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. A U

upational Outlook
dbook, 1980-81 Edition


5 Department of Labor
reau of Labor Statistics
irch 1980
lletin 2075

SOUTHWEST Mi£i§OUftf .* > * c:


NOV 2 11980

Pointers on Using the Handbook
• To locate a particular occupation or
industry, see:
Contents, page v iii.
Index to Occupations and Industries, page 635.
• Occupations have new code numbers.
This is the first Handbook to use the codes
from the new 4th edition of the Dictionary of
Occupational Titles. The Index to the Diction­
ary of Occupational Titles, on page 626, lists
nearly 1,000 occupations by D.O.T. code and
title and, for each, refers you to the relevant
page of the Handbook.
• How do economists forecast the future?
For a brief description of the assumptions and
methods used in preparing BLS employment
projections, see page 24.

• For an overview of job prospects to 1990,
read the section on Tomorrow’s Jobs starting
on page 16 ■
• Should you steer clear of a slow-growing
For pointers on interpreting the outlook section
that appears in every Handbook statement,
see page 4 .
• Need more career information?
Consult the Sources of Additional Information
at the end of every statement. See page 8
for other places to look for information on
occupations and careers.

Occupational Outlook
Handbook, 1980-81 Edition
U.S. Department of Labor
Ray Marshall, Secretary
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Janet L. Norwood, Commissioner
March 1980
Bulletin 2075
Material in this publication is in the
public domain and may be reproduced
without permission of the Federal
Government. Please credit the
Bureau of Labor Statistics and cite
the name and number of this publication.

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D .C . 20402
Stock Number 029-001-02325-1

•fr U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1980— 0 -2 9 6 -6 6 6


Ray M arshall,
Secretary o f L abor

The difficulties many young people experience when making the transition from school to
work have been recognized as a serious national problem. But the process of choosing and
preparing for a career is no easier for persons who seek a career change or who enter the labor
force at later stages in their lives. Selecting a career can be accompanied by anxiety and
uncertainty regardless of when the decision is made.
Accurate and comprehensive career guidance may ease the anxiety. In this way, one can
become aware of available opportunities and alternatives, and can plan for a career that
matches one’s abilities and aspirations.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, a major source of vocational guidance information,
describes what workers do on the job; the training and education they need; earnings; working
conditions; and expected job prospects for hundreds of occupations. It is our hope that this
publication will continue to offer valuable help to everyone seeking satisfying and productive

Prefatory Note
Janet L. N orw ood,
Bureau o f L abor Statistics

In our constantly changing economy, information on tomorrow’s career opportunities must
be available if workers are to be prepared for the future. Since 1945, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics has conducted research on employment in occupations and industries for use in
vocational guidance. A major product of this research is the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
The Handbook represents the most current and comprehensive information available on
work today and job prospects for tomorrow. Revised every two years, the Handbook contains
a description of job duties, education and training requirements, employment outlook, earn­
ings, and working conditions for several hundred occupations and 35 industries. Handbook
information is based on data received from a variety of sources, including business firms, trade
associations, labor unions, professional societies, educational institutions, and government
For the first time, the Handbook includes in each occupational statement a section listing
other occupations that require similar aptitudes, interests, or education and training. The
Handbook also contains an index referenced to the most recent edition of the Dictionary o f
Occupational Titles.


Letter of Endorsement
Dr. M ary F. Maples, President
A m erican Personnel and
G uidance Association
William B. Lewis
A dm inistrator
U.S. Em ploym ent Service
U.S. D epartm ent of Labor

Choosing a career is one of life’s most important decisions. A wise choice can yield pride
of achievement, an opportunity for personal growth, and the security of an adequate income.
An unwise choice can lead to dissatisfaction not only with the job but also with oneself.
Precisely what is a wise choice depends, of course, on the individual. Not everyone is attracted
by or suited to the same type of work, and frequently a person’s job needs and aspirations
change over time. Because deciding on a career, whether for the first or the fifteenth time,
can be difficult, the advice of a trained counselor can help a great deal.

M ax Cleland
A dm inistrator
Veterans A dm inistration
Dr. M ary F. Berry
Assistant Secretary for
U.S. D epartm ent of Education

To assist individuals in finding a fulfilling career, counselors must have current, accurate,
and comprehensive occupational information. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a
primary source of this information. For several hundred occupations and 35 major industries,
the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, their working conditions, the training
and education required, advancement possibilities, employment outlook, and earnings. To
broaden the reader’s awareness of career options, each occupational statement also lists
related occupations and gives sources of additional information.
Counselors in all work settings will find this newest edition of the Handbook an invaluable
tool for helping clients choose a satisfying and rewarding career.

Robert R. H um phreys
Rehabilitation Services
A dm inistration
U.S. D epartm ent of Education
Alvin Tucker
D irector for Training and Education
U.S. D epartm ent of Defense


The Handbook was prepared in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Occupational
Outlook, under the supervision of Neal H. Rosenthal.
The general planning and coordination of the Handbook was done under the direction of
Michael Pilot.
Alan Eck, Susan C. Gentz, Daniel E. Hecker, Anne Kahl, and Patrick Wash supervised
the research and preparation of individual Handbook sections. Members of the Division’s staff
who contributed sections were Vance H. Anthony, Douglas J. Braddock, Charles A Byrne
III, Donald Clark, Lisa S. Dillich, Conley Hall Dillon, Jr., Lawrence C. Drake, Jr., John P.
Griffin, H. Philip Howard, Stephen W. Ginther, Kevin Kasunic, Chester Curtis Levine,
Thomas Nardone, H. James Neary, James V. Petrone, Debra E. Rothstein, Shirley G.
Rudney, and Jon Q. Sargent.
Max L. Carey supervised work on special projects associated with the Handbook. Susan
C. Gentz coordinated the compilation and editing of charts. The gathering and editing of
photographs was done by Kathy Wilson.
Word processing was handled by Beverly A. Williams, Gloria D. Blue, and Brenda Mar­
shall. Other typing support was provided by Karen E. Harper, Vidella H. Hubbard, and
Michelle Antoinette McCree.


A great many trade associations, professional societies, unions, and industrial organizations
are able to provide career information that is valuable to counselors and jobseekers. For the
convenience of Handbook users, some of these organizations are listed at the end of the
statements on individual occupations and industries. Although these references were assem­
bled carefully, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has neither authority nor facilities for investigat­
ing the organizations listed. Also, because the Bureau does not preview all the information
or publications that may be sent in response to a request, it cannot guarantee the accuracy
of such information. The listing of an organization, therefore, does not constitute in any way
an endorsement or recommendation by the Bureau or the U.S. Department of Labor, either
of the organization and its activities or of the information it may supply. Each organization
has sole responsibility for whatever information it may issue.
The occupational information contained in the Handbook presents a general, composite
description of jobs and industries and cannot be expected to reflect work situations in specific
establishments or localities. The Handbook, therefore, is not intended and should not be used
as a guide for determining wages, hours, the right of a particular union to represent workers,
appropriate bargaining units, or formal job evaluation systems.


Photograph Credits
The Bureau of Labor Statistics gratefully acknowledges the cooperation and assistance of the
many government and private sources that either contributed photographs or made their facilities
available to the U.S. Department of Labor photographers for this edition of the Occupational
Outlook Handbook. Inclusion of photographs to illustrate Handbook statements does not necessar­
ily mean that the photographs are free of every possible safety or health hazard. Depiction of
companies or trade name products in no way constitutes endorsement by the Department of Labor.

