoors are attractive to many. Seasonal employment prospects as program directors should be best for applicants with specialized training and certification in certain activities, such as swimming. Overall employment of recreation and fitness workers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010, as increasing numbers of people spend more time and money on lei­ sure and fitness services. Average employment growth is projected for recreation workers—reflecting growth in local government and civic and social associations, industries that employ about half of all recreation workers. Employment of fitness workers—who are concentrated in the rapidly growing amusement and recreation ser­ vices industry—is expected to increase much faster than average due to rising interest in personal training, aerobics instruction, and other fitness activities. Projected job growth stems, in part, from rising demand for rec­ reational and fitness activities for older adults in senior centers, retirement communities, and other settings. In order to prevent many illnesses, such as heart disease, strokes, and arthritis, the general population has increasingly sought the benefits of exercise and its effects on overall health and well-being. In addition, more workers will be needed to develop and lead activity programs in halfway houses, children’s homes, and daycare programs for people with special needs. Recreation and fitness jobs also will continue to increase as more businesses recognize the benefits of recreation and fitness programs and other services such as wellness programs. Job growth also will occur in amusement parks, athletic clubs, camps, sports clinics, and swimming pools.  Service Occupations 339  Earnings Median hourly earnings of recreation workers who worked full time in 2000 were $8.24. The middle 50 percent earned between about $6.75 and $10.65, while the top 10 percent earned $14.61 or more. However, earnings of recreation directors and others in supervisory or managerial positions can be substantially higher. Most public and private recreation agencies provide full-time recreation work­ ers with typical benefits; part-time workers receive few, if any, ben­ efits. Hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest number of recreation workers in 2000 were: Nursing and personal care facilities.............................................. Local government, except education and hospitals....................... Individual and family services........................................................ Civic and social associations.......................................................... Miscellaneous amusement and recreation services.......................  $8.70 8.40 8.27  7.62 7.46  Median hourly earnings of fitness trainers and aerobics instruc­ tors in 2000 were $10.96. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.65 and $17.84, while the top 10 percent earned $25.98 or more. In 2000, earnings of these workers in the miscellaneous amusement and recreation services industry, which includes commercial fitness clubs, were $12.22 an hour; fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in civic and social associations earned $9.03. Earnings for success­ ful self-employed personal trainers can be much higher.  Related Occupations Recreation workers must exhibit leadership and sensitivity when dealing with people. Other occupations that require similar personal qualities include counselors, probation officers and correctional treat­ ment specialists, psychologists, recreational therapists, and social workers. Occupations that focus on physical fitness, as do fitness workers, include athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers. Sources of Additional Information For information on jobs in recreation, contact employers such as local government departments of parks and recreation, nursing and personal care facilities, local YMCAs, or the Boy or Girl Scouts. Ordering information for materials describing careers and aca­ demic programs in recreation is available from: >■ National Recreation and Park Association, Division of Professional Services, 22377 Belmont Ridge Rd., Ashbum, VA 20148. Internet:  http://www.activeparks.org For information on careers and certification in the fitness field, contact: >- American Council on Exercise, 5820 Oberlin Dr., Suite 102, San Diego, CA 92121-3787. Internet: http://www.acefltness.org ► American College of Sports Medicine, P.O. Box 1440, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1440. Internet: http://www.acsm.org ► National Strength and Conditioning Association, 1955 North Union Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80909. Internet: http://www.nsca-lift.org  Protective Service Occupations Correctional Officers (0*NET 33-1011.00, 33-3011.00, 33-3012.00)  • • •  Significant Points The work can be stressful and hazardous. Job opportunities are expected to be excellent, due to fast growth and high replacement needs. Most jobs are in prisons in rural areas or in large regional jails.  Nature of the Work Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been con­ victed of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a jail, reformatory, or penitentiary. They maintain security and inmate accountability to prevent disturbances, assaults, or escapes. Officers have no law enforcement responsibilities outside the institution where they work. (For more information on related occupations, see the statements on police and detectives and probation officers and correctional treatment specialists elsewhere in the Handbook.) Police and sheriffs’ departments in county and municipal jails or precinct station houses employ many correctional officers, also known as detention officers. Most of the approximately 3,300 jails in the United States are operated by county governments, with about three-quarters of all jails under the jurisdiction of an elected sher­ iff. Individuals in the jail population change constantly as some are released, some are convicted and transferred to prison, and new offenders are arrested and enter the system. Correctional officers in the American jail system admit and process more than 11 million  people a year, with about half a million offenders in jail at any given https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  time. When individuals are first arrested, the jail staff may not know their true identity or criminal record, and violent detainees may be placed in the general population. This is the most dangerous phase of the incarceration process for correctional officers. Most correctional officers are employed in large jails or State and Federal prisons, watching over the approximately one million offenders who are incarcerated in Federal and State prisons at any given time. In addition to jails and prisons, a relatively small num­ ber of correctional officers oversee individuals being held by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service before they are released or deported, or they work for correctional institutions that are run by private for-profit organizations. While both jails and prisons can be dangerous places to work, prison populations are more stable than jail populations, and correctional officers in prisons know the security and custodial requirements of the prisoners with whom they are dealing. Regardless of the setting, correctional officers maintain order within the institution, and enforce rules and regulations. To help ensure that inmates are orderly and obey rules, correctional officers monitor the activities and supervise the work assignments of in­ mates. Sometimes, it is necessary for officers to search inmates and their living quarters for contraband like weapons or drugs, settle disputes between inmates, and enforce discipline. Correctional of­ ficers periodically inspect the facilities, checking cells and other areas of the institution for unsanitary conditions, contraband, fire hazards, and any evidence of infractions of rules. In addition, they routinely inspect locks, window bars, grilles, doors, and gates for signs of tampering. Finally, officers inspect mail and visitors for prohibited items. Correctional officers report orally and in writing on inmate con­ duct and on the quality and quantity of work done by inmates. Of­ ficers also report security breaches, disturbances, violations of rules, and any unusual occurrences. They usually keep a daily log or record  340 Occupational Outlook Handbook  *ro:» m  remaining jobs were in city and county jails or other institutions run by local governments. About 15,000 jobs for correctional officers were in Federal correctional institutions, and about 19,000jobs were in privately owned and managed prisons. There are 118 jail systems in the United States that house over 1,000 inmates, all of which are located in urban areas, though most correctional officers work in institutions located in rural areas with smaller inmate populations. A significant number work in jails and other facilities located in law enforcement agencies throughout the country.  mm. Correctional officers ensure the security and safety of penal facilities. of their activities. Correctional officers cannot show favoritism and must report any inmate who violates the rules. Should the situation arise, they help the responsible law enforcement authorities investi­ gate crimes committed within their institution or search for escaped inmates. In jail and prison facilities with direct supervision cellblocks, officers work unarmed. They are equipped with communications devices so that they can summon help if necessary. These officers often work in a cellblock alone, or with another officer, among the 50 to 100 inmates who reside there. The officers enforce regu­ lations primarily through their interpersonal communications skills and the use of progressive sanctions, such as loss of some privileges. In the highest security facilities where the most dangerous inmates are housed, correctional officers often monitor the activi­ ties of prisoners from a centralized control center with the aid of closed-circuit television cameras and a computer tracking system. In such an environment, the inmates may not see anyone but offic­ ers for days or weeks at a time and only leave their cells for show­ ers, solitary exercise time, or visitors. Depending on the offender’s security classification within the institution, correctional officers may have to restrain inmates in handcuffs and leg irons to safely escort them to and from cells and other areas to see authorized visitors. Officers also escort prisoners between the institution and courtrooms, medical facilities, and other destinations outside the institution. Working Conditions Working in a correctional institution can be stressful and hazard­ ous. Every year, a number of correctional officers are injured in confrontations with inmates. Correctional officers may work indoors or outdoors. Some correctional institutions are well lit, temperature controlled, and ventilated, while others are old, over­ crowded, hot, and noisy. Correctional officers usually work an 8hour day, 5 days a week, on rotating shifts. Prison and jail security must be provided around the clock, which often means that offic­ ers work all hours of the day and night, weekends, and holidays. In addition, officers may be required to work paid overtime.  Employment Correctional officers held about 457,000 jobs in 2000. Almost 6 of every 10 jobs were in State correctional institutions such as pris­  ons, prison camps, and youth correctional facilities. Most of the https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most institutions require correctional officers to be at least 18 to 21 years of age and a U.S. citizen; have a high school education or its equivalent; demonstrate job stability, usually by accumulating two years of work experience; and have no felony convictions. Promo­ tion prospects may be enhanced through obtaining a postsecondary education. Correctional officers must be in good health. Candidates for employment are generally required to meet formal standards of physical fitness, eyesight, and hearing. In addition, many jurisdic­ tions use standard tests to determine applicant suitability to work in a correctional environment. Good judgment and the ability to think and act quickly are indispensable. Applicants are typically screened for drug abuse, subject to background checks, and required to pass a written examination. Federal, State, and some local departments of corrections pro­ vide training for correctional officers based on guidelines estab­ lished by the American Correctional Association and the American Jail Association. Some States have regional training academies which are available to local agencies. All States and local correc­ tional agencies provide on-the-job training at the conclusion of for­ mal instruction, including legal restrictions and interpersonal relations. Many systems require firearms proficiency and self-de­ fense skills. Officer trainees typically receive several weeks or months of training in an actual job setting under the supervision of an experienced officer. However, specific entry requirements and on-the-job training vary widely from agency to agency. Academy trainees generally receive instruction on a number of subjects, including institutional policies, regulations, and operations, as well as custody and security procedures. As a condition of em­ ployment, new Federal correctional officers must undergo 200 hours of formal training within the first year of employment. They also must complete 120 hours of specialized training at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons residential training center at Glynco, Georgia within the first 60 days after appointment. Experienced officers receive annual in-service training to keep abreast of new develop­ ments and procedures. Some correctional officers are members of prison tactical re­ sponse teams, which are trained to respond to disturbances, riots, hostage situations, forced cell moves, and other potentially danger­ ous confrontations. Team members receive training and practice with weapons, chemical agents, forced entry methods, crisis man­ agement, and other tactics. With education, experience, and training, qualified officers may advance to correctional sergeant. Correctional sergeants supervise correctional officers and usually are responsible for maintaining security and directing the activities of other officers during an as­ signed shift or in an assigned area. Ambitious and qualified correc­ tional officers can be promoted to supervisory or administrative positions all the way up to warden. Officers sometimes transfer to related areas, such as probation officer, parole officer, or correc­ tional treatment specialist.  Service Occupations 341  Job Outlook Job opportunities for correctional officers are expected to be excel­ lent through 2010. The need to replace correctional officers who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force, coupled with rising employment demand, will generate thousands of job openings each year. In the past, some local and State corrections agencies have experienced difficulty in attracting and keeping quali­ fied applicants, largely due to relatively low salaries and the con­ centration of jobs in rural locations. This situation is expected to continue. Employment of correctional officers is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2010, as addi­ tional officers are hired to supervise and control a growing inmate population. The adoption of mandatory sentencing guidelines call­ ing for longer sentences and reduced parole for inmates will con­ tinue to spur demand for correctional officers. Moreover, expansion and new construction of corrections facilities also are expected to create many new jobs for correctional officers, although State and local government budgetary constraints could affect the rate at which new facilities are built and staffed. Some employment oppor­ tunities also will arise in the private sector as public authorities contract with private companies to provide and staff corrections facilities. Layoffs of correctional officers are rare because of increasing offender populations. While officers are allowed to join bargain­ ing units, they are not allowed to strike. Earnings Median annual earnings of correctional officers were $31,170 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,650 and $40,100. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,010, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $49,310. Median annual earnings in the public sector were $37,430 in the Federal Government, $31,860 in State government, and $29,240 in local government. In the man­ agement and public relations industry, where officers employed by privately operated prisons are classified, median annual earnings were $21,600. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the starting salary for Federal correctional officers was about $27,000 a year in 2001. Starting Federal salaries were slightly higher in selected areas where prevailing local pay levels were higher. Median annual earnings of first-line supervisors/managers of correctional officers were $41,880 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,460 and $55,540. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $67,280. Median annual earnings were $40,560 in State govern­ ment and $49,680 in local government. In addition to typical benefits, correctional officers employed in the public sector usually are provided with uniforms or a clothing allowance to purchase their own uniforms. Civil service systems or merit boards cover officers employed by the Federal Government and most State governments. Their retirement coverage entitles them to retire at age 50 after 20 years of service or at any age with 25 years of service. Related Occupations A number of options are available to those interested in careers in protective services and security. Security guards and gaming sur­ veillance officers protect people and property against theft, vandal­ ism, illegal entry, and fire. Police and detectives maintain law and order, prevent crime, and arrest offenders. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists monitor and counsel offenders in the community and evaluate their progress in becoming productive  members of society. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Sources of Additional Information Information about correctional jobs in a jail setting is available from: ► The American Jail Association, 2053 Day Rd., Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740. Internet: http://www.corrections.coin/aja/index.html Information on entrance requirements, training, and career op­ portunities for correctional officers at the Federal level may be ob­ tained by calling the Federal Bureau of Prisons at (800) 347-7744. Internet: http://www.bop.gov. Information on obtaining a position as a correctional officer with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) through a telephone-based system. Consult your telephone directory under U.S. Government for a local number or call (912) 757-3000; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339. The first number is not tollfree and charges may result. Information also is available from the OPM Internet site: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov.  Firefighting Occupations (0**NET 33-1021.01, 33-1021.02, 33-2011.01, 33-2011.02, 33-2021 01 33-2021.02, 33-2022.00)  • •  Significant Points Firefighting involves hazardous conditions and long, irregular hours. Keen competition for jobs is expected; many people are attracted to the occupation because it provides considerable job security and the opportunity to perform an essential public service.  Nature of the Work Every year, fires and other emergencies take thousands of lives and destroy property worth billions of dollars. Firefighters help protect the public against these dangers by rapidly responding to a variety of emergencies. They are frequently the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident or medical emergency and may be called upon to put out a fire, treat injuries, or perform other vital functions. During duty hours, firefighters must be prepared to respond immediately to a fire or any other emergency that arises. Because fighting fires is dangerous and complex, it requires organization and teamwork. At every emergency scene, firefighters perform spe­ cific duties assigned by a superior officer. At fires, they connect hose lines to hydrants, operate a pump to send water to high pres­ sure hoses, and position ladders to enable them to deliver water to the fire. They also rescue victims and provide emergency medical attention as needed, ventilate smoke-filled areas, and attempt to salvage the contents of buildings. Their duties may change several times while the company is in action. Sometimes they remain at the site of a disaster for days at a time, rescuing trapped survivors and assisting with medical treatment. Firefighters have assumed a range of responsibilities, including emergency medical services. In fact, most calls to which firefighters respond involve medical emergencies, and about half of all fire departments provide ambulance service for victims. Firefighters receive training in emergency medical procedures, and many fire departments require them to be certified as emergency medical tech­ nicians. (For more information, see the Handbook statement on emergency medical technicians and paramedics.) Firefighters work in a variety of settings, including urban and suburban areas, airports, chemical plants, other industrial sites, and  342 Occupational Outlook Handbook gt ljfa*S,jBL3| 4 : |  •=>  i  lliliill I *.llllw* '. - m Firefighters secure their equipment after responding to afire.  rural areas like grasslands and forests. In addition, some firefighters work in hazardous materials units that are trained for the control, prevention, and cleanup of oil spills and other hazardous materials incidents. (For more information, see the Handbook statement on hazardous material removal workers.) Workers in urban and subur­ ban areas, airports, and industrial sites typically use conventional firefighting equipment and tactics, while forest fires and major haz­ ardous materials spills call for different methods. In national forests and parks, forestfire inspectors atid preven­ tion specialists spot fires from watchtowers and report their find­ ings to headquarters by telephone or radio. Forest rangers patrol to ensure travelers and campers comply with fire regulations. When fires break out, crews of firefighters are brought in to suppress the blaze using heavy equipment, handtools, and water hoses. Forest firefighting, like urban firefighting, can be rigorous work. One of the most effective means of battling the blaze is by creating fire lines through cutting down trees and digging out grass and all other combustible vegetation, creating bare land in the path of the fire that deprives it of fuel. Elite firefighters, called smoke jumpers, parachute from airplanes to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. This can be extremely hazardous because the crews have no way to escape if the wind shifts and causes the fire to burn toward them. Between alarms, firefighters clean and maintain equipment, con­ duct practice drills and fire inspections, and participate in physical fitness activities. They also prepare written reports on fire inci­ dents and review fire science literature to keep abreast of techno­ logical developments and changing administrative practices and policies. . . . Most fire departments have a fire prevention division, usually headed by a fire marshall and staffed by fire inspectors. Workers in this division conduct inspections of structures to prevent fires and ensure fire code compliance. These firefighters also work with de­ velopers and planners to check and approve plans for new build­ ings. Fire prevention personnel often speak on these subjects in schools and before public assemblies and civic organizations. Some firefighters become fire investigators, who determine the origin and causes of fires. They collect evidence, interview wit­ nesses, and prepare reports on fires in cases where the cause may be arson or criminal negligence. They often are called upon to testify in court. Working Conditions Firefighters spend much of their time at fire stations, which usually   have features common to a residential facility like a dormitory. When https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  an alarm sounds, firefighters respond rapidly, regardless of the weather or hour. Firefighting involves risk of death or injury from sudden cave-ins of floors, toppling walls, traffic accidents when responding to calls, and exposure to flames and smoke. Firefighters may also come in contact with poisonous, flammable, or explosive gases and chemicals, as well as radioactive or other hazardous ma­ terials that may have immediate or long-term effects on their health. For these reasons, they must wear protective gear that can be very heavy and hot. Work hours of firefighters are longer and vary more widely than hours of most other workers. Many work more than 50 hours a week, and sometimes they may work even longer. In some agen­ cies, they are on duty for 24 hours, then off for 48 hours, and receive an extra day off at intervals. In others, they work a day shift of 10 hours for 3 or 4 days, a night shift of 14 hours for 3 or 4 nights, have 3 or 4 days off, and then repeat the cycle. In addition, firefighters often work extra hours at fires and other emergencies and are regu­ larly assigned to work on holidays. Fire lieutenants and fire cap­ tains often work the same hours as the firefighters they supervise. Duty hours include time when firefighters study, train, and perform fire prevention duties. Employment Employment figures in this Handbook statement include only paid career firefighters—they do not cover volunteer firefighters, who perform the same duties and may comprise the majority of firefighters in a residential area. Paid career firefighters held about 258,000jobs in 2000. First-line supervisors/managers of firefighting and prevention workers held about 62,000 jobs; and fire inspectors held about 13,000. More than 9 out of 10 worked in municipal or county fire departments. Some large cities have thousands of ca­ reer firefighters, while many small towns have only a few. Most of the remainder worked in fire departments on Federal and State in­ stallations, including airports. Private firefighting companies em­ ploy a small number of firefighters and usually operate on a subscription basis. In response to the expanding role of firefighters, some munici­ palities have combined fire prevention, public fire education, safety, and emergency medical services into a single organization com­ monly referred to as a public safety organization. Some local and regional fire departments are being consolidated into countywide establishments in order to reduce administrative staffs and cut costs, and to establish consistent training standards and work procedures. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Applicants for municipal firefighting jobs generally must pass a written exam; tests of strength, physical stamina, coordination, and agility; and a medical examination that includes drug screening. Workers may be monitored on a random basis for drug use after accepting employment. Examinations are generally open to per­ sons who are at least 18 years of age and have a high school educa­ tion or the equivalent. Those who receive the highest scores in all phases of testing have the best chances for appointment. The completion of community college courses in fire science may improve an applicant’s chances for appointment. In recent years, an increasing proportion of entrants to this occupation has had some postsecondary education. As a rule, entry-level workers in large fire departments are trained for several weeks at the department’s training center or academy. Through classroom instruction and practical training, the recruits study firefighting techniques, fire prevention, hazardous materials control, local building codes, and emergency medical procedures, including first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They also learn how to use axes, chain saws, fire extinguishers, ladders, and  Service Occupations 343  other firefighting and rescue equipment. After successfully com­ pleting this training, they are assigned to a fire company, where they undergo a period of probation. A number of fire departments have accredited apprenticeship programs lasting up to 5 years. These programs combine formal, technical instruction with on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced firefighters. Technical instruction covers subjects such as firefighting techniques and equipment, chemical hazards associated with various combustible building materials, emergency medical procedures, and fire prevention and safety. Fire depart­ ments frequently conduct training programs, and some firefighters attend training sessions sponsored by the U.S. National Fire Acad­ emy. These training sessions cover topics including executive de­ velopment, anti-arson techniques, disaster preparedness, hazardous materials control, and public fire safety and education. Some States also have extensive firefighter training and certification programs. In addition, a number of colleges and universities offer courses lead­ ing to 2- or 4-year degrees in fire engineering or fire science. Many fire departments offer firefighters incentives such as tuition reim­ bursement or higher pay for completing advanced training. Among the personal qualities firefighters need are mental alert­ ness, self-discipline, courage, mechanical aptitude, endurance, strength, and a sense of public service. Initiative and good judg­ ment are also extremely important because firefighters make quick decisions in emergencies. Because members of a crew live and work closely together under conditions of stress and danger for ex­ tended periods, they must be dependable and able to get along well with others. Leadership qualities are necessary for officers, who must establish and maintain discipline and efficiency, as well as direct the activities of firefighters in their companies. Most experienced firefighters continue studying to improve their job performance and prepare for promotion examinations. To progress to higher level positions, they acquire expertise in advanced firefighting equipment and techniques, building construction, emer­ gency medical technology, writing, public speaking, management and budgeting procedures, and public relations. Opportunities for promotion depend upon written examination results, job performance, interviews, and seniority. Increasingly, fire departments use assessment centers, which simulate a variety of actual job performance tasks, to screen for the best candidates for promo­ tion. The line of promotion usually is to engineer, lieutenant, cap­ tain, battalion chief, assistant chief, deputy chief, and finally to chief. Many fire departments now require a bachelor’s degree, preferably in fire science, public administration, or a related field, for promo­ tion to positions higher than battalion chief. A master’s degree is required for executive fire officer certification from the National Fire Academy and for State chief officer certification. Job Outlook Prospective firefighters are expected to face keen competition for available job openings. Many people are attracted to firefighting because it is challenging and provides the opportunity to perform an essential public service, a high school education is usually suffi­ cient for entry, and a pension is guaranteed upon retirement after 20 years. Consequently, the number of qualified applicants in most areas exceeds the number ofjob openings, even though the written examination and physical requirements eliminate many applicants. This situation is expected to persist in coming years. Employment of firefighters is expected to increase more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010 as fire depart­ ments continue to compete with other public safety providers for funding. Most job growth will occur as volunteer firefighting po­ sitions are converted to paid positions. In addition to job growth,  openings are expected to result from the need to replace firefighters https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  who retire, stop working for other reasons, or transfer to other occupations. Layoffs of firefighters are uncommon. Fire protection is an es­ sential service, and citizens are likely to exert considerable pressure on local officials to expand or at least preserve the level of fire protection. Even when budget cuts do occur, local fire departments usually cut expenses by postponing equipment purchases or not hir­ ing new firefighters, rather than by laying off staff. Earnings Median hourly earnings of firefighters were $16.43 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $ 11.82 and $21.75. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.03, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.58. Median hourly earnings were $16.71 in local government and $15.00 in Federal government. Median annual earnings of first-line supervisors/managers of firefighting and prevention workers were $51,990 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $40,920 and $64,760. The low­ est 10 percent earned less than $31,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,700. First-line supervisors/managers of firefighting and prevention workers employed in local government earned about $52,390 a year in 2000. Median annual earnings of fire inspectors and investigators were $41,630 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $31,630 and $53,130 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,790, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $65,030. Fire inspec­ tors and investigators employed in local government earned about $44,030 a year. Median annual earnings of forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists were $32,140 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,930 and $41,150ayear. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,060, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,680. The International City-County Management Association’s annual Police and Fire Personnel, Salaries, and Expenditures Survey revealed that 89 percent of the municipalities surveyed provided fire protection services in 2000. The following 2000 salaries per­ tain to sworn full-time positions.  Fire chief................................... .... Deputy chief......................... ... Battalion chief............................ .... Assistant fire chief.......................... Fire captain........................... ... Fire lieutenant.......................... ... Fire prevention/code inspector..... .... Engineer............................. .... Firefighter.................................. ....  Minimum annual average base salary  Maximum annual average base salary  $58,156 52,174 50,164 48,391 41,816 38,875 37,142 35,090 29,316  $74,749 65,112 62,309 60,179 50,848 46,327 46,798 44,310 39,477  Firefighters who average more than a certain number of hours a week are required to be paid overtime. The hours threshold is deter­ mined by the department during the firefighter’s work period, which ranges from 7 to 28 days. Firefighters often earn overtime for work­ ing extra shifts to maintain minimum staffing levels or for special emergencies. Firefighters receive benefits usually including medical and lia­ bility insurance, vacation and sick leave, and some paid holidays. Almost all fire departments provide protective clothing (helmets, boots, and coats) and breathing apparatus, and many also provide dress uniforms. Firefighters are generally covered by pension plans, often providing retirement at half pay after 25 years of service or if disabled in the line of duty.  344 Occupational Outlook Handbook Related Occupations Like firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics and police and detectives respond to emergencies and save lives. Sources of Additional Information Information about a career as a firefighter may be obtained from local fire departments and from: > International Association of Firefighters, 1750 New York Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20006. Internet: http://www.iaff.org/iaff/index.html ► U.S. Fire Administration, 16825 South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg, MD 21727.  i  Information about firefighter professional qualifications and a list of colleges and universities offering 2- or 4-year degree pro­ grams in fire science or fire prevention may be obtained from: >- National Fire Academy, Degrees at a Distance Program, 16825 South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg, MD 21727. Internet: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/nfa/index.htm  Police and Detectives^ ____ ______ (0**NET 33-1012.00, 33-3021.01, 33-3021.02, 33-3021.03, 33-3021.04, 33-3021.05, 33-3031.00, 33-3051.01, 33-3051.02, 33-3051.03, 33­ 3052.00)  ________  Significant Points  • •  •  Police work can be dangerous and stressful. The number of qualified candidates exceeds the number of job openings in Federal and State law enforcement agencies but is inadequate to meet growth and replacement needs in many local and special police departments. The largest number of employment opportunities will arise in urban communities with relatively low salaries and high crime rates.  Nature of the Work People depend on police officers and detectives to protect their lives and property. Law enforcement officers, some of whom are State or Federal special agents or inspectors, perform these duties in a variety of ways, depending on the size and type of their organiza­ tion. In most jurisdictions, they are expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 65 percent of State and local law enforcement officers are uniformed personnel. Uniformed police officers who work in municipal police depart­ ments of various sizes, small communities, and rural areas have general law enforcement duties including maintaining regular pa­ trols and responding to calls for service. They may direct traffic at the scene of a fire, investigate a burglary, or give first aid to an accident victim. In large police departments, officers usually are assigned to a specific type of duty. Many urban police agencies are becoming more involved in community policing a practice in which an officer builds relationships with the citizens of local neigh­ borhoods and mobilizes the public to help fight crime. Police agencies are usually organized into geographic districts, with uniformed officers assigned to patrol a specific area, such as part of the business district or outlying residential neighborhoods. Officers may work alone, but in large agencies they often patrol with a partner. While on patrol, officers attempt to become thor­ oughly familiar with their patrol area and remain alert for anything unusual. Suspicious circumstances and hazards to public safety are Digitizedinvestigated for FRASERor noted, and officers are dispatched to individual calls https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  for assistance within their district. During their shift, they may iden­ tify, pursue, and arrest suspected criminals, resolve problems within the community, and enforce traffic laws. Public college and university police forces, public school dis­ trict police, and agencies serving transportation systems and facili­ ties are examples of special police agencies. There are more than 1,300 of these agencies with special geographic jurisdictions or enforcement responsibilities in the United States. More than 75 percent of the sworn personnel in special agencies are uniformed officers, and about 15 percent are investigators. Some police officers specialize in such diverse fields as chemi­ cal and microscopic analysis, training and firearms instruction, or handwriting and fingerprint identification. Others work with spe­ cial units such as horseback, bicycle, motorcycle or harbor patrol, canine corps, or special weapons and tactics (SWAT) or emergency response teams. About 10 percent of local and special law enforce­ ment officers perform jail-related duties, and around 4 percent work in courts. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers and detectives at all levels must write reports and maintain meticulous records that will be needed if they testify in court. Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs enforce the law on the county level. Sheriffs are usually elected to their posts and perform duties similar to those of a local or county police chief. Sheriffs’ departments tend to be relatively small, most having fewer than 25 sworn offic­ ers. A deputy sheriff in a large agency will have law enforcement duties similar to those of officers in urban police departments. Nationwide, about 40 percent of full-time sworn deputies are uni­ formed officers assigned to patrol and respond to calls, 12 percent are investigators, 30 percent are assigned to jail-related duties, and 11 percent perform court-related duties, with the balance in admin­ istration. Police and sheriffs’ deputies who provide security in city and county courts are sometimes called bailiffs. (For information on other officers who work in jails and prisons see correctional officers elsewhere in the Handbook.) State police officers (sometimes called State troopers or high­ way patrol officers) arrest criminals Statewide and patrol highways to enforce motor vehicle laws and regulations. Uniformed officers are best known for issuing traffic citations to motorists who violate the law. At the scene of accidents, they may direct traffic, give first aid, and call for emergency equipment. They also write reports used to determine the cause of the accident. State police officers are frequently called upon to render assistance to other law enforce­ ment agencies, especially those in rural areas or small towns. State law enforcement agencies operate in every State except Hawaii. Seventy percent of the full-time sworn personnel in the 49 State police agencies are uniformed officers who regularly patrol and respond to calls for service. Fifteen percent are investigators; 2 percent are assigned to court-related duties; and the remaining 13 percent work in administrative or other assignments. Detectives are plainclothes investigators who gather facts and collect evidence for criminal cases. Some are assigned to inter­ agency task forces to combat specific types of crime. They conduct interviews, examine records, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids or arrests. Detectives and State and Federal agents and inspectors usually specialize in one of a wide variety of viola­ tions such as homicide or fraud. They are assigned cases on a rotat­ ing basis and work on them until an arrest and conviction occurs or the case is dropped. The Federal Government maintains a high profile in many areas of law enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice is the largest employer of sworn Federal officers. Federal Bureau of Investi­ gation (FBI) agents are the Government’s principal investi­ gators, responsible for investigating violations of more than 260 statutes and conducting sensitive national security investigations.  Agents may conduct surveillance, monitor court-authorized wire­ taps, examine business records, investigate white-collar crime, track the interstate movement of stolen property, collect evidence of espionage activities, or participate in sensitive undercover assign­ ments. The FBI investigates organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, fraud against the government, bribery, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kid­ napping, air piracy, terrorism, espionage, interstate criminal activ­ ity, drug trafficking, and other violations of Federal statutes. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents enforce laws and regulations relating to illegal drugs. Not only is the DEA the lead agency for domestic enforcement of Federal drug laws, it also has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing U.S. dmg investigations abroad. Agents may conduct complex criminal in­ vestigations, carry out surveillance of criminals, and infiltrate illicit drug organizations using undercover techniques. U.S. marshals and deputy marshals protect the Federal courts and ensure the effective operation of the judicial system. They pro­ vide protection for the Federal judiciary, transport Federal prison­ ers, protect Federal witnesses, and manage assets seized from criminal enterprises. They enjoy the widest jurisdiction of any Fed­ eral law enforcement agency and are involved to some degree in nearly all Federal law enforcement efforts. In addition, U.S. mar­ shals pursue and arrest Federal fugitives. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents and inspectors facilitate the entry of legal visitors and immigrants to the United States and detain and deport those arriving illegally. They consist of border patrol agents, immigration inspectors, criminal investigators and immigration agents, and detention and deporta­ tion officers. Nearly half of sworn INS officers are border patrol agents. U.S. Border Patrol agents protect more than 8,000 miles of international land and water boundaries. Their missions are to de­ tect and prevent the smuggling and unlawful entry of undocumented foreign nationals into the United States, apprehend those persons found in violation of the immigration laws, and interdict contra­ band, such as narcotics. Immigration inspectors interview and ex­ amine people seeking entrance to the United States and its territories. They inspect passports to determine whether people are legally eli­ gible to enter the United States. Immigration inspectors also pre­ pare reports, maintain records, and process applications and petitions for immigration or temporary residence in the United States. Special agents and inspectors employed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury work for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Fire­ arms; the Customs Service; and the Secret Service. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agents regulate and investi­ gate violations of Federal firearms and explosives laws, as well as Federal alcohol and tobacco tax regulations. Customs agents investigate violations of narcotics smuggling, money laundering, child pornography, customs fraud, and enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act. Domestic and foreign investigations involve the development and use of informants, physical and electronic sur­ veillance, and examination of records from importers/exporters, banks, couriers, and manufacturers. They conduct interviews, serve on joint task forces with other agencies, and get and execute search warrants. Customs inspectors inspect cargo, baggage, and articles worn or carried by people and carriers including vessels, vehicles, trains and aircraft entering or leaving the United States to enforce laws gov­ erning imports and exports. These inspectors examine, count, weigh, gauge, measure, and sample commercial and noncommercial car­ goes entering and leaving the United States. Customs inspectors seize prohibited or smuggled articles, intercept contraband, and apprehend, search, detain, and arrest violators of U.S. laws. U.S.  Secret Service special agents protect the President, Vice President, https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Service Occupations 345  *  Police and detectives collect evidence at crime scenes.  and their immediate families; Presidential candidates; former Presi­ dents; and foreign dignitaries visiting the United States. Secret Service agents also investigate counterfeiting, forgery of Govern­ ment checks or bonds, and fraudulent use of credit cards. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security special agents are engaged in the battle against terrorism. Over­ seas, they advise ambassadors on all security matters and manage a complex range of security programs designed to protect person­ nel, facilities, and information. In the United States, they inves­ tigate passport and visa fraud, conduct personnel security investigations, issue security clearances, and protect the Secretary of State and a number of foreign dignitaries. They also train foreign civilian police and administer a counter-terrorism reward program. Other Federal agencies employ police and special agents with sworn arrest powers and the authority to carry firearms. These agen­ cies include the U.S. Postal Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Law Enforcement under the U.S. Department of the Inte­ rior, the U.S. Forest Service under the U.S. Department ofAgricul­ ture, the National Park Service under the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Federal Air Marshals under the U.S. Department of Transportation. Other police agencies have evolved from the need for security for the agency’s property and personnel. The largest such agency is the General Services Administration’s Federal Pro­ tective Service, which provides security for Federal workers, build­ ings, and property.  346 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Working Conditions Police work can be very dangerous and stressful. In addition to the obvious dangers of confrontations with criminals, officers need to be constantly alert and ready to deal appropriately with a number of other threatening situations. Many law enforcement officers wit­ ness death and suffering resulting from accidents and criminal be­ havior. A career in law enforcement may take a toll on officers’ private lives. Uniformed officers, detectives, agents, and inspectors are usu­ ally scheduled to work 40-hour weeks, but paid overtime is com­ mon. Shiftwork is necessary because protection must be provided around the clock. Junior officers frequently work weekends, holi­ days, and nights. Police officers and detectives are required to work at any time their services are needed and may work long hours dur­ ing investigations. In most jurisdictions, whether on or off duty, officers are expected to be armed and to exercise their arrest au­ thority whenever necessary. The jobs of some Federal agents such as U.S. Secret Service and DEA special agents require extensive travel, often on very short notice. They may relocate a number of times over the course of their careers. Some special agents in agencies such as the U.S. Border Patrol work outdoors in rugged terrain for long periods and in all kinds of weather. Employment Police and detectives held about 834,000 jobs in 2000. About 80 percent were employed by local governments. State police agen­ cies employed about 13 percent and various Federal agencies em­ ployed about 6 percent. A small proportion worked for schools, railroads, transit agencies, or private detective, guard, and armored car services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, police and detectives employed by local governments primarily worked in cit­ ies with more than 25,000 inhabitants. Some cities have very large police forces, while thousands of small communities employ fewer than 25 officers each. Forty-six local, special, and State agencies employed 1,000 or more full-time sworn officers, while approxi­ mately 7,000 departments employed fewer than 10 each. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Civil service regulations govern the appointment of police and detec­ tives in practically all States, large municipalities, and special po­ lice agencies, as well as in many smaller ones. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, usually at least 20 years of age, and must meet rigor­ ous physical and personal qualifications. In the Federal Govern­ ment, candidates must be at least 21 years of age but less than 37 years of age at the time of appointment. Physical examinations for entrance into law enforcement often include tests of vision, hear­ ing, strength, and agility. Eligibility for appointment usually de­ pends on performance in competitive written examinations and previous education and experience. In larger departments, where the majority of law enforcement jobs are found, applicants usually must have at least a high school education. Federal and State agen­ cies typically require a college degree. Candidates should enjoy working with people and meeting the public. Because personal characteristics such as honesty, sound judg­ ment, integrity, and a sense of responsibility are especially impor­ tant in law enforcement, candidates are interviewed by senior officers, and their character traits and backgrounds are investigated. In some agencies, candidates are interviewed by a psychiatrist or a psychologist, or given a personality test. Most applicants are sub­ jected to lie detector examinations or drug testing. Some agencies sworn personnel to random drug testing as a condition of Digitized subject for FRASER https://fraser.stlouisfed.org continuing employment. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Before their first assignments, officers usually go through a period of training. In State and large local departments, recruits get train­ ing in their agency’s police academy, often for 12 to 14 weeks. In small agencies, recruits often attend a regional or State academy. Training includes classroom instruction in constitutional law and civil rights, State laws and local ordinances, and accident investi­ gation. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in patrol, traffic control, use of firearms, self-defense, first aid, and emergency response. Police departments in some large cities hire high school graduates who are still in their teens as police cadets or trainees. They do clerical work and attend classes, usually for 1 to 2 years, at which point they reach the minimum age requirement and may be appointed to the regular force. Police officers usually become eligible for promotion after a pro­ bationary period ranging from 6 months to 3 years. In a large de­ partment, promotion may enable an officer to become a detective or specialize in one type of police work, such as working with juve­ niles. Promotions to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain usu­ ally are made according to a candidate’s position on a promotion list, as determined by scores on a written examination and on-thejob performance. The FBI has the largest number of special agents. To be consid­ ered for appointment as an FBI agent, an applicant either must be a graduate of an accredited law school or a college graduate with a major in accounting, fluency in a foreign language, or 3 years of related full-time work experience. All new agents undergo 16 weeks of training at the FBI academy on the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. Applicants for special agent jobs with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms must have a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 3 years related work experience. Prospective special agents undergo 10 weeks of initial criminal investigation training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, and another 17 weeks of specialized training with their particular agencies. Applicants for special agent jobs with the U.S. Drug Enforce­ ment Administration (DEA) must have a college degree and either 1 year of experience conducting criminal investigations, 1 year of graduate school, or have achieved at least a 2.95 grade point aver­ age while in college. DEA special agents undergo 14 weeks of specialized training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. U.S. Border Patrol agents must be U.S. citizens, younger than 37 years of age at the time of appointment, possess a valid driver’s license, and pass a three-part examination on reasoning and lan­ guage skills. A bachelor’s degree or previous work experience that demonstrates the ability to handle stressful situations, make deci­ sions, and take charge is required for a position as a Border Patrol agent. Applicants may qualify through a combination of education and work experience. Postal inspectors must have a bachelor’s degree and 1 year of related work experience. It is desirable that they have one of sev­ eral professional certifications, such as that of certified public ac­ countant. They also must pass a background suitability investigation, meet certain health requirements, undergo a drug screening test, possess a valid State driver’s license, and be a U.S. citizen between 21 and 36 years of age when hired. Law enforcement agencies are encouraging applicants to take postsecondary school training in law enforcement-related subjects. Many entry-level applicants for police jobs have completed some formal postsecondary education and a significant number are col­ lege graduates. Many junior colleges, colleges, and universities of­ fer programs in law enforcement or administration ofjustice. Other courses helpful in preparing for a career in law enforcement include accounting, finance, electrical engineering, computer science, and  Service Occupations 347  foreign languages. Physical education and sports are helpful in de­ veloping the competitiveness, stamina, and agility needed for many law enforcement positions. Knowledge of a foreign language is an asset in many Federal agencies and urban departments. Continuing training helps police officers, detectives, and spe­ cial agents improve their job performance. Through police depart­ ment academies, regional centers for public safety employees established by the States, and Federal agency training centers, in­ structors provide annual training in self-defense tactics, firearms, use-of-force policies, sensitivity and communications skills, crowdcontrol techniques, relevant legal developments, and advances in law enforcement equipment. Many agencies pay all or part of the tuition for officers to work toward degrees in criminal justice, po­ lice science, administration ofjustice, or public administration, and pay higher salaries to those who earn such a degree. Job Outlook The opportunity for public service through law enforcement work is attractive to many because the job is challenging and involves much personal responsibility. Furthermore, law enforcement offic­ ers in many agencies may retire with a pension after 20 or 25 years of service, allowing them to pursue a second career while still in their 40s. Because of relatively attractive salaries and benefits, the number of qualified candidates exceeds the number of job open­ ings in Federal law enforcement agencies and in most State police departments—resulting in increased hiring standards and selectiv­ ity by employers. Competition is expected to remain keen for the higher paying jobs with State and Federal agencies and police de­ partments in more affluent areas. Opportunities will be better in local and special police departments, especially in departments that offer relatively low salaries or urban communities where the crime rate is relatively high. Applicants with college training in police science, military police experience, or both should have the best opportunities. Employment ofpolice and detectives is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. A more secu­ rity-conscious society and concern about drug-related crimes should contribute to the increasing demand for police services. At the lo­ cal and State levels, growth is likely to continue as long as crime remains a serious concern. However, employment growth at the Federal level will be tempered by continuing budgetary constraints faced by law enforcement agencies. The level of government spending determines the level of em­ ployment for police officers, detectives, and special agents. The number of job opportunities, therefore, can vary from year to year and from place to place. Layoffs, on the other hand, are rare be­ cause retirements enable most staffing cuts to be handled through attrition. Trained law enforcement officers who lose their jobs be­ cause of budget cuts usually have little difficulty finding jobs with other agencies. The need to replace workers who retire, transfer to other occupations, or stop working for other reasons will be the source of many job openings. Earnings Police and sheriff’s patrol officers had median annual earnings of $39,790 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $30,460 and $50,230. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,790, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $58,900. Median annual earnings were $44,400 in State government, $39,710 in local gov­ ernment, and $37,760 in Federal Government. In 2000, median annual earnings of police and detective super­ visors were $57,210. The middle 50 percent earned between $43,630 and $70,680. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,660, and  the highest 10 percent earned more than $86,060. Median annual https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  earnings were $74,070 in Federal Government, $57,030 in local government, and $53,960 in State government. In 2000, median annual earnings of detectives and criminal in­ vestigators were $48,870. The middle 50 percent earned between $37,240 and $61,750. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,600, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $72,160. Median annual earnings were $61,180 in Federal Government, $46,340 in local government, and $43,050 in State government. Federal law provides special salary rates to Federal employees who serve in law enforcement. Additionally, Federal special agents and inspectors receive law enforcement availability pay (LEAP)— equal to 25 percent of the agent’s grade and step—awarded because of the large amount of overtime that these agents are expected to work. For example, in 2001 FBI agents enter Federal service as GS10 employees on the pay scale at a base salary of $36,621, yet earned about $45,776 a year with availability pay. They can advance to the GS-13 grade level in field nonsupervisory assignments at a base salary of $57,345 which is worth $71,681 with availability pay. FBI supervisory, management, and executive positions in grades GS-14 and GS-15 pay a base salary of about $67,765 or $79,710 a year, respectively, and equaled $84,706 or $99,637 per year including availability pay. Salaries were slightly higher in selected areas where the prevailing local pay level was higher. Because Federal agents may be eligible for a special law enforcement benefits package, ap­ plicants should ask their recruiter for more information. The International City-County Management Association’s an­ nual Police and Fire Personnel, Salaries, and Expenditures Survey revealed that 84 percent of the municipalities surveyed provided police services in 2000. The following pertains to sworn full-time positions in 2000. Minimum annual base salary Police chief..................... Deputy chief.......................... ............... Police captain........................ Police lieutenant............ ............... Police sergeant..................... Police corporal....................... ............... Police officer...............  53,740 47,750 35,370  Maximum annual base salary $78,580 67,370 64,230 57,740 50,670 43,830 43,450  Total earnings for local, State, and special police and detectives frequently exceed the stated salary because of payments for over­ time, which can be significant. In addition to the common ben­ efits—paid vacation, sick leave, and medical and life insurance—most police and sheriffs’ departments provide officers with special allowances for uniforms. Because police officers usu­ ally are covered by liberal pension plans, many retire at half-pay after 20 or 25 years of service. Related Occupations Police and detectives maintain law and order, collect evidence and information, and conduct investigations and surveillance. Workers in related occupations include correctional officers, private detec­ tives and investigators, and security guards and gaming surveillance officers. Sources of Additional Information Information about entrance requirements may be obtained from Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. Further information about qualifications for employment as a FBI Special Agent is available from the nearest State FBI office. The address and phone number are listed in the local telephone directory. Internet: http://www.fbi.gov  348 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Information about qualifications for employment as a DEA Spe­ cial Agent is available from the nearest DEA office, or call (800) DEA-4288. Internet: http://www.usdoj.gov/dea Information about career opportunities, qualifications, and train­ ing to become a deputy marshal is available from: > United States Marshals Service, Employment and Compensation Divi­ sion, Field Staffing Branch, 600 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, VA 22202. Internet: http://www.usdoj.gov/marshals  Information on career opportunities, qualifications, and training for U.S. Secret Service Special Agents is available from: >- U.S. Secret Service, Personnel Division, Suite 7400, 950 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20223. Internet: http://www.treas.gov/usss  For information on career opportunities and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms operations, contact: ► U.S. Bureau ofAlcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Personnel Division, 650 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Room 4100, Washington, DC 20226. Internet. http://www.atf.treas.gov  Information about careers in the United States Border Patrol is available from:  >- U.S. Border Patrol, Chester A. Arthur Building, 425 I St. NW., Washington DC 20536. Internet: http://  www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/workfor/careers/bpcareer/index.htm  Private Detectives and Investigators (Q*Net 33-9021.00)  ___________  Significant Points  • • •  Work hours often are irregular for beginning detectives and investigators, many of whom work part time. Most applicants have related experience in areas such as law enforcement, insurance, or the military. Stiff competition is expected for better paying jobs because of the large number of qualified people who are attracted to this occupation.  Nature of the Work Private detectives and investigators use many means to determine the facts in a variety of matters. To carry out investigations, they may use various types of surveillance or searches. To verify facts, such as an individual’s place of employment or income, they may make phone calls or visit a subject’s workplace. In other cases, especially those involving missing persons and background checks, investigators often interview people to gather as much information as possible about an individual. In all cases, private detectives and investigators assist attorneys, businesses, and the public with a variety of legal, financial, and personal problems. Private detectives and investigators offer many services, includ­ ing executive, corporate, and celebrity protection; pre-employment verification; and individual background profiles. They also pro­ vide assistance in civil liability and personal injury cases, insurance claims and fraud, child custody and protection cases, and premari­ tal screening. Increasingly, they are hired to investigate individuals to prove or disprove infidelity. Most detectives and investigators are trained to perform physi­ cal surveillance, often for long periods, in a car or van. They may observe a site, such as the home of a subject, from an inconspicu­ ous location. The surveillance continues using still and video cam­ eras, binoculars, and a cell phone, until the desired evidence is obtained. They also may perform computer database searches, or with someone who does. Computers allow detectives and Digitized work for FRASER https://fraser.stlouisfed.org investigators to quickly obtain massive amounts of information on Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  individuals’ prior arrests, convictions, and civil legal judgments; telephone numbers; motor vehicle registrations; association and club memberships; and other matters. The duties of private detectives and investigators depend on the needs of their client. In cases for employers involving workers’ fraudulent compensation claims, for example, investigators may carry out long-term covert observation of subjects. If an investiga­ tor observes a subject performing an activity that contradicts inju­ ries stated in a workers’ compensation claim, the investigator would take video or still photographs to document the activity and report it to the client. Private detectives and investigators often specialize. Those who focus on intellectual property theft, for example, investigate and docu­ ment acts of piracy, help clients stop the illegal activity, and provide intelligence for prosecution and civil action. Other investigators spe­ cialize in developing financial profiles and asset searches. Their re­ ports reflect information gathered through interviews, investigation and surveillance, and research, including review of public documents. Legal investigators specialize in cases involving the courts and are normally employed by law firms or lawyers. They frequently assist in preparing criminal defenses, locating witnesses, serving legal documents, interviewing police and prospective witnesses, and gathering and reviewing evidence. Legal investigators also may collect information on the parties to the litigation, take photographs, testify in court, and assemble evidence and reports for trials. Corporate investigators conduct internal and external investi­ gations for corporations other than investigative firms. In internal investigations, they may investigate drug use in the workplace, en­ sure that expense accounts are not abused, or determine if employ­ ees are stealing merchandise or information. External investigations typically prevent criminal schemes originating outside the corpora­ tion, such as theft of company assets through fraudulent billing of products by suppliers. Financial investigators may be hired to develop confidential fi­ nancial profiles of individuals or companies who are prospective parties to large financial transactions. They often are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and work closely with investment bankers and accountants. They search for assets in order to recover damages awarded by a court in fraud or theft cases. Detectives who work for retail stores or hotels are responsible for loss control and asset protection. Store detectives, also known as loss prevention agents, safeguard the assets of retail stores by appre­ hending anyone attempting to steal merchandise or destroy store prop­ erty. They prevent theft by shoplifters, vendor representatives,  {■ A;  One ofthe hallmark skills ofprivate detectives and investigators is surveillance.  Service Occupations 349  delivery personnel, and even store employees. Store detectives also conduct periodic inspections of stock areas, dressing rooms, and restrooms, and sometimes assist in opening and closing the store. They may prepare loss prevention and security reports for manage­ ment and testify in court against persons they apprehend. Hotel detectives protect guests of the establishment from theft of their belongings and preserve order in hotel restaurants and bars. They also may keep undesirable individuals, such as known thieves, off the premises. Working Conditions Private detectives and investigators often work irregular hours be­ cause of the need to conduct surveillance and contact people who are not available during normal working hours. Early morning, evening, weekend, and holiday work is common. Many detectives and investigators spend time away from their offices conducting interviews or doing surveillance, but some work in their office most of the day conducting computer searches and making phone calls. Those who have their own agencies and em­ ploy other investigators may work primarily in an office and have normal business hours. When working on a case away from the office, the environment might range from plush boardrooms to seedy bars. Store and hotel detectives work in the businesses that they protect. Investigators generally work alone, but they sometimes work with others during surveillance or when following a subject in order to avoid detection by the subject. Some of the work involves confrontation, so the job can be stress­ ful and dangerous. Some situations call for the investigator to be armed, such as certain bodyguard assignments for corporate or ce­ lebrity clients. Detectives and investigators who carry handguns must be licensed by the appropriate authority. In most cases, how­ ever, a weapon is not necessary because the purpose of their work is gathering information and not law enforcement or criminal appre­ hension. Owners of investigative agencies have the added stress of having to deal with demanding and sometimes distraught clients. Employment Private detectives and investigators held about 39,000jobs in 2000. About 2 out of 5 were self-employed. Approximately a third of salaried private detectives and investigators worked for detective agencies, while another third were employed as store detectives in department or clothing and accessories stores. The remainder worked for hotels and other lodging places, legal services firms, and in other industries. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement There are no formal education requirements for most private detec­ tive and investigator jobs, although many private detectives have college degrees. Almost all private detectives and investigators have previous experience in other occupations. Some work initially for insurance or collections companies or in the private security indus­ try. Many investigators enter the field after serving in law enforce­ ment, the military, government auditing and investigative positions, or Federal intelligence jobs. Former law enforcement officers, military investigators, and government agents often become private detectives or investigators as a second career because they are frequently able to retire after 20 years of service. Others enter from such diverse fields as finance, accounting, commercial credit, investigative reporting, insurance, and law. These individuals often can apply their prior work experi­ ence in a related investigative specialty. A few enter the occupa­ tionfordirectly after graduation from college, generally with associate Digitized FRASER or bachelor of criminal justice or police science degrees. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  The majority of the States and the District of Colombia require private detectives and investigators to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary widely, but convicted felons cannot receive a license in most States and a growing number of States are enact­ ing mandatory training programs for private detectives and inves­ tigators. Some States have few requirements, and 6 States— Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota—have no statewide licensing requirements while others have stringent regulations. For example, the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the California Department of Con­ sumer Affairs requires private investigators to be 18 years of age or older, have a combination of education in police science, crimi­ nal law, or justice, and experience equaling 3 years (6,000 hours) of investigative experience; pass an evaluation by the Federal Department of Justice and a criminal history background check; and receive a qualifying score on a 2-hour written examination covering laws and regulations. There are additional requirements for a firearms permit. For private detective and investigator jobs, most employers look for individuals with ingenuity, persistence and assertiveness. A candidate must not be afraid of confrontation, should communicate well, and should be able to think on his or her feet. Good inter­ viewing and interrogation skills also are important and usually are acquired in earlier careers in law enforcement or other fields. Be­ cause the courts often are the ultimate judge of a properly conducted investigation, the investigator must be able to present the facts in a manner a jury will believe. Training in subjects such as criminal justice is helpful to aspir­ ing private detectives and investigators. Most corporate investiga­ tors must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a business-related field. Some corporate investigators have master’s degrees in busi­ ness administration or law, while others are certified public accoun­ tants. Corporate investigators hired by large companies may receive formal training from their employers on business practices, man­ agement structure, and various finance-related topics. The screen­ ing process for potential employees typically includes a background check of candidates’ criminal history. Some investigators receive certification from a professional organization to demonstrate competency in a field. For example, the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) confers the designation Certified Legal Investigator to licensed investiga­ tors who devote a majority of their practice to negligence or crimi­ nal defense investigations. To receive the designation, applicants must satisfy experience, educational, and continuing training requirements, and must pass written and oral exams administered by the NALL Most private detective agencies are small, with little room for advancement. Usually there are no defined ranks or steps, so ad­ vancement takes the form of increases in salary and assignment status. Many detectives and investigators work for detective agen­ cies at the beginning of their careers and after a few years start their own firms. Corporate and legal investigators may rise to supervi­ sor or manager of the security or investigations department. Job Outlook Keen competition is expected because private detective and investi­ gator careers attract many qualified people, including relatively young retirees from law enforcement and military careers. Opportunities will be best for entry-level jobs with detective agencies or as store detectives on a part-time basis. Those seeking store detective jobs have the best prospects with large chains and discount stores. Employment of private detectives and investigators is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. In addition to growth, replacement of those who retire or leave the  350 Occupational Outlook Handbook  occupation for other reasons should create many additional job open­ ings. Increased demand for private detectives and investigators will result from fear of crime, increased litigation, and the need to pro­ tect confidential information and property of all kinds. More pri­ vate investigators also will be needed to assist attorneys working on criminal defense and civil litigation. Growing financial activity worldwide will increase the demand for investigators to control in­ ternal and external financial losses, and to monitor competitors and prevent industrial spying. Earnings Median annual earnings of salaried private detectives and investi­ gators were $26,750 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned be­ tween $20,040 and $38,240. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $ 16,210, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $52,200. Median annual earnings were $21,180 in department stores, the industry employing the largest numbers of private detectives and investigators. Earnings of private detectives and investigators vary greatly de­ pending on their employer, specialty, and the geographic area in which they work. According to a study by Abbott, Langer & Asso­ ciates, security/loss prevention directors and vice presidents had a median income of $77,500 per year in 2000; investigators, $39,800, and store detectives, $25,000. In addition to typical benefits, most corporate investigators received profit-sharing plans. Related Occupations Private detectives and investigators often collect information and protect the property and other assets of companies. Others with related duties include bill and account collectors; claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators; police and detectives, and security guards and gaming surveillance officers. Investigators who specialize in conducting financial profiles and asset searches per­ form work closely related to that of accountants and auditors and financial analysts and personal finance advisors. Sources of Additional Information For information on local licensing requirements, contact your State Department of Public Safety, State Division of Licensing, or your local or State police headquarters. For information on a career as a legal investigator, contact: >• The National Association of Legal Investigators, P.O. Box 905, Grand Blanc, MI 48439. Internet: http://www.nali.com/index.html  Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers____ (0**NET 33-9031.00, 33-9032.00)  Significant Points •  •  Favorable opportunities are expected for lower paying jobs, but stiff competition is likely for higher paying positions at facilities requiring a high level of security, such as nuclear plants and government installations. Some positions, such as those of armored car guards,  are hazardous. • Because of limited formal training requirements and  flexible hours, this occupation attracts many https://fraser.stlouisfed.org individuals seeking a second or part-time job. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Nature of the Work Guards, who are also called security officers, patrol and inspect property to protect against fire, theft, vandalism, and illegal activ­ ity. These workers protect their employer’s investment, enforce laws on the property, and deter criminal activity or other problems. They use radio and telephone communications to call for assistance from an ambulance, wrecker, or the police or fire departments as the situation dictates. Security guards write comprehensive reports outlining their observations and activities during their assigned shift. They may also interview witnesses or victims, prepare case reports, and testify in court. Although all security guards perform many of the same duties, specific duties vary based on whether the guard works in a static security position or on a mobile patrol. Guards assigned to static security positions usually serve the client at one location for a spe­ cific length of time. These guards must become closely acquainted with the property and people associated with it, complete all tasks assigned them, and often monitor alarms and closed-circuit TV cam­ eras. In contrast, guards assigned to mobile patrol duty drive or walk from location to location and conduct security checks within an assigned geographical zone. They may detain or arrest criminal violators, answer service calls concerning criminal activity or prob­ lems, and issue traffic violation warnings. Specific job responsibilities also vary with the size, type, and location of the employer. In department stores, guards protect people, records, merchandise, money, and equipment. They often work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by custom­ ers or store employees and help in the apprehension of shoplifting suspects prior to arrival by police. Some shopping centers and the­ aters have officers mounted on horses or bicycles who patrol their parking lots to deter car theft and robberies. In office buildings, banks, and hospitals, guards maintain order and protect the institu­ tions’ property, staff, and customers. At air, sea, and rail terminals and other transportation facilities, guards protect people, freight, property, and equipment. They may screen passengers and visitors for weapons and explosives using metal detectors and high-tech equipment, ensure nothing is stolen while being loaded or unloaded, and watch for fires and criminals. Guards who work in public buildings such as museums or art galleries protect paintings and exhibits by inspecting people and packages entering and leaving the building. In factories, laborato­ ries, government buildings, data processing centers, and military bases, security officers protect information, products, computer codes, and defense secrets and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises. Guards working at uni­ versities, parks, and sports stadiums perform crowd control, super­ vise parking and seating, and direct traffic. Security guards stationed at the entrance to bars and places of adult entertainment, such as nightclubs, prevent access by minors, collect cover charges at the door, maintain order among customers, and protect property and patrons. _ Armored car guards protect money and valuables during transit. In addition, they protect individuals responsible for making com­ mercial bank deposits from theft or bodily injury. When the ar­ mored car arrives at the door of a business, an armed guard enters, signs for the money, and returns to the truck with the valuables in hand. Carrying money between the truck and the business can be extremely hazardous for guards, and a number of them have been robbed and shot in recent years, so armored car guards usually wear bullet-proof vests. All security officers must show good judgment and common sense, follow directions and directives from supervisors, accurately testify in court, and follow company policy and guidelines. Guards should have a professional appearance and attitude and be able to  Service Occupations 351  hsik m ■'•U L  :>► £  A security guard communicates with other guards to ensure that proper procedures are followed.  interact with the public. They also must be able to take charge and direct others in emergencies or other dangerous incidents. In a large organization, the security manager is often in charge of a trained guard force divided into shifts; whereas in a small organization, a single worker may be responsible for all security. Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators act as security agents for casino managers and patrons. They observe ca­ sino operations for irregular activities, such as cheating or theft, by either employees or patrons. To do this, surveillance officers and investigators monitor activities from a catwalk over one-way mir­ rors located above the casino floor. Many casinos use audio and video equipment, allowing surveillance officers and investigators to observe these same areas via monitors. Recordings are kept as a record and are sometimes used as evidence against alleged crimi­ nals in police investigations. Working Conditions Most security guards and gaming surveillance officers spend con­ siderable time on their feet, either assigned to a specific post or patrolling buildings and grounds. Guards may be stationed at a guard desk inside a building to monitor electronic security and sur­ veillance devices or to check the credentials of persons entering or leaving the premises. They also may be stationed at a guardhouse outside the entrance to a gated facility or communities and use a portable radio or telephone that allows them to be in constant con­ tact with a central station. Guardwork usually is routine, but guards must be constantly alert for threats to themselves and the property they are protecting. Guards who work during the day may have a great deal of contact with other employees and members of the pub­ lic. Gaming surveillance often takes place behind a bank of moni­ tors controlling several cameras in a casino, which can cause eyestrain. Guards usually work at least 8-hour shifts for 40 hours per week and often are on call in case an emergency arises. Some employers have three shifts, and guards rotate to equally divide daytime, week­ end, and holiday work. Guards usually eat on the job instead of taking a regular break away from the site. Employment Security guards and gaming surveillance officers held more than 1.1 million jobs in 2000. Industrial security firms and guard agen­ cies employed 60 percent of all wage and salary guards. These or­  ganizations provide security services on a contract basis, assigning https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  their guards to buildings and other sites as needed. Most other secu­ rity officers were employed by the organization they are responsible lor guarding, such as banks, building management companies, ho­ tels, hospitals, retail stores, restaurants, bars, schools, and govern­ ments. Guard jobs are found throughout the country, most commonly in metropolitan areas. More than 1 in 7 guards worked part time, and many individuals held a second job as a guard to supplement their primary earnings. Gaming surveillance officers work exclu­ sively in casinos and other gaming facilities and are employed only in those States and Indian reservations where gambling has been legalized. A significant number of law-enforcement officers work as security guards when off-duty to supplement their incomes. Often working in uniform and with the official cars assigned to them, they add a high profile security presence to the establishment with which they have contracted. At construction sites and apartment complexes, for example, their presence often prevents trouble be­ fore it starts. (Police and detectives are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most States require that guards be licensed. To be licensed as a guard, individuals must usually be at least 18 years old, pass a back­ ground check, and complete classroom training in such subjects as property rights, emergency procedures, and detention of suspected criminals. Drug testing often is required, and may be random and ongoing. Many employers of unarmed guards do not have any specific educational requirements. For armed guards, employers usually prefer individuals who are high school graduates or hold an equiva­ lent certification. Many jobs require a driver’s license. For posi­ tions as armed guards, employers often seek people who have had responsible experience in other occupations. Guards who carry weapons must be licensed by the appropriate government authority, and some receive further certification as spe­ cial police officers, which allows them to make limited types of arrests while on duty. Armed guard positions have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than those of unarmed guards because of greater insurance liability risks. Compared to unarmed security guards, armed guards and special police typically enjoy higher earnings and benefits, greater job security, more ad­ vancement potential, and usually are given more training and re­ sponsibility. Rigorous hiring and screening programs consisting of back­ ground, criminal record, and fingerprint checks are becoming the norm in the occupation. Applicants are expected to have good char­ acter references, no serious police record, and good health. They should be mentally alert, emotionally stable, and physically fit in order to cope with emergencies. Guards who have frequent contact with the public should communicate well. Candidates for guard jobs in the Federal Government must have some experience in the occupation and pass a written examination to be certified by the U.S. General Services Administration. Armed Forces experience is an asset. For Federal guard positions, appli­ cants also must qualify in the use of firearms and pass a first aid test. The amount of training guards receive varies. Training require­ ments are higher for armed guards because their employers are le­ gally responsible for any use of force. Armed guards receive formal training in areas such as weapons retention and laws covering the use of force. Many employers give newly hired guards instruction before they start the job and also provide on-the-job training. An increasing number of States are making ongoing training a legal requirement  352 Occupational Outlook Handbook  for retention of certification. Guards may receive training in protec­ tion, public relations, report writing, crisis deterrence, and first aid, as well as specialized training relevant to their particular assignment. Guards employed at establishments placing a heavy emphasis on security usually receive extensive formal training. For example, guards at nuclear power plants undergo several months of training before being placed on duty under close supervision. They are taught to use firearms, administer first aid, operate alarm systems and elec­ tronic security equipment, and spot and deal with security prob­ lems. Guards authorized to carry firearms may be periodically tested . . in their use. Although guards in small companies may receive periodic salary increases, advancement opportunities are limited. Most large orga­ nizations use a military type of ranking that offers the possibility of advancement in position and salary. Some guards may advance to supervisor or security manager positions. Guards with management skills may open their own contract security guard agencies. In addition to the keen observation skills required to perform their jobs, gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators must have excellent verbal and writing abilities to document viola­ tions or suspicious behavior. They also need to be physically fit and have quick reflexes because they sometimes must detain indi­ viduals until local law enforcement officials arrive. Surveillance officers and investigators usually do not need a bachelor’s degree, but some training beyond high school is required; previous security experience is a plus. Several educational insti­ tutes offer certification programs. Training classes usually are con­ ducted in a casino-like atmosphere using surveillance camera equipment. Job Outlook Opportunities for most jobs as security guards and gaming surveil­ lance officers should be very favorable through the year 2010. Numerous job openings will stem from employment growth attrib­ utable to the desire for increased security, and from the need to replace those who leave this large occupation each year. Many op­ portunities are expected for persons seeking full-time employment, as well as for those seeking part-time or second jobs. However, competition is expected for higher paying positions that require longer periods of training; these positions usually are found at fa­ cilities that require a high level of security, such as nuclear power plants or weapons installations. Employment of security guards and gaming surveillance offic­ ers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010 as concern about crime, vandalism, and terrorism continue to increase the need for security. Demand for guards also will grow as private security firms increasingly perform duties— such as monitoring crowds at airports and providing security in courts—which were formerly handled by government police offic­ ers and marshals. Because enlisting the services of a security guard firm is easier and less costly than assuming direct responsibility for hiring, training, and managing a security guard force, job growth is   https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  expected to be concentrated among contract security guard agen­ cies. Casinos will continue to hire more surveillance officers as more states legalize gambling and as the number of casinos increases in states where gambling is already legal. Additionally, casino se­ curity forces will employ more technically trained personnel as tech­ nology becomes increasingly important in thwarting casino cheating and theft. Median annual earnings of security guards were $17,570 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $14,930 and $21,950. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12,860, and the highest 10 per­ cent earned more than $28,660. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of security guards in 2000 were as follows: Hospitals............................................. Elementary and secondary schools Hotels and motels.............................  Miscellaneous business services ... Eating and drinking places..........  $22,260 22,240 20,230 16,830 15,870  Depending on their experience, newly hired guards in the Fed­ eral Government earned $21,950 to $27,190 a year in 2001. Begin­ ning salaries were slightly higher in selected areas where the prevailing local pay level was higher. Guards employed by the Fed­ eral Government averaged $28,960 a year in 2001. These workers usually receive overtime pay as well as a wage differential for the second and third shifts. Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators had me­ dian annual earnings of $21,220 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,080 and $25,950. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $14,520, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $32,890. Median annual earnings in 2000 in miscellaneous amuse­ ment and recreation services, the industry employing the largest numbers of gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators, were $20,650. Related Occupations Guards protect property, maintain security, and enforce regulations and standards of conduct in the establishments at which they work. Related security and protective service occupations include cor­ rectional officers, police and detectives, and private detectives and investigators. Sources of Additional Information Further information about work opportunities for guards is avail­ able from local security and guard firms and State employment ser­ vice offices. Information about licensing requirements for guards may be obtained from the State licensing commission or the State police department. In States where local jurisdictions establish li­ censing requirements, contact a local government authority such as the sheriff, county executive, or city manager.  Sales and Related Occupations Cashiers (0*NET 41-2011.00, 41-2012.00)  •  • •  Significant Points Cashiers are trained on the job; this occupation provides opportunities for many young people with no previous work experience. About one-half of all cashiers work part time. Good employment opportunities are expected because of the large number of workers who leave this occupation each year.  Nature of the Work Supermarkets, department stores, gasoline service stations, movie theaters, restaurants, and many other businesses employ cashiers to register the sale of their merchandise. Most cashiers total bills, receive money, make change, fill out charge forms, and give receipts. Although specific job duties vary by employer, cashiers usually are assigned to a register at the beginning of their shifts and given drawers containing “banks” of money. They must count their banks to ensure that they contain the correct amount of money and adequate supplies of change. At the end of their shifts, they once again count the drawers’ contents and compare the totals with sales data. An occasional shortage of small amounts may be overlooked but, in many establishments, repeated shortages are grounds for dismissal. In addition to counting the contents of their drawers at the end of their shifts, cashiers usually separate and total charge forms, re­ turn slips, coupons, and any other noncash items. Cashiers also handle returns and exchanges. They must ensure that returned mer­ chandise is in good condition, and determine where and when it was purchased and what type of payment was used. After entering charges for all items and subtracting the value of any coupons or special discounts, cashiers total the bill and take payment. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, per­ sonal check, charge, and debit cards. Cashiers must know the store’s policies and procedures for each type of payment the store accepts. For checks and charges, they may request additional iden­ tification from the customer or call in for an authorization. They must verify the age of customers purchasing alcohol or tobacco. When the sale is complete, cashiers issue a receipt to the customer and return the appropriate change. They may also wrap or bag the purchase. Cashiers traditionally have totaled customers’ purchases using cash registers—manually entering the price of each product bought. However, most establishments now use more sophisticated equip­ ment, such as scanners and computers. In a store with scanners, a cashier passes a product’s Universal Product Code over the scan­ ning device, which transmits the code number to a computer. The computer identifies the item and its price. In other establishments, cashiers manually enter codes into computers, and descriptions of the items and their prices appear on the screen. Depending on the type of establishment, cashiers may have other duties as well. In many supermarkets, for example, cashiers weigh produce and bulk food, as well as return unwanted items to the  https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  ♦ -'*r  Cashiers sell refreshments and snacks at many ofourfavorite places. shelves. In convenience stores, cashiers may be required to know how to use a variety of machines other than cash registers, and how to furnish money orders. Operating ticket-dispensing machines and answering customers’ questions are common duties for cashiers who work at movie theaters and ticket agencies. In casinos, gaming change persons and booth cashiers exchange coins and tokens and may issue payoffs. They may also operate a booth in the slot-ma­ chine area and furnish change persons with a money bank at the start of the shift, or count and audit money in drawers. Working Conditions About one-half of all cashiers work part time. Hours of work often vary depending on the needs of the employer. Generally, cashiers are expected to work weekends, evenings, and holidays to accom­ modate customers’ needs. However, many employers offer flex­ ible schedules. For example, full-time workers who work on weekends may receive time off during the week. Because the holi­ day season is the busiest time for most retailers, many employers restrict the use of vacation time from Thanksgiving through the beginning of January. Most cashiers work indoors, usually standing in booths or be­ hind counters. In addition, they often are unable to leave their work­ stations without supervisory approval because they are responsible for large sums of money. The work of cashiers can be very repeti­ tious, but improvements in workstation design are being made to combat problems caused by repetitive motion. In addition, the work can sometimes be dangerous; their risk from workplace homicides is much higher than that of the total workforce. Employment Cashiers held about 3.4 million jobs in 2000. Although employed in almost every industry, one-third of all jobs were in supermarkets and other food stores. Restaurants, department stores, gasoline ser­ vice stations, drug stores, and other retail establishments also em­ ployed large numbers of these workers. Outside of retail establishments, many cashiers worked in hotels, schools, motion picture theaters, and casinos. Because cashiers are needed in busi­ nesses and organizations of all types and sizes, job opportunities are found throughout the country. 353  354 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Cashier jobs tend to be entry-level positions requiring little or no previous work experience. Although there are no specific educa­ tional requirements, employers filling full-time jobs often prefer applicants with high school diplomas. Nearly all cashiers are trained on the job. In small businesses, an experienced worker often trains beginners. The first day usually is spent observing the operation and becoming familiar with the store’s equipment, policies, and procedures. After this, trainees are assigned to a register—frequently under the supervision of a moreexperienced worker. In larger businesses, before being placed at cash registers, trainees spend several days in classes. Topics typi­ cally covered include a description of the industry and the com­ pany, store policies and procedures, equipment operation, and security. Training for experienced workers is not common, except when new equipment is introduced or when procedures change. In these cases, the employer or a representative of the equipment manufac­ turer trains workers on the job. Persons who want to become cashiers should be able to do rep­ etitious work accurately. They also need basic mathematics skills and good manual dexterity. Because cashiers deal constantly with the public, they should be neat in appearance and able to deal tact­ fully and pleasantly with customers. In addition, some businesses prefer to hire persons who can operate specialized equipment or who have business experience, such as typing, selling, or handling money. Advancement opportunities for cashiers vary. For those work­ ing part time, promotion may be to a full-time position. Others advance to head cashier or cash-office clerk. In addition, this job offers a good opportunity to learn about an employer’s business and can serve as a steppingstone to a more responsible position.  Department stores...................................................................................... Grocery stores............................................................................................. Gasoline service stations......................................................................... Drug stores and proprietary stores........................................................ Eating and drinking places......................................................................  »/. x j ^-99 ^.87 663  6.56  Benefits for full-time cashiers tend to be better than those for cashiers working part time. In addition to typical benefits, those working in retail establishments often receive discounts on pur­ chases, and cashiers in restaurants may receive free or low-cost meals. Some employers also offer employee stock-option plans and education-reimbursement plans. Related Occupations Cashiers accept payment for the purchase of goods and services. Other workers with similar duties include tellers, counter and rental clerks, food and beverage serving and related workers, gaming cage workers, postal service workers, and retail salespersons, all of whom are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook. Sources of Additional Information General information on retailing is available from: > National Retail Federation, 325 7th St. NW, Suite 1100, Washington,  DC 20004. Internet: http://www.nrf.com For information about employment opportunities as a cashier, contact:  >- National Association of Convenience Stores, 1605 King St., Alexan­ dria, VA 22314-2792. Internet: http://www.cstorecentral.com >- United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Education Office, 1775 K St. NW., Washington, DC 20006-1502.  Counter and Rental Clerks (Q**NET 41-2021.00)  Job Outlook As in the past, opportunities for full- and part-time cashier jobs should continue to be good, because of employment growth and the need to replace the large number of workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Cashier employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010 because of ex­ panding demand for goods and services by a growing population. The rising popularity of electronic commerce, which does not re­ quire a cashier to complete a transaction or accept payment, may reduce the employment growth of cashiers. However, electronic commerce will have a limited impact on this large occupation. Tra­ ditionally, workers under the age of 25 have filled many of the open­ ings in this occupation—in 2000, more than half of all cashiers were 24 years of age or younger. Some establishments have begun hiring elderly and disabled persons as well to fill some of their job openings. Earnings The starting wage for many cashiers is the Federal minimum wage, which was $5.15 an hour in 2001. In some States, State law sets the minimum wage higher, and establishments must pay at least that amount. Wages tend to be higher in areas where there is intense competition for workers. Median hourly earnings of cashiers, except gaming in 2000 were $6.95. The middle 50 percent earned between $6.14 and $8.27 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $5.61, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $10.39 an hour. Median hourly earn­ ings in the industries employing the largest numbers of cashiers in   2000 were as follows: https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Significant Points • • •  Jobs primarily are entry-level and require little or no experience and minimal formal education. Average employment growth is expected as businesses strive to improve customer service. Part-time employment opportunities should be plentiful.  Nature of the Work Whether renting videotapes, moving trucks, or air compressors, drop­ ping off clothes to be dry-cleaned or appliances to be serviced, we rely on counter and rental clerks to handle these transactions effi­ ciently. Although specific duties vary by establishment, counter and rental clerks answer questions involving product availability, cost, and rental provisions. Counter and rental clerks also take or­ ders, calculate fees, receive payments, and accept returns. (Cash­ iers and retail salespersons, occupations with similar duties, are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) Regardless of where they work, counter and rental clerks must be knowledgeable about the company’s services, policies, and pro­ cedures. Depending on the type of establishment, counter and rental clerks use their special knowledge to give advice on a wide variety of products and services, which may range from hydraulic tools to shoe repair. For example, in the car rental industry, they inform customers about the features of different types of automobiles, as well as daily and weekly rental costs. They also ensure that custom­ ers meet age and other requirements for rental cars, and indicate  Sales and Related Occupations 355  Working conditions usually are pleasant; most stores and ser­ vice establishments are clean, well-lighted, and temperature-con­ trolled. However, clerks are on their feet much of the time and may be confined behind a small counter area or be exposed to harmful chemicals. This job requires constant interaction with the public and can be stressful—especially during busy periods. Employment Counter and rental clerks held 423,000 jobs in 2000. About 1 of every 6 clerks worked in a videotape rental store. Other large em­ ployers included dry-cleaners, automobile rental firms, equipment rental firms, and miscellaneous amusement and recreation estab­ lishments. Counter and rental clerks are employed throughout the country but are concentrated in metropolitan areas, where personal services and renting and leasing services are in greater demand.  Counter and rental clerks inspect rental items and calculate additional fees.  when and in what condition cars must be returned. Those in the equipment rental industry have similar duties, but must also know how to operate and care for the machinery rented. In dry-cleaning establishments, counter clerks inform customers when items will be ready and what the effects of the chemicals used on garments are, if any. In video rental stores, they advise customers about the use of video and game players and the length of rental, scan re­ turned movies and games, restock the shelves, handle money, and log daily reports. When taking orders, counter and rental clerks use various types of equipment. In some establishments, they write out tickets and order forms, although most use computers or bar code scanners. Most of these computer systems are user-friendly, require very little data entry, and are customized for the firm. Scanners read the prod­ uct code and display a description of the item on a computer screen. However, clerks must ensure that the data on the screen accurately matches the product. Working Conditions Firms employing counter and rental clerks usually operate nights and weekends for the convenience of their customers. However, many employers offer flexible schedules. Some counter and rental clerks work 40-hour weeks, but about half are on part-time sched­ ules—usually during rush periods, such as weekends, evenings, and  holidays. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Counter and rental clerk jobs primarily are entry-level and require little or no experience and minimal formal education. However, many employers prefer workers with at least a high school diploma. In most companies, counter and rental clerks are trained on the job, sometimes through the use of videotapes, brochures, and pam­ phlets. Clerks usually learn how to operate the equipment and be­ come familiar with the establishment’s policies and procedures under the observation of a more experienced worker. However, some employers have formal classroom training programs lasting from a few hours to a few weeks. Topics covered in this training include a description of the industry, the company and its policies and proce­ dures, equipment operation, sales techniques, and customer service. Counter and rental clerks also must become familiar with the dif­ ferent products and services rented or provided by their company in order to give customers the best possible service. Counter and rental clerks should enjoy working with people and have the ability to deal tactfully with difficult customers. They should be able to handle several tasks at once, while continuing to provide friendly service. In addition, good oral and written com­ munication skills are essential. Advancement opportunities depend on the size and type of com­ pany. Many establishments that employ counter or rental clerks tend to be small businesses, making advancement difficult. But in larger establishments with a corporate structure, jobs as counter and rental clerks offer good opportunities for workers to learn about their company’s products and business practices. These jobs can lead to more responsible positions. It is common in many establishments to promote counter and rental clerks to event planner, assistant man­ ager, or sales positions. Workers may choose to pursue related posi­ tions, such as mechanic, or even establish their own business. In certain industries, such as equipment repair, counter and rental jobs may be an additional or alternate source of income for workers who are unemployed or entering semiretirement. For example, re­ tired mechanics could prove invaluable at tool rental centers be­ cause of their relevant knowledge. Job Outlook Employment of counter and rental clerks is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010, as all types of businesses strive to improve customer service. In addition, some industries employing counter and rental clerks are expected to grow rapidly, including equipment rental and leas­ ing and amusement and recreation services. Nevertheless, most job openings will arise from the need to replace experienced workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Part­ time employment opportunities are expected to be plentiful.  