A&P Food Stores, Acacia Mutual Life Insur­
ance Co., Agrico Research Magazine, Air
Line Pilots Association, Alder Display Stu­
dio, Allegheny Airlines, The Aluminum As­
sociation, American Medical Record Associ­
ation, American Telephone and Telegraph
Co., American Chiropractic Association,
American Trucking Associations, American
Psychological Association, American Optometric Association, American Society of
Agricultural Engineers, American Hospital
Association, American Osteopathic Associa­
tion, American Personnel and Guidance As­
sociation, American Textile Manufacturing
Institute, American Airlines, Amtrak, Asso­
ciation of American Railroads, Associated
General Contractors of America, Associated
Truck Lines, Inc., Atlantic Cleaners, Backriver Treatment Plant, Baltimore Gas and
Electric Co., Baltimore Public Schools, Balti­
more Jewish Times, Baltimore Aircoil Co.,
Baltimore City, Md. Police Department, Bay
Printing Co., Bendix Corp., Bethlehem Steel
Corp., Bethlehem Review, Blake Construc­
tion Co., Board of Governors of the Federal
Reserve System, Bemie Boston, Braniff In­
ternational, Bureau of Indian Affairs, C & P
Telephone Co., Harry T. Campbell & Sons
Co., The Carpenter, Chase Manhattan Bank,
Chessie System, Inc., Chesapeake Photo En­
graving, Chevron, Cinderella Shoe Shop,
Coast and Geodetic Survey, Computer
Manufacturing Corp., Department of Hous­
ing (Baltimore, Md.), Designer Optical, Dis­
play Data Corp., E. I. Dupont De Nemours
& Co., Inc., Earl of Sandwich, Everhart Jew­
elers, Inc., Fairfax County Library (Va.), Ira

Falls, Federal Correction Institute, Forging
Industry Association, Garfinkel’s, Geico,
Gemeny’s Flowers, General Elevator Co.,
General Electric, General Dynamics Corp.,
Georgetown University Law Center (D.C.),
Georgetown University, George Washington
University, Georgetown University Medical
Center, Goddard Aerospace Center, Good­
year Tire and Rubber Co., Grumman Aero­
space Corp., Gulf Oil Corp., H & S Bakery,
John L. Hampshire, Inc., Pat Harris Buick,
Harte-Rotman & Drucke, Postmaster, Hern­
don, Va., Hecht Co., Hilton Hotel, Balti­
more, Hoffman Upholsterer, Howard
County Extension Service (Md.), HyattRegency, Washington, D.C., Inland Photo,
Inland Steel Co., The Honorable Senator
Daniel K. Inouye, International Business
Machines Corp., International Paper Co.,
Irwin Construction Co., Jackson State Uni­
versity, A1 Jarreau, Jean-Paul Restaurant,
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Robert Wood John­
son Foundation, George E. Joseph, Kaiser
Aluminum Corp., C. M. Kemp, Jordon Kitt
Co., Krug & Son, Ed Kuiss, Ruth Lawsner,
Lebow Brothers Co., Leon Bridges Co.,
Lynchburg Foundry Co., Maryland State
Police, U.S. Department of Health, Educa­
tion, and Welfare, Maryland National Capi­
tal Park and Planning Commission, Mary­
of Transportation,
Maryland Science Center, Maryland Na­
tional Bank, Maryland Dental Laboratory,
Inc., Maryland Rehabilitation Center, Mary­
land Geological Survey, Mary Washington
Hospital, McCormick Flavor Division,
McDonogh School (Md.), McDonnell Doug­

las Corp., Media Impact, Melart Jewelers,
Del Mercado Shell Service Center, Merck
and Co., Inc., Merkle Press, Inc., Merrill
Lynch and Co., Inc., Metropolitan Area
Transit Authority (D.C.), Joel Meyerowitz,
Craig Milner, Model Cities Senior Center
(D.C.), Monsanto Corp., Montgomery
County Public Schools (Md.), Monument
Life Insurance, Co., Morgan State Univer­
sity, National Institutes of Health, National
Park Service, National Leather Service, Na­
tional Education Association, Naval Ord­
nance Laboratory, Navy, Marshall and Gor­
don, Northern Virginia Community College,
Orkin Extermination Co., Ottenberg’s Bak­
ery, Parade Magazine, Joseph Parker Co.,
Bob Peck Chevrolet, Phillips Petroleum,
President’s Committee on Employment of
the Handicapped, Purdum Pharmacy, Whit­
man Requardt and Associates, Reston Inter­
national Travel, Riggs National Bank,
Rochester Gas & Electric Co., Royce TV Re­
pair Services, Saint Columba’s Episcopal
Church (D.C.), Smithsonian Institution,
Southern Railroad Co., Captain Stan’s Boat
Center, Sun Co., Inc., Sunoco of Alexandria,
T. I. Swartz, Baltimore, Md., Texaco, Inc.,
Towson State University (Md.), United Air­
lines, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, U.S. Air Force,
U. S. Postal Service, United Way of America,
Upjohn Health Care Services, Valley Animal
Hospital, Warren-Ehret-Linck, Washington
Cathedral, Washington Hospital Center,
Wellborn Realtors, Westvaco Co., Western
Electric, WMAR-TV (Baltimore, Md.), Yel­
low Cab Co..

Comments about the contents of this publication and suggestions for improving it are
welcome. Please address them to Chief, Division of Occupational Outlook, Bureau of
Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 20212.



i Guide
to the Handbook

H andbook

8 W h e r e t o g o fo r m o r e
16 T o m o r r o w ’s jo bs
24 A s s u m p t io n s a n d m e t h o d s

The Outlook
for Occupations


I n d u s t r i a l p r o d u c t io n


Foundry occupations


Machining occupations
All-round machinists
Instrument makers (mechanical)
Machine tool operators
Setup workers (machine tools)
Tool-and-die makers

42 Printing occupations
42 Compositors
44 Lithographers
45 Photoengravers
46 Electrotypers and stereotypers
47 Printing press operators and
49 Bookbinders and bindery workers

Other industrial production and
related occupations
Automobile painters
Blue-collar worker supervisors
Boilermaking occupations
Boiler tenders
Forge shop occupations
Inspectors (manufacturing)
Motion picture projectionists
Ophthalmic laboratory technicians
Photographic laboratory


69 Power truck operators
70 Production painters
71 Stationary engineers
73 Wastewater treatment plant
74 Welders

O f f i c e o c c u p a t io n s


Clerical occupations
Bookkeeping workers
Collection workers
File clerks
Hotel front office clerks
Office machine operators
Postal clerks
Secretaries and stenographers
Shipping and receiving clerks
Statistical clerks
Stock clerks


Computer and related occupations
Computer operating personnel
Systems analysts

102 Banking occupations
102 Bank clerks
103 Bank officers and managers
105 Bank tellers

Insurance occupations
Claim representatives

113 Administrative and related
113 Accountants
115 Buyers
117 City managers
118 College student personnel workers
120 Credit managers
121 Hotel managers and assistants
122 Lawyers
125 Marketing research workers
127 Personnel and labor relations
129 Purchasing agents
131 Urban planners

136 Hotel housekeepers and assistants
137 Pest controllers

Food service occupations
Cooks and chefs
Dining room attendants and
143 Food counter workers
144 Meatcutters
145 Waiters and waitresses
147 Personal service occupations
147 Barbers
148 Bellhops and bell captains
149 Cosmetologists
151 Funeral directors and embalmers


Private household service
Private household workers
.>_ • .:
• .h; / •\U r } 5
Protective and related service
Correction officers
FBI special agents
Police officers
State police officers
Construction inspectors
Health and regulatory inspectors
Occupational safety and health

171 Other service occupations
171 Mail carriers
172 Telephone operators
174 E d u c a t io n a n d r e l a t e d
o c c u p a t io n s


Teaching occupations
Kindergarten and elementary school
177 Secondary school teachers
179 College and university faculty
181 Teacher aides
183 Library occupations
183 Librarians
186 Library technicians and assistants

134 S e r v i c e o c c u p a t io n s


135 Cleaning and related occupations
135 Building custodians

188 Automobile parts counter workers
190 Automobile sales workers

S a l e s o c c u p a t io n s


Automobile service advisors
Gasoline service station attendants
Insurance agents and brokers
Manufacturers’ sales workers
Real estate agents and brokers
Retail trade sales workers
Route drivers
Securities sales workers
Travel agents
Wholesale trade sales workers


C o n s t r u c t io n o c c u p a t io n s


Bricklayers, stonemasons, and
marble setters
Cement masons and terrazzo
Construction laborers
Dry wall installers and finishers
Electricians (construction)
Elevator constructors
Floor covering installers
Insulation workers
Operating engineers (construction
machinery operators)
Painters and paperhangers
Plumbers and pipefitters
Sheet-metal workers


O c c u p a t io n s in


Air transportation occupations
Air traffic controllers
Airplane mechanics
Airplane pilots
Flight attendants
Reservation and passenger agents


Merchant marine occupations
Merchant marine officers
Merchant marine sailors

255 Railroad occupations
255 Brake operators
257 Conductors
258 Locomotive engineers
259 Shop trades
260 Signal department workers
261 Station agents
261 Telegraphers, telephoners, and tower
262 Track workers

Driving occupations
Intercity busdrivers
Local transit busdrivers
Local truckdrivers


Long-distance truckdrivers
Parking attendants
Taxicab drivers
Sc i e n t i f i c a n d t e c h n i c a l
o c c u p a t io n s


Conservation occupations
Forestry technicians
Range managers
Soil conservationists




Environmental scientists


Life science occupations
Life scientists
Soil scientists


Mathematics occupations

309 Physical scientists
309 Astronomers
310 Chemists
312 Physicists

Other scientific and technical
314 Broadcast technicians
315 Drafters
316 Engineering and science technicians
320 Food technologists
321 Surveyors and surveying technicians
-3 2 4

M e c h a n ic s a n d r e p a i r e r s

325 Telephone craft occupations
325 Central office craft occupations
326 Central office equipment installers
327 Line installers and cable splicers
329 Telephone and PBX installers and

Other mechanics and repairers
Air-conditioning, refrigeration, and
heating mechanics
Appliance repairers


Automobile body repairers
Automobile mechanics
Boat-engine mechanics
Bowling-pin-machine mechanics
Business machine repairers
Computer service technicians
Electric sign repairers
Farm equipment mechanics
Furniture upholsterers
Industrial machinery repairers
Maintenance electricians
Motorcycle mechanics
Piano and organ tuners and repairers
Shoe repairers
Television and radio service
358 Truck mechanics and bus mechanics
360 Vending machine mechanics
361 Watch repairers

-3 6 4

H e a l t h o c c u p a t io n s
Dental occupations
Dental assistants
Dental hygienists
Dental laboratory technicians

372 Medical practitioners
372 Chiropractors
373 Optometrists
374 Osteopathic physicians
376 Physicians
378 Podiatrists
379 Veterinarians

Medical technologist, technician, and
assistant occupations
381 Electrocardiograph technicians
382 Electroencephalographic
technologists and technicians
384 Emergency medical technicians
386 Medical laboratory workers
388 Medical record technicians and
389 Operating room technicians
390 Optometric assistants
391 Radiologic (X-ray) technologists
393 Respiratory therapy' workers

Nursing occupations
Registered nurses
Licensed practical nurses
Nursing aides, orderlies, and


Therapy and rehabilitation
Occupational therapists
Occupational therapy assistants
Physical therapists
Physical therapist assistants and
Speech pathologists and audiologists




Other health occupations
Dispensing opticians
Health services administrators
Medical record administrators


S o c ia l s c ie n t is t s


Political scientists


S o c ia l s e r v ic e


Counseling occupations
School counselors
Employment counselors
Rehabilitation counselors
College career planning and
placement counselors


Protestant ministers
Roman Catholic priests


Other social service occupations
Cooperative extension service
448 Homemaker-home health aides
450 Social service aides
452 Social workers

P e r f o r m in g a r t s , d e s i g n ,


Performing artists
Actors and actresses

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


T r a n s p o r t a t io n ,


Civil aviation
Electric power
Radio and TV broadcasting


W h o l e s a l e a n d r e t a il


Retail foodstores


F i n a n c e , in s u r a n c e , a n d

M in in g a n d p e t r o l e u m




Coal mining
Petroleum and natural gas
production and gas processing


Se r v ic e a n d


M a n u f a c t u r in g


Laundry and drycleaning plants


Aircraft, missiles, and
Industrial chemicals
Iron and steel
Logging and lumber mills
Motor vehicles and equipment
Nuclear energy field
Office machines and computers
Paper and allied products
Petroleum refining
Printing and publishing
Textile mill products


G overnm ent


Federal civilian government
Postal Service
State and local governments
Armed Forces


Design occupations
Display workers
Floral designers
Industrial designers
Interior designers
Landscape architects


Communications occupations
Newspaper reporters
Public relations workers
Radio and television announcers
Technical writers


The Outlook
for Industries


A g r ic u l t u r e




D ic t io n a r y o f
O c c u p a t io n a l T it l e s
(D.O.T.) I n d e x


I n d e x t o o c c u p a t io n s a n d




the Handbook
How to Use the Handbook
Where to Go for More
Tomorrow’s Jobs
Assumptions and Methods
Used in Preparing
the Employment Projections


As the economy grows and as new tech­
nologies and ways of doing business are de­
veloped, the variety of careers from which to
choose increases. According to the Dictio­
nary o f Occupational Titles, there currently
are more than 20,000 separate jobs in our
economy. But most of us are familiar with
only a few of these, usually the occupations
of people we know or the characters we see
on television or in films. Since choosing a
career is one of the most important decisions
a person can make, you should take some
time to explore the possibilities fully before
you make a selection. You may be surprised
to discover that a job you never heard of, or
never seriously considered seems right for
you. Or, you may find that the career you
now have in mind still seems like a good
choice, and you can make your plans more
One way to begin studying about careers is
to look through the Occupational Outlook
Handbook. This part of the Handbook de­
scribes the information presented in the
Handbook and offers some useful hints on
how to use it to help you find the right career.