356 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Earnings Counter and rental clerks typically start at the minimum wage, which, in establishments covered by Federal law, was $ 5.15 an hour in 2001. In some States, the law sets the minimum wage higher and establish­ ments must pay at least that amount. Wages also tend to be higher in areas where there is intense competition for workers. In addition to wages, some counter and rental clerks receive commissions, based on the number of contracts they complete or services they sell. Median hourly earnings of counter and rental clerks in 2000 were $7.87. The middle 50 percent earned between $6.51 and $10.22 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $5.80 an hour, and the highest lOpercent earned more than$13.75 an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest number of counter and rental clerks in 2000 were as follows: New and used car dealers........................................................................ $14.90 Miscellaneous equipment rental and leasing...................................... 9.54 Automotive rentals, no drivers............................................................... 9.16 Grocery stores............................................................................................ 7.66 Video tape rental........................................................................................ &.60  Full-time workers typically receive health and life insurance, paid vacation, and sick leave. Benefits for counter and rental clerks who work part-time or for independent stores tend to be significantly less than for those who work full time. Many companies offer discounts to both full- and part-time employees on the services they provide. Related Occupations Counter and rental clerks take orders and receive payment for ser­ vices rendered. Other workers with similar duties include tellers, cashiers, food and beverage serving and related workers, gaming cage workers, postal service workers, and retail salespersons. Sources of Additional Information For general information on employment in the equipment rental industry, contact:  >• American Rental Association, 1900 19th St., Moline, IL 61265. Internet: http ://www.ararental.org  For more information about the work of counter clerks in dry­ cleaning and laundry establishments, contact: ► International Fabricare Institute, 12251 Tech Rd„ Silver Spring, MD 20904. Internet: http://www.ifi.org  Demonstrators, Product Promoters, and Models ______ _____________ (0*NET 41-9011.00, 41-9012.00)  Significant Points •  • •  Job openings should be plentiful for demonstrators and product promoters, but keen competition is expected for modeling jobs. Most jobs are part time or have variable work schedules. Many jobs require frequent travel.  Nature of the Work Demonstrators, product promoters, and models create public inter­ est in buying products such as clothing, cosmetics, food items, and housewares. The information they provide helps consumers make educated choices among the wide variety of products and services   available. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Demonstrators and product promoters create public interest in buying a product by demonstrating it to prospective customers and answering their questions. They may sell the demonstrated mer­ chandise, or gather names of prospects to contact at a later date or to pass on to a sales staff. Demonstrators promote sales of a prod­ uct to consumers, while product promoters try to induce retail stores to sell particular products and market them effectively. Product demonstration is an effective technique used by both to introduce new products or promote sales of old products because it allows face-to-face interaction with potential customers. Demonstrators and product promoters build current and future sales of both sophisticated and simple products, ranging from com­ puter software to mops. They attract an audience by offering samples, administering contests, distributing prizes, and using di­ rect-mail advertising. They must greet and catch the attention of possible customers and quickly identify those who are interested and qualified. They inform and educate customers about the fea­ tures of products and demonstrate their use with apparent ease to inspire confidence in the product and its manufacturer. They also distribute information, such as brochures and applications. Some demonstrations are intended to generate immediate sales through impulse buying, while others are considered an investment to gen­ erate future sales and increase brand awareness. Demonstrations and product promotions are conducted in retail and grocery stores, shopping malls, trade shows, and outdoor fairs. Locations are selected based on both the nature of the product and the type of audience. Demonstrations at large events may require teams of demonstrators to efficiently handle large crowds. Some demonstrators promote products on videotape or on television pro­ grams, such as “infomercials” or home shopping programs. Demonstrators and product promoters may prepare the content of a presentation and alter it to target a specific audience or to keep it current. They may participate in the design of an exhibit or cus­ tomize exhibits for particular audiences. Results obtained by dem­ onstrators and product promoters are analyzed, and presentations are adjusted to make them more effective. Demonstrators and prod­ uct promoters also may be involved in transporting, assembling, and disassembling materials used in demonstrations. A demonstrator’s presentation may include visuals, models, case studies, testimonials, test results, and surveys. The equipment used for a demonstration varies with the product being demonstrated. A food product demonstration might require the use of cooking uten­ sils, while a software demonstration could require the use of a mul­ timedia computer. Demonstrators must be familiar with the product to be able to relate detailed information to customers and to answer any questions that arise before, during, or after a demonstration. Therefore, they may research the product to be presented, the prod­ ucts of competitors, and the interests and concerns of the target audience before conducting a demonstration. Demonstrations of complex products can require practice. Models pose for photos or as subjects for paintings or sculp­ tures. They display clothing, such as dresses, coats, underclothing, swimwear, and suits, for a variety of audiences and in various types of media. They model accessories, such as handbags, shoes, and jewelry, and promote beauty products, including fragrances and cosmetics. The most successful models, called supermodels, hold celebrity status and often use their image to sell products such as books, calendars, and fitness videos. In addition to modeling, they may appear in movies and television shows. Models’ clients use printed publications, live modeling, and tele­ vision to advertise and promote products and services. There are different categories of modeling jobs within these media, and the nature of a model’s work may vary with each. Most modeling jobs are for printed publications, and models usually do a combination  https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  mmm  M l  of editorial, commercial, and catalog work. Editorial print model­ ing uses still photographs of models for fashion magazine covers and to accompany feature articles, but does not include modeling for advertisements. Commercial print modeling includes work for advertisements in magazines and newspapers, and for outdoor ad­ vertisements such as billboards. Catalog models appear in depart­ ment store and mail order catalogs. During a photo shoot, a model poses to demonstrate the features of clothing and products. Models make small changes in posture and facial expression to capture the look desired by the client. As they shoot film, photographers instruct models to pose in certain positions and to interact with their physical surroundings. Models work closely with photographers, hair and clothing stylists, makeup artists, and clients to produce the desired look and to finish the photo shoot on schedule. Stylists and makeup artists prepare the model for the photo shoot, provide touchups, and change the look of models throughout the day. If stylists are not provided, models must apply their own makeup and bring their own clothing. Be­ cause the client spends time and money planning for and preparing an advertising campaign, the client usually is present to ensure that the work is satisfactory. The client also may offer suggestions. Editorial printwork generally pays less than other types of mod­ eling, but provides exposure for a model and can lead to commer­ cial modeling opportunities. Often, beginning fashion models work in foreign countries, where fashion magazines are more plentiful. Live modeling is done in a variety of locations. Live models stand, turn, and walk to demonstrate clothing to a variety of audi­ ences. At fashion shows and in showrooms, garment buyers are the primary audience. Runway models display clothes that either are intended for direct sale to consumers or are the artistic expressions of the designer. High fashion, or haute couture, runway models confidently walk a narrow runway before an audience of photogra­ phers, journalists, designers, and garment buyers. Live modeling also is done in apparel marts, department stores, and fitting rooms of clothing designers. In retail establishments, models display cloth­ ing directly for shoppers and may be required to describe the fea­ tures and price of the clothing. Other models pose for sketching artists, painters, and sculptors. Models may compete with actors and actresses for work in tele­ vision and may even receive speaking parts. Television work in­ cludes commercials, cable television programs, and even game shows. However, competition for television work is intense be­ cause of the potential for high earnings and extensive exposure. Because advertisers need to target very specific segments of the population, models may specialize in a certain area. Petite and plussize fashions are modeled by women whose dress size is smaller or larger than the typical model. Models who are disabled may be used to model fashions or products for disabled consumers. “Parts” models have a body part, such as a hand or foot, that is particularly well-suited to model products such as fingernail polish or shoes. Almost all models work through agents. Agents provide a link between models and clients. Clients pay models, while the agency receives a portion of the model’s earnings for its services. Agents scout for new faces, advise and train new models, and promote them to clients. A typical modeling job lasts only 1 day, so modeling agencies differ from other employment agencies in that they main­ tain an ongoing relationship with the model. Agents find and nur­ ture relationships with clients, arrange auditions called “go-sees,” and book shoots if a model is hired. They also provide bookkeep­ ing and billing services to models and may offer them financial planning services. Relatively short careers and high incomes make financial planning an important issue for successful models. With the help of agents, models spend a considerable amount of  time promoting and developing themselves. Models assemble and  Sales and Related Occupations 357  «p% Demonstrators, product promoters, and models interact with potential clients to explain a new product. maintain portfolios, print composite cards, and travel to go-sees. A portfolio is a collection of model’s previous work that is carried to all go-sees and bookings. A composite card, or comp card, con­ tains the best photographs from a model’s portfolio, along with his or her measurements. Models must gather information before a job. From an agent, they learn the pay, date, time, and length of the shoot. Also, models must ask agents if hair, makeup, and clothing stylists will be pro­ vided. It is helpful to know what product is being promoted and what image they should project. Some models research the client and the product being modeled to prepare for a shoot. Models use a document called a voucher to record the rate of pay and the actual duration of the job. The voucher is used for billing purposes after both the client and model sign it. Once a job is completed, models must check in with their agency and plan for the next appointment. Working Conditions Over half of all demonstrators, product promoters, and models work part time and almost a quarter have variable work schedules. Many positions last 6 months or less. Demonstrators and product promoters may work long hours while standing or walking, with little opportunity to rest. Some of them travel frequently, and night and weekend work often is required. The atmosphere of a crowded trade show or State fair often is hec­ tic, and demonstrators and product promoters may feel pressure to influence the greatest number of consumers possible in a very lim­ ited amount of time. However, many enjoy the opportunity to in­ teract with a variety of people. The work of models is both glamorous and difficult, and they may work under a variety of conditions. The coming season’s fash­ ions may be modeled in a comfortable, climate-controlled studio or in a cold, damp outdoor location. Schedules can be demanding, and models must keep in constant touch with an agent so that they do not miss an opportunity for work. Being away from friends and family, and needing to focus on the photographer’s instructions despite constant interruption for touchups, clothing, and set changes can be stressful. Yet, successful models interact with a variety of people and enjoy frequent travel. They may meet potential clients at several go-sees in one day and often travel to work in distant cities, foreign countries, and exotic locations. Employment Demonstrators, product promoters, and models held about 121,000 jobs in 2000. Models alone held only about 3,700 jobs in 2000.  358 Occupational Outlook Handbook  About 14 percent of all salaried jobs were in miscellaneous busi­ ness services—which includes trade shows and demonstration ser­ vices—and about 13 percent were in personnel-supply services, which includes modeling agencies. Others worked in advertising, department stores, drug stores, grocery and related products whole­ salers, grocery stores, management and public relations, and com­ puter and data processing services. Demonstrator and product promoter jobs may be found in com­ munities throughout the Nation, but modeling jobs are concentrated in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Formal training and education requirements are limited for demon­ strators, product promoters, and models. Training usually is short­ term, occurring over a period of days or weeks. Postsecondary education, while helpful, usually is not required. About 55 percent of these workers have no more than a high school diploma. Demonstrators and product promoters usually receive on-thejob training. Training is primarily product-oriented because a dem­ onstrator must be familiar with the product to demonstrate it properly. The length of training varies with the complexity of the product. Experience with the product or familiarity with similar products may be required for demonstration of complex products, such as computers. During the training process, demonstrators may be in­ troduced to the manufacturer’s corporate philosophy and preferred methods for dealing with customers. Employers look for demonstrators and product promoters with good communication skills and a pleasant appearance and person­ ality. Demonstrators and product promoters must be comfortable with public speaking. They should be able to entertain an audience and use humor, spontaneity, and personal interest in the product as promotional tools. Foreign language skills are helpful. While no formal training is required to begin a modeling career, models should be photogenic and have a basic knowledge of hair styling, makeup, and clothing. Some local governments require models under the age of 18 to hold a work permit. An attractive physical appearance is necessary to become a successful model. A model should have flawless skin, healthy hair, and attractive facial features. Models must be within certain ranges for height, weight, and dress or coat size in order to meet the practical needs of fashion designers, photographers, and advertisers. Requirements may change slightly from time to time as our society’s perceptions about physi­ cal beauty change; however, most fashion designers feel their cloth­ ing looks its best on tall, thin models. Although physical requirements may be relaxed for some types of modeling jobs, opportunities are limited for those who do not meet these basic requirements. Because a model’s career depends on preservation of his or her physical characteristics, models must control their diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep in order to stay healthy. Flaircuts, pedicures, and manicures are necessary work-related expenses for models. In addition to being attractive, models must be photogenic. The ability to relate to the camera in order to capture the desired look on film is essential and agents test prospective models using snapshots or professional photographs. For photographic and runway work, models must be able to move gracefully and confidently. Training in acting, voice, and dance is useful and allows a model to be con­ sidered for television work. Foreign language skills are useful be­ cause successful models travel frequently to foreign countries. Because models must interact with a large number of people, personality plays an important role in success. Models must be professional, polite, and prompt; every contact could lead to future employment. Organizational skills are necessary to manage per­ Digitizedsonal for FRASER lives, financial matters, and busy work and travel schedules. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Because competition for jobs is stiff and clients’ needs are very specific, patience and persistence are essential. Modeling schools provide training in posing, walking, makeup application, and other basic tasks, but attending such schools does not necessarily lead to job opportunities. In fact, many agents pre­ fer beginning models with little or no previous experience and dis­ courage models from attending modeling schools and purchasing professional photographs. A model’s selection of an agency is an important factor for advancement in the occupation. The better the reputation and skill of the agency, the more assignments a model is likely to get. Because clients prefer to work with agents, it is very difficult for a model to pursue a freelance career. Agents continually scout for new faces, and many of the top models are discovered in this way. Most agencies review snapshots or have open calls, during which models are seen in person; this service usually is provided free of charge. Some agencies sponsor modeling contests and searches. Very few people who send in snap­ shots or attend open calls are offered contracts. Agencies advise models on how to dress, wear makeup, and con­ duct themselves properly during go-sees and bookings. Because models’ advancement depends on their previous work, develop­ ment of a good portfolio is key to getting assignments. Models accumulate and display current tear sheets—examples of a model’s editorial print work—and photographs in the portfolio. The higher the quality and currency of the photos in the portfolio, the more likely it is that the model will find work. Demonstrators and product promoters who perform well and show leadership ability may advance to other marketing and sales occupations or open their own businesses. Because modeling careers are relatively short, most models eventually transfer to other occupations. Job Outlook Employment of demonstrators, product promoters, and models is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. Job growth should be driven by increases in the number and size of trade shows and greater use of demonstrators and product promoters in department stores and various retail shops for instore promotions. Additional job openings will arise from the need to replace demonstrators, product promoters, and models who transfer to other occupations, retire, or stop working for other reasons. Job openings should be plentiful for demonstrators and product promoters. Employers may have difficulty finding qualified dem­ onstrators who are willing to fill part-time, short-term positions. In addition, product demonstration is considered a very effective mar­ keting tool. New jobs should arise as firms devote a greater per­ centage of marketing budgets to product demonstration. On the other hand, modeling is considered a glamorous occupa­ tion, with limited formal entry requirements. Consequently, those who wish to pursue a modeling career can expect keen competition for jobs. The modeling profession typically attracts many more jobseekers than there are job openings available. Only models who closely meet the unique requirements of the occupation will achieve regular employment. The increasing diversification of the general population should increase demand for models more representa­ tive of diverse racial and ethnic groups. Work for male models should increase as society becomes more receptive to the market­ ing of men’s fashions. Because fashions change frequently, demand for a model’s look may fluctuate; most models experience periods of unemployment. Employment of demonstrators, product promoters, and models is affected by downturns in the business cycle. Many firms tend to reduce advertising budgets during recessions.  Sales and Related Occupations 359  Earnings Demonstrators and product promoters had median hourly earnings of $9.51 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.71 and $13.51. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $6.82, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $19.76. Median hourly earnings in the largest industries that employed demonstrators and product pro­ moters in 2000 were as follows: Personnel supply services........................................................................ $ 10.47 Advertising................................................................................................. 8.90 Miscellaneous business services ........................................................... 8.29 Department stores...................................................................................... 8.28  Employers of demonstrators, product promoters, and models generally pay for job-related travel expenses. Median hourly earnings of models were $9.17 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.00 and $13.70. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $6.11, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $16.94. Earnings vary for different types of modeling, and depend on the experience and reputation of the model. Female models typically earn more than male models for similar work. Hourly earnings can be relatively high, particularly for supermodels and others in high demand, but models may not have work every day, and jobs may last only a few hours. Models occasionally receive clothing or clothing discounts instead of, or in addition to, regular earnings. Almost all models work with agents, and pay 15 to 20 percent of their earnings in return for an agent’s services. Models who do not find immediate work may receive payments, called advances, from agents to cover promotional and living expenses. Models must provide their own health and retirement benefits. Related Occupations Demonstrators, product promoters, and models create public inter­ est in buying clothing and products. Others who create interest in a product or service include actors, producers, and directors; insur­ ance sales agents; real estate brokers and sales agents; retail sales­ persons; sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing; and travel agents. Sources of Additional Information For information about careers in modeling, contact: >- Models Guild, Office and Professional Employees International Union, 265 W. 14th St., Suite 203, New York, NY 10011. Internet: http://www.opeiu.org/models/index.asp  For information about modeling schools and agencies in your area, contact a local consumer affairs organization such as the Bet­ ter Business Bureau.  Insurance Sales Agents (0**NET 41-3021.00)  Significant Points •  Despite slower than average growth, job opportunities should be good for people with the right skills.  •  Employers prefer to hire college graduates and persons with proven sales ability or success in other occupations. • In addition to insurance policies, agents are beginning to sell more financial products such as mutual funds,  retirement funds, and securities. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Nature of the Work Most people have their first contact with an insurance company through an insurance sales agent. These workers help individuals, families, and businesses select insurance policies that provide the best protection for their lives, health, and property. Insurance sales agents who work exclusively for one insurance company are referred to as captive agents. Independent insurance agents, or brokers, represent several companies and place insurance policies for their clients with the company that offers the best rate and coverage. In either case, agents prepare reports, maintain records, seek out new clients, and, in the event of a loss, help policyhold­ ers settle insurance claims. Increasingly, some may also offer their clients financial analysis or advice on ways they can minimize risk. Insurance sales agents sell one or more types of insurance, such as property and casualty, life, health, disability, and long-term care. Property and casualty insurance agents sell policies that protect in­ dividuals and businesses from financial loss resulting from auto­ mobile accidents, fire, theft, storms, and other events that can damage property. For businesses, property and casualty insurance can also cover injured workers’ compensation, product liability claims, or medical malpractice claims. Life insurance agents specialize in selling policies that pay ben­ eficiaries when a policyholder dies. Depending on the policyholder’s circumstances, a cash-value policy can be designed to provide re­ tirement income, funds for the education of children, or other ben­ efits. Life insurance agents also sell annuities that promise a retirement income. Health insurance agents sell health insurance policies that cover the costs of medical care and loss of income due to illness or injury. They may also sell dental insurance and shortand long-term disability insurance policies. An increasing number of insurance sales agents offer compre­ hensive financial planning services to their clients, such as retire­ ment planning, estate planning, or assistance in setting up pension plans for businesses. As a result, many insurance agents are in­ volved in “cross-selling” or “total account development.” Besides insurance, these agents may become licensed to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and other securities. This is most common for life insurance agents who already sell annuities; however, property and casualty agents also sell financial products. (See the statement on securities, commodities, and financial services sales representa­ tives elsewhere in the Handbook.) Technology has greatly impacted the insurance agency, making it much more efficient and giving the agent the ability to take on more clients. Agents’ computers are now linked directly to the insurance companies via the Internet, making the tasks of obtain­ ing price quotes and processing applications and service requests, faster and easier. Computers also allow agents to be better in­ formed about new products that the insurance carriers may be of­ fering. The growth of the Internet in the insurance industry is gradually changing the relationship between the agent and client. In the past, agents devoted much of their time to marketing and selling prod­ ucts to new clients; however, this is changing. Increasingly, clients obtain insurance quotes from a company’s website, then contact the company directly to purchase policies. This gives the client a more active role in selecting a policy at the best price, while reduc­ ing the amount of time agents spend actively seeking new clients. Because insurance sales agents also obtain many new accounts through referrals, it is important that agents maintain regular con­ tact with their clients to ensure that their financial needs are being met. Developing a satisfied clientele who will recommend an agent’s services to other potential customers is a key to success in this field.  360 Occupational Outlook Handbook  casualty, and medical and health insurance companies. Although most insurance agents specialize in life and health or property and casualty insurance, a growing number of “multiline” agents sell all lines of insurance. Approximately 1 out of 3 insurance sales agents are self-employed. Many agents also work for banking institutions, nondepository institutions, or security and commodity brokers. As more of these types of institutions begin to sell insurance policies, an increasing number of agents should be employed here, rather than in insur­ ance agencies. Insurance sales agents are employed throughout the country, but most work in or near large urban centers. Some are employed in the headquarters of insurance companies, but the majority work out of local offices or independent agencies.  □ Qki "n  . A-  I J  Insurance sales agents must have excellent communication skills in order to effectively explain complicated insurance policies to clients.  Increasing competition in the insurance industry means that car­ riers and agents must find new ways to keep their clients satisfied. One solution is the increasing use of call centers, which usually are accessible to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Insurance car­ riers and sales agents are hiring customer service representatives to handle the routine tasks such as answering questions, making policy changes, processing claims, and selling more products to clients. This opportunity to cross-sell new products to clients will help agents’ business grow. The use of call centers also allows agents to concentrate their efforts on seeking out new clients and maintain­ ing relationships with old ones. (See separate Handbook statements on customer service representatives; and claims adjusters, apprais­ ers, examiners, and investigators.) Working Conditions Most insurance sales agents are based in small offices, from which they contact clients and provide insurance policy information. How­ ever, much of their time may be spent outside their offices, traveling locally to meet with clients, close sales, or investigate claims. Agents usually determine their own hours of work and often schedule evening and weekend appointments for the convenience of clients. Although most agents work a 40-hour week, some work 60 hours a week or longer. Commercial sales agents, in particular, may meet with clients during business hours and then spend evenings doing paperwork and preparing presentations to prospective clients. Employment Insurance sales agents held about 378,000 jobs in 2000. The fol­ lowing tabulation shows the percent distribution of wage and sal­ ary jobs by industry: Insurance agents, brokers, and services.................................................... Life insurance carriers.................................................................................. Property and casualty insurance carriers.................................................. Medical service and health insurance carriers....................................... Pension funds and miscellaneousinsurance carriers.............................. Other industries.............................................................................................  34 16 8 3 2 37  Most insurance sales agents employed in wage and salary posi­ tions work for insurance agencies. A decreasing number work for insurance carriers. Most of these are employed by life Digitizeddirectly for FRASER insurance companies, and a smaller number work for property, https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement For insurance agency jobs, most companies and independent agen­ cies prefer to hire college graduates—particularly those who have majored in business or economics. A few hire high school gradu­ ates with proven sales ability or who have been successful in other types of work. In fact, many entrants to insurance sales agent jobs transfer from other occupations. In selling commercial insurance, technical experience in a field can be very beneficial in helping to sell policies to those in the same profession. As a result, new agents tend to be older than entrants in many other occupations. College training may help agents grasp the technical aspects of insurance policies and the fundamentals and procedures of selling insurance. Many colleges and universities offer courses in insur­ ance, and a few schools offer a bachelor’s degree in insurance. College courses in finance, mathematics, accounting, economics, business law, marketing, and business administration enable insur­ ance sales agents to understand how social and economic condi­ tions relate to the insurance industry. Courses in psychology, sociology, and public speaking can prove useful in improving sales techniques. In addition, familiarity with computers and popular software packages has become very important, as computers pro­ vide instantaneous information on a wide variety of financial prod­ ucts and greatly improve agents’ efficiency. Insurance sales agents must obtain a license in the States where they plan to sell insurance. Separate licenses are required for agents to sell life and health insurance and property and casualty insur­ ance. In most States, licenses are issued only to applicants who complete specified prelicensing courses and pass State exam­ inations covering insurance fundamentals and State insurance laws. A number of organizations offer professional designation pro­ grams, which certify expertise in specialties such as life, health, property, and casualty insurance, or financial consulting. Although these are voluntary, such programs assure clients and employers that an agent has a thorough understanding of the relevant specialty. Many professional societies now require agents to commit to con­ tinuing education in order to retain their designation. Indeed, as the diversity of financial products sold by insurance agents increases, employers are placing greater emphasis on con­ tinuing professional education. It is important for insurance agents to keep up to date with issues concerning clients. Changes in tax laws, government benefits programs, and other State and Federal regulations can affect the insurance needs of clients and the way in which agents conduct business. Agents can enhance their selling skills and broaden their knowledge of insurance and other financial services by taking courses at colleges and universities and by attend­ ing institutes, conferences, and seminars sponsored by insurance organizations. Most States have mandatory continuing education  Sales and Related Occupations 361  requirements focusing on insurance laws, consumer protection, and the technical details of various insurance policies. As the role of financial planners increases, many insurance agents are choosing to gain the proper licensing and certification to sell securities and other financial products. This includes passing an additional examination. Before agents can qualify as securities rep­ resentatives, they must pass the General Securities Registered Rep­ resentative Examination (Series 7 exam), administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). To further demonstrate competency in the area of financial planning, many agents also find it worthwhile to obtain a Certified Financial Plan­ ner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation. Insurance sales agents should be flexible, enthusiastic, confi­ dent, disciplined, hardworking, willing to solve problems, and able to communicate effectively. They should be able to inspire cus­ tomer confidence. Because they usually work without supervision, sales agents must be able to plan their time well and have the initia­ tive to locate new clients. An insurance sales agent who shows ability and leadership may become a sales manager in a local office. A few advance to agency superintendent or executive positions. Flowever, many who have built up a good clientele prefer to remain in sales work. Some, particularly in the property/casualty field, establish their own inde­ pendent agencies or brokerage firms. Job Outlook Although slower than average employment growth is expected among insurance agents through 2010, opportunities for agents will be favorable for persons with the right qualifications and skills. This includes flexible and ambitious people who enjoy competitive sales work, have excellent interpersonal skills, and have developed expertise in a wide range of insurance and financial services. Multi­ lingual agents also should be in high demand because they can serve a wider range of customers. Insurance language tends to be very technical, so it is important for insurance sales agents to have a firm understanding of relevant technical and legal terms. Because many beginners find it difficult to establish a sufficiently large clientele in this commission-based occupation, some eventually leave for other jobs. Most job openings are likely to result from the need to replace agents who leave the occupation and the large number of agent retirements expected in coming years. Future demand for insurance sales agents depends largely on the volume of sales of insurance and other financial products. While sales of life insurance are down, rising incomes and a concern for financial security during retirement are lifting sales of annuities, mutual funds, and other financial products sold by insurance agents. Sales of health and long-term care insurance also are expected to rise sharply as the population ages and as the law provides more people access to health insurance. In addition, a growing popula­ tion will increase the demand for insurance for automobiles, homes, and high-priced valuables and equipment. As new businesses emerge and existing firms expand coverage, sales of commercial insurance also should increase, including coverage such as product liability, workers’ compensation, employee benefits, and pollution liability insurance. Employment of agents will not keep up with the rising level of insurance sales, however. Many insurance companies are trying to contain costs. As a result, many are shedding their captive agents— those agents working directly for insurance carriers—and are rely­ ing more on independent agents or direct marketing through the mail, by phone, or on the Internet. Agents who incorporate new technology into their existing busi­ ness will remain competitive. More clients are turning to the Internet  first as a source of information. Those agents who use the Internet https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  to market their products will reach a broader client base, and ex­ pand their business. But because most clients value their relation­ ship with their agent, the Internet should not be a much of a threat to jobs. Many individuals prefer discussing their policies directly with their agents, rather than through a computer. Agents will face increased competition from traditional securi­ ties brokers and bankers as they begin to sell insurance policies. Because of increasing consolidation among insurance companies, banks, and brokerage firms and increasing demands from clients for more comprehensive financial planning, insurance sales agents will need to expand the products and services they offer. Agents who offer better customer service also will remain com­ petitive. Call centers are the primary way companies and agents are offering better service because customers are demanding greater access to their policies. Insurance and investments are becoming more complex, and many people and businesses lack the time and expertise to buy in­ surance without the advice of an agent. Insurance agents who are knowledgeable about their products and sell multiple lines of in­ surance and other financial products will remain in demand. Addi­ tionally, agents who take advantage of direct mail and Internet resources to advertise and promote their products can reduce the time it takes to develop sales leads, allowing them to concentrate on following up on potential clients. Most individuals and busi­ nesses consider insurance a necessity, regardless of economic con­ ditions. Therefore, agents are not likely to face unemployment because of a recession. Earnings The median annual earnings of wage and salary insurance sales agents were $38,750 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned be­ tween $26,920 and $59,370. The lowest 10 percent had earnings of $20,070 or less, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,530. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of insurance sales agents in 2000 were: Fire, marine, and casualty insurance....................................... $46,320 Medical service and health insurance...................................... 38,900 Insurance agents, brokers, and service..................................... 38,470 Life insurance......................................................................... 35 920 Many independent agents are paid by commission only, whereas sales workers who are employees of an agency or an insurance car­ rier may be paid in one of three ways—salary only, salary plus com­ mission, or salary plus bonus. In general, commissions are the most common form of compensation, especially for experienced agents. The amount of commission depends on the type and amount of insurance sold, and whether the transaction is a new policy or a renewal. Bonuses usually are awarded when agents meet their sales goals or when an agency’s profit goals are met. Some agents in­ volved with financial planning receive a fee for their services, rather than a commission. Company-paid benefits to insurance sales agents usually include continuing education, paid licensing training, group insurance plans, and office space and clerical support services. Some may pay for automobile and transportation expenses, attendance at conventions and meetings, promotion and marketing expenses, and retirement plans. Independent agents working for insurance agencies receive fewer benefits, but their commissions may be higher to help them pay for marketing and other expenses. Related Occupations Other workers who sell financial products or services include real estate agents and brokers; securities, commodities, and financial ser­ vices sales representatives; financial analysts and personal financial  362 Occupational Outlook Handbook  advisors; and financial managers. Other occupations in the insur­ ance industry include insurance underwriters; claims adjusters, ex­ aminers, and investigators; and insurance appraisers. Sources of Additional Information Occupational information about insurance sales agents is available from the home office of many life and casualty insurance compa­ nies. Information on State licensing requirements may be obtained from the department of insurance at any State capital. For information about insurance sales careers and training, contact:  ► Independent Insurance Agents of America, 127 S. Peyton St., Alexan­ dria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.iiaa.org > Insurance Vocational Education Student Training (InVEST), 127 S. Peyton St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.investprogram.org ► National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, 400 N. Wash­ ington St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.pianet.com  For information about health insurance sales careers, contact: >- National Association of Health Underwriters, 2000 N. 14th St., Suite 450, Arlington, VA 22201. Internet: http://www.nahu.org >- Health Insurance Association of America, 555 13th St. NW., Suite 600 East, Washington, DC 20004. Internet: http://www.hiaa.org  For information on the property and casualty field, contact: >- Insurance Information Institute, 110 William St., New York, NY 10038. Internet: http://www.iii.org  For information regarding training for life insurance sales ca­ reers, contact:  >- LIMRA International, P.O.Box 203, Hartford, CT 06141. Internet: http://www.limra.com  For information about professional designation programs, con­ tact:  >- The American College, 270 Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010­ 2195. Internet: http://www.amercoll.edu > The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, P.O. Box 27027, Austin, TX 78755. Internet: http://www.scic.com  Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents (0**NET 41-9021.00, 41-9022.00)  Significant Points •  • •  Real estate brokers and sales agents often work evenings and weekends, and are always on call to suit the needs of clients. A license is required in every State and the District of Columbia. Not everyone is successful in this highly competitive field; well-trained, ambitious people who enjoy selling should have the best chance for success.  Nature of the Work One of the most complex and important financial events in peoples’ lives is the purchase or sale of a home or investment property. As a result, people usually seek the help of real estate brokers and sales agents when buying or selling real estate. Real estate brokers and sales agents have a thorough knowledge of the real estate market in their community. They know which neighborhoods will best fit clients’ needs and budgets. They are familiar with local zoning and tax laws and know where to obtain financing. Agents and brokers also act as an intermediary in price negotiations between buyers and sellers. Real estate agents usually are independent sales workers who  provide their services to a licensed real estate broker on a contract https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  basis. In return, the broker pays the agent a portion of the commis­ sion earned from the agent’s sale of the property. Brokers are inde­ pendent business people who sell real estate owned by others; they also may rent and manage properties for a fee. When selling real estate, brokers arrange for title searches and for meetings between buyers and sellers where details of the transactions are agreed upon and the new owners take possession. A broker may help to arrange favorable financing from a lender for the prospective buyer that of­ ten makes the difference between success and failure in closing a sale. In some cases, brokers and agents assume primary responsibil­ ity for closing sales; in others, lawyers or lenders do this. Brokers supervise agents who may have many of the same job duties. Bro­ kers also manage their own offices, advertise properties, and handle other business matters. Some combine other types of work, such as selling insurance or practicing law, with their real estate business. There is more to an agent or broker’s job than making sales. They must have properties to sell. Consequently, they spend a sig­ nificant amount of time obtaining listings—owner agreements to place properties for sale with the firm. When listing a property for sale, agents and brokers compare the listed property with similar properties that have recently sold to determine its competitive mar­ ket price. Once the property is sold, the agent who sold the prop­ erty and the agent who obtained the listing both receive a portion of the commission. Thus, agents who sell a property they also listed can increase their commission. Most real estate brokers and sales agents sell residential prop­ erty. A small number, usually employed in large or specialized firms, sell commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other types of real es­ tate. Every specialty requires knowledge of that particular type of property and clientele. Selling or leasing business property requires an understanding of leasing practices, business trends, and location needs. Agents who sell or lease industrial properties must know about the region’s transportation, utilities, and labor supply. What­ ever the type of property, the agent or broker must know how to meet the client’s particular requirements. Before showing residential properties to potential buyers, agents meet with buyers to get a feeling for the type of home the buyers would like. In this prequalifying phase, the agent determines how much buyers can afford to spend. In addition, they usually sign a loyalty contract which states the agent will be the only one to show them houses. An agent or broker uses a computer to generate lists of properties for sale, their location and description, and available sources of financing. In some cases, agents and brokers use com­ puters to give buyers a virtual tour of properties in which they are interested. Buyers can view interior and exterior images or floor plans without leaving the real estate office. Agents may meet several times with prospective buyers to dis­ cuss and visit available properties. Agents identify and emphasize the most pertinent selling points. To a young family looking for a house, they may emphasize the convenient floor plan, the area’s low crime rate, and the proximity to schools and shopping centers. To a potential investor, they may point out the tax advantages of owning a rental property and the ease of finding a renter. If bar­ gaining over price becomes necessary, agents must carefully follow their client’s instructions and may have to present counter-offers in order to get the best possible price. Once both parties have signed the contract, the real estate broker or agent must see to it that all special terms of the contract are met before the closing date. For example, the agent must make sure the mandated and agreed-to inspections, including the home, termite, and radon inspections, take place. Also, if the seller agrees to any repairs, the broker or agent must see they are made. Increasingly, brokers and agents handle environmental problems by making sure the properties they sell meet environmental regulations. For example,  Sales and Related Occupations 363  ;■ ra i  Prospective home buyers can view many properties for sale from the offices of real estate brokers and sales agents.  they may be responsible for dealing with lead paint on the walls. While loan officers, attorneys, or other persons handle many de­ tails, the agent must ensure that they are completed. Working Conditions Advances in telecommunications and the ability to retrieve data on properties over the Internet allows many real estate brokers and sales agents to work out of their homes, instead of real estate offices. Even with this convenience, much of their time is spent away from their desk—showing properties to customers, analyzing properties for sale, meeting with prospective clients, or researching the state of the market. Agents and brokers often work more than a standard 40-hour week; nearly 1 out of every 4 full-time workers worked 50 hours or more a week in 2000. They often work evenings and weekends, and are always on call to suit the needs of clients. Business usually is slower during the winter season. Although the hours are long and often irregular, most agents and brokers also have the freedom to determine their own schedule. Consequently, they can arrange their work so they can have time off when they want it. Employment In 2000, real estate brokers held about 93,000 jobs; real estate sales agents held 339,000 jobs. Many worked part-time, combining their real estate activities with other careers. More than two-thirds of real estate agents and brokers were self-employed. Real estate is sold in all areas, but employment is concentrated in large urban areas and in smaller, but rapidly growing communities. Most real estate firms are relatively small; indeed, some are a one-person business. Some large real estate firms have several hun­ dred agents operating out of many branch offices. Many brokers have franchise agreements with national or regional real estate organizations. Under this type of arrangement, the broker pays a fee in exchange for the privilege of using the more widely known name of the parent organization. Although franchised brokers often receive help training sales staff and running their offices, they bear the ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of their firm. Real estate brokers and sales agents are older, on average, than most other workers. Historically, many homemakers and retired persons were attracted to real estate sales by the flexible and part­ work schedules characteristic of this field. They could enter, Digitizedtime for FRASER leave, and later re-enter the occupation, depending on the strength https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  of the real estate market, family responsibilities, or other personal circumstances. Recently, however, the attractiveness of part-time work has declined as increasingly complex legal and technological requirements raise start-up costs associated with becoming an agent. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement In every State and the District of Columbia, real estate brokers and sales agents must be licensed. Prospective agents must be a high school graduate, at least 18 years old, and pass a written test. The examination—more comprehensive for brokers than for agents— includes questions on basic real estate transactions and laws affect­ ing the sale of property. Most States require candidates for the general sales license to complete between 30 and 90 hours of class­ room instruction. Those seeking a broker’s license need between 60 and 90 hours of formal training and a specific amount of experi­ ence selling real estate, usually 1 to 3 years. Some States waive the experience requirements for the broker’s license for applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in real estate. State licenses typically must be renewed every 1 or 2 years, usu­ ally without examination. However, many States require continu­ ing education for license renewal. Prospective agents and brokers should contact the real estate licensing commission of the State in which they wish to work to verify exact licensing requirements. As real estate transactions have become more legally complex, many firms have turned to college graduates to fill positions. A large number of agents and brokers have some college training. College courses in real estate, finance, business administration, sta­ tistics, economics, law, and English are helpful. For those who intend to start their own company, business courses such as marketing and accounting are as important as those in real estate or finance. Personality traits are equally as important as academic background. Brokers look for applicants who possess a pleasant personality, hon­ esty, and a neat appearance. Maturity, tact, trustworthiness, and en­ thusiasm for the job are required in order to motivate prospective customers in this highly competitive field. Agents should be well organized, detail oriented, and have a good memory for names, faces, and business details. Those interested in jobs as real estate agents often begin in their own communities. Their knowledge of local neighborhoods is a clear advantage. Under the direction of an experienced agent, be­ ginners learn the practical aspects of the job, including the use of computers to locate or list available properties and identify sources of financing. Many firms offer formal training programs for both beginners and experienced agents. Larger firms usually offer more extensive programs than smaller firms. More than 1,000 universities, col­ leges, and junior colleges offer courses in real estate. At some, a student can earn an associate or bachelor’s degree with a major in real estate; several offer advanced degrees. Many local real es­ tate associations that are members of the National Association of Realtors sponsor courses covering the fundamentals and legal aspects of the field. Advanced courses in mortgage financing, prop­ erty development and management, and other subjects also are avail­ able through various affiliates of the National Association of Realtors. Advancement opportunities for agents may take the form of higher commission rates. As agents gain knowledge and expertise, they become more efficient in closing a greater number of transac­ tions and increase their earnings. Experienced agents can advance in many large firms to sales or general manager. Persons who have received their broker’s license may open their own offices. Others with experience and training in estimating property value may be­ come real estate appraisers, and people familiar with operating and maintaining rental properties may become property managers. (See the statement on property, real estate, and community association  364 Occupational Outlook Handbook  managers elsewhere in the Handbook.) Experienced agents and brokers with a thorough knowledge of business conditions and prop­ erty values in their localities may enter mortgage financing or real estate investment counseling. Job Outlook Employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through the year 2010. However, a large number of job openings will arise each year from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Not everyone is successful in this highly competitive field; many beginners become discouraged by their inability to get listings and to close a sufficient number of sales. Well-trained, ambitious people who enjoy selling should have the best chance for success. Increasing use of electronic information technology will con­ tinue to increase the productivity of agents and brokers, thus limit­ ing job growth. Real estate companies use computer-generated images to show houses to customers without leaving the office. Internet sites contain information on vast numbers of homes for sale with maps and directions to find them, available to anyone. In addition, wireless products such as cellular phones and pagers that can send and receive large amounts of data allow agents and bro­ kers to become more efficient and to serve a greater number of cus­ tomers. Use of this technology may eliminate some marginal agents such as those practicing real estate part-time or between jobs. These workers will not be able to compete as easily with full-time agents who have invested in this technology. Changing legal requirements, like disclosure laws, may dissuade some who are not serious about practicing full time from continuing to work part time. Another factor expected to adversely impact the need for agents and brokers is the ability of prospective customers to conduct their own searches for properties that meet their criteria by accessing real estate information on the Internet. While they are not able to conduct the entire real estate transaction online, it does allow the prospective buyer the convenience of making a more informed choice of properties to visit, as well as the ability to find out about financing, inspections, and appraisals. Employment growth in this field will stem primarily from increased demand for home purchases and rental units. Shifts in the age distri­ bution of the population over the next decade will result in a growing number of retirements and persons moving to smaller accommoda­ tions, often in quieter, smaller cities and towns or retirement commu­ nities. At the same time, younger families are expected to move out of apartments or smaller houses to larger accommodations. Employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is very sen­ sitive to swings in the economy. During periods of declining eco­ nomic activity and tight credit, the volume of sales and the resulting demand for sales workers falls. During these periods, the earnings of agents and brokers decline, and many work fewer hours or leave the occupation altogether. Earnings The median annual earnings of salaried real estate agents, includ­ ing commission, were $27,640 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,530 and $45,740 a year. The lowest 10 per­ cent earned less than $14,460, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $78,540. Median annual earnings in the industries em­ ploying the largest number of salaried real estate agents in 2000 were as follows: Residential building constmction...................................................... Subdividers and developers................................................................. Real estate agents and managers....................................................... Digitized forestate FRASER Real operators and lessors........................................................  https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  $44,940 32,030 27,770 20,770  Median annual earnings of salaried real estate brokers, includ­ ing commission, were $47,690 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $30,630 and $80,250 a year. The lowest 10 per­ cent earned less than $18,080, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $143,560 a year. Commissions on sales are the main source of earnings of real estate agents and brokers. The rate of commission varies according to agent and broker agreement, the type of property, and its value. The percentage paid on the sale of farm and commercial properties or unimproved land usually is higher than the percentage paid for selling a home. Commissions may be divided among several agents and bro­ kers. The broker and the agent in the firm who obtained the listing usually share their commission when the property is sold; the bro­ ker and the agent in the firm who made the sale also usually share their part of the commission. Although an agent’s share varies greatly from one firm to another, often it is about half of the total amount received by the firm. Agents who both list and sell a property maxi­ mize their commission. Income usually increases as an agent gains experience, but indi­ vidual ability, economic conditions, and the type and location of the property also affect earnings. Sales workers who are active in community organizations and local real estate associations can broaden their contacts and increase their earnings. A beginner’s earnings often are irregular because a few weeks or even months may go by without a sale. Although some brokers allow an agent a drawing account against future earnings, this practice is not usual with new employees. The beginner, therefore, should have enough money to live on for about 6 months or until commissions increase. Related Occupations Selling expensive items such as homes requires maturity, tact, and a sense of responsibility. Other sales workers who find these charac­ ter traits important in their work include insurance sales agents; retail salespersons; sales representatives, wholesale and manufac­ turing; and securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. Sources of Additional Information Information on license requirements for real estate brokers and sales agents is available from most local real estate organizations or from the State real estate commission or board. For more information about opportunities in real estate, contact: >■ National Association of Realtors, 700 11th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20001. Internet:  http://www.nar.realtor.com  Retail Salespersons (0**NET 41-2031.00)  Significant Points •  •  •  Good employment opportunities are expected due to the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation each year. Many salespersons work evenings, weekends, and long hours from Thanksgiving through the beginning of January, during sales, and in other peak retail periods. Opportunities for part-time work are plentiful, attracting people looking to supplement their income; however, most of those selling high-priced items work full time and have substantial experience.  Sales and Related Occupations 365  Nature of the Work Whether selling shoes, computer equipment, or automobiles, retail salespersons assist customers in finding what they are looking for and try to interest them in buying the merchandise. They describe a product’s features, demonstrate its use, or show various models and colors. For some sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail salespersons need special knowledge or skills. For example, salespersons who sell automobiles must be able to explain to customers the features of various models, war­ ranty information, the meaning of manufacturers’ specifications, and the types of options and financing available. Consumers spend millions of dollars every day on merchandise and often form their impressions of a store by evaluating its sales force. Therefore, retailers stress the importance of providing cour­ teous and efficient service in order to remain competitive. When a customer wants an item that is not on the sales floor, for example, the salesperson may check the stockroom, place a special order, or call another store to locate the item. In addition to selling, most retail salespersons, especially those who work in department and apparel stores, make out sales checks; receive cash, check, and charge payments; bag or package purchases; and give out change and receipts. Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This may include counting the money; separating charge slips, cou­ pons, and exchange vouchers; and making deposits at the cash of­ fice. Salespersons often are held responsible for the contents of their registers, and repeated shortages are cause for dismissal in many organizations. (Cashiers, who have similar job duties, are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) Salespersons also may handle returns and exchanges of merchandise, wrap gifts, and keep their work areas neat. In addi­ tion, they may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays. Frequently, salespersons must be aware of special sales and pro­ motions. They must also recognize possible security risks and thefts and know how to handle or prevent such situations.  Digitized FRASER A for retail salesperson checks the availability’ of a product. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Working Conditions Most salespersons in retail trade work in clean, comfortable, welllighted stores. Flowever, they often stand for long periods and may need supervisory approval to leave the sales floor. The Monday-through-Friday, 9-to-5 workweek is the exception rather than the rule in retail trade. Most salespersons work eve­ nings and weekends, particularly during sales and other peak retail periods. Because the holiday season is the busiest time for most retailers, many employers restrict the use of vacation time from Thanksgiving through the beginning of January. This job can be rewarding for those who enjoy working with people. Patience and courtesy are required, especially when the work is repetitious and the customers are demanding. Employment Retail salespersons held about 4.1 millionjobsin2000. They worked in stores ranging from small specialty shops employing a few work­ ers, to giant department stores with hundreds of salespersons. In addition, some were self-employed representatives of direct sales companies and mail-order houses. The largest employers of retail salespersons are department stores, clothing and accessories stores, furniture and home furnishing stores, and motor vehicle dealers. This occupation offers many opportunities for part-time work and is especially appealing to students, retirees, and others looking to supplement their income. However, most of those selling “bigticket” items, such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronic equip­ ment, work full time and have substantial experience. Because retail stores are found in every city and town, employ­ ment is distributed geographically in much the same way as the population. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement There usually are no formal education requirements for this type of work, although a high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. Employers look for people who enjoy working with others and have the tact and patience to deal with difficult customers. Among other desirable characteristics are an interest in sales work, a neat appear­ ance, and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. The ability to speak more than one language may be helpful for employ­ ment in communities where people from various cultures tend to live and shop. Before hiring a salesperson, some employers may conduct a background check, especially for a job selling high-priced items. In most small stores, an experienced employee, or the propri­ etor, instructs newly hired sales personnel in making out sales checks and operating cash registers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days. Topics usu­ ally discussed are customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to work a cash register. Depending on the type of product they are selling, they may be given additional spe­ cialized training by manufacturers’ representatives. For example, those working in cosmetics receive instruction on the types of prod­ ucts available and for whom the cosmetics would be most benefi­ cial. Likewise, salespersons employed by motor vehicle dealers may be required to participate in training programs designed to pro­ vide information on the technical details of standard and optional equipment available on new models. Because providing the best service to customers is a high priority for many employers, employ­ ees often are given periodic training to update and refine their skills. As salespersons gain experience and seniority, they usually move to positions of greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments. This often means moving to areas with potentially higher earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually is found in selling big-ticket items. This type of position  366 Occupational Outlook Handbook  often requires the most knowledge of the product and the greatest talent for persuasion. Opportunities for advancement vary in small stores. In some establishments, advancement is limited, because one person, often the owner, does most of the managerial work. In others, however, some salespersons are promoted to assistant managers. Traditionally, capable salespersons without college degrees could advance to management positions. Today, however, large retail businesses usually prefer to hire college graduates as management trainees, making a college education increasingly important. De­ spite this trend, motivated and capable employees without college degrees still may advance to administrative or supervisory positions in large establishments. Retail selling experience may be an asset when applying for sales positions with larger retailers or in other industries, such as finan­ cial services, wholesale trade, or manufacturing. Job Outlook As in the past, employment opportunities for retail salespersons are expected to be good because of the need to replace the large num­ ber of workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force each year. In addition, many new jobs will be created for retail salespersons. Employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010, reflecting rising retail sales stemming from a growing population. Opportu­ nities for part-time work should be abundant, and demand will be strong for temporary workers during peak selling periods, such as the end-of-year holiday season. During economic downturns, sales volumes and the resulting demand for sales workers usually decline. Purchases of costly items, such as cars, appliances, and furniture, tend to be postponed during difficult economic times. In areas of high unemployment, sales of many types of goods decline. However, because turnover of sales workers usually is very high, employers often can adjust employ­ ment levels by simply not replacing all those who leave. Earnings The starting wage for many retail sales positions is the Federal mini­ mum wage, which was $5.15 an hour in 2001. In areas where em­ ployers have difficulty attracting and retaining workers, wages tend to be higher than the legislated minimum. Median hourly earnings of retail salespersons, including com­ mission, were $8.02 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned be­ tween $6.63 and $ 10.54 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $5.86, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $15.86 an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the larg­ est numbers of retail salespersons in 2000 were as follows: New and used car dealers.................................................................... Lumber and other building materials................................................ Department stores.................................................................................. Miscellaneous shopping goods stores.............................................. Family clothing stores..........................................................................  $17.81 10.38 7.63 7.50 7.39  Compensation systems vary by type of establishment and mer­ chandise sold. Salespersons receive hourly wages, commissions, or a combination of wages and commissions. Under a commission system, salespersons receive a percentage of the sales that they make. This system offers sales workers the opportunity to significantly increase their earnings, but they may find that their earnings strongly depend on their ability to sell their product and on the ups and downs of the economy. Employers may use incentive programs such as awards, banquets, bonuses, and profit-sharing plans to promote team­ Digitizedwork for FRASER among the sales staff. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Benefits may be limited in smaller stores, but benefits in large establishments usually are comparable to those offered by other employers. In addition, nearly all salespersons are able to buy their store’s merchandise at a discount, with the savings depending upon the type of merchandise. Related Occupations Salespersons use sales techniques, coupled with their knowledge of merchandise, to assist customers and encourage purchases. Workers in a number of other occupations use these same skills, including sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing; se­ curities, commodities, and financial services sales agents; counter and rental clerks; real estate brokers and sales agents; purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents; insurance sales agents; sales engineers; and cashiers. Sources of Additional Information Information on careers in retail sales may be obtained from the per­ sonnel offices of local stores or from State merchants’ associations. General information about retailing is available from: > National Retail Federation, 325 7th St. NW., Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20004. Internet: http://www.nrf.com  Information about retail sales employment opportunities is avail­ able from: ► Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, 30 East 29th St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016.  Information about training for a career in automobile sales is available from: >- National Automobile Dealers Association, Public Relations Depart­ ment, 8400 Westpark Dr., McLean, VA 22102-3591. Internet: http ://www.nada.org  Sales Engineers (0**NET 41-9031.00)  Significant Points •  • •  A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required; many sales engineers have previous work experience in an engineering specialty. Projected employment growth stems from the increasing variety and number of goods to be sold. Employment opportunities and earnings may fluctuate from year to year.  Nature of the Work Many products and services, especially those purchased by large companies and institutions, are highly complex. Sales engineers, using their engineering skills, help customers determine which prod­ ucts or services provided by the sales engineer’s employer best suit their needs. Sales engineers—who also may be called manufactur­ ers’ agents, sales representatives, or technical sales support work­ ers—often work with both the customer and the production, engineering, or research and development departments of their com­ pany or of independent firms to determine how products and ser­ vices could be designed or modified to best suit the customer’s needs. They also may advise the customer on how to best utilize the prod­ ucts or services being provided. Selling, of course, is an important part of the job. Sales engi­ neers use their technical skills to demonstrate to potential custom­ ers how and why the products or services they are selling would  Sales and Related Occupations 367  suit the customer better than competitors’ products. Often, there may not be a directly competitive product. In these cases, the job of the sales engineer is to demonstrate to the customer the usefulness of the product or service—for example, how much new production machinery would save the customer. Most sales engineers have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and some have previous work experience in an engineering spe­ cialty before becoming a sales engineer. Engineers apply the theo­ ries and principles of science and mathematics to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific discoveries and commer­ cial applications. Many sales engineers specialize in an area re­ lated to an engineering specialty. For example, sales engineers selling chemical products may have a background as a chemical engineer while those selling electrical products may have a degree in electrical engineering. (See the statements on engineers and 14 engineering specialties elsewhere in the Handbook) Many of the job duties of sales engineers are similar to those of other salespersons. They must interest the client in purchasing their products, many of which are durable manufactured products such as turbines. Sales engineers are often teamed with other salesper­ sons who concentrate on the marketing and sales, enabling the sales engineer to concentrate on the technical aspects ofthe job. By work­ ing as a sales team, each member is able to utilize his or her strengths and knowledge. (Information on other sales occupations, including sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, appears else­ where in the Handbook)  ii§j§ii§  ■Hi  A degree in engineering is required to become a sales engineer. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Sales engineers tend to employ selling techniques that are dif­ ferent from those used by most other sales workers. They may use a “consultative” style; that is, they focus on the client’s problem and show how it could be solved or mitigated with their product or service. This selling style differs from the “benefits and features” method, whereby the product is described and the customer is left to decide how the product would be useful. In addition to maintaining current clients and attracting new ones, sales engineers help clients work out any problems that arise when the product is installed, and may continue to serve as a liaison be­ tween the client and their company. In addition, due to their famil­ iarity with the client’s needs, sales engineers may help identify and develop potential new products. Sales engineers may work directly for manufacturers or serviceproviders, or in small independent firms. In an independent firm, they may sell a complimentary line of products from several differ­ ent suppliers, in which case they are paid on a commission basis. Working Conditions Many sales engineers work more than 40 hours per week to meet sales goals and their clients’ needs. Selling can be stressful be­ cause sales engineers’ income and job security often directly de­ pend on their success in sales and customer service. Some sales engineers have large territories and travel extensively. Because sales regions may cover several States, they may be away from home for several days or even weeks at a time. Others work near their “home base” and travel mostly by automobile. However, international travel is becoming more important to secure contracts with foreign customers. Although the hours may be long and are often irregular, many sales engineers have the freedom to determine their own schedule. Consequently, they often can arrange their appointments so they can have time off when they want it. However, most independent sales workers do not earn any income while on vacation. Employment Sales engineers held about 85,000 jobs in 2000. Almost two-thirds were in durable goods manufacturing industries—for example, in­ dustrial machinery and equipment, measuring and controlling de­ vices, or electronic and other electrical equipment—and wholesale trade, including machinery, equipment, and supplies. Services and nondurable goods manufacturing industries employed most of the remaining sales engineers. Unlike many other sales occupations, very few sales engineers are self-employed. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required to become a sales engineer. However, some workers with previous experience in sales combined with technical experience or training sometimes hold the title of sales engineer. Also, workers who have a degree in a sci­ ence, such as chemistry, or even a degree in business with little or no previous sales experience, may be termed sales engineers. Admissions requirements for undergraduate engineering schools include a solid background in mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigo­ nometry, and calculus), physical sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics), and courses in English, social studies, humanities, and computer science. University programs vary in content. For ex­ ample, some programs emphasize industrial practices, preparing stu­ dents for a job in industry, whereas others are more theoretical and prepare students for graduate school. Therefore, students should investigate curricula and check accreditations carefully before selecting a college. Once a college has been selected, a student must choose an area of engineering in which to specialize. Some  368 Occupational Outlook Handbook  programs offer a general engineering curriculum; students then spe­ cialize in graduate school or on the job. Most engineering degrees are granted in electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering. How­ ever, engineers trained in one branch may work in related branches. Many sales engineers first worked as engineers. For some, the engineering experience was necessary to obtain the technical back­ ground needed to effectively sell their employers’ products or ser­ vices. Others moved into the occupation because it offered better earnings and advancement potential or because they were looking for a new challenge. New graduates with engineering degrees may need sales experi­ ence and training to obtain employment directly as a sales engineer. This may involve teaming with a sales mentor who is familiar with the business practices, customers, and company procedures and culture. After the training period has been completed, the sales engineer may continue to partner with someone who lacks techni­ cal skills, yet excels in the art of sales. Promotion may include a higher commission rate, larger sales territory, or promotion to supervisor or marketing manager. In other cases, sales engineers may leave their companies and form a small independent firm that may offer higher commissions and more free­ dom. Independent firms tend to be small, although relatively few sales engineers are self-employed. It is important for sales engineers to continue their education throughout their careers because much of their value to their em­ ployer depends on their knowledge of the latest technology. Sales engineers in high-technology areas, such as information technol­ ogy or advanced electronics, may find that technical knowledge can become obsolete rapidly.  a year. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of sales engineers in 2000 were as follows: Electrical goods...................................................................................... Computer and data processing services............................................ Professional and commercial equipment..........................................  $67,100 60,810 49,860  In addition to their earnings, sales engineers who work for manu­ facturers are usually reimbursed for expenses such as transporta­ tion, meals, hotels, and customer entertainment. In addition to typical benefits, sales engineers often get personal use of a company car and frequent-flyer mileage. Some companies offer incentives such as free vacation trips or gifts for outstanding performance. Sales engineers who work in independent firms may have higher but less stable earnings and, often, relatively few benefits. Related Occupations Sales engineers must have sales ability and knowledge of the prod­ ucts they sell, as well as technical and analytical skills. Other occu­ pations that require similar skills include advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers; engineers; insur­ ance sales agents; purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents; real estate brokers and sales agents; sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing; and securities, commodities, and fi­ nancial services sales agents. Sources of Additional Information For more information about becoming a sales engineer, contact: >■ Manufacturers’ Agents National Association, P.O. Box 3467, Laguna  http://www.manaonline.org Career and certification information is available from:  Hills, CA 92654-3467. Internet:  ► Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation, P.O.  Job Outlook Employment of sales engineer is expected to grow about as fast as tbe average for all occupations through the year 2010. Projected employment growth stems from the increasing variety and number of goods to be sold. Competitive pressures and advancing tech­ nology will force companies to improve and update product designs more frequently and to optimize their manufacturing and sales  Box  processes. Employment opportunities and earnings may fluctuate from year to year because sales are affected by changing economic conditions, legislative issues, and consumer preferences. Prospects will be best for those with the appropriate knowledge or technical expertise, as well as the personal traits necessary for successful sales work. While most job openings will be new positions created as com­ panies expand their sales force, some openings will arise each year from the need to replace sales workers who transfer to other occu­ pations or leave the labor force; compared to other occupations, however, the number of these openings should be relatively small.  (0**NET 41 -4011.01, 41 -4011.02, 41 -4011.03, 41 -4011.04, 41 -4011.05, 41-4011.06, 41-4012.00)  Earnings Compensation methods vary significantly by the type of firm and product sold. Most employers use a combination of salary and com­ mission or salary plus bonus. Commissions usually are based on the amount of sales, whereas bonuses may depend on individual performance, on the performance of all sales workers in the group or district, or on the company’s performance. Earnings from com­ missions and bonuses may vary greatly from year to year, depend­ ing on sales ability, the demand for the company’s products or services, and the overall economy. Median annual earnings of sales engineers, including commis­ sion, were $56,520 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $44,240 and $76,230 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less Digitizedthan for FRASER $33,930 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $95,560 https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  247, Geneva, IL 60134. Internet: http://www.mrerf.org  Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing  Significant Points  • •  •  Many are self-employed manufacturers’ agents who work for a commission. A bachelor’s degree increasingly is required; nevertheless, some individuals with previous sales experience enter the occupation without a college degree. Prospects will be best for those with the appropriate knowledge or technical expertise, as well as the personal traits necessary for successful selling.  Nature of the Work Sales representatives are an important part of manufacturers’ and wholesalers’ success. Regardless of the type of product they sell, their primary duties are to interest wholesale and retail buyers and purchasing agents in their merchandise, and to address any of the client’s questions or concerns. Sales representatives represent one or several manufacturers or wholesale distributors by selling one product or a complimentary line of products. Sales representa­ tives also advise clients on methods to reduce costs, use their prod­ ucts, and increase sales. They market their company’s products to  Sales and Related Occupations 369  manufacturers, wholesale and retail establishments, construction contractors, government agencies, and other institutions. (Retail salespersons, who sell directly to consumers, and sales engineers, who specialize in sales of technical products and services, are dis­ cussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) Depending on where they work, sales representatives have dif­ ferent job titles. Those employed directly by a manufacturer or whole­ saler often are called sales representatives. Manufacturers ’ agents or manufacturers ’ representatives are self-employed sales workers who contract their services to all types of manufacturing companies. However, many of these titles are used interchangeably. Sales representatives spend much of their time traveling to and visiting with prospective buyers and current clients. During a sales call, they discuss the client’s needs and suggest how their merchan­ dise or services can meet those needs. They may show samples or catalogs that describe items their company stocks and inform cus­ tomers about prices, availability, and ways in which their products can save money and improve productivity. Because a vast number of manufacturers and wholesalers sell similar products, sales repre­ sentatives must emphasize any unique qualities of their products and services. As independent agents, they might sell several com­ plimentary products made by different manufacturers and, thus, take a broad approach to their customers’ business. Sales representa­ tives may help install new equipment and train employees. They also take orders and resolve any problems with or complaints about the merchandise. Obtaining new accounts is an important part of the job. Sales representatives follow leads from other clients, track advertisements in trade journals, participate in trade shows and conferences, and may visit potential clients unannounced. In addition, they may spend time meeting with and entertaining prospective clients during eve­ nings and weekends. In a process that may take several months, sales representatives present their product and negotiate the sale. Aided by a laptop com­ puter connected to the Internet, they often can answer technical and nontechnical questions immediately. Frequently, sales representatives who lack technical expertise work as a team with a technical expert. In this arrangement, the technical expert—sometimes a sales engineer—will attend the sales presentation to explain the product and answer questions or con­ cerns. The sales representative makes the preliminary contact with customers, introduces the company’s product, and closes the sale. The representative is then able to spend more time maintaining and soliciting accounts and less time acquiring technical knowledge. "'  ■  — *  ixSi.t*. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, advise   potential buyers on the use of their products. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  After the sale, representatives may make follow-up visits to ensure that the equipment is functioning properly and may even help train customers’ employees to operate and maintain new equipment. Those selling consumer goods often suggest how and where merchandise should be displayed. Working with retailers, they may help arrange promotional programs, store displays, and advertising. Sales representatives have several duties beyond selling prod­ ucts. They also analyze sales statistics; prepare reports; and handle administrative duties, such as filing their expense account reports, scheduling appointments, and making travel plans. They study lit­ erature about new and existing products and monitor the sales, prices, and products of their competitors. Manufacturers’ agents who operate a sales agency must also manage their business. This requires organizational skills as well as knowledge of accounting, marketing, and administration. Working Conditions Some sales representatives have large territories and travel consid­ erably. A sales region may cover several States, so they may be away from home for several days or weeks at a time. Others work near their “home base” and travel mostly by automobile. Due to the nature of the work and the amount of travel, sales representatives typically work more than 40 hours per week. Although the hours are long and often irregular, most sales rep­ resentatives have the freedom to determine their own schedule. Consequently, they can arrange their appointments so they can have time off when they want it. Sales representatives are often on their feet for long periods and may carry heavy sample products, which necessitates some physical stamina. Dealing with different types of people can be stimulating but demanding. Sales representatives often face competition from rep­ resentatives of other companies. Companies usually set goals or quotas that representatives are expected to meet. Because their earn­ ings depend on commissions, manufacturers’ agents are also under the added pressure to maintain and expand their clientele. Employment Manufacturers’ and wholesale sales representatives held about 1.8 million jobs in 2000. Three of every 5 salaried representatives worked in wholesale trade—mostly for distributors of machinery and equipment, groceries and related products, and motor vehicles and parts. Others were employed in manufacturing and mining. Due to the diversity of products and services sold, employment opportunities are available in every part of the country in a wide range of industries. In addition to those working directly for a firm, many sales rep­ resentatives are self-employed manufacturers’ agents. They often form small sales firms and work for a straight commission based on the value of their own sales. However, manufacturers’ agents usu­ ally gain experience and recognition with a manufacturer or whole­ saler before becoming self-employed. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement The background needed for sales jobs varies by product line and market. Most firms require a strong educational background and increasingly prefer or require a bachelor’s degree as the job re­ quirements have become more technical and analytical. Neverthe­ less, many employers still hire individuals with previous sales experience who do not have a college degree. For some consumer products, factors such as sales ability, personality, and familiarity with brands are as important as a degree. On the other hand, firms selling complex, technical products may require a technical degree in addition to some sales experience. Many sales representatives attend seminars in sales techniques or take courses in marketing,  370 Occupational Outlook Handbook  economics, communication, or even a foreign language to provide the extra edge needed to make sales. In general, companies are looking for the best and brightest individuals who have the person­ ality and desire to sell. Many companies have formal training programs for beginning sales representatives lasting up to 2 years. However, most busi­ nesses are accelerating these programs to reduce costs and expedite the returns from training. In some programs, trainees rotate among jobs in plants and offices to learn all phases of production, installa­ tion, and distribution of the product. In others, trainees take formal classroom instruction at the plant, followed by on-the-job training under the supervision of a field sales manager. Some sales repre­ sentatives complete certification courses to become Certified Pro­ fessional Manufacturers’ Representatives (CPMRs). New workers may get training by accompanying experienced workers on their sales calls. As they gain familiarity with the firm’s products and clients, these workers are given increasing responsi­ bility until they are eventually assigned their own territory. As busi­ nesses experience greater competition, increased pressure is placed upon sales representatives to produce sales. Sales representatives stay abreast of new products and the chang­ ing needs of their customers in a variety of ways. They attend trade shows where new products and technologies are showcased. They also attend conferences and conventions to meet other sales repre­ sentatives and clients and discuss new product developments. In addition, the entire sales force may participate in company-spon­ sored meetings to review sales performance, product development, sales goals, and profitability. Those who want to become sales representatives should be goaloriented and persuasive, and work well both independently and as part of a team. A pleasant personality and appearance, the ability to communicate well with people, and problem-solving skills are highly valued. Furthermore, completing a sale can take several months and thus requires patience and perseverance. Frequently, promotion takes the form of an assignment to a larger account or territory where commissions are likely to be greater. Experienced sales representatives may move into jobs as sales train­ ers, who instmct new employees on selling techniques and com­ pany policies and procedures. Those who have good sales records and leadership ability may advance to sales supervisor or district manager. In addition to advancement opportunities within a firm, some manufacturers’ agents go into business for themselves. Others find opportunities in purchasing, advertising, or marketing research. Job Outlook Employment of sales representatives, wholesale and manufactur­ ing, is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occu­ pations through the year 2010. Continued growth due to the increasing variety and number of goods to be sold will be tempered by the increased effectiveness and efficiency of sales workers. Many job openings will result from the need to replace workers who trans­ fer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Prospective customers will still require sales workers to demon­ strate or illustrate the particulars about the good or service. How­ ever, computer technology makes them more effective and productive, for example, by allowing them to provide accurate and current information to customers during sales presentations. In addition, electronic commerce provides sales representatives an­ other way to advertise and sell, thus requiring fewer sales represen­ tatives to do the same amount of work. Manufacturers are expected to continue outsourcing sales duties to independent agents rather than using in-house or direct selling  personnel. To their advantage, these agents are more likely to work https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  in a sales area or territory longer than representatives, creating a better working relationship and understanding of how customers operate their businesses. Agents are paid only if they sell, which reduces the overhead cost to their clients. Also, by using an agent who usually lends his or her services to more than one company, companies can share costs with the other companies involved with that agent. Those interested in this occupation should keep in mind that direct selling opportunities in manufacturing are likely to be best for prod­ ucts with strong demand. Furthermore, jobs will be most plentiful in small wholesale and manufacturing firms because a growing num­ ber of these companies will rely on agents to market their products as a way to control their costs and expand their customer base. Employment opportunities and earnings may fluctuate from year to year because sales are affected by changing economic conditions, legislative issues, and consumer preferences. Prospects will be best for those with the appropriate knowledge or technical expertise as well as the personal traits necessary for successful selling. Earnings Compensation methods vary significantly by the type of firm and product sold. Most employers use a combination of salary and com­ mission or salary plus bonus. Commissions usually are based on the amount of sales, whereas bonuses may depend on individual performance, on the performance of all sales workers in the group or district, or on the company’s performance. Median annual earnings of sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products, were $52,620, including commission, in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned be­ tween $37,420 and $74,470 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $102,000 a year. Median annual earnings in the industries employ­ ing the largest number of sales representatives, technical and scien­ tific products, in 2000 were as follows: Computer and data processing services.................................... $62,310 Professional and commercial equipment.................................. 56,840 Drugs, proprietaries, and sundries............................................ 56,660 Machinery, equipment, and supplies........................................ 52,820 Electrical goods...................................................................... 51,650 Median annual earnings of sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products, were $40,340, including commission, in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $28,850 and $57,280 a year. The lowest 10 per­ cent earned less than $21,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,830 a year. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of sales representatives, except tech­ nical and scientific products, in 2000 were as follows: Machinery, equipment, and supplies........................................ $43,190 Professional and commercial equipment.................................. 41,880 Electrical goods...................................................................... 41,390 Groceries and related products................................................. 37,220 Miscellaneous nondurable goods ............................................. 33,630 In addition to their earnings, sales representatives are usually reimbursed for expenses such as transportation costs, meals, hotels, and entertaining customers. They often receive benefits such as health and life insurance, pension plan, vacation and sick leave, personal use of a company car, and frequent flyer mileage. Some companies offer incentives such as free vacation trips or gifts for outstanding sales workers. Unlike those working directly for a manufacturer or wholesaler, manufacturers’ agents are paid strictly on commission and are usually  Sales and Related Occupations 371  not reimbursed for expenses. Depending on the type of product or products they are selling, their experience in the field, and the num­ ber of clients, their earnings can be significantly higher or lower than those working in direct sales. Related Occupations Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, must have sales ability and knowledge of the products they sell. Other occu­ pations that require similar skills include advertising, marketing, promotions, and public relations, and sales managers; insurance sales agents; purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents; real estate brokers and sales agents; retail salespersons; sales engi­ neers; and securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. Sources of Additional Information Career information on manufacturers’ agents is available from: > Manufacturers’ Agents National Association, P.O. Box 3467, Laguna Hills, CA 92654-3467. Internet: http://www.manaonline.org  P5K* ■"•"iSSE>  Sales worker supervisors ensure that the store junctions smoothly.  Career and certification information is available from: >* * Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation, P.O. Box 247, Geneva, IL 60134. Internet: http://www.mrerf.org  Sales Worker Supervisors (0*NET 41-1011.00, 41-1012.00)  Significant Points •  Applicants with experience as a retail salesperson, cashier, or customer service representative should have the best job opportunities.  •  The number of self-employed sales worker supervisors in retail trade is expected to decline as independent retailers face increasing competition from national chains. Work schedules may be irregular and often include evenings and weekends. A postsecondary degree is increasingly needed for advancement into management.  • •  Nature of the Work Sales worker supervisors oversee the work of sales and related work­ ers such as retail salespersons, cashiers, customer service represen­ tatives, stock clerks and order fillers, sales engineers, and wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives. They are responsible for interviewing, hiring, and training employees, as well as preparing work schedules and assigning workers to specific duties. Many of these workers hold job titles such as sales manager or department manager. Under the occupational classification system used in the Handbook, however, workers with the title manager, who mainly supervise nonsupervisory workers, are called supervisors rather than managers even though many of these workers often perform many managerial functions. (Sales worker supervisors oversee retail sales­ persons, cashiers, customer service representatives, stock clerks and order fillers, sales engineers, and sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing; these workers are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) In retail establishments, sales worker supervisors ensure that  customers receive satisfactory service and quality goods. They also https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  answer customers’ inquiries and deal with complaints, and may handle purchasing, budgeting, and accounting. Their responsibili­ ties vary, depending on the size and type of establishment. As the size of retail stores and the types of goods and services increase, these workers tend to specialize in one department or one aspect of merchandising. (Managers in eating and drinking places are dis­ cussed in the Handbook statement on food service managers.) Sales worker supervisors in large retail establishments, often referred to as department managers, provide day-to-day oversight of individual departments, such as shoes, cosmetics, or housewares in large department stores; produce and meat in grocery stores; and sales in automotive dealerships. These workers establish and imple­ ment policies, goals, objectives, and procedures for their specific departments; coordinate activities with other department heads; and strive for smooth operations within their departments. They super­ vise employees who price and ticket goods and place them on dis­ play; clean and organize shelves, displays, and inventory in stockrooms; and inspect merchandise to ensure that nothing is out­ dated. Sales worker supervisors also review inventory and sales records, develop merchandising techniques, coordinate sales pro­ motions, and may greet and assist customers and promote sales and good public relations. Sale workers supervisors in nonretail establishments supervise and coordinate the activities of sales workers who sell industrial products, automobiles, or services such as advertising or Internet services. They may prepare budgets, make personnel decisions, devise sales-incentive programs, assign sales territories, or approve sales contracts. In small or independent companies and retail stores, sales worker supervisors not only directly supervise sales associates, but are also responsible for the operation of the entire company or store. Some are also self-employed business or store owners. Working Conditions Most sales worker supervisors have offices. In retail trade, their offices are within the stores, usually close to the area they oversee. Although some time is spent in the office completing merchandise orders or arranging work schedules, a large portion of their work­ day is spent on the sales floor, supervising employees or selling. Work hours of supervisors vary greatly among establishments, because work schedules usually depend on customers’ needs. Most supervisors work 40 hours or more a week; long hours are common. This is particularly true during sales, holidays, busy shopping hours,  372 Occupational Outlook Handbook  and times during which inventory is taken. They are expected to work evenings and weekends, but usually are compensated with a day off during the week. Hours can change weekly, and managers sometimes must report to work on short notice, especially when employees are absent. Independent owners can often set their own schedules, but hours must be convenient to customers. Employment Sales worker supervisors held about 2.5 million jobs in 2000. About one-third were self-employed; most of these were store owners. Most are found in grocery and department stores, motor vehicle dealerships, and clothing and accessory stores, and in services such as advertising or other business services. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Sales worker supervisors usually acquire knowledge of manage­ ment principles and practices—an essential requirement for a su­ pervisory or managerial position in retail trade—through work experience. Many supervisors begin their careers on the sales floor as salespersons, cashiers, or customer service representatives. In these positions, they learn merchandising, customer service, and the basic policies and procedures of the company. The educational background of sales worker supervisors varies widely. Regardless of the education received, recommended courses include accounting, marketing, management, and sales, as well as psychology, sociology, and communication. Supervisors must be computer literate because almost all cash registers, inventory con­ trol systems, and sales quotes and contracts are computerized. Most supervisors who have postsecondary education hold asso­ ciate or bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts, social sciences, business, or management. To gain experience, many college students partici­ pate in internship programs that usually are developed jointly by individual schools and firms. Once supervisors are on the job, the type and amount of training available to them varies from company to company. Many national retail chains and companies have formal training programs for man­ agement trainees that include both classroom and onsite training. Training time may be as brief as 1 week but may also last up to 1 year or more, because many organizations require that trainees gain experience during all sales seasons. Ordinarily, classroom training includes such topics as interview­ ing and customer service skills, employee and inventory manage­ ment, and scheduling. Management trainees may work in one specific department while training on the job, or they may rotate through several departments to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the company’s operation. Training programs for retail franchises are generally extensive, covering all functions of the company’s operation, including budgeting, marketing, management, finance, purchasing, product preparation, human resource management, and compensation. College graduates usually can enter management training programs directly. Sales worker supervisors must get along with all types of people. They need initiative, self-discipline, good judgment, and decisive­ ness. Patience and a mild temperament are necessary when dealing with demanding customers. Sales worker supervisors must also be able to motivate, organize, and direct the work of subordinates and communicate clearly and persuasively with customers and other supervisors. Individuals who display leadership and team-building skills, self­ confidence, motivation, and decisiveness become candidates for promotion to assistant manager or manager. A postsecondary de­ gree may speed advancement, because it is viewed by employers  as a sign of motivation and maturity—qualities deemed important https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  for promotion to more responsible positions. In many retail estab­ lishments, managers are promoted from within the company. In small retail establishments, where the number of positions is lim­ ited, advancement to a higher management position may come slowly. Large establishments often have extensive career ladder programs, and may offer supervisors the opportunity to transfer to another store in the chain or to the central office if an opening occurs. Although promotions may occur more quickly in large establishments, some managers may need to relocate every several years to advance. Supervisors also can become advertising, mar­ keting, promotions, public relations, and sales managers—work­ ers who coordinate marketing plans, monitor sales, and propose advertisements and promotions; or purchasing managers, buyers, or purchasing agents—workers who purchase goods and supplies for their organization or for resale. (These occupations are cov­ ered in other Handbook statements.) Some supervisors who have worked in their industry for a long time open their own stores or sales firms. However, retail trade and sales are highly competitive and, although many independent own­ ers succeed, some fail to cover expenses and eventually go out of business. To prosper, owners usually need good business sense and strong customer service and public relations skills. Job Outlook Candidates who have retail experience will have the best job op­ portunities. As in other fields, competition is expected for sales worker supervisor jobs with the most attractive earnings and work­ ing conditions. Employment of sales worker supervisors is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Growth in this occupation will be restrained somewhat as retail companies hire more sales staff, but increase the responsibili­ ties of sales worker supervisors. However, many job openings are expected to occur as experienced supervisors and managers move into higher levels of management, transfer to other occupations, or leave the labor force. The Internet and electronic commerce are creating new opportu­ nities to reach and communicate with potential customers. Some firms are hiring Internet sales managers, who are in charge of main­ taining an Internet site and answering inquiries relating to the prod­ uct, price, and delivery terms—a trend that will increase demand for these supervisors. Overall, however, Internet sales and elec­ tronic commerce will reduce somewhat the number of additional sales workers needed, thus reducing the number of additional su­ pervisors needed. Projected employment growth of sales worker supervisors will mirror, in part, the patterns of employment growth in the industries in which they work. For example, faster than average employment growth is expected in rapidly growing services industries. The num­ ber of self-employed retail sales worker supervisors is expected to decline, as independent retailers face increasing competition from national chains. Unlike middle- and upper-level management positions, storelevel retail supervisors generally will not be affected by the restruc­ turing and consolidation taking place at the corporate and headquarters levels of many retail chains. Earnings Salaries of sales worker supervisors vary substantially, depending upon the level of responsibility; length of service; and type, size, and location of the firm. In 2000, median annual earnings of salaried sales worker super­ visors of retail sales workers, including commission, were $27,510.  