Where do I start?
Like a dictionary, encyclopedia, or other
reference book, the Handbook has no begin­
ning or ending point. You can simply look
through the table of contents or index, find
the occupation you are interested in, and read
those sections. If you want to know more
about the working world, read the section on
Tomorrow’s Jobs first. It explains some of the
changes taking place in the job market today,
and what is expected to happen through the
If you are just beginning to think about
planning for a career, you may wonder what
things you should consider. Start with what
you know about your own interests and abili­
ties. Does science or art interest you? Do you
enjoy working with your hands and building
things, or do you really prefer working with
people? Is money, recognition, or being a
leader important to you? The answers to
these and similar questions can help you dis­
cover your own characteristics. Understand­
ing something about yourself is important be­
cause your traits, abilities, and goals will
largely determine whether you will like
working in a particular job and if, in fact, you
can do that job well. Your school counselor
or another professional trained in human be­
havior can help you ask yourself the right
questions. Talking with your family and
friends can help you learn about yourself,
Once you have decided what your interests

are, look in the Handbook's table of contents
to find occupations that appear to match
your interests. All of the occupations in the
Handbook are grouped in 13 clusters of
related jobs. Thus, if you find that you enjoy
building things, you might start by looking at
occupations in the cluster on construction
occupations. Or, if you want to make helping
other people your life’s work, you might look
at occupations in the social service cluster.
The 13 occupational clusters are:
—Industrial production
—Scientific and technical
—Mechanics and repairers
—Social science
—Social service
—Performing arts, design, and communications

In addition to individual occupations, the
Handbook also includes descriptions of the
work in several industries. If you are inter­
ested in an industry, or if an industry is a
major employer in your area, you may find it
useful to read the section on that industry.
From it, you will learn about the jobs found
in the industry and their training require­
ments and earnings potential. A total of 35
industries are described in the Handbook,
grouped according to major divisions in the
To find the industry you are interested in,
turn to the alphabetical Index to Occupations
and Industries at the back of the book.

About those Numbers at the
Head of Each Statement
The numbers in parentheses that appear just
below the title of most occupational statements
are D.O.T. code numbers. D.O.T. stands for
the Dictionary o f Occupational Titles (fourth
edition), a U.S. Department of Labor publica­
tion. Each number helps classify jobs by the
type of work done, training required, physical
demands, and working conditions. D.O.T.
numbers are used by public employment ser­
vice agencies for classifying applicants and job
openings, and for reporting and other operat­
ing purposes. They are included in the Hand­
book because career information centers and
libraries frequently use them for filing occupa­
tional information. An index listing Handbook
occupations by D.O.T. number may be found
in the back of the Handbook, just before the
alphabetical index.

What will I learn?
Once you have chosen a place to begin—
an occupation or industry you’d like to learn
more about—you can use the Handbook to
find out what the job is like, what education
and training are needed; what the advance­
ment possibilities, earnings, and employment
outlook are likely to be; and also related oc­
cupations you might want to explore. Each
section of the Handbook follows a standard
format, making it easier to compare different
jobs. What follows is a description of the type
of information presented in each occupation
or industry section of the Handbook, with
some hints on how to use this information.
The Nature of the Work section describes
the major duties of workers in the occupation
or industry. It tells what workers do on the
job, what tools or equipment they use, and
how they do their work. Although the de­
scriptions are typical of each job, there are
many occupations where the work varies
with the size or type of employer. For exam­
ple, a registered nurse who works in an ele­
mentary school will spend more time treating
minor injuries and soothing children’s feel­
ings than one who works in a hospital. There
also are many fields of work that contain
specialties; teaching and medicine are good
An important part in your career decision
will probably be whether the work done on
the job appeals to you, so try to find out as
much as possible about work in those occu­
pations which interest you. The next chapter
of the Handbook— Where to Go for More
Information—suggests ways to learn more
about jobs. You also can look for more infor­
mation in your school library or counseling
center. If you and your counselor can arrange
it, talk to someone who works in the occupa­
tion or, even better, watch them on the job.
Working conditions also are very impor­
tant to consider when finding a career that
appeals to you. Some people, for example,
like outdoor work because of the chance to
enjoy beautiful weather and the freedom that
often goes with this type of job. Others like
to work in an office to avoid bad weather and,
usually, noise and dirt, too. A list of working
conditions common to different occupations
in the Handbook follows. Since those you feel
strongly about, whether you like or dislike
them, can make a job more or less attractive,
you should consider them when making your
Overtime work. When overtime is required
on a job, employees must give up some of
their free time and be flexible in their per­
sonal lives. Usually, however, overtime does

offer added income or a chance to earn extra
days off.
Shift work. Evening or nightwork is part of
the regular work schedule in many jobs. Bar­
tenders, guards, and some factory workers
may be required to work these shifts on a
permanent basis. Workers in other occupa­
tions, such as nurses and police officers, may
work nights on a rotating basis. Still other
workers may be assigned to split shifts: Busdrivers, for example, may work morning and
evening rush hours with time off in the mid­
dle of the day. Some people prefer shift work
because they can pursue leisure activities or
take care of errands during daytime hours.

In addition, information on part-time em­
ployment is included because it is important
to students, homemakers, retired persons,
and others who may want to work part time.
Knowing which occupations offer good op­
portunities for part-time work can be a valu­
able lead in finding a job.
The Training, Other Qualifications, and
Advancement section should be read care­
fully because preparing for an occupation can
mean a considerable investment of time and
money. If you currently are in school, it’s a
good idea to look closely at the list of high
school and college courses considered useful
preparation for the career you have in mind.

Outdoor work. Many workers have to be out­
doors some or all of the time. Mail carriers,
construction workers, firefighters, and forest­
ers are a few examples. Being exposed to all
types of weather may be preferred to indoor
work, however, by those who enjoy the out­
doors and consider it healthy.

Workers can prepare for jobs in a variety
of ways, including college study leading to a
degree, certificate, or associate degree; pro­
grams offered by public .and private post­
secondary vocational schools; home study
courses; government training programs; ex­
perience or training obtained in the Armed
Forces; apprenticeship and other formal
training offered by employers; and high
school courses. For each occupation, the
Handbook identifies which way is preferred.
In many cases, alternative ways of obtaining
training are listed as well. It is worth remem­
bering that the level at which you enter an
occupation and the speed with which you
advance often are determined by the amount
of training you have.

Hazards. Some jobs are potentially danger­
ous. Cuts, bums, and falls can occur in res­
taurant kitchens, factory assembly lines, and
forge shops, for example. Consequently,
many jobs, such as mining and construction
work, require the use of specially designed
equipment and protective clothing.

Certain occupations offer employment op­
portunities to persons who have little or no
previous work experience. Many of these are
included in the Handbook. Although such
jobs generally are found in the office and ser­
vice clusters, some are also found in the sales,
mechanic, and industrial production clusters.

Physical demands. Some jobs require stand­
ing, crouching in awkward positions, heavy
lifting, or are otherwise strenuous. Be sure
you have the physical strength and stamina
the work you are interested in requires.

Many occupations are natural stepping
stones to others. After working for a time as
a computer programmer, for example, many
people advance to jobs as systems analysts.
The world of work is constantly changing
and fewer people spend their lives in one or
even two occupations. Some have several jobs
over a lifetime, changing careers as they learn
new skills or feel a need to try another line of
work. If a pattern of movement from one
occupation to another exists, it is discussed in
this portion of each Handbook chapter.

Environment. Work settings vary greatly.
People work in office buildings; on construc­
tion sites; in mines, factories, restaurants,
and stores; and on ships and planes. Some
people like a quiet, air-conditioned setting,
others prefer the hum of machinery. By
knowing the setting of jobs you find interest­
ing, you can avoid working in an environ­
ment that you would find unpleasant.