Sales and Related Occupations 373  The middle 50 percent earned between $21,050 and $37,200 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,910, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $52,590 a year. Median annual earn­ ings in the industries employing the largest numbers of salaried sales worker supervisors of retail sales workers in 2000 were as follows: Grocery stores......................................................................... $27,380 Dmg stores and proprietary stores........................................... 27,250 Miscellaneous shopping goods stores...................................... 25,750 Gasoline service stations......................................................... 23,630 Department stores................................................................... 23 530 In 2000, median annual earnings of salaried sales worker super­ visors of non-retail sales workers, including commission, were $48,960. The middle 50 percent earned between $33,270 and $72,770 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $107,520 a year. Me­ dian annual earnings in the industries employing the largest num­ bers of salaried sales worker supervisors of non-retail sales workers in 2000 were as follows: Professional and commercial equipment.................................. $66,610 Machinery, equipment, and supplies........................................ 56,380 Groceries and related products................................................ 47,920 Telephone communication....................................................... 47 540 Miscellaneous business services............................................. 31,600 Compensation systems vary by type of establishment and mer­ chandise sold. Many supervisors receive a commission, or a com­ bination of salary and commission. Under a commission system, supervisors receive a percentage of department or store sales. Un­ der these systems, supervisors have the opportunity to significantly increase their earnings, but they may find that their earnings de­ pend on their ability to sell their product and the condition of the economy. Those who sell large amounts of merchandise or exceed sales goals often receive bonuses or other awards. Related Occupations Sales worker supervisors serve customers, supervise workers, and direct and coordinate the operations of an establishment. Others with similar responsibilities include financial managers, food ser­ vice managers, lodging managers, and medical and health services managers. Sources of Additional Information Information on employment opportunities for sales worker super­ visors may be obtained from the employment offices of various retail establishments or State employment service offices. General information on management careers in retail establish­ ments is available from: ► National Retail Federation, 325 7th St. NW., Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20004. Internet: http://www.nrf.com Information on management careers in grocery stores, and on schools offering related programs, is available from: >• Food Distributors International, 201 Park Washington Ct., Falls Church, VA 22046-4521. Internet: http://fdi.org Information about management careers and training programs in the motor vehicle dealers industry is available from: > National Automobile Dealers Association, Public Relations Dept., 8400 Westpark Dr., McLean, VA 22102-3591. Internet: http://www.nada.org Information about management careers in convenience stores is available from: >- National Association of Convenience Stores, 1605 King St., Alexan­  dria, VA 22314-2792. Internet: http://www.cstorecentral.com https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents (Q*NET 41-3031.01, 41-3031.02)  Significant Points •  •  •  Employment is expected to grow faster than average, but competition for entry-level jobs is expected to be keen because sales agents who succeed often have high earnings. A college degree, sales ability, good interpersonal and communication skills, and a strong desire to succeed are important qualifications for this profession. Beginning securities and commodities sales agents must pass a licensing exam to sell securities and commodities. Many eventually leave the occupation because they are unable to establish a sufficient clientele.  Nature of the Work Most investors, whether they are individuals with a few hundred dollars to invest or large institutions with millions, use securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents when buying or selling stocks, bonds, shares in mutual funds, insurance annuities, or other financial products. In addition, many clients seek out these agents for advice on investments, estate planning, and other finan­ cial matters. Securities and commodities sales agents, also called brokers, stockbrokers, registered representatives, account executives, or fi­ nancial consultants, perform a variety of tasks depending on their specific job duties. When an investor wishes to buy or sell a secu­ rity, for example, sales agents may relay the order through their firm’s computers to the floor of a securities exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange. There, securities and commodities sales agents known as floor brokers negotiate the price with other floor brokers, make the sale, and forward the purchase price to the sales agents. If a security is not traded on an exchange, as in the case of bonds and over-the-counter stocks, the broker sends the order to the firm’s trad­ ing department. Here, other securities sales agents, known as deal­ ers, buy and sell securities directly from other dealers using their own funds or those of the firm, with the intention of reselling the security to customers at a profit. After the transaction has been completed, the broker notifies the customer of the final price. Securities and commodities sales agents also provide many re­ lated services for their customers. They may explain stock market terms and trading practices, offer financial counseling or advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities, and devise an individual client’s financial portfolio, which could include securities, life in­ surance, corporate and municipal bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, annuities, and other investments. Not all customers have the same investment goals. Some indi­ viduals prefer long-term investments for capital growth or to pro­ vide income over a number of years; others might want to invest in speculative securities that they hope will quickly rise in price. Se­ curities and commodities sales agents furnish information about advantages and disadvantages of an investment based on each customer’s objectives. They also supply the latest price quotes on any security, as well as information on the activities and financial positions of the corporations issuing these securities. Most securities and commodities sales agents serve individual investors, but others specialize in institutional investors, such as  374 Occupational Outlook Handbook  banks and pension funds. In institutional investing, sales agents usually concentrate on a specific financial product, such as stocks, bonds, options, annuities, or commodity futures. At other times, they may also handle the sale of new issues, such as corporate secu­ rities issued to finance plant expansion. The most important part of a sales representative’s job is finding clients and building a customer base. Thus, beginning securities and commodities sales agents spend much of their time searching for customers—relying heavily on telephone solicitation. They also may meet clients through business and social contacts. Many sales agents find it useful to contact potential clients by teaching adult education investment courses, or by giving lectures at libraries or social clubs. Brokerage firms may give sales agents lists of people with whom the firm has done business in the past. Some agents inherit the clients of agents who have retired. Financial services sales agents sell a wide variety of banking and related services. They contact potential customers to explain their services and to ascertain customers’ banking and other finan­ cial needs. In doing so, they discuss services such as loans, deposit accounts, lines of credit, sales or inventory financing, certificates of deposit, cash management, or investment services. They also may solicit businesses to participate in consumer credit card pro­ grams. Financial services sales agents who serve all the financial needs of a single affluent individual or a business often are called private bankers or relationship managers. As deregulation of the financial services industry is implemented, the distinctions among these sales agents become less clear as secu­ rities firms, banks and insurance companies begin to offer each other’s products and services. The agents’jobs are also becoming more important as competition between the firms intensifies.  Beginning securities sales representatives spend much of their day   calling potential clients. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Working Conditions Most securities and commodities sales agents work in offices under fairly stressful conditions. They have access to “quote boards” or computer terminals that continually provide information on the prices of securities. When sales activity increases, due perhaps to unanticipated changes in the economy, the pace can become very hectic. Established securities and commodities sales agents usually work a standard 40 hour week. Beginners who are seeking customers may work longer hours. New brokers spend a great deal of time learning the firm’s products and services and studying for exams in order to qualify to sell other products, such as insurance and com­ modities. Most securities and commodities sales agents accommo­ date customers by meeting with them in the evenings or on weekends. A growing number of securities sales agents, employed mostly by discount or online brokerage firms, work in call center environ­ ments. In these centers, hundreds of agents spend much of the day on the telephone taking orders from clients or offering advice and information on different securities. Often, these call centers oper­ ate 24 hours a day, requiring agents to work in shifts. Financial services sales agents normally work 40 hours a week in a comfortable, less stressful office environment. They may spend considerable time outside the office meeting with current and pro­ spective clients, attending civic functions, and participating in trade association meetings. Some financial services sales agents work exclusively inside banks, providing service to “walk-in” customers. Employment Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents held 367,000 jobs in 2000, including 90,000 who were self-employed. Of the wage and salary workers, 7 out of 10 worked for securities and commodities brokers, exchanges, and investment services com­ panies. One in seven worked for commercial banks, savings insti­ tutions and credit unions. Although securities and commodities sales agents are employed by firms in all parts of the country, many sales agents work for a small number of large securities and invest­ ment banking firms headquartered in New York City. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Because securities and commodities sales agents must be knowl­ edgeable about economic conditions and trends, a college educa­ tion is important, especially in larger securities firms. In fact, the overwhelming majority of workers in this occupation are college graduates. Although employers seldom require specialized academic training, courses in business administration, economics, and finance are helpful. Many employers consider personal qualities and skills more important than academic training. Employers seek applicants who have considerable sales ability, good interpersonal and communi­ cation skills, and a strong desire to succeed. Some employers also make sure that applicants have a good credit history and a clean record. Self-confidence and an ability to handle frequent rejections also are important ingredients for success. Because maturity and the ability to work independently are important, many employers prefer to hire those who have achieved success in other jobs. Some firms prefer candidates with sales experience, particularly those who have worked on commission in areas such as real estate or insurance. Therefore, most entrants to this occupation transfer from other jobs. Some begin working as securities and commodities sales agents following retirement from other fields. Securities and commodities sales agents must meet State licens­ ing requirements, which usually include passing an examination and, in some cases, furnishing a personal bond. In addition, sales  Sales and Related Occupations 375  agents must register as representatives of their firm with the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD). Before beginners can qualify as registered representatives, they must pass the General Securities Registered Representative Examination (Series 7 exam), administered by the NASD, and be an employee of a registered firm for at least 4 months. Most States require a second examina­ tion—the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination. These tests measure the prospective representative’s knowledge of the se­ curities business in general, customer protection requirements, and recordkeeping procedures. Many take correspondence courses in preparation for the securities examinations. Within 2 years, bro­ kers are encouraged to take additional licensing exams in order to sell mutual funds, insurance, and commodities. Most employers provide on-the-job training to help securities and commodities sales agents meet the registration requirements for certification. In most firms, this training period takes about 4 months. Trainees in large firms may receive classroom instruction in securities analysis, effective speaking, and the finer points of selling; take courses offered by business schools and associations; and undergo a period of on-the-job training lasting up to 2 years. Many firms like to rotate their trainees among various departments to give them a broad perspective of the securities business. In small firms, sales agents often receive training in outside institutions and on the job. Securities and commodities sales agents must understand the basic characteristics of the wide variety of financial products of­ fered by brokerage firms. Brokers periodically take training through their firms or outside institutions to keep abreast of new financial products and improve their sales techniques. Computer training also is important, as the securities sales business is highly auto­ mated. Since 1995, it also has become mandatory for all registered securities and commodities sales agents to attend periodic continu­ ing-education classes to maintain their licenses. Courses consist of computer-based training in regulatory matters and company train­ ing on new products and services. The principal form of advancement for securities and commodi­ ties sales agents is an increase in the number and size of the ac­ counts they handle. Although beginners usually service the accounts of individual investors, they may eventually handle very large insti­ tutional accounts, such as those of banks and pension funds. After taking a series of tests, some brokers become portfolio managers and have greater authority to make investment decisions regarding an account. Some experienced sales agents become branch office managers and supervise other sales agents while continuing to pro­ vide services for their own customers. A few agents advance to top management positions or become partners in their firms. Banks and other credit institutions prefer to hire college gradu­ ates for financial services sales jobs. A business administration degree with a specialization in finance or a liberal arts degree in­ cluding courses in accounting, economics, and marketing serves as excellent preparation for this job. Often, financial services sales agents learn their jobs through on-the-job training under the su­ pervision of bank officers. However, those who wish to sell mu­ tual funds and insurance products may need to undergo formal training and pass some of the same exams required of securities sales agents. Job Outlook Barring a significant decline in the stock market, the number of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents should grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. As people’s incomes continue to climb and they seek better returns on their investments, they will increasingly need the advice and ser­  vices of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  to realize their financial goals. Growth in the volume of trade in stocks over the Internet will reduce the need for brokers for many transactions. Nevertheless, the rapid overall increase in invest­ ment is expected to spur employment growth among these work­ ers, as a majority of transactions will still require the advice and services of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. Baby boomers in their peak savings years will fuel much of the investment boom. Saving for retirement is being made much easier by the government, which continues to offer a number of tax-favor­ able pension plans, such as the 401(k) and the Roth IRA. The par­ ticipation of more women in the workforce also means higher household incomes and more women qualifying for pensions. And many of these pensions are self-directed—meaning that the recipi­ ent has the responsibility for investing the money. With such large amounts of money to invest, sales agents, in their role as financial advisors, will be in great demand. Other factors that will impact the demand for brokers are the increasing number and complexity of investment products, as well as the effects of globalization. As the public and businesses be­ come more sophisticated about investing, they are venturing into the options and futures markets. Brokers are needed to buy or sell these products, which are not traded online. Also, markets for in­ vestment are expanding with the increase in global trading of stocks and bonds. Furthermore, the New York Stock Exchange has an­ nounced its intention to extend its trading hours to accommodate trading in foreign stocks and compete with foreign exchanges. If this takes place, it will vastly increase the demand for brokers, both on the floor of the exchange and in brokerage firms, to handle the larger volume of trades. Employment of brokers, however, will be adversely affected if the stock market or the economy suddenly declines. Even in good times, turnover is relatively high for beginning brokers who are unable to establish a sizable clientele. Once established, securities and commodities sales agents have a very strong attachment to their occupation because of their high earnings and the consider­ able investment in training. Competition usually is intense, espe­ cially in larger companies with more applicants than jobs. Opportunities for beginning brokers should be better in smaller firms. The number of financial services sales agents in banks will in­ crease faster than average as banks expand their product offerings in order to compete directly with other investment firms.  Earnings Median annual earnings of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents were $56,080 in 2000. The middle half earned between $33,630 and $107,800. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,770; more than 10 percent earned $145,600 or more. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of securities and financial services sales agents in 2000 were: Security and commodity services............................................ $71,260 Security brokers and dealers....................................................... 69,550 Mortgage bankers and brokers................................................... 39,740 Personal credit institutions........................................................ 37,690 Mortgage bankers and brokers................................................... 36,590 Stockbrokers, who provide personalized service and more guid­ ance with respect to a client’s investments, usually are paid a com­ mission based on the amount of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance, and other products they sell. Commission earnings are likely to be high when there is much buying and selling, and low when there is a slump in market activity. Most firms provide sales  376 Occupational Outlook Handbook  agents with a steady income by paying a “draw against commis­ sion”—a minimum salary based on commissions they can be ex­ pected to earn. Securities and commodities sales agents who can provide their clients with the most complete financial services should enjoy the greatest income stability. Trainee brokers usually are paid a salary until they develop a client base. The salary gradually de­ creases in favor of commissions as the broker gains clients. A small but increasing number of full-service brokers are paid a percentage of the assets they oversee. This fee often covers a certain number of trades done for free. Brokers who work for discount brokerage firms that promote the use of telephone and online trading services usually are paid a salary. Sometimes this salary is boosted by bonuses that reflect the profitability of the office. Financial services sales agents usually are paid a salary; however, bonuses or commissions from sales are starting to account for a larger share of their income. Related Occupations Other jobs requiring knowledge of finance and an ability to sell include insurance sales agents, real estate agents, and personal fi­ nancial advisors.  TRAVEL THE  .'rsw"'  I  -  Sources of Additional Information For general information on the securities industry, contact: > The Securities Industry Association, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271. Internet: http://www.sia.com For information about job opportunities for financial services sales agents in various States, contact State bankers’ associations or write directly to a particular bank.  Travel Agents  ________________  (0**NET 41-3041.00)  Significant Points •  •  •  Travel benefits, such as reduced rates for transportation and accommodations, attract many people to this occupation. Training at a postsecondary vocational school or college or university is increasingly important for getting a job. New developments in Internet technology, allowing people to access travel information from their personal computers and make their own travel arrangements, will limit the need for travel agents in the future.  Nature of the Work Constantly changing airfares and schedules, thousands of available vacation packages, and a vast amount of travel information on the Internet can make travel planning frustrating and time-consuming. To sort out the many travel options, tourists and business people often turn to travel agents, who assess their needs and help them make the best possible travel arrangements. Also, many major cruiselines, resorts, and specialty travel groups use travel agents to promote travel packages to millions of people every year. In general, travel agents give advice on destinations and make arrangements for transportation, hotel accommodations, car rent­ als, tours, and recreation. They also may advise on weather condi­ tions, restaurants, tourist attractions, and recreation. For Digitizedinternational for FRASER travel, agents also provide information on customs https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Travel agents consult a variety ofpublished and computer-based sources for information on departure and arrival times, fares, and hotel ratings and accommodations. regulations, required papers (passports, visas, and certificates of vaccination), and currency exchange rates. Travel agents consult a variety of published and computer-based sources for information on departure and arrival times, fares, and hotel ratings and accommodations. They may visit hotels, resorts, and restaurants to evaluate their comfort, cleanliness, and the qual­ ity of food and service so that they can base recommendations on their own travel experiences or those of colleagues or clients. Travel agents also promote their services, using telemarketing, direct mail, and the Internet. They make presentations to social and special-interest groups, arrange advertising displays, and sug­ gest company-sponsored trips to business managers. Depending on the size of the travel agency, an agent may specialize by type of travel, such as leisure or business, or destination, such as Europe or Africa. Working Conditions Travel agents spend most of their time behind a desk conferring with clients, completing paperwork, contacting airlines and hotels for travel arrangements, and promoting group tours. During vaca­ tion seasons and holiday periods, they may be under a great deal of pressure. Many agents, especially those who are self-employed, frequently work long hours. With advanced computer systems and telecommunication networks, some travel agents are able to work at home.  Sales and Related Occupations 377  Employment Travel agents held about 135,000 jobs in 2000 and are found in every part of the country. More than 8 out of 10 salaried agents worked for travel agencies. Many of the remainder worked for membership organizations.  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement The minimum requirement for those interested in becoming a travel agent is a high school diploma or equivalent. Technology and com­ puterization are having a profound effect on the work of travel agents, however, and formal or specialized training is increasingly important. Many vocational schools offer 6- to 12-week full-time travel agent programs, as well as evening and weekend programs. Travel agent courses also are offered in public adult-education pro­ grams and in community and 4-year colleges. A few colleges offer bachelor’s or master’s degrees in travel and tourism. Although few college courses relate directly to the travel industry, a college edu­ cation sometimes is desired by employers to establish a background in fields such as computer science, geography, communication, for­ eign languages, and world history. Courses in accounting and busi­ ness management also are important, especially for those who expect to manage or start their own travel agencies. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) offers a corre­ spondence course that provides a basic understanding of the travel industry. Travel agencies also provide on-the-job training for their employees, a significant part of which consists of computer instruc­ tion. Computer skills are required by all employers to operate air­ line and centralized reservation systems. Experienced travel agents can take advanced self or group study courses from the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) that lead to the designation of Certified Travel Counselor (CTC). The ICTA also offers marketing and sales skills development programs and destination specialist programs, which provide a detailed knowl­ edge of regions such as North America, Western Europe, the Carib­ bean, and the Pacific Rim. Travel experience is an asset since personal knowledge about a city or foreign country often helps to influence clients’ travel plans, as is experience as an airline reservation agent. Patience and the ability to gain the confidence of clients also are useful qualities. Travel agents must be well-organized, accurate, and meticulous to compile information from various sources and plan and organize their clients’ travel itineraries. Other desirable qualifications in­ clude good writing, computer, and sales skills. Some employees start as reservation clerks or receptionists in travel agencies. With experience and some formal training, they can take on greater responsibilities and eventually assume travel agent duties. In agencies with many offices, travel agents may ad­ vance to office manager or to other managerial positions. Those who start their own agencies generally have had experi­ ence in an established agency. Before they can receive commis­ sions, these agents usually must gain formal approval from suppliers or corporations, such as airlines, shiplines, or raillines. The Air­ lines Reporting Corporation and the International Airlines Travel Agency Network, for example, are the approving bodies for air­ lines. To gain approval, an agency must be financially sound and employ at least one experienced manager or travel agent. There are no Federal licensing requirements for travel agents. However, nine States—California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington—require some form of registration or certification of retail sellers of travel ser­ vices. More information may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Attorney General or Department of Commerce for  each State. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Job Outlook Employment of travel agents is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010. Some job openings will arise as new agencies open and existing agencies expand, but most openings will occur as experienced agents transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. New developments will continue to limit the need for travel agents. The Internet increasingly allows people to access travel information from their personal computers, enabling them to re­ search and plan their own trips, make their own reservations and travel arrangements, and purchase their own tickets. Further, sup­ pliers of travel services now are able to make their services avail­ able through other means, such as electronic ticketing machines and remote ticket printers. Also, airline companies have put a limit on the amount of commissions they will pay to travel agencies, re­ ducing revenues. However, many consumers still will prefer to use a professional travel agent to ensure reliability, to save time, and, in some cases, money. Projected employment growth stems from increased spending on tourism and business travel over the next decade. With rising household incomes, smaller families, and an increasing number of older people who are more likely to travel, more people are ex­ pected to travel on vacation—and to do so more frequently—than in the past. Business travel also should grow as business activity expands. Further, professional and related workers, who are pro­ jected to be the fastest growing occupational group, do a signifi­ cant amount of business travel. Several other factors also will lead to more business for travel agents. For example, charter flights and larger, more efficient planes have brought air transportation within the budgets of more people, and the easing of Federal regulation of air fares and routes has fostered greater competition among airlines, resulting in more af­ fordable service. In addition, American travel agents now orga­ nize more tours for the growing number of foreign visitors. Also, travel agents often are able to offer various travel packages at a substantial discount. The travel business is sensitive to economic downturns and in­ ternational political crises, when travel plans are likely to be de­ ferred. Therefore, the number ofjob opportunities for travel agents fluctuates. Earnings Experience, sales ability, and the size and location of the agency determine the salary of a travel agent. Median annual earnings of travel agents were $25,150 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,890 and $31,820. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,900, while the top 10 percent earned more than $39,300. Salaried agents usually enjoy standard benefits that self-employed agents must provide for themselves. Among agencies, those focus­ ing on corporate sales pay higher salaries and provide more exten­ sive benefits, on average, than those who focus on leisure sales. When they travel for personal reasons, agents usually get reduced rates for transportation and accommodations. In addition, agents sometimes take “familiarization” trips, at no cost to themselves, to learn about various vacation sites. These benefits attract many people to this occupation. Earnings of travel agents who own their agencies depend mainly on commissions from airlines and other carriers, cruise lines, tour operators, and lodging places. Commissions for domestic travel arrangements, cruises, hotels, sightseeing tours, and car rentals are about 7-10 percent of the total sale, and for international travel, about 10 percent. Travel agents also may charge clients a service fee for the time and expense involved in planning a trip.  378 Occupational Outlook Handbook  During the first year of business or while awaiting corporation approval, self-employed travel agents often have low earnings. Their income usually is limited to commissions from hotels, cruises, and tour operators and to nominal fees for making complicated arrange­ ments. Established agents may have lower earnings during eco­ nomic downturns.  ties include tour and travel guides, and reservation and transporta­ tion ticket agents and travel clerks. Sources of Additional Information For further information on training opportunities, contact: American Society of Travel Agents, Education Department, 1101 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.astanet.com/education/edu_becoming.asp  Related Occupations Travel agents organize and schedule business, educational, or recrea­ tional travel or activities. Other workers with similar responsibili­   https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  For information on certification qualifications, contact: The Institute of Certified Travel Agents, 148 Linden St., P.O. Box 812059, Wellesley, MA 02181-0012. Internet: http://www.icta.com  Office and Administrative Support Occupations Communications Equipment Operators (0**NET 43-2011.00, 43-2021.01, 43-2021.02, 43-2099.99)  Significant Points • • •  Switchboard operators constitute 3 out of 4 of these workers. Workers train on the job. Employment is expected to decline due to new laborsaving communications technologies and consolidation of jobs.  Nature of the Work Most communications equipment operators work as switchboard operators for a wide variety of businesses, such as hospitals, hotels, and personnel-supply services. Switchboard operators operate pri­ vate branch exchange (PBX) switchboards to relay incoming, out­ going, and interoffice calls, usually for a single organization. They also may handle other clerical duties, such as supplying informa­ tion, taking messages, and announcing visitors. Technological improvements have automated many of the tasks handled by switch­ board operators. New systems automatically connect outside calls to the correct destination, and voice mail systems take messages without the assistance of an operator. Some communications equipment operators work as telephone operators, assisting customers in making telephone calls. Although most calls are connected automatically, callers sometimes require the assistance of an operator. Central office operators help cus­ tomers complete local and long-distance calls. Directory assistance operators provide customers with information such as phone num­ bers or area codes. When callers dial “0,” they usually reach a central office opera­ tor, also known as a local, long distance, or call completion opera­ tor. Most of these operators work for telephone companies, and many of their responsibilities have been automated. For example, callers can make international, collect, and credit card calls without the assistance of a central office operator. Other tasks previously handled by these operators, such as billing calls to third parties or monitoring the cost of a call, also have been automated. Callers still need a central office operator for a limited number of tasks. These include placing person-to-person calls or interrupt­ ing busy lines if an emergency warrants the disruption. When natu­ ral disasters occur, such as storms or earthquakes, central office operators provide callers with emergency phone contacts. They also assist callers having difficulty with automated phone systems. An operator monitoring an automated system for placing collect calls, for example, may intervene if a caller needs assistance with the system. Directory assistance operators provide callers with information such as telephone numbers or area codes. Most directory assis­ tance operators work for telephone companies; increasingly, they also work for companies that provide business services.  https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  c, 3  Rap Switchboard operators constitute three-fourths of communications equipment operators.  Automated systems now handle many of the responsibilities once performed by directory assistance operators. The systems prompt callers for a listing, and may even connect the call after providing the phone number. However, directory assistance operators moni­ tor many of the calls received by automated systems. The opera­ tors listen to recordings of the customer’s request, and then key information into electronic directories to access the correct phone numbers. Directory assistance operators also provide personal assistance to customers having difficulty using the automated system. Other communications equipment operators include workers who operate telegraphic typewriter, telegraph key, facsimile machine, and related equipment to transmit and receive signals and messages. They prepare messages according to prescribed formats, and verify and correct errors in messages. As part of their job, they also may adjust equipment for proper operation. 379  380 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Working Conditions Most communications equipment operators work in pleasant, welllighted surroundings. Because telephone operators spend much time seated at keyboards and video monitors, employers often provide workstations designed to decrease glare and other physical discom­ forts. Such improvements reduce the incidence of eyestrain, back discomfort, and injury due to repetitive motion. Switchboard operators generally work the same hours as other clerical employees at their company. In most organizations, full­ time operators work regular business hours over a 5-day workweek. Work schedules are more irregular in hotels, hospitals, and other organizations that require round-the-clock operator services. In these companies, switchboard operators may work in the evenings and on holidays and weekends. Central office and directory assistance operators must be acces­ sible to customers 24 hours a day and, therefore, work a variety of shifts. Some operators work split shifts; that is, they are on duty during peak calling periods in the late morning and early evening and off duty during the intervening hours. Telephone companies normally assign shifts by seniority, allowing the most experienced operators first choice of schedules. As a result, entry-level opera­ tors may have less desirable schedules, including late evening, splitshift, and weekend work. Telephone company operators may work overtime during emergencies. Approximately 1 in 5 communications equipment operators works part time. Because of the irregular nature of telephone oper­ ator schedules, many employers seek part-time workers for those shifts that are difficult to fill. An operator’s work may be quite repetitive and the pace hectic during peak calling periods. To maintain operator efficiency, su­ pervisors at telephone companies often monitor operator perfor­ mance, including the amount of time spent on each call. The rapid pace of the job and frequent monitoring may cause stress. To re­ duce job-related stress, some workplaces attempt to create a more stimulating and less rigid work environment. Employment Communications equipment operators held about 339,000 jobs in 2000. About 3 out of 4 worked as switchboard operators. Employ­ ment was distributed as follows: Switchboard operators............................................................. 259,000 Telephone operators................................................................ 54,000 All other communications equipment operators ....................... 26,000 Most switchboard operators worked for services establishments, such as personnel-supply services, hospitals, and hotels and motels. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Communications equipment operators receive their training on the job. At large telephone companies, entry-level central office and directory assistance operators may receive both classroom and onthe-job instruction that can last several weeks. At small telephone companies, operators usually receive shorter, less formal training. These operators may be paired with experienced personnel who provide hands-on instruction. Switchboard operators also may receive short-term, informal training, sometimes provided by the manufacturer of their switchboard equipment. New employees train in equipment operation and procedures designed to maximize efficiency. They are familiarized with com­ pany policies, including the expected level of customer service. Instructors monitor both the time and quality of trainees’ responses to customer requests. Supervisors may continue to closely monitor new employees after their initial training session is complete. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Employers generally require a high school diploma for operator positions. Applicants should have strong reading, spelling, and numerical skills; clear speech; and good hearing. Computer lit­ eracy and typing skills also are important, and familiarity with a foreign language is helpful because of the increasing diversity of the population. Most companies emphasize customer service skills. They seek operators who will remain courteous to customers while working at a fast pace. After 1 or 2 years on the job, communications equipment opera­ tors may advance to other positions within a company. Many enter clerical occupations in which their operator experience is valuable, such as customer service representatives, dispatchers, and recep­ tionists. (See the Handbook statements on customer service repre­ sentatives, dispatchers, and receptionists and information clerks.) Operators with a more technical background may advance into po­ sitions installing and repairing equipment. Promotion to supervi­ sory positions also is possible. Job Outlook Employment of communications equipment operators is projected to decline through 2010, largely due to new laborsaving communi­ cations technologies and to consolidation of telephone operator jobs into fewer locations, often staffed by personnel-supply services firms. Virtually all job openings will result from the need to re­ place communications equipment operators who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Developments in communications technologies, specifically the ease and accessibility of voice recognition systems, will continue to have a significant impact on the demand for communications equipment operators. The decline in employment will be sharpest among directory assistance operators; smaller decreases will occur for switchboard operators. Voice recognition technology allows automated phone systems to recognize human speech. Callers speak directly to the system, which interprets the speech and then con­ nects the call. Because voice recognition systems do not require callers to input data on a telephone keypad, they are easier to use than touch-tone systems. The systems also can understand increas­ ingly sophisticated vocabulary and grammatical structures; how­ ever, many companies will continue to employ operators so that those callers having problems can access a “live” employee, if desired. Electronic communications through the Internet or e-mail, for example, provides alternatives to telephone communications and requires no operators. Internet directory assistance services are re­ ducing the need for directory assistance operators. Local phone companies currently have the most reliable phone directory data; however, Internet services provide information such as addresses and maps, in addition to phone numbers. As telephones and com­ puters converge, the convenience of Internet directory assistance is expected to attract many customers, reducing the need for telephone operators to provide this service. Consolidations among telephone companies also will reduce the need for operators. As communications technologies improve and long-distance prices fall, telephone companies will contract out and consolidate telephone operator jobs. Operators will be employed at fewer locations and will serve larger customer populations. Earnings Median hourly earnings of switchboard operators, including answer­ ing service, were S9.71 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.02 and $11.71. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $6.87, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $13.76. Me­ dian hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest num­ bers of switchboard operators in 2000 are shown below:  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 381  Offices and clinics of medical doctors......................................... $9.74 Hospitals.................................................................................... 9.54 Hotels and motels....................................................................... 9. ig Personnel supply services............................................................ 9.02 Miscellaneous business services................................................. 8.66 Median hourly earnings of telephone operators in 2000 were $13.46. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.40 and $16.76. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.23, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $19.57. Some telephone operators working at telephone companies are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). For these operators, union contracts govern wage rates, wage increases, and the time required to advance from one pay step to the next. (It normally takes 4 years to rise from the lowest paying, nonsupervisory operator position to the highest.) Contracts also call for extra pay for work beyond the normal 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 hours a day or 5 days a week, for Sunday and holiday work, and for a pay differential for nightwork and split shifts. Many contracts provide for a 1-week vacation after 6 months of service; 2 weeks after 1 year; 3 weeks after 7 years; 4 weeks after 15 years; and 5 weeks after 25 years. Holidays range from 9 to 11 days a year. Related Occupations Other workers who provide information to the general public in­ clude dispatchers; hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks; information and record clerks; and reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks. Sources of Additional Information For more details about employment opportunities, contact a tele­ phone company, temporary-help agency, or write to: ► Communications Workers of America, 501 3rd St. NW., Washington, DC 20001. Internet: http://www.cwa-union.org ► International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Telecommunications Department, 1125 15th St. NW., Room 807, Washington, DC 20005.  Computer Operators (0**NET 43-9011.00)  Significant Points •  Employment is expected to decline sharply due to advances in technology.  •  Opportunities will be best for operators who have formal computer-related education, are familiar with a variety of operating systems, and keep up-to-date with the latest technology.  Nature of the Work Computer operators oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, ensuring that these machines are used as efficiently as pos­ sible. They may work with mainframes, minicomputers, or net­ works of personal computers. Computer operators must anticipate problems and take preventive action, as well as solve problems that occur during operations. The duties of computer operators vary with the size of the instal­ lation, the type of equipment used, and the policies of the employer. Generally, operators control the console of either a mainframe digi­ tal for computer Digitized FRASERor a group of minicomputers. Working from operat­ ing instmctions prepared by programmers, users, or operations https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Computer operators usually receive on-the-job training.  managers, computer operators set controls on the computer and on peripheral devices required to run a particular job. Computer operators load equipment with tapes, disks, and pa­ per, as needed. While the computer is running—which may be 24 hours a day for large computers—computer operators monitor the control console and respond to operating and computer messages. Messages indicate the individual specifications of each job being run. If an error message occurs, operators must locate and solve the problem or terminate the program. Operators also maintain log­ books or operating records, listing each job that is run and events, such as machine malfunctions, that occur during their shift. In ad­ dition, computer operators may help programmers and systems ana­ lysts test and debug new programs. (See the statements on computer programmers; and systems analysts, computer scientists, and data­ base administrators elsewhere in the Handbook.) As the trend toward networking computers accelerates, a grow­ ing number of computer operators are working on personal com­ puters (PCs) and minicomputers. In many offices, factories, and other work settings, PCs and minicomputers are connected in net­ works, often referred to as local area networks (LANs) or multi­ user systems. Whereas users in the area operate some of these computers, many require the services of full-time operators. The tasks performed on PCs and minicomputers are very similar to those performed on large computers. As organizations continue to look for opportunities to increase productivity, automation is expanding into additional areas of com­ puter operations. Sophisticated software, coupled with robotics, enables a computer to perform many routine tasks formerly done by computer operators. Scheduling, loading and downloading pro­ grams, mounting tapes, rerouting messages, and running periodic reports can be done without the intervention of an operator. Conse­ quently, these improvements will change what computer operators do in the future. As technology advances, the responsibilities of many computer operators are shifting to areas such as network op­ erations, user support, and database maintenance. Working Conditions Computer operators generally work in well-lighted, well-ventilated, comfortable rooms. Because many organizations use their comput­ ers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, computer operators may be re­ quired to work evening or night shifts and weekends. Shift assignments usually are made based on seniority. However, increas­ ingly automated operations will lessen the need for shift work, be­ cause many companies let the computer take over operations during  382 Occupational Outlook Handbook  less desirable working hours. In addition, advances in tele­ commuting technologies—such as faxes, modems, and e-mail— and data center automation, such as automated tape libraries, enable some operators to monitor batch processes, check systems perfor­ mance, and record problems for the next shift. Because computer operators generally spend a lot of time in front of a computer monitor, as well as performing repetitive tasks such as loading and unloading printers, they may be susceptible to eye­ strain, back discomfort, and hand and wrist problems. Employment Computer operators held about 194,000 jobs in 2000. Most jobs are found in organizations such as wholesale trade establishments, manufacturing companies, business services firms, financial insti­ tutions, and government agencies that have data-processing needs requiring large computer installations. A large number of com­ puter operators are employed by service firms in the computer and data-processing services industry, as more companies contract out the operation of their data-processing centers. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Computer operators usually receive on-the-job training in order to become acquainted with their employer’s equipment and routines. The length of training varies with the job and the experience of the worker. However, previous work experience is the key to obtaining an operator job in many large establishments. Employers generally look for specific, hands-on experience with the type of equipment and related operating systems they use. Additionally, formal com­ puter-related training, perhaps through a community college or tech­ nical school, is recommended. Related training also can be obtained through the Armed Forces and from some computer manufacturers. As computer technology changes and data processing centers become more automated, employers will increasingly require can­ didates to have formal training and experience for operator jobs. And although not required, a bachelor’s degree in a computer-re­ lated field can be helpful when one is seeking employment as a computer operator. Because computer technology changes so rapidly, operators must be adaptable and willing to learn. Analytical and technical exper­ tise also are needed, particularly by operators who work in auto­ mated data centers, to deal with unique or high-level problems that a computer is not programmed to handle. Operators must be able to communicate well, and to work effectively with programmers, users, and other operators. Computer operators also must be able to work independently because they may have little or no direct supervision. A few computer operators may advance to supervisory jobs, al­ though most management positions within data-processing or com­ puter-operations centers require advanced formal education, such as a bachelor’s or higher degree. Through on-the-job experience and additional formal education, some computer operators may advance to jobs in areas such as network operations or support. As they gain experience in programming, some operators may advance to jobs as programmers or analysts. A move into these types ofjobs is becoming much more difficult, as employers increasingly require candidates for more-skilled computer jobs to possess at least a bachelor’s degree. Job Outlook Employment of computer operators is expected to decline sharply through the year 2010. Experienced operators are expected to com­ pete for the small number of openings that will arise each year to workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor Digitizedreplace for FRASER force. Opportunities will be best for operators who have formal https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  computer-related education, are familiar with a variety of operating systems, and keep up-to-date with the latest technology. Advances in technology have reduced both the size and cost of computer equipment, while increasing the capacity for data storage and processing automation. Sophisticated computer hardware and software are now used in practically every industry, in such areas as factory and office automation, telecommunications, medicine, edu­ cation, and administration. The expanding use of software that au­ tomates computer operations gives companies the option of making systems user-friendly, greatly reducing the need for operators. Such improvements require operators to monitor a greater number of operations at the same time and be capable of solving a broader range of problems that may arise. The result is that fewer operators will be needed to perform more highly skilled work. Computer operators who are displaced by automation may be reassigned to support staffs that maintain personal computer net­ works or assist other members of the organization. Operators who keep up with changing technology, by updating their skills and enhancing their training, should have the best prospects of moving into other areas such as network administration and technical sup­ port. Others may be retrained to perform different job duties, such as supervising an operations center, maintaining automation pack­ ages, or analyzing computer operations to recommend ways to increase productivity. In the future, operators who wish to work in the computer field will need to know more about programming, auto­ mation software, graphics interface, client/server environments, and open systems, in order to take advantage of changing opportunities. Earnings Median annual earnings of computer operators were $27,670 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between about $21,280 and $35,320 a year. The highest 10 percent earned more than $43,950, and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,350. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of com­ puter operators in 2000 are shown below: Computer and data processing services....................................  $28,530  Hospitals.......................................................................................  26,550  Commercial banks................................................................... Personnel supply services........................................................ Miscellaneous business services..............................................  22,840 22,130 21,980  The average salary for computer operators employed by the Fed­ eral Government was $37,574 in early 2001. According to Robert Half International, the average starting sala­ ries for console operators ranged from $28,250 to $40,500 in 2001. Salaries generally are higher in large organizations than in small ones. Related Occupations Other occupations involving work with computers include com­ puter software engineers; computer programmers; computer sup­ port specialists and systems administrators; and systems analysts, computer scientists, and database administrators. Other occupa­ tions in which workers operate electronic office equipment include data entry and information-processing workers, as well as secretar­ ies and administrative assistants. Sources of Additional Information For information about work opportunities in computer operations, contact establishments with large computer centers, such as banks, manufacturing and insurance firms, colleges and universities, and data processing service organizations. The local office of the State employment service can supply information about employment and training opportunities.  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 383  Data Entry and Information Processing Workers (0*NET 43-9021.00, 43-9022.00)  •  •  •  Significant Points Workers can acquire their skills through high schools, community colleges, business schools, or self-teaching aids such as books, tapes, or Internet tutorial applications. Overall employment is projected to decline due to the proliferation of personal computers and other technologies; however, the need to replace workers who leave this large occupation each year should produce many job openings. Those with expertise in appropriate computer software applications should have the best job prospects.  Nature of the Work Organizations need to process a rapidly growing amount of infor­ mation. Data entry and information processing workers help ensure this work is handled smoothly and efficiently. By typing texts, en­ tering data into a computer, operating a variety of office machines, and performing other clerical duties, these workers help organiza­ tions keep up with the rapid changes of the “Information Age.” Word processors and typists usually set up and prepare reports, letters, mailing labels, and other text material. Typists make neat, typed copies of materials written by other clerical, professional, or managerial workers. They may begin as entry-level workers by typ­ ing headings on form letters, addressing envelopes, or preparing standard forms on typewriters or computers. As they gain experi­ ence, they often are assigned tasks requiring a higher degree of ac­ curacy and independent judgment. Senior typists may work with highly technical material, plan and type complicated statistical tables, combine and rearrange materials from different sources, or prepare master copies. Most keyboarding is now done on word processing equipment— usually a personal computer or part of a larger computer system— which normally includes a keyboard, video display terminal, and printer, and may have “add-on” capabilities such as optical charac­ ter recognition readers. Word processors use this equipment to record, edit, store, and revise letters, memos, reports, statistical tables, forms, and other printed materials. Although it is becoming less common, some word processing workers are employed in cen­ tralized word processing teams that handle the transcription and typing for several departments. In addition to the duties mentioned above, word processors and typists often perform other office tasks, such as answering tele­ phones, filing, and operating copiers or other office machines. Job titles of these workers often vary to reflect these duties. Clerk typ­ ists, for example, combine typing with filing, sorting mail, answer­ ing telephones, and other general office work. Notereaders transcribe stenotyped notes of court proceedings into standard formats. Data entry keyers usually input lists of items, numbers, or other data into computers or complete forms that appear on a computer screen. They may also manipulate existing data, edit current infor­ mation, or proofread new entries to a database for accuracy. Some examples of data sources include customers’ personal information, medical records, and membership lists. Usually this information is used internally by a company and may be reformatted before use by  other departments or by customers. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  !lSIi Data entry and information processing workers may transcribe Braille for the visually impaired.  Keyers use various types of equipment to enter data. Many keyers use a machine that converts the information they type to magnetic impulses on tapes or disks for entry into a computer system. Others prepare materials for printing or publication by using data entry composing machines. Some keyers operate online terminals or per­ sonal computers. Data entry keyers increasingly also work with nonkeyboard forms of data entry such as scanners and electroni­ cally transmitted files. When using these new character recogni­ tion systems, data entry keyers often enter only those data which cannot be recognized by machines. In some offices, keyers also operate computer peripheral equipment such as printers and tape readers, act as tape librarians, and perform other clerical duties. Working Conditions Data entry and information processing workers usually work a stan­ dard 40-hour week in clean offices. They sit for long periods and sometimes must contend with high noise levels caused by various office machines. These workers are susceptible to repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and neck, back, and eye strain. To help prevent these from occurring, many offices have scheduled exercise breaks, ergonomically designed keyboards, and workstations that allow workers to stand or sit as they wish. Employment Data entry and information processing workers held about 806,000 jobs in 2000 and were employed in every sector of the economy; 509,000 were data entry keyers and 297,000 were word processors and typists. Some workers telecommute by working from their homes on personal computers linked by telephone lines to those in the main office. This enables them to type material at home while still being able to produce printed copy in their offices. About 1 out of 3 data entry and information processing workers held jobs in firms providing business services, including temporary help, word processing, and computer and data processing. Nearly 1 out of 5 worked in Federal, State, and local government agencies.  384 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Employers generally hire high school graduates who meet their re­ quirements for keyboarding speed. Increasingly, employers also expect applicants to have word processing or data entry training or experience. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar skills are impor­ tant, as is familiarity with standard office equipment and procedures. Students acquire skills in keyboarding and in the use of word processing, spreadsheet, and database management computer soft­ ware packages through high schools, community colleges, business schools, temporary help agencies, or self-teaching aids such as books, tapes, or Internet tutorials applications. For many people, a job as a data entry and information process­ ing worker is their first job after graduating from high school or after a period of full-time family responsibilities. This work fre­ quently serves as a steppingstone to higher paying jobs with in­ creased responsibilities. Large companies and government agencies usually have training programs to help administrative employees upgrade their skills and advance to other positions. It is common for data entry and information processing workers to transfer to other administrative jobs, such as secretary, administrative assis­ tant, statistical clerk, or to be promoted to a supervisory job in a word processing or data entry center. Job Outlook Overall employment of data entry and information processing work­ ers is projected to decline through 2010. Nevertheless, the need to replace those who transfer to other occupations or leave this large occupation for other reasons will produce numerous job openings each year. Job prospects will be most favorable for those with the best technical skills—in particular, expertise in appropriate com­ puter software applications. Data entry and information processing workers must be willing to continuously upgrade their skills to re­ main marketable. Although data entry and information processing workers are all affected by productivity gains stemming from organizational restruc­ turing and the implementation of new technologies, projected growth differs among these workers. Employment of word processors and typists is expected to decline due to the proliferation of personal computers which allows other workers to perform duties formerly assigned to word processors and typists. Most professionals and managers, for example, now use desktop personal computers to do their own word processing. Because technologies affecting data entry keyers tend to be costlier to implement, however, these work­ ers will be less affected by technology and should experience slower than average growth. Employment growth of data entry keyers will still be dampened by productivity gains, as various data capturing technologies, such as bar code scanners, voice recognition technologies, and sophisti­ cated character recognition readers, become more prevalent. These technologies can be applied to a variety of business transactions, such as inventory tracking, invoicing, and order placement. More­ over, as telecommunications technology improves, many organiza­ tions will increasingly take advantage of computer networks that allow data to be transmitted electronically, thereby avoiding the reentry of data. These technologies will allow more data to be entered auto­ matically into computers, reducing the demand for data entry keyers. In addition to technology, employment of data entry and infor­ mation processing workers will be adversely affected as businesses increasingly contract out their work. Many organizations have re­ duced or even eliminated permanent in-house staff, for example, in favor of temporary-help and staffing services firms. Some large data entry and information processing firms increasingly employ in nations with low wages to enter data. As international Digitizedworkers for FRASER trade barriers continue to fall and telecommunications technology https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  improves, this transfer will mean reduced demand for data entry keyers in the United States. Earnings Median annual earnings of word processors and typists in 2000 were $24,710. The middle 50 percent earned between $20,070 and $29,500. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,410, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $35,410. The salaries of these workers vary by industry and by region. In 2000, median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of word processors and typists were: Local government.................................................................... $25,710 State government..................................................................... 24,850 Federal Government................................................................ 23,890 Elementary and secondary schools........................................... 23,300 Personnel supply services........................................................ 22,720 Median annual earnings of data entry keyers in 2000 were $21,300. The middle 50 percent earned between $17,850 and $25,820. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $30,910. In 2000, median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of data entry keyers were: Federal Government................................................................ $27,260 22,310 Accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping................................... Computer and data processing services.................................... 20,480 Commercial banks................................................................... 20,410 20,070 Personnel supply services........................................................ In the Federal Government, clerk-typists and data entry keyers without work experience started at $ 16,015 a year in 2001. Begin­ ning salaries were slightly higher in selected areas where the pre­ vailing local pay level was higher. The average annual salary for all clerk-typists in the Federal Government was 24,934 in 2001. Related Occupations Data entry and information processing workers must transcribe in­ formation quickly. Other workers who deliver information in a timely manner are dispatchers and communications equipment op­ erators. Data entry and information processing workers also must be comfortable working with office automation, and in this regard they are similar to court reporters, medical records and health infor­ mation technicians, secretaries and administrative assistants, and computer operators. Sources of Additional Information For information about job opportunities for data entry and informa­ tion processing workers, contact the nearest office of the State em­ ployment service.  Desktop Publishers  ____  (0**NET 43-9031.00)  • • •  Significant Points Desktop publishers rank among the 10 fastest growing occupations. Most jobs are in firms that handle commercial or business printing, and in newspaper plants. Although formal training is not always required, those with certification or degrees will have the best job opportunities.  Nature of the Work Using computer software, desktop publishers format and combine text, numerical data, photographs, charts, and other visual graphic elements to produce publication-ready material. Depending on the nature of a particular project, desktop publishers may write and edit text, create graphics to accompany text, convert photographs and drawings into digital images and then manipulate those images, de­ sign page layouts, create proposals, develop presentations and ad­ vertising campaigns, typeset and do color separation, and translate electronic information onto film or other traditional forms. Materi­ als produced by desktop publishers include books, business cards, calendars, magazines, newsletters and newspapers, packaging, slides, and tickets. As companies have brought the production of market­ ing, promotional, and other kinds of materials in-house, they in­ creasingly have employed people who can produce such materials. Desktop publishers use a keyboard to enter and select format­ ting specifics such as size and style of type, column width, and spacing, and store them in the computer. The computer then dis­ plays and arranges columns of type on a video display terminal or computer monitor. An entire newspaper, catalog, or book page, complete with artwork and graphics, can be created on the screen exactly as it will appear in print. Operators transmit the pages for production either into film and then into printing plates, or directly into plates. Desktop publishing is a rapidly changing field that encompasses a number of different kinds of jobs. Personal computers enable desktop publishers to perform publishing tasks that would other­ wise require complicated equipment and human effort. Advances in computer software and printing technology continue to change and enhance desktop publishing work. Instead of receiving simple typed text from customers, desktop publishers get the material on a computer disk. Other innovations in desktop publishing work in­ clude digital color page makeup systems, electronic page layout systems, and off-press color proofing systems. And because most materials today often are published on the Internet, desktop pub­ lishers may need to know electronic publishing technologies, such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and may be responsible for converting text and graphics to an Internet-ready format. Typesetting and page layout have been affected by the techno­ logical changes shaping desktop publishing. Increasingly, desktop publishers use computers to do much of the typesetting and page layout work formerly done by prepress workers, posing new chal­ lenges for the printing industry. The old “hot type” method of text composition—which used molten lead to create individual letters, paragraphs, and full pages of text—is nearly extinct. Today, com­ position work is primarily done with computers. Improvements in desktop publishing software also allow customers to do much more of their own typesetting. Desktop publishers use scanners to capture photographs, images or art as digital data that can be incorporated directly into electronic page layouts or further manipulated using computer software. The desktop publisher then can correct for mistakes or compensate for deficiencies in the original color print or transparency. Digital files are used to produce printing plates. Like photographers and multi­ media artists and animators, desktop publishers also can create spe­ cial effects or other visual images using film, video, computers, or other electronic media. (Separate statements on photographers and artists and related workers appear elsewhere in the Handbook.) Depending on the establishment employing these workers, desk­ top publishers also may be referred to as publications specialists, electronic publishers, DTP operators, desktop publishing editors, electronic prepress technicians, electronic publishing specialists, image designers, typographers, compositors, layout artists, and web  publications designers. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 385  Desktop publishers use computer software to prepare material for publication.  Working Conditions Desktop publishers usually work in clean, air-conditioned office areas with little noise. Desktop publishers usually work an 8-hour day, 5 days a week. Some workers—particularly those self-em­ ployed—work night shifts, weekends, and holidays. Desktop publishers often are subject to stress and the pressures of short deadlines and tight work schedules. Like other workers who spend long hours working in front of a computer monitor, they may be susceptible to eyestrain, back discomfort, and hand and wrist problems. Employment Desktop publishers held about 38,000 jobs in 2000. Nearly all worked in the printing and publishing industries. About 1,000 desk­ top publishers were self-employed. Most desktop publishing jobs were found in firms that handle commercial or corporate printing, and in newspaper plants. Com­ mercial printing firms print a wide range of products—newspaper inserts, catalogs, pamphlets, and advertisements—while business form establishments print material such as sales receipts. A large number of desktop publishers also were found in printing trade ser­ vices firms. Establishments in printing trade services typically per­ form custom compositing, platemaking, and related prepress services. Others work printing or publishing materials “in-house” or “in-plant” for business services firms, government agencies, hos­ pitals, or universities, typically in a reproduction or publications department that operates within the organization. The printing and publishing industry is one of the most geo­ graphically dispersed in the United States, and desktop publishing jobs are found throughout the country. However, job prospects may be best in large metropolitan cities. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most workers qualify for jobs as desktop publishers by taking classes or completing certificate programs at vocational schools, universi­ ties and colleges, or via the Internet. Programs range in length, but the average nondegree certification training program takes approx­ imately 1 year. However, some desktop publishers train on the job to develop the necessary skills. The length of training on the job varies by company. An internship or part-time desktop publishing assignment is another way to gain experience as a desktop publisher. Students interested in pursuing a career in desktop publishing also may obtain an associate degree in applied science or a bachelor’s  386 Occupational Outlook Handbook  degree in graphic arts, graphic communications or graphic design. Graphic arts programs are a good way to learn about desktop pub­ lishing software used to format pages, assign type characteristics, and import text and graphics into electronic page layouts to pro­ duce printed materials such as advertisements, brochures, newslet­ ters, and forms. Applying this knowledge of graphic arts techniques and computerized typesetting usually are intended for students who may eventually move into management positions, while 2-year as­ sociate degree programs are designed to train skilled workers. Stu­ dents also develop finely tuned skills in typography, print mediums, packaging, branding and identity, Web design and motion graphics. These programs teach print and graphic design fundamentals and provide an extensive background in imaging, prepress, print repro­ duction, and emerging media. Courses in other aspects of printing also are available at vocational-technical institutes, industry-spon­ sored update and retraining programs, and private trade and techni­ cal schools. Although formal training is not always required, those with cer­ tification or degrees will have the best job opportunities. Most employers prefer to hire people who have at least a high school diploma, possess good communication skills, basic computer skills, and a strong work ethic. Desktop publishers should be able to deal courteously with people because in small shops they may have to take customer orders. They also may add, subtract, multiply, di­ vide, and compute ratios to estimate job costs. Persons interested in working for firms using advanced printing technology need to know the basics of electronics and computers. Desktop publishers need good manual dexterity, and they must be able to pay attention to detail and work independently. Good eyesight, including visual acuity, depth perception, field of view, color vision, and the ability to focus quickly, also are assets. Artis­ tic ability often is a plus. Employers also seek persons who are even-tempered and adaptable—important qualities for workers who often must meet deadlines and learn how to operate new equipment. Workers with limited training and experience may start as help­ ers. They begin with instruction from an experienced desktop pub­ lisher and advance based on their demonstrated mastery of skills at each level. All workers should expect to be retrained from time to time to handle new, improved software and equipment. As workers gain experience, they advance to positions with greater responsibil­ ity. Some move into supervisory or management positions. Other desktop publishers may start their own company or work as an in­ dependent consultant, while those with more artistic talent and fur­ ther education may find opportunities in graphic design or commercial art. Job Outlook Employment of desktop publishers is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2010, as more page layout and design work is performed in-house using computers and sophisticated publishing software. Desktop publishing is replacing much of the prepress work done by compositors and typesetters, enabling organizations to reduce costs while increasing production speeds. Many new jobs for desktop publishers are expected to emerge in commercial printing and publishing establishments. However, more companies also are turning to in-house desktop publishers, as computers with elaborate text and graphics capabili­ ties have become common, and desktop publishing software has become cheaper and easier to use. In addition to employment growth, many job openings for desktop publishers also will result from the need to replace workers who move into managerial posi­ tions, transfer to other occupations, or who leave the labor force. Printing and publishing costs represent a significant portion of a  corporation’s expenses, no matter the industry, and corporations are https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  finding it more profitable to print their own newsletters and other reports than to send them out to trade shops. Desktop publishing reduces the time needed to complete a printing job, and allows com­ mercial printers to make inroads into new markets that require fast turnaround. Most employers prefer to hire experienced desktop publishers. As more people gain desktop publishing experience, however, com­ petition for jobs may increase. Among persons without experience, opportunities should be best for those with computer backgrounds who are certified or who have completed postsecondary programs in desktop publishing or graphic design. Many employers prefer graduates of these programs because the comprehensive training they receive helps them learn the page layout process and adapt more rapidly to new software and techniques. Earnings Earnings for desktop publishers vary according to level of experi­ ence, training, location, and size of firm. Median annual earnings of desktop publishers were $30,600 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,890 and $40,210. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,920 a year. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of these workers in 2000 are shown below: Commercial printing................................................................ $30,940 Newspapers.............................................................................. 24,520 Related Occupations Desktop publishers use artistic and editorial skills in their work. These skills also are essential for artists and related workers; designers; news analysts, reporters, and correspondents; public relations spe­ cialists; writers and editors; and prepress technicians and workers. Sources of Additional Information Details about apprenticeship and other training programs may be obtained from local employers such as newspapers and printing shops, or from local offices of the State employment service. For information on careers and training in printing, desktop pub­ lishing, and graphic arts, write to: > Graphic Communications Council, 1899 Preston White Dr., Reston, VA 20191. Internet: http://www.npes.org > Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 200 Deer Run Rd., Sewickley, PA 15143. Internet: http://www.gatf.org For information on benefits and compensation in desktop pub­ lishing, write to: > Printing Industries of America, Inc., 100 Daingerfield Rd., Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.gain.org  Financial Clerks (0**NET 43-3011.00, 43-3021.01, 43-3021.02, 43-3021.03, 43-3031.00, 43-3041.00, 43-3051.00, 43-3061.00, 43-3071.00)  Significant Points •  Most jobs require only a high school diploma.  •  Numerous job opportunities should arise due to high turnover. Slower than average growth is expected in overall employment, reflecting the spread of computers and other office automation as well as organizational restructuring.  •  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 387  Nature of the Work Financial clerks keep track of money. They record all amounts com­ ing into or leaving an organization. Their records are vital to an organization’s need to keep track of all revenues and expenses. While most financial clerks work in offices maintaining and pro­ cessing various accounting records, some deal directly with cus­ tomers, taking in and paying out money. When bills are not paid on time, financial clerks must contact customers to find out why and attempt to resolve the problem. Other clerks keep track of a store’s inventory and order replacement stock when supplies are low. (Ad­ ditional information about specific financial clerks appears in sepa­ rate statements that follow this introductory statement.) Depending on their specific titles, these workers perform a wide variety of financial recordkeeping duties. Bill and account collec­ tors notify customers with delinquent accounts in order to solicit payment. Billing and posting clerks and machine operators pre­ pare bills and invoices. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks maintain financial data in computer and paper files. Payroll and timekeeping clerks compute wages for payroll records and re­ view employee timecards. Procurement clerks prepare purchase orders and monitor purchase requests. Tellers receive and pay out money for financial institutions, while gaming cage workers per­ form many of the same services for casinos. The duties of financial clerks vary with the size of the firm. In a small business, a bookkeeper may handle all financial records and transactions, as well as payroll and billing duties. A large firm, on the other hand, may employ specialized accounting, payroll, and billing clerks. In general, however, clerical staffs in firms of all sizes increasingly perform a broader variety of tasks than in the past. Another change in these occupations is the growing use of fi­ nancial software to enter and manipulate data. Computer programs automatically perform calculations on data that were previously calculated manually. Computers also enable clerks to access data within files more quickly and even generate statements automati­ cally. Nevertheless, most workers still keep backup paper records for research, auditing, and reference purposes, although a paperless office is increasingly the goal for many organizations. Despite the growing use of automation, interaction with the public and coworkers remains a basic part of the job for many financial clerks. Payroll clerks, for example, answer questions concerning employee benefits; tellers and gaming cage workers help customers with their financial needs, and procurement clerks often have to deal with an organization’s suppliers.  Working Conditions With the exception of gaming cage workers, financial clerks typi­ cally are employed in an office environment. Bill collectors who work for third-party collection agencies may spend most of their days on the phone in a call center environment. However, a grow­ ing number of financial clerks, particularly medical billers, work at home and many work part time. Because the majority of financial clerks use computers on a daily basis, these workers may experience eye and muscle strain, back­ aches, headaches, and repetitive motion injuries. Also, clerks who review detailed data may have to sit for extended periods of time. Most financial clerks work regular business hours. However, since most casinos are open 24 hours a day, gaming cage workers often work in shifts, including nights and weekends. Tellers can work some evenings and Saturday mornings, while bill collectors often have to work evenings and weekends when it is easier to reach people. Accounting clerks may work longer hours to meet dead­  lines at the end of the fiscal year, during tax time, or when monthly https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  and yearly accounting audits are performed. Billing, bookkeeping, and accounting clerks in hotels, restaurants, and stores may work overtime during peak holiday and vacation seasons. Employment Financial clerks held more than 3.7 million jobs in 2000. The follow­ ing tabulation shows employment in individual clerical occupations: Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks........................ 1,991,000 Billing and posting clerks and machine operators................... 506,000 Tellers................................................................................... 499,000 Bill and account collectors......„............................................. 400,000 Payroll and timekeeping clerks.............................................. 201,000 Procurement clerks................................................................ 76,000 Gaming cage workers............................................................. 22,000 These workers are employed in virtually every industry, includ­ ing manufacturing, business and health services, and government. However, it is becoming more common for these clerks to work for companies that specialize in performing specific accounting ser­ vices, such as bill collection, medical billing, and payroll services as companies seek to cut costs and outsource many administrative functions. Also, more financial clerks are finding jobs with per­ sonnel supply agencies, as companies increasingly hire temporary workers for peak periods. All financial clerk occupations have some part-time workers, but tellers and bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks have the most with more than one-fourth working part time. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most financial clerks are required to have at least a high school diploma. However, having some college is becoming increasingly important, particularly for those occupations requiring knowledge of accounting. For occupations such as bookkeepers, accounting clerks, and procurement clerks, an associate’s degree in business or accounting often is required. Some financial clerks have bachelor’s degrees in business, accounting, or liberal arts. Although a degree is rarely required, many graduates accept entry-level clerical posi­ tions to get into a particular company or to enter the finance or accounting field with the hope of being promoted to professional or managerial positions. Some companies have a set plan of ad­ vancement that tracks college graduates from entry-level clerical jobs into managerial positions. Workers with bachelor’s degrees are likely to start at higher salaries and advance more easily than those without degrees. Experience in a related job also is recommended fora number of these positions. For example, cash-handling experience is impor­ tant for gaming cage workers and tellers. Telemarketing experi­ ence is useful for bill and account collectors. For other financial clerks, experience working in an office environment or in customer service is always beneficial. Regardless of the type of work, most employers prefer workers with good communication skills who are computer-literate; knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software is especially valuable. Gaming cage workers have additional requirements. They must be at least 21 years old and they are required to obtain a license by the State gaming commission or other regulatory body. In addition to a fee, applicants must provide a photograph and proof of age and residence. A background check is conducted to make sure that ap­ plicants do not have a criminal history. Once hired, financial clerks usually receive on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or other senior worker, new employees leam company procedures. Some formal classroom train­ ing also may be necessary, such as training in specific computer  388 Occupational Outlook Handbook  software. Bill and account collectors generally receive training in telephone techniques, negotiation skills, and the laws governing the collection of debt. Financial clerks must be careful, orderly, and detail-oriented in order to avoid making errors and recognize errors made by others. These workers also should be discreet and trustworthy, because they frequently come in contact with confi­ dential material. Additionally, all financial clerks should have a strong aptitude for numbers. Bookkeepers, particularly those who handle all the recordkeeping for companies, may find it beneficial to become certified. The Cer­ tified Bookkeeper designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, assures employers that individuals have the skills and knowledge required to carry out all the book­ keeping and accounting functions up through the adjusted trial bal­ ance, including payroll functions. For certification, candidates must have at least 2 years bookkeeping experience, pass three tests, and adhere to a code of ethics. Collection agencies may require their collectors to become certified by the American Collectors Associa­ tion (ACA). ACA seminars concentrate on current State and Fed­ eral compliance laws. Since most States recognize these credentials, ACA-certified collectors have greater career mobility. Tellers can prepare for better jobs by taking courses offered or accredited by the American Institute of Banking (an educational affiliate of the American Bankers Association) or the Institute of Financial Educa­ tion (an affiliate of the Bank Administration Institute). These organ­ izations have several hundred chapters in cities across the country and numerous study groups in small communities. Financial clerks usually advance by taking on more duties in the same occupation for higher pay or by transferring to a closely re­ lated occupation. For example, procurement clerks with the appro­ priate experience often become buyers. Most companies fill office and administrative support supervisory and managerial positions by promoting individuals from within their organization, so finan­ cial clerks who acquire additional skills, experience, and training improve their advancement opportunities. With appropriate expe­ rience and education, some clerks may become accountants; hu­ man resource specialists; or buyers.  Job Outlook Overall employment of financial clerks is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010. Despite continued growth in the volume of business transactions, rising pro­ ductivity stemming from the spread of office automation, as well as organizational restructuring, will adversely affect demand for finan­ cial clerks. Turnover in this large occupation, however, will pro­ vide the most job openings. As a result, opportunities should be plentiful for full-time and part-time employment as financial clerks transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Many basic data entry accounting and clerical jobs already have become heavily automated. Productivity has increased significantly, as workers increasingly use personal computers instead of manual entry and time-consuming equipment such as typewriters, adding machines, and calculators. The growing use of bar code readers, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, and optical scan­ ners that record transactions reduces much of the data entry handled by financial clerks. In addition, the use of local area networks also is facilitating electronic data interchange—the sending of data from computer to computer—abolishing the need for clerks to reenter the data. To further eliminate duplicate functions, many large com­ panies are consolidating their clerical operations in a central office where accounting, billing, personnel, and payroll functions are per­ formed for all offices—main and satellite—within the organiza­ Digitizedtion. for FRASER In addition, as more companies merge or are acquired, https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  accounting departments also are usually merged, reducing the num­ ber of financial clerks. More companies also are outsourcing their accounting functions to specialized companies that can do the job more efficiently. Despite the expected slow growth, some financial clerks will fare better than others. The number of gaming cage workers should grow over time as more Indian tribes become involved in gaming. Also, the number of bill collectors is expected to increase as con­ sumer debt continues to rise. The healthcare services industry is expected to hire more financial clerks, particularly billing clerks, to match the explosive growth of this sector and to process the large amounts of paperwork required to process patient claims. Earnings Salaries of financial clerks vary considerably. The region of the country, size of city, and type and size of establishment all influ­ ence salary levels. Also, the level of expertise required and the complexity and uniqueness of a clerk’s responsibilities also may affect earnings. Median hourly earnings of full-time financial clerks in 2000 were as follows: Procurement clerks.....................................................  $13.33  Payroll and timekeeping clerks..........................  13.07 12.34 12.17 11.81 9.99 9.21  Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks.....  Bill and account collectors................................ Billing and posting clerks and machine operators Gaming cage workers........................................ Tellers...............................................................  In addition to their salary, some bill and account collectors re­ ceive commissions or bonuses based on the number of cases they close. Related Occupations Financial clerks enter data into a computer, handle cash, and keep track of business and other financial transactions. Higher level finan­ cial clerks can generate reports and perform analysis of the finan­ cial data. Other occupations that perform these duties include brokerage clerks; cashiers; credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks; loan interviewers and clerks; new accounts clerks; order clerks, and secretaries and administrative assistants. For more information on financial clerks, see the following state­ ments on bill and account collectors; billing and posting clerks and machine operators; bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; gaming cage workers; payroll and timekeeping clerks; procurement clerks; and tellers.  Bill and Account Collectors (0*NET 43-3011.00) Nature of the Work Bill and account collectors, called simply collectors, keep track of accounts that are overdue and attempt to collect payment on them. Some are employed by third-party collection agencies, while oth­ ers, known as “in-house collectors,” work directly for the original creditors, such as department stores, hospitals, or banks. The duties of bill and account collectors are similar in the many different organizations in which they are employed. First, collec­ tors are called upon to locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts, usually over the telephone, but sometimes by letter. When customers move without leaving a forwarding address, collectors  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 389  .$I_j  Bill and account collectors often use computers to keep track of overdue accounts.  may check with the post office, telephone companies, credit bu­ reaus, or former neighbors to obtain their new address. This is called “skiptracing.” Once collectors find the debtor, they inform them of the overdue account and solicit payment. If necessary, they review the terms of the sale, service, or credit contract with the customer. Collectors also may attempt to learn the cause of the delay in payment. Where feasible, they offer the customer advice on how to pay off the debts, such as by taking out a bill consolidation loan. However, the collector s objective is always to ensure that the customer first pays the debt in question. If a customer agrees to pay, collectors record this commitment and check later to verify that the payment was indeed made. Col­ lectors may have authority to grant an extension of time if custom­ ers ask for one. If a customer fails to respond, collectors prepare a statement indicating this for the credit department of the establish­ ment. In more extreme cases, collectors may initiate repossession proceedings, service disconnections, or hand the account over to an attorney for legal action. Most collectors handle other adminis­ trative functions for the accounts assigned to them. This may in­ clude recording changes of addresses, and purging the records of the deceased. Collectors use computers and a variety of automated systems to keep track of overdue accounts. Typically, collectors work at video display terminals that are linked to computers. In sophisticated pre­ dictive dialer systems, a computer dials the telephone automatically and the collector speaks only when a connection has been made. Such systems eliminate time spent calling busy or nonanswering numbers. Many collectors use regular telephones, but others wear headsets like those used by telephone operators. Employment  Bill and account collectors held about 400,000jobs in 2000. About 1 in 6 collectors work for collection agencies. Many others work in banks, department stores, government, hospitals, and other institu­  tions that lend out money and extend credit. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Job Outlook Employment of bill and account collectors is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010, as the level of consumer debt continues to rise and as more companies seek to improve their debt collection by contracting with thirdparty collection agencies. Hospitals and physician’s offices are two of the fastest growing areas requiring collectors. With insurance reimbursements not keeping up with cost increases, the healthcare industry is seeking to recover more money from patients. Govern­ ment agencies also are using collectors more to collect on every­ thing from parking tickets to child-support payments and past-due taxes. An increasing number of mergers between collection agen­ cies may reduce the overall growth in the number collectors, as small, less automated agencies are bought, resulting in a bigger, more efficient firm. Contrary to the pattern in most occupations, employment ofbill and account collectors tends to rise during reces­ sions, reflecting the difficulty that many people have in meeting their financial obligations. However, success at getting people to repay their debts is better when the economy is good. Sources of Additional Information Career information on bill and account collectors is available from: American Collectors Association, Inc., P.O. Box 39106, Minneapolis, MN 55439-0106. Internet: http://www.collector.com (Information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings appears in the introduction to financial clerk occupations.)  Billing and Posting Clerks and Machine Operators (0*NET 43-3021.01, 43-3021.02, 43-3021-03) Nature of the Work Billing and posting clerks and machine operators, commonly called billing clerks, compile records of charges for services rendered or goods sold, calculate and record the amounts of these services and goods, and prepare invoices to be mailed to customers. Billing clerks review purchase orders, sales tickets, hospital records, or charge slips to calculate the total amount due from a customer. They must take into account any applicable discounts, special rates, or credit terms. A billing clerk for a trucking com­ pany often needs to consult a rate book to determine shipping costs of machine parts, for example. A hospital’s billing clerk may need to contact an insurance company to determine what they will reim­ burse. In accounting, law, consulting, and similar firms, billing clerks calculate client fees based on the actual time required to per­ form the task. They keep track of the accumulated hours and dollar amounts to charge to each job, the type ofjob performed for a cus­ tomer, and the percentage of work completed. After billing clerks review all necessary information, they com­ pute the charges using calculators or computers. They then prepare itemized statements, bills, or invoices used for billing and recordkeeping purposes. In one organization, the clerk might pre­ pare a bill containing the amount due and date and type of service; in another, the clerk would produce a detailed invoice with codes for all goods and services provided. This latter form might list items sold, credit terms, date of shipment or dates services were provided, a salesperson’s or doctor’s identification, if necessary, and the sales total. Computers and specialized billing software allow many clerks to calculate charges and prepare bills in one step. Computer packages prompt clerks to enter data from hand-written forms and manipulate  390 Occupational Outlook Handbook  (See the introductory statement on financial clerks for informa­ tion on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  «iia ;  Sources of Additional Information Information on employment opportunities for billing clerks is avail­ able from local offices of the State employment service.  Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks __ (0*NET 43-3031.00)  Billing clerks may review purchase orders, charge slips, or hospital records to calculate customers' bills.  the necessary entries of quantities, labor, and rates to be charged. Billing clerks verify the entry of information and check for errors before the computer prints the bill. After the bills are printed, bill­ ing clerks check them again for accuracy. In offices that are not automated, billing machine operators run off the bill on a billing machine to send to the customer. In addition to producing invoices, billing clerks may be asked to handle follow-up questions from customers and resolve any dis­ crepancies or errors. And, finally, all changes must be entered in the accounting records. Employment In 2000, billing and posting clerks and machine operators held about 506,000 jobs. Although all industries employ billing clerks, the health services industry employs the most. About 1 in 3 billing clerks work in health services. Transportation and wholesale trade industries also employ a large number of billing clerks. Job Outlook Employment of billing and posting clerks and machine operators is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through the year 2010. As computers simplify the jobs of most billing clerks, more of these jobs are being performed by other accounting or bookkeeping clerks. In addition to employment growth, many job openings will occur as workers transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Turnover in this occupation is relatively high, which is characteristic of an entry-level occupation requiring only a high school diploma. Most of the employment growth will occur in the expanding health services industries and in accounting firms and other billing services companies, as a result of increased outsourcing of this service. Other areas will see declines as the billing function becomes increasingly automated and invoices and statements are automatically generated upon delivery of the service or shipment of the goods. Bills also will increasingly be delivered electroni­ cally over the Internet, eliminating the production and mailing of paper bills. The health services area will also see increasing auto­ mation. More medical billers are using electronic billing software to electronically submit insurance claims to the insurer. This speeds up the process and eliminates many of the coding errors that medi­ cal bills are prone to have. The standardization of codes in the medical field also is expected to simplify medical bills and reduce   errors. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  ______  Nature of the Work Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are an organization s financial recordkeepers. They update and maintain one or more accounting records, including those that tabulate expenditures, receipts, accounts payable and receivable, and profit and loss. They have a wide range of skills and knowledge, from full-charge book­ keepers, who can maintain an entire company’s books, to accounting clerks who handle specific accounts. All of these clerks make nu­ merous computations each day and increasingly must be comfort­ able using computers to calculate and record data. In small establishments, bookkeeping clerks handle all financial transactions and recordkeeping. They record all transactions, post debits and credits, produce financial statements, and prepare re­ ports and summaries for supervisors and managers. Bookkeepers also prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verify­ ing and balancing receipts, and sending cash, checks, or other forms of payment to the bank. They also may handle the payroll, make purchases, prepare invoices, and keep track of overdue accounts. In large offices and accounting departments, accounting clerks have more specialized tasks. Their titles often reflect the type of accounting they do, such as accounts payable clerk or accounts re­ ceivable clerk. In addition, responsibilities vary by level of experi­ ence. Entry-level accounting clerks post details of transactions, total accounts, and compute interest charges. They also may monitor loans and accounts, to ensure that payments are up to date. More advanced accounting clerks may total, balance, and recon­ cile billing vouchers; ensure completeness and accuracy of data on accounts; and code documents, according to company procedures. They post transactions in journals and on computer files and update these files when needed. Senior clerks also review computer print­ outs against manually maintained journals and make necessary cor­ rections. They also may review invoices and statements to ensure that all information is accurate and complete, and reconcile com­ puter reports with operating reports. Auditing clerks verify records of transactions posted by other workers. They check figures, postings, and documents for correct entry, mathematical accuracy, and proper codes. They also correct or note errors for accountants or other workers to adjust. As organizations continue to computerize their financial records, many bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks use specialized accounting software on personal computers. They increasingly post charges to accounts on computer spreadsheets and databases, as manual posting to general ledgers is becoming obsolete. These workers now enter information from receipts or bills into comput­ ers, which is then stored either electronically, as computer printouts, or both. Widespread use of computers also has enabled bookkeep­ ing, accounting, and auditing clerks to take on additional responsi­ bilities, such as payroll, procurement, and billing. Many of these functions require these clerks to write letters, make phone calls to customers or clients, and interact with colleagues. Therefore, good communication skills are becoming increasingly important.  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 391  I  *** WMXJ* OLtW*  WfWWG  Bookkeepers with some college accounting training will have the best job prospects. Employment Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks held about 2 million jobs in 2000. Although they can be found in all industries and levels of government, a growing number work for personnel supply firms, the result of an increase in outsourcing of this occupation. Approximately 1 out of 4 bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks worked part time in 2000. Job Outlook Little or no change is expected in the employment of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks through 2010. Virtually all job open­ ings will stem from replacement needs. Each year, numerous jobs will become available as these clerks transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. The large size of this occupation ensures plentiful job openings, including many opportunities for temporary and part-time work, even though turnover is lower than for other clerical jobs. Although a growing economy will result in more financial trans­ actions and other activities that require these clerical workers, the continuing spread of office automation will lift worker productiv­ ity and contribute to the lack of growth in employment. In addi­ tion, organizations of all sizes will continue to consolidate various recordkeeping functions, thus reducing the demand for these clerks. Specialized clerks will be in much less demand than those who can do a wider range of accounting activities. Demand for fullcharge bookkeepers is expected to increase as they are called upon to do much of the work of accountants. Those with several years of accounting or bookkeeper certification will have the best job prospects. Sources of Additional Information For information on the Certified Bookkeeper designation, contact: > The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, 6001 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD 20852. Internet: http://www.aipb.org (See the introductory statement on financial clerks for informa­ tion on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Gaming Cage Workers (0*NET 43-3041.00)  Nature of the Work Gaming cage workers, more commonly called cage cashiers, work Digitized in forcasinos FRASER and other gaming establishments. The “cage,” where these https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Gaming cage workers must follow strict procedures for handling money. workers can be found, is the central depository for money, gaming chips, and paperwork necessary to support casino play. Cage work­ ers perform a wide range of financial transactions and handle any paperwork that may be required. They perform credit checks and verify credit references for people who want to open a house credit account. They cash checks according to rules established by the casino. Cage workers sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to pa­ trons or to other workers for resale to patrons and exchange chips and tokens for cash. They may use cash registers, adding machines, or computers to calculate and record transactions. At the end of their shift, cage cashiers must reconcile the books and make sure they balance. Cageworkers must follow a number of rules and regulations re­ lated to their handling of money as this industry is highly scruti­ nized. Large cash transactions, for example, must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Also, when determining when to extend credit or cash a check, very detailed procedures must be followed. Employment Gaming cage workers held about 22,000 jobs in 2000. All of them work in the gaming industry, which is heavily concentrated in Ne­ vada and Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, a growing number of States and Indian reservations have legalized gambling and gam­ ing establishments can now be found in many parts of the country. Job Outlook Employment of gaming cage workers is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. In addition, even more job openings should result from high turnover in this occupation due to the high level of scrutiny workers in this occupa­ tion receive and the need to be very accurate. Opportunities for gaming cage workers depend on the health of the gaming industry. The industry as a whole is strong and demand will remain high as gambling becomes a more popular and acceptable leisure pursuit. However, as a result of a boom in casino building in the 1990s, slower growth in casino building in established markets is expected. New casinos will be built on Indian reservations, especially in Cali­ fornia, where the legislature recently passed a law allowing casinos on tribal lands in that State. Persons with good math skills, some background in accounting or bookkeeping, and good customer ser­ vice skills should have the best opportunities.  