The Places of Employment section pro­
vides information on the number of workers
in an occupation and tells whether they are
concentrated in certain industries or geo­
graphic areas. The size of an occupation is
important to a jobseeker because large occu­
pations, even those growing slowly, offer
more openings than small ones as many
workers retire or die each year.
Some occupations, such as cooks and
chefs, are concentrated in particular indus­
tries. Other occupations, such as secretaries,
are found in almost every industry. If an oc­
cupation is found primarily in certain indus­
tries, this section lists them.
A few occupations are concentrated in cer­
tain parts of the country. Actors and ac­
tresses, for example, usually work in Califor­
nia or New York. This information is
included for the benefit of people who have
strong preferences about where they live. For
most occupations, however, employment is
widely scattered and generally follows the
same pattern as the distribution of the popu­


Information on occupational mobility can
be useful in several ways. It is helpful to
know, for example, that skills gained work­
ing at one job can make you more employable
in another—perhaps a job that is more desir­
able in terms of earnings, working condi­
tions, or scope for self-expression. On the
other hand, it also is useful to know which
jobs offer the most opportunity for transfer­
ring to other work of a similar nature. Per­
sons trained in electrical or chemical engi­
neering, for example, frequently can transfer
to another engineering specialty where they
can apply general engineering knowledge in
different ways.
In some cases, moving from one occupa­
tion to another takes more than the training
or experience acquired on the job. For exam­

ple, a hospital aide must have a year of spe­
cialized training before advancing to licensed
practical nurse. Many Handbook statements
describe the possibilities for advancement
after additional training and note in-service
programs that allow employees to gain
needed skills while continuing to work part
It usually is wise to discuss the patterns of
job transfer and advancement described in
the Handbook with counselors, local em­
ployers, and others who know about the par­
ticular job market where you want to work.
The average patterns of movement from one
occupation to another may not exist in every
industry or area.
One more factor you must consider is that
all States have certification or licensing re­
quirements for some occupations. Physicians
and nurses, elementary and secondary school
teachers, barbers and cosmetologists, and
electricians and plumbers are examples of
workers who must be licensed. If you are
considering an occupation that is licensed, be
sure to check the requirements in the State in
which you plan to work because a license
from one State may not be valid in another.
Common requirements for a license include
completion of a State-approved training or
educational program and a passing grade on
a written test.
A very important item to consider when
making a career choice is the extent to which
a particular job matches your personality.
Although it often is difficult for people to
assess themselves, your counselor undoubt­
edly is familiar with tests that can help you
learn about yourself. For each occupation de­
scribed in the Handbook, information is pro­
vided which allows you to match you own
unique personal characteristics—your likes
and dislikes—with the characteristics of the
job. A particular job could require a person
who is able to do one or more of the follow­
—make responsible decisions.
—motivate others.
—direct and supervise others.
—work in a highly competitive atmosphere.
—enjoy working with ideas and solving problems.
—enjoy working with people.
—enjoy working with tools or machinery—good
coordination and manual dexterity are neces­
—work independently—initiative and self-disci­
pline are necessary.
—work as part of a team.
—enjoy working with detail, either numbers or
technical written material.
—enjoy helping people.
—use creative talents and ideas and enjoy having
an opportunity for self-expression.
—derive satisfaction from seeing the physical re­
sults of your work.
—work in a confined area.
—perform repetitious work.
—enjoy working outside, regardless of the

Most jobs require some combination of
these characteristics.
The Employment Outlook section dis­
cusses prospective job opportunities. Know-

ing whether or not the job market is likely to
be favorable is quite important in deciding
whether to pursue a specific career. While
your interests, abilities, and career goals are
extremely important, you also need to know
something about the availability of jobs in the
fields that interest you most.
In most cases, the description of employ­
ment outlook for an occupation or industry
begins with a sentence about the expected
change in employment through the 1980’s.
The occupation or industry is described as
likely to grow about as fast as, faster than, or
slower than the average for all occupations or
industries (figure I). Job opportunities in a
particular occupation or industry usually are
favorable if employment is expected to in­
crease at least as rapidly as for the economy
as a whole. Occupations or industries in
which employment is likely to stay about the
same or to decline generally offer less favor­
able job prospects. In some cases, a statement
is made about the effect fluctuations in eco­
nomic activity have on employment in the
occupation or industry. This information is
valuable to people looking into long-range
career possibilities at a time when the econ­
omy is in a recession. People understandably
wonder: What will the economy be like when
I enter the labor market? Will it be harder to
find a job 5 or 10 years from now than it is
today? The Handbook gives information,
wherever feasible, on occupations and indus­
tries whose levels of employment fluctuate in
response to shifts in the economic climate. It
is important to bear in mind that employ­
ment in many—but not all—occupations and
industries is directly affected by an economic
downturn. A sharp improvement in the out­
look for these occupations and industries is
likely as the economy picks up. However,
other occupations and industries are less vul­
nerable to short-term changes in economic
activity. Their growth or decline is influenced
by other factors discussed in this section.
For some occupations, information is
available on the supply of workers—that is,
the number of people pursuing the type of
education or training needed and the number
subsequently entering the occupation. When
such information is available, the Handbook
describes prospective job opportunities in
terms of the expected demand-supply rela­
tionship. The prospective job situation is
termed excellent when the demand for work­
ers is likely to greatly exceed the supply of
workers; keenly competitive when the supply

Figure II
Job opportunities

Prospective demand-supply relationship

Very good
Good or favorable
May face competition
Keen competition

Demand much greater than supply
Demand greater than supply
Rough balance between demand and supply
Likelihood of more supply than demand
Supply greater than demand

of workers is likely to exceed the demand for
them. The precise terms used in the Hand­
book are shown in figure II.
Workers who transfer into one occupation
from another sometimes are a significant part
of the supply of workers; similarly, those who
transfer out may have a substantial effect on
demand for workers because their leaving
usually creates job openings. Although the
information currently available on transfers
among occupations is limited, the Handbook
describes transfer patterns and their effect on
the supply of workers for certain occupa­
tions. The employment outlook for engi­
neers, for example, notes that transfers into
the field are likely to constitute a substantial
portion of supply, if past trends continue.
The information in the employment out­
look section should be used carefully, how­
ever. The prospect of relatively few openings,
or of strong competition, in a field that inter­
ests you should make you take a second look
at your career choice. But this information
alone should not prevent you from pursuing
a particular career, if you feel confident in
your ability and are determined to reach your
goal. Getting a job may be difficult if the field
is so small that openings are few (actuaries
and blacksmiths are examples) or so popular
that it attracts many more jobseekers than
there are jobs (radio and television broadcast­
ing, journalism, the performing arts, and
modeling). Getting a job also can be difficult
in occupations and industries in which em­
ployment is declining (merchant sailors,
photoengravers, typesetters), although this is
not always the case.
Remember, even occupations that are
small or overcrowded provide some jobs. So
do occupations in which employment is
growing very slowly or even declining, for
there is a need to replace workers who leave
the occupation. If the occupation is large, the
number of job openings arising from replace­
ment needs can be quite substantial. Book­
keepers, telephone operators, and machinists
are examples of large occupations that pro-

Figure I


Projected 1978-90
change in employment

Much faster than the average for all o c cu p atio n s...........................................50.0 percent or more
Faster than the average for all occupations.......................................................25.0 to 49.9 percent
About as fast as the average for all occupations1
..............................................15.0 to 24.9 percent
More slowly than the average for all occupations...........................................5.0 to 14.9 percent
Little change is e x p e c te d ..................................................................................... 4.9 to —4.9 percent
Expected to d e c lin e .............................................................................................. —5.0 percent or more
‘The average increase projected for all occupations for the 1978-90 period is 20.8 percent.