392 Occupational Outlook Handbook Sources of Additional Information Information on employment opportunities for gaming cage work­ ers is available from local offices of the State employment service. (See the introductory statement on financial clerks for informa­ tion on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks (0*NET 43-3051.00) Nature of the Work Payroll and timekeeping clerks perform a vital function—ensuring that employees are paid on time and that their paychecks are accu­ rate. If inaccuracies arise, such as monetary errors or incorrect amounts of vacation time, these workers research and correct the records. In addition, they may also perform various other clerical tasks. Automated timekeeping systems that allow employees to directly enter their hours worked into a computer have eliminated much of the data entry and review by timekeepers and has elevated the job of payroll clerk. But in offices that have not automated this function, payroll and timekeeping clerks still perform many of the following functions. The fundamental task of timekeeping clerks is distributing and collecting timecards each pay period. They review employee workcharts, timesheets, and timecards to ensure that information is properly recorded and that records have the signatures of authoriz­ ing officials. In companies that bill for the time spent by staff, such as law or accounting firms, timekeeping clerks make sure the hours recorded are charged to the correct job, so clients can be properly billed. These clerks also review computer reports listing timecards that cannot be processed because of errors, and they contact the employee or the employee’s supervisor to resolve the problem. In addition, timekeeping clerks are responsible for informing manag­ ers and other employees of procedural changes in payroll policies. Payroll clerks, also called payroll technicians, screen timecards for calculating, coding, or other errors. They compute pay by sub­ tracting allotments, including Federal and State taxes, retirement, insurance, and savings, from gross earnings. Increasingly, comput­ ers perform these calculations and alert payroll clerks to problems or errors in the data. In small organizations, or for new employees whose records are not yet entered into a computer system, clerks may perform the necessary calculations manually. In some small   Payroll clerks review computer listings for payroll errors. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  '■; -Tv  offices, clerks or other employees in the accounting department pro­ cess payroll. Payroll clerks record changes in employee addresses; close out files when workers retire, resign, or transfer; and advise employ­ ees on income tax withholding and other mandatory deductions. They also issue and record adjustments to pay because of previous errors or retroactive increases. Payroll clerks need to follow changes in tax and deduction laws, so they are aware of the most recent revisions. Finally, they prepare and mail earnings and tax with­ holding statements for employees’ use in preparing income tax returns. In small offices, payroll and timekeeping duties are likely to be included in the duties of a general office clerk, secretary, or accounting clerk. Flowever, large organizations employ special­ ized payroll and timekeeping clerks to perform these functions. In offices that have automated timekeeping systems, payroll clerks perform more analysis of the data, look at trends, and work with computer systems. They also spend more time answering employee questions and processing unique data. Employment  Payroll and timekeeping clerks held about 201,000 jobs in 2000. They can be found in every industry, but a growing number work for personnel supply companies and for accounting firms, which are taking on payroll duties as an additional service. About 13 per­ cent of all payroll and timekeeping clerks worked part time in 2000.  Job Outlook Little or no change is expected in the employment of payroll and timekeeping clerks through 2010, due to the continuing automation ofpayroll and timekeeping functions and the consolidation of clerical jobs. A growing number of mergers and acquisitions also will ad­ versely affect payroll departments as administrative offices are usu­ ally the first to be downsized. Nevertheless, a number of job openings should arise in coming years as payroll and timekeeping clerks leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations. Many payroll clerks use this position as a steppingstone to higher level accounting jobs. As in many other clerical occupations, new technology will con­ tinue to allow many of the tasks formerly handled by payroll and timekeeping clerks to be partially or completely automated. For example, automated timeclocks, which calculate employee hours, allow large organizations to centralize their timekeeping duties in one location. At individual sites, employee hours are increasingly tracked by computer and verified by managers. This information is then compiled and sent to a central office to be processed by pay­ roll clerks, eliminating the need to have payroll clerks at every site. In addition, the growing use of direct deposit eliminates the need to draft paychecks, because these funds are automatically transferred each pay period. Also, a growing number of organizations are allow­ ing employees to automatically update their payroll records. Fur­ thermore, payroll and timekeeping duties are increasingly being distributed to secretaries, general office clerks, or accounting clerks or are being contracted out to organizations that specialize in these services. Sources of Additional Information Information on employment opportunities for payroll and timekeep­ ing clerks is available from local offices of the State employment service. (See the introductory statement on financial clerks for informa­ tion on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 393  Procurement Clerks (0*NET 43-3061.00)  Nature of the Work Procurement clerks compile requests for materials, prepare purchase orders, keep track of purchases and supplies, and handle inquiries about orders. Usually c&Wcd purchasing clerks, ox purchasing tech­ nicians, they perform a variety of tasks related to the ordering of goods and supplies for an organization and make sure that what was purchased arrives when scheduled and meets the purchaser’s specifications. Automation is having a profound effect on the occupation. Or­ ders for goods can now be placed electronically when supplies are low. For example, computers integrated with cash registers at stores record purchases and automatically reorder goods when supplies reach a certain target level. However, automation is still years away for many firms and the role of the procurement clerk is unchanged in many organizations. There is a wide range of tasks performed by procurement clerks and a wide range of responsibilities. Some clerks may act more like buyers, particularly at small to medium-sized companies, while oth­ ers perform strictly clerical functions. In general, procurement clerks process requests for purchases. They first determine if there is any product left in inventory and may go through catalogs or to the Internet to find suppliers. They may prepare invitation-to-bid forms and mail them to suppliers or distribute them for public posting. Once suppliers are found, they may interview the suppliers to check on prices and specifications and put together spreadsheets with price comparisons and other facts about each supplier. Upon approval of a supplier, purchase orders are prepared, mailed, and recorded into computers. Procurement clerks keep track of orders and determine the causes of any delays. If the supplier has questions, clerks try to answer them and resolve any problems. When the shipment ar­ rives, procurement clerks may reconcile the purchase order with the shipment, making sure they match, notify the vendors when invoices not received, and make sure the bills concur with the pur­ chase orders. Some purchasing departments, particularly in small companies, are responsible for overseeing the organization’s inventory control system. At these organizations, procurement clerks monitor in-house inventory movement and complete inventory transfer forms for book­ keeping purposes. They may keep inventory spreadsheets and place orders when materials on hand are insufficient.  mm  Procurement clerks prepare purchase orders and make sure the  Digitized shipment for FRASER and the bills agree with the order. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Employment In 2000, procurement clerks held about 76,000 jobs. Procurement clerks are found in every industry, including manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, healthcare, and government. Job Outlook Employment of procurement clerks is expected to decline through 2010 as a result of increasing automation. The need for procure­ ment clerks will be reduced as the use of computers to place orders directly with suppliers—called electronic data interchange—and as ordering over the Internet—known as “e-procurement”—become more commonplace. In addition, procurement responsibilities are gradually being decentralized within organizations and are increas­ ingly being performed in the originating departments by managers or by a designated employee. These departments may be issued procurement cards, which are similar to credit cards, that enable a department to charge purchases up to a specified amount. Although employment in the occupation is expected to decline, job openings will occur for qualified individuals as workers trans­ fer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Persons with good writing and communication skills, along with computer skills, will have the best opportunities for employment. Sources of Additional Information Information on employment opportunities for procurement clerks is available from local offices of the State employment service. (See the introductory statement on financial clerks for informa­ tion on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Tellers (0*NET 43-3071.00)  Nature of the Work The teller is the person most people associate with a bank. Tellers make up 25 percent of bank employees, and conduct most of a bank’s routine transactions. Among their responsibilities are cashing checks, accepting deposits and loan payments, and processing with­ drawals. They also may sell savings bonds, accept payment for customers’ utility bills and charge cards, process necessary paper­ work for certificates of deposit, and sell travelers’ checks. Some tellers specialize in handling foreign currencies or commercial or business accounts. Being a teller requires a great deal of attention to detail. Before cashing a check, a teller must verify the date, bank name, identifi­ cation of the person to receive payment, and legality of the docu­ ment. They also must make sure that written and numerical amounts agree and that the account has sufficient funds to cover the check. The teller then must carefully count cash to avoid errors. Some­ times a customer withdraws money in the form of a cashier’s check, which the teller prepares and verifies. When accepting a deposit, tellers must check the accuracy of the deposit slip before process­ ing the transaction. Prior to starting their shift, tellers receive and count an amount of working cash for their drawer. A supervisor, usually the head teller, verifies this amount. Tellers use this cash for payments dur­ ing the day and are responsible for its safe and accurate handling. Before leaving, tellers count cash on hand, list the currency-received tickets on a balance sheet, make sure the accounts balance, and sort checks and deposit slips. Over the course of a workday, tellers also may process numerous mail transactions. Some tellers replenish cash drawers and corroborate deposits and payments to automated teller machines (ATMs).  394 Occupational Outlook Handbook  ■ill#  ars There will be fewer jobs for tellers as more people access funds electronically. In most banks, head tellers are responsible for the teller line. They set work schedules, ensure that the proper procedures are ad­ hered to, and act as a mentor to less experienced tellers. In addi­ tion, head tellers may perform the typical duties of a teller as needed and deal with the more difficult customer problems. They may ac­ cess the vault, ensure the correct cash balance is in the vault, and oversee large cash transactions. Technology continues to play a large role in the job duties of all tellers. In most banks, for ex­ ample, tellers use computer terminals to record deposits and with­ drawals. These terminals often give tellers quick access to detailed information on customer accounts. Tellers can use this information to tailor services to fit a customer’s needs or to recommend an ap­ propriate bank product or service. As banks begin to offer more and increasingly complex finan­ cial services, tellers are being trained to identify potential sales op­ portunities. This requires them to learn about the various financial products and services the bank offers so they can briefly explain them to customers and refer interested customers to appropriate specialized sales personnel. In addition, tellers in many banks are being cross-trained to perform some of the functions of customer service representatives. (Customer service representatives are dis­ cussed separately in the Handbook.) Employment Tellers held about 499,000 jobs in 2000; about 1 out of 4 worked part time. The overwhelming majority worked in commercial banks, savings institutions, or credit unions. The remainder were employed in a variety of other financial service companies. Job Outlook Employment of tellers is expected to decline through 2010. Never­ theless, many job openings will arise from replacement needs because turnover is high—a characteristic typical of large occupations that normally require little formal education and offer relatively low pay. The banking industry will continue to undergo many changes that will impact employment of traditional tellers, who perform only routine transactions. Principal among these are technology and changing employment needs. For example, ATMs and the increased use of direct deposit of paychecks and benefit checks have reduced the need for bank customers to interact with tellers for routine trans­ actions. In addition, electronic banking is spreading rapidly through­ out the banking industry. This type of banking, conducted over the telephone or the Internet, also will reduce the number of tellers over  the long run. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Teller employment also is being impacted by the increasing use of 24-hour phone centers by many large banks. These telephone centers allow a customer to interact with a bank representative at a distant location, either by telephone or video terminal. Such cen­ ters usually are staffed by customer service representatives, who can handle a wider variety of transactions than tellers, including loan applications and credit card issuance. Even though some banks have streamlined their branches, the total number of bank branches is expected to increase to meet the needs of a growing population. Branches are being added in nontraditional locations, such as grocery stores, malls, and mobile trailers designed to reach people who do not have easy access to banks. Often, these branches are open longer hours and offer greater cus­ tomer convenience. Many of these nontraditional branch offices are small and are staffed by tellers who also have customer service training. As a result, tellers who can provide a variety of financial services will be in greater demand in the future. Sources of Additional Information Information on employment opportunities for tellers is available from local offices of the State employment service. (See the introductory statement on financial clerks for informa­ tion on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Information and Record Clerks _____ (0**NET 43-4011.00, 43-4021.00, 43-4031.01, 43-4031.02, 43-4031.03, 43-4041.01, 43-4041.02, 43-4051.01, 43-4051.02, 43-4061.01, 43­ 4061.02, 43-4071.00, 43-4081.00, 43-4111.00, 43-4121.00, 43-4131.00, 43-4)41.00, 43-4151.00, 43-4161.00, 43-4171.00, 43-4181.01, 43­ 4181.02)  Significant Points •  • •  Numerous job openings should arise for most types of information and record clerks due to employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave these occupations. A high school diploma or its equivalent is the most common educational requirement. Because many information and record clerks deal directly with the public, a professional appearance and pleasant personality are imperative.  Nature of the Work Information and record clerks are found in nearly every industry in the Nation, gathering data and providing information to the public. The specific duties of these clerks vary as widely as the job titles they hold. Although their day-to-day duties vary widely, most information clerks greet customers, guests, or other visitors. Many also answer telephones and either obtain information from or provide informa­ tion to the public. Most information clerks use multiline telephones, fax machines, and personal computers. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks, for example, are a guest’s first contact for check-in, check-out, and other services within hotels, motels, and resorts. Interviewers, except eligibility and loan, found most often in medi­ cal facilities, research firms, and financial institutions, assist the public in completing forms, applications, or questionnaires. Eligi­ bility interviewers, government programs determine eligibility of individuals applying to receive assistance. Receptionists and infor­ mation clerks often are a visitor’s or caller’s first contact within an organization, providing information and routing calls. Reservation  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 395  and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks assist the public in making travel plans, reservations, and purchasing tickets for a variety of transportation services. Court, municipal, and license clerks perform administrative duties in courts of law, municipalities, and governmental licensing agen­ cies and bureaus. Court clerks prepare the docket of cases to be called, secure information forjudges, and contact witnesses, attor­ neys, and litigants to obtain information for the court. Municipal clerks prepare draft agendas or bylaws for town or city councils, answer official correspondence, and keep fiscal records and accounts. License clerks issue licenses or permits, record data, administer tests, and collect fees. New account clerks interview individuals desiring to open bank accounts. Their principal tasks include handling customer inquir­ ies, explaining the institution’s products and services to people, and referring customers to the appropriate sales personnel. If a cus­ tomer wants to open a checking or savings account, or an IRA, the new account clerk will interview the customer and enter the re­ quired information into a computer for processing. Customer service representatives interact with customers to pro­ vide information in response to inquires about products and ser­ vices and to handle and resolve complaints. Record clerks, on the other hand, maintain, update, and process a variety of records, ranging from payrolls to information on the shipment of goods or bank statements. They ensure that other work­ ers get paid on time, customers’ questions are answered, and records are kept of all transactions. Depending on their specific titles, these workers perform a wide variety of recordkeeping duties. Brokerage clerks prepare and main­ tain the records generated when stocks, bonds, and other types of investments are traded. File clerks store and retrieve various kinds of office information for use by staff members. Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping maintain employee records. Library assistants, clerical assist library patrons. Order clerks process incoming orders for goods and services. Correspon­ dence clerks reply to customers regarding damage claims, delin­ quent accounts, incorrect billings, complaints of unsatisfactory service, and requests for merchandise exchanges or returns. Loan interviewers and clerks and credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks review credit history and obtain the information needed to deter­ mine the creditworthiness of loan and credit card applications. The duties of record clerks vary with the size of the firm. In a small business, a bookkeeping clerk may handle all financial records and transactions, as well as payroll and personnel duties. A large firm, on the other hand, may employ specialized accounting, payroll, and human resources clerks. In general, however, clerical staffs in firms of all sizes increasingly perform a broader variety of tasks than in the past. This is especially true for clerical occupations involving accounting work. As the growing use of computers enables book­ keeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to become more productive, these workers may assume billing, payroll, and timekeeping duties. Another change in these occupations is the growing use of finan­ cial software to enter and manipulate data. Computer programs automatically perform calculations on data that were previously calculated manually. Computers also enable clerks to access data within files more quickly than the former method of reviewing stacks ofpaper. Nevertheless, most workers still keep backup paper records for research, auditing, and reference purposes. Despite the grow­ ing use of automation, interaction with the public and coworkers remains a basic part of the job for many records processing clerks. Working Conditions Working conditions vary for different types of information and record Digitized clerks, for FRASER but most clerks work in areas that are clean, well lit, and https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  relatively quiet. This is especially true for information clerks who greet customers and visitors and usually work in highly visible ar­ eas that are furnished to make a good impression. Reservation agents and interviewing clerks who spend much of their day talking on the telephone, however, commonly work away from the public, often in large centralized reservation or phone centers. Because a num­ ber of agents or clerks may share the same workspace, it may be crowded and noisy. Interviewing clerks may conduct surveys on the street, in shopping malls, or go door to door. Although most information and record clerks work a standard 40-hour week, about 1 out of 5 work part time. Some high school and college students work part time as information clerks, after school or during vacations. Some jobs—such as those in the trans­ portation industry, hospitals, and hotels, in particular—may require working evenings, late night shifts, weekends, and holidays. This also is the case for a growing number of customer service represen­ tatives who work for large banks with call centers that are staffed around the clock. Interviewing clerks conducting surveys or other research may mainly work evenings or weekends. In general, employees with the least seniority tend to be assigned the less desirable shifts. The work performed by information clerks may be repetitious and stressful. For example, many receptionists spend all day an­ swering telephones while performing additional clerical or secre­ tarial tasks. Reservation agents and travel clerks work under stringent time constraints or have quotas on the number of calls answered or reservations made. Additional stress is caused by tech­ nology that enables management to electronically monitor use of computer systems, tape record telephone calls, or limit the time spent on each call. The work of hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks and transporta­ tion ticket agents also can be stressful when trying to serve the needs of difficult or angry customers. When flights are canceled, reserva­ tions mishandled, or guests are dissatisfied, these clerks must bear the brunt of the customers’ anger. Hotel desk clerks and ticket agents may be on their feet most of the time, and ticket agents may have to lift heavy baggage. In addition, prolonged exposure to a video dis­ play terminal may lead to eye strain for the many information clerks who work with computers. Employment Information and record clerks held 5.1 million jobs in 2000. The following tabulation shows employment for the individual occu­ pations. Customer service representatives.................................................. Receptionists and information clerks............................................ Order clerks......................................................................................... File clerks............................................................................................ Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping.. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks.............................................. Interviewers, except eligibility and loan ...................................... Loan interviewers and clerks.......................................................... Eligibility interviewers, government programs.......................... Court, municipal, and license clerks............................................. Library assistants, clerical............................................................... New accounts clerks.......................................................................... Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks....................................... Brokerage clerks................................................................................. Correspondence clerks ......... ,..........................................................  1,946,000 1,078,000 348,000 288,000 191,000 177,000 177,000 154,000 139,000 117,000 105,000 98,000 87,000 86,000 70,000 38,000  Although information and record clerks are found in a variety of industries, employment is concentrated in health services; finance, insurance, and real estate; transportation, communications, and utili­ ties; and business services.  396 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Although hiring requirements for information and record clerk jobs vary from industry to industry, a high school diploma or its equiva­ lent is the most common educational requirement. Increasingly, familiarity or experience with computers and good interpersonal skills often are equally important to employers. Although many employers prefer to hire information and record clerks with a higher level of education, it is only required in a few of these clerical occu­ pations. For example, brokerage firms usually seek college gradu­ ates for brokerage clerk jobs, and order clerks in high-technology firms often need to understand scientific and mechanical processes, which may require some college education. For customer service representatives, new account clerks, and airline reservation and ticket agent jobs, some college education may be preferred. Many information clerks deal directly with the public, so a pro­ fessional appearance and pleasant personality are important. A clear speaking voice and fluency in the English language also are essential because these employees frequently use the telephone or public address systems. Good spelling and computer literacy often are needed, particularly because most work involves considerable computer use. It also is increasingly helpful for those wishing to enter the lodging or travel industries to speak a foreign language fluently. With the exception of airline reservation and transportation ticket agents, orientation and training for information clerks usu­ ally takes place on the job. For example, orientation for hotel and motel desk clerks usually includes an explanation of the job duties and information about the establishment, such as room locations and available services. New employees learn job tasks through on-the-job training under the guidance of a supervisor or an expe­ rienced clerk. They often need additional training in how to use the computerized reservation, room assignment, and billing sys­ tems and equipment. Most clerks continue to receive instruction on new procedures and company policies after their initial train­ ing ends. Receptionists usually receive on-the-job training which may include procedures for greeting visitors, operating telephone and computer systems, and distributing mail, fax, and parcel deliveries. Some employers look for applicants who already possess certain skills, such as prior computer and word processing experience, or previous formal education. Customer service representatives also receive on-the-job training, which includes instructions on how to operate telephone and computer systems. These workers must pos­ sess strong communication skills since they are constantly interact­ ing with customers. Most airline reservation and ticket agents leam their skills through formal company training programs. In a classroom setting, they leam company and industry policies, computer systems, and ticket­ ing procedures. They also leam to use the airline’s computer sys­ tem to obtain information on schedules, seat availability, and fares; to reserve space for passengers; and to plan passenger itineraries. They also must become familiar with airport and airline code desig­ nations, regulations, and safety procedures, and may be tested on this knowledge. After completing classroom instmction, new agents work on the job with supervisors or experienced agents for a pe­ riod. During this period, supervisors may monitor telephone con­ versations to improve the quality of customer service. Agents are expected to provide good service while limiting the time spent on each call without being discourteous to customers. In contrast to the airlines, automobile clubs, bus lines, and railroads tend to train their ticket agents or travel clerks on the job through short in-house classes that last several days. Most banks prefer to hire college graduates for new account clerk  positions. Nevertheless, many new account clerks without college https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  degrees start out as bank tellers and are promoted by demonstrating excellent communication skills and motivation to leam new skills. If a new account clerk has not been a teller before, he or she often will receive such training and work for several months as a teller. In both cases, new account clerks undergo formal training regard­ ing the bank’s procedures, products, and services. Record clerks often leam the skills they need in high schools, business schools, and community colleges. Business education pro­ grams offered by these institutions typically include courses in typ­ ing, word processing, shorthand, business communications, records management, and office systems and procedures. Specialized order clerks in technical positions obtain their training from technical insti­ tutes and 2- and 4-year colleges. Some entry-level record clerks are college graduates with de­ grees in business, finance, or liberal arts. Although a degree rarely is required, many graduates accept entry-level clerical positions to get into a particular company or to enter a particular field. Some companies, such as brokerage and accounting firms, have a set plan of advancement that tracks college graduates from entry-level clerical jobs into managerial positions. Workers with college degrees are likely to start at higher salaries and advance more easily than those without degrees. Once hired, record clerks usually receive on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or other senior workers, new employees leam company procedures. Some formal classroom train­ ing also may be necessary, such as training in specific computer software. Advancement for information and record clerks usually comes by transfer to a position with more responsibilities or by promotion to a supervisory position. Most companies fill office and adminis­ trative support supervisory and managerial positions by promoting individuals within their organization, so information clerks who acquire additional skills, experience, and training improve their advancement opportunities. Receptionists, interviewers, and new account clerks with word processing or other clerical skills may advance to a better paying job as a secretary or administrative assis­ tant. Within the airline industry, a ticket agent may advance to lead worker on the shift. Additional training is helpful in preparing information clerks for promotion. In the lodging industry, clerks can improve their chances for advancement by taking home or group study courses in lodging management, such as those sponsored by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Motel Association. In some industries— such as lodging, banking, insurance, or the airlines—workers com­ monly are promoted through the ranks. Information and record clerk positions offer good opportunities for qualified workers to get started in the business. In a number of industries, a college degree may be required for advancement to management ranks.  Job Outlook Overall employment of information and record clerks is expected grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. In addition to many openings occurring as businesses and organi­ zations expand, numerous job openings for information and record clerks will result from the need to replace experienced workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Replace­ ment needs are expected to be significant in this large occupational group, as many young people work as clerks for a few years before switching to other, higher paying jobs. The occupation is wellsuited to flexible work schedules, and many opportunities for part­ time work will continue to be available, particularly as organizations attempt to cut labor costs by hiring more part-time or temporary workers.  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 397  The outlook for different types of information and record clerks is expected to vary in the coming decade. Customer service repre­ sentatives are expected to grow faster than the average for all occu­ pations, as they increasingly take over the duties of a variety of other workers. Economic growth and general business expansion are expected to stimulate faster than average growth among recep­ tionists and information clerks. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks are expected to grow faster than the average, as the occupational composition of the lodging industry changes and services provided by these workers expand. Employment of interviewers, except eli­ gibility and loan also is expected to grow faster than average, as these workers will benefit from rapid growth in the health services industry. Library assistants and human resources assistants are expected to grow about as fast as average as these workers take on more responsibilities. Average employment growth also is projected for court, municipal, and license clerks as the number of court cases and demand for citizen services continues to increase. Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks also are expected to grow about as fast as average due to rising demand for travel services. Employment of correspondence clerks; credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks; file clerks; and new account clerks, on the other hand, is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations due to automation and the consolidation of recordkeeping functions across all industries. The remainder of the information and record clerks are expected to decline. Employment of eligibility interviewers will decline as government programs, such as welfare, continue to be reformed, reducing the need for these types of workers. Both brokerage clerks and loan interviewers are expected to decline as online trading and other technological innovations continue to automate more of this type of work. And, employment of order clerks is expected to decline as advances in electronic commerce continue to increase the efficiency of transactions among businesses, consumers, and government. Earnings Earnings vary widely by occupation and experience. Annual earn­ ings ranged from less than $12,370 for the lowest paid 10 percent of hotel clerks to over $51,410 for the top 10 percent of brokerage clerks in 2000. Salaries of reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks tend to be significantly higher than for other information and record clerks, while hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks tend to earn quite a bit less, as the following tabulation of median annual earnings shows. Brokerage clerks.................................................................................... Eligibility interviewers, government programs.............................. Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping..... Loan interviewers and clerks.............................................................. Court, municipal, and license clerks................................................ Customer service representatives...................................................... Credit authorizes, checkers, and clerks........................................... Correspondence clerks......................................................................... Order clerks............................................................................................ New accounts clerks............................................................................. Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks ... Interviewers, except eligibility and loan.......................................... Receptionists and information clerks............................................... File clerks................................................................................................ Library assistants, clerical................................................................... Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks..................................................  $31,060 28,380 28,340 26,410 26,150 24,600 24,570 24,150 23 620 23,090 22,620 20,840 20,040 18,700 17,980 16,380  Earnings of hotel and motel desk clerks also vary considerably depending on the location, size, and type of establishment in which Digitized they for FRASER work. For example, clerks at large luxury hotels and those https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  located in metropolitan and resort areas generally pay clerks more than less exclusive or “budget” establishments and those located in less populated areas. In early 2001, the Federal Government typically paid salaries ranging from $18,667 to $22,734 a year to beginning receptionists with a high school diploma or 6 months of experience. The aver­ age annual salary for all receptionists employed by the Federal Gov­ ernment was about $24,477 in 2001. In addition to their hourly wage, full-time information and record clerks who work evenings, nights, weekends, or holidays may re­ ceive shift differential pay. Some employers offer educational as­ sistance to their employees. Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks receive free or reduced rate travel on their company’s carriers for themselves and their immediate family and, in some companies, for friends. Related Occupations A number of other workers deal with the public, receive and pro­ vide information, or direct people to others who can assist them. Among these are dispatchers, security guards and gaming surveil­ lance workers, tellers, and counter and rental clerks. For more information on information and record clerks, see the statements on brokerage clerks; credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks; customer service representatives; file clerks; hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks; human resources assistants; interviewers; library assistants; order clerks; receptionists and information clerks; and reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks following this statement.  Brokerage Clerks (0*NET 43-4011.00)  Nature of the Work Brokerage clerks perform a number of different jobs with wide rang­ ing responsibilities, but all involve computing and recording data on securities transactions. Brokerage clerks also may contact cus­ tomers, take orders, and inform clients of changes to their accounts. Some of these jobs are more clerical and require only a high school diploma, while others are considered entry-level positions for which a bachelor’s degree is needed. Brokerage clerks, who work in the operations departments of securities firms, on trading floors, and in branch offices, also are called margin clerks, dividend clerks, trans­ fer clerks, and broker’s assistants. The broker’s assistant, also called sales assistant, is the most common type of brokerage clerk. These workers typically assist two brokers, for whom they take calls from clients, write up order tickets, process the paperwork for opening and closing accounts, record a client’s purchases and sales, and inform clients of changes in their accounts. All brokers’ assistants must be knowledgeable about investment products so that they can clearly communicate with clients. Those with a “Series 7” license can make recommen­ dations to clients at the instruction of the broker. The Series 7 li­ cense is issued to securities and commodities sales representatives by the National Association of Securities Dealers and allows them to provide advice on securities to the public. Brokerage clerks in the operations areas of securities firms per­ form many duties to facilitate the sale and purchase of stocks, bonds, commodities, and other kinds of investments. These clerks pro­ duce the necessary records of all transactions that occur in their area of the business. Job titles for many of these clerks depend upon the type of work they perform. Purchase-and-sale clerks, for  398 Occupational Outlook Handbook  securities, brokerage clerks will still be required to process larger volumes of transactions. And, some brokerage clerks will still be needed to update records, enter changes to customer’s accounts, and verify securities transfers. However, due to the emergence of online trading and widespread automation in the securities and com­ modities industry, the demand for brokerage clerks in the coming decade will be limited. All job openings will stem from the need to replace clerks who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks ____ ___ (0*NET 43-4041.01, 43-4041.02)  lllrPSi"  Nature of the Work Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks review credit history and obtain the information needed to determine the creditworthiness of individuals or businesses applying for credit. They spend much of their day on the telephone obtaining information from credit bu­ reaus, employers, banks, credit institutions, and other sources to determine applicants’ credit history and ability to pay back the charge.  Brokerage clerks record data on securities transactions. example, match orders to buy with orders to sell. They balance and verify stock trades by comparing the records of the selling firm with those of the buying firm. Dividend clerks ensure timely payments of stock or cash dividends to clients of a particular brokerage firm. Transfer clerks execute customer requests for changes to security registration and examine stock certificates for adherence to bank­ ing regulations. Receive-and-deliver clerks facilitate the receipt and delivery of securities among firms and institutions. Margin clerks post to and monitor activity in customers’ accounts to ensure that clients make payments and stay within legal boundaries con­ cerning stock purchases. Technology is changing the nature of many of these workers’ jobs. A significant and growing number of brokerage clerks use custom-designed software programs to process transactions more quickly. Only a few customized accounts are still handled manu­ ally. Furthermore, the rapid expansion of online trading reduces the amount of paperwork because brokerage clerks are able to make trades electronically. Employment Brokerage clerks held about 70,000 jobs in 2000. Most worked in firms that sell securities and commodities.  Job Outlook Employment of brokerage clerks is expected to decline through the year 2010, as technological advancements continue to automate  many of their job duties. With people increasingly investing in https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  I  Credit clerks typically handle the processing ofcredit applications.  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 399  Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks process and authorize applications for credit, including credit cards. Although the dis­ tinctions among the three job titles are becoming less, some general differences remain. Credit clerks typically handle the processing of credit applications by verifying the information on the applica­ tion, calling applicants if additional data are needed, contacting credit bureaus for a credit rating, and obtaining any other information nec­ essary to determine applicants’ creditworthiness. If the clerk works in a department store or other establishment that offers instant credit, he or she enters applicant information into a computer at the pointof-sale. A credit rating will then be transmitted from a central of­ fice within seconds to indicate whether the application should be rejected or approved. Some organizations have credit checkers, who investigate a person’s or business’s credit history and current credit standing prior to the issuance of a loan or line of credit. Credit checkers also may telephone or write to credit departments of businesses and service companies to obtain information about an applicant’s credit standing. Credit reporting agencies and bureaus hire a num­ ber of checkers to secure, update, and verify information for cre­ dit reports. These workers often are called credit investigators or reporters. Credit authorizers approve charges against customers’ existing accounts. Most charges are approved automatically by computer. When accounts are past due, overextended, or invalid, or show a change of address, however, sales persons refer transactions to credit authorizers located in a central office. These authorizers evaluate the customers’ computerized credit records and payment histories to quickly decide whether or not to approve new charges. Employment Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks held about 86,000 jobs in 2000. About 4 out of 10 were employed by commercial and sav­ ings banks, credit unions, mortgage banks, and personal and busi­ ness credit institutions. Credit reporting and collection agencies and establishments in wholesale and retail trade also employ these clerks. Job Outlook Slower-than-average employment growth for credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks is expected through 2010. Despite a projected increase in the number of credit applications, automation will al­ low fewer workers to process, check, and authorize applications than in the past. Credit scoring is a major development that has improved the productivity of these workers, thus limiting employment growth. Companies and credit bureaus now can purchase software that quickly analyzes an applicant’s creditworthiness and summarizes it into a “score.” Credit issuers then can easily decide whether to accept or reject the application depending on the score, speeding up the authorization of loans or credit. Obtaining credit ratings also is much easier for credit checkers and authorizers, as busi­ nesses now have computer systems that are directly linked to credit bureaus that provide immediate access to a person’s credit history. The job outlook for credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks is sensitive to overall economic activity. A downturn in the economy or a rise in interest rates usually lead to a decline in demand for credit. Even in slow economic times, however, job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation for various reasons. (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training, requirements, and  earnings). https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Customer Service Representatives (Q*NET 43-4051.01, 43-4051.02)  Nature of the Work Customer service representatives interact with customers to pro­ vide information in response to inquires about products and ser­ vices. They also handle and resolve customer’s complaints. Some customer service representatives assist individuals interested in opening accounts for various utilities such as electricity and gas, or for communication services such as cable television and telephone. In many cases, they gather information by phone or in person. They receive orders for services to be installed, turned on, turned off, or changed. They may look into and resolve complaints about billings and service provided by phone, cable television, and utility compa­ nies. Customer service representatives also may explain how to use equipment and solve any equipment problems. Others explain to users how to navigate an Internet site. Many customer service representatives use multiline telephones, fax machines, and personal computers. Because banks are highly automated, their customer service call centers route each call to the first available representative as quickly as possible. Insurance agen­ cies, on the other hand, often use time-consuming searches for files and related paperwork in providing customer service. Self-service Web sites and e-mail are providing more efficient and targeted customer service. Many companies are starting to trans­ form conventional call centers, and e-mail has become a principal method through which to serve customers. The challenge of pro­ viding customer service via e-mail is having enough representa­ tives to deal with the large volume of mail. Employment Customer service representatives held about 1.9 million jobs in 2000. Although they were found in all industries, about 1 in 4 customer service representatives worked in finance, insurance, and real es­ tate. Telephone communications and cable television services also employed a large number of customer service representatives. Job Outlook Overall employment of customer service representatives is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010. In addition to many new openings occurring as busi­ nesses and organizations expand, numerous job openings will result  paisas**  Customer service representatives handle and resolve customers ’ complaints.  400 Occupational Outlook Handbook  from the need to replace experienced customer service representa­ tives who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Replacement needs are expected to be significant in this large oc­ cupation as many young people work as customer service represen­ tatives for a few years before switching to other, higher paying jobs. This occupation is well-suited to flexible work schedules, and many opportunities for part-time work will continue to be available, par­ ticularly as organizations attempt to cut labor costs by hiring more temporary workers. Customer service is critical to the success of any organization that deals with customers. Strong customer service can build sales and visibility as companies try to distinguish themselves from com­ petitors. Advances in technology, especially the increased use of the Internet and the expected growth in electronic commerce, should result in rapid employment growth among customer service repre­ sentatives. Web sites, e-mail, and more recently, wireless commu­ nications, are proving more efficient because they provide targeted customer service. As more business is conducted over the Internet, more customer service representatives will be needed over the next decade to answer questions, provide assistance in navigating Web sites, make product recommendations, and quickly and efficiently respond to the growing volume of e-mail. (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  File Clerks  .  (0*NET 43-4071.00)  Nature of the Work The amount of information generated by organizations continues to grow rapidly. File clerks classify, store, retrieve, and update this information. In many small offices, they often have additional re­ sponsibilities, such as data entry, word processing, sorting mail, and operating copying or fax machines. They are employed across the Nation by organizations of all types. File clerks, also called records, information, or record center clerks, examine incoming material and code it numerically, alpha­ betically, or by subject matter. They then store forms, letters, re­ ceipts, or reports in paper form or enter necessary information into other storage devices. Some clerks operate mechanized files that rotate to bring the needed records to them; others convert docu­ ments to films that are then stored on microforms, such as micro­ film or microfiche. A growing number of file clerks use imaging systems that scan paper files or film and store the material on opti­ cal disks. In order for records to be useful they must be up-to-date and accurate. File clerks ensure that new information is added to the files in a timely manner and may get rid of outdated file materials or transfer them to inactive storage. They also check files at regular intervals to make sure that all items are correctly sequenced and placed. Whenever records cannot be found, the file clerk attempts to locate the missing material. As an organization’s needs for in­ formation change, file clerks also implement changes to the filing system established by supervisory personnel. When records are requested, file clerks locate them and give them to the borrower. The record may be a sheet of paper stored in a file cabinet or an image on microform. In the first example, the clerk manually retrieves the document and hands or forwards it to the borrower. In the latter example, the clerk retrieves the micro­ form and displays it on a microform reader. If necessary, file clerks  make copies of records and distribute them. In addition, they keep https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  File clerks classify, store, and retrieve information.  track of materials removed from the files to ensure that borrowed files are returned. Increasingly, file clerks use computerized filing and retrieval systems. These systems use a variety of storage devices, such as a mainframe computer, CD-ROM, or floppy disk. To retrieve a docu­ ment in these systems, the clerk enters the document’s identifica­ tion code, obtains the location, and pulls the document. Accessing files in a computer database is much quicker than locating and physi­ cally retrieving paper files. Even when files are stored electroni­ cally, however, backup paper or electronic copies usually are also kept. Employment File clerks held about 288,000 jobs in 2000. Although file clerk jobs are found in nearly every sector of the economy, about 85 per­ cent of these workers are employed in services, government, finance, insurance, and real estate. More than 1 out of every 7 is employed in temporary services firms, and about 1 out of 3 worked part time in 2000. Job Outlook Employment of file clerks is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010. Projected job growth stems from rising demand for file clerks to record and retrieve in­ formation in organizations across the economy. This growth will  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 401  be slowed, however, by productivity gains stemming from office automation and the consolidation of clerical jobs. Nonetheless, job opportunities for file clerks should be plentiful because a large num­ ber of workers will be needed to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. Job turnover among file clerks reflects the lack of formal training requirements, limited advancement poten­ tial, and relatively low pay. Job seekers who have typing and other secretarial skills and are familiar with a wide range of office machines, especially personal computers, should have the best job opportunities. File clerks should find many opportunities for temporary or part-time work, especially during peak business periods. (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks (0*NET 43-4081.00)  Nature of the Work Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks perform a variety of services for guests of hotels, motels, and other lodging establishments. Re­ gardless of the type of accommodation, most desk clerks have simi­ lar responsibilities. Primarily, they register arriving guests, assign rooms, and check out guests at the end of their stay. They also keep records of room assignments and other registration information on computers. When guests check out, they prepare and explain the charges, as well as process payments. Front desk clerks always are in the public eye and, through their attitude and behavior, greatly influence the public’s impressions of the establishment. When answering questions about services, check­ out times, the local community, or other matters of public interest, clerks must be courteous and helpful. Should guests report prob­ lems with their rooms, clerks contact members of the housekeeping or maintenance staff to correct them. In some smaller hotels and motels, clerks may have a variety of additional responsibilities usually performed by specialized employ­ ees in larger establishments. In these places, the desk clerk often is responsible for all front office operations, information, and services. These clerks, for example, may perform the work of a bookkeeper, advance reservation agent, cashier, laundry attendant, and telephone switchboard operator.   Hotel and motel clerks register arriving guests. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Employment Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks held about 177,000 jobs in 2000. This occupation is well-suited to flexible work schedules, as about 3 in 10 hotel clerks works part time. Because hotels and motels need to be staffed 24 hours a day, evening and weekend work is common. Job Outlook Employment of hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010, as more hotels, motels, and other lodging establishments are built and occupancy rates rise. Job opportunities for hotel and motel desk clerks also will result from a need to replace workers, as thousands of workers transfer to other occupations that offer better pay and advancement opportunities or simply leave the work force altogether. Opportunities for part-time work should continue to be plentiful, as front desks often are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employment of hotel and motel desk clerks should be affected by an increase in business and leisure travel. Shifts in travel prefer­ ence away from long vacations and toward long weekends and other, more frequent, shorter trips also should increase demand as this trend increases the total number of nights spent in hotels. The ex­ pansion of budget and extended-stay hotels relative to larger, luxury establishments reflects a change in the composition of the hotel and motel industry. As employment shifts from luxury hotels to these extended-stay establishments offering larger rooms with kitchen­ ettes and laundry services, the proportion of hotel desk clerks should increase in relation to staff such as waiters and waitresses and rec­ reation workers. Desk clerks are able to handle more of the guest’s needs in these establishments, answering the main switchboard, providing business services, and coordinating services like dry clean­ ing or grocery shopping. New technologies automating check-in and check-out procedures now allow some guests to bypass the front desk in many larger es­ tablishments, reducing staffing needs. As some of the more tradi­ tional duties are automated, however, many desk clerks are assuming a wider range of responsibilities. Employment of desk clerks is sensitive to cyclical swings in the economy. During recessions, vacation and business travel declines, and hotels and motels need fewer clerks. Similarly, desk clerk em­ ployment is affected by seasonal fluctuations in travel during high and low tourist seasons. Sources of Additional Information Information on careers in the lodging industry, as well as informa­ tion about professional development and training programs, may be obtained from: ► Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 800 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 1800, Orlando, FL 32803. Internet: http://  www.ei-ahma.org  (See introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping (0*NET 43-4161.00)  Nature of the Work Human resources assistants maintain the personnel records of an organization’s employees. These records include information such as name, address, job title, and earnings, benefits such as health  402 Occupational Outlook Handbook 6 works for a government agency. Colleges and universities, hospi­ tals, department stores, and banks also employ large numbers of human resources assistants.  Human resources assistants maintain the personnel records of employees. and life insurance, and tax withholding. On a daily basis, these assistants record and answer questions about employee absences and supervisory reports on job performance. When an employee receives a promotion or switches health insurance plans, the human resources assistant updates the appropriate form. Human resources assistants also may prepare reports for managers elsewhere within the organization. For example, they might compile a list of em­ ployees eligible for an award. In smaller organizations, some human resources assistants per­ form a variety of other clerical duties. They answer telephone or letter inquiries from the public, send out announcements of job openings or job examinations, and issue application forms. When credit bureaus and finance companies request confirmation of a person’s employment, the human resources assistant provides au­ thorized information from the employee’s personnel records. Pay­ roll departments and insurance companies also may be contacted to verify changes to records. Some human resources assistants also are involved in hiring. They screen job applicants to obtain information such as education and work experience; administer aptitude, personality, and interest tests; explain the organization’s employment policies and refer quali­ fied applicants to the employing official; and request references from present or past employers. Also, human resources assistants inform job applicants, by telephone or letter, of their acceptance or rejection for employment. In some job settings, human resources assistants have specific job titles. For example, assignment clerks notify a firm’s existing employees of position vacancies and identify and assign qualified applicants. They keep track of vacancies throughout the organiza­ tion and complete and distribute vacancy advertisement forms. These clerks review applications in response to advertisements and verify information, using personnel records. After a selection is made, they notify all the applicants of their acceptance or rejection. For another example, identification clerks are responsible for security matters at defense installations. They compile and record personal data about vendors, contractors, and civilian and military personnel and their dependents. Job duties include interviewing applicants; corresponding with law enforcement authorities; and preparing badges, passes, and identification cards. Employment Human resources assistants held about 177,000 jobs in 2000. Al­  though these workers are found in most industries, about 1 in every https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Job Outlook Employment of human resources assistants is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010, as assistants continue to take on more responsibilities. For example, workers conduct Internet research to locate resumes, must be able to scan resumes of job candidates quickly and effi­ ciently, and must be increasingly sensitive to confidential infor­ mation such as salaries and social security numbers. In a favorable job market, more emphasis is placed on human resources depart­ ments, thus increasing the demand for human resources assistants. However, even in economic downturns, there will be continuing demand for human resources assistants as human resources de­ partments in all industries try to make their organizations more efficient by determining what type of employees to hire and stra­ tegically filling job openings. Human resources assistants may play an instrumental role in their organization’s human resources policies. For example, they may talk to staffing firms and consult­ ing firms and conduct other research, and then offer their ideas on issues such as whether to hire temporary contract workers or full­ time staff. Similar to other office and administrative support occupations, the growing use of computers in human resources departments means that a lot of data entry done by human resources assistants can be eliminated, as employees themselves enter the data and send it to the human resources office. This is most feasible in large organiza­ tions with multiple human resources offices and, to some extent, could limit job growth among human resources assistants. In addition to job growth, replacement needs will account for many job openings for human resources assistants as they advance within the human resources department, take jobs unrelated to human resources administration, or leave the labor force. (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Interviewers (Q*NET 43-4061.01, 43-4061.02, 43-4111.00, 43-4131.00)  Nature of the Work Interviewers obtain information from individuals and business rep­ resentatives who are opening bank accounts, trying to obtain loans, seeking admission to medical facilities, participating in consumer surveys, applying to receive aid from government programs, and providing data for various other purposes. By mail, telephone, or in person, these workers solicit and verify information, create files, and perform a number of other related tasks. The specific duties and job titles of interviewers, except eligibil­ ity and loan depend upon the type of employer. In doctors’ offices and other healthcare facilities, for example, interviewing clerks also are known as admitting interviewers or patient representatives. These workers obtain all preliminary information required for a patient’s record or for his or her admission to a hospital, such as the patient’s name, address, age, medical history, present medications, previous hospitalizations, religion, persons to notify in case of emer­ gency, attending physician, and the party responsible for payment. In some cases, interviewing clerks may be required to verify that an individual is eligible for health benefits or to work out financing options for those who might need them.  Other duties of interviewers in healthcare include assigning pa­ tients to rooms and summoning escorts to take patients to their rooms; sometimes, interviewers may escort patients themselves. Using the facility’s computer system, they schedule laboratory work, x-rays, and surgeries, and prepare admitting and discharge records and route them to appropriate departments. They also may bill pa­ tients, receive payments, and answer the telephone. In an outpa­ tient or office setting, they schedule appointments, keep track of cancellations, and provide general information about care. In addi­ tion, the role of the admissions staff, particularly in hospitals, is expanding to include a wide range of patient services, from assist­ ing patients with financial and medical questions to helping family members find hotel rooms. Interviewing clerks who conduct market research surveys and polls for research firms have somewhat different responsibilities. These interviewers ask a series of prepared questions, record the responses, and forward the results to management. They may ask individuals questions about their occupation and earnings, political preferences, buying habits, customer satisfaction, or other aspects of their lives. Although most interviews are conducted over the telephone, some are conducted in focus groups or by randomly poll­ ing people in a public place. More recently, the Internet is being used to elicit people’s opinions. Almost all interviewers use com­ puters or similar devices to enter the responses to questions. Eligibility interviewers, government programs determine the eligibility of individuals applying to receive assistance from gov­ ernment programs such as welfare, unemployment benefits, social security, and public housing. They gather the relevant personal and financial information on an applicant and, based on the rules and regulations ofthe particular government program, they grant, modify, deny, or terminate individuals’ eligibility for the program in ques­ tion. These interviewers also are involved in the detection of fraud committed by persons who try to obtain benefits although they are not eligible to receive them. Loan interviewers and clerks review credit history and obtain the information needed to determine the creditworthiness of loan and credit card applicants. They spend much of their day on the phone obtaining credit information from credit bureaus, employ­ ers, banks, credit institutions, and other sources to determine appli­ cants’ credit history and ability to pay back the loan or charge. Loan clerks, also called loan processing clerks, loan closers, or loan service clerks, assemble loan documents, process the paper­ work associated with the loan, and ensure that all information is complete and verified. Mortgage loans are the primary type of loan handled by loan clerks, who also may have to order appraisals on the property, set up escrow accounts, and secure any additional in­ formation required to transfer the property. The specific duties of loan clerks vary by specialty. Loan clos­ ers, for example, complete the loan process by gathering the proper documents for signature at the closing, including deeds of trust, property insurance papers, and title commitments. They set the time and place for the closing, make sure that all parties are present, and ensure that all conditions for settlement have been met. After settle­ ment, the loan closer records all documents and submits the final loan package to the owner of the loan. Loan service clerks main­ tain the payment records once the loan is issued. These clerical workers process the paperwork for payment of fees to insurance companies and tax authorities, and also may record changes to cli­ ent addresses and loan ownership. When necessary, they answer calls from customers with routine inquiries. Loan interviewers have duties that are similar to those of loan clerks. They interview potential borrowers and help them fill out loanFRASER applications. Interviewers may then investigate the applicant’s Digitized for background and references, verify information on the application, https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 403  111*11  I  Interviewers solicit and verify information from individuals.  and forward any findings, reports, or documents to the appraisal department. Finally, interviewers inform the applicant whether the loan has been accepted or denied. Employment Interviewers held about 410,000 jobs in 2000. About 154,000 were interviewers, except eligibility and loan; 139,000 were loan inter­ viewers and clerks; and 117,000 were eligibility interviewers, gov­ ernment programs. Almost 1 out of every 5 interviewers worked in health services, while most loan interviewers and clerks worked in financial institutions. Almost 3 out of every 10 interviewers worked part time. Job Outlook Little or no change is expected in overall employment of interview­ ers through 2010. However, the projected change in employment varies by specialty. Most job openings should arise from the need to replace the numerous interviewers who leave the occupation or the labor force each year. Prospects for filling these openings will be best for applicants with a broad range ofjob skills, such as good customer service, math, and telephone skills. In addition to full­ time jobs, opportunities also should be available for part-time and temporary jobs. The number of interviewers, except eligibility and loan, is pro­ jected to grow faster than average, reflecting growth in the health services industry. This industry will hire more admissions inter­ viewers as healthcare facilities consolidate staff and expand the role of the admissions staff, and as an aging and growing population requires more visits to healthcare practitioners. In addition, increas­ ing use of market research will create more jobs requiring inter­ viewers to collect data. In the future, though, more market research is expected to be conducted over the Internet, thus reducing the need for telephone interviewers to make individual calls. The number of loan interviewers and clerks is projected to de­ cline, due to advances in technology that are making these workers more productive. Despite a projected increase in the number of loan applications, automation will allow fewer workers to process, check, and authorize applications than in the past. The effects of automation on employment will be moderated, however, by the many interpersonal aspects of the job. Mortgage loans, for example, re­ quire loan processors to personally verify financial data on the ap­ plication, and loan closers are needed to assemble documents and prepare them for settlement. Employment also will be adversely affected by changes in the financial services industry. For example,  404 Occupational Outlook Handbook  significant consolidation has occurred among mortgage loan ser­ vicing companies. As a result, fewer mortgage banking companies are involved in loan servicing, making the function more efficient and reducing the need for loan servicing clerks. The job outlook for loan interviewers and clerks is sensitive to overall economic activity. A downturn in the economy or a rise in the interest rates usually leads to a decline in the demand for loans, particularly mortgage loans, and can result in layoffs. Even in slow economic times, however, job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation for various reasons. Like loan interviewers and clerks, employment of eligibility in­ terviewers for government programs also is projected to decline, due to technology advances and the transformation of government aid programs that have taken place over the last decade. Automa­ tion should have a significant effect on these workers because, as with credit and loan ratings, eligibility for government aid programs can be determined instantaneously by entering information into a computer. The job outlook for eligibility interviewers, however, also is sensitive to overall economic activity; a severe slowdown in the economy will cause more people to apply for government aid programs, increasing demand for eligibility interviewers. Sources of Additional Information State employment service offices can provide information about employment opportunities. For specific information on a career as a loan processor or loan  —  frwmHPW  m  Library assistants check out books to library patrons. Some library assistants specialize in helping patrons who have vision problems. Sometimes referred to as library, talking-books, or braille-and-talking-books clerks, they review the borrower’s list of desired reading material. They locate those materials or closely related substitutes from the library collection of large type or braille volumes, tape cassettes, and open-reel talking books. They com­ plete the paperwork and give or mail them to the borrower.  closer, contact:  >- Mortgage Bankers Association of America, 1125 15th St. NW., Wash­ ington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.mbaa.org  (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Library Assistants, Clerical  __  (0*NET 43-4121.00) Nature of the Work Library assistants organize library resources and make them avail­ able to users. They assist librarians and, in some cases, library technicians. Library assistants, clerical—sometimes referred to as library media assistants, library aides, or circulation assistants—register patrons so they can borrow materials from the library. They record the borrower’s name and address from an application and then is­ sue a library card. Most library assistants enter and update patrons’ records using computer databases. At the circulation desk, assistants lend and collect books, peri­ odicals, video tapes, and other materials. When an item is bor­ rowed, assistants stamp the due date on the material and record the patron’s identification from his or her library card. They inspect returned materials for damage, check due dates, and compute fines for overdue material. Library assistants review records to compile a list of overdue materials and send out notices. They also answer patrons’ questions and refer those they cannot answer to a librarian. Throughout the library, assistants sort returned books, periodi­ cals, and other items and return them to their designated shelves, files, or storage areas. They locate materials to be loaned, either for a patron or another library. Many card catalogues are computer­ ized, so library assistants must be familiar with the computer sys­ tem. If any materials have been damaged, these workers try to repair them. For example, they use tape or paste to repair tom pages or covers and other specialized processes to repair more valu­ Digitizedbook for FRASER able materials. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Employment Library assistants held about 98,000 jobs in 2000. More than onehalf of these workers were employed by local government in public libraries; most of the remaining worked in school libraries. Oppor­ tunities for flexible schedules are abundant; more than one-half of these workers were on part-time schedules. Job Outlook Opportunities should be good for persons interested in jobs as li­ brary assistants through 2010. Turnover of these workers is quite high, reflecting the limited investment in training and subsequent weak attachment to this occupation. This work is attractive to retir­ ees, students, and others who want a part-time schedule, and there is a lot of movement into and out of the occupation. Many open­ ings will become available each year to replace workers who trans­ fer to another occupation or leave the labor force. Some positions become available as library assistants move within the organiza­ tion. Library assistants can be promoted to library technicians, and eventually supervisory positions in public service or technical ser­ vice areas. Advancement opportunities are greater in larger librar­ ies and may be more limited in smaller ones. Employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. The vast majority of library assis­ tants work in public or school libraries. Efforts to contain costs in local governments and academic institutions of all types may result in more hiring of library support staff than librarians. Also, due to changing roles within libraries, library assistants are taking on more responsibility. Because most are employed by public institutions, library assistants are not directly affected by the ups and downs of the business cycle. Some of these workers may lose their jobs, however, if there are cuts in government budgets. Sources of Additional Information Information about a career as a library assistant can be obtained from:  ► Council on Library/Media Technology, P.O. Box 951, Oxon Hill, MD 20750. Internet: http://library.ucr.edu/COLT  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 405  > American Library Association, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Internet: http://www.ala.org/hrdr Public libraries and libraries in academic institutions can pro­ vide information about job openings for library assistants. (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Order Clerks (0*NET 43-4151.00) Nature of the Work Order clerks receive and process incoming orders for a wide variety of goods or services, such as spare parts for machines, consumer appliances, gas and electric power connections, film rentals, and articles of clothing. They sometimes are called order-entry clerks, sales representatives, order processors, or order takers. Orders for materials, merchandise, or services can come from inside or from outside of an organization. In large companies with many worksites, such as automobile manufacturers, clerks order parts and equipment from the company’s warehouses. Inside order clerks receive orders from other workers employed by the same company or from salespersons in the field. Many other order clerks, however, receive orders from outside companies or individuals. Order clerks in wholesale businesses, for instance, receive orders from retail establishments for merchan­ dise that the retailer, in mm, sells to the public. An increasing num­ ber of order clerks work for catalogue companies and online retailers, receiving orders from individual customers by telephone, fax, regular mail, or e-mail. Order clerks dealing primarily with the public some­ times are referred to as outside order clerks. Computers provide order clerks with ready access to information such as stock numbers, prices, and inventoty. The successful filling of an order frequently depends on having the right products in stock and being able to detennine which products are most appropriate for the customer’s needs. Some order clerks, especially those in indus­ trial settings, must be able to give price estimates for entire jobs, not just single parts. Others must be able to take special orders, give expected arrival dates, prepare contracts, and handle complaints. Many order clerks receive orders directly by telephone, entering the required information as the customer places the order. How­ ever, a rapidly increasing number of orders now are received through computer systems, the Internet, faxes, and e-mail. In some cases, these orders are sent directly from the customer’s terminal to the order clerk’s terminal. Orders received by regular mail are some­ times scanned into a database that is instantly accessible to clerks. Clerks review orders for completeness and clarity. They may complete missing information or contact the customer for the infor­ mation. Similarly, clerks contact customers if the customers need additional information, such as prices or shipping dates, or if de­ lays in filling the order are anticipated. For orders received by regular mail, clerks extract checks or money orders, sort them, and send them for processing. After an order has been verified and entered, the customer’s fi­ nal cost is calculated. The clerk then routes the order to the proper department—such as the warehouse—that actually sends out or delivers the item in question.  In organizations with sophisticated computer systems, inventory records are adjusted automatically, as sales are made. In less auto­ mated organizations, order clerks may adjust inventory records. Clerks also may notify other departments when inventories are low  or when filling certain orders would deplete supplies. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  More than half of all order clerks are employed in wholesale and retail establishments. Some order clerks must establish priorities in filling orders. For example, an order clerk in a blood bank may receive a request from a hospital for a certain type of blood. The clerk must first find out if the request is routine or an emergency, and then take appropriate action. Employment Order clerks held about 348,000jobs in 2000. About one-half were in wholesale and retail establishments and about one-fifth were in manufacturing firms. Most of the remaining jobs for order clerks were in business services. Job Outlook Job openings for order clerks should be limited, as improvements in technology and office automation continue to increase worker productivity. While overall employment of order clerks is expected to decline through the year 2010, numerous openings will become available each year to replace order clerks who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force completely. Many of these openings will be for seasonal work, especially in catalogue compa­ nies or online retailers catering to holiday gift buyers. The growth in online retailing, business-to-business electronic commerce, and the use of automated systems that make placing orders easy and convenient will decrease demand for order clerks. The spread of electronic data interchange, a system enabling com­ puters to communicate directly with each other, allows orders within establishments to be placed with little human intervention. Besides electronic data interchange, extranets and other internal systems allowing a firm’s employees to place orders directly are increas­ ingly common. Outside orders placed over the Internet often are entered directly into the computer by the customer; thus, the order clerk is not involved at all in placing the order. Some companies also use automated phone menus accessible with a touch-tone phone to receive orders, and others use answering machines. Develop­ ments in voice recognition technology may further reduce the de­ mand for order clerks. Furthermore, increased automation will allow current order clerks to be more productive, as each clerk is able to handle an increas­ ingly higher volume of orders. Sophisticated inventory control and automatic billing systems permit companies to track inventory and accounts with much less help from order clerks than in the past. (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  406 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Receptionists and Information Clerks (0*NET 43-4171.00)  _____________  Nature of the Work Receptionists and information clerks are charged with a responsi­ bility that may have a lasting impact on the success of an organiza­ tion—making a good first impression. These workers often are the first representatives of an organization a visitor encounters, so they need to be courteous, professional, and helpful. Receptionists an­ swer telephones, route calls, greet visitors, respond to inquiries from the public and provide information about the organization. In addi­ tion, receptionists contribute to the security of an organization by helping to monitor the access of visitors. Whereas some tasks are common to most receptionists and in­ formation clerks, the specific responsibilities of receptionists vary depending upon the type of establishment in which they work. For example, receptionists in hospitals and doctors’ offices may gather personal and financial information and direct patients to the proper waiting rooms. In beauty or hair salons, however, they arrange ap­ pointments, direct customers to the hairstylist, and may serve as cashier. In factories, large corporations, and government offices, they may provide identification cards and arrange for escorts to take visitors to the proper office. Those working for bus and train com­ panies respond to inquiries about departures, arrivals, stops, and other related matters. Increasingly, receptionists use multiline telephone systems, per­ sonal computers, and fax machines. Despite the widespread use of automated answering systems or voice mail, many receptionists still take messages and inform other employees of visitors’ arrivals or cancellation of an appointment. When they are not busy with call­ ers, most receptionists are expected to perform a variety of office duties including opening and sorting mail, collecting and distribut­ ing parcels, making fax transmittals and deliveries, updating ap­ pointment calendars, preparing travel vouchers, and performing basic bookkeeping, word processing, and filing. Employment ... . Receptionists and information clerks held about 1.1 million jobs in 2000. Almost two-thirds worked in services industries, and a little less than half of these were employed in the health services indus­ try in doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care centers, surgical centers, and clinics. Manufacturing, whole­ sale and retail trade, government, and real estate industries also * r •  —MMtttfl  ■  Sts©*?'  mBKKm MHH Digitized Receptionists for FRASER answer and route telephone calls, greet visitors, and https://fraser.stlouisfed.org provide information to the public. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  employed large numbers of receptionists and information clerks. About 3 of every 10 receptionists and information clerks worked part time. Job Outlook Employment of receptionists and information clerks is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. This increase will result from rapid growth in services industries— including physician’s offices, law firms, temporary help agencies, and consulting firms—where most are employed. In addition, turn­ over in this large occupation will create numerous openings as recep­ tionists and information clerks transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force altogether. Opportunities should be best for experi­ enced persons with a wide range of clerical and technical skills. Technology should have conflicting effects on the demand for receptionists and information clerks. The increasing use of voice mail and other telephone automation reduces the need for recep­ tionists by allowing one receptionist to perform work that formerly required several receptionists. However, increasing use of technol­ ogy also has caused a consolidation of clerical responsibilities and growing demand for workers with diverse clerical and technical skills. Because receptionists and information clerks may perform a wide variety of clerical tasks, they should continue to be in demand. Further, they perform many tasks that are of an interpersonal nature and are not easily automated, ensuring continued demand for their services in a variety of establishments. Sources of Additional Information State employment offices can provide information on job openings for receptionists. (See introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks (Q*NET 43-4181.01, 43-4181.02) Nature of the Work Each year, millions of Americans travel by plane, train, ship, bus, and automobile. Many of these travelers rely on the services of reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks. These ticket agents and clerks perform functions as varied as selling tick­ ets, confirming reservations, checking baggage, and providing tour­ ists with useful travel information. Most reservation agents work for large hotel chains or airlines, helping people plan trips and make reservations. They usually work in large reservation centers answering telephone or e-mail inquiries and offering suggestions on travel arrangements, such as routes, time schedules, rates, and types of accommodation. Reservation agents quote fares and room rates, provide travel information, and make and confirm transportation and hotel reservations. Most agents use proprietary networks to quickly obtain information needed to make, change, or cancel reservations for customers. Transportation ticket agents are sometimes known as passenger service agents, passenger-booking clerks, reservation clerks, airport service agents, ticket clerks, or ticket sellers. They work in air­ ports, train, and bus stations selling tickets, assigning seats to pas­ sengers, and checking baggage. In addition, they may answer inquiries and give directions, examine passports and visas, or check in pets. Other ticket agents, more commonly known as gate or  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 407  Ticket agents sell tickets, assign seats to passengers, and check baggage.  station agents, work in airport terminals assisting passengers board­ ing airplanes. These workers direct passengers to the correct board­ ing area, check tickets and seat assignments, make boarding announcements, and provide special assistance to young, elderly, or disabled passengers when they board or disembark. Most travel clerks are employed by membership organizations, such as automobile clubs. These workers, sometimes called mem­ ber services counselors or travel counselors, plan trips, calculate mileage, and offer travel suggestions, such as the best route from the point of origin to the destination, for club members. Travel clerks also may prepare an itinerary indicating points of interest, restaurants, overnight accommodations, and availability of emer­ gency services during the trip. In some cases, they make rental car, hotel, and restaurant reservations for club members. Passenger rate clerks generally work for bus companies. They sell tickets for regular bus routes and arrange nonscheduled or char­ tered trips. They plan travel routes, compute rates, and keep cus­ tomers informed of appropriate details. They also may arrange travel accommodations. Employment Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks held about 191,000 jobs in 2000. More than 6 of every 10 are employed by airlines. Others work for membership organizations, such as auto­ mobile clubs; hotels and other lodging places; railroad companies; bus lines; and other companies that provide transportation services. Although agents and clerks are found throughout the country, most work in large metropolitan airports, downtown ticket offices, large reservation centers, and train or bus stations. The remainder work in small communities served only by intercity bus or railroad lines. Job Outlook Applicants for reservation and transportation ticket agent jobs are likely to encounter considerable competition, because the supply of qualified applicants exceeds the expected number of job openings. Entry requirements for these jobs are minimal, and many people seeking to get into the airline industry or travel business often start out in these types of positions. These jobs provide excellent travel benefits, and many people view airline and other travel-related jobs as glamorous. Employment of reservation and transportation ticket agents and  travel clerks is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  occupations through 2010. Although a growing population will de­ mand additional travel services, employment of these workers will grow more slowly than this demand, because of the significant impact of technology on productivity. Automated reservations and ticket­ ing, as well as “ticketless” travel, for example, are reducing the need for some workers. Most train stations and airports now have satellite ticket printer locations, or “kiosks,” that enable passengers to make reservations and purchase tickets themselves. Many passengers also are able to check flight times and fares, make reservations, and pur­ chase tickets on the Internet. Nevertheless, all travel-related passen­ ger services can never be fully automated, primarily for safety and security reasons. As a result, job openings will continue to become available as the occupation grows and as workers transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force altogether. Employment of reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks is sensitive to cyclical swings in the economy. During recessions, discretionary passenger travel declines, and transporta­ tion service companies are less likely to hire new workers and even may resort to layoffs. Sources of Additional Information For information about job opportunities as reservation and trans­ portation ticket agents and travel clerks, write the personnel man­ ager of individual transportation companies. Addresses of airlines are available from: >■ Air Transport Association of America, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20004-1707.  (See the introductory statement on information and record clerks for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Material Recording, Scheduling, Dispatching, and Distributing Occupations, Except Postal Workers (0*NET 43-5011.00, 43-5021.00, 43-5031.00, 43-5032.00, 43-5041.00, 43-5061.00, 43-5071.00, 43-5081.01, 43-5081.02, 43-5081.03, 43­ 5081.04, 43-5111.00)  Significant Points • •  •  Many of these occupations are entry level and do not require more than a high school diploma. Workers develop the necessary skills through on-thejob training lasting from several days to a few months; dispatchers usually require the most extensive training. Numerous job openings will arise each year from the need to replace workers who leave this very large occupational group.  Nature of the Work Workers in this group are responsible for a variety of communica­ tions, recordkeeping, and scheduling operations. Typically, they coordinate, expedite, and track orders for personnel, materials, and equipment. Cargo and freight agents route and track cargo and freight shipments, whether from airline, train, or truck terminals, or shipping docks. They keep records of any missing or damaged items and any excess supplies. The agents sort cargo according to its destination and separate any items that cannot be packed together. They also coordinate payment schedules with customers and ar­ range for the pickup or delivery of freight.  408 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Couriers and messengers deliver letters, important business docu­ ments, or packages within a firm, to other businesses, or to custom­ ers. They usually keep records of deliveries and sometimes obtain the recipient’s signature. Couriers and messengers travel by car, van, bicycle, or even by foot when making nearby deliveries. Dispatchers receive requests for service and initiate action to provide that service. Duties vary, depending on the needs of the employer. Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, also called pub­ lic safety dispatchers, handle calls from people reporting crimes, fires, and medical emergencies. Truck, bus, and train dispatchers schedule and coordinate the movement of these vehicles to ensure that they arrive on schedule. Taxicab dispatchers relay requests for cabs to individual drivers, tow truck dispatchers take calls for emer­ gency road service, and utility company dispatchers handle calls related to utility and telephone service. Courier and messenger ser­ vice dispatchers route drivers, riders, and walkers around a usually urban area. They distribute work by radio, email, or phone, making sure that service deadlines are met. Meter readers read meters and record consumption of electric­ ity, gas, water, or steam. They serve a variety of consumers and travel along designated routes to track consumption. Although many meters still are read at the house or building, many newer meters can be read remotely from a central point. Meter readers also look for evidence of unauthorized utility usage. Production, planning, and expediting clerks coordinate and ex­ pedite the flow of information, work, and materials, usually accord­ ing to a production or work schedule. They gather information for reports on work progress and production problems. They also may schedule workers or parts shipments, estimate costs, and keep in­ ventories of materials. Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks track all incoming and outgoing shipments of goods transferred between businesses, sup­ pliers, and customers. These clerks may be required to lift cartons of various sizes. Shipping clerks assemble, address, stamp, and ship merchandise or materials. Receiving clerks unpack, verify, and record incoming merchandise. Traffic clerks record the desti­ nation, weight, and cost of all incoming and outgoing shipments. In a small company, one clerk may perform all of these tasks. Stock clerks and orderfillers receive, unpack, and store materi­ als and equipment, and maintain and distribute inventories. Inven­ tories may include merchandise in wholesale and retail establishments, or equipment, supplies, or materials in other kinds of organizations. In small firms, stock clerks and order fillers may perform all of the above tasks, as well as those usually handled by shipping and receiving clerks. In large establishments, they may be responsible for only one task. Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers check and record the weight and measurement of various materials and equipment. They use scales, measuring and counting devices, and calculators to compare the weight, measurements, or other specifications against bills or invoices. They also prepare reports on inventory levels. (This introductory section is followed by sections that provide more detail on cargo and freight agents; couriers and messengers; dispatchers; utility meter readers; production, planning, and expe­ diting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; stock clerks and order fillers; and weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers.) Working Conditions Working conditions vary considerably by occupation and employ­ ment setting. Couriers and messengers spend most of their time alone making deliveries and usually are not closely supervised. Those who deliver by bicycle must be physically fit and are ex­ posed to all weather conditions, as well as to the many hazards  associated with heavy traffic. Car, van, and truck couriers must https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  sometimes carry heavy loads, either manually or with the aid of a handtruck. They also have to deal with difficult parking situations as well as traffic jams and road construction. The pressure of mak­ ing as many deliveries as possible to increase earnings can be stress­ ful and may lead to unsafe driving or bicycling practices. Meter readers, usually working 40 hours a week, work outdoors in all types of weather as they travel through communities and neigh­ borhoods taking readings. The work of dispatchers can be very hectic when many calls come in at the same time. The job of public safety dispatcher is particularly stressful because slow or improper response to a call can result in serious injury or further harm. Also, callers who are anxious or afraid may become excited and be unable to provide needed information; some may even become abusive. Despite provocations, dispatchers must remain calm, objective, and in con­ trol of the situation. Dispatchers sit for long periods, using telephones, computers, and two-way radios. Much of their time is spent at video display terminals, viewing monitors and observing traffic patterns. As a result of working for long stretches with computers and other elec­ tronic equipment, dispatchers can experience significant eyestrain and back discomfort. Generally, dispatchers work a 40-hour week; however, rotating shifts and compressed work schedules are com­ mon. Alternative work schedules are necessary to accommodate evening, weekend, and holiday work, as well as 24-hour-per-day, 7-day-per-week operations. Other workers in this group—cargo and freight agents; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; stock clerks and order fillers; produc­ tion, planning, and expediting clerks; and weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers—work in a wide variety of businesses, in­ stitutions, and industries. Some work in warehouses, stockrooms, or shipping and receiving rooms that may not be temperature con­ trolled. Others may spend time in cold storage rooms or outside on loading platforms, where they are exposed to the weather. Production, planning, and expediting clerks work closely with supervisors who must approve production and work schedules. Most jobs for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, stock clerks and or­ der fillers, and cargo and freight agents involve frequent standing, bending, walking, and stretching. Some lifting and carrying of smaller items also may be involved. Although automation devices have lessened the physical demands of this occupation, their use remains somewhat limited. Work still can be strenuous, even though mechanical material handling equipment is employed to move heavy items. The typical workweek is Monday through Friday; however, evening and weekend hours are common for some jobs, such as stock clerks and order fillers in retail trade and couriers and mes­ sengers, and may be required in other jobs when large shipments are involved or when inventory is taken. Employment In 2000, material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distribut­ ing workers held about 3.5 million jobs. Employment was distrib­ uted among the detailed occupations as follows: Stock clerks and order fillers............................................................. 1,679,000 890.000 Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks............................................ 332.000 Production, planning, and expediting clerks................................. Dispatchers............................................................................................ Couriers and messengers.................................................................... Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping... Cargo and freight agents..................................................................... Meter readers, utilities......................................................................... All other material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers.................................................................  254.000 141.000 83.000 60.000 49.000 63.000  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 409  About two thirds of material recording, scheduling, dispatch­ ing, and distributing jobs were in services or wholesale and retail trade. Although these workers are found throughout the country, most work near population centers where retail stores, warehouses, factories, and large communications centers are concentrated. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Many material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing occupations are entry level and do not require more than a high school diploma. Employers, however, prefer to hire those familiar with computers and other electronic office and business equipment. Those who have taken business courses or have previous business, dispatching, or specific job-related experience may be preferred. Because communication with other people is an integral part of some material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing jobs, good oral and written communications skills are essential. Typing, filing, recordkeeping, and other clerical skills also are important. State or local government civil service regulations usually gov­ ern police, fire, emergency medical, and ambulance dispatching jobs. Candidates for these positions may have to pass written, oral, and performance tests. Also, they may be asked to attend training classes and attain the proper certification in order to qualify for advancement. Trainees usually develop the necessary skills on the job. This informal training lasts from several days to a few months, depend­ ing on the complexity of the job. Dispatchers usually require the most extensive training. Working with an experienced dispatcher, they monitor calls and learn how to operate a variety of communi­ cations equipment, including telephones, radios, and various wire­ less devices. As trainees gain confidence, they begin to handle calls themselves. In smaller operations, dispatchers sometimes act as customer service representatives, processing orders themselves. Many public safety dispatchers also participate in structured train­ ing programs sponsored by their employer. Some employers offer a course designed by the Association of Public Safety Communica­ tions Officials. This course covers topics such as interpersonal com­ munications; overview of the police, fire, and rescue functions; modern public safety telecommunications systems; basic radio broadcasting; local, State, and national crime information computer systems; and telephone complaint/report processing procedures. Other employers develop in-house programs based on their own needs. Emergency medical dispatchers often receive special train­ ing or have special skills. Increasingly, public safety dispatchers receive training in stress and crisis management, as well as family counseling. Employers are recognizing the toll this work has on daily living and the potential impact that stress has on the job, on the work environment, and in the home. Communications skills and the ability to work under pressure are important personal qualities for dispatchers. Residency in the city or county of employment frequently is required for public safety dispatchers. Dispatchers in transportation industries must be able to deal with sudden influxes of shipments and disruptions of shipping schedules caused by bad weather, road construction, or accidents. Although there are no mandatory licensing or certification re­ quirements, some States require that public safety dispatchers pos­ sess a certificate to work on a State network, such as the Police Information Network. The Association of Public Safety Communi­ cations Officials, the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dis­ patch, and the International Municipal Signal Association all offer certification programs. Many dispatchers participate in these pro­ grams in order to improve their prospects for career advancement. Couriers and messengers usually learn on the job, training with  a veteran for a short time. Those who work as independent contrac­ https://fraser.stlouisfed.org tors for a messenger or delivery service may be required to have a Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  valid driver’s license, a registered and inspected vehicle, a good driving record, and insurance coverage. Many couriers and mes­ sengers who are employees, rather than independent contractors, also are required to provide and maintain their own vehicle. Although some companies have spare bicycles or mopeds that their riders may rent for a short period, almost all two-wheeled couriers own their own bicycle, moped, or motorcycle. A good knowledge of the geographic area in which they travel, as well as a good sense of direction, also are important. Utility meter readers usually shadow a more experienced meter reader until they feel comfortable doing the job on their own. They learn how to read the meters and determine the consumption rate. They also must learn the route that they need to travel in order to read all their customers’ meters. Production, planning, and expediting clerks; weighers, measur­ ers, checkers, and samplers; stock clerks and order fillers; and ship­ ping, receiving, and traffic clerks usually learn the job by doing routine tasks under close supervision. They learn how to count and mark stock, and then start keeping records and taking inventory. Strength, stamina, good eyesight, and an ability to work at repeti­ tive tasks, sometimes under pressure, are important characteristics. Production, planning, and expediting clerks must learn how their company operates along with its priorities before they can begin to efficiently write production and work schedules. Stock clerks, whose sole responsibility is to bring merchandise to the sales floor to stock shelves and racks, need little training. Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks and stock clerks and order fillers who handle jewelry, liquor, or drugs may be bonded. Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, as well as cargo and freight agents, start out by checking items to be shipped and then attaching labels and making sure the addresses are correct. Training in the use of automated equipment usually is done informally, on the job. As these occupations become more automated, however, workers in these jobs may need longer training in order to master the use of the equipment. Advancement opportunities for material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers vary with the place of em­ ployment. Dispatchers who work for private firms, which usually are small, will find few opportunities for advancement. Public safety dispatchers, on the other hand, may become a shift or divisional supervisor or chief of communications, or move to higher paying administrative jobs. Some become police officers or firefighters. Couriers and messengers, especially those who work for messenger or courier services, have limited advancement opportunities; a small fraction move into the office to learn dispatching or to take service requests by phone. In large firms, stock clerks can advance to in­ voice clerk, stock control clerk, or procurement clerk. Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks are promoted to head clerk, and those with a broad understanding of shipping and receiving may enter a related field such as industrial traffic management. With additional training, some stock clerks and order fillers and shipping, receiv­ ing, and traffic clerks advance to jobs as warehouse manager or purchasing agent. Job Outlook Overall employment of material recording, scheduling, dispatch­ ing, and distributing workers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. In addition, numer­ ous job openings will arise each year from the need to replace work­ ers who leave this very large occupational group. Projected employment growth varies by detailed occupation. Meter readers will experience a decline in employment due to auto­ mated meter reading systems that greatly increase productivity. The use of e-mail and fax will contribute to a decline for couriers and  410 Occupational Outlook Handbook  messengers as well. New technologies will enable stock clerks and order fillers to handle more stock, resulting in slower-than-average employment growth. Employment of shipping, receiving, and traf­ fic clerks and of cargo and freight agents also will grow more slowly than average due to the increasing use of automation that enables these workers to handle materials and shipments more efficiently and more accurately. Employment of dispatchers; production, planning, and expedit­ ing clerks; and weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers is pro­ jected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. Population growth, in addition to the expanded role of dis­ patchers stemming from advances in telecommunications, should boost employment levels. Employment of production, planning, and expediting clerks should benefit from more emphasis on effi­ ciency in the production process, while the growing need for accu­ rate inventory records spurs employment of weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers.  &&&■  HHHi  Earnings Earnings of material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and dis­ tributing occupations vary somewhat by occupation and industry. The range of median hourly earnings in 2000 are shown in the fol­ lowing tabulation: Production, planning, and expediting clerks.............................. Cargo and freight agents.................................................................. Dispatchers......................................................................................... Meter readers, utilities..................................................................... Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks........................................ Couriers and messengers................................................................. Stock clerks and order fillers.......................................................... All other material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers.............................................................  $14.71 13.73 13.66 13.32 11.36 10.52 8.96 8.75  11.66  Workers in material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and dis­ tributing occupations usually receive the same benefits as most other workers. If uniforms are required, employers usually provide ei­ ther the uniforms or an allowance to purchase them. More information on cargo and freight agents; couriers and mes­ sengers; dispatchers; meter readers, utilities; production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; stock clerks and order fillers; and weighers, measurers, checkers, and sam­ plers is available in statements on these occupations that follow this introduction.  Cargo and Freight Agents (0*NET 43-5011.00)  Nature of the Work Cargo and freight agents arrange for and track incoming and outgo­ ing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, or trucking termi­ nals or on shipping docks. They expedite movement of shipments by determining the route that shipments are to take and preparing all necessary shipping documents. The agents take orders from customers and arrange for pickup of freight or cargo for delivery to loading platforms. They may keep records of the properties of the cargo, such as amount, type, weight, and dimensions. They keep a tally of missing items, record conditions of damaged items, and document any excess supplies. Cargo and freight agents arrange cargo according to its destina­ tion. They also determine the shipping rates and other charges that  can sometimes apply to the freight. For imported or exported freight, https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Cargo and freight agents keep records of the type, weight, and dimensions of cargo shipped. they verify that the proper customs paperwork is in order. They often track shipments using electronic data, such as bar codes, and answer customer inquiries on the status of their shipments. Employment Cargo and freight agents held about 60,000 jobs in 2000. Most jobs were in transportation. About 35 percent of cargo and freight agents worked in transportation services, 23 percent worked for air carriers, and 10 percent worked for local and long distance trucking establishments. Department stores employed 12 percent, while per­ sonnel supply services employed 3 percent. Job Outlook Employment of cargo and freight agents is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010. Although cargo traffic is expected to grow faster than it has in the past, em­ ployment of cargo and freight agents will not grow as rapidly be­ cause of technological advances. For example, the increasing use of bar codes on cargo and freight allows agents and customers to track these shipments quickly over the Internet, rather than manu­ ally tracking their location. In addition, customs and insurance pa­ perwork now can be completed over the Internet by customers, reducing the need for cargo and freight agents. Despite these advances in technology that dampen job growth among cargo and freight agents, job openings will continue to arise due to increases in buying over the Internet, which will result in more  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 411  shipments, and the importance of same-day delivery, which expands the role of agents. In addition, many job openings will be created to replace cargo and freight agents who leave the occupation. Related Occupations Cargo and freight agents plan and coordinate cargo shipments us­ ing airlines, trains, and trucks. They also arrange freight pickup with customers. Others who do similar work are couriers and mes­ sengers; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; weighers, measur­ ers, checkers, and samplers; truckdrivers and driver/sales workers; and Postal Service workers. Sources of Additional Information Information about job opportunities may be obtained from local employers and local offices of the State employment service. (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  liter" (Wv;  Couriers usually maintain records of deliveries and often obtain signatures from the people receiving the items.  Couriers and Messengers (0*NET 43-5021.00) Nature of the Work Couriers and messengers move and distribute information, docu­ ments, and small packages for businesses, institutions, and govern­ ment agencies. They pick up and deliver letters, important business documents, or packages that need to be sent or received quickly within a local area. Trucks and vans are used for larger deliveries, such as legal caseloads and conference materials. By sending an item by courier or messenger, the sender ensures that it reaches its destination the same day or even within the hour. Couriers and messengers also deliver items that the sender is unwilling to entrust to other means of delivery, such as important legal or financial docu­ ments, passports, airline tickets, or medical samples to be tested. Couriers and messengers receive their instructions either by re­ porting to their office in person, by telephone, by two-way radio, or wireless data service. They then pick up the item and carry it to its destination. After each pickup or delivery, they check in with dis­ patch to receive instructions. Sometimes dispatch will contact them while they are between stops; they may be routed to go past a stop that has very recently called in a delivery. Since most couriers and messengers work on commission, they are carrying more than one package at any given time of the day. Consequently, most couriers and messengers spend much of their time outdoors or in their ve­ hicle. They usually maintain records of deliveries and often obtain signatures from the persons receiving the items. Most couriers and messengers deliver items within a limited geographic area, such as a city or metropolitan area. Items that need to go longer distances usually are sent by mail or by an over­ night delivery service. Some couriers and messengers carry items only for their employer, which typically might be a law firm, bank, or financial institution. Others may act as part of an organization’s internal mail system and mainly carry items among an organization’s buildings or entirely within one building. Many couriers and mes­ sengers work for messenger or courier services; for a fee, they pick up items from anyone and deliver them to specified destinations within a local area. Most are paid on a commission basis. Couriers and messengers reach their destination by several meth­ ods. Many drive vans or cars or ride motorcycles. A few travel by foot, especially in urban areas or when making deliveries nearby. In congested urban areas, messengers often use bicycles to make deliveries. Bicycle messengers usually are employed by messenger Digitized or forcourier FRASER services. Although e-mail and fax machines can deliver https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  information faster than couriers and messengers can and a great deal of information is available over the Internet, an electronic copy cannot substitute for the original document for many types of busi­ ness transactions. Employment Couriers and messengers together held about 141,000 jobs in 2000. About 9 percent of couriers and messengers worked for law firms, another 10 percent worked for hospitals and medical and dental laboratories, and 29 percent were employed by local and long-dis­ tance trucking establishments. Financial institutions, such as com­ mercial banks, savings institutions, and credit unions, employed 10 percent. The rest were employed in a variety of other industries. Technically, many messengers are self-employed independent con­ tractors because they provide their vehicles and, to a certain extent, set their own schedules but, in many respects, they are like employ­ ees because they usually work for one company. Job Outlook Employment of couriers and messengers is expected to decline through 2010 despite an increasing volume of parcels, business documents, promotional materials, and other written information that must be handled and delivered as the economy expands. Em­ ployment of couriers and messengers will continue to be adversely impacted by the more widespread use of electronic information­ handling technology. For example, fax machines that allow copies of documents to be immediately sent across town or around the world have become standard office equipment. The transmission of information using e-mail also has become commonplace and will continue to reduce the demand for messengers. Many documents, forms, and application that people used to have delivered by hand are now downloaded from the Internet. Flowever, couriers and messengers still will be needed to transport materials that cannot be sent electronically—such as legal documents, blueprints and other oversized materials, large multipage documents, securities, pass­ ports, financial statements, and airline tickets. Also, they still will be required by medical and dental laboratories to pick up and de­ liver medical samples, specimens, and other materials. Related Occupations Messengers and couriers deliver letters, parcels, and other items. They also keep accurate records of their work. Others who do similar work are Postal Service workers; truckdrivers and driver/  412 Occupational Outlook Handbook  sales workers; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; and cargo and freight agents. Sources of Additional Information Information about job opportunities may be obtained from local employers and local offices of the State employment service. Per­ sons interested in courier and messenger jobs also may contact mes­ senger and courier services, mail-order firms, banks, printing and publishing firms, utility companies, retail stores, or other large firms. (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Dispatchers (0*NET 43-5031.00, 43-5032.00)  Nature of the Work Dispatchers schedule and dispatch workers, equipment, or service vehicles for conveyance of materials or passengers. They keep records, logs, and schedules of the calls they receive, the transpor­ tation vehicles they monitor and control, and the actions they take. They maintain information on each call, and then prepare a detailed report on all activities occurring during the shift. Many dispatchers employ computer-aided dispatch systems to accomplish these tasks. The work of dispatchers varies greatly, depending on the industry in which they work. Regardless of where they work, all dispatchers are assigned a specific territory and have responsibility for all communications within this area. Many work in teams, especially in large commu­ nications centers or companies. One person usually handles all dis­ patching calls to the response units or company drivers, while the other members of the team usually receive the incoming calls and deal with the public. Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, also called public safety dispatchers, monitor the location of emergency services personnel from any one or all of the jurisdiction’s emergency services depart­ ments. They dispatch the appropriate type and number of units in response to calls for assistance. Dispatchers, or call takers, often are the first people the public contacts when they call for emer­ gency assistance. If certified for emergency medical services, the dispatcher may provide medical instruction to those on the scene of the emergency until the medical staff arrives. Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers work in a variety of set­ tings; they may work in a police station, a fire station, a hospital, or, increasingly, in a centralized communications center. In many areas, the police department serves as the communications center. In these situations, all 911 emergency calls go to the police department, where a dispatcher handles the police calls and screens the others before transferring them to the appropriate service. When handling calls, dispatchers carefully question each caller to determine the type, seriousness, and location of the emergency. This information is posted either electronically by computer or, with decreasing frequency, by hand. It is communicated immediately to uniformed or supervisory personnel, who quickly decide on the pri­ ority of the incident, the kind and number of units needed, and the location of the closest and most suitable units available. Usually, dispatchers constitute the communications workforce on a shift. Typically, there is a team of call takers who answer calls and relay the information to be dispatched. Responsibility then shifts to the dispatchers who send response units to the scene and monitor the activity of the public safety personnel answering the dispatch. Dur­ ing the course of the shift, dispatchers may rotate these functions. When appropriate, dispatchers stay in close contact with other  service providers—for example, a police dispatcher would monitor https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Projected employment growth of public safety dispatchers stems from increased demand for emergency services.  the response of the fire department when there is a major fire. In a medical emergency, dispatchers keep in close touch not only with the dispatched units, but also with the caller. They may give exten­ sive pre-arrival first aid instructions while the caller is waiting for the ambulance. They continuously give updates on the patient s con­ dition to the ambulance personnel, and often serve as a link between the medical staff in a hospital and the emergency medical techni­ cians in the ambulance. (A separate statement on emergency medi­ cal technicians and paramedics appears elsewhere in the Handbook.) Other dispatchers coordinate deliveries, service calls, and related activities for a variety of firms. Truck dispatchers, who work for local and long-distance trucking companies, coordinate the move­ ment of trucks and freight between cities. They direct the pickup and delivery activities of drivers. They receive customers’ requests for pickup and delivery of freight; consolidate freight orders into truckloads for specific destinations; assign drivers and trucks; and draw up routes and pickup and delivery schedules. Bus dispatchers make sure that local and long-distance buses stay on schedule. They handle all problems that may disrupt service, and dispatch other buses or arrange for repairs in order to restore service and sched­ ules. Train dispatchers ensure the timely and efficient movement of trains according to train orders and schedules. They must be aware of track switch positions, track maintenance areas, and the location of other trains running on the track. Taxicab dispatchers, or starters, dispatch taxis in response to requests for service and keep logs on all road service calls. Tow truck dispatchers take calls for emergency road service. They relay the nature of the problem to a nearby service station or a tow truck service and see to it that the emergency road service is completed. Gas and water service dis­ patchers monitor gaslines and water mains and send out service trucks and crews to take care of emergencies. Employment Dispatchers held 254,000 jobs in 2000. About one-third were po­ lice, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, almost all of whom worked for State and local governments—primarily for local police and fire departments. Most of the remaining dispatchers worked for local and long-distance trucking companies and buslines; air carriers; wholesale establishments; railroads; taxicab companies; and com­ panies providing business services. Although dispatching jobs are found throughout the country, most dispatchers work in urban areas, where large communications centers and businesses are located.  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 413  Job Outlook Employment of dispatchers is expected to grow as fast as the aver­ age for all occupations through 2010. In addition to those resulting from job growth, openings will arise from the need to replace work­ ers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Projected employment growth of police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, or public safety dispatchers, stems from increased de­ mand for emergency services. Many districts are consolidating their communications centers into a shared, areawide facility. Individu­ als with computer skills and experience will have a greater oppor­ tunity for employment as public safety dispatchers. Population growth and economic expansion are expected to spur employment growth for other types of dispatchers. Employment of some dispatchers is more adversely affected by economic down­ turns than that of other dispatchers. When economic activity falls, demand for transportation services declines. As a result, taxicab^ train, and truck dispatchers may experience layoffs or a shortened workweek, and jobseekers may have some difficulty finding entrylevel jobs. Employment of tow truck dispatchers, on the other hand, is seldom affected by general economic conditions because of the emergency nature of their business. Related Occupations Other occupations that involve directing and controlling the move­ ment of vehicles, freight, and personnel, as well as distributing infor­ mation and messages, include air traffic controllers, communications equipment operators, customer service representatives, and reser­ vation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks. Sources of Additional Information For further information on training and certification for police, fire, and emergency dispatchers, contact: > National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch, 139 East South Temple, Suite 530, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Internet: http ://www.emergencydispatch.org >- Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, 2040 S. Ridgewood, South Daytona, FL 32119-2257. Internet:  http://www.apcointl.org >- International Municipal Signal Association, 165 East Union St., P.O. Box 539, Newark, NY 14513-0539. Internet: http://www.imsasafety.org  For information on train dispatchers, contact: >- American Train Dispatchers Association, 1370 Ontario St„ Cleveland, OH 44113. Internet: http://www.ble.org/atdd/about-atdd.asp  Information on job opportunities for police, fire, and emergency dispatchers is available from personnel offices of State and local governments or police departments. Information about work op­ portunities for other types of dispatchers is available from local employers and State employment service offices. (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Meter Readers, Utilities  - | . ' "1I  ssiBi '  Bp w  A worker reads a meter outside a home. Meter readers are constantly aware of any abnormal behavior or consumption that might indicate an unauthorized connection. They may turn off service for questionable behavior or nonpayment of charges, and also are responsible for turning on service for new occupants. They usually keep a record of receipt and completion of meter service. Employment Meter readers held about 49,000 jobs in 2000. About half were employed by electric, gas, and water utilities. Most of the rest were employed in local government, reading water meters or meters for other government-owned utilities. Job Outlook Employment of meter readers is expected to decline through 2010. New automated meter reading (AMR) systems allow meters to be monitored and billed from a central point, reducing the need for meter readers. However, because it will be many years before AMR systems can be implemented in all locations, there still will be some openings for meter readers, mainly to replace workers who leave the occupation. Related Occupations Other workers responsible for the distribution and control of utili­ ties include powerplant operators, distributors, and dispatchers. Sources of Additional Information Information on employment as a meter reader, and on automatic meter reading technology, can be obtained from: >• Automatic Meter Reading Association. Internet:  http:// www.amra-intl.org (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  (0*NET 43-5041.00)  Nature of the Work Meter readers read electric, gas, water, or steam consumption meters and record the volume used. They serve both residential and com­ mercial consumers, either walking or driving along the designated route. Their duties include inspecting the meters and their connec­ tions for any defects or damage, supplying meter repair and mainte­ nance workers with the necessary information to fix damaged meters, and keeping track of the average usage and record reasons for any Digitized extreme for FRASER fluctuations in volume. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks (0*NET 43-5061.00)  Nature of the Work Production, planning, and expediting clerks coordinate and expe­ dite the flow of information, work, and materials within or among offices. Most of their work is done according to production, work,  414 Occupational Outlook Handbook  for production, planning, and expediting clerks will grow. The work of production, planning, and expediting clerks is less likely to be automated than is that of many other administrative support occu­ pations. In addition to openings due to employment growth, many additional job openings will arise from the need to replace produc­ tion, planning, and expediting clerks who leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations.  "Ml:  Related Occupations Other workers who coordinate the flow of information to assist the production process include cargo and freight agents, shipping, re­ ceiving, and traffic clerks; stock clerks and order fillers; and weigh­ ers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping.  PH. —Production, planning, and expediting clerks compile reports on the progress of work and on production problems. or shipment schedules. The schedules are reviewed and distributed after being considered by supervisors who determine work progress and completion dates. Production, planning, and expediting clerks compile reports on progress of work and production problems. They also may schedule workers, estimate costs, schedule shipment of parts, keep inventory of materials, inspect and assemble materials, and write special orders for services and merchandise. In addition, they may route and deliver parts to ensure that production quotas are met and that merchandise is delivered on the date promised. Production and planning clerks compile records and reports on various aspects of production, such as materials and parts used, prod­ ucts produced, machine and instrument readings, and frequency of defects. They prepare and distribute work tickets or other produc­ tion guides to workers. They coordinate, schedule, monitor, and chart production and its progress, either manually or using elec­ tronic equipment. Production and planning clerks also gather in­ formation from customer orders or other specifications to prepare a detailed production sheet that serves as a guide in assembly or manu­ facture of the product. Expediting clerks contact vendors and shippers to ensure that merchandise, supplies, and equipment are forwarded on the speci­ fied shipping dates. They communicate with transportation com­ panies to prevent delays in transit, and they may arrange for distribution of materials upon arrival. They may even visit work areas of vendors and shippers to check the status of orders. Expe­ diting clerks locate and distribute materials to specified production areas. They may inspect products for quality and quantity to ensure adherence to specifications. They also keep a chronological list of due dates and may move work not meeting the production schedule to the front. In 2000, production, planning, and expediting clerks held 332,000 jobs. Jobs in manufacturing made up 44 percent and jobs in whole­ sale trade and groceries and related products comprised about 6 percent. About 8 percent worked in the personnel supply services industry. Job Outlook Employment of production, planning, and expediting clerks is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations 2010. As increasing pressure is put on companies to get Digitizedthrough for FRASER things produced and delivered more quickly and efficiently, the need https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Sources of Additional Information Information about job opportunities may be obtained from local employers and local offices of the State employment service. (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks ___ ___ ___ ___ (0*NET 43-5071.00)  __________________  Nature of the Work Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks keep records of all goods shipped and received. Their duties depend on the size of the estab­ lishment and the level of automation used. Larger companies typi­ cally are better able to finance the purchase of computers and other equipment to handle some or all of a clerk s responsibilities. In smaller companies, a clerk maintains records, prepares shipments, and accepts deliveries. In both environments, shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks may lift cartons of various sizes. Shipping clerks keep records of all outgoing shipments. They prepare shipping documents and mailing labels, and make sure or­ ders have been filled correctly. Also, they record items taken from inventory and note when orders were filled. Sometimes they fill the order themselves, obtaining merchandise from the stockroom, noting when inventories run low, and wrapping or packing the goods in shipping containers. They also address and label packages, look up and compute freight or postal rates, and record the weight and cost of each shipment. Shipping clerks also may prepare invoices and furnish information about shipments to other parts of the com­ pany, such as the accounting department. Once a shipment is checked and ready to go, shipping clerks may move the goods from the plant—sometimes by forklift truck—to the shipping dock and direct its loading. Receiving clerks perform tasks similar to those of shipping clerks. They determine whether orders have been filled correctly by verify­ ing incoming shipments against the original order and the accom­ panying bill of lading or invoice. They make a record of the shipment and the condition of its contents. In many firms, receiving clerks use hand-held scanners to record barcodes on incoming products or enter the information into a computer. These data then can be trans­ ferred to the appropriate departments. The shipment is checked for any discrepancies in quantity, price, and discounts. Receiving clerks may route or move shipments to the proper department, warehouse section, or stockroom. They also may arrange for adjustments with shippers whenever merchandise is lost or damaged. Receiving clerks in small businesses also may perform duties similar to those of stock  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 415  this is an entry-level occupation, many vacancies are created by nonnal career progression. Related Occupations Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks record, check, and often store materials that a company receives. They also process and pack goods for shipment. Other workers who perform similar duties are stock clerks and order fillers; production, planning, and expediting clerks; and cargo and freight agents.  H,  ’«  t'i  t'» «„* *  Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks maintain records andprepare shipments.  clerks. In larger establishments, receiving clerks may control all receiving-platform operations, such as truck scheduling, recording of shipments, and handling of damaged goods. Traffic clerks maintain records on the destination, weight, and charges on all incoming and outgoing freight. They verify rate charges by comparing the classification of materials with rate charts. In many companies, this work may be automated. Information ei­ ther is scanned or is hand-entered into a computer for use by accounting or other departments within the company. Also, they keep a file of claims for overcharges and for damage to goods in transit. Employment Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks held about 890,000 jobs in 2000. Nearly 4 out of 5 were employed in manufacturing or by wholesale and retail establishments. Although jobs for shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks are found throughout the country, most clerks work in urban areas, where shipping depots in factories and wholesale establishments usually are located. (For information on shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks working for the U.S. Postal Service, see the statement on Postal Service workers elsewhere in the Handbook). Job Outlook Employment of shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010. Employment growth will continue to be affected by automa­ tion, as all but the smallest firms move to reduce labor costs by using computers to store and retrieve shipping and receiving records. Methods of material handling have changed significantly in re­ cent years. Large warehouses are increasingly automated, using equipment such as computerized conveyor systems, robots, com­ puter-directed trucks, and automatic data storage and retrieval sys­ tems. Automation, coupled with the growing use of hand-held scanners and personal computers in shipping and receiving depart­ ments, has increased the productivity of these workers. Despite technology, job openings will continue to arise due to increasing economic and trade activity, and because certain tasks cannot be automated. For example, someone needs to check ship­ ments before they go out and when they arrive to ensure that every­ thing is in order. In addition to those arising from job growth, openings will occur because of the need to replace shipping, Digitizedreceiving, for FRASER and traffic clerks who leave the occupation. Because https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Sources of Additional Information Information about job opportunities may be obtained from local employers and local offices of the State employment service. (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Stock Clerks and Order Fillers (0*NET 43-5081.01, 43-5081.02, 43-5081.03, 43-5081.04) Nature of the Work Stock clerks and order fillers receive, unpack, check, store, and track merchandise or materials. They keep records of items enter­ ing or leaving the stockroom and inspect damaged or spoiled goods. They sort, organize, and mark items with identifying codes, such as prices or stock or inventory control codes, so that inventories can be located quickly and easily. They also may be required to lift cartons of various sizes. In larger establishments, where they may be responsible for only one task, they may be called stockcontrol clerk, merchandise distributor, or property custodian. In smaller firms, they also may perform tasks usually handled by ship­ ping and receiving clerks. (A separate statement on shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks appears elsewhere in this section of the Handbook.) In many firms, stock clerks and order fillers use hand-held scan­ ners connected to computers to keep inventories up to date. In re­ tail stores, stock clerks bring merchandise to the sales floor and stock shelves and racks. In stockrooms and warehouses, stock clerks store materials in bins, on floors, or on shelves. Instead of putting the merchandise on the sales floor or on shelves, order fillers take customer orders and either hold the merchandise until the customer can pick it up or send it to them.  mm  The growing use ofcomputers and automated equipment is expected to slow growth in demandfor stock clerks and orderfillers.  416 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Employment ... . Stock clerks and order fillers held about 1.7 million jobs in 2000; they were, by far, the largest material recording, scheduling, dis­ patching, and distributing occupation. About 76 percent work in wholesale and retail trade. The greatest numbers are found in gro­ cery stores, followed by department stores. Jobs for stock clerks are found in all parts of the country, but most work in large urban areas that have many large suburban shopping centers, warehouses,  m  and factories. Job Outlook Employment of stock clerks and order fillers is projected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010, due to the use of automation in factories and stores. Because this occu­ pation is very large and many jobs are entry level, however, numer­ ous job openings will occur each year to replace those who transfer to other jobs or leave the labor force. The growing use of computers for inventory control and the in­ stallation of new, automated equipment are expected to slow growth in demand for stock clerks and order fillers. This is especially true in manufacturing and wholesale trade industries whose operations are most easily automated. In addition to computerized inventory control systems, firms in these industries rely more on sophisticated conveyor belts and automatic high stackers to store and retrieve goods. Also, expanded use of battery-powered, driverless, auto­ matically guided vehicles can be expected. Employment of stock clerks and order fillers who work in gro­ cery, general merchandise, department, apparel, and accessories stores is expected to be somewhat less affected by automation be­ cause much of their work is done manually and is difficult to auto­ mate. In addition, the increasing role of large retail outlets and warehouses, as well as catalogue, mail, telephone, and Internet shop­ ping services, should bolster employment of stock clerks and order fillers in these sectors of retail trade. Related Occupations Workers who also handle, move, organize, store, and keep records of materials include shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; produc­ tion, planning, and expediting clerks; cargo and freight agents; and procurement clerks.  trade can be obtained from:  >• National Retail Federation, 325 Seventh St. NW., Suite 1000, Washing­ ton, DC 20004. Internet: http://www.nrf.com/nri/  (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping___ ____ _________ ________  Nature of the Work Weighers, measures, checkers, and samplers weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment in order to keep relevant  records. Most of their duties are clerical. They verify quantity, https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  quality, and overall value and condition of items purchased, sold, or produced against records, bills, invoices, or receipts. Weighers, measures, checkers, and samplers check and document items using either manual or automated data processing systems. They check the items to ensure accuracy of the recorded data. They prepare reports on warehouse inventory levels and use of parts. Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers also check for any defects in the items and record the severity of the defects. These workers use weight scales, counting devices, tally sheets, and calculators to properly record information about the products. They usually move objects to and from the scales using a handtruck or forklift. They issue receipts for the products when needed or requested. Employment Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers held about 83,000jobs in 2000. Their employment is spread across most industries. De­ partment stores and air carriers accounted for about 16 percent of these jobs. Wholesale trade and services comprised 28 percent of employment.  Sources of Additional Information State employment service offices can provide information about job openings for stock clerks and order fillers. Also, see office and administrative support occupations and sales occupations elsewhere in the Handbook for sources of additional information. General information about stock clerks and order fillers in retail  (0*NET 43-5111.00)  Weighers, measures, checkers, and samplers verify the quantity and quality of items purchased or sold against records.  Job Outlook Employment of weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers is ex­ pected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. The emphasis on accurate and nondefective materi­ als, as well as the use of records for verifying information, is an increasingly important responsibility for companies that will increase the need for weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers. Further­ more, automation should not have a significant effect on employ­ ment in this occupation because most of its duties need to be done manually. In addition to those resulting from job growth, openings should arise from the need to replace workers who leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations. Related Occupations Other workers who determine and document characteristics of ma­ terials or equipment include cargo and freight agents, production, planning, and expediting clerks; shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks; stock clerks and order fillers; and procurement clerks. Sources of Additional Information Information about job opportunities may be obtained from local employers and local offices of the State employment service.  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 417  (See introduction to the section on material recording, schedul­ ing, dispatching, and distributing occupations for information on working conditions, training requirements, and earnings.)  Office and Administrative Support Worker Supervisors and Managers (0**NET 43-1011.01, 43-1011.02)  Significant Points •  Most jobs are filled by promoting individuals from within the organization, very often from the ranks of clerks whom they will subsequently supervise.  •  Office automation will cause employment in some office and administrative support occupations to slow or even decline, but supervisors are more likely to retain their jobs because of their relatively higher skills and longer tenure. Applicants for office and administrative support supervisor or manager jobs are likely to encounter keen competition because their number should greatly exceed the number of job openings.  •  Nature of the Work All organizations need timely and effective office and administra­ tive support to operate efficiently. Office and administrative sup­ port supervisors and managers coordinate this support. These workers are employed in virtually every sector of the economy, working in positions as varied as customer services manager, teller supervisor, and shipping-and-receiving supervisor. Although specific functions of office and administrative sup­ port supervisors and managers vary considerably, they share many common duties. For example, supervisors perform administrative tasks to ensure that their staffs can work efficiently. Equipment and machinery used in their departments must be in good working order. If the computer system goes down or a facsimile machine malfunctions, they must try to correct the problem or alert repair personnel. They also request new equipment or supplies for their department when necessary. Planning the work of their staff and supervising them are key functions of this job. To do these effectively, the supervisor must know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the staff, as well as the required level of quality and time allotted to each job. They must make allowances for unexpected absences and other dis­ ruptions by adjusting assignments or performing the work them­ selves if the situation requires it. After allocating work assignments and issuing deadlines, office and administrative support supervisors and managers oversee the work to ensure that it is proceeding on schedule and meets estab­ lished quality standards. This may involve reviewing each person’s work on a computer—as in the case of accounting clerks—or lis­ tening to how they deal with customers—as in the case of customer services representatives. When supervising long-term projects, the supervisor may meet regularly with staff members to discuss their progress.  Office and administrative support supervisors and managers also evaluate each worker’s performance. If a worker has done a good job, the supervisor records it in the employee’s personnel file and may recommend a promotion or other award. Alternatively, if a Digitizedworker for FRASER is performing poorly the supervisor discusses the problem https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  with the employee to determine the cause and helps the worker im­ prove his or her performance. This might require sending the em­ ployee to a training course or arranging personal counseling. If the situation does not improve, the supervisor may recommend a trans­ fer, demotion, or dismissal. Office and administrative support supervisors and managers usu­ ally interview and evaluate prospective clerical employees. When new workers arrive on the job, supervisors greet them and provide orientation to acquaint them with the organization and its operating routines. Some supervisors may be actively involved in recruiting new workers, for example, by making presentations at high schools and business colleges. They may also serve as the primary liaisons between their offices and the general public through direct contact and by preparing promotional information. Supervisors also help train new employees in organization and office procedures. They may teach new employees how to use the telephone system and operate office equipment. Because much clerical work is computerized, they must also teach new employees to use the organization’s computer system. When new office equip­ ment or updated computer software is introduced, supervisors retrain experienced employees in using it efficiently. If this is not pos­ sible, they may arrange for special outside training for their employees. Office and administrative support supervisors and managers often act as liaisons between the clerical staff and the professional, tech­ nical, and managerial staff. This may involve implementing new  ■ ■ : :.: • i",  f K'  Planning work and supervising staffare keyfunctions ofoffice and administrative support worker supervisors and managers.  418 Occupational Outlook Handbook  company policies or restructuring the workflow in their departments. They must also keep their superiors informed of their progress and abreast of any potential problems. Often this communication takes the form of research projects and progress reports. Because they have access to information such as their department’s performance records, they may compile and present these data for use in plan­ ning or designing new policies. Office and administrative support supervisors and managers also may have to resolve interpersonal conflicts among the staff. In or­ ganizations covered by union contracts, supervisors must know the provisions of labor-management agreements and run their depart­ ments accordingly. They may meet with union representatives to discuss work problems or grievances. Working Conditions Office and administrative support supervisors and managers are employed in a wide variety of work settings, but most work in clean, well lit, offices that usually are comfortable. Most work a standard 40-hour week. Because some organiza­ tions operate around the clock, office and administrative support supervisors and managers may have to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Sometimes supervisors rotate among the three shifts; in other cases, shifts are assigned on the basis of seniority. Employment Office and administrative support supervisors and managers held almost 1.4 million jobs in 2000. Although jobs for office and ad­ ministrative support supervisors and managers are found in practi­ cally every industry, the largest number are found in organizations with a large clerical workforce such as banks, wholesalers, govern­ ment agencies, retail establishments, business service firms, healthcare facilities, schools, and insurance companies. Because of most organizations’ need for continuity of supervision, few of­ fice and administrative support supervisors and managers work on a temporary or part-time basis. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most firms fill office and administrative support supervisory and managerial positions by promoting clerical or administrative sup­ port workers from within their organizations. To become eligible for promotion to a supervisory position, clerical or administrative support workers must prove they are capable of handling addi­ tional responsibilities. When evaluating candidates, superiors look for strong teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and communi­ cation skills, as well as determination, loyalty, poise, and confi­ dence. They also look for more specific supervisory attributes, such as the ability to organize and coordinate work efficiently, to set priorities, and to motivate others. Increasingly, supervisors need a broad base of office skills coupled with personal flexibility to adapt to changes in organizational structure and move among departments when necessary. In addition, supervisors must pay close attention to detail in or­ der to identify and correct errors made by the staff they oversee. Good working knowledge of the organization’s computer system is also an advantage. Many employers require postsecondary train­ ing—in some cases, an associate’s or even a bachelor s degree. A clerk with potential supervisory abilities may be given occa­ sional supervisory assignments. To prepare for full-time supervi­ sory duties, he or she may attend in-house training or take courses in time management or interpersonal relations. Some office and administrative support supervisor positions are filled with people from outside the organization. These positions  may serve as entry-level training for potential higher level managers. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  New college graduates may rotate through departments of an organi­ zation at this level to learn the work of the organization. Job Outlook Like other supervisory occupations, applicants for jobs as office and administrative support supervisors or managers are likely to encounter keen competition because the number of applicants should greatly exceed the number of job openings. Employment is ex­ pected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010. In addition to the job openings arising from growth, a larger number of openings will stem from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave this large occu­ pation for other reasons. Employment of office and administrative support supervisors and managers is largely affected by the demand for administrative support workers. The continuing increase in office automation due to new technology should increase support workers productivity and allow a wider variety of tasks to be performed by more people in professional positions, requiring fewer office and administrative support workers. The result will be to cause employment growth in some clerical occupations to slow or even decline. Supervisors will direct smaller permanent staffs—supplemented by increased use of temporary clerical staff—and perform more professional tasks. Office and administrative support managers will coordinate the in­ creasing amount of administrative work and make sure the technol­ ogy is applied and running properly. However, organizational restructuring should continue to reduce some manager positions, distributing more responsibility to office and administrative sup­ port supervisors. Earnings Median annual earnings of office and administrative support super­ visors and managers were $36,420 in 2000; the middle 50 percent earned between $28,090 and $47,350. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $22,070, while the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $60,600. In 2000, median annual earnings in the indus­ tries employing the largest numbers of office and administrative support supervisors and managers were: Federal Government............................... State government..................................... Local government.................................... Offices and clinics of medical doctors Commercial banks.................................. Department stores...................................  $48,870 40,050 38,450 35,140 34,240 20,370  In addition to typical benefits, some office and administrative support supervisors and managers in the private sector may receive additional compensation in the form of bonuses and stock options. Related Occupations Office and administrative support supervisors and managers must understand and sometimes perform the work of those whom they oversee, including bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; cashiers; communications equipment operators; customer service representatives; data entry and information processing workers; gen­ eral office clerks; receptionists and information clerks; stock clerks and order fillers; and tellers. Their supervisory and administrative duties are similar to those of other supervisors and managers. Sources of Additional Information For a wide variety of information related to management occupa­ tions, including educational programs, contact: >■ American Management Association, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019-7420. Internet: http://www.amanet.org  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 419 >- National Management Association, 2210 Arbor Blvd., Dayton, OH 45439. Internet: http://www.nmal.org >• Association of Records Managers and Administrators, 4200 Somerset Dr., Suite 215, Prairie Village, KS 66208-0540. Internet: http://www.arma.org >- International Association of Administrative Professionals, 10502 NW Ambassador Dr„ P.O. Box 20404, Kansas City, MO 64195-0404. Internet: http://www.iaap-hq.org  reports for accuracy and completeness, handle and adjust customer complaints, work with vendors, make travel arrangements, take in­ ventory of equipment and supplies, answer questions on depart­ mental services and functions, or help prepare invoices or budgetary requests. Senior office clerks may be expected to monitor and di­ rect the work of lower level clerks. Working Conditions For the most part, general office clerks work in comfortable office settings. Those on full-time schedules usually work a standard 40hour week; however, some work shifts or overtime during busy periods. About 1 in 4 clerks work part time, and about 1 in 10 work on a temporary basis.  Office Clerks, General (0*NET 43-9061.00)  Significant Points  •  Although most jobs are entry level, applicants with previous office experience, computer skills, and sound communication abilities may have an advantage.  •  Plentiful job opportunities will stem from employment growth, the large size of the occupation, and high replacement needs.  Nature of the Work Rather than performing a single specialized task, the daily respon­ sibilities of general office clerks change with the needs of the spe­ cific job and the employer. Whereas some clerks spend their days filing or typing, others enter data at a computer terminal. They can also be called upon to operate photocopiers, fax machines, and other office equipment; prepare mailings; proofread copies; and answer telephones and deliver messages. The specific duties assigned to a clerk vary significantly, de­ pending upon the type of office in which a clerk works. An office clerk in a doctor’s office, for example, would not perform the same tasks as a clerk in a large financial institution or in the office of an auto-parts wholesaler. Although they may sort checks, keep pay­ roll records, take inventory, and access information, clerks also per­ form duties unique to their employer, such as organizing medications, making transparencies for a presentation, or filling orders received by fax machine. The specific duties assigned to a clerk also vary by level of experience. Whereas inexperienced employees make photocopies, stuff envelopes, or record inquiries, experienced clerks usually are given additional responsibilities. For example, they may maintain financial or other records, set up spreadsheets, verify statistical  ■-mg&f'  '   Office clerks usually work in a comfortable office setting. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Employment General office clerks held about 2.7 million jobs in 2000. Most are employed in relatively small businesses. Although they work in every sector of the economy, more than 60 percent worked in the services or wholesale and retail trade industries. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Although most office clerk jobs are entry-level administrative sup­ port positions, some previous office or business experience may be needed. Employers usually require a high school diploma, and some require typing, basic computer skills, and other general office skills. Familiarity with computer word-processing software and applica­ tions is becoming increasingly important. Training for this occupation is available through business edu­ cation programs offered in high schools, community and junior colleges, and postsecondary vocational schools. Courses in word processing, other computer applications, and office practices are particularly helpful. Because general office clerks usually work with other office staff, they should be cooperative and able to work as part of a team. Employers prefer individuals who are able to perform a variety of tasks and satisfy the needs of the many departments within a com­ pany. In addition, applicants should have good communication skills, be detail-oriented, and adaptable. General office clerks who exhibit strong communication, inter­ personal, and analytical skills may be promoted to supervisory po­ sitions. Others may move into different, more senior clerical or administrative jobs, such as receptionist, secretary, or administra­ tive assistant. After gaining some work experience or specialized skills, many workers transfer to jobs with higher pay or greater ad­ vancement potential. Advancement to professional occupations within an establishment normally requires additional formal educa­ tion, such as a college degree. Job Outlook Employment of general office clerks is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Employment growth, the large size of the occupation, and high replacement needs should result in plentiful job opportunities for general office clerks in many industries. Furthermore, growth in part-time and temporary clerical positions will lead to a large num­ ber of job openings. Prospects should be brightest for those who have knowledge of basic computer applications and office machin­ ery, such as fax machines and copiers. Job opportunities will also be most favorable for those with good writing and communication skills. As general clerical duties continue to be consolidated and the ability to perform multiple tasks becomes increasingly neces­ sary, employers will seek well-rounded individuals with highly developed communication skills.  420 Occupational Outlook Handbook  The employment outlook for general office clerks will be affected by the increasing use of computers, expanding office automation, and the consolidation of clerical tasks. Automation has led to pro­ ductivity gains, allowing a wide variety of duties to be performed by few office workers. However, automation also has led to a con­ solidation of clerical staffs and a diversification ofjob responsibili­ ties. This consolidation increases the demand for general office clerks, because they perform a variety of clerical tasks. It will be­ come increasingly common within small businesses to find a single general office clerk in charge of all clerical work. Job opportunities may vary from year to year, because the strength of the economy affects demand for general office clerks. Compa­ nies tend to hire more when the economy is strong. Industries least likely to be affected by economic fluctuation tend to be the most stable places for employment. Earnings Median annual earnings of general office clerks were $21,130 in 2000; the middle 50 percent earned between $16,710 and $26,670 annually. Ten percent earned less than $13,650, and 10 percent more than $33,050. Median annual salaries in the industries em­ ploying the largest numbers of general office clerks in 2000 are shown below: State government................................................................................... Local government.............. Commercial banks................................................................................. Hospitals.................................................................................................. Elementary and secondary schools.................................................... Offices and clinics of medical doctors............................................. Colleges and universities..................................................................... Personnel supply services....................................................................  $24,830 24,100 22,320 22,310 21,560 20,440 20,220 19,510  Related Occupations The duties of general office clerks can include a combination of bookkeeping, typing, office machine operation, and filing. Other office and administrative support workers who perform similar du­ ties include information and record clerks, and secretaries and ad­ ministrative assistants. Nonclerical entry-level workers include cashiers, medical assistants, and food and beverage serving and re­ lated workers. Sources of Additional Information State employment service offices and agencies can provide infor­ mation about job openings for general office clerks.  Postal Service Workers (0*NET 43-5051.00, 43-5052.00, 43-5053.00)  Significant Points • • •  Qualification is based on an examination. Employment is expected to decline slightly. Keen competition is expected because the number of qualified applicants should continue to exceed the number of job openings.  Nature of the Work Each week, the U.S. Postal Service delivers billions of pieces of mail, including letters, bills, advertisements, and packages. To do this in an efficient and timely manner, the Postal Service employs  about 860,000 individuals. Most Postal Service workers are postal https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  clerks or mail carriers. Postal clerks include a wide variety of work­ ers such as window clerks, distribution clerks, and mail processors. Window clerks wait on customers at post offices, whereas distribu­ tion clerks and mail processors sort mail. Mail carriers deliver mail to urban and rural residences and businesses throughout the United States. Postal clerks, who typically are classified by job duties, per­ form a variety of functions in the Nation’s post offices. Those who work as window or counter clerks, for example, sell stamps, money orders, postal stationary, and mailing envelopes and boxes. They also weigh packages to determine postage and check that packages are in satisfactory condition for mailing. These clerks register, cer­ tify, and insure mail and answer questions about postage rates, post office boxes, mailing restrictions, and other postal matters. Win­ dow and counter clerks also help customers file claims for dam­ aged packages. Distribution clerks sort local mail for delivery to individual cus­ tomers. Other clerks, known as mail processors, operate optical character readers (OCRs) and barcode sorters to arrange mail ac­ cording to destination. OCRs “read” the ZIP code and spray a barcode onto the mail. Barcode sorters then scan the code and sort the mail. Because this is significantly faster than older sorting meth­ ods, it is becoming the standard sorting technology in mail process­ ing centers. Nevertheless, in some locations, mail still is sorted using elec­ tronic letter-sorting machines. Workers who operate these machines push keys corresponding to the ZIP code of the local post office to which each letter will be delivered. The machine then drops the letter into the proper slot. Odd-sized letters, magazines, and news­ papers still are sorted by hand. In small post offices, some workers perform all of the functions listed above. Once the mail has been processed and sorted, it is ready to be delivered by mail carriers. Although carriers are classified by their type of route—either city or rural—duties of city and rural carriers are similar. Most travel established routes, delivering and collect­ ing mail. Mail carriers start work at the post office early in the morning, when they arrange the mail in delivery sequence. Re­ cently, automated equipment has reduced the time that carriers need to sort the mail, allowing them to spend more time delivering mail. Mail carriers cover their routes on foot, by vehicle, or a combi­ nation of both. On foot, they carry a heavy load of mail in a satchel or push it on a cart. In most urban and rural areas, they use a car or small truck. Although the Postal Service provides vehicles to city carriers, most rural carriers must use their own automobiles. Deliv­ eries are made house-to-house, to roadside mailboxes, and to large buildings such as offices or apartments, which generally have all the mailboxes at one location. Besides delivering and collecting mail, carriers collect money for postage-due and COD (cash-on-delivery) fees and obtain signed receipts for registered, certified, and insured mail. If a customer is not home, the carrier leaves a notice that tells where special mail is being held. After completing their routes, carriers return to the post office with mail gathered from street collection boxes, homes, and businesses and turn in the mail, receipts, and money collected dur­ ing the day. The duties of some city carriers can be specialized, with some delivering only parcel post, whereas others pick up mail from mail collection boxes. In contrast to city carriers, rural carriers provide a wider range of postal services, in addition to delivering and picking up mail. For example, rural carriers may sell stamps and money orders and register, certify, and insure parcels and letters. All carri­ ers, however, must be able to answer customers’ questions about postal regulations and services and provide change-of-address cards and other postal forms when requested.  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 421  advantages, however. Carriers who begin work early in the morn­ ing are through by early afternoon and spend most of the day on their own, relatively free from direct supervision. Carriers spend most of their time outdoors, delivering mail in all kinds of weather. Even those who drive often must walk periodically when making deliveries and must lift heavy sacks of parcel post items when load­ ing their vehicles. In addition, carriers must be cautious of poten­ tial hazards on their routes. Wet and icy roads and sidewalks can be treacherous, and each year dogs attack numerous carriers.  lit® ;  :  Although some mail still is sorted by hand, machines are increasingly used to sort mail. Working Conditions Window clerks usually work in the public portion of clean, wellventilated, and well lit buildings. They have a variety of duties and frequent contact with the public, but they rarely work at night. However, they may have to deal with upset customers, stand for long periods, and be held accountable for an assigned stock of stamps and funds. Depending on the size of the post office in which they work, they also may be required to sort mail. The working conditions of other postal clerks can vary. In small post offices, workers may sort mail by hand. In large post offices and mail processing centers, chutes and conveyors move the mail, and machines do much of the sorting. Despite the use of automated equipment, the work of postal clerks can be physically demanding. These workers usually are on their feet, reaching for sacks and trays of mail or placing packages and bundles into sacks and trays. Mail distribution clerks and mail processors can become tired and bored with the endless routine of moving and sorting mail. Many work at night or on weekends, because most large post offices pro­ cess mail around the clock, and the largest volume of mail is sorted during the evening and night shifts. Workers can experience stress, as they process ever-larger quantities of mail under tight produc­ tion deadlines and quotas.  Most carriers begin work early in the morning—those with routes in a business district can start as early as 4 a.m. Overtime hours are frequently required for urban carriers during peak delivery times, Digitizedsuch for FRASER as before the winter holidays. A carrier’s schedule has its https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Employment The U.S. Postal Service employed 74,000 clerks; 324,000 mail car­ riers; and 289,000 mail sorters, processors, and processing-machine operators in 2000. Most of them worked full time. While some postal clerks provided window service, most processed mail. Many distribution clerks and mail processors sorted mail at major metro­ politan post offices; others worked at mail-processing centers. The majority of mail carriers worked in cities and suburbs, while the rest worked in rural areas. Postal Service workers are classified as casual, part-time flex­ ible, part-time regular, or full time. Casuals are hired for 90 days at a time to help process and deliver mail during peak mailing or vaca­ tion periods. Part-time flexible workers do not have a regular work schedule or weekly guarantee of hours but are called in as the need arises. Part-time regulars have a set work schedule of fewer than 40 hours per week, often replacing regular full-time workers on their scheduled day off. Full-time postal employees work a 40hour week over a 5-day period. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Postal Service workers must be at least 18 years old and U.S. citi­ zens or have been granted permanent resident-alien status in the United States. Qualification is based on a written examination that measures speed and accuracy at checking names and numbers and the ability to memorize mail distribution procedures. Applicants must pass a physical examination and drug test, and may be asked to show that they can lift and handle mail sacks weighing 70 pounds. Applicants for mail carrier positions must have a driver’s license and a good driving record, and receive a passing grade on a road test. Jobseekers should contact the post office or mail processing cen­ ter where they wish to work to determine when an exam will be given. Applicants’ names are listed in order of their examination scores. Five points are added to the score of an honorably dis­ charged veteran and 10 points to the score of a veteran who was wounded in combat or is disabled. When a vacancy occurs, the appointing officer chooses one of the top three applicants; the rest of the names remain on the list to be considered for future openings until their eligibility expires—usually 2 years after the examination date. Relatively few people become postal clerks or mail carriers as their first job, because of keen competition and the customary wait­ ing period of 1 to 2 years or more after passing the examination. It is not surprising, therefore, that most entrants transfer from other occupations. New Postal Service workers are trained on the job by experi­ enced workers. Many post offices offer classroom instruction on safety and defensive driving. Workers receive additional instruc­ tion when new equipment or procedures are introduced. In these cases, workers usually are trained by another postal employee or a training specialist. Postal clerks and mail carriers should be courteous and tactful when dealing with the public, especially when answering questions or receiving complaints. A good memory and the ability to read  422 Occupational Outlook Handbook  rapidly and accurately are important. Good interpersonal skills also are vital, because mail distribution clerks work closely with other postal workers, frequently under the tension and strain of meeting dispatch or transportation deadlines and quotas. Postal Service workers often begin on a part-time, flexible basis and become regular or full time, in order of seniority as vacancies occur. Full-time workers may bid for preferred assignments, such as the day shift or a high-level nonsupervisory position. Carriers can look forward to obtaining preferred routes as their seniority increases, or to high-level jobs, such as carrier technician. Postal Service workers can advance to supervisory positions on a com­ petitive basis. Job Outlook Employment of Postal Service workers is expected to decline slightly through 2010. However, many jobs still will become available be­ cause of the need to replace those who retire or leave the occupa­ tion. Those seeking jobs as Postal Service workers can expect to encounter keen competition, because the number of applicants will continue to exceed the number of openings. Although efforts by the U.S. Postal Service to provide better service will increase the number of window clerks, the demand for such clerks will be offset by the use of electronic communications technologies and private delivery companies. Employment of dis­ tribution clerks and mail processors is expected to decline because of the increasing use of automated materials handling equipment and optical character readers, barcode sorters, and other automated sorting equipment. The expected decline in mail volume also may have a negative impact on the employment of distribution clerks and mail processors. Several factors are expected to influence demand for mail carri­ ers. The competition from alternative delivery systems and new forms of electronic communication could drastically affect the total volume of mail handled. The Postal Service expects mail volume to increase through 2002, and then decrease through 2010. Most of the decrease is expected to come from first-class and standard mail. The Postal Service expects an increase in package deliveries due to the rising number of purchases made through the Internet by busi­ nesses and consumers and to partnerships the Postal Service has made with its competitors. Although total mail volume is projected to decrease, perhaps significantly, the number of addresses to which mail must be delivered will continue to increase. However, increased use of the “delivery point sequencing” system, which allows ma­ chines to sort mail directly by the order of delivery, should reduce the amount of time carriers spend sorting their mail, allowing them more time to handle these longer routes. In addition, the Postal Service is moving toward more centralized mail delivery, such as the increased use of cluster boxes, to cut down on the number of door-to-door deliveries. These trends are expected to increase car­ rier productivity, causing slow employment growth. Currently the role of the Postal Service as a government-approved monopoly is a topic of debate. Any legislative changes that would privatize or deregulate the U.S. Postal Service may affect employ­ ment of all its workers. Employment and schedules in the Postal Service fluctuate with the demand for its services. When mail vol­ ume is high, full-time workers work overtime, part-time workers work additional hours, and casual workers may be hired. When mail volume is low, overtime is curtailed, part-timers work fewer hours, and casual workers are discharged.  Earnings Median annual earnings ofpostal mail carriers were $38,420 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $33,620 and $41,930. The  lowest 10 percent had earnings of less than $26,140, while the top https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  10 percent earned over $44,040. Rural mail carriers are reimbursed for mileage put on their own vehicles while delivering mail. Median annual earnings of Postal Service clerks were $39,010 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,140 and $41,870. The lowest 10 percent had earnings of less than $31,980, while the top 10 percent earned more than $43,590. Median annual earnings of mail sorters, processors, and pro­ cessing-machine operators were $32,080 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,560 and $39,300. The lowest 10 per­ cent had earnings of less than $18,940, while the top 10 percent earned more than $42,570. Postal Service workers enjoy a variety of employer-provided benefits similar to those enjoyed by Federal Government workers. The American Postal Workers Union or the National Association of Letter Carriers, both of which are affiliated with the AFL-CIO, represent most of these workers. Related Occupations Other occupations with duties similar to those of postal clerks in­ clude cashiers; counter and rental clerks; file clerks; and shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks. Others with duties related to those of mail carriers include couriers and messengers and truckdrivers and driver/sales workers. Occupations whose duties are related to those of mail sorters, processors, and processing-machine operators in­ clude inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers, and mate­ rial moving occupations. Sources of Additional Information Local post offices and State employment service offices can supply details about entrance examinations and specific employment op­ portunities for Postal Service workers.  Secretaries and Administrative Assistants ______ ___ (Q* *NET 43-6011.00, 43-6012.00, 43-6013.00, 43-6014.00)  Significant Points •  •  •  Increasing office automation and organizational restructuring will lead to slow growth in overall employment of secretaries and administrative assistants. Job openings will stem primarily from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave this very large occupation for other reasons each year. Opportunities should be best for skilled and experienced secretaries.  Nature of the Work As technology continues to expand in offices across the Nation, the role of the office professional has greatly evolved. Office automation and organizational restructuring have led secretaries and administrative assistants to assume a wider range of new re­ sponsibilities once reserved for managerial and professional staff. Many secretaries and administrative assistants now provide train­ ing and orientation for new staff, conduct research on the Internet, and operate and troubleshoot new office technologies. In the midst of these changes, however, their core responsibilities have remained much the same, although changed from manual to electronic—  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 423  performing and coordinating an office’s administrative activities, storing retrieving, and integrating information for dissemination to staff and clients. Secretaries and administrative assistants are responsible for a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an or­ ganization efficiently. They serve as an information manager for an office, schedule meetings and appointments, organize and maintain paper and electronic files, manage projects, conduct research, and provide information via the telephone, postal mail, and e-mail. They also may prepare correspondence and handle travel arrangements. Secretaries and administrative assistants are aided in these tasks by a variety of office equipment, such as facsimile machines, pho­ tocopiers, and telephone systems. In addition, secretaries and ad­ ministrative assistants increasingly use personal computers to create spreadsheets, compose correspondence, manage databases, and cre­ ate reports and documents via desktop publishing, and using digital graphics—all tasks previously handled by managers and other pro­ fessionals. At the same time, these other office workers have as­ sumed many tasks traditionally assigned to secretaries and administrative assistants, such as word processing and answering the telephone. Because secretaries and administrative assistants are often relieved from dictation and typing, they can support more members of the executive staff. In a number of organizations, sec­ retaries and administrative assistants work in teams in order to work flexibly and share their expertise. Specific job duties vary with experience and titles. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants, for example, perform fewer clerical tasks than other secretaries. In addition to arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings, they may handle more complex responsibilities such as conducting research, preparing sta­ tistical reports, training employees, and supervising other clerical staff. Some secretaries and administrative assistants, such as legal and medical secretaries, perform highly specialized work requiring knowledge of technical terminology and procedures. For instance, legal secretaries prepare correspondence and legal papers such as summonses, complaints, motions, responses, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or paralegal. They also may review legal journals and assist in other ways with legal research, such as verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs. Medical secretaries transcribe dictation, prepare correspondence, and assist physicians or medical scientists with reports, speeches, articles, and confer­ ence proceedings. They also record simple medical histories, arrange  Some secretaries and administrative assistants perform highly specialized work requiring knowledge oftechnical terminology and  procedures. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  for patients to be hospitalized, and order supplies. Most medical secretaries need to be familiar with insurance rules, billing prac­ tices, and hospital or laboratory procedures. Other technical secre­ taries who assist engineers or scientists may prepare correspondence, maintain the technical library, and gather and edit materials for sci­ entific papers. Working Conditions Secretaries and administrative assistants usually work in offices with other professionals in schools, hospitals, corporate settings, or in legal and medical offices. Their jobs often involve sitting for long periods. If they spend a lot of time typing, particularly at a video display terminal, they may encounter problems of eyestrain, stress, and repetitive motion, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Office work can lend itself to alternative or flexible working arrangements, such as part time work or telecommuting—especially if their jobs requires extensive computer use. More than 1 secretary in 7 works part time and many others work in temporary positions. A few participate in job sharing arrangements in which two people divide responsibility for a single job. The majority of secretaries, however, are full-time employees who work a standard 40-hour week. Employment Secretaries and administrative assistants held about 3.9 million jobs in 2000, ranking among the largest occupations in the U.S. economy. The following tabulation shows the distribution of employment by secretarial specialty. Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive........................ 1,864,000 Executive secretaries and administrative assistants..................... 1,445,000 Medical secretaries.............................................................................. 314,000 Legal secretaries................................................................................... 279,000  Secretaries and administrative assistants are employed in orga­ nizations of every type. Almost 3 out of 5 secretaries and adminis­ trative assistants are employed in firms providing services, ranging from education and health to legal and business services. Others work for firms engaged in manufacturing, constmction, wholesale and retail trade, transportation, and communications. Banks, insur­ ance companies, investment firms, and real estate firms are also important employers, as are Federal, State, and local government agencies. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement High school graduates who have basic office skills may qualify for entry-level secretarial positions. However, employers increasingly require extensive knowledge of software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and database management. Secretaries and administrative assistants should be proficient in keyboarding and good at spelling, punctuation, grammar, and oral communica­ tion. Because secretaries and administrative assistants must be tact­ ful in their dealings with people, employers also look for good interpersonal skills. Discretion, good judgment, organizational or management ability, initiative, and the ability to work independently are especially important for higher-level administrative positions. As office automation continues to evolve, retraining and con­ tinuing education will remain an integral part of secretarial jobs. Changes in the office environment have increased the demand for secretaries and administrative assistants who are adaptable and ver­ satile. Secretaries and administrative assistants may have to attend classes to learn how to operate new office technologies, such as information storage systems, scanners, the Internet, or new updated software packages, or utilize online education.  424 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Secretaries and administrative assistants acquire skills in various ways. Training ranges from high school vocational education pro­ grams that teach office skills and keyboarding to 1- and 2-year pro­ grams in office administration offered by business schools, vocational-technical institutes, and community colleges. Many tem­ porary placement agencies also provide formal training in computer and office skills. Many skills are often acquired, however, through on-the-job instruction by other employees or by equipment and soft­ ware vendors. Specialized training programs are available for stu­ dents planning to become medical or legal secretaries or administrative technology specialists. Bachelor’s degrees and pro­ fessional certifications are becoming increasingly important as busi­ ness continues to become more global. Testing and certification for entry-level office skills is available through the International Association of Administrative Profession­ als and NALS, the association for legal professionals. As secretar­ ies and administrative assistants gain experience, they can earn the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) designation or the Certi­ fied Administrative Professional (CAP) designation by meeting certain experience and/or educational requirements and passing an examination. Similarly, those with one year’s experience in the legal field or who have concluded an approved training course and who want to be certified as a legal support professional can acquire the basic designation of Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS) by a testing process administered by NALS. NALS also offers an examination to confer the designation of Professional Legal Secretary (PLS), an advanced certification for legal support pro­ fessionals. Legal Secretaries International confers the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) designation in specialized areas such as civil trial, real estate, probate, and business law, to those who have 5 years of law-related experience and pass an examina­ tion. In some instances, waivers of certain requirements may be available. Secretaries generally advance by being promoted to other admini­ strative positions with more responsibilities. Qualified secretaries who broaden their knowledge of a company’s operations and en­ hance their skills may be promoted to other positions such as senior or executive secretary, clerical supervisor, or office manager. Sec­ retaries with word processing or data entry experience can advance to jobs as word processing or data entry trainers, supervisors, or managers within their own firms or in a secretarial, word process­ ing or data entry service bureau. Secretarial experience can also lead to jobs such as instructor or sales representative with manufac­ turers of software or computer equipment. With additional train­ ing, many legal secretaries become paralegals. Job Outlook Overall, employment of secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations over the 2000-10 period. In addition to openings due to growth, numerous job openings will result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave this very large occupa­ tion for other reasons each year. Opportunities should be best for well-qualified and experienced secretaries. Projected employment of secretaries will vary by occupational specialty. Employment growth in the health and legal services industries should lead to average growth for medical and legal secretaries. Employment of executive secretaries and administra­ tive assistants also is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Fast growing industries—such as personnel supply, computer and data processing services, health and legal services education, and engineering and management—will con­ tinue to generate most new job opportunities. A decline in em­  ployment is expected for all other secretaries except legal, medical, https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  or executive. They account for almost half of all secretaries and administrative assistants. Growing levels of office automation and organizational restruc­ turing will continue to make secretaries and administrative assis­ tants more productive in coming years. Personal computers, electronic mail, scanners, and voice message systems will allow secretaries to accomplish more in the same amount of time. The use of automated equipment is also changing the distribution of work in many offices. In some cases, such traditional secretarial duties as keyboarding, filing, photocopying, and bookkeeping are being assigned to workers in other units or departments. Profes­ sionals and managers increasingly do their own word processing and data entry; and handle much of their own correspondence rather than submit the work to secretaries and other support staff. Also, in some law offices and physicians’ offices, paralegals and medical assistants are assuming some tasks formerly done by secretaries. As other workers assume more of these duties, there is a trend in many offices for professionals and managers to “share” secretaries and administrative assistants. The traditional arrangement of one secretary per manager is becoming less prevalent; instead, secretar­ ies and administrative assistants increasingly support systems, de­ partments, or units. This approach often means secretaries and administrative assistants assume added responsibilities and are seen as valuable members of a team, but it also contributes to the decline in employment projected for overall numbers of secretaries and administrative assistants. Developments in office technology are certain to continue, and they will bring about further changes in the secretary’s and adminis­ trative assistant’s work environment. However, many secretarial and administrative duties are of a personal, interactive nature and, there­ fore, not easily automated. Responsibilities such as planning con­ ferences, working with clients, and transmitting staff instructions require tact and communication skills. Because technology cannot substitute for these personal skills, secretaries and administrative assistants will continue to play a key role in most organizations. Earnings Median annual earnings of executive secretaries and administrative assistants were $31,090 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,970 and $38,370 in 2000. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,250. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of executive secretaries and administrative assis­ tants in 2000, were: Computer and data processing services.................................... $33,720 Local government.................................................................... 32,100 Elementary and secondary schools........................................... 3 0,470 Colleges and universities......................................................... 29,710 Personnel supply services........................................................ 28,020 Median annual earnings of legal secretaries, were $34,740 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $27,650 and $42,510. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,440, and the highest 10 per­ cent earned more than $50,970. Medical secretaries earned a median annual salary of $23,430 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,530 and $28,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,510, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $34,510. Median annual earnings of all other secretaries, excluding legal, medical, and executive secretaries, were about $23,870 in 2000. Salaries vary a great deal, however, reflecting differences in skill, experience, and level of responsibility. Salaries also vary in differ­ ent parts of the country; earnings are usually lowest in southern cities, and highest in northern and western cities. In addition, sala­ ries vary by industry; salaries of secretaries tend to be highest in  Office and Administrative Support Occupations 425  transportation, legal services, and public utilities, and lowest in retail trade and finance, insurance, and real estate. Certification in this field usually is rewarded by a higher salary. The starting salary for inexperienced secretaries in the Federal Government was $ 17,474 a year in 2001. Beginning salaries were slightly higher in selected areas where the prevailing local pay level was higher. All secretaries employed by the Federal Government averaged about $33,354 a year in early 2001. Related Occupations A number of other workers type, record information, and process paperwork. Among them are bookkeeping, accounting, and audit­ ing clerks; receptionists and information clerks; court reporters; human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping; com­ puter operators; data entry and information processing workers; para­ legals and legal assistants; medical assistants; and medical records and health information technicians. A growing number of secretar­ ies share in managerial and human resource responsibilities. Occu­ pations requiring these skills include office and administrative   https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  support supervisors and managers, computer and information sys­ tems managers, administrative services managers, and human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists. Sources of Additional Information State employment offices provide information about job openings for secretaries. For information on the Certified Professional Sec­ retary designation or the Certified Administrative Professional des­ ignation, contact: >• International Association of Administrative Professionals, 10502 NW Ambassador Dr., P.O. Box 20404, Kansas City, MO 64195-0404. Internet:  http://www.iaap-hq.org Information on the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist designa­ tion can be obtained from: >- Legal Secretaries International Inc., 8902 Sunnywood Dr., Houston, TX  http://www.legalsecretaries.org Information on the Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS) and the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certifications is available from: ► NALS, Inc., 314 East 3rd St., Suite 210, Tulsa, OK 74120. Internet: http://www.nals.org 77088-3729. Internet:  Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations Agricultural Workers  _________  (0*NET 45-2011.00, 45-2041.00, 45-2092.01, 45-2092.02, 45-2093.00)  Significant Points  • •  •  •  Farmworkers comprise 9 out of 10 agricultural workers. Duties and working conditions vary widely, from working in nurseries, to producing crops and raising livestock outdoors, to inspecting agricultural products in plants. Most workers learn through short-term on-the-job training; agricultural inspectors need work experience or a college degree in a related field.  V* -  I  'V  Employment is projected to grow more slowly than average.  Nature of the Work Agricultural workers have a range of responsibilities, from plant­ ing, cultivating, grading, and sorting agricultural products to in­ specting agricultural commodities and facilities. They may work with food crops, animals, or trees, shrubs, and plants. Depending on their jobs, they may work outdoors or indoors. Agricultural inspectors are employed by Federal and State gov­ ernments to inspect agricultural commodities, processing equipment and facilities, and fish and logging operations for compliance with laws and regulations governing health, quality, and safety. They inspect horticultural products or livestock to detect harmful disease or infestations. To assist in eradicating disease, they also inspect livestock to help determine the effectiveness of medication and feed­ ing programs. They may collect samples of pests, or of suspected diseased animals or materials, and send such samples to a labora­ tory for identification and analysis. Graders and sorters, agricultural products work to ensure the quality of the agricultural commodities that reach the market. They grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural prod­ ucts by size, weight, color, or condition. Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse manu­ ally plant, maintain, and harvest food crops; apply pesticides, her­ bicides, and fertilizers to crops; and cultivate the plants used to beautify landscapes. They prepare nursery acreage or greenhouse beds for planting; water, weed, and spray trees, shrubs, and plants; cut, roll, and stack sod; stake trees; tie, wrap, and pack flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees to fill orders; and dig up or move fieldgrown and containerized shrubs and trees. Additional duties in­ clude planting seedlings, transplanting saplings, and watering and trimming plants. Farmworkers, farm and ranch animals care for live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. They also tend to animals raised for animal products, such as meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, and honey. Duties may include feeding, watering, herding, grazing, castrating, branding, de-beaking, weigh­ ing, catching, and loading animals. They also may maintain records on animals, examine animals to detect diseases and injuries, and assist in birth deliveries and administer medications, vaccinations,   https://fraser.stlouisfed.org 426 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  On dairyfarms, agricultural workers milk cows two or three times a day. or insecticides as appropriate. Daily duties include cleaning and maintaining animal housing areas. Farmworkers, agricultural production may have a wide range of duties, some of which overlap duties of other farmworkers described above. They tend to livestock and poultry; plant and harvest crops; and apply pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to crops. These farmworkers also repair farm buildings and fences. Other duties may include operating milking machines and other dairy process­ ing equipment, supervising seasonal help, irrigating crops, and haul­ ing livestock products to market. Some farmworkers operate tractors, fertilizer spreaders, haybines, raking equipment, balers, combines, threshers, and other equipment used for plowing, sow­ ing, and harvesting. They also may help with the sorting, storage, and working in post-harvest treatment of crops. Working Conditions Working conditions vary widely. For example, some inspectors do field work, and may travel frequently. Federal food inspectors may work in highly mechanized plants or with poultry or livestock in confined areas with extremely cold temperatures and slippery floors. The duties often require working with sharp knives, moderate lift­ ing, and walking or standing for long periods. Many inspectors  Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations 427  work long and often irregular hours. Inspectors may find them­ selves in adversarial roles when the organization or individual be­ ing inspected objects to the inspection process or its potential consequences. Graders and sorters may work with similar products for an en­ tire shift, or may be assigned a variety of items. They may be on their feet all day and may have to lift heavy objects, whereas others may sit during most of their shift and do little strenuous work. Some graders work in clean, air-conditioned environments, suitable for carrying out controlled tests. Some may work evenings or week­ ends because of the perishable nature of the products. Overtime may be required to meet production goals. For farmworkers in nurseries, work is seasonal; spring and sum­ mer are the busier times of the year and hours in the cold weather tend to be fewer. These workers enjoy relatively comfortable work­ ing conditions while tending to plants indoors. However, during the busy seasons when landscape contractors need plants, work schedules may be more demanding, requiring weekend work. More­ over, the transition from warm weather to cold weather means that nursery workers might have to work overtime with little notice in order to move plants indoors in case of a frost. Farmworkers enjoy a somewhat independent lifestyle working with animals or on the land. Benefits include the wide-open physi­ cal expanse, the variability of day-to-day work, and the rural set­ ting. However, hours are generally uneven and often long; work cannot be delayed when crops must be planted and harvested, or when animals must be sheltered and fed. Weekend work is com­ mon, and farmworkers may work a 6- or 7-day week during plant­ ing and harvesting seasons. About 1 out of 5 agricultural workers had variable schedules, compared with fewer than 1 in 10 workers in all occupations combined. As much of the work is seasonal in nature, many workers also obtain other employment. Migrant farmworkers, who move from location to location as crops ripen, live an unsettled lifestyle, which can be stressful. Much farm and ranch work takes place outdoors in all kinds of weather and is physical in nature. Harvesting fruits and vegetables, for example, may requiremuch bending, stooping, and lifting. Some field workers may lack adequate sanitation facilities, and their drink­ ing water may be limited. The year-round nature of much livestock production work means that ranch workers must be out in the heat of summer, as well as the cold of winter. Those who work directly with animals risk being bitten or kicked. Farmworkers in crop production risk exposure to pesticides and other potentially hazardous chemicals that are sprayed on crops or plants. However, exposure is relatively minimal if safety proce­ dures are followed. Those who work on mechanized farms must take precautions when working with tools and heavy equipment to avoid injury. Employment Agricultural workers held 987,000 jobs in 2000. Farmworkers held 909,000 jobs, graders and sorters 63,000 jobs, and agricultural in­ spectors 15,000jobs. More than 60 percent of all agricultural work­ ers held jobs in crop and livestock production and almost 21 percent held jobs in agricultural services, mostly for farm labor contractors. About 15 percent of farmworkers were part-time employees, about the same proportion as for workers overall. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Becoming an agricultural inspector requires relevant work experi­ ence, or a college degree in a field such as biology or agricultural science. Inspectors are trained in the applicable laws or inspection procedures through some combination of classroom and on-the-job  training. In general, people who want to enter this occupation should https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  be responsible, like detailed work, and be able to communicate well. Federal Government inspectors whose job performance is satisfac­ tory advance through a career ladder to a specified full-performance level. For positions above this level, usually supervisory positions, advancement is competitive and based on agency needs and indi­ vidual merit. Advancement opportunities in State and local gov­ ernments and in the private sector are often similar to those in the Federal Government. For graders and sorters, training requirements vary on the basis of their responsibilities. For those who perform tests on various agricultural products, a high school diploma is preferred and may be required. Simple jobs may be filled by beginners provided with short-term on-the-job training. Farmworkers leam through short-term on-the-job training. Fiftysix percent of these workers do not have a high school diploma, compared with only about 13 percent of all workers in the economy. The proportion of workers without a high school diploma is par­ ticularly high in the crop production sector, where there are more labor-intensive establishments employing migrant farmworkers. In nurseries, entry-level workers must be able to follow direc­ tions and leam proper planting procedures. If driving is an essen­ tial part of a job, employers look for applicants with a good driving record and some experience driving a truck. Workers who deal directly with customers must get along well with people. Employ­ ers also look for responsible, self-motivated individuals, because nursery workers sometimes work with little supervision. Advancement depends on motivation and experience. Farm­ workers who work hard and quickly, have good communication skills, and take an interest in the business may advance to crew leader or other supervisory positions. Some agricultural workers may aspire to become farm, ranch, and other agricultural managers, or fanners or ranchers themselves. (Farmers, ranchers, and agricul­ tural managers are discussed in a separate Handbook statement.) In addition, their knowledge of raising and harvesting produce may provide an excellent background for becoming purchasing agents and buyers of farm products. Knowledge of working a farm as a business can help agricultural workers become farm and home man­ agement advisors. Those who earn a college degree in agricultural science could become agricultural and food scientists. Job Outlook Overall employment of agricultural workers is projected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations over the 2000-10 period—primarily reflecting the outlook for farmworkers, who con­ stitute 9 out of 10 agricultural workers. Low wages, the physical demands of the work, and high job turnover should result in abun­ dant job opportunities. Continued consolidation of farms and technological advance­ ments in farm equipment will dampen employment growth. Never­ theless, farms remaining in operation will still need workers to help with farms’ operations, and farm labor contractors’ employment of farmworkers is expected to increase rapidly. Farmworkers in land­ scape and horticultural services should have among the most rapid job growth, reflecting the demand for agricultural services such as landscaping. Slower-than-average employment growth also is expected for agricultural inspectors, as governments at all levels are not expected to hire significant numbers of new inspectors and regulators. Simi­ larly, slow growth is expected for graders and sorters, reflecting projections for the industries in which they work. Earnings Median weekly earnings of farmworkers were $309 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $250 and $404. The lowest 10  428 Occupational Outlook Handbook  percent earned less than $205, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $526. Median hourly earnings of graders and sorters, agricultural prod­ ucts were $7.11 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $6.34 and $8.78. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $5.87, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $11.18. Median hourly earnings of agricultural inspectors were $13.75 in2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.61 and$17.85. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.79, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $21.91. Few agricultural workers are members of unions. Related Occupations The duties of farmworkers who perform outdoor labor are related to the work of fishers and fishing vessel operators; forest, conser­ vation, and logging workers; and grounds maintenance workers. Farmworkers who work with farm and ranch animals perform work related to that of animal care and service workers. The work of agricultural inspectors and graders and sorters is related to work performed by inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers in manufacturing industries. Sources of Additional Information Information on jobs as agricultural workers is available from: > National FFA Organization, The National FFA Center, Career Informa­ tion Requests, P.O. Box 68690, Indianapolis, IN, 46268-0960. Internet: http://www.ffa.org  Information on farmworker jobs is available from: >- The New England Small Farm Institute, 275 Jackson St., Belchertown, MA01007. Internet: http://www.smallfarm.org/newoof/companions.html  Information on obtaining a position as an agricultural inspec­ tor with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) through a telephone-based system. Consult your telephone directory under U.S. Government for a local number or call (912) 757-3000; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339. The first number is not tollfree, and charges may re­ sult. Information also is available from the OPM Internet site: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov  Fishers and Fishing Vessel Operators (0**NET 45-3011.00)  • • •  Significant Points Over 60 percent of the workers are self-employed, among the highest proportion in the workforce. Many jobs require strenuous work and long hours, and provide only seasonal employment. Employment is projected to decline, due to depletion of fish stocks and new Federal and State laws restricting both commercial and recreational fishing.  Nature of the Work Fishers and fishing vessel operators catch and trap various types of marine life for human consumption, animal feed, bait, and other uses. (Aquaculture—the raising and harvesting for commercial purposes of fish and other aquatic life in ponds or confined bodies of water—is covered in the Handbook statement on farmers, ranch­ ers, and agricultural managers.) Fishing hundreds of miles from shore with commercial fishing Digitizedvessels—large for FRASER boats capable of hauling a catch of tens of thousands https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  of pounds of fish—requires a crew including a captain, or skipper, a first mate and sometimes a second mate, boatswain (called a deckboss on some smaller boats), and deckhands with specialized skills. The fishing boat captain plans and oversees the fishing opera­ tion—the fish to be sought, the location of the best fishing grounds, the method of capture, the duration of the trip, and the sale of the catch. The captain ensures the fishing vessel is seaworthy; oversees the purchase of supplies, gear, and equipment such as fuel, netting, and cables; obtains the required fishing permits and licenses; and hires qualified crew members and assigns their duties. The captain plots the vessel’s course, using navigation instruments and aids such as compasses, sextants, and charts, in addition to electronic naviga­ tional equipment such as autopilots, loran systems, and satellite navigation systems. Ships also use radar to avoid obstacles and depth sounders to indicate the water depth and the existence of marine life between the vessel and sea bottom. Sophisticated track­ ing technology allows captains to better locate and analyze schools of fish. The captain directs the fishing operation through the offic­ ers, and records daily activities in the ship’s log. Upon returning to port, the captain arranges for the sale of the catch—directly to buy­ ers or through a fish auction—and ensures that each crew member receives the prearranged portion of adjusted net proceeds from the sale of the catch. Some captains have begun buying and selling fish via the Internet; and as electronic commerce grows as a method to find buyers for fresh catch, more captains may use computers. The first mate—the captain’s assistant, who must be familiar with navigation requirements and the operation of all electronic equipment—assumes control of the vessel when the captain is off duty. Duty shifts, called watches, usually last 6 hours. The mate’s regular duty, with the help of the boatswain and under the captain’s oversight, is to direct the fishing operations and sailing responsi­ bilities of the deckhands. These include the operation, maintenance, and repair of the vessel, and the gathering, preservation, stowing, and unloading of the catch. The boatswain, a highly experienced deckhand with supervi­ sory responsibilities, directs the deckhands as they carry out the sailing and fishing operations. Before departure, the boatswain di­ rects the deckhands to load equipment and supplies, either by hand or with hoisting equipment, and to untie lines from other boats and the dock. When necessary, boatswains repair fishing gear, equip­ ment, nets, and accessories. They operate the fishing gear, letting out and pulling in nets and lines. They extract the catch such as pollock, flounder, menhaden, and tuna, from the nets or lines’ hooks. Deckhands use dip nets to prevent the escape of small fish and gaffs to facilitate the landing of large fish. They then wash, salt, ice, and stow away the catch. Deckhands also must ensure that decks are clear and clean at all times and the vessel’s engines and equipment are kept in good working order. Upon return to port, they secure the vessel’s lines to and from the docks and other vessels. Unless “lumpers” (laborers or longshore workers) are hired, the deckhands unload the catch. Large fishing vessels that operate in deep water generally have technologically advanced equipment, and some may have facilities on board where the fish are processed and prepared for sale. Such vessels are equipped for long stays at sea and can perform the work of several smaller boats. Some full-time and many part-time fishers work on small boats in relatively shallow waters, often in sight of land. Navigation and communication needs are vital and constant for almost all types of boats. Crews are small—usually only one or two people collabo­ rate on all aspects of the fishing operation. This may include plac­ ing gill nets across the mouths of rivers or inlets, entrapment nets in bays and lakes, or pots and traps for fish or shellfish such as  Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations 429  amm  Althoughfishing has become more mechanized, netting and hauling the catch aboard is strenuous work.  lobsters and crabs. Dredges and scrapes are sometimes used to gather shellfish such as oysters and scallops. A very small propor­ tion of commercial fishing is conducted as diving operations. De­ pending upon the water’s depth, divers—wearing regulation diving suits with an umbilical (air line) or a scuba outfit and equipment— use spears to catch fish and use nets and other equipment to gather shellfish, coral, sea urchins, abalone, and sponges. In very shallow waters, fish are caught from small boats having an outboard motor, from rowboats, or by wading or seining from shore. Fishers use a wide variety of hand-operated equipment—for example, nets, tongs, rakes, hoes, hooks, and shovels—to gather fish and shellfish; catch amphibians and reptiles such as frogs and turtles; and harvest ma­ rine vegetation, such as Irish moss and kelp. Although historically most fishers were involved with the tradi­ tional commercial fishery, some captains and deckhands are prima­ rily employed in support of the sport or recreational fishery. Typically, a group of people charter a fishing vessel—for periods ranging from several hours to a number of days—for sport fishing, socializing, and relaxation and employ a captain and possibly sev­ eral deckhands. This industry had experienced significant growth in the 1970s and 1980s, but declined in the 1990s because of the limited availability of fish. Working Conditions Fishing operations are conducted under various environmental con­ ditions, depending on the region of the country and the kind of species sought. Storms, fog, and wind may hamper fishing vessels. Divers are affected by murky water and unexpected shifts in under­ water currents. In relatively busy fisheries, smaller boats have to take care not to be hit by larger vessels. Fishers and fishing vessel operators work under hazardous con­ ditions, and often help is not readily available. Malfunctioning navigation or communication equipment may lead to collisions or shipwrecks. Malfunctioning fishing gear poses the danger of in­ jury to the crew, who also must guard against entanglement in fish­ ing nets and gear, slippery decks resulting from fish processing operations, ice formation in the winter, or being swept overboard— a fearsome situation. Also, treatment for any serious injuries may have to await transfer to a hospital. Divers must guard against en­ tanglement of air lines, malfunction of scuba equipment, decom­ pression problems, and attacks by predatory fish. Fishers and fishing vessel operators face strenuous outdoor work Digitizedand for FRASER long hours. Commercial fishing trips may require a stay of https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  several weeks, or even months—hundreds of miles away from home port. The pace of work may vary, but even during travel between home port and the fishing grounds, deckhands on smaller boats try to finish their cleaning duties so that there are no chores remaining to be done at port. However, lookout watches are a regular respon­ sibility, and crew members must be prepared to stand watch at pre­ arranged times of the day or night. Although fishing gear has improved, and operations have become more mechanized, netting and processing fish are strenuous activities. Whereas newer ves­ sels have improved living quarters and amenities, such as televi­ sion and shower stalls, crews still experience the aggravations of confined conditions, continuous close personal contact, and the absence of family. Employment Fishers and fishing vessel operators held an estimated 53,000 jobs in 2000. More than 6 out of 10 were self-employed. Besides fish­ ing conducted primarily to harvest food, some jobs involved sport fishing activities. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Fishers usually acquire occupational skills on the job, many as mem­ bers of families involved in fishing activities. No formal academic requirements exist. Operators of large commercial fishing vessels are required to complete a Coast Guard-approved training course. Students can expedite their entrance into these occupations by enrolling in 2-year vocational-technical programs offered by sec­ ondary schools. In addition, some community colleges and univer­ sities offer fishery technology and related programs that include courses in seamanship, vessel operations, marine safety, naviga­ tion, vessel repair and maintenance, health emergencies, and fish­ ing gear technology. Courses include hands-on experience. Secondary and postsecondary programs are normally offered in or near coastal areas. Experienced fishers may find short-term workshops offered through various postsecondary institutions especially useful. These programs provide a good working knowledge of electronic equip­ ment used in navigation and communication, and the latest improve­ ments in fishing gear. Captains and mates on large fishing vessels of at least 200 gross tons must be licensed. Captains of sport fishing boats used for charter, regardless of size, must also be licensed. Crew members on certain fish processing vessels may need a merchant mariner’s document. The U.S. Coast Guard issues these documents and li­ censes to individuals who meet the stipulated health, physical, and academic requirements. (For information about merchant marine occupations, see the statement on water transportation occupations elsewhere in the Handbook.) Fishers must be in good health and possess physical strength. Good coordination, mechanical aptitude, and the ability to work under difficult or dangerous conditions are necessary to operate, maintain, and repair equipment and fishing gear. Fishers need stamina to work long hours at sea, often under difficult conditions. On large vessels, they must be able to work as members of a team. Fishers must be patient, yet always alert, to overcome the boredom of long watches, when not engaged in fishing operations. The abil­ ity to assume any deckhand’s functions, on short notice, is impor­ tant. As supervisors, mates must be able to assume all duties, including the captain’s, when necessary. The captain must be highly experienced, mature, decisive, and possess the business skills needed to run business operations. On fishing vessels, most fishers begin as deckhands. Deckhands who acquire experience and whose interests are in ship engineer­ ing—maintenance and repair of ship engines and equipment—can  430 Occupational Outlook Handbook  eventually become licensed chief engineers on large commercial vessels, after meeting the Coast Guard’s experience, physical, and academic requirements. Experienced, reliable deckhands who dis­ play supervisory qualities may become boatswains. Boatswains may, in turn, become second mates, first mates, and finally captains. Almost all captains become self-employed, and the overwhelming majority eventually own, or have an interest in, one or more fishing ships. Some may choose to run a sport or recreational fishing op­ eration. When their seagoing days are over, experienced individu­ als may work in or, with the necessary capital, own stores selling fishing and marine equipment and supplies. Some captains may assume advisory or administrative positions in industry trade asso­ ciations or government offices, such as harbor development com­ missions or in teaching positions in industry-sponsored workshops or educational institutions. Divers in fishing operations can enter commercial diving activity—for example, repairing ships or main­ taining piers and marinas—usually after completion of a certified training program sponsored by an educational institution or indus­ try association.  percentage. Generally, the ship’s owner—usually its captain re­ ceives half of the net proceeds. From this, the owner pays for de­ preciation, maintenance and repair, replacement and insurance costs of the ship and equipment; the money remaining is the owner’s profit. Related Occupations Other occupations that involve outdoor work with fish and water­ craft include water transportation occupations and fish and game wardens. Sources of Additional Information Names of postsecondary schools offering fishing and related ma­ rine educational programs are available from: >- Marine Technology Society, 1828 L St. NW, Suite 906, Washington,  DC 20036-5104. Internet: http://www.mtsociety.org Information on licensing of fishing vessel captains and mates, and requirements for merchant mariner documentation, is available from the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Inspection Office or Marine Safety Office in your State, or: >- Office of Compliance, Commandant (G-MOC-3) 2100 Second St. SW.,  Job Outlook Employment of fishers and fishing vessel operators is expected to decline through the year 2010. These occupations depend on the natural ability offish stocks to replenish themselves through growth and reproduction, as well as on governmental regulation of fisher­ ies. Many operations are currently at or beyond maximum sustain­ able yield, partially because of habitat destruction, and the number of workers who can earn an adequate income from fishing is ex­ pected to decline. Job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation. Some fishers and fish­ ing vessel operators leave the occupation because of the strenuous and hazardous nature of the job and the lack of steady, year-round income. In many areas, particularly the North Atlantic and Pacific North­ west, damage to spawning grounds and excessive fishing have ad­ versely affected the stock of fish and, consequently, the employment opportunities for fishers. In some areas, States have greatly reduced permits to fishers, to allow stocks of fish and shellfish to replenish themselves, idling many fishers. Other factors contributing to the projected decline in employment of fishers include the use of so­ phisticated electronic equipment for navigation, communication, and fish location; improvements in fishing gear, which have greatly increased the efficiency of fishing operations; and the use of highly automated floating processors, where the catch is processed aboard the vessel. Sport fishing boats will continue to provide some job opportunities. Earnings The majority of fishers earn between $300 and $750 per week. Earnings of fishers and fishing vessel operators normally are high­ est in the summer and fall—when demand for services peaks and environmental conditions are favorable—and lowest during the winter. Many full-time and most part-time workers supplement their income by working in other activities during the off-season. For example, fishers may work in seafood processing plants, establish­ ments selling fishing and marine equipment, or in construction, or in a number of non-related, seasonal occupations. Earnings of fishers vary widely, depending upon their position, ownership percentage of the vessel, size of ship, and the amount and value of the catch. The costs of the fishing operation—the physical aspects of operating the ship such as the fuel costs, repair and maintenance of gear and equipment, and the crew’s supplies— are deducted from the sale of the catch. Net proceeds are distrib­ Digitized uted for FRASER among the crew members in accordance with a prearranged https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Washington, DC 20593. >- Licensing and Evaluation Branch, National Maritime Center, 4200 Wil­ son Blvd., Suite 630, Arlington, VA 22203-1804.  Forest, Conservation, and Logging Workers _______ __ (0**NET 45-4011.00, 45-4021.00, 45-4022.01, 45-4023.00)  • • •  Significant Points Workers spend all their time outdoors, sometimes in poor weather and often in isolated areas. Most jobs are physically demanding and can be hazardous. A small decline is expected in overall employment.  Nature of the Work The Nation’s forests are a rich natural resource, providing beauty and tranquillity, varied recreational areas, and wood for commer­ cial use. Managing forests and woodlands requires many different kinds of workers. Forest and conservation workers help develop, maintain, and protect these forests by growing and planting new tree seedlings, fighting insects and diseases that attack trees, and helping to control soil erosion. Timber cutting and logging work­ ers harvest thousands of acres of forests each year for the timber that provides the raw material for countless consumer and indus­ trial products. Forest and conservation workers perform a variety of tasks to reforest and conserve timberlands and maintain forest facilities, such as roads and campsites. Some forest workers, called tree planters, use digging and planting tools called “dibble bars’’ and “hoedads to plant tree seedlings to reforest timberland areas. Forest workers also remove diseased or undesirable trees with a powersaw or hand­ saw and spray trees with insecticides to kill insects and to protect against disease and herbicides to reduce competing vegetation. Forest workers in private industry usually work for professional foresters and paint boundary lines, assist with prescribed burning, and aid in tree marking and measuring by keeping a tally of the trees examined and counted. Those who work for State and local governments or under contract to the Federal Government also clear  away brush and debris from jurisdictional camp trails, roadsides, and camping areas. Some clean kitchens and restrooms at recre­ ational facilities and campgrounds. Other forest and conservation workers work in forest nurseries, sorting out tree seedlings and discarding those that do not meet prescribed standards of root formation, stem development, and foliage condition. Some forest workers are employed on tree farms, where they plant, cultivate, and harvest many different kinds of trees. Duties vary depending on the type of tree farm. Those who work on spe­ cialty farms, such as those growing Christmas or ornamental trees for nurseries, are responsible for shearing tree tops and limbs to control growth, increase limb density, and improve tree shape. In addition, duties include planting, spraying to control surrounding weed growth and insects, and harvesting. Other forest workers gather, by hand or using hand tools, prod­ ucts from the woodlands such as decorative greens, tree cones and barks, moss, and other wild plant life. Still others tap trees for sap to make syrup or to produce chemicals. The timber cutting and logging process is carried out by a vari­ ety of workers who make up a logging crew. Fallers cut down trees with hand-held power chain saws or occasionally axes. Usually using gas-powered chain saws, buckers trim off the tops and branches and buck (cut) the resulting logs into specified lengths. Choke setters fasten chokers (steel cables or chains) around logs to be skidded (dragged) by tractors or forwarded by the cable yard­ ing system to the landing or deck area where logs are separated by species and product type, such as pulpwood, sawlogs, or veneer logs, and loaded onto trucks. Rigging stingers and chasers set up and dismantle the cables and guy wires of the cable yarding system. Log sorters, markers, movers, and debarkers sort, mark, and move logs, based on species, size, and ownership, and tend machines that debarks logs. Logging equipment operators on a logging crew perform a num­ ber of duties. They drive crawler or wheeled tractors called skidders, or forwarders, which drag or transport logs from the felling site in the woods to the log landing area for loading. They operate grapple loaders, which lift and load logs into trucks, and tree fellers or shears, which cut the trees. They use tree harvesters to shear the tops off of trees, cut and limb the trees, and then cut the logs into desired lengths. Some logging equipment operators use tracked or wheeled equip­ ment similar to a forklift to unload logs and pulpwood off trucks or gondola railroad cars, usually in a sawmill or pulpmill woodyard. Log graders and scalers inspect logs for defects, measure logs to determine their volume, and estimate the marketable content or value of logs or pulpwood. These workers often use hand-held data collection terminals to enter data about individual trees, which can later be downloaded or sent, via modem, from the scaling area to a central computer. Other timber cutting and logging workers have a variety of re­ sponsibilities. Some workers hike through forests to assess log­ ging conditions. Laborers clear areas of brush and other growth to prepare for logging activities or to promote growth of desirable spe­ cies of trees. The timber cutting and logging industry is characterized by a large number of small crews of four to eight workers. A typical crew might consist of one or two fallers or one feller machine op­ erator, one bucker, two logging tractor operators to drag cut trees to the loading deck, and one equipment operator to load the logs onto trucks. Most crews work for self-employed logging contractors who possess substantial logging experience, the capital to purchase equip­ ment, and skills needed to run a small business successfully. Most contractors work alongside their crews as working supervisors and  often operate one of the logging machines, such as the grapple loader https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations 431  mm Forest, conservation, and logging workers spend most oftheir time outdoors, often operating heavy logging equipment.  or the tree harvester. Many manage more than one crew and func­ tion as owner-supervisors. Although timber cutting and logging equipment has greatly im­ proved and operations are becoming increasingly mechanized, many logging jobs are still labor intensive. These jobs require various levels of skill, ranging from the unskilled task of manually moving logs, branches, and equipment to skillfully using chain saws, peavies (hooked poles), and log jacks to cut and position logs for further processing or loading. To keep costs down, some timber cutting and logging workers maintain and repair the equipment they use. A skillful, experienced logger is expected to handle a variety of logging operations. Working Conditions Forestry and logging jobs are physically demanding. These work­ ers spend all their time outdoors, sometimes in poor weather and often in isolated areas. The increased use of enclosed machines has decreased some of the discomforts caused by inclement weather. A few lumber camps in Alaska house workers in bunkhouses or com­ pany towns. Workers in sparsely populated western States com­ mute long distances between their homes and logging sites. In the more densely populated eastern and southern States, commuting distances are much shorter. Most logging occupations involve lifting, climbing, and other strenuous activities, although machinery has eliminated some of the heavy labor. Loggers work under unusually hazardous condi­ tions. Falling trees and branches are a constant menace, as are the dangers associated with log handling operations and use of sawing equipment, especially delimbing devices. Special care must be taken during strong winds, which can even halt operations. Slippery or muddy ground and hidden roots or vines not only reduce efficiency but also present a constant danger, especially in the presence of moving vehicles and machinery. Poisonous plants, brambles, insects, snakes, and heat and humidity are minor annoyances. If safety pre­ cautions are not taken, the high noise level of sawing and skidding operations over long periods of time may impair hearing. Experi­ ence, exercise of caution, and use of proper safety measures and equipment—such as hardhats, eye and ear protection, and safety clothing and boots—are extremely important to avoid injury. The jobs of forest and conservation workers generally are much less hazardous. It may be necessary for some forestry aides or for­ est workers to walk long distances through densely wooded areas to do their work.  432 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Employment Forest, conservation, and logging workers held about 90,000 jobs in 2000, distributed among the following occupations: Logging equipment operators................................................................. 47,000 Forest and conservation workers........................................................... 21,000 Fallers.......................................................................................................... 13,000 Log graders and scalers........................................................................... 8,000  Additional employment of choke setters, buckers, rigging slingers, and other logging workers is not included in the employ­ ment above. Most wage and salary fallers and logging equipment operators are employed in the logging camps and logging contractors indus­ try, although some work in sawmills and planing mills. Employ­ ment of log graders and scalers is largely concentrated in sawmills and planing mills. Although logging operations are found in most States, the Southeast employs the most, about 37 percent of all logging workers, followed by the Northwest, which employs 30 percent. About 2 in 5 wage and salary forest and conservation workers are employed by companies that operate timber tracts, tree farms, or forest nurseries, or for establishments that supply forestry ser­ vices. Some of those employed in forestry services work on a con­ tract basis for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. Most of the remainder of forest and conservation workers are em­ ployed by State or local governments; about 4,300 work for State governments, and 1,900 work for local governments. A small num­ ber work in sawmills and planing mills. Although forest and con­ servation workers are located in every State, employment is concentrated in the West and Southeast where many national and private forests and parks are located. Self-employed forestry, conservation, and logging workers ac­ count for about 1 of every 5 logging workers—a much higher pro­ portion of self-employment than for most occupations. Seasonal demand for forest, conservation, and logging workers varies by region. For example, in the northern States, winter work is common because the frozen ground facilitates logging. In the Southeast, logging and related activities occur year round. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most forest, conservation, and logging workers develop skills through on-the-job training with instruction coming primarily from experienced workers. Logging workers must familiarize themselves with the character and potential dangers of the forest environment and the operation of logging machinery and equipment. Fiowever, large logging companies and trade associations, such as the North­ eastern Loggers Association and the Forest Resources Association, Inc., offer special programs, particularly for workers training to operate large, expensive machinery and equipment. Often, a repre­ sentative of the manufacturer or company spends several days in the field explaining and overseeing the operation of newly purchased machinery. Safety training is a vital part of instruction for all log­ ging workers. Many State forestry or logging associations provide training ses­ sions for fallers, whose job duties require more skill and experience than other positions on the logging team. Sessions may take place in the field, where trainees, under the supervision of an experienced logger, have the opportunity to practice various felling techniques. Fallers leam how to manually cut down extremely large or expen­ sive trees safely and with minimal damage to the felled or surround­ ing trees. Training programs for loggers are becoming common in many States, in response to a collaborative effort by the American Forest Digitized FRASER andforPaper Association and others in the forestry industry. Such https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  programs are designed to encourage the health and productivity of the Nation’s forests through the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) program. Logger training programs vary by State, but generally include some type of classroom or field training in a number of areas—best management practices, safety, endangered species, reforestation, and business management. Some programs lead to logger certification. Experience in other occupations can expedite entry into some logging occupations. For example, equipment operators, such as truck drivers and bulldozer and crane operators, can assume skid­ ding and yarding functions. Some loggers have worked in saw­ mills or on family farms with extensive wooded areas. Some logging contractors were formerly crew members of family-owned busi­ nesses operated over several generations. Generally, little formal education is required for most forest, conservation, and logging occupations. Many secondary schools, including vocational and technical schools, and some community colleges offer courses or a 2-year degree in general forestry, wild­ life, conservation, and forest harvesting, which could be helpful in obtaining a job. A curriculum that includes field trips to observe or participate in forestry or logging activities provides a particularly good background. There are no educational requirements for forest worker jobs. Many of these workers are high school or college students who are hired on a part-time or seasonal basis to perform short-term, labor-intensive tasks, such as planting tree seedlings. Forest, conservation, and logging workers must be in good health and able to work outdoors every day. They also must be able to work as part of a team. Many logging occupations require physical strength and stamina. Maturity and good judgment are important in making quick, intelligent decisions in dealing with hazards as they arise. Mechanical aptitude and coordination are necessary quali­ ties for operators of machinery and equipment, who often are re­ sponsible for repair and maintenance as well. Initiative and managerial and business skills are necessary for success as a selfemployed logging contractor. Experience working at a nursery or as a laborer can be useful in obtaining a job as a forest or conservation worker. Logging work­ ers generally advance from occupations involving primarily manual labor to those involving the operation of expensive, sometimes com­ plicated, machinery and other equipment. Inexperienced entrants usually begin as laborers, who carry tools and equipment, clear brush, and load and unload logs and brush. For some, familiarization with logging operations may lead to jobs such as log handling equip­ ment operator. Further experience may lead to jobs involving the operation of more complicated machinery and yarding towers to transport, load, and unload logs. Those who have the motor skills required for the efficient use of power saws and other equipment may become fallers and buckers. Job Outlook Overall employment of forest, conservation, and logging workers is expected to decline slightly through the year 2010. Most job open­ ings will result from replacement needs. Many logging workers are older and will retire, or transfer to other jobs that are less physically demanding and dangerous. In addition, some forestry workers are young workers who are not committed to the occupation on a long­ term basis. Some take jobs to earn money for school; others only work in this occupation until they find a better paying job. Slower-than-average employment growth is expected for forest and conservation workers. Environmental concerns may spur lim­ ited demand for these workers, especially at the State and local gov­ ernment levels. If more land is set aside to protect natural resources or wildlife habitats, more forest and conservation workers will be needed to maintain these lands.  Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations 433  Despite steady demand for lumber and other wood products, employment of timber cutting and logging occupations is expected to decline. Forest conservation efforts may restrict the volume of public timber available for harvesting, particularly in Federal for­ ests in the West and Northwest, dampening demand for timber cut­ ting and logging workers. The best job opportunities will be with privately owned forests and tree farms, which are not subject to the same restrictions in timber harvesting as forests on Federal land. Domestic timber producers also face increasing competition from foreign producers who can harvest the same amount of timber at lower cost. As competition increases, the logging industry is expected to continue to consolidate in order to reduce costs, elimi­ nating some jobs. Increased mechanization of logging operations and improvements in logging equipment will also continue to depress demand for many timber cutting and logging workers. Employment of fallers, buckers, choke setters, and other workers—whose jobs are labor inten­ sive—should decline, as safer, laborsaving machinery and other equipment are increasingly used. Employment of machinery and equipment operators, such as logging tractor and log handling equip­ ment operators, should be less adversely affected. Weather can force curtailment of logging operations during the muddy spring season and cold winter months, depending on the geographic region. Changes in the level of construction, par­ ticularly residential construction, also affect logging activities in the short term. In addition, logging operations must be relocated when timber harvesting in a particular area has been completed. During prolonged periods of inactivity, some workers may stay on the job to maintain or repair logging machinery and equip­ ment; others are forced to find jobs in other occupations or be without work.  Earnings Earnings vary depending on the particular forestry or logging occu­ pation and experience, ranging from the minimum wage in some beginning forestry and conservation positions to about $27.00 an hour for some experienced fallers. Median hourly earnings in 2000 for forest, conservation, and logging occupations were as follows:   https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Log graders and scalers....................................................................... Fallers....................................................................................................... Logging equipment operators............................................................. Forest and conservation workers.......................................................  $13.07 12.33 12.07 8.97  Earnings of logging workers vary by size of establishment and by geographic area. Workers in the largest establishments earn more than those in the smallest establishments. Workers in Alaska and the Northwest earn more than those in the South, where the cost of living is generally lower. Forest and conservation workers who work for State and local governments and large private firms generally enjoy more generous benefits than workers in smaller firms. Small logging contractors generally offer timber cutting and logging workers few benefits. However, some employers offer full-time workers basic benefits, such as medical coverage, and provide safety apparel and equipment. Related Occupations Other occupations concerned with the care of trees and their envi­ ronment include conservation scientists and foresters, forest and conservation technicians, and grounds maintenance workers. Log­ ging equipment operators have skills similar to material moving equipment operators, such as industrial truck and tractor operators and crane and tower operators. Sources of Additional Information For information about timber cutting and logging careers and sec­ ondary and postsecondary programs offering training for logging occupations, contact: >- Northeastern Loggers Association, P.O. Box 69, Old Forge, NY 13420. Internet: http://www.loggertraining.com > Forest Resources Association, Inc., 600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 350, Rockville, MD 20852. Internet: http://www.forestresources.org  For information on the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) train­ ing programs, contact: > American Forest and Paper Association, 1111 19th St. NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036. Internet: http://www.afandpa.org  Schools of forestry at States’ land-grant colleges or universities also should be able to provide useful information. A list of State forestry associations and other forestry-related State associations is available at most public libraries.  Construction Trades and Related Workers Boilermakers (0*NET 47-2011.00) Significant Points  • •  A formal apprenticeship is the best way to learn this trade. Due to the limited number of apprenticeships available and the relatively good wages, prospective boilermakers are likely to face competition.  Nature of the Work Boilermakers and boilermaker mechanics make, install, and repair boilers, vats, and other large vessels that hold liquids and gases. Boilers supply steam to drive huge turbines in electric power plants and to provide heat and power in buildings, factories, and ships. Tanks and vats are used to process and store chemicals, oil, beer, and hundreds of other products. Boilers and other high-pressure vessels usually are made in sec­ tions, by casting each piece out of molten iron or steel. Manufac­ turers are increasingly automating this process to increase the quality of these vessels. Boiler sections are then welded together, often using automated orbital welding machines, which make more con­ sistent welds than are possible by hand. Small boilers may be as­ sembled in the manufacturing plant; larger boilers usually are assembled on site. Following blueprints, boilermakers locate and mark reference points on the boiler foundation, using straightedges, squares, tran­ sits, and tape measures. Boilermakers attach rigging and signal crane operators to lift heavy frame and plate sections and other parts into place. They align sections, using plumb bobs, levels, wedges, and tumbuckles. Boilermakers use hammers, files, grinders, and cutting torches to remove irregular edges, so that edges fit properly. They then bolt or weld edges together. Boilermakers align and at­ tach water tubes, stacks, valves, gauges, and other parts and test complete vessels for leaks or other defects. They also install re­ fractory brick and other heat-resistant materials in fireboxes or pres­ sure vessels. Usually, they assemble large vessels temporarily in a  Boilermakers maintain and repair boilers and similar vessels.  434 https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  fabrication shop to ensure a proper fit before final assembly on the permanent site. Because boilers last a long time—35 years or more—boilermak­ ers regularly maintain them and update components, such as burn­ ers and boiler tubes, to increase efficiency. Boilermaker mechanics maintain and repair boilers and similar vessels. They inspect tubes, fittings, valves, controls, and auxiliary machinery and clean or su­ pervise the cleaning of boilers using scrapers, wire brushes, and cleaning solvents. They repair or replace defective parts, using hand and power tools, gas torches, and welding equipment, and may op­ erate metalworking machinery to repair or make parts. They also dismantle leaky boilers, patch weak spots with metal stock, replace defective sections, and strengthen joints. Working Conditions Boilermakers often use potentially dangerous equipment, such as acetylene torches and power grinders, handle heavy parts, and work on ladders or on top of large vessels. Work may be done in cramped quarters inside boilers, vats, or tanks that are often damp and poorly ventilated. To reduce the chance of injuries, boilermakers may wear hardhats, harnesses, protective clothing, safety glasses and shoes, and respirators. Boilermakers usually work a 40-hour week, but may experience extended periods of overtime when equipment is shut down for maintenance. Overtime work also may be necessary to meet construction or production deadlines. Employment Boilermakers held about 27,000 jobs in 2000. Nearly 6 out of 10 worked in the construction industry, assembling and erecting boil­ ers and other vessels. About one-fifth worked in manufacturing, primarily in boiler manufacturing shops, iron and steel plants, pe­ troleum refineries, chemical plants, and shipyards. Some also worked for boiler repair firms, railroads, or in Navy shipyards and Federal power facilities. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Many boilermakers leam this trade through a formal apprentice­ ship. Others become boilermakers through a combination of trade or technical school training and employer-provided training. Ap­ prenticeship programs usually consist of 4 years of on-the-job train­ ing, supplemented by 144 hours of classroom instruction each year in subjects such as set-up and assembly rigging, welding of all types, blueprint reading, and layout. Experienced boilermakers often at­ tend apprenticeship classes to keep their knowledge current. Also, the American Boiler Manufacturers Association, in conjunction with the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Operators, offers seminars on boiler equipment, operation, maintenance, and safety. When an apprenticeship becomes available, the local union publi­ cizes the opportunity by notifying local vocational schools and high school vocational programs. When hiring helpers, employers prefer high school or vocational school graduates. Courses in shop, mathematics, drafting, blue­ print reading, welding, and machine metalworking are useful. Me­ chanical aptitude and the manual dexterity needed to handle tools also are important. Some boilermakers advance to supervisory positions. Because of their broader training, apprentices usually have an advantage in promotion.  Construction Trades and Related Workers 435  Job Outlook Employment of boilermakers is expected to show little or no change through the year 2010. Most job openings will result from the need to replace experienced workers who leave this small occupation. Growth should be limited by the trend toward repairing and retro­ fitting, rather than replacing, existing boilers; the use of small boil­ ers, which require less on-site assembly; and automation of production technologies. Most industries that purchase boilers are sensitive to economic conditions. Therefore, during economic downturns, construction boilermakers may be laid off. However, because maintenance and repairs of boilers must continue even during economic downturns, boilermaker mechanics generally have stable employment. Earnings In 2000, the median hourly earnings of boilermakers were about $17.80. The middle 50 percent earned between $14.06 and $23.19. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.60 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.81. Apprentices generally start at about 60 percent of journey wages, with wages gradually increas­ ing to the journey wage as progress is made in the apprenticeship. Almost one-half of all boilermakers belong to labor unions. The principal union is the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. Other boilermakers are members of the International Association of Machinists, the United Automobile Workers, or the United Steel­ workers of America. Related Occupations Workers in a number of other occupations assemble, install, or repair metal equipment or machines. These occupations include assem­ blers and fabricators; machinists; industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers; pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; sheet metal workers; tool and die makers; and welding, soldering, and brazing workers. Sources of Additional Information For further information regarding boilermaking apprenticeships or other training opportunities, contact local offices of the unions pre­ viously mentioned, local construction companies and boiler manu­ facturers, or the local office of your State Employment Service. For information on apprenticeships and the boilermaking occu­ pation, contact: >- International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Black­ smiths, Forgers, and Helpers, 753 State Ave., Suite 570, Kansas City, KS 66101. Internet: http://www.boilermakers.org  Brickmasons, Blockmasons, and Stonemasons (0**NET 47-2021.00, 47-2022.00)  Significant Points •  Job prospects are expected to be excellent.  •  Most entrants learn informally on the job, but apprenticeship programs provide the most thorough training.  •  Work is usually outdoors and involves lifting heavy bricks and blocks and working on scaffolds.  Digitized for • FRASER Nearly 3 out of 10 https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  are self-employed.  Nature of the Work Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons work in closely re­ lated trades creating attractive, durable surfaces and structures. The work varies in complexity, from laying a simple masonry walkway to installing an ornate exterior on a high-rise building. Brickmasons and blockmasons—who often are referred to simply as bricklay­ ers—build and repair walls, floors, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures with brick, precast masonry panels, concrete block, and other masonry materials. Additionally, brickmasons spe­ cialize in installing firebrick linings in industrial furnaces. Stone­ masons build stone walls, as well as set stone exteriors and floors. They work with two types of stone—natural cut, such as marble, granite, and limestone; and artificial stone made from concrete, marble chips, or other masonry materials. Stonemasons usually work on nonresidential structures, such as houses of worship, hotels, and office buildings. When building a structure, brickmasons use one of two meth­ ods, the comer lead or the comer pole. Using the comer lead method, they begin by constructing a pyramid of bricks at each comer— called a lead. After the comer leads are complete, less experienced brickmasons fill in the wall between the comers, using a line from comer to comer to guide each course, or layer, of brick. Due to the precision needed, comer leads are time-consuming to erect and re­ quire the skills of experienced bricklayers. Because of the expense associated with building comer leads, most brickmasons use comer poles, also called masonry guides, that enable them to build an entire wall at the same time. They fasten the comer poles (posts) in a plumb position to define the wall line and stretch a line between them. This line serves as a guide for each course of brick. Brickmasons then spread a bed of mortar (a cement, sand, and water mixture) with a trowel (a flat, bladed metal tool with a handle), place the brick on the mortar bed, and press and tap the brick into place. Depending on blueprint specifications, brickmasons either cut bricks with a hammer and chisel or saw them to fit around windows, doors, and other open­ ings. Mortar joints are then finished with jointing tools for a sealed, neat, uniform appearance. Although brickmasons usually use steel supports, or lintels, at window and door openings, they sometimes build brick arches instead, which support and enhance the beauty of the brickwork. Stonemasons often work from a set of drawings, in which each stone has been numbered for identification. Helpers may locate and carry these prenumbered stones to the masons. A derrick opera­ tor using a hoist may be needed to lift large stone pieces into place. When building a stone wall, masons set the first course of stones into a shallow bed of mortar. They then align the stones with wedges, plumblines, and levels, and adjust them into position with a hard rubber mallet. Masons continue to build the wall by alternating layers of mortar and courses of stone. As the work progresses, masons remove the wedges, fill the joints between stones, and use a pointed metal tool, called a tuck pointer, to smooth the mortar to an attractive finish. To hold large stones in place, stonemasons attach brackets to the stone and weld or bolt these brackets to anchors in the wall. Finally, masons wash the stone with a cleansing solution to remove stains and dry mortar. When setting stone floors, which often consist of large and heavy pieces of stone, masons first use a trowel to spread a layer of damp mortar over the surface to be covered. Using crowbars and hard rubber mallets for aligning and leveling, they then set the stone in the mortar bed. To finish, workers fill the joints and wash the stone slabs. Masons use a special hammer and chisel to cut stone. They cut stone along the grain to make various shapes and sizes, and valuable pieces often are cut with a saw that has a diamond blade. Some  436 Occupational Outlook Handbook  ■  Job opportunities for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are expected to be excellent.  masons specialize in setting marble which, in many respects, is simi­ lar to setting large pieces of stone. Brickmasons and stonemasons also repair imperfections and cracks, and replace broken or missing masonry units in walls and floors. Most nonresidential buildings now are built with walls made of concrete block, brick veneer, stone, granite, marble, tile, or glass. In the past, brickmasons and blockmasons doing nonresidential in­ terior work mostly built block partition walls and elevator shafts. Now, these workers must be more versatile and work with many materials. For example, some brickmasons and blockmasons now install structural insulated wall panels and masonry accessories used in many high-rise buildings. Refractory masons are brickmasons who specialize in installing firebrick and refractory tile in high-temperature boilers, furnaces, cupolas, ladles, and soaking pits in industrial establishments. Most of these workers work in steel mills, where molten materials flow on refractory beds from furnaces to rolling machines. Working Conditions Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons usually work outdoors and are exposed to the elements. They stand, kneel, and bend for long periods and often have to lift heavy materials. Common haz­ ards include injuries from tools and falls from scaffolds, but these can often be avoided when proper safety practices are followed. Employment Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons held about 158,000 jobs in 2000. The vast majority were brickmasons. Workers in these crafts are employed primarily by building, special trade, or general contractors. Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons work throughout the country but, like the general population, are concentrated in metropolitan areas. Nearly 3 out of 10 brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are self-employed. Many of the self-employed specialize in con­ tracting small jobs, such as patios, walkways, and fireplaces. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons pick up their skills informally, observing and learning from experienced work­ ers. Many others receive training in vocational education schools or from industry-based programs that are common throughout the country. Another way to learn these skills is through an apprentice­  ship program, which generally provides a thorough training. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Individuals who learn the trade on the job usually start as help­ ers, laborers, or mason tenders. These workers carry materials, move scaffolds, and mix mortar. When the opportunity arises, they learn from experienced craftworkers how to spread mortar, lay brick and block, or set stone. As they gain experience, they make the transi­ tion to full-fledged craftworkers. The learning period on the job normally lasts longer than an apprenticeship program. Industrybased programs offered through companies usually last between 2 and 4 years. Apprenticeships for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonema­ sons usually are sponsored by local contractors or by local unionmanagement committees. The apprenticeship program requires 3 years of on-the-job training, in addition to a minimum 144 hours of classroom instruction each year in subjects such as blueprint read­ ing, mathematics, layout work, and sketching. Apprentices often start by working with laborers, carrying mate­ rials, mixing mortar, and building scaffolds. This period generally lasts about a month and familiarizes the apprentice with job rou­ tines and materials. Next, they learn to lay, align, and join brick and block. Apprentices also learn to work with stone and concrete, which enables them to be certified to work with more than one masonry material. Applicants for apprenticeships must be at least 17 years old and in good physical condition. A high school education is preferable; and courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and shop are help­ ful. The International Masonry Institute (IMI), a joint trust of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers and the contractors who employ its members, operates training centers in several large cities that help jobseekers develop the skills needed to successfully complete the formal apprenticeship program. In view of the shortage of entrants, IMI has expanded these centers in recent years to recruit and train workers before they enter appren­ ticeship programs. In addition, the IMI has a national training and education center at Fort Ritchie, MD. The national center’s pro­ grams teach basic job skills for brick, stone, tile, terrazzo, refrac­ tory, and restoration work, as well as safety and scaffolding training. Bricklayers who work in nonresidential construction usually work for large contractors and receive well-rounded training—normally through apprenticeship in all phases of brick or stone work. Those who work in residential construction usually work primarily for small contractors and specialize in only one or two aspects of the job. Often, experienced workers can advance to supervisory posi­ tions or become estimators. They also can open contracting busi­ nesses of their own. Job Outlook Job opportunities for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are expected to be excellent through 2010—largely due to the nu­ merous openings arising each year as experienced workers leave the occupation. In addition, many potential workers prefer to work under less strenuous, more comfortable conditions. Well trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. Employment of brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupa­ tions over the 2000-10 period as population and business growth create a need for new houses, industrial facilities, schools, hospi­ tals, offices, and other structures. Also stimulating demand will be the need to restore a growing stock of old masonry buildings, as well as the increasing use of brick and stone for decorative work on building fronts and in lobbies and foyers. Brick exteriors should continue to be very popular, as the trend continues toward durable exterior materials requiring little maintenance. However, employ­ ment of bricklayers who specialize in refractory repair will decline, along with employment in other occupations in the primary metal  Construction Trades and Related Workers 437  industries. In addition, many openings will result from the need to replace brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons who retire, transfer to other occupations, or leave these trades for other reasons. Employment of brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons, like that of many other construction workers, is sensitive to changes in the economy. When the level of construction activity falls, work­ ers in these trades can experience periods of unemployment.  Carpenters (0*NET 47-2031.01, 47-2031.02, 47-2031.03, 47-2031.04, 47-2031.05, 47-2031.06)  Significant Points •  Earnings Median hourly earnings of brickmasons and blockmasons in 2000 were $19.37. The middle 50 percent earned between $15.00 and $24.48. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.20, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $30.02. Median hourly earn­ ings in the industries employing the largest number of brickmasons in 2000 are shown below: Miscellaneous special trade contractors........................................... Masonry, stonework, and plastering.................................................. Nonresidential building construction............................................... Residential building construction......................................................  $22.87 19.55 19.02 18.10  Median hourly earnings of stonemasons in 2000 were $14.98. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.78 and $19.24. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.09, and the highest 10 per­ cent earned more than $23.03. Earnings for workers in these trades can be reduced on occasion because poor weather and downturns in construction activity limit the time they can work. Apprentices or helpers usually start at about 50 percent of the wage rate paid to experienced workers. Pay increases as appren­ tices gain experience and learn new skills. Some brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are mem­ bers of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers. Related Occupations Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons combine a thorough knowledge of brick, concrete block, stone, and marble with manual skill to erect attractive, yet highly durable, structures. Workers in other occupations with similar skills include carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers; cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers; and plasterers and stucco masons. Sources of Additional Information For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities in these trades, contact local bricklaying, stonemasonry, or marble-setting contractors; a local of the union listed above; a local joint unionmanagement apprenticeship committee; or the nearest office of the State employment service or apprenticeship agency. For general information about the work of brickmasons, blockmasons, or stonemasons, contact: >- International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers, 17761 St. NW., Washington, DC. 20006. Internet: http://www.bacweb.org ► International Masonry Institute, Apprenticeship and Training, 837 Buena VistaAve., Cascade, MD 21719. Internet: http://www.imiweb.org  Information about the work of bricklayers also can be obtained from: ► Associated General Contractors ofAmerica, Inc., 1957 E St. NW., Wash­ ington, DC 20006. Internet: http://www.agc.org >• Brick Industry Association, 11490 Commerce Park Dr., Reston, VA 22091-1525. Internet: http://www.brickinfo.org ► National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St, NW., Washing­ ton, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.nahb.com Concrete Masonry Association, 2302 Horse Pen Rd., Herndon, Digitized>-forNational FRASER VA 20171-3499. Internet: http://www.ncma.org https://fraser.stlouisfed.org  Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  •  •  More than one-fourth of all carpenters—the largest construction trade in 2000—were self-employed. Job opportunities should be excellent, in part because of the large number of job openings created by carpenters who leave the occupation each year. Many builders use specialty carpentry subcontractors who do one or two work activities, so versatile carpenters able to switch specialties should have the best opportunities for steady work.  Nature of the Work Carpenters are involved in many different kinds of construction activity. They cut, fit, and assemble wood and other materials for the construction of buildings, highways, bridges, docks, industrial plants, boats, ships, and many other structures. Carpenters also build doors or brattices (ventilation walls or partitions) in under­ ground passageways to control the proper circulation of air through these passageways and to worksites. Carpenters’ duties vary by type of employer. Builders increasingly are using specialty trade contractors who, in turn, hire carpenters who specialize in just one or two activities. Some of these activities are setting forms for concrete construction; erecting scaffolding; or doing finishing work, such as installing interior and exterior trim. However, a carpenter directly employed by a general building contractor often must per­ form a variety of the tasks associated with new construction, such as framing walls and partitions, putting in doors and windows, build­ ing stairs, laying hardwood floors, and hanging kitchen cabinets. Because local building codes often dictate where certain materi­ als can be used, carpenters must know these regulations. Each car­ pentry task is somewhat different, but most involve the same basic steps. Working from blueprints or instructions from supervisors, carpenters first do the layout—measuring, marking, and arranging materials. They cut and shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall, using hand and power tools, such as chisels, planes, saws, drills, and sanders. They then join the materials with nails, screws, staples, or adhesives. In the final step, carpenters check the accuracy of their work with levels, rules, plumb bobs, and framing squares, and make any necessary adjustments. When working with prefabricated components, such as stairs or wall panels, the carpenter’s task is somewhat simpler than above, because it does not require as much layout work or the cutting and assembly of as many pieces. Prefab­ ricated components are designed for easy and fast installation and generally can be installed in a single operation. Carpenters who remodel homes and other structures must be able to do all aspects of a job—not just one task. Thus, individuals with good basic overall training are at a distinct advantage, be­ cause they can switch from residential building to commercial con­ struction or remodeling work, depending on which offers the best work opportunities. Carpenters employed outside the construction industry perform a variety of installation and maintenance work. They may replace panes of glass, ceiling tiles, and doors, as well as repair desks, cabinets, and other furniture. Depending on the employer, carpen­ ters install partitions, doors, and windows; change locks; and repair broken furniture. In manufacturing firms, carpenters may assist in  438 Occupational Outlook Handbook  §fsar li i  ' '  ■ Some carpenters specialize in framing walls and partitions.  moving or installing machinery. (For more information on work­ ers who install machinery, see the section on industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers elsewhere in the Handbook.) Working Conditions As in other building trades, carpentry work is sometimes strenuous. Prolonged standing, climbing, bending, and kneeling often are nec­ essary. Carpenters risk injury working with sharp or rough materi­ als, using sharp tools and power equipment, and working in situations where they might slip or fall. Additionally, many carpenters work outdoors, which can be uncomfortable. Some carpenters change employers each time they finish a con­ struction job. Others alternate between working for a contractor and working as contractors themselves on small jobs. Employment Carpenters, the largest group of building trades workers, held about 1.2 million jobs in 2000. One-third worked for general building contractors, 20 percent worked for special trade contractors, and 12 percent worked in heavy construction. Most of the remainder worked for manufacturing firms, government agencies, wholesale and re­ tail establishments, or schools. More than one-fourth of all carpen­ ters were self-employed. Carpenters are employed throughout the country in almost every  community. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Carpenters learn their trade through on-the-job training, as well as formal training programs. Most pick up skills informally by work­ ing under the supervision of experienced workers. Many acquire skills through vocational education. Others participate in employer training programs or apprenticeships. Most employers recommend an apprenticeship as the best way to learn carpentry. Apprenticeship programs are administered by local joint union-management committees of the United Brother­ hood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the Associated General Contractors, Inc., and the National Association of Home Builders. In addition, training programs are administered by local chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors and by local chapters of the Associated General Contractors, Inc. These programs combine on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. On the job, apprentices learn elementary structural design and become familiar with common carpentry jobs, such as layout, form building, rough framing, and outside and inside finishing. They also learn to use the tools, machines, equipment, and materials of the trade. Apprentices receive classroom instruction in safety, first aid, blueprint reading, freehand sketching, basic mathematics, and different carpentry techniques. Both in the classroom and on the job, they learn the relationship between carpentry and the other building trades. Usually, apprenticeship applicants must be at least 17 years old and meet local requirements. For example, some union locals test an applicant’s aptitude for carpentry. The length of the program, usu­ ally about 3 to 4 years, varies with the apprentice’s skill. Because the number of apprenticeship programs is limited, however, only a small proportion of carpenters learn their trade through these programs. Informal on-the-job training is normally less thorough than an apprenticeship. The degree of training and supervision often de­ pends on the size of the employing firm. A small contractor spe­ cializing in homebuilding may provide training only in rough framing. In contrast, a large general contractor may provide train­ ing in several carpentry skills. Although specialization is becom­ ing increasingly common, it is important to try to acquire skills in all aspects of carpentry and to have the flexibility to perform any kind of work. A high school education is desirable, including courses in car­ pentry, shop, mechanical drawing, and general mathematics. Manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, physical fitness, and a good sense of balance are important. The ability to solve arithmetic problems quickly and accurately also is helpful. Employers and apprentice­ ship committees generally view favorably any training and work experience obtained in the Armed Services or Job Corps. Carpenters may advance to carpentry supervisor or general con­ struction supervisor positions. Carpenters usually have greater op­ portunities than most other construction workers to become general construction supervisors, because carpenters are exposed to the en­ tire construction process. Some carpenters become independent contractors. To advance, these workers should be able to estimate the nature and quantity of materials needed to properly complete a job. In addition, they must be able to accurately estimate how long a job should take to complete and what it will cost. Job Outlook Job opportunities for carpenters are expected to be excellent over the 2000-10 period, largely due to the numerous openings arising each year from experienced carpenters who leave this large occu­ pation each year. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and that has more comfortable working conditions. Because there are no strict training requirements for entry, many people with limited skills take jobs as carpenters but  Construction Trades and Related Workers 439  eventually leave the occupation because they dislike the work or cannot find steady employment. Well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. Employment of carpenters is expected to increase more slowly than the average for all occupations. Construction activity should increase in response to demand for new housing and commercial and industrial plants and the need to renovate and modernize exist­ ing structures. The demand for larger homes with more amenities and for second homes will continue to rise, especially as the baby boomers reach their peak earning years and can afford to spend more on housing. At the same time, as the number of immigrants increase and as the echo boomers (the children of the baby boomers) replace the smaller baby bust generation in the young adult age groups, the demand for manufactured housing, starter homes, and rental apartments also is expected to increase. However, some of the demand for carpenters will be offset by expected productivity gains resulting from the increasing use of pre­ fabricated components, such as pre-hung doors and windows and prefabricated wall panels and stairs, which can be installed very quickly. Prefabricated walls, partitions, and stairs can be lifted into place in one operation; beams—and in some cases entire roof assem­ blies—can be lifted into place using a crane. As prefabricated com­ ponents become more standardized, builders will use them more often. In addition, improved adhesives will reduce the time needed to join materials, and lightweight, cordless pneumatic and combustion tools—such as nailers and drills—all make carpenters more efficient. Carpenters can experience periods of unemployment because of the short-term nature of many construction projects and the cyclical nature of the construction industry. Building activity depends on many factors—interest rates, availability of mortgage funds, the season, government spending, and business investment—that vary with the state of the economy. During economic downturns, the number ofjob openings for carpenters declines. New and improved tools, equipment, techniques, and materials have vastly increased carpenter versatility. Therefore, carpenters with all-round skills will have better opportunities than those who can do only a few rela­ tively simple, routine tasks. Job opportunities for carpenters also vary by geographic area. Construction activity parallels the movement of people and busi­ nesses and reflects differences in local economic conditions. There­ fore, the number of job opportunities and apprenticeship opportunities in a given year may vary widely from area to area.  Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of carpenters were $15.69. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.99 and $20.86. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.48, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.73. Median hourly earnings in the industries em­ ploying the largest numbers of carpenters in 2000 are shown below: Masonry, stonework, and plastering.................................................. Nonresidential building construction............................................... Heavy construction, except highway................................................ Carpentry and floor work.................................................................... Residential building construction......................................................  $19.27 17.43 16.74 15.51 15.26  Earnings can be reduced on occasion, because carpenters lose worktime in bad weather and during recessions when jobs are un­ available. Some carpenters are members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.  Related Occupations Carpenters are skilled construction workers. Workers in other skilled  construction occupations include brickmasons, blockmasons, and https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  stonemasons; cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pav­ ers, and terrazzo workers; electricians; pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; and plasterers and stucco masons. Sources of Additional Information For information about carpentry apprenticeships or other work opportunities in this trade, contact local carpentry contractors, locals of the union mentioned above, local joint union-contractor appren­ ticeship committees, or the nearest office of the State employment service or apprenticeship agency. For information on training opportunities and carpentry in gen­ eral, contact: ► Associated Builders and Contractors, 1300 N. 17th St., Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22209. Internet: http://www.abc.org > Associated General Contractors ofAmerica, Inc., 1957 E St. NW., Wash­ ington, DC 20006. Internet: http://www.agc.org >• National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St. NW., Washing­ ton, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.nahb.com >- United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 101 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20001. Internet: http://www.necarpenters.org/ubc.htm  Carpet, Floor, and Tile Installers and Finishers (0**NET 47-2041.00, 47-2042.00, 47-2043.00, 47-2044.00)  Significant Points •  • • •  Almost half of all carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers are self-employed, compared with fewer than 1 in 5 of all construction trades and related workers. Most workers learn on the job. Carpet installers, the largest specialty, should have the best job opportunities. Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers are less sensitive to fluctuations in construction activity than are other construction trades workers.  Nature of the Work Carpet, tile, and other types of floor coverings not only serve an important basic function in buildings, but their decorative qualities also contribute to the appeal of the buildings. Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers lay these floor coverings in homes, offices, hospitals, stores, restaurants, and many other types of buildings. Tile also is installed on walls and ceilings. Before installing carpet, carpet installers first inspect the sur­ face to be covered to determine its condition and, if necessary, cor­ rect any imperfections that could show through the carpet or cause the carpet to wear unevenly. They must measure the area to be car­ peted and plan the layout, keeping in mind expected traffic patterns and placement of seams for best appearance and maximum wear. When installing wall-to-wall carpet without tacks, installers first fasten a tackless strip to the floor, next to the wall. They then install the padded cushion or underlay. Next, they roll out, measure, mark, and cut the carpet, allowing for 2 to 3 inches of extra carpet for the final fitting. Using a device called a “knee kicker,” they position the carpet, stretching it to fit evenly on the floor and snugly against each wall and door threshold. They then rough cut the excess car­ pet. Finally, using a power stretcher, they stretch the carpet, hook­ ing it to the tackless strip to hold it in place. The installer then finishes the edges using a wall trimmer.  440 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Because most carpet comes in 12-foot widths, wall-to-wall in­ stallations require installers to tape or sew sections together for large rooms. They join the seams by sewing them with a large needle and special thread or by using heat-taped seams—a special plastic tape made to join seams when activated by heat. On special upholstery work, such as stairs, carpet may be held in place with staples. Also, in commercial installations, carpet often is glued directly to the floor or to padding that has been glued to the floor. Carpet installers use handtools such as hammers, drills, staple guns, carpet knives, and rubber mallets. They also may use carpet­ laying tools, such as carpet shears, knee kickers, wall trimmers, loop pile cutters, heat irons, and power stretchers. Floor installers, or floor layers, apply blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing, sound-deadening, or decorative coverings to floors and cabinets using rollers, knives, trowels, sanding machines, and other tools. Some floor covering materials are designed to be purely decorative. Others have more-specialized purposes, such as to deaden sound, to absorb shocks, or to create air-tight environments. Before installing the floor, floor layers inspect the surface to be covered and, if necessary, correct any imperfections in order to start with a smooth, clean foundation. They measure and cut floor covering materials, such as mbber, vinyl, linoleum, or cork, and any foundation mate­ rial, such as felt, according to designated blueprints. Next, they may nail or staple a wood underlayment to the surface or may use an adhesive to cement the foundation material to the floor; the founda­ tion helps to deaden sound and prevents the top floor covering from wearing at board joints. Finally, floor layers install the top covering. They join sections of sheet covering by overlapping adjoining edges and cutting through both layers with a knife to form a tight joint. Floor sanders and finishers scrape and sand wooden floors to smooth surfaces using floor-scrapers and floor-sanding machines. They then inspect the floor for smoothness and remove excess glue from joints using knife or scraper or wood chisel and may sand wood surfaces by hand, using sandpaper. Finally, they apply coats of finish. Tile installers, tilesetters, and marble setters apply hard tile and marble to floors, walls, ceilings and roof decks. Tile is durable, impervious to water, and easy to clean, making it a popular build­ ing material in hospitals, tunnels, lobbies of buildings, bathrooms, and kitchens. To set tile, which generally ranges in size from 1 inch to 12 or more inches square, tilesetters use cement or “mastic,” a very sticky paste. When using cement, tilesetters nail a support of metal mesh to the wall or ceiling to be tiled. They use a trowel to apply a cement mortar—called a “scratch coat”—onto the metal screen, and scratch the surface of the soft mortar with a small tool, similar to a rake. After the scratch coat has dried, tilesetters apply another coat of mortar to level the surface, and then apply mortar to the back of the tile and place it onto the surface. To set tile in mastic or a cement adhesive, called “thin set,” tilesetters need a flat, solid surface such as drywall, concrete, plaster, or wood. They use a tooth-edged trowel to spread mastic on the surface or apply cement adhesive, and then properly position the tile. Because tile varies in color, shape, and size, workers sometimes prearrange tiles on a dry floor according to a specified design. This allows workers to examine the pattern and make changes. In order to cover all exposed areas, including comers, and around pipes, tubs, and wash basins, tilesetters cut tiles to fit with a machine saw or a special cutting tool. Once the tile is placed, they gently tap the surface with their trowel handle or a small block of wood to seat the tiles evenly. When the cement or mastic has set, tilesetters fill the joints with “grout,” which is very fine cement. They then scrape the surface Digitized foraFRASER with rubber-edged device called a grout float or a grouting trowel https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  sum*  - mta,. IBB***-: ■ I  - H  ;  " •  ssm  Almost halfof all carpet, floor, and tile installers andfinishers are self-employed. to dress the joints and remove excess grout. Before the grout sets, they finish the joints with a damp sponge for a uniform appearance. Tile finishers help some tilesetters by supplying and mixing con­ struction materials and doing other tasks such as applying grout and cleaning installed tile. Marble setters cut and set marble slabs in floors and walls of buildings. They trim and cut marble to specified size using a power wet saw, other cutting equipment, or handtools. After setting the marble in place, they polish the marble to high luster using power tools or by hand. Working Conditions Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers generally work indoors and have regular daytime hours. However, when floor covering installers work in occupied stores or offices, they may work eve­ nings and weekends to avoid disturbing customers or employees. Installers and finishers usually work under better conditions than most other constmction workers. By the time workers install car­ pets, flooring, or tile in a new structure, most construction has been completed and the work area is relatively clean and uncluttered. Installing these materials is labor intensive; workers spend much of their time bending, kneeling, and reaching—activities that require endurance. Carpet installers frequently lift heavy rolls of carpet and may move heavy furniture. Safety regulations may require that they wear kneepads or safety goggles when using certain tools. Carpet and floor layers may be exposed to fumes from various kinds of glue and to fibers of certain types of carpet.  Construction Trades and Related Workers 441  Although workers are subject to cuts from tools or materials, falls from ladders, and strained muscles, the occupation is not as hazardous as some other construction occupations. Employment Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers held about 167,000 jobs in 2000. Almost half of all carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers were self-employed, compared with fewer than 1 in 5 of all construction trades workers. The following tabulation shows 2000 employment by specialty. Carpet installers..................................................................................... Tile and marble setters.......................................................................... Floor layers, except carpet, wood, and hard tiles........................... Floor sanders and finishers..................................................................  76,000 54,000 23,000 14,000  Many carpet installers worked for flooring contractors or floor covering retailers. Most salaried tilesetters were employed by tilesetting contractors who work mainly on nonresidential construc­ tion projects, such as schools, hospitals, and office buildings. Most self-employed tilesetters work on residential projects. Although carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers are em­ ployed throughout the Nation, they tend to be concentrated in popu­ lated areas where there are high levels of construction activity. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement The vast majority of carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers learn their trade informally, on the job, as helpers to experienced workers. Others learn through formal apprenticeship programs, which include on-the-job training as well as related classroom instruction. Informal training for carpet installers often is sponsored by indi­ vidual contractors, and generally lasts from about 1-1/2 to 2 years. Workers start as helpers, and begin with simple assignments, such as installing stripping and padding, or helping to stretch newly in­ stalled carpet. With experience, helpers take on more difficult as­ signments, such as measuring, cutting, and fitting. Persons who wish to begin a career in carpet installation as a helper or apprentice should be at least 18 years old and have good manual dexterity. Many employers prefer applicants with a high school diploma; courses in general mathematics and shop are help­ ful. Some employers may require a driver’s license and a criminal background check. Because carpet installers frequently deal di­ rectly with customers, they should be courteous and tactful. Many tile and floor layers leam their job through on-the-job train­ ing and begin by learning about the tools of the trade. They next leam to prepare surfaces to receive flooring. As they progress, tilesetters, marble setters, and resilient floor layers leam to cut and install tile, marble, and floor coverings. Tile and marble setters also leam to apply grout and to do finishing work. Apprenticeship programs and some contractor-sponsored pro­ grams provide comprehensive training in all phases of the tilesetting and floor layer trade. Most apprenticeship programs are unionsponsored and consist of weekly classes and on-the-job training usually lasting 3 to 4 years. When hiring apprentices or helpers for floor layer and tilesetter jobs, employers usually prefer high school graduates who have had courses in general mathematics, mechanical drawing, and shop. Good physical condition, manual dexterity, and a good sense of color harmony also are important assets. Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers may advance to positions as supervisors or become salespersons or estimators. Some carpet installers may become managers for large installation  firms. Many carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers who https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  begin working for a large contractor eventually go into business for themselves as independent subcontractors. Job Outlook Employment of carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Employment growth stems primarily from the continued need to renovate and refurbish existing structures. Carpet installers, the largest specialty, should have the best job opportunities. Carpet as a floor covering continues to be popular and its use is expected to grow in structures such as schools, offices, hospitals, and industrial plants. Demand for carpet also will be stimulated by new, more durable fibers that are stain and crush resistant, and come in a wider variety of colors. More resilient carpet needs to be re­ placed less often, but these attractive new products may induce more people to replace their old carpeting, contributing further to the demand for carpet installers. Employment also is expected to grow because wall-to-wall carpeting is a necessity in the many houses built with plywood, rather than hardwood floors. Similarly, offices, hotels, and stores often cover concrete floors with wall-to-wall car­ pet, which must be periodically replaced. Demand for tile and marble setters will stem from population and business growth, which should result in more construction of shopping malls, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other structures in which tile is used extensively. Tile is expected to continue to increase in popularity as a building material and to be used more extensively, particularly in more expensive homes, whose construc­ tion is expected to increase. In more modestly priced homes, how­ ever, the use of tile substitutes, such as plastic or fiberglass tub and shower enclosures, is expected to increase, slowing the growth in demand for tile and marble setters. Demand for floor layers and sanders and finishers will increase as a result of an increase in con­ struction activity, particularly of residential homes and commercial buildings, and as some people decide to replace their plywood floors with hardwood floors. Job opportunities for tile and marble setters and floor layers and sanders, relatively small specialties, will not be as plentiful as those for carpet installers. Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers are less sensitive to changes in construction activity than are most other construction occupations because much of their work involves replacing carpet and other flooring in existing buildings. As a result these workers tend to be sheltered from the business fluctuations that often occur in new construction activity. Earnings In 2000, the median hourly earnings of carpet installers were $ 14.46. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.41 and $20.47. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.97, and the top 10 percent earned more than $26.22. Median hourly earnings of carpet install­ ers in 2000 in carpentry and floor work were $15.25 and in furni­ ture and home furnishings stores, $13.31. Carpet installers are paid either on an hourly basis, or by the number of yards of carpet installed. The rates vary widely depend­ ing on the geographic location and whether the installer is affiliated with a union. Median hourly earnings of floor layers were $14.81 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.53 and $20.21. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.06, and the top 10 percent earned more than $26.01. Median hourly earnings of floor sanders and finishers were $13.17 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.51 and $17.80. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.75, and the top 10 percent earned more than $24.72.  442 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Median hourly earnings of tile- and marble setters were $16.49 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.54 and $21.93. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.58, and the top 10 per­ cent earned more than $26.61. Earnings of tile- and marble setters also vary greatly by geographic location and by union membership. Apprentices and other trainees usually start out earning about half of what an experienced worker earns, although their wage rate increases as they advance through the training program. Some carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers belong to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Some tilesetters also belong to the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen, while some carpet installers belong to the Inter­ national Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. Related Occupations Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers measure, cut, and fit materials to cover a space. Workers in other occupations involving similar skills, but using different materials, include brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons; carpenters; cement masons, con­ crete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers; drywall in­ stallers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers; painters and paperhangers; roofers; and sheet metal workers. Sources of Additional Information For details about apprenticeships or work opportunities, contact local flooring or tilesetting contractors or retailers, locals of the unions previously mentioned, or the nearest office of the State apprentice­ ship agency or employment service. For general information about the work of carpet installers and floor layers, contact:  >- Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association, 7439 Milwood Dr., West Bloomfield, MI 48322.  Additional information on training for carpet installers and floor layers is available from: >- International Union ofPainters and Allied Trades, 1750 New York Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20006. Internet: http://www.iupat.org For general information about the work of tilesetters and finish­ ers, contact:  > International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts Workers, Interna­ tional Masonry Institute, Apprenticeship and Training, 815 15th St. NW., Washington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.bacweb.org >• National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St. NW., Washing­ ton, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.nahb.com  For information concerning training of carpet, floor, and tile in­ stallers and finishers contact: >- United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 101 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20001. Internet: http://necarpenters.org/ubc.htm  Cement Masons, Concrete Finishers, Segmental Pavers, and Terrazzo Workers _____________ (0*NET 47-2051.00, 47-2053.00, 47-4091.00)  Significant Points • Job opportunities are expected to be excellent. • Most learn on the job, either through formal 3-year apprenticeship programs or by working as helpers. • Like many other construction trades workers, layoffs  may occur during downturns in construction activity. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Nature of the Work Cement masons, concrete finishers, and terrazzo workers all work with concrete, one of the most common and durable materials used in construction. Once set, concrete—a mixture of Portland cement, sand, gravel, and water—becomes the foundation for everything from decorative patios and floors to huge dams or miles of road­ ways. Cement masons and concrete finishers place and finish the con­ crete. They also may color concrete surfaces; expose aggregate (small stones) in walls and sidewalks; or fabricate concrete beams, columns, and panels. In preparing a site for placing concrete, ce­ ment masons first set the forms for holding the concrete and prop­ erly align them. They then direct the casting of the concrete and supervise laborers who use shovels or special tools to spread it. Masons then guide a straightedge back and forth across the top of the forms to “screed,” or level, the freshly placed concrete. Imme­ diately after leveling the concrete, masons carefully smooth the concrete surface with a “bull float,” a long-handled tool about 8 by 48 inches that covers the coarser materials in the concrete and brings a rich mixture of fine cement paste to the surface. After the concrete has been leveled and floated, concrete finish­ ers press an edger between the forms and the concrete and guide it along the edge and the surface. This produces slightly rounded edges and helps prevent chipping or cracking. They use a special tool called a “groover” to make joints or grooves at specific inter­ vals that help control cracking. Next, finishers trowel the surface using either a powered or hand trowel, a small, smooth, rectangular metal tool. Sometimes, cement masons perform all the steps of laying con­ crete, including the finishing. As the final step, masons retrowel the concrete surface back and forth with powered and hand trowels to create a smooth finish. For a coarse, nonskid finish, masons brush the surface with a broom or stiff-bristled brush. For a pebble finish, they embed small gravel chips into the surface. They then wash any excess cement from the exposed chips with a mild acid solution. For color, they use colored premixed concrete. On con­ crete surfaces that will remain exposed after the forms are stripped, such as columns, ceilings, and wall panels, cement masons cut away high spots and loose concrete with hammer and chisel, fill any large indentations with a Portland cement paste, and smooth the surface with a carborundum stone. Finally, they coat the exposed area with a rich Portland cement mixture, using either a special tool or a coarse cloth to rub the concrete to a uniform finish. Throughout the entire process, cement masons must monitor how the wind, heat, or cold affects the curing of the concrete. They must have a thorough knowledge of concrete characteristics so that, by using sight and touch, they can determine what is happening to the concrete and take measures to prevent defects. Segmental pavers lay out, cut, and install pavers, which are flat pieces of masonry usually made from compacted concrete or brick. Pavers are used to pave paths, patios, playgrounds, driveways, and steps. They are manufactured in various textures and often inter­ lock together to form an attractive pattern. Segmental pavers first prepare the site by removing the existing pavement or existing soil. They grade the soil to the proper depth and determine the amount of base material that is needed, which depends on the local soil conditions. They then install and compact the base material, a granular material that compacts easily, and lay the pavers from the center out, so that any trimmed pieces will be on the outside rather than in the center. Then they install edging materials to prevent the pavers from shifting and fill the spaces between the pavers with dry sand. Terrazzo workers create attractive walkways, floors, patios, and panels by exposing marble chips and other fine aggregates on the  Construction Trades and Related Workers 443  proportion than in other building trades. Most self-employed masons specialized in small jobs, such as driveways, sidewalks, and patios. If TI'III  ItMM  MM■ I i n ii m. mt f "V'K'-  msm -—"  Concrete finishers use hand trowels to smooth the surface.  surface of finished concrete. Much of the preliminary work of terrazzo workers is similar to that of cement masons. Attractive, marble-chip terrazzo requires three layers of materials. First, ce­ ment masons or terrazzo workers build a solid, level concrete foun­ dation that is 3 to 4 inches deep. After the forms are removed from the foundation, workers add a 1-inch layer of sandy concrete. Be­ fore this layer sets, terrazzo workers partially embed metal divider strips in the concrete wherever there is to be a joint or change of color in the terrazzo. For the final layer, terrazzo workers blend and place into each of the panels a fine marble chip mixture that may be color-pigmented. While the mixture is still wet, workers toss addi­ tional marble chips of various colors into each panel and roll a light­ weight roller over the entire surface. When the terrazzo is thoroughly dry, helpers grind it with a ter­ razzo grinder, which is somewhat like a floor polisher, only much heavier. Slight depressions left by the grinding are filled with a matching grout material and hand-troweled for a smooth, uniform surface. Terrazzo workers then clean, polish, and seal the dry sur­ face for a lustrous finish. Working Conditions Concrete, segmental paving, or terrazzo work is fast-paced and strenuous, and requires continuous physical effort. Because most finishing is done at floor level, workers must bend and kneel often. Many jobs are outdoors, and work is generally halted during in­ clement weather. The work, either indoors or outdoors, may be in areas that are muddy, dusty, and dirty. To avoid chemical bums from uncured concrete and sore knees from frequent kneeling, many workers wear kneepads. Workers also usually wear water-repellent boots while working in wet concrete. Employment Cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers held about 166,000 jobs in 2000; segmental pavers and terrazzo workers accounted for only a small portion of the total. Most cement masons and concrete finishers worked for concrete contractors or for general contractors on projects such as highways; bridges; shopping malls; or large buildings such as factories, schools, and hospitals. A small number were employed by firms that manu­ facture concrete products. Most segmental pavers and terrazzo workers worked for special trade contractors who install decorative floors and wall panels. Only about 1 out of 20 cement masons, concrete finishers, seg­  mental pavers, and terrazzo workers were self-employed, a smaller https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers learn their trades either through on-the-job train­ ing as helpers, or through 3-year apprenticeship programs. Many masons and finishers first gain experience as construction labor­ ers. (See the statement on construction laborers elsewhere in the Handbook.) When hiring helpers and apprentices, employers prefer high school graduates who are at least 18 years old and in good physical condition, and who have a driver’s license. The ability to get along with others also is important because cement masons frequently work in teams. Fligh school courses in general science, shop, math­ ematics, blueprint reading, or mechanical drawing provide a help­ ful background. On-the-job training programs consist of informal instruction, in which experienced workers teach helpers to use the tools, equip­ ment, machines, and materials of the trade. They begin with tasks such as edging, jointing and using a straightedge on freshly placed concrete. As training progresses, assignments become more com­ plex, and trainees can usually do finishing work within a short time. Three-year apprenticeship programs, usually jointly sponsored by local unions and contractors, provide on-the-job training in ad­ dition to a recommended minimum of 144 hours of classroom in­ struction each year. A written test and a physical exam may be required. In the classroom, apprentices learn applied mathematics, blueprint reading, and safety. Apprentices generally receive spe­ cial instruction in layout work and cost estimation. Some workers learn their jobs by attending trade or vocational/technical schools. Cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and ter­ razzo workers should enjoy doing demanding work. They should take pride in craftsmanship and be able to work without close supervision. Experienced cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pav­ ers, or terrazzo workers may advance to become supervisors or con­ tract estimators. Some open their own concrete businesses. Job Outlook Despite expected slow job growth, opportunities for skilled cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers are expected to be excellent as the increase in demand outpaces the supply of workers trained in this craft. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and has more com­ fortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have espe­ cially favorable opportunities. Employment of cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2010. These workers will be needed to build highways, bridges, subways, factories, office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, schools, hospitals, and other structures. In addition, the increasing use of concrete as a building material—particularly in nonresidential construction—will add to the demand. More cement masons also will be needed to repair and renovate existing highways, bridges, and other structures. Employment growth, however, will not keep pace with the growth of these construction projects. Worker productivity will be increased through use of improved concrete pumping systems, continuous concrete mixers, quicker-setting cement, troweling machines, pre­ fabricated masonry systems, and other improved materials, equip­ ment, and tools. In addition to job growth, other openings will  444 Occupational Outlook Handbook  become available as experienced workers transfer to other occupa­ tions or leave the labor force. Employment of cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers, like that of many other workers, is sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy. Workers in these trades may experience periods of unemployment when the level of nonresidential construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of these workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity. Earnings In 2000, the median hourly earnings of cement masons and con­ crete finishers were $13.50. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.55 and $18.41. The top 10 percent earned over $24.22, and the bottom 10 percent earned less than $8.31. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of cement masons and concrete finishers in 2000 are shown below: Masonry, stonework, and plastering.................................................. Highway and street construction........................................................ Concrete work........................................................................................ Nonresidential building construction................................................ Residential building construction......................................................  $ 15.48 14.88 13.90 13.80 11.31  In 2000, the median hourly earnings of terrazzo workers and finishers were $15.06 and median annual earnings of segmental pavers were $12.46. Like those of other construction trades workers, earnings of ce­ ment masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers may be reduced on occasion because poor weather and downturns in construction activity limit the time they can work. Cement masons often work overtime, with premium pay, because once concrete has been placed, the job must be completed. Many cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers belong to the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada, or to the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. Some terrazzo workers belong to the United Brotherhood of Car­ penters and Joiners of the United States. Nonunion workers gener­ ally have lower wage rates than union workers. Apprentices usually start at 50 to 60 percent of the rate paid to experienced workers. Related Occupations Cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers combine skill with knowledge of building materials to con­ struct buildings, highways, and other structures. Other occupations involving similar skills and knowledge include brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons; carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers; drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers; and plasterers and stucco masons. Sources of Additional Information For information about apprenticeships and work opportunities, con­ tact local concrete or terrazzo contractors, locals of unions previ­ ously mentioned, a local joint union-management apprenticeship committee, or the nearest office of the State employment service or apprenticeship agency. For general information about cement masons, concrete finish­ ers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers, contact: >- Associated General Contractors ofAmerica, Inc., 1957 E St. NW., Wash­ ington, DC 20006. Internet: http://www.agc.org >- International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, International Masonry Institute, 815 15th St. NW., Suite 1001, Washington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.bacweb.org >- Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association of theforUnited States and Canada, 14405 Laurel Place, Suite 300, Laurel, MD Digitized FRASER 20707. Internet: http://www.concrete-plaster.com https://fraser.stlouisfed.org  Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  ► National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association, 101 E. Market St., Suite 200 A, Leesburg, VA 20176-3122. Internet: http://www.ntma.com >- Portland Cement Association, 5420 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie, IL 60077. Internet: http ://www.portcement.org/inde.asp >- United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 101 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20001. Internet: http://www.necarpenters.org/UBC.htm  Construction and Building Inspectors (0**NET 47-4011.00)  Significant Points •  •  About half of all inspectors worked for local governments, primarily municipal or county building departments. Opportunities should be best for experienced construction supervisors and craftworkers who have some college education, engineering or architectural training, or certification as construction inspectors or plan examiners.  Nature of the Work Constmction and building inspectors examine the construction, alteration, or repair of buildings, highways and streets, sewer and water systems, dams, bridges, and other structures to ensure com­ pliance with building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications. Building codes and standards are the pri­ mary means by which building constmction is regulated in the United States to assure the health and safety of the general public. Inspec­ tors make an initial inspection during the first phase of constmc­ tion, and follow-up inspections throughout the constmction project to monitor compliance with regulations. However, no inspection is ever exactly the same. In areas where certain types of severe weather or natural disasters are more common, inspectors monitor compli­ ance with additional safety regulations designed to protect struc­ tures and occupants during these events. Building inspectors inspect the structural quality and general safety of buildings. Some specialize in such areas as stmctural steel or reinforced concrete structures. Before constmction begins, plan examiners determine whether the plans for the building or other structure comply with building code regulations and if they are suited to the engineering and environmental demands of the building site. Inspectors visit the worksite before the foundation is poured to in­ spect the soil condition and positioning and depth of the footings. Later, they return to the site to inspect the foundation after it has been completed. The size and type of structure, as well as the rate of completion, determine the number of other site visits they must make. Upon completion of the project, they make a final compre­ hensive inspection. In addition to stmctural characteristics, a primary concern of build­ ing inspectors is fire safety. They inspect structures’ fire sprinklers, alarms, and smoke control systems, as well as fire exits. Inspectors assess the type of constmction, building contents, adequacy of fire protection equipment, and risks posed by adjoining buildings. In the past, most localities based their building codes on regional model codes established by the Building Officials and Code Ad­ ministration (BOCA), the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), or the Southern Building Code Congress Interna­ tional (SBCCI). Therefore, building inspectors in one region who were experts in one code found it difficult to move to an area of the  country using another code. To eliminate differences among the three sets of codes, these organizations jointly created the Interna­ tional Code Council (ICC), which released the Nation’s first set of uniform building code regulations. This makes it much easier for construction and building inspectors to move to different regions within the United States. There are many types of inspectors. Electrical inspectors exam­ ine the installation of electrical systems and equipment to ensure that they function properly and comply with electrical codes and stan­ dards. They visit worksites to inspect new and existing sound and security systems, wiring, lighting, motors, and generating equipment. They also inspect the installation of the electrical wiring for heating and air-conditioning systems, appliances, and other components. Elevator inspectors examine lifting and conveying devices such as elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks, lifts and hoists, inclined railways, ski lifts, and amusement rides. Mechanical inspectors inspect the installation of the mechani­ cal components of commercial kitchen appliances, heating and air­ conditioning equipment, gasoline and butane tanks, gas and oil piping, and gas-fired and oil-fired appliances. Some specialize in boilers or ventilating equipment as well. Plumbing inspectors examine plumbing systems, including pri­ vate disposal systems, water supply and distribution systems, plumb­ ing fixtures and traps, and drain, waste, and vent lines. Public works inspectors ensure that Federal, State, and local government construction of water and sewer systems, highways, streets, bridges, and dams conforms to detailed contract specifica­ tions. They inspect excavation and fill operations, the placement of forms for concrete, concrete mixing and pouring, asphalt paving, and grading operations. They record the work and materials used so that contract payments can be calculated. Public works inspec­ tors may specialize in highways, structural steel, reinforced con­ crete, or ditches. Others specialize in dredging operations required for bridges and dams or for harbors. Home inspectors generally conduct inspections of newly built or previously owned homes. Increasingly, prospective home buyers hire home inspectors to inspect and report the condition of a home’s systems, components, and structure. They typically are hired either immediately prior to a purchase offer on a home, or as a contingency to a sales contract. In addition to structural quality, home inspectors must be able to inspect all home systems and features, from plumb­ ing, electrical, and heating or cooling systems to roofing. The owner of a building or structure under construction employs specification inspectors to ensure that work is done according to design specifications. They represent the owner’s interests, not those of the general public. Insurance companies and financial institu­ tions also may use specification inspectors. Details concerning construction projects, building and occupancy permits, and other documentation generally are stored on comput­ ers so that they can easily be retrieved, kept accurate, and updated. For example, inspectors may use laptop computers to record their findings while inspecting a site. Most inspectors use computers to help them monitor the status of construction inspection activities and keep track of issued permits. Although inspections are primarily visual, inspectors may use tape measures, survey instruments, metering devices, and test equip­ ment such as concrete strength measurers. They keep a log of their work, take photographs, file reports, and, if necessary, act on their findings. For example, construction inspectors notify the construc­ tion contractor, superintendent, or supervisor when they discover a code or ordinance violation or something that does not comply with the contract specifications or approved plans. If the problem is not within a reasonable or specified period, government Digitized corrected for FRASER inspectors have authority to issue a “stop-work” order. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Construction Trades and Related Workers 445  Some construction and building inspectors check for compliance with electrical codes.  Many inspectors also investigate construction or alterations be­ ing done without proper permits. Inspectors who are employees of municipalities enforce laws pertaining to the proper design, con­ struction, and use of buildings. They direct violators of permit laws to obtain permits and submit to inspection. Working Conditions Construction and building inspectors usually work alone. How­ ever, several may be assigned to large, complex projects, particu­ larly because inspectors tend to specialize in different areas of construction. Though they spend considerable time inspecting con­ struction worksites, inspectors also spend time in a field office re­ viewing blueprints, answering letters or telephone calls, writing reports, and scheduling inspections. Inspection sites are dirty and may be cluttered with tools, mate­ rials, or debris. Inspectors may have to climb ladders or many flights of stairs, or crawl around in tight spaces. Although their work gen­ erally is not considered hazardous, inspectors, like other construc­ tion workers, wear hard hats and adhere to other safety requirements while at a construction site. Inspectors normally work regular hours. However, they may work additional hours during periods when a lot of construction is taking place. Also, if an accident occurs at a construction site, inspectors must respond immediately and may work additional hours to complete their report. Employment Construction and building inspectors held about 75,000 jobs in 2000. Local governments, primarily municipal or county building depart­ ments, employed 49 percent. Employment of local government inspectors is concentrated in cities and in suburban areas under­ going rapid growth. Local governments employ large inspection staffs, including many plan examiners or inspectors who specialize in structural steel, reinforced concrete, boiler, electrical, and eleva­ tor inspection. Another 17 percent of construction and building inspectors worked for engineering and architectural services firms, conduct­ ing inspections for a fee or on a contract basis. Many of these are home inspectors working on the behalf of potential real estate pur­ chasers. Most of the remaining inspectors were employed in other services industries or by State governments.  446 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Although requirements vary considerably depending upon where one is employed, individuals who want to become construction and building inspectors should have a thorough knowledge of construc­ tion materials and practices in either a general area, such as struc­ tural or heavy construction, or in a specialized area, such as electrical or plumbing systems, reinforced concrete, or structural steel. Appli­ cants for construction or building inspection jobs need several years of experience as a construction manager, supervisor, or craftworker. Many inspectors previously worked as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, or pipefitters. Because inspectors must possess the right mix oftechnical knowl­ edge, experience, and education, employers prefer applicants who have formal training as well as experience. Most employers require at least a high school diploma or equivalent, even for workers with considerable experience. More often, employers look for persons who have studied engineering or architecture, or who have a degree from a community or junior college, with courses in building in­ spection, home inspection, construction technology, drafting, and mathematics. Many community colleges offer certificate or associ­ ate degree programs in building inspection technology. Courses in blueprint reading, algebra, geometry, and English also are useful. Construction and building inspectors must be in good physical condition in order to walk and climb about construction sites. They must also have a driver’s license. In addition, Federal, State, and many local governments may require that inspectors pass a civil service exam. Construction and building inspectors usually receive much of their training on the job, although they must learn building codes and standards on their own. Working with an experienced inspec­ tor, they learn about inspection techniques; codes, ordinances, and regulations; contract specifications; and recordkeeping and report­ ing duties. They may begin by inspecting less complex types of construction, such as residential buildings, and then progress to more difficult assignments. An engineering or architectural degree is often required for advancement to supervisory positions. Because they advise builders and the general public on building codes, construction practices, and technical developments, construc­ tion and building inspectors must keep abreast of changes in these areas. Continuing education is imperative in this field. Many employ­ ers provide formal training programs to broaden inspectors’ knowl­ edge of construction materials, practices, and techniques. Inspectors who work for small agencies or firms that do not conduct training programs can expand their knowledge and upgrade their skills by attending State-sponsored training programs, by taking college or correspondence courses, or by attending seminars sponsored by vari­ ous related organizations, such as model code organizations. Most States and cities require some type of certification for employment; even if not required, certification can enhance an inspector’s opportunities for employment and advancement to more responsible positions. To become certified, inspectors with substan­ tial experience and education must pass stringent examinations on code requirements, construction techniques, and materials. The three major model code organizations offer voluntary certification, as do other professional membership associations. In most cases, there are no education or experience prerequisites, and certification con­ sists of passing an examination in a designated field. Many catego­ ries of certification are awarded for inspectors and plan examiners in a variety of disciplines, including the designation “CBO,” Certi­ fied Building Official, offered by the International Code Council. Job Outlook DigitizedEmployment for FRASER of construction and building inspectors is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Growing concern for public safety and improvements in the qual­ ity of construction should continue to stimulate demand for con­ struction and building inspectors. In addition to the expected employment growth, some job openings will arise from the need to replace inspectors who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Well-trained workers will have especially favor­ able opportunities. Opportunities should be best for highly experienced supervisors and craftworkers who have some college education, engineering or architectural training, or certification as inspectors or plan examin­ ers. Thorough knowledge of construction practices and skills in areas such as reading and evaluating blueprints and plans are essential. Inspectors are involved in all phases of construction, including maintenance and repair work, and are therefore less likely to lose jobs when new construction slows during recessions. As the popu­ lation grows and the volume of real estate transactions increases, greater emphasis on home inspections should result in rapid growth in employment of home inspectors. In addition, there should be good opportunities in engineering, architectural, and management services firms due to the tendency of governments—particularly Federal and State—to contract out inspection work, and due to ex­ pected growth in private inspection services. Earnings Median annual earnings of construction and building inspectors were $38,750 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $30,640 and $47,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $56,570. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of con­ struction and building inspectors in 2000 were: Local government..................................................................................  $39,410  State government................................................................................... Engineering and architectural services.............................................  jo,j/o  IS 370  37,810  Generally, building inspectors, including plan examiners, earn the highest salaries. Salaries in large metropolitan areas are sub­ stantially higher than those in small local jurisdictions. Related Occupations Construction and building inspectors combine knowledge of con­ struction principles and law with an ability to coordinate data, diag­ nose problems, and communicate with people. Workers in other occupations using a similar combination of skills include architects, except landscape and naval; construction managers; civil engineers, cost estimators; drafters; engineering technicians; and surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and surveying technicians. Sources of Additional Information Information about certification and a career as a construction or building inspector is available from the following model code or­ ganizations:  >■ International Conference of Building Officials, 5360 Workman Mill Rd„ Whittier, CA90601-2298. Internet: http://www.icbo.org ► Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., 4051 West Flossmoor Rd., Country Club Hills, IL 60478. Internet: http://www.bocai.org >• Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., 900 Montclair Rd., Birmingham, AL 35213. Internet: http://sbcci.org  Information about training for construction inspectors is avail­ able from:  ► Association of Construction Inspectors, 1224 North Nokomis NE., Al­ exandria, MN 56308. Internet: http://www.iami.org  General information about electrical inspection is available from: ► International Association of Electrical Inspectors, 901 Waterfall Way, Suite 602, Richardson, TX 75080. Internet: http://www.iaei.com  Construction Trades and Related Workers 447  Information about a career as a home inspector is available from: >■ American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc., 932 Lee St., Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Internet: http://www.ashi.com  For information about a career as a State or local government construction or building inspector, contact your State or local employment service.  