vide a significant number of job openings
each year because workers leave. On the av­
erage, openings resulting from replacement
needs are expected to account for the vast
majority of all job openings in the next 10
In other words, don V rule out a potentially
rewarding career simply because the prospec­
tive outlook in an occupation is not favor­
able. Do discuss your abilities and aptitudes
with your counselor. Getting more informa­
tion is a good idea, too—look at the section
on Where to Go for More Information for
suggested ways to find out more about job
How reliable is the information on the out­
look for employment over the next 10 years?
No one can predict future labor market con­
ditions with perfect accuracy. In every occu­
pation and industry, the number of jobseek­
ers and the number of job openings
constantly changes. A rise or fall in the de­
mand for a product or service affects the
number of workers needed to produce it.
New inventions and technological innova­
tions create some jobs and eliminate others.
Changes in the size or age distribution of the
population, work attitudes, training oppor­
tunities, or retirement programs determine
the number of workers available. As these
forces interact in the labor market, some oc­
cupations experience a shortage of workers,
some a surplus, some a balance between job­
seekers and job openings. Methods used by
economists to develop information on future
occupational prospects differ, and judgments
that go into any assessment of the future also
differ. Therefore, it is important to under­
stand what underlies each statement on em­
ployment outlook.
For every occupation and industry covered
in the Handbook, an estimate of future em­
ployment needs is developed. These estimates
are consistent with a set of assumptions about
the future of the economy and the country.
For a more detailed explanation of how these
projections are developed, see the section en­
titled, Assumptions and Methods Used In
Preparing the Employment Projections.
Finally, you should remember that job
prospects in your community or State may
not correspond to the description of the em­
ployment outlook in the Handbook. For the
particular job you are interested in, the out­
look in your area may be better or worse. The
Handbook does not discuss the outlook in
local areas; such information has been devel­
oped, however, by many States and localities.
The local office of your State employment
service is the best place to ask about local and

area employment projections. Names and ad­
dresses of these State and local information
sources and suggestions for additional infor­
mation on the job market are given in the
following section, Where to Go for More In­
The Earnings section helps answer many
of the questions that you may ask when
choosing a career. Will the income be high
enough to maintain the standard of living I
want and to justify my training costs? How
much will my earnings increase as I gain
experience? Do some areas of the country or
some industries offer better pay than others
for the same type of work?
Like most people, you probably think of
earnings as money—a paycheck in the bank
or cash in the pocket. But money is only one
type of financial reward for work. Paid vaca­
tions, health insurance, uniforms, and dis­
counts on clothing or other merchandise also
are part of total earnings.
For about 9 out of 10 workers, money in­
come is received in the form of a wage or
salary. A wage usually is an hourly or daily
rate of pay, while a salary is a weekly,
monthly, or yearly rate. Most craft workers,
operatives, and laborers are wage earners,
while most professional, technical, and cleri­
cal workers are salary earners.
In addition to their regular pay, wage and
salary workers may receive extra money for
working overtime. Those who work on a
night shift or who work irregular hours re­
ceive extra pay called a shift differential.
Workers in some occupations, such as park­
ing attendants or waiters and waitresses, also
receive tips based on the services they pro­
vide customers. Automobile sales workers
and real estate agents are among those who
are paid a commission—a percent of the
amount they sell. Factory workers are some­
times paid a piece rate, which is an extra
payment for each item they produce. For
many workers, these types of pay amount to
a large part of their total earnings.
The remaining 10 percent of all workers
are in business for themselves and earn selfemployment income instead of wages or sala­
ries. This group includes workers in a wide
variety of occupations: Physicians, shopkeep­
ers, barbers, writers, photographers, and
farmers are examples of workers who fre­
quently are self-employed.
Some occupations may offer workers a
chance to supplement their wage or salary
income with self-employment income. For
example, electricians and carpenters often do
small repair or remodeling jobs during even­
ings or weekends, and college professors fre­
quently publish articles based on indepen­
dent research.
Besides money income, most wage and sal­
ary workers receive a variety of fringe be­
nefits as part of their earnings on the job.
Several are required by Federal and State
law, including social security, workers’ com­
pensation, and unemployment insurance.
These benefits provide income to persons
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Table 1. Career ladder of drafters

annual earnings

$ 9,800

Tracers (beginners)...........................
Experienced drafters........................
Senior d ra fte rs .................................
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

when they are not working because of old
age, work-related injury or disability, or lack
of suitable jobs.
Among the most common fringe benefits
are paid vacations, holidays, and sick leave.
In addition, many workers are covered by
life, health, and accident insurance; partici­
pate in retirement plans; and are entitled to
supplemental unemployment benefits. All of
these benefits are provided—in part or in full
—through their employers. Some employers
also offer stock options and profit-sharing
plans, savings plans, and bonuses.
Workers in many occupations receive part
of their earnings in the form of goods and
services, or payments in kind. Sales workers
in department stores, for example, often re­
ceive discounts on merchandise. Some private
household workers receive free meals and
housing. Workers in other jobs may receive
uniforms, business expense accounts, or free
transportation on company-owned planes.
Which jobs pay the most? This is a difficult
question to answer because good information
is available for only one type of earnings—
wages and salaries—and for some occupa­
tions even this is unavailable. Nevertheless,
the Handbook does include some compari­
sons of earnings among occupations. Gener­
ally, earnings are compared to the average
earnings of workers in private industry who
are not supervisors and not in farming. This
group represented about 60 percent of all
w orkers in 1978.

Besides differences among occupations,
many levels of pay exist within each occupa­
tion. Beginning workers almost always earn
less than those who have been on the job for
some time because pay rates increase as
workers gain experience or do more responsi­
ble work. An example is shown in table 1.
Earnings in an occupation also vary by ge­
ographic location. The average weekly earn­
ings of beginning computer programmers,
for example, vary considerably from city to
city. (See table 2.) Of the 10 cities listed, the
highest earnings occurred in Detroit, Mich.,
and the lowest in Boston, Mass. Although it
is generally true that earnings are higher in
the North Central and Northeast regions
than in the West and South, there are excep­
tions. You also should keep in mind that
those cities which offer the highest earnings
are often those in which it is most expensive
to live.
In addition, workers in the same occupa­
tion may have different earnings depending
on the industry in which they work. For ex­
ample, senior accounting clerks in 1978 ave­
raged $253.52 a week in public utilities,
$213.38 a week in manufacturing, $202.82 a
week in wholesale trade, and $196.48 a week
in retail trade, but only $190.14 in services
and $185.92 in finance, insurance, and real
Salaries also vary by the specialty or type
of work performed. Surgeons, for example,
earn more on the average than pediatricians

Table 2. Average weekly earnings of beginning computer programmers, 1978, selected cities



Detroit............................................................................................................................................... $283.00
M ilw au k ee................................................................................................................................... 282 00
C leveland....................................................................................................... ! ...........................
C h icago......................................................................................................................................... 260.00
H ouston.........................................................................
................... -JS7 so
N e w a rk ...................................................................................................................
Minneapolis-St. P a u l ................................................................................................................
241 50
B altim ore...................................................................................................................................... 234^00
228 50
Boston............................................................................................................................................ 210.50
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 3. Median annual earnings of private physicians, 1977, by specialty


Orthopedic surgeons...................................................................................................................... $91,940
General surgeons......................................................................................................................... 68,720
P ed iatrician s...............................................................................................................................
General p ra c titio n e rs........................
SOURCE: Medical Economics. After tax-deductible expenses but before income taxes.

or general practitioners. (See table 3.) Also,
in most occupations, workers who become
supervisors or managers earn more than their
fellow workers.
Because of all these variations in earnings,
you should check with a counselor or with

local employers if you are interested in spe­
cific earnings information for occupations in
your area.
The Related Occupations section is ap­
pearing for the first time in this edition of the
Handbook. If you find that an occupation

you are reading about appeals to you, you
also may wish to explore the jobs listed in this
section. Usually, the related occupations are
those that require similar aptitudes, interests,
and education and training.


Whether you have questions about a par­
ticular job or are trying to compare various
fields, the Occupational Outlook Handbook is
a good place to begin. The Handbook will
answer many of your initial questions. But
remember that it is only one of many sources
of information about jobs and careers. After
reading a few Handbook statements, you
may decide that you want more detailed in­
formation about a particular occupation.
You may want to find out where you can go
for training, or where you can find this kind
of work in your community. If you are will­
ing to make an effort, you will discover a
wealth of occupational information available
at little or no cost.

Sources o f Career Information
Government agencies, professional soci­
eties, trade associations, labor unions, cor­
porations, and educational institutions put
out career material that is available for the
asking. Write to organizations listed in the
Sources of Additional Information section at
the end of every Handbook statement and
ask for information on career opportuni­
ties. You will find the names and addresses
of other organizations that publish career
information in directories in your library’s
reference section. There are directories that
—trade associations.
—professional associations.
—business firms.
—junior and community colleges.
—home study and correspondence programs.
—business, trade, and technical schools.

Lists of organizations that distribute career
information also may be found in directories
put out by several commercial publishers.
Carefully assess any career materials you
obtain. Keep in mind the date and source, in
particular. Material that is too old may con­
tain obsolete or even misleading information.
Be especially cautious about accepting infor­
mation on employment outlook, earnings,
and training requirements if it is more than
5 years old. The source is important because
it affects the content. Although some occupa­
tional materials are produced solely for the
purpose of objective vocational guidance,
others are produced for recruitment pur­
poses. You should be wary of biased informa­
tion, which may tend to leave out important
items, overglamorize the occupation, over­
state the earnings, or exxagerate the demand
for workers.
Libraries, career centers, and guidance
offices are important sources of career infor­


mation. Thousands of books, brochures,
magazines, and audiovisual materials are
available on such subjects as occupations, ca­
reers, self-assessment, and job hunting. Your
school library or guidance office is likely to
have some of this material; ask the staff for
help. Collections of occupational material
also can be found in public libraries, college
libraries, learning resource centers, and ca­
reer counseling centers.
Begin your library search by looking in
an encyclopedia under “vocations” or “ca­
reers,” and then look up specific fields. The
card catalog will direct you to books on par­
ticular careers, such as architect or
plumber. Be sure to check the periodical
section, too. You'll find trade and profes­
sional magazines and journals in specific
areas such as automotive mechanics or inte­
rior design. Some magazines have classified
advertising sections that list job openings.
Many libraries and career centers have
pamphlet files for specific occupations. Col­
lections of occupational information may
also include nonprint materials such as
films, filmstrips, cassettes, tapes, and kits.
Computerized occupational information
systems enable users to obtain career infor­
mation instantly. In addition to print and
nonprint materials, most career centers and
guidance offices offer individual counseling,
group discussions, guest speakers, field trips,
and career days.
Counselors play an important role in pro­
viding career information. Vocational testing
and counseling are available in a number of
places, including:
—guidance offices in high schools.
—career planning and placement offices in col­
—placement offices in vocational schools.
—vocational rehabilitation agencies.
—counseling services offered by community or­
ganizations, commercial firms, and professional
—Job Service offices affiliated with the U.S. Em­
ployment Service.

The reputation of a particular counseling
agency should be checked with professionals
in the field. As a rule, counselors will not tell
you what to do. Instead, they are likely to
administer interest inventories and aptitude
tests; interpret the results; talk over various
possibilities; and help you explore your op­
tions. Counselors are familiar with the job
market and also can discuss entry require­
ments and costs of the schools, colleges, or
training programs that offer preparation for
the kind of work in which you are interested.
Most important of all, a counselor can help

you consider occupational information in re­
lation to your own abilities, aspirations, and
Don’t overlook the importance of personal
contacts. Talking with people is one of the
best ways of learning about an occupation.
Most people are glad to talk about what they
do and how well they like their jobs. Have
specific questions lined up; you might ques­
tion workers about their personal experiences
and knowledge of their field. By asking the
right questions, you will find out what kind
of training is really important, how workers
got their first jobs as well as the one they’re
in now, and what they like and dislike about
the work. These interviews serve several pur­
poses: You get out into the business world,
you learn about an occupation, you become
familiar with interviewing, and you meet
people worth contacting when you start look­
ing for a job.
State occupational information coor­
dinating committees have recently been es­
tablished. These committees can help you
find career information tailored to the job
situation in your State or area. By contrast,
the Handbook provides information for the
Nation as a whole. The committee may
provide the information directly, or refer
you to other sources. In many States, it
can also tell you where you can go to use
the State’s career information system. To
find out what career materials are availa­
ble, write to the director of your State oc­
cupational information coordinating com­
mittee. Following is a list of their titles
and addresses:
Director, Alabama Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee, State Department of Ed­
First Southern Towers, Suite 402,
100 Commerce St.,
Montgomery, Ala. 36104.

Coordinator, Alaska Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee,
Pouch F—State Office Bldg.,
Juneau, Alaska 99811.

Executive Director, Arizona State Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
1535 West Jefferson Ave., Room 345,
Phoenix, Ariz. 85007.




Director, Arkansas State Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee,
P.O. Box 5162,
Little Rock, Ark. 72205.

SOICC Contact, Indiana Office of Manpower De­
State Board of Vocational and Technical Educa­
17 W. Market St.,
401 Illinois Bldg.,
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204.

Director, Missouri Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee,
8300 E. High St.,
Jefferson City, Mo. 65101.

Director, California Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee,
535 East Main St.,
Ventura, Calif. 93009.

SOICC Director, Office of Occupational Informa­
tion, Colorado Occupational Information Coor­
dinating Committee,
770 Grant St.,
Room 222,
Denver, Colo. 80203.

Executive Director, Connecticut State Occupa­
tional Information Coordinating Committee,
Hartranft Hall,
55 Elizabeth St.,
Hartford, Conn. 06053.

Director, State Occupational Information Coor­
dinating Committee of Delaware,
820 North French St.,
6th floor,
Wilmington, Del. 19801.

District of Columbia
Executive Director, D.C. Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee,
500 C St. NW„ Suite 621,
Washington, D.C. 20001.

Director, Florida Occupational Information Coor­
dinating Committee,
325 John Knox Rd.,
Suite L-500,
Tallahassee, Fla. 32303.

Executive Director, Iowa State Occupational In­
formation Coordinating Committee,
523 E. 12th St.,
Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

Director, Kansas Occupational Information Coor­
dinating Committee,
Department of Human Resources,
634 S. Harrison,
Suite C,
Topeka, Kans. 66603.