Construction Equipment Operators (0*NET 47-2071.00, 47-2072.00, 47-2073.01, 47-2073.02)  •  • •  Significant Points Most construction equipment operators acquire their skills on the job, but formal apprenticeship programs provide more comprehensive training. Job opportunities are expected to be good, despite slower-than-average employment growth. Hourly pay is relatively high but, because construction equipment operators cannot work in inclement weather, total earnings may be reduced.  Nature of the Work Constmction equipment operators use machinery to move construc­ tion materials, earth, and other heavy materials and to apply asphalt and concrete to roads and other structures. Operators control equip­ ment by moving levers or foot pedals, operating switches, or turn­ ing dials. The operation of much of this equipment is becoming more complex as a result of computerized controls. Constmction equipment operators may also set up and inspect equipment, make adjustments, and perform minor repairs. Constmction equipment operators include operating engineers and other constmction equipment operators; paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators; and pile driver operators. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators operate one or several types of power constmction equipment. They may oper­ ate excavation and loading machines equipped with scoops, shov­ els, or buckets that dig sand, gravel, earth, or similar materials and load it into tmcks or onto conveyors. In addition to the familiar bulldozers, they operate trench excavators, road graders, and simi­ lar equipment. Sometimes, they may drive and control industrial tmcks or tractors equipped with a forklift or boom for lifting mate­ rials, or hitches for pulling trailers. They also may operate and maintain air compressors, pumps, and other power equipment at constmction sites. Constmction equipment operators who are clas­ sified as operating engineers have the capability of operating sev­ eral different types of constmction equipment. Paving and surfacing equipment operators use levers and other controls to operate machines that spread and level asphalt or spread and smooth concrete for roadways or other structures. Asphalt pav­ ing machine operators turn valves to regulate the temperature and flow of asphalt onto the roadbed. They must take care that the ma­ chine distributes the paving material evenly and without voids, and make sure that there is a constant flow of asphalt going into the hopper. Concrete paving machine operators move levers and turn handwheels to lower an attachment that spreads, vibrates, and lev­ els wet concrete within forms. They must observe the surface of concrete to identify low spots into which workers must add con­ crete. They use other attachments to the machine to smooth the surface of the concrete, spray on a curing compound, and cut expan­ sion joints. Tamping equipment operators operate tamping machines  that compact earth and other fill materials for roadbeds. They also https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Air hammer operators use machines with interchangeable hammers to cut or break up old pavement.  may operate machines with interchangeable hammers to cut or break up old pavement and drive guardrail posts into the earth. Pile driver operators operate pile drivers—large machines mounted on skids, barges, or cranes, which hammer piles into the ground. Piles are long heavy beams of wood or steel that are driven into the ground to support retaining walls, bulkheads, bridges, piers, or building foundations. Some pile driver operators work on off­ shore oil rigs. Pile driver operators move hand and foot levers and turn valves to activate, position, and control the pile-driving equipment. Working Conditions Many construction equipment operators work outdoors, in nearly every type of climate and weather condition. Some machines, in­ cluding bulldozers, scrapers, and especially tampers and pile driv­ ers, are noisy and shake or jolt the operator. Operating heavy construction equipment can be dangerous. As with most machin­ ery, accidents generally can be avoided by observing proper operat­ ing procedures and safety practices. Construction equipment operators can expect to be cold in the winter and hot in the summer, and often get dirty, greasy, muddy, or dusty. Operators may have irregular hours because work on some con­ struction proj ects continues around the clock. Some operators work in remote locations on large construction projects, such as high­ ways and dams, or in factory or mining operations.  448 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Employment Construction equipment operators held about 416,000 jobs in 2000. Jobs were found in every section of the country and were distrib­ uted among various types of operators as follows: Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators............................................................................ Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators .. Pile-driver operators............................................................  357,000 55,000 4,400  About 3 out of every 5 construction equipment operators worked in the construction industry. Many equipment operators worked in heavy construction, building highways, bridges, or railroads. About 81,000 of all construction equipment operators worked in State and local government. Others—mostly grader, bulldozer, and scraper operators—worked in mining. Some also worked in manufactur­ ing and for utility companies. About 1 in 20 construction equip­ ment operators were self-employed. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Construction equipment operators usually learn their skills on the job. However, it is generally accepted that formal training provides more comprehensive skills. Some construction equipment opera­ tors train in formal 3-year operating engineer apprenticeship pro­ grams administered by union-management committees of the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Associated General Contractors of America. Because apprentices learn to oper­ ate a wider variety of machines than do other beginners, they usu­ ally have better job opportunities. Apprenticeship programs consist of at least 3 years, or 6,000 hours, of on-the-job training and 144 hours a year of related classroom instruction. Employers of construction equipment operators generally prefer to hire high school graduates, although some employers may train persons having less education to operate some types of equipment. The more technologically advanced construction equipment has computerized controls and improved hydraulics and electronics, requiring more skill to operate than previously was necessary. Oper­ ators of such equipment may need more training and some under­ standing of electronics. Mechanical aptitude and high school training in automobile mechanics are helpful because workers may perform some maintenance on their machines. Also, high school courses in science and mechanical drawing are useful. Experience operating related mobile equipment, such as farm tractors or heavy equip­ ment, in the Armed Forces or elsewhere is an asset. Private vocational schools offer instruction in the operation of certain types of construction equipment. Completion of such a pro­ gram may help a person get a job as a trainee or apprentice. How­ ever, persons considering such training should check the reputation of the school among employers in the area. Beginning construction equipment operators handle light equip­ ment under the guidance of an experienced operator. Later, they may operate heavier equipment such as bulldozers and cranes. Oper­ ators need to be in good physical condition and have a good sense of balance, the ability to judge distance, and eye-hand-foot coordina­ tion. Some operator positions require the ability to work at heights. Job Outlook Job opportunities for construction equipment operators are expected to be good through 2010—due, in part, to the shortage of adequate training programs. In addition, many potential workers may pre­ fer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. Employment of construction equipment operators is expected to  increase more slowly than the average for all occupations through https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  the year 2010 because equipment improvements are expected to continue to raise worker productivity and to moderate demand for skilled construction equipment operators. Employment is expected to increase as population and business growth create a need for new houses, industrial facilities, schools, hospitals, offices, and other structures. Also stimulating demand is the expected growth in high­ way, bridge, and street construction. Bridge construction is expected to grow the fastest, due to the need to repair or replace structures before they become unsafe. Poor highway conditions also will spur demand for highway maintenance and repair. In the last several years, Congress has passed substantial public works bills designed to provide money for such construction projects, including mass transit systems. In addition to employment growth in this occupa­ tion, many job openings will arise because of the need to replace experienced workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Employment of construction equipment operators is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. Workers may experience periods of unemployment when the level of construction activity falls. Earnings Earnings for construction equipment operators vary. In 2000, me­ dian hourly earnings of operating engineers and other construction equipment operators were $15.99. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.21 and $21.68. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.00, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.29. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest num­ bers of operating engineers in 2000 were: Highway and street construction............ Miscellaneous special trade contractors Heavy construction, except highway.... Local government...................................... State government.......................................  $18.68 16.68 16.63 13.95 12.83  Median hourly earnings of paving, surfacing, and tamping equip­ ment operators were $ 12.88 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $ 10.04 and $ 17.57. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.51, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $23.57. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators in 2000 were: Highway and street construction........................................................ Concrete work........................................................................................ Local government..................................................................................  $13.45 12.91 12.57  In 2000, median hourly earnings of pile driver operators were $19.85. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.36 and $26.03. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.99, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $31.04. Pay scales generally are higher in metropolitan areas. Annual earnings of some workers may be lower than hourly rates would indicate because worktime may be limited by bad weather. Related Occupations Other workers who operate heavy mechanical equipment include bus drivers; truck drivers and driver/sales workers; farmers, ranch­ ers, and agricultural managers; agricultural workers; and forest, conservation, and logging workers. Sources of Additional Information For further information about apprenticeships or work opportuni­ ties for construction equipment operators, contact a local of the In­ ternational Union of Operating Engineers, a local apprenticeship committee, or the nearest office of the State apprenticeship agency  Construction Trades and Related Workers 449  or employment service. For general information about the work of construction equipment operators, contact: ► National Center for Construction Education and Research, University of Florida, P.O. Box 141104, Gainesville, FL 32614-1104. Internet: http://www.nccer.org >• Associated General Contractors of America, 333 John Carlyle St., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.agc.org ► International Union of Operating Engineers, 1125 17th St. NW., Wash­ ington, DC 20036. Internet: http://www.iuoe.org  tin* Mm  HaSI Construction Laborers (0*NET 47-2061.00)  • • •  Significant Points Job opportunities should be good. The work can be physically demanding and sometimes dangerous. Most construction laborers learn through informal onthe-job training; some complete formal apprenticeship programs.  Nature of the Work Construction laborers perform a wide range of physically demand­ ing tasks involving building and highway construction, tunnel and shaft excavation, hazardous waste removal, and demolition. Although the term “laborer” implies work that requires relatively low skill or training, many tasks that these workers perform require a fairly high level of training and experience. Construction labor­ ers clean and prepare construction sites to eliminate possible haz­ ards, dig trenches, mix and place concrete, and set braces to support the sides of excavations. They load, unload, identify, and distribute building materials to the appropriate location according to project plans and specifications on building construction projects. They also tend machines; for example, they may mix concrete using a portable mixer or tend a machine that pumps concrete, grout, ce­ ment, sand, plaster, or stucco through a spray gun for application to ceilings and walls. Construction laborers may sometimes help other craft workers including carpenters, plasterers, and masons. At heavy and highway construction sites, construction laborers clear and prepare highway work zones and rights of way; install traffic barricades, cones, and markers; and control traffic passing near, in, and around work zones. They also install sewer, water, and storm drain pipes, build manholes, and lay cement and asphalt on roads. At hazardous waste removal sites, construction laborers prepare the site and safely remove asbestos, lead, radioactive waste, and other hazardous materials. They operate, read, and maintain air monitoring and other sampling devices in confined and/or hazard­ ous environments. They also safely sample, identify, handle, pack, and transport hazardous and/or radioactive materials and clean and decontaminate equipment, buildings, and enclosed structures. Other highly specialized tasks include operating laser guidance equipment to place pipes, operating air and pneumatic drills, and transporting and setting explosives for tunnel, shaft, and road construction. Construction laborers operate a variety of equipment including pavement breakers; jackhammers; earth tampers; concrete, mortar, and plaster mixers; electric and hydraulic boring machines; torches; small mechanical hoists; laser beam equipment; and surveying and  measuring equipment. They operate pipe-laying machinery and use https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Construction laborers do much of the physically demanding labor at construction sites. computers and other high-tech input devices to control robotic pipe cutters and cleaners. To perform their jobs effectively, construction laborers must be familiar with the duties of other craft workers and with the materials, tools, and machinery they use. Construction laborers often work as part of a team with other skilled craft workers, jointly carrying out assigned construction tasks. At other times, construction laborers may work alone, reading and interpreting instructions, plans, and specifications with little or no supervision. While most construction laborers tend to specialize in a type of construction such as highway or tunnel construction, they are skilled generalists who perform many different tasks during all stages of construction. However, construction laborers who work in under­ ground construction (such as in tunnels) or in demolition are more likely to specialize in only those areas. Working Conditions Most laborers do physically demanding work. They may lift and carry heavy objects, and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl in awkward positions. Some work at great heights, or outdoors in all weather conditions. Some jobs expose workers to harmful materials or chemicals, fumes, odors, loud noise, or dangerous machinery. To avoid injury, workers in these jobs wear safety clothing, such as gloves, hard hats, protective chemical suits, and devices to protect their eyes, respiratory system, or hearing. While working in under­ ground construction, construction laborers must be especially alert to safely follow procedures and must deal with a variety of hazards. Construction laborers generally work 8-hour shifts, although longer shifts also are common. They may work only during certain seasons, when the weather permits construction activity. Employment Construction laborers held about 791,000jobs in 2000. They worked throughout the country but, like the general population, are concen­ trated in metropolitan areas. Almost all construction laborers work in the construction industry and almost 38 percent work for special trade contractors. Only about 8 percent worked part time in 2000. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement For some construction laborer jobs, employers hire people without experience or specific training in the occupation. However, the work requires more strength and stamina than most occupations, as  450 Occupational Outlook Handbook  well as a basic education. Basic literacy is a must if a worker is to read and comprehend warning signs and labels and understand in­ structions and specifications. Most construction laborers learn their skills informally, observ­ ing and learning from experienced workers. Individuals who leam the trade on the job usually start as helpers. These workers perform routine tasks, such as cleaning and preparing the worksite and un­ loading materials. When the opportunity arises, they leam how to do more difficult tasks, such as operating tools and equipment, from experienced craft workers. Becoming a fully skilled construction laborer by training on the job normally takes longer than the 2 to 4 years required to complete an apprenticeship program. Formal apprenticeship programs provide more thorough prepa­ ration for jobs as construction laborers than does on-the-job train­ ing. Local apprenticeship programs are operated under guidelines established by the Laborers-Associated General Contractors of America Education and Training Fund. These programs typically require at least 4,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training and approximately 400 hours of classroom training. Depending on the availability of work and on local training schedules, it can take an individual from 2 to 4 years to complete the apprenticeship. A core curriculum consisting of basic construction skills such as blueprint reading, the correct use of tools and equipment, and knowledge of safety procedures comprises the first 200 hours. The remainder of the curriculum consists of specialized skills training in three of the largest segments of the construction industry: building construc­ tion, heavy/highway constmction, and environmental remediation (cleaning up debris, landscaping, and restoring the environment to its original state). Workers who use dangerous equipment or handle toxic chemicals usually receive specialized training in safety aware­ ness and procedures. Apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of classroom work each year. Most apprenticeship programs require workers to be at least 18 years old (17 years of age or older in the case of some school-towork and career preparation programs) and physically able to per­ form the work. Many apprenticeship programs require a high school diploma or equivalent. High school and junior college courses in science, physics, chemistry, and mathematics are helpful. Voca­ tional classes in welding, construction, and other general building skills can give anyone wishing to become a construction laborer a significant head start. Experience is helpiul but usually is not necessary to obtain a job. Relevant work experience that provides construction-related job skills can often reduce or eliminate a wide range of training and apprenticeship requirements. Finally, most apprenticeship programs, local unions, and employers look very favorably on military service and/or service in the Job Corps, as veterans and Job Corps gradu­ ates have already demonstrated a high level of responsibility and reliability and may have gained many valuable job skills. Construction laborers need good manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and balance. They also need the ability to read and comprehend all warning signs and labels on a construction site and the reading skills sufficient to understand and interpret plans, draw­ ings, and written instructions and specifications. They should be capable of working as a member of a team and have basic problem­ solving and math skills. Employers want workers who are hard­ working, reliable, and diligent about being on time. Additionally, construction laborers who wish to work in environmental remediation must pass a physical test that measures the ability to wear a respirator. Computer skills also are important as construc­ tion becomes increasingly mechanized and computerized. Experience in many construction laborer jobs may allow some workers to advance to positions such as supervisor or construction  superintendent. A few become independent contractors. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Job Outlook Job opportunities for construction laborers are expected to be good due to the numerous openings arising each year from laborers who leave the occupation. In addition, many potential workers may pre­ fer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions. Employment of construction laborers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Opportunities will be best for well-trained workers who are willing to relocate to different worksites. Growth of construction laborer employment will be spurred by continuing emphasis on environmental remediation and on rebuild­ ing infrastructure—roads, airports, bridges, tunnels, and commu­ nications facilities, for example. However, employment growth will be adversely affected by automation as some jobs are replaced by new machines and equipment that improve productivity and quality. Employment of construction laborers, like that of many other construction workers, can be variable or intermittent due to the lim­ ited duration of construction projects and the cyclical nature of the construction industry. During economic downturns, job openings for construction laborers decrease as the level of construction ac­ tivity declines.  Earnings Median hourly earnings of construction laborers in 2000 were $11.15. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.79 and $16.23. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.22 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $21.88. Median hourly earnings in the largest industries employing construction laborers in 2000 were as follows: Nonresidential building construction................................................ Miscellaneous special trade contractors...........................................  $11.85 11.71  Concrete work........................................................................................ Heavy construction, except highway................................................. Residential building construction......................................................  11 77' 11 10.90 10 62  Earnings for construction laborers can be reduced by poor weather or by downturns in construction activity, which sometimes result in layoffs. Apprentices or helpers usually start at about 50 percent of the wage rate paid to experienced workers. Pay increases as appren­ tices gain experience and leam new skills. Almost 1 in 5 construction laborers are members of a union. Many belong to the Laborers’ International Union of North America.  Related Occupations The work of constmction laborers is closely related to other con­ stmction occupations. Other workers who perform similar physi­ cal work include persons in material moving occupations; forest, conservation, and logging workers; and grounds maintenance workers.  Sources of Additional Information For information about jobs as constmction laborers, contact local building or constmction contractors, local joint labor-management apprenticeship committees, apprenticeship agencies, or the local office of your State Employment Service. For general information about the work of constmction labor­ ers, contact:  ► Laborers’ International Union of North America, 905 16th St. NW., Washington, DC 20006. Internet: http://www.liuna.org  Construction Trades and Related Workers 451  Drywall Installers, Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers (0*NET 47-2081.01, 47-2081.02, 47-2082.00)  • • •  Significant Points Most workers learn the trade on the job, either by working as helpers or through a formal apprenticeship. Job prospects are expected to be excellent. Inclement weather seldom interrupts work, but workers may be idled when downturns in the economy slow new construction activity.  Nature of the Work Drywall consists of a thin layer of gypsum between two layers of heavy paper. It is used for walls and ceilings in most buildings today because it is both faster and cheaper to install than plaster. There are two kinds of drywall workers—installers and tapers— although many workers do both types of work. Installers, also called applicators, fasten drywall panels to the inside framework of residential houses and other buildings. Tapers, orfinishers, pre­ pare these panels for painting by taping and finishing joints and imperfections. Because drywall panels are manufactured in standard sizes— usually 4 feet by 8 or 12 feet—drywall installers must measure, cut, and fit some pieces around doors and windows. They also saw or cut holes in panels for electrical outlets, air-conditioning units, and plumbing. After making these alterations, installers may glue, nail, or screw the wallboard panels to the wood or metal framework. Because drywall is heavy and cumbersome, a helper generally as­ sists the installer in positioning and securing the panel. A lift often is used when placing ceiling panels. After the drywall is installed, tapers fill joints between panels with a joint compound. Using the wide, flat tip of a special trowel, they spread the compound into and along each side of the joint with brush-like strokes. They immediately use the trowel to press a pa­ per tape—used to reinforce the drywall and to hide imperfections— into the wet compound and to smooth away excess material. Nail and screw depressions also are covered with this compound, as are imperfections caused by the installation of air-conditioning vents and other fixtures. On large commercial projects, finishers may use automatic taping tools that apply the joint compound and tape in one step. Tapers apply second and third coats of the compound, sanding the treated areas after each coat to make them as smooth as the rest of the wall surface. This results in a very smooth and al­ most perfect surface. Some tapers apply textured surfaces to walls and ceilings with trowels, brushes, or spray guns. Ceiling tile installers, or acoustical carpenters, apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing mate­ rials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce reflection of sound or to decorate rooms. First, they measure and mark the surface according to blueprints and drawings. Then, they nail or screw moldings to the wall to support and seal the joint between the ceil­ ing tile and the wall. Finally, they mount the tile, either by applying a cement adhesive to the back of the tile and then pressing the tile into place or by nailing, screwing, stapling, or wire-tying the lath directly to the structural framework. Also included in this occupation are lathers. Lathers fasten metal or rockboard lath to walls, ceilings, and partitions of buildings. Lath forms the support base for plaster, fireproofing, or acoustical mate­ Digitizedrials. for FRASER At one time, lath was made of wooden strips. Now, lathers https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  illiS  WSm ■ I mu 111!  Drywall installers patch drywall prior to sanding and painting. work mostly with wire, metal mesh, or rockboard lath. Metal lath is used where the plaster application will be exposed to weather or water or for curved or irregular surfaces for which drywall is not a practical material. Using hand tools and portable power tools, lath­ ers nail, screw, staple, or wire-tie the lath directly to the structural framework. Working Conditions As in many other construction trades, this work sometimes is strenu­ ous. Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers spend most of the day on their feet, either standing, bending, or kneeling. Some tapers use stilts to tape and finish ceiling and angle joints. Install­ ers have to lift and maneuver heavy panels. Hazards include falls from ladders and scaffolds and injuries from power tools and from working with sharp materials. Because sanding a joint compound to a smooth finish creates a great deal of dust, some finishers wear masks for protection. Employment Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers held about 188,000 jobs in 2000. Most worked for contractors specializing in drywall and ceiling tile installation; others worked for contractors doing many kinds of construction. About 38,000 were self-em­ ployed independent contractors. Most installers and tapers are employed in populous areas. In other areas, where there may not be enough work to keep a drywall  452 Occupational Outlook Handbook  or a ceiling tile installer employed full time, carpenters and painters usually do the work. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers start as helpers and leam their skills on the job. Installer helpers start by carrying materials, lifting and holding panels, and cleaning up debris. Within a few weeks, they leam to measure, cut, and install materi­ als. Eventually, they become fully experienced workers. Taper ap­ prentices begin by taping joints and touching up nail holes, scrapes, and other imperfections. They soon leam to install comer guards and to conceal openings around pipes. At the end of their training, drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers leam to estimate the cost of installing and finishing drywall. Some drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers leam their trade in an apprenticeship program. The United Brother­ hood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, in cooperation with local contractors, administers an apprenticeship program in both drywall installation and finishing and acoustical carpentry. Apprenticeship programs consist of at least 3 years, or 6,000 hours, of on-the-job training and 144 hours a year of related class­ room instmction. In addition, local affiliates of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the National Association of Home Builders conduct training programs for nonunion workers. The International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades conducts an apprenticeship program in drywall finishing that lasts 2 to 3 years. Employers prefer high school graduates who are in good physi­ cal condition, but they frequently hire applicants with less educa­ tion. High school or vocational school courses in carpentry provide a helpful background for drywall work. Regardless of educational background, installers must be good at simple arithmetic. Other useful high school courses include English, wood shop, metal shop, blueprint reading, and mechanical drawing. Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers with a few years’ experience and with leadership ability may become supervi­ sors. Some workers start their own contracting businesses. Job Outlook Job opportunities for drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers are expected to be excellent through 2010, partly due to a shortage of adequate training programs. In addition, many poten­ tial workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. Employment is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations over the 2000-10 period, reflecting increases in new construction and remodeling. In addition to traditional inte­ rior work, the growing acceptance of insulated exterior wall sys­ tems will provide additional jobs for drywall workers. In addition to those resulting from job growth, many jobs will open up each year because of the need to replace workers who trans­ fer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Because of their relatively weak attachment to the occupation, many drywall install­ ers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers with limited skills leave the occupation when they find that they dislike the work or fail to find steady employment. Despite the growing use of exterior panels, most drywall instal­ lation and finishing is done indoors. Therefore, drywall workers lose less worktime because of inclement weather than do some other construction workers. Nevertheless, they may be unemployed be­ tween construction projects and during downturns in construction  activity. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Earnings In 2000, the median hourly earnings of drywall and ceiling tile in­ stallers were $15.80. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.27 and $20.81. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.68, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.86. The median hourly earnings in the largest industries employing drywall and ceiling tile installers in 2000 were: Nonresidential building construction................................................ Residential building construction....................................................... Masonry, stonework, and plastering..................................................  $16.18 15.96 15.93  In 2000, the median hourly earnings of tapers were $17.81. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.99 and $23.34. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $ 11.06, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.62. The median hourly earnings of tapers in 2000 in masonry, stonework, and plastering were $17.67. Trainees usually started at about half the rate paid to experi­ enced workers, and received wage increases as they became more highly skilled. Some contractors pay these workers according to the number of panels they install or finish per day; others pay an hourly rate. A 40-hour week is standard, but the workweek may sometimes be longer. Workers who are paid hourly rates receive premium pay for overtime. Related Occupations Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers combine strength and dexterity with precision and accuracy to make materials fit ac­ cording to a plan. Other occupations that require similar abilities include carpenters; carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers; insulation workers; and plasterers and stucco masons. Sources of Additional Information For information about work opportunities in drywall application and finishing and ceiling tile installation, contact local drywall installation and ceiling tile installation contractors, a local of the unions previously mentioned, a local joint union-management ap­ prenticeship committee, a State or local chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, or the nearest office of the State employ­ ment service or apprenticeship agency. For details about job qualifications and training programs in drywall application and finishing and ceiling tile installation, write to: >- Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., 1300 N. 17th St., Arlington, VA 22209. Internet: http://www.abc.org >- National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St. NW., Washing­ ton, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.nahb.com >- International Brotherhood ofPainters and Allied Trades, 1750NewYork Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20006. Internet: http://www.ibpat.org ► United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 101 Consti­ tution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20001.  Electricians (0*NET 47-2111.00)  Significant Points  • • •  Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for qualified electricians. Most electricians acquire their skills by completing a formal 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program. About one-third of all electricians work in industries other than construction.  Construction Trades and Related Workers 453  Nature of the Work Electricity is essential for light, power, air conditioning, and refrig­ eration. Electricians install, connect, test, and maintain electrical systems for a variety of purposes, including climate control, secu­ rity, and communications. They also may install and maintain the electronic controls for machines in business and industry. Although most electricians specialize in either construction or maintenance, a growing number do both. Electricians work with blueprints when they install electrical systems in factories, office buildings, homes, and other structures. Blueprints indicate the locations of circuits, outlets, load centers, panel boards, and other equipment. Electricians must follow the National Electric Code and comply with State and local building codes when they install these systems. In factories and offices, they first place conduit (pipe or tubing) inside designated partitions, walls, or other concealed areas. They also fasten to the wall small metal or plastic boxes that will house electrical switches and outlets. They then pull insulated wires or cables through the conduit to complete circuits between these boxes. In lighter construction, such as resi­ dential, plastic-covered wire usually is used instead of conduit. Regardless of the type of wire used, electricians connect it to circuit breakers, transformers, or other components. They join the wires in boxes with various specially designed connectors. After they finish the wiring, they use testing equipment, such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes, to check the circuits for proper connections, ensuring electrical compatibility and safety of components. In addition to wiring a building’s electrical system, electricians may install coaxial or fiber optic cable for computers and other tele­ communications equipment. A growing number of electricians in­ stall telephone systems, computer wiring and equipment, street lights, intercom systems, and fire alarm and security systems. They also may connect motors to electrical power and install electronic con­ trols for industrial equipment. Maintenance work varies greatly, depending on where the elec­ trician is employed. Electricians who specialize in residential work may rewire a home and replace an old fuse box with a new circuit breaker to accommodate additional appliances. Those who work in large factories may repair motors, transformers, generators, and elec­ tronic controllers on machine tools and industrial robots. Those in office buildings and small plants may repair all types of electrical equipment. Maintenance electricians spend much of their time in preventive maintenance. They periodically inspect equipment, and locate and correct problems before breakdowns occur. Electricians may also  'HP' St  :.....ra* i-1  dSlilii  % :  ....  :  ' r':~ •  SSw---  wmSfmm  Digitized Electricians for FRASER lay out conduitfor electric wires. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  ...  •;  advise management on whether continued operation of equipment could be hazardous. When needed, they install new electrical equip­ ment. When breakdowns occur, they must make the necessary re­ pairs as quickly as possible in order to minimize inconvenience. Electricians may replace items such as circuit breakers, fuses, switches, electrical and electronic components, or wire. When working with complex electronic devices, they may work with en­ gineers, engineering technicians, or industrial machinery installa­ tion, repair, and maintenance workers. (For information about each of these occupations, see the statements located elsewhere in the Handbook.) Electricians use handtools such as screwdrivers, pliers, knives, and hacksaws. They also use power tools and testing equipment such as oscilloscopes, ammeters, and test lamps. Working Conditions Electricians’ work is sometimes strenuous. They may stand for long periods and frequently work on ladders and scaffolds. Their working environment varies, depending on the type of job. Some may work in dusty, dirty, hot, or wet conditions, or in confined ar­ eas, ditches, or other uncomfortable places. Electricians risk injury from electrical shock, falls, and cuts; to avoid injuries, they must follow strict safety procedures. Some electricians may have to travel to jobsites, which may be up to 100 miles away. Most electricians work a standard 40-hour week, although over­ time may be required. Those in maintenance work may work nights or weekends, and be on call. Companies that operate 24 hours a day may employ three shifts of electricians. Employment Electricians held about 698,000 jobs in 2000. About two-thirds were employed in the construction industry. About one-third worked as maintenance electricians and were employed outside the con­ struction industry. In addition, about 8 percent of electricians were self-employed. Because of the widespread need for electrical services, jobs for electricians are found in all parts of the country. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most people learn the electrical trade by completing a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship gives trainees a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the trade and generally improves their ability to find a job. Although more electricians are trained through apprenticeship than are workers in other construction trades, some still leam their skills informally, on the job. Apprenticeship programs may be sponsored by joint training committees made up of local unions of the International Brother­ hood of Electrical Workers and local chapters of the National Elec­ trical Contractors Association; company management committees of individual electrical contracting companies; or by local chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Independent Electrical Contractors Association. Training also may be provided by company management committees of individual electrical con­ tracting companies and by local chapters of the Associated Build­ ers and Contractors and the Independent Electrical Contractors. Because of the comprehensive training received, those who com­ plete apprenticeship programs qualify to do both maintenance and construction work. The typical large apprenticeship program provides at least 144 hours of classroom instruction each year, and 8,000 hours of onthe-job training over the course of the apprenticeship. In the class­ room, apprentices learn blueprint reading, electrical theory, electronics, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first aid practices. They also may receive specialized training  454 Occupational Outlook Handbook  in welding, communications, fire alarm systems, and cranes and elevators. On the job, under the supervision of experienced electri­ cians, apprentices must demonstrate mastery of the electrician’s work. At first, they drill holes, set anchors, and set up conduit. Later, they measure, fabricate, and install conduit, as well as install, connect, and test wiring, outlets, and switches. They also learn to set up and draw diagrams for entire electrical systems. Those who do not enter a formal apprenticeship program can begin to leam the trade informally by working as helpers for expe­ rienced electricians. While learning to install conduit, connect wires, and test circuits, helpers also leam safety practices. Many helpers supplement this training with trade school or correspondence courses. Regardless of how one learns the trade, previous training is very helpful. High school courses in mathematics, electricity, electron­ ics, mechanical drawing, science, and shop provide a good back­ ground. Special training offered in the Armed Forces and by postsecondary technical schools also is beneficial. All applicants should be in good health and have at least average physical strength. Agility and dexterity also are important. Good color vision is needed because workers must frequently identify electrical wires by color. Most apprenticeship sponsors require applicants for apprentice positions to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or its equivalent. For those interested in becoming maintenance electricians, a background in electronics is increasingly important because of the growing use of complex electronic controls on manu­ facturing equipment. Most localities require electricians to be licensed. Although licen­ sing requirements vary from area to area, electricians usually must pass an examination that tests their knowledge of electrical theory, the National Electrical Code, and local electric and building codes. Electricians periodically take courses offered by their employer or union to keep abreast of changes in the National Electrical Code, materials, or methods of installation. Experienced electricians can become supervisors and then super­ intendents. Those with sufficient capital and management skills may start their own contracting business, although this may require an electrical contractor’s license. Job Outlook Job opportunities for skilled electricians are expected to be excel­ lent, largely due to the numerous openings arising each year from experienced electricians who leave the occupation. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. Employment of electricians is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. As the population and economy grow, more electricians will be needed to install and maintain electrical devices and wiring in homes, facto­ ries, offices, and other structures. New technologies also are expected to continue to stimulate the demand for these workers. Increasingly, buildings will be prewired during construction to ac­ commodate use of computers and telecommunications equipment. More factories will be using robots and automated manufacturing systems. Installation of this equipment, which is expected to increase, should also stimulate demand for electricians. Additional jobs will be created by rehabilitation and retrofitting of existing structures. In addition to jobs created by increased demand for electrical work, many openings will occur each year as electricians transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons. Because of their lengthy training and relatively high earnings, a  smaller proportion of electricians than of other craftworkers leave https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  their occupation each year. The number of retirements is expected to rise, however, as more electricians reach retirement age. Employment of construction electricians, like that of many other construction workers, is sensitive to changes in the economy. This results from the limited duration of construction projects and the cyclical nature of the construction industry. During economic down­ turns, job openings for electricians are reduced as the level of con­ struction activity declines. Apprenticeship opportunities also are less plentiful during these periods. Although employment of maintenance electricians is steadier than that of construction electricians, those working in the automotive and other manufacturing industries that are sensitive to cyclical swings in the economy may be laid off during recessions. Also, efforts to reduce operating costs and increase productivity, through the increased use of contracting out for electrical services, may limit opportunities for maintenance electricians in many industries. How­ ever, this should be partially offset by increased demand by electri­ cal contracting firms. Job opportunities for electricians also vary by area. Employ­ ment opportunities follow the movement of people and businesses among States and local areas, and reflect differences in local eco­ nomic conditions. The number ofjob opportunities in a given year may fluctuate widely from area to area. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of electricians were $19.29. The middle 50 percent earned between $14.49 and $25.41. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $ 11.31, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $31.71. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of electricians in 2000 are shown below: Motor vehicles and equipment................................................. Local government................................................................... Electrical work....................................................................... Heavy construction, except highway........................................ Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning..................................  $26.71 19.88 19.22 17.92 17.26  Depending on experience, apprentices usually start at between 30 and 50 percent of the rate paid to experienced electricians. As they become more skilled, they receive periodic increases through­ out the course of the apprenticeship program. Many employers also provide training opportunities for experienced electricians to im­ prove their skills. Many construction electricians are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Among unions organizing main­ tenance electricians are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine, and Furniture Workers; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America; and the United Steelworkers of America. Related Occupations To install and maintain electrical systems, electricians combine manual skill and knowledge of electrical materials and concepts. Workers in other occupations involving similar skills include heat­ ing, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers; line installers and repairers; electrical and electronics installers and re­ pairers; electronic home entertainment equipment installers and re­ pairers; and elevator installers and repairers.  Sources of Additional Information For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities in this trade, contact the offices of the State employment service, the State  Construction Trades and Related Workers 455  apprenticeship agency, local electrical contractors or firms that employ maintenance electricians, or local union-management elec­ trician apprenticeship committees. This information may also be available from local chapters of the Independent Electrical Con­ tractors, Inc.; the National Electrical Contractors Association; the Home Builders Institute; the Associated Builders and Contractors; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. For general information about the work of electricians, contact: > Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc., 20I0-A Eisenhower Ave., Al­ exandria, VA 22314. Internet: http://www.ieci.org ► National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), 3 Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814. Internet: http://www.necanet.org ► International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), 1125 15th St. NW., Washington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.ibew.org > Associated Builders and Contractors, 1300 N. 17th St., Arlington, VA 22209. Internet: http://www.abc.org >- National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St. NW., Washing­ ton, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.nahb.org  Elevator Installers and Repairers (0**NET 47-4021.00)  • • •  Significant Points Workers learn the trade through 4 to 5 years of on-thejob training and classroom instruction. Elevator installers and repairers have one of the highest rates of union membership. Job opportunities are expected to be limited in this small occupation; prospects should be best for those with postsecondary education in electronics.  Nature of the Work Elevator installers and repairers—also called elevator constructors or elevator mechanics—assemble, install, and replace elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, moving walkways, and similar equipment in new and old buildings. Once the equipment is in service, they maintain and repair it as well. They also are responsible for mod­ ernizing older equipment. To install, repair, and maintain modem elevators, which are al­ most all electronically controlled, elevator installers and repairers must have a thorough knowledge of electronics, electricity, and hydraulics. Many elevators are controlled with microprocessors, which are programmed to analyze traffic conditions in order to dis­ patch elevators in the most efficient manner. With these computer controls, it is possible to get the greatest amount of service with the least number of cars. When installing a new elevator, installers and repairers begin by studying blueprints to determine the equipment needed to install rails, machinery, car enclosures, motors, pumps, cylinders, and plunger foundations. Once this has been done, they begin equip­ ment installation. Working on scaffolding or platforms, installers bolt or weld steel rails to the walls of the shaft to guide the elevator. Elevator installers put in electrical wires and controls by run­ ning tubing, called conduit, along a shaft’s walls from floor to floor. Once it is in place, mechanics pull plastic-covered electrical wires through the conduit. They then install electrical components and related devices required at each floor and at the main control panel in the machine room. Installers bolt or weld together the steel frame of an elevator car Digitized atfor theFRASER bottom of the shaft; install the car’s platform, walls, and doors; https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  and attach guide shoes and rollers to minimize the lateral motion of the car as it travels through the shaft. They also install the outer doors and door frames at the elevator entrances on each floor. For cabled elevators, these workers install geared or gearless machines with a traction drive wheel that guides and moves heavy steel cables connected to the elevator car and counterweight. (The counterweight moves in the opposite direction from the car and balances most of the weight of the car to reduce the weight that the elevator’s motor must lift.) Elevator installers also install elevators in which a car sits on a hydraulic plunger that is driven by a pump. The plunger pushes the elevator car up from underneath, similar to a lift in an auto service station. Installers and repairers also install escalators. They put in place the steel framework, the electrically powered stairs, and the tracks and install associated motors and electrical wiring. In addition to elevators and escalators, they also may install devices such as dumbwaiters and material lifts—which are similar to elevators in design—as well as moving walkways, stair lifts, and wheelchair lifts. The most highly skilled elevator installers and repairers, called “adjusters,” specialize in fine-tuning all the equipment after instal­ lation. Adjusters make sure that an elevator is working according to specifications, such as stopping correctly at each floor within a specified time. Once an elevator is operating properly, it must be maintained and serviced regularly to keep it in safe working condi­ tion. Elevator installers and repairers generally do preventive main­ tenance—such as oiling and greasing moving parts, replacing worn parts, testing equipment with meters and gauges, and adjusting equipment for optimal performance. They also troubleshoot and may be called in to do emergency repairs. A service crew usually handles major repairs—for example, re­ placing cables, elevator doors, or machine bearings. This may re­ quire the use of cutting torches or rigging equipment—tools an elevator repairer normally would not carry. Service crews also do major modernization and alteration work, such as moving and re­ placing electrical motors, hydraulic pumps, and control panels. Elevator installers and repairers usually specialize in installa­ tion, maintenance, or repair work. Maintenance and repair workers generally need more knowledge of electricity and electronics than installers do, because a large part of maintenance and repair work is troubleshooting. Similarly, adjusters need a thorough knowledge of electricity, electronics, and computers to ensure that newly in­ stalled elevators operate properly.  Sum t  Elevator installers need a working knowledge of electricity, electronics, and hydraulics.  456 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Working Conditions Most elevator installers and repairers work a 40-hour week. How­ ever, overtime is required when essential elevator equipment must be repaired, and some workers are on 24-hour call. Unlike most elevator installers, workers who specialize in elevator maintenance are on their own most of the day and typically service the same elevators periodically. Elevator installers lift and carry heavy equipment and parts, and may work in cramped spaces or awkward positions. Potential haz­ ards include falls, electrical shock, muscle strains, and other inju­ ries related to handling heavy equipment. Because most of their work is performed indoors in buildings under construction or in existing buildings, elevator installers and repairers lose less worktime due to inclement weather than do other construction trades workers.  Employment Elevator installers and repairers held about 23,000 jobs in 2000. Most were employed by special trade contractors. Others were employed by field offices of elevator manufacturers, wholesale dis­ tributors, small-elevator maintenance and repair contractors, gov­ ernment agencies, or businesses that do their own elevator maintenance and repair.  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most elevator installers and repairers apply for their jobs through a local of the International Union of Elevator Constructors. Appli­ cants for trainee positions must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass an aptitude test. Good physi­ cal condition and mechanical aptitude also are important. Elevator installers and repairers learn their trade in a program administered by local joint educational committees representing the employers and the union. These programs, through which the trainee leams everything from installation to repair, combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction in blueprint reading, electrical and electronic theory, mathematics, applications of physics, and safety. In nonunion shops, workers may complete training programs sponsored by independent contractors. Generally, trainees or helpers must complete a 6-month proba­ tionary period. After successful completion, they work toward be­ coming fully qualified within 4 to 5 years. To be classified as a fully qualified elevator installer or repairer, union trainees must pass a standard examination administered by the National Elevator In­ dustry Educational Program. Most States and cities also require elevator installers and repairers to pass a licensing examination. Most trainees or helpers assist experienced elevator installers and repairers. Beginners carry materials and tools, bolt rails to walls, and assemble elevator cars. Eventually, trainees learn more diffi­ cult tasks such as wiring, which requires knowledge of local and national electrical codes. High school courses in electricity, mathematics, and physics pro­ vide a useful background. As elevators become increasingly so­ phisticated, workers may find it necessary to acquire more advanced formal education—for example, in postsecondary technical school or junior college—with an emphasis on electronics. Workers with more formal education usually advance more quickly than their counterparts. Many elevator installers and repairers also receive training from their employers or through manufacturers to become familiar with a company’s particular equipment. Retraining is very important to keep abreast of technological developments in elevator repair. In  fact, union elevator installers and repairers typically receive continual https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  training throughout their careers, through either correspondence courses, seminars, or formal classes. Although voluntary, this train­ ing greatly improves one’s chances for promotion. Some installers may receive further training in specialized areas and advance to mechanic-in-charge, adjuster, supervisor, or eleva­ tor inspector. Adjusters, for example, may be picked for their posi­ tion because they possess particular skills or are electronically inclined. Other workers may move into management, sales, or prod­ uct design jobs. Job Outlook Job opportunities are expected to be somewhat limited in this small occupation. A large proportion of elevator installer and repairer jobs are unionized and involve a significant investment in training. As a result, workers tend to stay in this occupation for a long time. This investment in training, as well as good benefits and relatively high wages, results in fewer openings due to turnover, thus reduc­ ing job opportunities. Job prospects should be best for those with postsecondary education in electronics. Employment of elevator installers and repairers is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Job growth is related to the growth of nonresidential construction, such as commercial office buildings and stores that have elevators and escalators, which is expected to increase about as fast as the average over the 2000-10 period. The need to con­ tinually update and modernize old equipment, including improve­ ments in appearance and the installation of increasingly sophisticated equipment and computerized controls, also should add to the de­ mand for elevator installers and repairers. Because it is desirable that equipment always be kept in good working condition, economic downturns will have less of an effect on employment of elevator installers and repairers than on other construction trades. Earnings Median hourly earnings of elevator installers and repairers were $22.78 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $16.38 and $27.38. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.19, and the top 10 percent earned more than $33.23. In 2000, median hourly earn­ ings in the miscellaneous special trade contractors industry were $23.29. In addition to free continuing education, elevator installers and repairers receive basic benefits enjoyed by most other workers. Elevator installers and repairers have one of the highest rates of union membership, about 9 out of 10. Most elevator installers and repairers belong to the International Union of Elevator Constructors. Related Occupations Elevator installers and repairers combine electrical and mechanical skills with construction skills, such as welding, rigging, measuring, and blueprint reading. Other occupations that require many of these skills are boilermakers; electricians; electrical and electronics in­ stallers and repairers; industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers; sheet metal workers; and structural and rein­ forcing iron and metal workers. Sources of Additional Information For further details about opportunities as an elevator installer and repairer, contact elevator manufacturers, elevator repair and main­ tenance contractors, a local of the International Union of Eleva­ tor Constructors, or the nearest local public employment service office.  Construction Trades and Related Workers 457  Glaziers (Q*NET 47-2121.00)  •  Significant Points Glaziers may be injured by broken glass or cutting tools, falls from scaffolds, or from improperly lifting heavy glass panels.  •  Many glaziers learn the trade by working as helpers to experienced glaziers; however, employers recommend a 3- to 4-year apprenticeship program.  •  Job opportunities are expected to be excellent.  Nature of the Work Glass serves many uses in modem buildings. Insulated and spe­ cially treated glass keeps in warmed or cooled air and provides good condensation and sound control qualities; tempered and laminated glass makes doors and windows more secure. In large commercial buildings, glass panels give office buildings a distinctive look while reducing the need for artificial lighting. The creative use of large windows, glass doors, skylights, and sun-room additions makes homes bright, airy, and inviting. Glaziers are responsible for selecting, cutting, installing, replac­ ing, and removing all types of glass. They generally work on one of several types of projects. Residential glazing involves work such as replacing glass in home windows; installing glass mirrors, shower doors, and bathtub enclosures; and fitting glass for table tops and display cases. On commercial interior projects, glaziers install items such as heavy, often etched, decorative room dividers or security windows. Glazing projects also may involve replacement of store­ front windows for establishments such as supermarkets, auto dealerships, or banks. In the construction of large commercial build­ ings, glaziers build metal framework extrusions and install glass panels or curtain walls. Besides working with glass, glaziers also may work with plastics, granite, marble, and similar materials used as glass substitutes. They may mount steel and aluminum sashes or frames and attach locks and hinges to glass doors. For most jobs, the glass is precut and mounted in frames at a factory or a contractor’s shop. It arrives at the jobsite ready for glaziers to position and secure it in place. They may use a crane or hoist with suction cups to lift large, heavy pieces of glass. They then gently guide the glass into position by hand. Once glaziers have the glass in place, they secure it with mastic, putty, or other pastelike cement, or with bolts, rubber gaskets, glaz­ ing compound, metal clips, or metal or wood moldings. When they secure glass using a rubber gasket—a thick, molded rubber half­ tube with a split running its length—they first secure the gasket around the perimeter within the opening, then set the glass into the split side of the gasket, causing it to clamp to the edges and hold the glass firmly in place. When they use metal clips and wood moldings, glaziers first secure the molding to the opening, place the glass in the molding, and then force springlike metal clips between the glass and the molding. The clips exert pressure and keep the glass firmly in place. When a glazing compound is used, glaziers first spread it neatly against and around the edges of the molding on the inside of the opening. Next, they install the glass. Pressing it against the com­ pound on the inside molding, workers screw or nail outside mold­ ing that loosely holds the glass in place. To hold it firmly, they pack the space between the molding and the glass with glazing com­  pound and then trim any excess material with a glazing knife. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  -  ____ ' Many glaziers learn the trade by working as helpers to experienced workers.  For some jobs, the glazier must cut the glass manually at the jobsite. To prepare the glass for cutting, glaziers rest it either on edge on a rack, or “A-frame,” or flat against a cutting table. They then measure and mark the glass for the cut. Glaziers cut glass with a special tool that has a small, very hard metal wheel. Using a straightedge as a guide, the glazier presses the cutter’s wheel firmly on the glass, guiding and rolling it care­ fully to make a score just below the surface. To help the cutting tool move smoothly across the glass, workers brush a thin layer of oil along the line of the intended cut or dip the cutting tool in oil. Immediately after cutting, the glazier presses on the shorter end of the glass to break it cleanly along the cut. Glaziers also replace or repair broken or pitted windshields and window glass on automobiles and other vehicles. They first re­ move the broken glass, which may involve cutting it free from the adhesive holding it down. They then install the glass in the vehicle, often using a special adhesive. They also may weatherproof the window or windshield and prevent it from rattling by installing rub­ ber strips around the sides of the glass. In addition to handtools such as glass cutters, suction cups, and glazing knives, glaziers use power tools such as saws, drills, cut­ ters, and grinders. An increasing number of glaziers use computers in the shop or at the jobsite to improve their layout work and reduce the amount of glass that is wasted. Working Conditions Glaziers often work outdoors, sometimes in inclement weather. At times, they work on scaffolds at great heights. They do a consider­ able amount of bending, kneeling, lifting, and standing. Glaziers may be injured by broken glass or cutting tools, by falls from scaf­ folds, or by improperly lifting heavy glass panels. Employment Glaziers held about 49,000 jobs in 2000. About 3 out of every 5 glaziers worked for glazing contractors engaged in new construc­ tion, alteration, and repair. About 1 out of 5 worked in retail glass shops that install or replace glass and for wholesale distributors of products containing glass. Others worked in automotive repair shops. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Many glaziers leam the trade informally on the job. They usually start as helpers, carrying glass and cleaning up debris in glass shops.  458 Occupational Outlook Handbook  They often practice cutting on discarded glass. After a while, they are given an opportunity to cut glass for a job. Eventually, helpers assist experienced workers on simple installation jobs. By working with experienced glaziers, they eventually acquire the skills of a fully qualified glazier. Employers recommend that glaziers learn the trade through a formal apprenticeship program that lasts 3 to 4 years. Apprentice­ ship programs, which are administered by the National Glass Asso­ ciation and local union-management committees or local contractors’ associations, consist of on-the-job training, as well as 144 hours of classroom instruction or home study each year. On the job, appren­ tices leam to use the tools and equipment of the trade; handle, mea­ sure, cut, and install glass and metal framing; cut and fit moldings; and install and balance glass doors. In the classroom, they are taught basic mathematics, blueprint reading and sketching, general con­ struction techniques, safety practices, and first aid. Learning the trade through an apprenticeship program usually takes less time and provides more complete training than acquiring skills informally on the job, but opportunities for apprenticeships are declining. Local apprenticeship administrators determine the physical, age, and educational requirements needed by applicants for apprentice­ ships and for helper positions. In general, applicants must be in good physical condition and be at least 17 years old. High school or vocational school graduates are preferred. In some areas, appli­ cants must take mechanical-aptitude tests. Courses in general math­ ematics, blueprint reading or mechanical drawing, general construction, and shop provide a good background. Standards for acceptance into apprenticeship programs are ris­ ing to reflect changing requirements associated with new products and equipment. In addition, the growing use of computers in glass layout requires that glaziers be familiar with personal computers. Because many glaziers do not leam the trade through a formal apprenticeship program, the National Glass Association (NGA) offers a series of written examinations that certify an individual’s competency to perform glazier work at three progressively more difficult levels of proficiency. These levels include Level I, Gla­ zier; Level II, Commercial Interior/Residential Glazier or Storefront/ Curtainwall Glazier; and Level III, Master Glazier. Recently, the NGA has added a new certification program for auto-glass repair. Advancement generally consists of increases in pay for most glaziers; some advance to supervisory jobs or become contractors or estimators. Job Outlook Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for glaziers, largely due to the numerous openings arising each year as experienced gla­ ziers leave the occupation. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially fa­ vorable opportunities. Employment of glaziers is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010, as a result of growth in residential and nonresidential construction. Demand for glaziers will be spurred by the continuing need to modernize and repair existing structures and the popularity of glass in bathroom and kitchen design. Improved glass performance in the areas of insulation, privacy, safety, condensation control, and noise reduc­ tion also are expected to contribute to the demand for glaziers in both residential and nonresidential remodeling. A continuing em­ phasis on energy management, which encourages people to replace their old windows and doors with high-efficiency products, also will spur the demand for glaziers. Similar to other construction-trades workers, construction glaziers  should expect to experience periods of unemployment resulting from https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  the limited duration of construction projects and the cyclical nature of the construction industry. During bad economic times, job open­ ings for glaziers are reduced as the level of construction declines. Because construction activity varies from area to area, job open­ ings, as well as apprenticeship opportunities, fluctuate with local economic conditions. Employment and apprenticeship opportuni­ ties should be greatest in metropolitan areas, where most glazing contractors and glass shops are located. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of glaziers were $14.32. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.88 and $19.35. The lowest 10 per­ cent earned less than $8.50, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25.78. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of glaziers in 2000 are shown below: Miscellaneous special trade contractors........................................... Paint, glass, and wallpaper stores.......................................................  $15.39 12.60  Glaziers covered by union contracts generally earn more than their nonunion counterparts. Apprentice wage rates usually start at 50 to 60 percent of the rate paid to experienced glaziers and in­ crease every 6 months. Because glaziers can lose time due to weather conditions and fluctuations in construction activity, their overall earnings may be lower than their hourly wages suggest. Many glaziers employed in construction are members of the In­ ternational Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. Related Occupations Glaziers use their knowledge of construction materials and tech­ niques to install glass. Other construction workers whose jobs also involve skilled, custom work are brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons; carpenters; carpet, floor, and tile installers and fin­ ishers; cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers; and painters and paperhangers. Sources of Additional Information For more information about glazier apprenticeships or work oppor­ tunities, contact local glazing or general contractors, a local of the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, a local joint union-management apprenticeship agency, or the nearest of­ fice of the State employment service or State apprenticeship agency. For general information about the work of glaziers, contact: >■ International Brotherhood ofPainters and Allied Trades, 1750 New York Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20006.  For information concerning training for glaziers, contact: >■ National Glass Association, Education and Training Department, 8200 Greensboro Dr., Suite 302, McLean, VA22102-3881. Internet: http://  www.glass.org  Hazardous Materials Removal Workers (0**NET 47-4041.00)  Significant Points • •  •  Working conditions can be difficult, and the use of protective clothing is often required. Formal education beyond high school is not required, but a training program leading to a Federal license is mandatory. Excellent job opportunities are expected.  Nature of the Work Increased public awareness and Federal and State regulations are resulting in the removal of hazardous materials from buildings, fa­ cilities, and the environment to prevent further contamination of natural resources and to promote public health and safety. Hazard­ ous-materials removal workers identify, remove, package, transport, and dispose of various hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, and radioactive and nuclear materials. The removal of hazardous materials, or “hazmats,” from public places and the environment also is called abatement, remediation, and decontamination. Hazardous-materials removal workers use a variety of tools and equipment, depending on the work at hand. Equipment ranges from brooms to personal protective suits that completely isolate workers from the hazardous material. Depending on the threat of contami­ nation, equipment required can include disposable or reusable cov­ eralls, gloves, hard hats, shoe covers, safety glasses or goggles, chemical-resistant clothing, face shields, and hearing protection. Most workers also are required to wear respirators while working to protect them from airborne particles. These respirators range from simple versions that cover only the mouth and nose to selfcontained suits with their own air supply. Asbestos is a material used in the past for fireproofing roofing and flooring, for heat insulation, and for a variety of other uses. While materials containing asbestos rarely are used in buildings anymore, there still are structures containing the material. When embedded in materials, asbestos is fairly harmless; when airborne, however, asbestos can cause several lung diseases, including lung cancer and asbestosis. Lead was a common building component found in paint and plumbing fixtures and pipes until the late 1970’s. Because lead is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, it can travel to vital organs and build up there. The health risks associated with lead poisoning include fatigue, loss of appetite, miscarriage, and learning disabili­ ties and decreased IQ in children. Due to these risks, it has become necessary to remove lead-based products and asbestos from build­ ings and structures. Asbestos-abatement and lead-abatement workers remove these and other materials from buildings scheduled to be renovated or demolished. They use a variety of hand and power tools, such as vacuums and scrapers, to remove asbestos and lead from surfaces. The vacuums used by asbestos-abatement workers have special, highly efficient filters designed to trap the asbestos, which is later disposed of or stored. During the abatement, special monitors for asbestos and lead content sample the air to protect the workers; lead-abatement workers also wear a personal air monitor that indi­ cates how much lead the worker has been exposed to. Workers also use monitoring devices to identify the asbestos, lead, and other materials that need to be removed from the surfaces of walls and structures. A typical residential lead-abatement project involves using a chemical to strip the lead-based paint from the walls of the home. Lead-abatement workers apply the compound with a putty knife and allow it to dry. Then, they scrape the hazardous material into an impregnable container for transport and storage. They also use sandblasters and high-pressure water sprayers to remove lead from large structures. Radioactive materials are classified as either high- or low-level wastes. High-level wastes primarily are nuclear-reactor fuels used to produce electricity. Low-level wastes include any radioactively contaminated protective clothing, tools, filters, medical equipment, and other items. Decontamination technicians perform duties similar to janitors and cleaners. They use brooms, mops, and other tools to clean exposed areas and remove exposed items for decontamina­ Digitized tion for FRASER or disposal. With experience, these workers can advance to https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Construction Trades and Related Workers 459  radiation-protection technician jobs and use radiation survey meters to locate and evaluate materials, operate high-pressure cleaning equipment for decontamination, and package radioactive materials for transportation or disposal. Decommissioning and decontamination (D&D) workers remove and treat radioactive materials generated by nuclear facilities and power plants. They use a variety of handtools to break down con­ taminated items such as “gloveboxes,” which are used to process radioactive materials. At decommissioning sites, the workers clean and decontaminate the facility, as well as remove any radioactive or contaminated materials. Treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) workers transport and prepare materials for treatment or disposal. To ensure proper treat­ ment of materials, laws require workers in this field to be able to verify shipping manifests. At incinerator facilities, these workers transport materials from the customer or service center to the incin­ erator. At landfills, they follow a strict procedure for the process­ ing and storage of hazardous materials. They organize and track the location of items in the fill and may help change the state of a material from liquid to solid in preparation for its storage. These workers typically operate heavy machinery such as forklifts, earthmoving machinery, and large trucks and rigs. Hazardous-materials removal workers also may be required to construct scaffolding or erect containment areas prior to the abate­ ment or decontamination. Government regulation, in most cases, dictates that hazardous-materials removal workers are closely super­ vised on the worksite. The standard usually is 1 supervisor to every  —♦a  Hazardous materials removal workers use chemicals to remove leadbased paint.  460 Occupational Outlook Handbook  10 workers. The work is very structured, planned out sometimes years in advance, and team-oriented. There is a great deal of coop­ eration among supervisors and coworkers. Due to the nature of the materials being removed, work areas are restricted to licensed haz­ ardous-materials removal workers, thus minimizing exposure to the public. Working Conditions Hazardous-materials removal workers face different working con­ ditions depending on their area of expertise. Although many work a standard 40-hour week, overtime and shiftwork is not uncom­ mon, especially in asbestos and lead abatement. Asbestos- and leadabatement workers tend to work primarily in buildings and other structures, such as office buildings and schools. Because they are under pressure to complete their work within certain deadlines, workers may experience fatigue. Completing projects frequently requires night and weekend work, because hazardous-materials removal workers often work around the schedules of others. Treat­ ment, storage, and disposal workers are employed primarily at facilities such as landfills, incinerators, boilers, and industrial fur­ naces. These facilities often are located in remote areas due to the kinds of work being done. As a result, workers employed by treat­ ment, storage, or disposal facilities may commute long distances to work. Decommissioning and decontamination workers, decontamina­ tion technicians, and radiation protection technicians work at nuclear facilities and electrical power plants. These sites, like treatment, storage, and disposal facilities, often are far from urban areas. Workers, who often perform jobs in cramped conditions, may need to use sharp tools to dismantle contaminated objects. A hazardousmaterials removal worker must have great self-control and a level head to cope with the daily stress associated with working with hazardous materials. Hazardous-materials removal employees work in a highly struc­ tured environment to minimize danger. Each phase of an operation is planned in advance, and workers are trained to deal with safety breaches and hazardous situations. Crews and supervisors take every precaution to ensure that the worksite is safe. Hazardous-materials removal workers, whether working in asbestos and lead abatement or in radioactive decontamination, must stand, stoop, and kneel for long periods. Some hazardous-materials removal workers must wear fully enclosed personal protective suits for several hours at a time; these suits may be hot and uncomfortable and cause some individu­ als to experience claustrophobia. Hazardous-materials removal workers may be required to travel outside their normal working area in order to respond to emergency situations. These emergency cleanups sometimes take several days or weeks to complete, and workers usually are away from home for the duration of the project. Employment Hazardous-materials removal workers held about 37,000 jobs in 2000. Nearly half were employed by special trade contractors, pri­ marily in asbestos and lead abatement. Almost a quarter worked in water supply and sanitary services. A small number worked in elec­ tric services at nuclear and electric plants as decommissioning and decontamination workers and radiation safety and decontamination technicians.  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Formal education beyond a high school diploma is not required to become a hazardous materials removal worker. However, work­ ers must be able to perform basic mathematical conversions and  calculations, manipulating readings for consideration during the https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  abatement. To perform the job duties, workers also should have good physical strength and manual dexterity. Because of the nature of the work to be done and the time con­ straints sometimes involved, employers prefer people who are de­ pendable, prompt, and detail-oriented. Because much of the work is done in buildings, a background in construction is helpful. Federal regulations require a license to work as a hazardousmaterials removal worker. Most employers provide technical train­ ing on the job, but a formal 32- to 40-hour training program must be completed to be licensed to work as an asbestos- and lead-abate­ ment worker or a treatment, storage, and disposal worker. The pro­ gram covers health hazards, personal protective equipment and clothing, site safety, hazard recognition and identification, and de­ contamination. In some cases, workers will discover one hazard­ ous material while abating another. If the workers are not licensed to work with the newly discovered material, they cannot continue to work. Many experienced workers opt to take courses in addi­ tional disciplines to avoid this situation. Some employers prefer to hire workers licensed in multiple disciplines. For decommissioning and decontamination workers employed at nuclear facilities, training is more extensive. In addition to the standard 40-hour training course in asbestos, lead, and hazardous waste, workers must take courses on regulations governing nuclear materials and radiation safety. These courses add up to approxi­ mately 3 months of training, although most are not taken consecu­ tively. Many agencies, organizations, and companies throughout the country provide training programs that are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other regulatory bodies. Workers in all fields are required to take refresher courses every year to maintain their license. Job Outlook Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for hazardous-mate­ rials removal workers, largely due to the numerous openings aris­ ing each year as experienced workers leave the occupation. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenu­ ous and has more comfortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. The overall employment in this occupation is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2010. Em­ ployment of the largest group of workers, asbestos- and lead-abate­ ment workers, is expected to grow as fast as other occupations in special trade contractors, but opportunities will be best in lead abate­ ment. Compared with other construction trades occupations, em­ ployment of lead-abatement workers is much less affected by slowdowns in the economy. Employment of decontamination technicians, radiation safety technicians, and decommissioning and decontamination workers is expected to grow in response to increased pressure for safer and cleaner nuclear and electric generator facilities. In addition, the number of closed facilities that need decommissioning may con­ tinue to grow due to Federal legislation. These workers also are less affected by fluctuations in the economy because the facilities they work in must operate regardless of the state of the economy. Opportunities will be best in the private sector as more State and local governments contract out hazardous-materials removal work to private companies. Earnings Median hourly earnings of hazardous materials removal workers were $ 13.71 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $ 11.34 and $18.56 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.33 per hour, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.01 per hour.  Construction Trades and Related Workers 461  The median hourly earnings in the largest industries employing haz­ ardous materials removal workers in 2000 are shown below. Miscellaneous special trade contractors.......................................... Sanitary services....................................................................................  $13.78 13.30  According to the limited data available, treatment, storage, and disposal workers usually earn slightly more than asbestos- and leadabatement workers or decontamination technicians. Decontamina­ tion and decommissioning workers and radiation protection technicians, though constituting the smallest group, tend to earn the highest wages. Related Occupations Asbestos- and lead-abatement workers share skills with other con­ struction trades workers, including brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons; cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pav­ ers, and terrazzo workers; insulation workers; and sheet-metal work­ ers. Treatment, storage, and disposal workers, decommissioning and decontamination workers, and decontamination and radiation safety technicians work closely with plant and system operators, such as power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers and water and wastewater treatment plant operators. Sources of Additional Information For more information on hazardous-materials removal workers, in­ cluding training information, contact: > Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund, 37 Deerfield Rd., P.O. Box 37, Promfret, CT 06259.  Insulation Workers (0*NET 47-2131.00, 47-2132.00)  Significant Points • • •  Workers must follow strict safety guidelines to protect themselves from the dangers of insulating irritants. Most insulation workers leam informally on the job; others complete formal apprenticeship programs. Excellent employment opportunities are expected, resulting largely from job turnover.  Nature of the Work Properly insulated buildings reduce energy consumption by keep­ ing heat in during the winter and out in the summer. Refrigerated storage rooms, vats, tanks, vessels, boilers, and steam and hot water pipes also are insulated to prevent the wasteful transfer of heat. Insulation workers install the materials used to insulate buildings and equipment. Insulation workers cement, staple, wire, tape, or spray insula­ tion. When covering a steam pipe, for example, insulation workers measure and cut sections of insulation to the proper length, stretch it open along a cut that runs the length of the material, and slip it over the pipe. They fasten the insulation with adhesive, staples, tape, or wire bands. Sometimes, they wrap a cover of aluminum, plastic, or canvas over it and cement or band the cover in place. Insulation workers may screw on sheet metal around insulated pipes to protect the insulation from weather conditions or physical abuse. When covering a wall or other flat surface, workers may use a hose to spray foam insulation onto a wire mesh. The wire mesh provides a rough surface to which the foam can cling and adds strength to the finished surface. Workers may then install drywall Digitized FRASER orfor apply a final coat of plaster for a finished appearance. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Insulation workers install insulation around pipes and within walls and floors. In attics or exterior walls of uninsulated buildings, workers blow in loose-fill insulation. A helper feeds a machine with fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool insulation while another worker blows the insulation with a compressor hose into the space being filled. In new construction or major renovations, insulation workers staple fiberglass or rockwool batts to exterior walls and ceilings before drywall, paneling, or plaster walls are put in place. In mak­ ing major renovations to old buildings or when putting new insula­ tion around pipes and industrial machinery, insulation workers often must first remove the old insulation. In the past, asbestos—now known to cause cancer in humans—was used extensively in walls and ceilings and for covering pipes, boilers, and various industrial equipment. Because of this danger, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations require that asbestos be removed before a build­ ing undergoes major renovations or is demolished. When asbestos is present, specially trained workers must remove the asbestos be­ fore insulation workers can install the new insulating materials. (See the statement on hazardous-materials removal workers elsewhere in the Handbook.) Insulation workers use common handtools—trowels, brushes, knives, scissors, saws, pliers, and stapling guns. They use power saws to cut insulating materials, welding machines to join sheet metal or secure clamps, and compressors to blow or spray insulation. Working Conditions Insulation workers generally work indoors. They spend most of the workday on their feet, either standing, bending, or kneeling. Some­ times, they work from ladders or in tight spaces. The work requires more coordination than strength. Insulation work often is dusty and dirty, and the summer heat can make the insulation worker very uncomfortable. Minute particles from insulation materials, espe­ cially when blown, can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory sys­ tem. Workers must follow strict safety guidelines to protect themselves from the dangers of insulating irritants. They keep work areas well-ventilated; wear protective suits, masks, and respirators; and take decontamination showers when necessary. Employment Insulation workers held about 53,000 jobs in 2000. The construc­ tion industry employed 9 out of 10 of these workers; most worked for insulation or other construction trades contractors. Small num­ bers of insulation workers held jobs in the Federal Government, in wholesale trade, and in shipbuilding and other manufacturing  462 Occupational Outlook Handbook  industries that have extensive installations for power, heating, and cooling. Most worked in urban areas. In less populated areas, car­ penters, heating and air-conditioning installers, or drywall install­ ers may do insulation work. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most insulation workers learn their trade informally on the job, al­ though some workers complete formal apprenticeship programs. For entry jobs, insulation contractors prefer high school graduates who are in good physical condition and licensed to drive. High school courses in blueprint reading, shop math, science, sheet-metal layout, woodworking, and general construction provide a helpful background. Applicants seeking apprenticeship positions must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and be at least 18 years old. Trainees who leam on the job receive instruction and supervi­ sion from experienced insulation workers. Trainees begin with simple tasks, such as carrying insulation or holding material while it is fastened in place. On-the-job training can take up to 2 years, depending on the nature of the work. Learning to install insulation in homes generally requires less training than does insulation appli­ cation in commercial and industrial settings. As they gain experi­ ence, trainees receive less supervision, more responsibility, and higher pay. In contrast, trainees in formal apprenticeship programs receive indepth instruction in all phases of insulation. Apprenticeship pro­ grams may be provided by a joint committee of local insulation contractors and the local union of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, to which many insulation workers belong. Programs normally consist of 4 years of on-the-job training coupled with classroom instruction, and train­ ees must pass practical and written tests to demonstrate knowledge of the trade. Skilled insulation workers may advance to supervisor, shop su­ perintendent, or insulation contract estimator, or they may set up their own insulation business. Job Outlook Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for insulation work­ ers, largely due to the numerous openings arising each year as experienced insulation workers move to other occupations. Because there are no strict training requirements for entry, many people with limited skills work as insulation workers for a short time and then move on to other types of work, creating many job openings. Other opportunities will arise from the need to replace workers who leave the labor force. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. In addition to replacement needs, new jobs will arise as employ­ ment of insulation workers increases about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010 as a result of growth in residential and nonresidential construction. Demand for insulation workers will be spurred by the continuing concerns about the effi­ cient use of energy to heat and cool buildings, resulting in increased demand for insulation workers in the construction of new residen­ tial, industrial, and commercial buildings. In addition, renovation and efforts to improve insulation in existing structures also will increase demand. Insulation workers in the construction industry may experience periods of unemployment because of the short duration of many construction projects and the cyclical nature of construction activ­ ity. Workers employed in industrial plants generally have more stable employment because maintenance and repair must be done  on a continuing basis. Most insulation is applied after buildings https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  are enclosed, so weather conditions have less effect on the employ­ ment of insulation workers than on that of some other construction occupations. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of insulation workers were $ 13.05. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.99 and $17.00. The low­ est 10 percent earned less than $7.96, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.75. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of insulation workers in 2000 are shown below: Miscellaneous special trade contractors................................... Masonry, stonework, and plastering.........................................  $13.91 12.24  Union workers tend to earn more than nonunion workers. Ap­ prentices start at about one-half of the joumeyworker’s wage. In­ sulation workers doing commercial and industrial work earn substantially more than those working in residential construction, which does not require as much skill. Related Occupations Insulation workers combine their knowledge of insulation materi­ als with the skills of cutting, fitting, and installing materials. Work­ ers in occupations involving similar skills include carpenters; carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers; drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers; roofers; and sheet metal workers. Sources of Additional Information For information about training programs or other work opportuni­ ties in this trade, contact a local insulation contractor, a local chap­ ter of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, the nearest office of the State employment ser­ vice or apprenticeship agency, or: >- International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, 1776 Massachusetts Ave.NW., Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036. Internet: http://www.insulators.org >- National Insulation and Abatement Contractors Association, 99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 222, Alexandria, VA 22314. ► Insulation Contractors Association of America, 1321 Duke St., Suite 303, Alexandria, VA 22314.  Painters and Paperhangers (Q**NET 47-2141.00, 47-2142.00) Significant Points  • •  •  Working conditions can be hazardous. Most workers leam informally on the job as helpers; however, training authorities recommend completion of an apprenticeship program. Due to worker turnover, employment prospects should be good.  Nature of the Work Paint and wall coverings make surfaces clean, attractive, and bright. In addition, paints and other sealers protect outside walls from wear caused by exposure to the weather. Although some people do both painting and paperhanging, each requires different skills. Painters apply paint, stain, varnish, and other finishes to build­ ings and other structures. They choose the right paint or finish for the surface to be covered, taking into account durability, ease of  Construction Trades and Related Workers 463  handling, method of application, and customers’ wishes. Painters first prepare the surfaces to be covered, so that the paint will adhere properly. This may require removing the old coat of paint by strip­ ping, sanding, wire brushing, burning, or water and abrasive blast­ ing. Painters also wash walls and trim to remove dirt and grease, fill nail holes and cracks, sandpaper rough spots, and brush off dust. On new surfaces, they apply a primer or sealer to prepare the sur­ face for the finish coat. Painters also mix paints and match colors, relying on knowledge of paint composition and color harmony. In large paint shops or hardware stores, these functions are automated. There are several ways to apply paint and similar coverings. Painters must be able to choose the right paint applicator for each job, depending on the surface to be covered, the characteristics of the finish, and other factors. Some jobs need only a good bristle brush with a soft, tapered edge; others require a dip or fountain pressure roller; still others can best be done using a paint sprayer. Many jobs need several types of applicators. The right tools for each job not only expedite the painter’s work but also produce the most attractive surface. When working on tall buildings, painters erect scaffolding, in­ cluding “swing stages,” scaffolds suspended by ropes, or cables attached to roof hooks. When painting steeples and other conical structures, they use a bosun’s chair, a swing-like device. Paperhangers cover walls and ceilings with decorative wall cov­ erings made of paper, vinyl, or fabric. They first prepare the sur­ face to be covered by applying “sizing,” which seals the surface  and makes the covering stick better. When redecorating, they may first remove the old covering by soaking, steaming, or applying sol­ vents. When necessary, they patch holes and take care of other imperfections before hanging the new wall covering. After the surface has been prepared, paperhangers must prepare the paste or other adhesive. Then, they measure the area to be cov­ ered, check the covering for flaws, cut the covering into strips of the proper size, and closely examine the pattern to match it when the strips are hung. The next step is to brush or roll the adhesive onto the back of the covering and to then place the strips on the wall or ceiling, making sure the pattern is matched, the strips are hung straight, and the edges are butted together to make tight, closed seams. Finally, pa­ perhangers smooth the strips to remove bubbles and wrinkles, trim the top and bottom with a razor knife, and wipe off any excess adhesive. Working Conditions Most painters and paperhangers work 40 hours a week or less; about 1 out of 10 works part time. Painters and paperhangers must stand for long periods. Their jobs also require a considerable amount of climbing and bending. These workers must have stamina, because much of the work is done with their arms raised overhead. Painters often work outdoors but seldom in wet, cold, or inclement weather. Painters and paperhangers risk injury from slips or falls off lad­ ders and scaffolds. They sometimes may work with materials that can be hazardous if masks are not worn or if ventilation is poor. Some painting jobs can leave a worker covered with paint. Employment Painters and paperhangers held about 518,000 jobs in 2000; most were painters. More than 1 out of every 3 painters and paperhang­ ers work for contractors engaged in new construction, repair, resto­ ration, or remodeling work. In addition, organizations that own or manage large buildings—such as apartment complexes—employ maintenance painters, as do some schools, hospitals, factories, and government agencies. Self-employed independent painting contractors accounted for 47 percent of all painters and paperhangers. This is significantly greater than the corresponding proportion of building trades work­ ers in general.  Painting and paperhangers require considerable stamina while  Digitized bending, for FRASER stooping, and climbing. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Painting and paperhanging are learned through apprenticeship or informal, on-the-job instruction. Although training authorities rec­ ommend completion of an apprenticeship program as the best way to become a painter or paperhanger, most painters leam the trade informally on the job as a helper to an experienced painter. Few opportunities for informal training exist for paperhangers because few paperhangers have a need for helpers. The apprenticeship for painters and paperhangers consists of 3 to 4 years of on-the-job training, in addition to 144 hours of related classroom instruction each year. Apprentices receive instruction in color harmony, use and care of tools and equipment, surface prepa­ ration, application techniques, paint mixing and matching, charac­ teristics of different finishes, blueprint reading, wood finishing, and safety. Whether a painter leams the trade through a formal apprentice­ ship or informally as a helper, on-the-job instruction covers similar skill areas. Under the direction of experienced workers, trainees carry supplies, erect scaffolds, and do simple painting and surface preparation tasks while they leam about paint and painting equip­ ment. As they gain experience, trainees leam to prepare surfaces for painting and paperhanging, to mix paints, and to apply paint  464 Occupational Outlook Handbook  and wall coverings efficiently and neatly. Near the end of their training, they may leam decorating concepts, color coordination, and cost-estimating techniques. In addition to learning craft skills, painters must become familiar with safety and health regulations so that their work is in compliance with the law. Apprentices or helpers generally must be at least 16 years old and in good physical condition. A high school education or its equivalent, with courses in mathematics, usually is required to en­ ter an apprenticeship program. Applicants should have good manual dexterity and color sense. Painters and paperhangers may advance to supervisory or esti­ mating jobs with painting and decorating contractors. Many estab­ lish their own painting and decorating businesses. Job Outlook Job prospects should be good, as thousands of painters and paperhangers transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force each year. Because there are no strict training requirements for entry, many people with limited skills work as painters or paperhangers for a short time and then move on to other types of work. Many fewer openings will occur for paperhangers because the number of these jobs is comparatively small. In addition to the need to replace experienced workers, new jobs will be created. Employment of painters and paperhangers is ex­ pected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010, reflecting increases in the level of new con­ struction and in the stock of buildings and other structures that re­ quire maintenance and renovation. Painting is very labor-intensive and not suitable to the kinds of technological changes that might make workers more productive and thus restrict employment growth. Jobseekers considering these occupations should expect some periods of unemployment, especially until they become fully skilled. Many construction projects are of short duration, and construction activity is cyclical and seasonal in nature. Remodeling, restoration, and maintenance projects, however, often provide many jobs for painters and paperhangers even when new construction activity declines. The most versatile painters and skilled paperhangers gen­ erally are best able to keep working steadily during downturns in the economy. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of painters, construction and main­ tenance, were $13.10. The middle 50 percent earned between $ 10.36 and $16.81. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.56, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $22.39. Median hourly earn­ ings in the industries employing the largest numbers of painters in 2000 are shown below: Painting and paper hanging................................................................. Residential building construction...................................................... Real estate operators and lessors........................................................ Real estate agents and managers....................................................... Personnel supply services....................................................................  $13.03 12.79 10.95 10.77 10.63  In 2000, median earnings for paperhangers were 15.33. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.89 and $19.91. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.04, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.16. Earnings for painters may be reduced on occa­ sion because of bad weather and the short-term nature of many construction jobs. Hourly wage rates for apprentices usually start at 40 to 50 percent of the rate for experienced workers and increase periodically. Some painters and paperhangers are members of the Interna­ tional Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. Some mainte­  nance painters are members of other unions. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Related Occupations Painters and paperhangers apply various coverings to decorate and protect wood, drywall, metal, and other surfaces. Other construc­ tion occupations in which workers do finishing work include car­ penters; carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers; drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers; and plasterers and stucco masons. Sources of Additional Information For details about painting and paperhanging apprenticeships or work opportunities, contact local painting and decorating contractors, a local of the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, a local joint union-management apprenticeship committee, or an office of the State apprenticeship agency or employment service. For general information about the work of painters and paperhangers, contact: > International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, 1750 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006.  For information on training programs, contact: > Associated Builders and Contractors, 1300 N. 17th St., Arlington, VA 22209. Internet: http://www.abc.org >- Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, 3913 Old Lee High­ way, Suite 33B, Fairfax, VA, 22030.  Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters (0**NET 47-2151.00, 47-2152.01, 47-2152.02, 47-2152.03)  Significant Points  • • •  Job opportunities should be excellent because not enough people are seeking training. Most workers leam the trade through 4 or 5 years of formal apprenticeship training. Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters make up one of the largest and highest paid construction occupations.  Nature of the Work Most people are familiar with plumbers, who come to their home to unclog a drain or install an appliance. In addition to these activities, however, pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install, maintain, and repair many different types of pipe systems. For ex­ ample, some systems move water to a municipal water treatment plant and then to residential, commercial, and public buildings. Other systems dispose of waste, provide gas to stoves and furnaces, or supply air-conditioning. Pipe systems in powerplants carry the steam that powers huge turbines. Pipes also are used in manufacturing plants to move material through the production process. Although pipelaying, plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting sometimes are considered a single trade, workers generally spe­ cialize in one of the four areas. Pipelayers lay clay, concrete, plas­ tic, or cast-iron pipe for drains, sewers, water mains, and oil or gas lines. Before laying the pipe, pipelayers prepare and grade the trenches either manually or with machines. Plumbers install and repair the water, waste disposal, drainage, and gas systems in homes and commercial and industrial buildings. Plumbers also install plumbing fixtures—bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets—and appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters. Pipefitters in­ stall and repair both high- and low-pressure pipe systems used in  Construction Trades and Related Workers 465  manufacturing, in the generation of electricity, and in heating and cooling buildings. They also install automatic controls that are increasingly being used to regulate these systems. Some pipefitters specialize in only one type of system. Steamfitters, for example, install pipe systems that move liquids or gases under high pres­ sure. Sprinklerfitters install automatic fire sprinkler systems in buildings. Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters use many dif­ ferent materials and construction techniques, depending on the type of project. Residential water systems, for example, incorporate cop­ per, steel, and plastic pipe that can be handled and installed by one or two workers. Municipal sewerage systems, on the other hand, are made of large cast-iron pipes; installation normally requires crews of pipefitters. Despite these differences, all pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters must be able to follow building plans or blueprints and instructions from supervisors, lay out the job, and work efficiently with the materials and tools of the trade. Comput­ ers often are used to create blueprints and plan layouts. When construction plumbers install piping in a house, for ex­ ample, they work from blueprints or drawings that show the planned location of pipes, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. They first lay out the job to fit the piping into the structure of the house with the least waste of material and within the confines of the structure. They then measure and mark areas in which pipes will be installed and connected. Construction plumbers also check for obstructions such as electrical wiring and, if necessary, plan the pipe installation around the problem.  mam SflSliii ini  liliil  ,  Plumbers install plumbingfixtures such asfaucets, sinks, and toilets. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Sometimes, plumbers have to cut holes in walls, ceilings, and floors of a house. For some systems, they may hang steel supports from ceiling joists to hold the pipe in place. To assemble a system, plumbers—using saws, pipe cutters, and pipe-bending machines— cut and bend lengths of pipe. They connect lengths of pipe with fittings, using methods that depend on the type of pipe used. For plastic pipe, plumbers connect the sections and fittings with adhe­ sives. For copper pipe, they slide a fitting over the end of the pipe and solder it in place with a torch. After the piping is in place in the house, plumbers install the fixtures and appliances and connect the system to the outside water or sewer lines. Finally, using pressure gauges, they check the sys­ tem to ensure that the plumbing works properly. Working Conditions Because pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters frequently must lift heavy pipes, stand for long periods, and sometimes work in uncomfortable or cramped positions, they need physical strength as well as stamina. They also may have to work outdoors in incle­ ment weather. In addition, they are subject to possible falls from ladders, cuts from sharp tools, and bums from hot pipes or solder­ ing equipment. Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters engaged in construction generally work a standard 40-hour week; those involved in maintaining pipe systems, including those who provide mainte­ nance services under contract, may have to work evening or week­ end shifts, as well as be on call. These maintenance workers may spend quite a bit of time traveling to and from worksites. Employment Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters constitute one of the largest construction occupations, holding about 568,000 jobs in 2000. About 52 percent worked for plumbing, heating, and air con­ ditioning contractors engaged in new construction, repair, modern­ ization, or maintenance work. Others did maintenance work for a variety of industrial, commercial, and government employers. For example, pipefitters were employed as maintenance personnel in the petroleum and chemical industries, where manufacturing op­ erations require the moving of liquids and gases through pipes. About 1 of every 7 pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was self-employed. Jobs for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are distributed across the country in about the same proportion as the general population. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Virtually all pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters undergo some type of apprenticeship training. Many programs are administered by local union-management committees made up of members of the United Association of Journeymen and Appren­ tices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, and local employers who are members of either the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, or the National Fire Sprinkler Association. Nonunion training and apprenticeship programs are administered by local chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, the American Fire Sprinkler Association, or the Home Builders Insti­ tute of the National Association of Home Builders. Apprenticeships—both union and nonunion—consist of 4 or 5 years of on-the-job training, in addition to at least 144 hours per year of related classroom instruction. Classroom subjects include drafting and blueprint reading, mathematics, applied physics and  466 Occupational Outlook Handbook  chemistry, safety, and local plumbing codes and regulations. On the job, apprentices first learn basic skills, such as identifying grades and types of pipe, using the tools of the trade, and safely unloading materials. As apprentices gain experience, they learn how to work with various types of pipe and how to install different piping sys­ tems and plumbing fixtures. Apprenticeship gives trainees a thor­ ough knowledge of all aspects of the trade. Although most pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are trained through appren­ ticeship, some still learn their skills informally on the job. Applicants for union or nonunion apprentice jobs must be at least 18 years old and in good physical condition. Apprenticeship committees may require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Armed Forces training in pipelaying, plumbing, and pipefitting is considered very good preparation. In fact, per­ sons with this background may be given credit for previous experi­ ence when entering a civilian apprenticeship program. Secondary or postsecondary courses in shop, plumbing, general mathematics, drafting, blueprint reading, computers, and physics also are good preparation. Although there are no uniform national licensing requirements, most communities require plumbers to be licensed. Licensing re­ quirements vary from area to area, but most localities require work­ ers to pass an examination that tests their knowledge of the trade and of local plumbing codes. Some pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters may become supervisors for mechanical and plumbing contractors; others go into business for themselves. Job Outlook Job opportunities are expected to be excellent, as increased demand for skilled pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is ex­ pected to outpace the supply of workers trained in this craft. Em­ ployment of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable work­ ing conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially favor­ able opportunities. Demand for plumbers will stem from building renovation, in­ cluding the increasing installation of sprinkler systems; repair and maintenance of existing residential systems; and maintenance ac­ tivities for places having extensive systems of pipes, such as power plants, water and wastewater treatment plants, pipelines, office build­ ings, and factories. However, the growing use of plastic pipe and fittings, which are much easier to install and repair than other types; increasingly efficient sprinkler systems; and other new technolo­ gies will restrict the number of new jobs. In addition to those re­ sulting from employment growth, many positions will become available each year from the need to replace experienced workers who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons. Traditionally, many organizations with extensive pipe systems have employed their own plumbers or pipefitters to maintain equip­ ment and keep systems running smoothly. But, to reduce labor costs, many of these firms no longer employ a full-time, in-house plumber or pipefitter. Instead, when they need a plumber, they rely on work­ ers provided under service contracts by plumbing and pipefitting contractors. Constmction projects provide only temporary employment. So, when a project ends, pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters working on the project may experience bouts of unem­ ployment. Because construction activity varies from area to area, job openings, as well as apprenticeship opportunities, fluctuate with local economic conditions. However, employment of pipelayers,  plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters generally is less sensitive to https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  changes in economic conditions than is that of some other construc­ tion trades. Even when constmction activity declines, maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement of existing piping systems, as well as the increasing installation of fire sprinkler systems, provide many jobs for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Earnings Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are among the highest paid constmction occupations; in 2000, median hourly earn­ ings of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters were $18.19. The middle 50 percent earned between $14.00 and $24.24. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.71, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $30.06. Median hourly earnings in the industries em­ ploying the largest numbers ofplumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in 2000 are shown below. Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning.......................................... Nonresidential building constmction................................................  $18.20 17.80  Heavy constmction, except highway........................................  17.26  Local government.................................................................................. Miscellaneous special trade contractors...........................................  17.12 16.92  In 2000, median hourly earnings of pipelayers were $ 13.20. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.17 and $17.71. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.61, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $23.16. Apprentices usually begin at about 50 percent of the wage rate paid to experienced pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Wages increase periodically as skills improve. After an initial waiting period, apprentices receive the same benefits as do experienced pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Many pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are mem­ bers of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada. Related Occupations Other occupations in which workers install and repair mechanical systems in buildings are boilermakers; electricians; elevator install­ ers and repairers; heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration me­ chanics and installers; industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers; sheet-metal workers; and stationary engineers and boiler operators. Sources of Additional Information For information about apprenticeships or work opportunities in pipelaying, plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting, contact local plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors; a local or State chapter of the National Association of Plumbing, Heating, and Cool­ ing Contractors; a local chapter ofthe Mechanical Contractors Asso­ ciation; a local chapter of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; or the nearest office of your State employ­ ment service or apprenticeship agency. For information about apprenticeship opportunities for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, contact: >• United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, 901 Massachusetts Ave. NW., Washington, DC  20001.  For more information about training programs for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, contact: > Associated Builders and Contractors, 1300 N. 17th St., Arlington, VA 22209. Internet: http://www.abc.org ► National Association of Home Builders, 15th and M St. NW., Washing­ ton, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.hbi.org  Construction Tracies and Related Workers 467  For general information about the work of pipelayers, plumbers, and pipefitters, contact: > Mechanical Contractors Association of America, 1385 Piccard Dr., Rockville, MD 20850. Internet: http://www.mcaa.org >■ National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, 180 S. Washington St., P.O. Box 6808, Falls Church, VA 22040. For general information about the work of sprinklerfitters, contact: ► American Fire Sprinkler Association, Inc., 12959 Jupiter Rd., Suite 142, Dallas, TX 75238-3200. Internet: http://www.firesprinkler.org >• National Fire Sprinkler Association, Robin Hill Corporate Park, Rt. 22, Box 1000, Patterson, NY 12563. Internet: http://www.nfsa.org  ■IIS  Plasterers and Stucco Masons (0**NET 47-2161.00) Significant Points  •  Plastering is physically demanding.  •  Plastering is learned on the job, either through a formal apprenticeship program or by working as a helper.  •  Job opportunities are expected to be good, particularly in the South and Southwest.  Nature of the Work Plastering—one of the oldest crafts in the building trades—is enjoy­ ing resurgence in popularity because of the introduction of newer, less costly materials and techniques. Plasterers apply plaster to interior walls and ceilings to form fire-resistant and relatively soundproof surfaces. They also apply plaster veneer over drywall to create smooth or textured abrasion-resistant finishes. In addi­ tion, plasterers install prefabricated exterior insulation systems over existing walls—for good insulation and interesting architectural effects—and cast ornamental designs in plaster. Stucco masons apply durable plasters, such as polymer-based acrylic finishes and stucco, to exterior surfaces. Drywall installers, ceiling tile install­ ers, and tapers—who are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook— use drywall instead of plaster when erecting interior walls and ceilings. When plasterers work with interior surfaces such as concrete block and concrete, they first apply a brown coat of gypsum plaster that provides a base, followed by a second, or finish, coat—also called “white coat”—which is a lime-based plaster. When plaster­ ing metal lath (supportive wire mesh) foundations, they apply a pre­ paratory, or “scratch,” coat with a trowel. They spread this rich plaster mixture into and over the metal lath. Before the plaster sets, plasterers scratch its surface with a rake-like tool to produce ridges, so that the subsequent brown coat will bond tightly. Laborers prepare a thick, smooth plaster for the brown coat. Plasterers spray or trowel this mixture onto the surface, then finish by smoothing it to an even, level surface. For the finish coat, plasterers prepare a mixture of lime, plaster of Paris, and water. They quickly apply this to the brown coat using a “hawk”—a light, metal plate with a handle—trowel, brush, and water. This mixture, which sets very quickly, produces a very smooth, durable finish. Plasterers also work with a plaster material that can be finished in a single coat. This “thin-coat” or gypsum veneer plaster is made of lime and plaster of Paris and is mixed with water at the jobsite.  This plaster provides a smooth, durable, abrasion-resistant finish https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  illll  Plasterers repair oldplaster and install plaster in new construction.  on interior masonry surfaces, special gypsum baseboard, or drywall prepared with a bonding agent. Plasterers create decorative interior surfaces as well. They do this by pressing a brush or trowel firmly against a wet plaster sur­ face and using a circular hand motion to create decorative swirls. For exterior work, stucco masons usually apply stucco—a mix­ ture of Portland cement, lime, and sand—over cement, concrete, masonry, or lath. Stucco may also be applied directly to a wire lath with a scratch coat, followed by a brown coat and then a finish coat. Stucco masons may also embed marble or gravel chips into the fin­ ish coat to achieve a pebblelike, decorative finish. Increasingly, plasterers apply insulation to the exteriors of new and old buildings. They cover the outer wall with rigid foam insu­ lation board and reinforcing mesh, and then trowel on a polymerbased or polymer-modified base coat. They may apply an additional coat of this material with a decorative finish. Plasterers sometimes do complex decorative and ornamental work that requires special skill and creativity. For example, they may mold intricate wall and ceiling designs. Following an architect’s blueprint, plasterers pour or spray a special plaster into a mold and allow it to set. Workers then remove the molded plaster and put it in place, according to the plan. Working Conditions Most plastering jobs are indoors; however, plasterers and stucco ma­ sons work outside when applying stucco or exterior wall insulation  468 Occupational Outlook Handbook  and decorative finish systems. Sometimes, plasterers work on scaf­ folds high above the ground. Plastering is physically demanding, requiring considerable stand­ ing, bending, lifting, and reaching overhead. The work can be dusty and dirty, soiling shoes and clothing, and can irritate the skin and eyes. Employment Plasterers and stucco masons held about 54,000 jobs in 2000. Most plasterers and stucco masons work on new construction sites, par­ ticularly where special architectural and lighting effects are part of the work. Some repair and renovate older buildings. Many plaster­ ers and stucco masons are employed in Florida, California, and the Southwest, where exterior plasters with decorative finishes are very popular. Most plasterers and stucco masons work for independent con­ tractors. About 1 out of every 6 plasterers and stucco masons is self-employed. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Although most employers recommend apprenticeship as the best way to learn plastering, many people learn the trade by working as helpers to experienced plasterers and stucco masons. Those who learn the trade informally as helpers usually start by carrying mate­ rials, setting up scaffolds, and mixing plaster. Later, they learn to apply the scratch, brown, and finish coats. Apprenticeship programs, sponsored by local joint committees of contractors and unions, generally consist of 2 or 3 years of onthe-job training, in addition to at least 144 hours annually of class­ room instruction in drafting, blueprint reading, and mathematics for layout work. In the classroom, apprentices start with a history of the trade and the industry. They also learn about the uses of plaster, estimating materials and costs, and casting ornamental plaster designs. On the job, they learn about lath bases, plaster mixes, methods of plaster­ ing, blueprint reading, and safety. They also learn how to use vari­ ous tools, such as hand and powered trowels, floats, brushes, straightedges, power tools, plaster-mixing machines, and pistontype pumps. Some apprenticeship programs allow individuals to obtain training in related occupations, such as cement masonry and bricklaying. Applicants for apprentice or helper jobs normally must be at least 17 years old, in good physical condition, and have good manual dexterity. Applicants who have a high school education are pre­ ferred. Courses in general mathematics, mechanical drawing, and shop provide a useful background. Plasterers and stucco masons may advance to supervisors, super­ intendents, or estimators for plastering contractors or may become self-employed contractors. Job Outlook Job opportunities for plasterers and stucco masons are expected to be good through 2010 because many potential workers may pre­ fer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions. Well-trained workers will have especially favorable opportunities. Employment of plasterers and stucco masons is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. In addition to job openings due to rising demand for plastering and stuccowork, jobs will become available as plasterers and stucco masons transfer to other occupations or leave the labor  force. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  In past years, employment of plasterers declined as more build­ ers switched to drywall construction. This decline has halted, however, and employment of plasterers is expected to continue growing as a result of the appreciation for the durability and at­ tractiveness that troweled finishes provide. Thin-coat plastering— or veneering- in particular is gaining wide acceptance as more builders recognize its ease of application, durability, quality of fin­ ish, and fire-retarding qualities. Prefabricated wall systems and new polymer-based or polymer-modified acrylic exterior insulat­ ing finishes also are gaining popularity, particularly in the South and Southwest regions of the country. This is not only because of their durability, attractiveness, and insulating properties but also because of their relatively low cost. In addition, plasterers will be needed to renovate plasterwork in old structures and to create spe­ cial architectural effects, such as curved surfaces, which are not practical with drywall materials. Most plasterers and stucco masons work in construction, where prospects fluctuate from year to year due to changing economic conditions. Bad weather affects plastering less than other construc­ tion trades because most work is indoors. On exterior surfacing jobs, however, plasterers and stucco masons may lose time because materials cannot be applied under wet or freezing conditions. Best employment opportunities should continue to be in Florida, Cali­ fornia, and the Southwest, where exterior plaster and decorative finishes are expected to remain popular. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of plasterers and stucco masons were $16.00. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.41 and $20.83. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.72, and the top 10 percent earned more than $26.08. The median hourly earnings in the largest industries employing plasterers and stucco masons in 2000 were $ 16.03 in masonry, stone­ work, and plastering and $14.51 in concrete work. Apprentice wage rates start at about half the rate paid to experi­ enced plasterers and stucco masons. Annual earnings for plasterers and stucco masons and apprentices can be less than the hourly rate would indicate, because poor weather and periodic declines in con­ struction activity can limit worktime. Many plasterers and stucco masons are members of unions. They are represented by the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada, or by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen. Related Occupations Other construction workers who use a trowel as their primary tool include brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons; cement ma­ sons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers; and drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers. Sources of Additional Information For information about apprenticeships or other work opportunities, contact local plastering contractors, locals of the unions previously mentioned, a local joint union-management apprenticeship com­ mittee, or the nearest office of your State apprenticeship agency or employment service. For general information about the work of plasterers and stucco masons, contact: >- International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen, 815 15th St. NW., Washington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.bacweb.org >- Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada, 14405 Laurel Place, Suite 300, Laurel, MD 20707.  Construction Trades and Related Workers 469  Roofers (0*NET 47-2181.00)  •  • •  Significant Points Most roofers acquire their skills informally on the job; some roofers train through 3-year apprenticeship programs. Jobs for roofers should be plentiful because the work is hot, strenuous, and dirty, resulting in high job turnover. Demand for roofers is less susceptible to downturns in the economy than that for other construction trades because most roofing work consists of repair and reroofing.  Nature of the Work A leaky roof can damage ceilings, walls, and furnishings. To pro­ tect buildings and their contents from water damage, roofers repair and install roofs made of tar or asphalt and gravel; rubber or ther­ moplastic; metal; or shingles made of asphalt, slate, fiberglass, wood, tile, or other material. Repair and reroofmg—replacing old roofs on existing buildings—provide many job opportunities for these workers. Roofers also may waterproof foundation walls and floors. There are two types of roofs—flat and pitched (sloped). Most commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings have flat or slightly sloping roofs. Most houses have pitched roofs. Some roofers work on both types; others specialize. Most flat roofs are covered with several layers of materials. Roofers first put a layer of insulation on the roof deck. Over the insulation, they then spread a coat of molten bitumen, a tarlike sub­ stance. Next, they install partially overlapping layers of roofing felt—a fabric saturated in bitumen—over the surface. Roofers use a mop to spread hot bitumen over the surface and under the next layer. This seals the seams and makes the surface watertight. Roofers repeat these steps to build up the desired number of layers, called “plies.” The top layer cither is glazed to make a smooth finish or has gravel embedded in the hot bitumen to create a rough surface. An increasing number of flat roofs are covered with a singleply membrane of waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compounds. Roofers roll these sheets over the roof’s insulation and seal the seams. Adhesive, mechanical fasteners, or stone ballasts hold the sheets in place. The building must be of sufficient strength to hold the ballast. Most residential roofs are covered with shingles. To apply shingles, roofers first lay, cut, and tack 3-foot strips of roofing felt lengthwise over the entire roof. Then, starting from the bottom edge, they staple or nail overlapping rows of shingles to the roof. Work­ ers measure and cut the felt and shingles to fit intersecting roof sur­ faces and to fit around vent pipes and chimneys. Wherever two roof surfaces intersect, or shingles reach a vent pipe or chimney, roofers cement or nail flashing-strips of metal or shingle over the joints to make them watertight. Finally, roofers cover exposed nailheads with roofing cement or caulking to prevent water leakage. Some roofers also waterproof and dampproof masonry and con­ crete walls and floors. To prepare surfaces for waterproofing, they hammer and chisel away rough spots, or remove them with a rub­ bing brick, before applying a coat of liquid waterproofing com­ pound. They also may paint or spray surfaces with a waterproofing material, or attach waterproofing membrane to surfaces. When dampproofing, they usually spray a bitumen-based coating on inte­  rior or exterior surfaces. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  §ses -  t ^Z \  . sRoofing work is strenuous, involving heavy lifting, climbing, bending, and kneeling.  Working Conditions Roofing work is strenuous. It involves heavy lifting, as well as climbing, bending, and kneeling. Roofers work outdoors in all types of weather, particularly when making repairs. These workers risk slips or falls from scaffolds, ladders, or roofs, or bums from hot bitumen. In addition, roofs become extremely hot during the summer. Employment Roofers held about 158,000 jobs in 2000. Almost all wage and salary roofers worked for roofing contractors. About 1 out of every 4 roofers was self-employed. Many self-employed roofers special­ ized in residential work. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most roofers acquire their skills informally by working as helpers for experienced roofers. They start by carrying equipment and material, and erecting scaffolds and hoists. Within 2 or 3 months, trainees are taught to measure, cut, and fit roofing materials and, later, to lay asphalt or fiberglass shingles. Because some roofing materials are used infrequently, it can take several years to get experience working on all the various types of roofing applications. Some roofers train through 3-year apprenticeship programs ad­ ministered by local union-management committees representing roofing contractors and locals of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers. The apprenticeship program generally consists of a minimum of2,000 hours of on-the-job train­ ing annually, plus 144 hours of classroom instruction a year in sub­ jects such as tools and their use, arithmetic, and safety. On-the-job training for apprentices is similar to that for helpers, except that the apprenticeship program is more structured. Apprentices also learn to dampproof and waterproof walls. Good physical condition and good balance are essential for roof­ ers. A high school education, or its equivalent, is helpful, as are courses in mechanical drawing and basic mathematics. Most ap­ prentices are at least 18 years old. Roofers may advance to supervisor or estimator for a roofing contractor, or become contractors themselves. Job Outlook Jobs for roofers should be plentiful through the year 2010, prima­ rily because of the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Turnover is high—roofing  470 Occupational Outlook Handbook  work is hot, strenuous, and dirty, and a significant number of work­ ers treat roofing as a temporary job until something better comes along. Some roofers leave the occupation to go into other con­ struction trades. Employment of roofers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Roofs deterio­ rate faster than most other parts of buildings and periodically need to be repaired or replaced. About three-fourths of roofing work is repair and replacement, a higher proportion than in most other con­ struction work. As a result, demand for roofers is less susceptible to downturns in the economy than that for other construction trades. In addition to repair and reroofing work on the growing stock of buildings, new construction of industrial, commercial, and residen­ tial buildings will add to the demand for roofers. Jobs should be easiest to find during spring and summer, when most roofing is done. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of roofers were $13.95. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.72 and $18.86. The lowest 10 per­ cent earned less than $8.68, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.47. The median hourly earnings in 2000 of roofers in the roofing, siding, and sheet metal work industry were $14.00. Some roofers are members of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers. Apprentices usually start at about 40 percent of the rate paid to experienced roofers and receive periodic raises as they acquire the skills of the trade. Earnings for roofers are reduced on occasion because poor weather often limits the time they can work. Related Occupations Roofers use shingles, bitumen and gravel, single-ply plastic or rub­ ber sheets, or other materials to waterproof building surfaces. Work­ ers in other occupations who cover surfaces with special materials for protection and decoration include carpenters; carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers; cement masons, concrete finishers, seg­ mental pavers, and terrazzo workers; drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers; and plasterers and stucco masons. Sources of Additional Information For information about apprenticeships or job opportunities in roof­ ing, contact local roofing contractors, a local chapter of the roofers union, a local joint union-management apprenticeship committee, or the nearest office of your State employment service or apprentice­  Nature of the Work Sheet metal workers make, install, and maintain air-conditioning, heating, ventilation, and pollution control duct systems; roofs; sid­ ing; rain gutters; downspouts; skylights; restaurant equipment; out­ door signs; and many other products made from metal sheets. They also may work with fiberglass and plastic materials. Although some workers specialize in fabrication, installation, or maintenance, most do all three jobs. In addition to construction-related sheet metal work, some sheet metal workers are employed in the mass produc­ tion of sheet metal products in manufacturing. Sheet metal workers first study plans and specifications to de­ termine the kind and quantity of materials they will need. They then measure, cut, bend, shape, and fasten pieces of sheet metal to make ductwork, counter tops, and other custom products. In an increasing number of shops, sheet metal workers use computerized metalworking equipment. This enables them to experiment with different layouts and to select the one that results in the least waste of material. They cut or form parts with computer-controlled saws, lasers, shears, and presses. In shops without computerized equipment, and for products that cannot be made on such equipment, sheet metal workers use hand calculators to make the required calculations and use tapes, rulers, and other measuring devices for layout work. They then cut or stamp the parts on machine tools. Before assembling pieces, sheet metal workers check each part for accuracy using measuring instruments such as calipers and micrometers and, if necessary, finish it by using hand, rotary, or squaring shears and hacksaws. After the parts have been inspected, workers fasten seams and joints together with welds, bolts, ce­ ment, rivets, solder, specially formed sheet metal drive clips, or other connecting devices. They then take the parts to the con­ struction site where they further assemble the pieces as they in­ stall them. These workers install ducts, pipes, and tubes by joining them end to end and hanging them with metal hangers secured to a ceiling or a wall. They also use shears, hammers, punches, and drills to make parts at the worksite or to alter parts made in the shop. Some jobs are done completely at the jobsite. When installing a metal roof, for example, sheet metal workers measure and cut the roofing panels that are needed to complete the job. They secure the first panel in place and interlock and fasten the grooved edge of the next panel into the grooved edge of the first. Then, they nail or weld the free edge of the panel to the structure. This two-step process is repeated for each additional panel. Finally, the workers  ship agency. For information about the work of roofers, contact: ► National Roofing Contractors Association, 10255 W. Higgins Rd., Rosemont,IL 60018-5607. Internet: http://www.nrca.net >. United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, 1660 L St. NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036.  Sheet Metal Workers (0**NET 47-2211.00)  Significant Points  •  Two out of 3 jobs are found in the construction industry; about 1 out of 3 is in manufacturing.  •  Apprenticeship programs lasting 4 or 5 years are considered the best training. Digitized• for Job FRASER opportunities should be excellent in construction. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Sheet metal workers usuallyfabricate their products at a shop away from the construction site.  Construction Trades and Related Workers 471  fasten machine-made molding at joints, along comers, and around windows and doors for a neat, finished effect. In addition to installation, some sheet metal workers specialize in testing, balancing, adjusting, and servicing existing air-condi­ tioning and ventilation systems to make sure they are functioning properly and to improve their energy efficiency. Sheet metal workers in manufacturing plants make sheet metal parts for products such as aircraft or industrial equipment. Although some of the fabrication techniques used in large-scale manufactur­ ing are similar to those used in smaller shops, the work may be highly automated and repetitive. Working Conditions Sheet metal workers usually work a 40-hour week. Those who fabricate sheet metal products work in shops that are well-lighted and well-ventilated. However, they stand for long periods and lift heavy materials and finished pieces. Sheet metal workers must follow safety practices because working around high-speed machines can be dangerous. They also are subject to cuts from sharp metal, bums from soldering and welding, and falls from lad­ ders and scaffolds. They usually wear safety glasses but must not wear jewelry or loose-fitting clothing that could easily be caught in a machine. Those performing installation work do considerable bending, lifting, standing, climbing, and squatting, sometimes in close quar­ ters or in awkward positions. Although duct systems and kitchen equipment are installed indoors, the installation of siding, roofs, and gutters involves much outdoor work, requiring sheet metal workers to work in various kinds of weather. Employment Sheet metal workers held about 224,000 jobs in 2000. Two-thirds of all sheet metal workers were found in the construction industry. Of those employed in constmction, three-fourths worked for plumb­ ing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors; most of the rest worked for roofing and sheet metal contractors. Some worked for other special trade contractors and for general contractors engaged in residential and commercial building. Most of the sheet metal workers outside of constmction are found in manufacturing indus­ tries, such as the fabricated structural metal products, industrial machinery equipment, and aircraft and parts industries. Some work for the Federal government. Compared with workers in most constmction craft occupations, relatively few sheet metal workers are self-employed. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Apprenticeship generally is considered to be the best way to learn this trade. The apprenticeship program consists of 4 or 5 years of on-the-job training and a minimum of 144 hours per year of class­ room instruction. Apprenticeship programs provide comprehen­ sive instruction in both sheet metal fabrication and installation. They are administered by local joint committees composed of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and local chap­ ters of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association. On the job, apprentices learn the basics of pattern layout and how to cut, bend, fabricate, and install sheet metal. They begin with basic ductwork and gradually advance to more difficult jobs, such as making more complex ducts, fittings, and decorative pieces. They also use materials such as fiberglass, plastics, and other nonmetallic materials. the classroom, apprentices leam drafting, plan and specifi­ Digitized for In FRASER cation reading, trigonometry and geometry applicable to layout https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  work, the use of computerized equipment, welding, and the prin­ ciples ofheating, air-conditioning, and ventilating systems. Safety is stressed throughout the program. In addition, apprentices leam the relationship between sheet metal work and other constmction work. Some persons pick up the trade informally, usually by work­ ing as helpers to experienced sheet metal workers. Most begin by carrying metal and cleaning up debris in a metal shop while they learn about materials and tools and their uses. Later, they leam to operate machines that bend or cut metal. In time, helpers go out on the jobsite to leam installation. Those who acquire their skills this way often take vocational school courses in mathematics or sheet metal fabrication to supplement their work experience. To be promoted to the journey level, helpers usually must pass the same written examination as apprentices. Most sheet metal workers in large-scale manufacturing receive on-the-job training. Applicants for jobs as apprentices or helpers should be in good physical condition and have mechanical and mathematical aptitude. Good eye-hand coordination, spatial and form perception, and manual dexterity also are important. Local apprenticeship commit­ tees require a high school education or its equivalent. Courses in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, mechanical drawing, and shop pro­ vide a helpful background for learning the trade, as does related work experience obtained in the Armed Services. It is important for experienced sheet metal workers to keep abreast of new technological developments, such as the growing use of computerized layout and laser cutting machines. Workers often take additional training provided by the union or by their employer, to improve existing skills or to acquire new ones. Sheet metal workers may advance to supervisory jobs. Some of these workers take additional training in welding and do work that is more specialized. Others go into the contracting business for themselves. Because a sheet metal contractor must have a shop with equipment to fabricate products, this type of contracting busi­ ness is more expensive to start than other types of construction contracting. Job Outlook Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for sheet metal work­ ers in the construction industry and in constmction-related sheet metal fabrication, reflecting both rapid employment growth and openings arising each year as experienced sheet metal workers leave the occupation. In addition, many potential workers may prefer work that is less strenuous and that has more comfortable working conditions, thus limiting the number of applicants for sheet metal jobs. Opportunities should be particularly good for individuals who acquire apprenticeship training. Prospects are expected to be better for sheet metal workers in the construction industry than for those in manufacturing because construction is expected to grow faster than the manufacturing industries that employ sheet metal workers. Employment of sheet metal workers in construction is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2010, reflecting growth in the demand for sheet metal installations as more industrial, commercial, and residential structures are built. The need to install energy-efficient air-conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems in the increasing stock of old buildings and to perform other types of renovation and maintenance work also should boost employment. In addition, the popularity of decorative sheet metal products and increased architectural restoration are expected to add to the demand for sheet metal workers. On the other hand, average job growth is projected for sheet metal workers in manu­ facturing.  472 Occupational Outlook Handbook  Sheet metal workers in construction may experience periods of unemployment, particularly when construction projects end and eco­ nomic conditions dampen construction activity. Nevertheless, em­ ployment of sheet metal workers is less sensitive to declines in new construction than is the employment of some other construction workers, such as carpenters. Maintenance of existing equipment— which is less affected by economic fluctuations than is new con­ struction—makes up a large part of the work done by sheet metal workers. Installation of new air-conditioning and heating systems in existing buildings continues during construction slumps, as indi­ viduals and businesses adopt more energy-efficient equipment to cut utility bills. In addition, a large proportion of sheet metal instal­ lation and maintenance is done indoors, so sheet metal workers usu­ ally lose less worktime due to bad weather than other construction workers do. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of sheet metal workers employed in all industries were $15.31. The lowest 10 percent of all sheet metal workers earned less than $8.90, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.54. The median hourly earnings of the largest industries employing sheet metal workers in 2000 are shown below. Federal Government............................................................................. Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning.......................................... Roofing, siding, and sheet metal work............................................. Fabricated structural metal products................................................ Aircraft and parts..................................................................................  $18.85 16-06 15.37 14.11 13.47  Apprentices normally start at about 40 percent of the rate paid to experienced workers. As apprentices acquire more skills through­ out the course of their training, they receive periodic increases until their pay approaches that of experienced workers. In addition, union workers in some areas receive supplemental wages from the union when they are on layoff or shortened workweeks. Many sheet metal workers are members of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association. Related Occupations To fabricate and install sheet metal products, sheet metal workers combine metalworking skills and knowledge of construction mate­ rials and techniques. Other occupations in which workers lay out and fabricate metal products include assemblers and fabricators; machinists; machine setters, operators, and tenders—metal and plas­ tic; and tool and die makers. Construction occupations requiring similar skills and knowledge include glaziers and heating, air-con­ ditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers. Sources of Additional Information For more information about apprenticeships or other work opportu­ nities, contact local sheet metal contractors or heating, refrigera­ tion, and air-conditioning contractors; a local of the Sheet Metal Workers; a local of the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contrac­ tors National Association; a local joint union-management appren­ ticeship committee; or the nearest office of your State employment service or apprenticeship agency. For general information about sheet metal workers, contact: ► International Training Institute for the Sheet Metal and Air-Condition­ ing Industry, 601 N. Fairfax St., Suite 240, Alexandria, VA 22314. >• Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors National Association, 4201 Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, VA 20151 -1209. Internet: http://www.smacna.org ► Sheet Metal Workers International Association, 1750 New York Ave. Digitized for Washington, FRASER DC 20006. Internet: http://www.smwia.org NW.,  https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Structural and Reinforcing Iron and Metal Workers _____ ______ (0*NET 47-2171.00, 47-2221.00)  Significant Points  • • •  Most employers recommend a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship. During economic downturns, workers can experience high rates of unemployment. The danger of injuries due to falls is great; therefore, those who work at great heights do not work during wet, icy, or extremely windy conditions.  Nature of the Work Builders use materials made from iron, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or precast concrete to construct highways, bridges, office and other large buildings, and power transmission towers. These structures have frames made of steel columns, beams, and girders. In addi­ tion, reinforced concrete—concrete containing steel bars or wire fabric—is an important material in buildings, bridges, and other structures, as the steel gives the concrete additional strength. More­ over, metal stairways, catwalks, floor gratings, ladders, window frames, lampposts, railings, fences, and decorative ironwork increase the functionality and attractiveness of these structures. Structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers fabricate, assemble, and install these products. They also repair, renovate, and maintain older buildings and structures, such as manufacturing plants, highways, and bridges. Even though the primary metal involved in this work is steel, workers often are known as ironworkers. Before constmction can begin, ironworkers must erect steel frames and assemble the cranes and derricks that move structural steel, reinforcing bars, buckets of concrete, lumber, and other materials and equipment around the con­ struction site. The structural metal arrives at the construction site in sections. There, it is lifted into position by a crane. Ironworkers then connect the sections and set the cables to do the hoisting. Once this job has been completed, workers begin to connect steel columns, beams, and girders according to blueprints and in­ structions from supervisors and superintendents. Structural steel, reinforcing rods, and ornamental iron generally come to the con­ struction site ready for erection—cut to the proper size, with holes drilled for bolts and numbered for assembly. Ironworkers at the construction site unload and stack the prefab­ ricated steel so that it can be hoisted easily when needed. To hoist the steel, metal workers attach cables from a crane or derrick. One worker directs the hoist operator with hand signals. Another worker holds a rope (tag line) attached to the steel to prevent it from swing­ ing. The crane or derrick hoists steel into place in the framework, where several workers, using spud wrenches, position the steel with connecting bars and jacks. Workers using drift pins or the handle of a spud wrench—a long wrench with a pointed handle—align the holes in the steel with the holes in the framework. Then, they tem­ porarily bolt the piece in place; check vertical and horizontal align­ ment with plumb bobs, laser equipment, transits, or levels; and bolt or weld the piece permanently in place. Reinforcing iron and rebar workers set the bars in the forms that hold concrete, following blueprints showing the location, size, and number of reinforcing bars (rebar). They then fasten the bars to­ gether by tying wire around them with pliers. When reinforcing floors, workers place blocks under the rebar to hold the bars off the  Construction Trades and Related Workers 473  Some ironworkers fabricate structural metal in fabricating shops, which usually are located away from the construction site. They are covered in the statement on assemblers and fabricators found elsewhere in the Handbook. Employment Structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers held about 111,000 jobs in 2000. About half worked for structural steel erection con­ tractors. Most of the remainder worked for contractors specializing in the construction of homes; factories; commercial buildings; churches; schools; bridges and tunnels; and water, sewer, commu­ nications, and power lines. Structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers are employed in all parts of the country, but most work in metropolitan areas, where most commercial and industrial construction takes place.  Ironworkers connect sections ofstructural steel. deck. Although these materials usually arrive ready to use, iron­ workers occasionally must cut bars with metal shears or acetylene torches, bend them by hand or machine, or weld them with arc­ welding equipment. Some concrete is reinforced with welded wire fabric. Using hooked rods, workers cut and fit the fabric and, while a concrete crew places the concrete, metal workers properly posi­ tion the fabric in the concrete. Post-tensioning is another technique used in reinforcing concrete; workers substitute cables for reinforc­ ing bars. When the concrete is poured, the ends of the cables are left exposed. After the concrete dries, ironworkers tighten the cable. Post-tensioning allows designers to create larger open areas in a building because supports can be placed further apart. This tech­ nique is commonly employed in parking garages and arenas. Ornamental ironworkers install elevator shafts, stairs, curtain walls (the nonstructural walls and window frames of many large buildings), and other ornamentation pieces after the structure of the building has been completed. As they hoist pieces into position, ornamental ironworkers check that the pieces are properly fitted and aligned before bolting, brazing, or welding them for a secure fit. Working Conditions Structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers usually work out­ side in all kinds of weather. However, those who work at great heights do not work during wet, icy, or extremely windy conditions. Because the danger of injuries due to falls is great, ironworkers use safety devices such as safety belts, scaffolding, and nets to reduce Digitizedrisk. for FRASER https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most employers recommend a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship, consist­ ing of on-the-job training and evening classroom instruction, as the best way to learn this trade. Apprenticeship programs usually are administered by committees made up of representatives of local unions of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Orna­ mental and Reinforcing Iron Workers or the local chapters of con­ tractors’ associations. Ironworkers must be at least 18 years old. A high school di­ ploma may be preferred by employers and may be required by some local apprenticeship committees. High school courses in general mathematics, mechanical drawing, and shop are helpful. Because materials used in iron working are heavy and bulky, metal workers must be in good physical condition. They also need good agility, balance, eyesight, and depth perception to safely work at great heights on narrow beams and girders. Ironworkers should not be afraid of heights or suffer from dizziness. In the classroom, apprentices study blueprint reading; mathemat­ ics for layout work; the basics of structural erecting, rigging, rein­ forcing, welding, and burning; ornamental erection; and assembling. Apprentices also study the care and safe use of tools and materials. On the job, apprentices work in all aspects of the trade, such as unloading and storing materials at the job site, rigging materials for movement by crane or derrick, connecting structural steel, and welding. Some ironworkers learn the trade informally on the job without completing an apprenticeship. These workers generally do not re­ ceive classroom training, although some large contractors have ex­ tensive training programs. On-the-job trainees usually begin by assisting experienced ironworkers by doing simple jobs, such as carrying various materials. With experience, trainees perform more difficult tasks like cutting and fitting different parts; however, learn­ ing through work experience alone may not provide training as com­ plete as an apprenticeship program and usually takes longer. Some experienced workers are promoted to supervisor. Others may go into the contracting business for themselves. Job Outlook Employment of structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers is expected to rise about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010, largely based on the continued growth in industrial and commercial construction. The rehabilitation, main­ tenance, and replacement of a growing number of older buildings, factories, power plants, and highways and bridges is expected to create employment opportunities. While some new jobs will arise, most openings will result from the need to replace experienced ironworkers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.  474 Occupational Outlook Handbook  The number ofjob openings fluctuates from year to year as eco­ nomic conditions and the level of construction activity change. During economic downturns, ironworkers can experience high rates of unemployment. Similarlyjob opportunities for ironworkers may vary widely by geographic area. Job openings for ironworkers usu­ ally are more abundant during the spring and summer months, when the level of construction activity increases. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of structural iron and steel work­ ers in all industries were SI7.92. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.34 and $24.16. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.05, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $29.62. In 2000, median hourly earnings of reinforcing iron and rebar work­ ers in all industries were $16.78. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.57 and $23.64. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.90, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $27.86. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest num­ ber of structural iron and steel workers in 2000 were: Miscellaneous special trade contractors........................................... Heavy construction, except highway................................................. Nonresidential building construction............................................... Fabricated structural metal products.................................................  $19.59 17.55 15.86 13.71  Many workers in this trade are members of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers. According to the union, average hourly earnings, includ­ ing benefits, for structural and reinforcing metal workers who be­ longed to a union and worked full time ranged between $18 and $50 in 2000. Structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phila­ delphia, and other large cities received the highest wages.   https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Apprentices generally start at about 50 to 60 percent of the rate paid to experienced journey workers. They receive periodic in­ creases throughout the course of the apprenticeship program, as they acquire the skills of the trade, until their pay approaches that of experienced workers. Earnings for ironworkers may be reduced on occasion because work can be limited by bad weather, the short-term nature of con­ struction jobs, and economic downturns. Related Occupations Structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers play an essential role in erecting buildings, bridges, highways, powerlines, and other structures. Others who also work on these construction jobs include assemblers and fabricators; boilermakers; civil engineers; cement masons, concrete finishers, segmental pavers, and terrazzo workers; construction managers; and welding, soldering, and brazing workers. Sources of Additional Information For more information on apprenticeships or other work opportuni­ ties, contact local general contractors; a local of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union; a local ironworkers’ joint union-management ap­ prenticeship committee; a local or State chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors; or the nearest office of your State em­ ployment service or apprenticeship agency For apprenticeship information, contact: >- International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Rein­ forcing Iron Workers, Apprenticeship Department, 1750 New York Ave. NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006.  For general information about ironworkers, contact: >- The Associated General Contractors of America, 333 John Carlyle St., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314.  Installation, Maintenance, and _______ Repair Occupations Electrical and Electronic Equipment Mechanics, ____ Installers, and Repairers Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers (0**NET 49-2011.01, 49-2011.02, 49-2011.03)  Significant Points •  Workers receive training in electronics from associate degree programs, the military, vocational schools, equipment manufacturers, or employers.  •  Job growth reflects the increasing dependence of business and residential customers on computers and other sophisticated office machines.  •  Job prospects will be best for applicants with knowledge of electronics, as well as repair experience; opportunities for computer repairers should be excellent, as employers report difficulty finding qualified applicants.  Nature of the Work Computer repairers, also known as data processing equipment repairers, service mainframe, server, and personal computers; print­ ers; and disc drives. These repairers primarily perform hands-on repair, maintenance, and installation of computers and related equip­ ment. Workers who provide technical assistance, in person or by telephone, to computer system users are known as computer sup­ port specialists. (See the statement on computer support specialists and systems administrators elsewhere in the Handbook.) Automated teller machines (ATMs) allow customers to carry out bank transactions without the assistance of a teller. ATMs now provide a growing variety of other services, including stamp, phone card, and ticket sales. Automated teller machine servicers repair and service these machines. Office machine and cash register servicers work on photocopi­ ers, cash registers, mail processing equipment, and fax machines. Newer models of office machinery increasingly include computer­ ized components that allow them to function more effectively than earlier models. To install large equipment, such as mainframe computers and ATMs, repairers connect the equipment to power sources and com­ munication lines. These lines allow the transmission of information over computer networks. For example, when an ATM dispenses cash, it also transmits the withdrawal information to the customer’s bank. Workers also may install operating software and peripheral equip­ ment, checking that all components are configured to correctly fiinction together. The installation of personal computers and other small office machines is less complex and may be handled by the purchaser. When equipment breaks down, many repairers travel to custom­ ers workplaces or other locations to make the necessary repairs.  https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  These workers, known as field technicians, often have assigned ar­ eas in which they perform preventive maintenance on a regular ba­ sis. Bench technicians work in repair shops located in stores, factories, or service centers. In small companies, repairers may work in both repair shops and at customer locations. Computer repairers usually replace defective components instead of repairing them. Replacement is common because components are inexpensive and businesses are reluctant to shut down their com­ puters for time-consuming repairs. Components commonly replaced by computer repairers include video cards, which transmit signals from the computer to the monitor; hard drives, which store data; and network cards, which allow communication over the network. Defective components may be given to bench technicians, who use software programs to diagnose the problem and who may repair the components, if possible.  ismss  <-*■*  Hi  '  .  b........ C'..i  MM  Office machine repairers maintain and fix photocopiers. 475  476 Occupational Outlook Handbook  When ATMs malfunction, computer networks recognize the prob­ lem and alert repairers. Common problems include worn magnetic heads on card readers, which prevent the equipment from recogniz­ ing customer bankcards; and “pick failures,” which prevent the equipment from dispensing the correct amount of cash. Field tech­ nicians travel to the locations of ATMs and usually repair equip­ ment by removing and replacing defective components. Broken components are brought to a repair shop where bench technicians perform the necessary repairs. Field technicians perform routine maintenance on a regular basis, replacing worn parts and running diagnostic tests to ensure that the equipment functions properly. Office machine repairers usually work on machinery at the customer’s workplace; customers also may bring small equipment to a repair shop for maintenance. Common malfunctions include paper misfeeds due to worn or dirty parts, and poor copy quality due to problems with lamps, lenses, or mirrors. These malfunc­ tions usually can be resolved simply by cleaning components. Break­ downs also may result from failure of commonly used parts. For example, heavy usage of a photocopier may wear down the printhead, which applies ink to the final copy. In such cases, the repairer usually replaces the part, instead of repairing it. Workers use a variety of tools for diagnostic tests and repair. To diagnose malfunctions, they use multimeters to measure voltage, current, resistance, and other electrical properties; signal genera­ tors to provide test signals; and oscilloscopes to monitor equipment signals. When diagnosing computerized equipment, repairers also use software programs. To repair or adjust equipment, workers use handtools, such as pliers, screwdrivers, soldering irons, and wrenches. Working Conditions Repairers usually work in clean, well-lighted surroundings. Because computers and office machines are sensitive to extreme tempera­ tures and to humidity, repair shops usually are air-conditioned and well-ventilated. Field repairers must travel frequently to various locations to install, maintain, or repair customer equipment. ATM repairers may have to perform their jobs in small, confined spaces that house the equipment. Because computers and ATMs are critical for many organiza­ tions to function efficiently, data processing equipment repairers and ATM field technicians often work around the clock. Their sched­ ules may include evening, weekend, and holiday shifts; shifts may be assigned on the basis of seniority. Office machine and cash reg­ ister servicers usually work regular business hours because the equip­ ment they repair is not as critical. Although their job is not strenuous, repairers must lift equip­ ment and work in a variety of postures. Repairers of computer monitors need to discharge voltage from the equipment to avoid electrocution. Workers may have to wear protective goggles. Employment Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers held about 172,000 jobs in 2000. Wholesale trade establishments employed slightly less than one-half of the workers in this occupation; most of these establishments were wholesalers of professional and com­ mercial equipment. Many workers were employed in computer and data processing services, as well as in appliance, radio, TV, and music stores. More than 1 in 7 computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers was self-employed.  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Knowledge of electronics is necessary for employment as a com­ puter, automated teller, or office machine repairer. Employers pre­  fer workers who are certified as repairers or who have training in https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  electronics from associate degree programs, the military, vocational schools, or equipment manufacturers. Employers generally pro­ vide some training to new repairers on specific equipment; how­ ever, workers are expected to arrive on the job with a basic understanding of equipment repair. Employers may send experi­ enced workers to training sessions to keep up with changes in tech­ nology and service procedures. Most office machine and ATM repairer positions require an as­ sociate degree in electronics. A basic understanding of mechanical equipment also is important, as many of the parts that fail in office machines and ATMs are mechanical, such as paper loaders. Entrylevel employees at large companies normally receive on-the-job training lasting several months. This may include a week of class­ room instruction followed by a period of 2 weeks to several months assisting an experienced repairer. Field technicians work closely with customers and must have good communications skills and a neat appearance. Employers normally require that field technicians have a driver s license. Several organizations administer certification programs for elec­ tronic or computer equipment repairers. Numerous certifications, including A+, Net+, and Server+, are available through the Com­ puting Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). To receive the certifications, candidates must pass several tests that assess com­ puter repair skills. The International Society of Certified Electron­ ics Technicians (ISCET) and the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) also administer certification programs. Repairers may spe­ cialize in computer repair or a variety of other skills. To receive certification, repairers must pass qualifying exams corresponding to their level of training and experience. Both programs offer asso­ ciate certifications to entry-level repairers. Newly hired computer repairers may work on personal comput­ ers or peripheral equipment. With experience, they can advance to positions maintaining more sophisticated systems, such as network­ ing equipment and servers. Field repairers of ATMs may advance to bench-technician positions responsible for more complex repairs. Experienced workers may become specialists who help other re­ pairers diagnose difficult problems or work with engineers in de­ signing equipment and developing maintenance procedures. Experienced workers also may move into management positions responsible for supervising other repairers. Because of their familiarity with equipment, experienced repair­ ers also may move into customer service or sales positions. Some experienced workers open their own repair shops or become whole­ salers or retailers of electronic equipment. Job Outlook Employment of computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. Job growth will be driven by the increas­ ing dependence of business and residential customers on comput­ ers and other sophisticated office machines. The need to maintain this equipment in working order will create new jobs for repairers. In addition, openings will result from the need to replace repairers who retire or move into new occupations. Job prospects will be best for applicants with knowledge of elec­ tronics as well as repair experience; opportunities for computer re­ pairers should be excellent, as employers report difficulty finding qualified applicants and as reliance on computers continues to in­ crease. Although computer equipment continues to become less expensive and more reliable, malfunctions still occur and can cause severe problems for users, most of whom lack the knowledge to make repairs. Computers are critical to most businesses today and will become even more so to companies that do business on the Internet and to households that make purchases online.  Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 477  People also are becoming increasingly reliant on ATMs. Besides bank and retail transactions, ATMs provide an increasing number of other services, such as employee information processing and dis­ tribution of government payments. ATM design improvements have increased reliability and simplified repair tasks, reducing the num­ ber and extent of repairs. Opportunities for ATM repairers should be available, primarily arising from the need to replace workers who leave the specialty, rather than from employment growth. Conventional office machines, such as calculators, are inexpen­ sive, and often are replaced instead of repaired. However, digital copiers and other newer office machines are more costly and com­ plex. This equipment often is computerized, designed to work on a network, and able to perform multiple functions. The growing need for repairers to service such sophisticated equipment should result in job opportunities for office machine repairers. Earnings Median hourly earnings of computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers were $15.08 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.80 and $19.20. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.50, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $23.42. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest num­ bers of computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers in 2000 are shown below. Professional and commercial equipment......................................... Computer and data processing services............................................ Radio, television, and computer stores.............................................  $ 15.28 15.05 13.16  Related Occupations Workers in other occupations who repair and maintain electronic equipment include broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators; electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers; electrical and electronics installers and repairers; indus­ trial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers; and radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers. Sources of Additional Information For information on certification programs, contact: Computing Technology Industry Association, 450 East 22nd St., Suite 230, Lombard, IL 60148-6158. Internet: http://www.comptia.org International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, 3608 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107. Internet: http://www.iscet.org Electronics Technicians Association, 502 North Jackson, Greencastle, IN 46135. Internet: http://www.eta-sda.com  Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers (0**NET 49-2092.01, 49-2092.02, 49.2092.03, 49-2092.04, 49-2092.05, 49-2092.06, 49-2093.00, 49-2094.00, 49-2095.00, 49-2096.00)  Significant Points •  Knowledge of electrical equipment and electronics is necessary for employment; many applicants complete 1 to 2 years at vocational schools and community colleges, although some less skilled repairers may have only a high school diploma. • Projected employment growth will be slower than average, but varies by occupational specialty. • Job opportunities will be best for applicants with a thorough knowledge of electrical and electronic  equipment, as well as repair experience. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Nature of the Work Businesses and other organizations depend on complex electronic equipment for a variety of functions. Industrial controls automati­ cally monitor and direct production processes on the factory floor. Transmitters and antennae provide communications links for many organizations. Electric power companies use electronic equipment to operate and control generating plants, substations, and monitor­ ing equipment. The Federal Government uses radar and missile control systems to provide for the national defense and to direct commercial air traffic. These complex pieces of electronic equip­ ment are installed, maintained, and repaired by electrical and elec­ tronics installers and repairers. Electrical equipment and electronics equipment are two distinct types of industrial equipment, although much equipment contains both electrical and electronic components. In general, electrical portions of equipment provide the power for the equipment while electronic components control the device, although many types of equipment still are controlled with electrical devices. Electronic sensors monitor the equipment and the manufacturing process, pro­ viding feedback to the programmable logic control (PLC) that con­ trols the equipment. The PLC processes the information provided by the sensors and makes adjustments to optimize output. To adjust the output the PLC sends signals to the electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic devices that power the machine—changing feed rates, pressures, and other variables in the manufacturing process. Many installers and repairers, known as field technicians, travel to facto­ ries or other locations to repair equipment. These workers often have assigned areas where they perform preventive maintenance on a regular basis. When equipment breaks down, field techni­ cians go to a customer’s site to repair the equipment. Bench tech­ nicians work in repair shops located in factories and service centers. They work on components that cannot be repaired on the factory floor. Some industrial electronic equipment is self-monitoring and alerts repairers to malfunctions. When equipment breaks down, repairers first check for common causes of trouble, such as loose connec­ tions or obviously defective components. If routine checks do not locate the trouble, repairers may refer to schematics and manufac­ turers specifications that show connections and provide instruc­ tions on how to locate problems. Automated electronic control systems are increasing in complexity, making diagnosing problems more challenging. Repairers use software programs and testing equipment to diagnose malfunctions. They use multimeters, which measure voltage, current, and resistance; advanced multimeters also measure capacitance, inductance, and current gain of transistors. They also use signal generators that provide test signals, and oscil­ loscopes that graphically display signals. Repairers use handtools such as pliers, screwdrivers, soldering irons, and wrenches to replace faulty parts and to adjust equipment. Because component repair is complex and factories cannot allow production equipment to stand idle, repairers on the factory floor usu­ ally remove and replace defective units, such as circuit boards, instead of fixing them. Defective units are discarded or returned to the manu­ facturer or to a specialized shop for repair. Bench technicians at these locations have the training, tools, and parts to thoroughly diag­ nose and repair circuit boards or other complex components. These workers also locate and repair circuit defects, such as poorly sol­ dered joints, blown fuses, or malfunctioning transistors. Electrical and electronics installers often fit older manufactur­ ing equipment with new automated control devices. Older manu­ facturing machines are frequently in good working order, but are limited by inefficient control systems that lack replacement parts. Installers replace old electronic control units with new PLCs. Set­ ting up and installing a new PLC involves connecting it to different  478 Occupational Outlook Handbook  ■m  mEm* W'jl.  & Hi  Electrical and electronics repairers use multimeters to measure electrical current.  sensors and electrically powered devices (electric motors, switches, pumps) and writing a computer program to operate the PLC. Elec­ tronics installers coordinate their efforts with other workers install­ ing and maintaining equipment. (See the statement on industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers elsewhere in the Handbook.) Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles have a significantly different job. They install, diagnose, and repair communications, sound, security, and navigation equipment in motor vehicles. Most installation work involves either new alarm or sound systems. New sound systems vary significantly in cost and com­ plexity of installation. Replacing a head unit (radio) with a new computer disc (CD) player is quite simple, requiring removing a few screws and connecting a few wires. Installing a new sound system with a subwoofer, amplifier, and fuses is far more compli­ cated. The installer builds a box, of fiberglass or wood, designed to hold the subwoofer and to fit in the unique dimensions of the auto­ mobile. Installing sound-deadening material, which often is neces­ sary with more powerful speakers, requires an installer to remove many parts of a car (seats, carpeting, interiors of doors), add sound­ absorbing material in empty spaces, and reinstall the interior parts. They also run new speaker and electrical cables. Additional elec­ trical power may require additional fuses; a new electrical line to be ran from the battery, through a newly drilled hole in the fire wall into the interior of the vehicle; or an additional or more powerful alternator and/or battery. Repairing automotive electronic equipment is similar to other electronic installation and repair work. Multimeters are used to diagnose the source of the problem. Many parts often are removed and replaced, rather than repaired. Many repairs are quite simple, only requiring a fuse to be replaced. Motor vehicle installers and repairs work with an increasingly complex range of electronic equip­ ment, including DVD players, VCRs, satellite navigation equip­ ment, passive security tracking systems, and active security systems. Working Conditions Many electrical and electronics installers and repairers work on fac­ tory floors where they are subject to noise, dirt, vibration, and heat. Bench technicians work primarily in repair shops where the sur­ roundings are relatively quiet, comfortable, and well-lighted. Field technicians spend much time on the road, traveling to different cus­  tomer locations. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Because electronic equipment is critical to industries and other organizations, repairers work around the clock. Their schedules may include evening, weekend, and holiday shifts; shifts may be assigned on the basis of seniority. Installers and repairers may have to do heavy lifting and work in a variety of positions. They must follow safety guidelines and of­ ten wear protective goggles and hardhats. When working on lad­ ders or on elevated equipment, repairers must wear harnesses to prevent falls. Before repairing a piece of machinery, these workers must follow procedures to insure that others cannot start the equip­ ment during the repair process. They also must take precautions against electric shock by locking off power to the unit under repair. Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles normally work indoors in well-ventilated and -lighted repair shops. Minor cuts and bruises are common, but serious accidents usually are avoided when safety practices are observed.  Employment Electrical and electronics installers and repairers held about 171,000 jobs in 2000. The following tabulation breaks down employment by occupational specialty. Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment.................................................................. 90,000 Electric motor, power tools, and related repairers........................ 37,000 Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay..................................................................................... ' 8,000 Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment.......................................................... 14,000 Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles..... 13,000  Many repairers worked for wholesale trade companies, general electrical work companies, the Federal Government, electrical repair shops, and manufacturers of electronic components and accesso­ ries and communications equipment.  Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Knowledge of electrical equipment and electronics is necessary for employment. Many applicants gain this training through programs lasting 1 to 2 years at vocational schools and community colleges, although some less skilled repairers may have only a high school diploma. Entry-level repairers may work closely with more experi­ enced technicians who provide technical guidance. Installers and repairers should have good eyesight and color per­ ception in order to work with the intricate components used in elec­ tronic equipment. Field technicians work closely with customers and should have good communications skills and a neat appear­ ance. Employers also may require that field technicians have a driver’s license. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) and the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) administer certification programs for electronics installation and repair technicians. Repairers may specialize—in industrial elec­ tronics, for example. To receive certification, repairers must pass qualifying exams corresponding to their level of training and experi­ ence. Both programs offer associate certifications to entry-level repairers. Experienced repairers with advanced training may become spe­ cialists or troubleshooters who help other repairers diagnose diffi­ cult problems. Workers with leadership ability may become supervisors of other repairers. Some experienced workers open their own repair shops.  Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 479  Job Outlook Job opportunities should be best for applicants with a thorough knowledge of electrical equipment and electronics, as well as repair experience. Overall employment of electrical and electronics installers and repairers is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations over the 2000-10 period, but varies by occupational specialty. In addition to employment growth, many job openings should result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Average employment growth is projected for electrical and elec­ tronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment. Com­ mercial and industrial electronic equipment will become more sophisticated and used more frequently, as businesses strive to lower costs by increasing and improving automation. Companies will install electronic controls, robots, sensors, and other equipment to automate processes such as assembly and testing. As prices de­ cline, applications will be found across a number of industries, in­ cluding services, utilities, and construction, as well as manufacturing. Improved equipment reliability should not constrain employment growth, however; companies increasingly will rely on repairers, because any malfunction that idles commercial and industrial equip­ ment is costly. Employment of electronics installers and repairers of motor vehicles also is expected to grow about as fast as average. Motor vehicle manufacturers will install more and better sound, security, entertainment, and navigation systems in new vehicles, limiting employment growth for after-market electronic equipment install­ ers. However, repairing the new electronic systems should help drive employment growth. On the other hand, employment of electric motor, power tool, and related repairers is expected to grow more slowly than average. Improvements in electrical and electronic equipment design should limit job growth by simplifying repair tasks. More parts are being designed to be easily disposable, further reducing employment growth. Employment of electrical and electronics installers and repair­ ers, powerhouse, substation, and relay is expected to decline slightly. Consolidation and privatization in utilities industries should im­ prove productivity, reducing employment. Newer equipment will be more reliable and easier to repair, further limiting employment. Earnings Median hourly earnings of electrical and electronics repairers, com­ mercial and industrial equipment were $17.75 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.92 and $21.32. The lowest 10 per­ cent earned less than $10.90, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25.78. Median hourly earnings of electric motor, power tool, and re­ lated repairers were $15.80 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.91 and $20.04. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.13, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25.17. Median hourly earnings of electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay were $23.34 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $19.07 and $26.21. The lowest 10 per­ cent earned less than $14.79, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $29.00. Median hourly earnings of electrical and electronics repairers, transportation equipment were $16.93 in 2000. The middle 50 per­ cent earned between $12.25 and $21.54. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.60, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25.76. Median hourly earnings of electronics installers and repairers, motor vehicles were $ 12.06 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.60 and $15.25. The lowest 10 percent earned less than  $7.98, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $18.69. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Related Occupations Workers in other occupations who install and repair electronic equip­ ment include broadcast and sound technicians and radio operators; computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers; electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers; and radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers. Indus­ trial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers also install, maintain, and repair industrial machinery. Sources of Additional Information For information on careers and certification, contact: ► International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, 3608 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107-4527. Internet: http://www.iscet.org ► Electronics Technicians Association, 502 North Jackson, Greencastle, IN 46135. Internet: http://www.eta-sda.com  Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers and Repairers (Q**NET 49-2097.00)  Significant Points •  Employment is expected to decline because it often is cheaper to replace than to repair equipment.  •  Job opportunities will be best for applicants with knowledge of electronics and related hands-on experience.  Nature of the Work Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers, also called service technicians, repair a variety of equipment, in­ cluding televisions and radios, stereo components, video and audio disc players, video cameras, and videocassette recorders. They also repair home security systems, intercom equipment, and home the­ ater equipment, which consist of large-screen televisions and sophis­ ticated, surround-sound systems. Customers usually bring small, portable equipment to repair shops for servicing. Repairers at these locations, known as bench techni­ cians, are equipped with a full array of electronic tools and parts. When larger, less mobile equipment breaks down, customers may pay repairers to come to their homes. These repairers, known as field technicians, travel with a limited set of tools and parts, and attempt to complete the repair at the customer’s location. If the repair is complex, technicians may bring defective components back to the repair shop for a thorough diagnosis and repair. When equipment breaks down, repairers check for common causes of trouble, such as dirty or defective components. Many repairs consist of simply cleaning and lubricating equipment. For example, cleaning the tape heads on a videocassette recorder will prevent tapes from sticking to the equipment. If routine checks do not locate the trouble, repairers may refer to schematics and manu­ facturers’ specifications that provide instructions on how to locate problems. Repairers use a variety of test equipment to diagnose and identify malfunctions. They use multimeters to detect short circuits, failed capacitors, and blown fuses by measuring the volt­ age, current, and resistance. They use color bar and dot generators to provide onscreen test patterns, signal generators to test signals, and oscilloscopes and digital storage scopes to measure complex waveforms produced by electronic equipment. Repairs may involve removing and replacing a failed capacitor, transistor, or fuse. Repairers use handtools such as pliers, screwdrivers, soldering irons,  480 Occupational Outlook Handbook  •'J  —das/  Field technicians work closely with customers and must have good communications skills and a neat appearance. Employers also may require that field technicians have a driver’s license. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (1SCET) and the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) admin­ ister certification programs for electronics technicians. Repairers may specialize in a variety of skill areas, including consumer elec­ tronics. To receive certification, repairers must pass qualifying exams corresponding to their level of training and experience. Both programs offer associate certifications to entry-level repairers. Experienced repairers with advanced training may become spe­ cialists or troubleshooters, who help other repairers diagnose diffi­ cult problems. Workers with leadership ability may become supervisors of other repairers. Some experienced workers open their own repair shops.  Electronic home entertainment equipment repairers clean and lubricate mechanical components of VCRs. and wrenches to replace faulty parts. They also make adjustments to equipment, such as focusing and converging the picture of a tele­ vision set or balancing the audio on a surround-sound system. Improvements in technology have miniaturized and digitized many audio and video recording devices. Miniaturization has made repairwork significantly more difficult, as both the components and acceptable tolerances are smaller. For example, an analog video camera operates at 1800 revolutions per minute (rpm), while a digi­ tal video camera may operate at 9000 rpm. Components now are mounted on the surface of circuit boards, instead of plugged into slots, requiring more precise soldering when a new part is installed. Improved technologies also have lowered the price of electronic home entertainment equipment. As a result, customers often re­ place broken equipment instead of repairing it. Working Conditions Most repairers work in well-lighted electrical repair shops. Field technicians, however, spend much time traveling in service vehicles and working in customers’ residences. Repairers may have to work in a variety of positions and carry heavy equipment. Although the work of repairers is comparatively safe, they must take precautions against minor bums and electric shock. Because television monitors carry high voltage even when turned off, repairers need to discharge the voltage before servicing such equipment. Employment Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers held about 37,000 jobs in 2000. Most repairers work in stores that sell and service electronic home entertainment products, or in elec­ trical repair shops and service centers. About 1 in 6 electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers is self-employed. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Employers prefer applicants who have basic knowledge and skills in electronics. Applicants should be familiar with schematics and have some hands-on experience repairing electronic equipment. Many applicants gain these skills at vocational training programs and community colleges. Training programs should include both a hands-on and theoretical education in digital consumer electronics. Entry-level repairers may work closely with more experienced tech­  nicians, who provide technical guidance. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Job Outlook Employment of electronic home entertainment equipment install­ ers and repairers is expected to decline through 2010, due to de­ creased demand for repair work. Some job openings will occur, however, as repairers retire or gain higher paying jobs in other occupations requiring electronics experience. Opportunities will be best for applicants with hands-on experience and knowledge of electronics. The need for repairers is declining because home entertainment equipment is less expensive than in the past. As technological developments have lowered equipment prices and improved reli­ ability, the demand for repair services has decreased. When mal­ functions do occur, it often is cheaper for consumers to replace equipment rather than to pay for repairs. Employment of repairers will continue to decline despite the introduction of sophisticated digital equipment, such as DVDs, digi­ tal televisions, and digital camcorders. So long as the price of such equipment remains high, purchasers will be willing to hire repair­ ers when malfunctions occur. Flowever, the need for repairers to maintain this costly equipment will not be great enough to offset the overall decline in demand for their services. Earnings Median hourly earnings of electronic home entertainment equip­ ment installers and repairers were $12.72 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.90 and $16.63. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.84, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $20.72. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of electronic home entertainment equipment re­ pairers in 2000 are shown below: Electrical repair shops.......................................................................... Radio, television, and computer stores.............................................  $12.30 11 -67  Related Occupations Other workers who repair and maintain electronic equipment in­ clude broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio opera­ tors; computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers, electrical and electronics installers and repairers; and radio and tele­ communications equipment installers and repairers. Sources of Additional Information For information on careers and certification, contact: >- The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, 3608 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107. Internet: http://www.iscet.org ► Electronics Technicians Association, 502 North Jackson, Greencastle, IN 46135. Internet: http://www.eta-sda.com  Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 481  Radio and Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers (0*NET 49-2021.00, 49-2022.01, 49-2022.02, 49-2022.03, 49-2022.04, 49-2022.05)  • • •  Significant Points Employment is projected to decline. Applicants with electronics training and computer skills should have the best opportunities. Weekend and holiday hours are common; repairers may be on call around the clock in case of emergencies.  Nature of the Work Telephones and radios depend on a variety of equipment to trans­ mit communications signals. Electronic switches route telephone signals to their destinations. Switchboards direct telephone calls within a single location or organization. Radio transmitters and receivers relay signals from wireless phones and radios to their des­ tinations. Newer telecommunications equipment is computerized and can communicate a variety of information, including data, graph­ ics, and video. The workers who set up and maintain this sophisti­ cated equipment are radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers. Central office installers set up switches, cables, and other equip­ ment in central offices. These locations are the hubs of a telecom­ munications network—they contain the switches and routers that direct packets of information to their destinations. PBX installers and repairers set up private branch exchange (PBX) switchboards, which relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls within a single location or organization. To install switches and switchboards, in­ stallers first connect the equipment to power lines and communica­ tions cables and install frames and supports. They test the connections to ensure that adequate power is available and that the communication links function. They also install equipment such as power systems, alarms, and telephone sets. New switches and switchboards are computerized; workers install software or may program the equipment to provide specific features. For example, as a cost-cutting feature, an installer may program a PBX switch­ board to route calls over different lines at different times of the day. However, other workers, such as computer support specialists, rather than installers, generally handle complex programming. (The work of computer support specialists is described in the Handbook state­ ment on computer support specialists and systems administrators.) Finally, the installer performs tests to verify that the newly installed equipment functions properly. The increasing reliability of telephone switches and routers has simplified maintenance. New telephone switches are self-monitor­ ing and alert repairers to malfunctions. Some switches allow repair­ ers to diagnose and correct problems from remote locations. When faced with a malfunction, the repairer may refer to manufacturers’ manuals that provide maintenance instructions. PBX repairers deter­ mine if the problem is located within the PBX system, or if it origi­ nates in the telephone lines maintained by the local phone company. When problems with telecommunications equipment arise, tele­ communications equipment repairers diagnose the source of the problem by testing each of the different parts of the equipment, which requires an understanding of how the software and hardware interact. Repairers often use spectrum and/or network analyzers to locate the problem. A network analyzer sends a signal through the  equipment to detect any distortion in the signal. The nature of the https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  signal distortion often directs the repairer to the source of the prob­ lem. To fix the equipment, repairers may use small hand tools, including pliers and screwdrivers, to remove and replace defective components such as circuit boards or wiring. Newer equipment is easier to repair, since whole boards and parts are designed to be quickly removed and replaced. Repairers also may install updated software or programs that maintain existing software. Station installers and repairers, telephone—commonly known as telephone installers and repairers—install and repair telephone wiring and equipment on customers’ premises. They install tele­ phone service by connecting customers’ telephone wires to outside service lines. These lines run on telephone poles or in underground conduits. The installer may climb poles or ladders to make the connections. Once the telephone is connected, the line is tested to insure that it receives a dial tone. When a maintenance problem occurs, repairers test the customers’ lines to determine if the prob­ lem is located in the customers’ premises or in the outside service lines. When onsite procedures fail to resolve installation or main­ tenance problems, repairers may request support from their techni­ cal service center. Line installers and repairers, covered elsewhere in the Handbook, install the wires and cables that connect custom­ ers with central offices. Radio mechanics install and maintain radio transmitting and re­ ceiving equipment. This includes stationary equipment mounted on transmission towers and mobile equipment, such as radio commu­ nications systems in service and emergency vehicles. Their work  .UBiliffV'*1"  if’  T t Vs ^  Radio mechanics install and maintain radio transmitting and receiving equipment.  482 Occupational Outlook Handbook  does not include cellular communications towers and equipment. Newer radio equipment is self-monitoring and may alert mechanics to potential malfunctions. When malfunctions occur, these mechanics examine equipment for damaged components and loose or broken wires. They use electrical measuring instruments to monitor signal strength, transmission capacity, interference, and signal delay, as well as hand tools to replace defective components and parts and to ad­ just equipment so it performs within required specifications. Working Conditions Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers generally work in clean, well-lighted, air-conditioned surroundings, such as a telephone company’s central office, a customer’s PBX location, or an electronic repair shop or service center. Telephone installers and repairers work on rooftops, ladders, and telephone poles. Radio mechanics may maintain equipment located on the tops oftransmissions towers. While working outdoors, these workers are subject to a variety of weather conditions. Nearly all radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers work full time. Many work regular business hours to meet the demand for repair services during the workday. Schedules are more irregular at companies that need repair services 24 hours a day or where installation and maintenance must take place after business hours. At these locations, mechanics work a variety of shifts, including weekend and holiday hours. Repairers may be on call around the clock, in case of emergencies, and may have to work overtime. The work of most repairers involves lifting, reaching, stooping, crouching, and crawling. Adherence to safety precautions is impor­ tant to guard against work hazards. These hazards include falls, minor bums, electrical shock, and contact with hazardous materials. Employment Radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers held about 196,000 jobs in 2000. About 189,000 were telecommu­ nications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers, and the rest were radio mechanics. Most worked for telephone communications companies but many radio mechanics worked in electrical repair shops. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Most employers seek applicants with postsecondary training in elec­ tronics and a familiarity with computers. Training sources include 2- and 4-year college programs in electronics or communications, trade schools, and equipment and software manufacturers. Mili­ tary experience with communications equipment is highly valued by many employers. Newly hired repairers usually receive some training from their employers. This may include formal classroom training in elec­ tronics, communications systems, or software and informal, handson training with communications equipment. Large companies may send repairers to outside training sessions to keep these employees informed of new equipment and service procedures. As networks have become more sophisticated—often including equipment from a variety of companies—the knowledge needed for installation and maintenance also has increased. Repairers must be able to distinguish colors, because wires are color-coded, and they must be able to hear distinctions in the vari­ ous tones on a telephone system. For positions that require climb­ ing poles and towers, workers must be in good physical shape. Repairers who handle assignments alone at a customer’s site must be able to work without close supervision. For workers who fre­ quently contact customers, a pleasant personality, neat appearance, Digitizedand for FRASER good communications skills also are important. https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Experienced repairers with advanced training may become spe­ cialists or troubleshooters who help other repairers diagnose diffi­ cult problems, or may work with engineers in designing equipment and developing maintenance procedures. Because of their famil­ iarity with equipment, repairers are particularly well qualified to become manufacturers’ sales workers. Workers with leadership ability also may become maintenance supervisors or service man­ agers. Some experienced workers open their own repair services or shops or become wholesalers or retailers of electronic equipment. Job Outlook Employment of radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to decline through 2010. Although the need for installation work will grow as companies seek to upgrade their telecommunications networks, there will be a declining need for maintenance work—performed by telecommunications equip­ ment installers and repairers, except line installers—because of in­ creasingly reliable self-monitoring and self-diagnosing equipment. The replacement of two-way radio systems by wireless systems, especially in service vehicles, has eliminated the need in many com­ panies for onsite radio mechanics. The increased reliability of wire­ less equipment and the use of self-monitoring systems also will continue to lessen the need for radio mechanics. Applicants with electronics training and computer skills should have the best op­ portunities for radio and telecommunications equipment installer and repairer jobs. Job opportunities will vary by specialty. For example, opportu­ nities should be available for central office and PBX installers and repairers as the growing popularity of the Internet, expanded multi­ media offerings such as video on demand, and other telecommuni­ cations services continue to place additional demand on telecommunications networks. These new services require high data transfer rates, which can only be achieved by installing new optical switching and routing equipment. Extending high speed communi­ cations from central offices to customers also will require the in­ stallation of more advanced switching and routing equipment. Whereas increased reliability and automation of switching equip­ ment will limit opportunities, these effects will be offset by the strong demand for installation and upgrading of switching equipment. Station installers and repairers, on the other hand, can expect keen competition. Pre-wired buildings and the increasing reliabil­ ity of telephone equipment will reduce the need for installation and maintenance of customers’ telephones. The number of pay phones is declining as cellular telephones have increased in popularity, which also will adversely affect employment in this specialty as pay phone installation and maintenance is one of their major functions. Earnings In 2000, median hourly earnings of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers were $21.17. The middle 50 percent earned between $16.55 and $24.99. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $12.04, whereas the top 10 percent earned more than $27.23. Median hourly earnings in the telephone com­ munications industry were $22.88 in 2000. Median hourly earnings of radio mechanics in 2000 were $15.86. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.57 and $20.60. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $9.39, whereas the top 10 per­ cent earned more than $25.62. Related Occupations Related occupations that work with electronic equipment include broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators; computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers; electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers; and electrical  Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 483  and electronics installers and repairers. Engineering technicians also may repair electronic equipment as part of their duties.  ^Communications Workers of America, 501 3rd St. NW., Washington, DC 20001. Internet: http://www.cwa-union.org  Sources of Additional Information For information on career opportunities, contact:  ► Electronics Technicians Association International, 502 North Jackson, Greencastle, IN 46135. Internet: http://www.eta-sda.com ► National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, P.O. Box 678, Medway, MA 02053. Internet: http://www.narte.org  ► International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Telecommunications Department, 1125 15th St. NW„ Room 807, Washington, DC 20005.  For information on careers and schools, contact:  Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Service Technicians (Q*NET 49-2091.00, 49-3011.01, 49-3011.02, 49-3011.03)  Significant Points •  The majority of these workers learn their job in 1 of about 200 trade schools certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.  •  Opportunities should be favorable, but keen competition is likely for the best paying airline jobs.  Nature of the Work To keep aircraft in peak operating condition, aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians perform scheduled maintenance, make repairs, and complete inspections required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Many aircraft mechanics, also called airframe, powerplant, and avionics aviation maintenance technicians, specialize in preventive maintenance. They inspect engines, landing gear, instmments, pres­ surized sections, accessories—brakes, valves, pumps, and air-con­ ditioning systems, for example—and other parts of the aircraft, and do the necessary maintenance and replacement of parts. Inspec­ tions take place following a schedule based on the number of hours the aircraft has flown, calendar days since the last inspection, cycles of operation, or a combination of these factors. Large, sophisti­ cated planes are equipped with aircraft monitoring systems, con­ sisting of electronic boxes and consoles that monitor the aircraft’s basic operations and provide valuable diagnostic information to the mechanic. To examine an engine, aircraft mechanics work through specially designed openings while standing on ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from the craft. After taking an engine apart, mechanics use precision instruments to measure parts for wear and use x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment to check for invisible cracks. Worn or defective parts are repaired or replaced. Mechanics may also repair sheet metal or composite surfaces, measure the tension of control cables, and check for corrosion, distortion, and cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail. After completing all repairs, they must test the equipment to ensure that it works properly. Mechanics specializing in repairwork rely on the pilot’s descrip­ tion of a problem to find and fix faulty equipment. For example, during a preflight check, a pilot may discover that the aircraft’s fuel gauge does not work. To solve the problem, mechanics may troubleshoot the electrical system, using electrical test equipment sure that no wires are broken or shorted out, and replace Digitizedto formake FRASER https://fraser.stlouisfed.org Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  s  Aircraft mechanics inspect, maintain, and replace engines and other parts of the aircraft.  any defective electrical or electronic components. Mechanics work as fast as safety permits so that the aircraft can be put back into service quickly. Some mechanics work on one or many different types of air­ craft, such as jets, propeller-driven airplanes, and helicopters. Oth­ ers specialize in one section of a particular type of aircraft, such as the engine, hydraulics, or electrical system. Powerplant mechanics are authorized to work on engines and do limited work on propel­ lers. Airframe mechanics are authorized to work on any part of the aircraft except the instruments, powerplants, and propellers. Com­ bination airframe-and-powerplant mechanics—called A & P me­ chanics—work on all parts of the plane, except instruments. The majority of mechanics working on civilian aircraft today are A & P mechanics. In small, independent repairshops, mechanics usually inspect and repair many different types of aircraft. Avionics systems are now an integral part of aircraft design and have vastly increased aircraft capability. Avionics technicians repair and maintain components used for aircraft navigation and radio communications, weather radar systems, and other instru­ ments and computers that control flight, engine, and other pri­ mary functions. These duties may require additional licenses, such as a radiotelephone license issued by the U.S. Federal Communi­ cations Commission (FCC). Because of technological advances, an increasing amount of time is spent repairing electronic sys­ tems, such as computerized controls. Technicians also may be required to analyze and develop solutions to complex electronic problems.