Executive Director, Hawaii State Occupational In­
formation Coordinating Committee,
1164 Bishop St.,
Suite 502,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

Program Manager, Montana State Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
P.O. Box 1728,
Helena, Mont. 59601.

Executive Director, State Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee,
W. 300 Nebraska Hall,
University of Nebraska,
Lincoln, Nebr. 68588.


Coordinator, Kentucky Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee,
103 Bridge St.,
Frankfort, Ky. 40601.

Director, State Occupational Information Coor­
dinating Committee,
Capitol Complex,
505 E. King St.,
Kinkead Bldg.,
Room 603,
Carson City, Nev. 89710.


New Hampshire

Director, Louisiana State Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee,
P.O. Box 44094,
Baton Rouge, La. 70804.

SOICC Director, Department of Employment Se­
32 S. Main St.,
Concord, N.H. 03301.



New Jersey

Executive Director, State Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee,
State House Station 71,
Augusta, Maine 04330.

Acting Staff Director, New Jersey Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
Department of Labor and Industry, Division of
Planning and Research,
P.O. Box 2765,
Trenton, N.J. 08625.

Executive Director, Maryland Occupational Infor­
mation Coordinating Committee,
Department of Human Resources,
1100 North Eutaw St.,
Baltimore, Md. 21201.

Executive Director, State Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee,
151 Ellis St., NE„
Suite 504,
Atlanta, Ga. 30303.



New Mexico
SOICC Director, New Mexico State Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
Suite C, Harvey Building,
839 Paseo de Peralta,
Santa Fe, N.M. 87501.

Executive Director, Massachusetts Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
Park Square Bldg.,
Suite 341,
31 St. James Ave.,
Boston, Mass. 02116.

SOICC Director, State Department of Labor,
Labor Department Bldg. # 1 2 ,
State Campus,
Albany, N.Y. 12240.


North Carolina

Executive Coordinator, Michigan Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
309 N. Washington, P.O. Box 30015,
Lansing, Mich. 48909.

SOICC Director, North Carolina Department of
112 W. Lane St.,
Raleigh, N.C. 27611.


North Dakota

SOICC Director, Department of Economic Secu­
690 American Center Bldg.,
150 E. Kellogg Blvd.,
St. Paul, Minn. 55101.

State Director, State Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee,
1424 W. Century Ave.,
P.O. Box 1537,
Bismarck, N. Dak. 58501.

New York

Coordinator, State Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee, Len B. Jordan Bldg.,
650 W. State St.,
Boise, Idaho 83720.

Executive Director, Illinois Occupational Infor­
mation Coordinating Committee,
623 E. Adams St.,
P.O. Box 1587,
Springfield, 111. 62705.



SOICC Director, Vocational Technical Education,
P.O. Box 771,
Jackson, Miss. 39205.

SOICC Director, State Department Bldg.,
S-65 S. Front St., Room 904,
Columbus, Ohio 43215.



Executive Director, State Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee, School of Occupa­
tional and Adult Education, Oklahoma State Uni­
1515 W. 6th St.,
Stillwater, Okla. 74074.

SOICC Director, Vocational and Adult Educa­
tion, Department of Education,
P.O. Box 6Q,
Richmond, Va. 23216.

Executive Secretary, Oregon Occupational Infor­
mation Coordinating Committee,
875 Union St. NE„
Salem, Oreg. 97311.

SOICC Director, Commission for Vocational Edu­
Bldg. 17,
Airdustrial Park,
Mail Stop LS-10,
Olympia, Wash. 98504.

West Virginia

SOICC Director, Pennsylvania Occupational In­
formation Coordinating Committee,
Labor and Industry Bldg.,
7th and Forster Sts.,
Room 1008,
Harrisburg, Pa. 17121.

Executive Director, West Virginia State Occupa­
tional Information Coordinating Committee, Cap­
itol Complex,
Bldg. # 6 ,
Room 221,
Charleston, W. Va. 25305.

Puerto Rico
Executive Director, Puerto Rico Occupational In­
formation Coordinating Committee,
414 Barbosa Ave.,
Hato Rey, P.R. 00917.

SOICC Director, Wisconsin Occupational Infor­
mation Coordinating Committee, Educational
Sciences Building, Room 952,
1025 W. Johnson,
Madison, Wis. 53706.

Rhode Island


Executive Director, Rhode Island Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
22 Hayes St., Room 315,
Providence, R.I. 02908.

Director, Wyoming Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee,
1520 E. 5th St.,
Cheyenne, Wyo. 82002.

American Samoa

South Carolina

SOICC State Director for Vocational Education,
Government of American Samoa,
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799.

SOICC Director,
1550 Gadsden St.,
Columbia, S.C. 29202.

South Dakota
Executive Director, South Dakota Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee,
108 E. Missouri,
Pierre, S. Dak. 57501.

Director, Tennessee Occupational Information
Coordinating Committee,
512 Cordell Hull Bldg.,
Nashville, Tenn. 37219.

Executive Director, State Occupational Informa­
tion Coordinating Committee, Texas Employment
Commission Bldg.,
15th and Congress Ave.,
Room 648,
Austin, Tex. 78778.

Director, Occupational Information Coordinating
Committee, State Board of Education,
250 E. 5th St. South,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.

Director, Vermont Occupational
Coordinating Committee,
P.O. Box 488,
Montpelier, Vt. 05602.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Acting Executive Director, Guam Occupational
Information Coordinating Committee, P.O. Box
2817, Agana, Guam 96910.

Northern Mariana Islands
Executive Director Northern Mariana Islands Oc­
cupational Information Coordinating Committee,
P.O. Box 149, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

Trust Territory of the Pacific
Chairman, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,
Occupational Information Coordinating Commit­
Office of Planning and Statistics, Saipan,
Mariana Islands 96950.

Virgin Islands
Acting Chairman, Virgin Islands Occupational In­
formation Coordinating Committee, Department
of Education,
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas,
Virgin Islands 00801.

Sources of Education and Training
As a rule, professional or trade associa­
tions can provide lists of schools that offer
training in a particular field—nursing, inte­
rior design, or operations research, for exam­
ple. Whenever possible, the Sources of Addi­

tional Information section at the end of every
Handbook statement directs you to organiza­
tions that can provide training information.
For general information, a library, career
center, or guidance office may be the best
place to look; all of them ordinarily have
collections of catalogs, directories, and
guides to educational and job training oppor­
tunities. The State career information system
available in many States can also provide spe­
cific information on where to go for training
in various fields. These systems are located in
school guidance offices, Job Service offices,
and other places. You can find out about the
career information system in your State by
writing to the director of the State occupa­
tional information coordinating committee at
the address listed above.
A number of standard guides give perti­
nent information on expenses, student
financial aid, admissions requirements, and
courses of study at most of the Nation’s
community and junior colleges and colleges
and universities. These are updated and re­
vised frequently; be sure to use the most re­
cent edition. Libraries and guidance offices
often have collections of college catalogs as
Directory o f Postsecondary Schools with
Occupational Programs, 1978, a publication
of the U.S. Department of Education’s Na­
tional Center for Education Statistics, lists
approximately 9,500 schools that offer
training after high school. The directory
lists business, trade, and technical schools
as well as community and junior colleges and
colleges and universities. A companion vol­
ume, Programs and Schools, A Supplement
to the Directory o f Postsecondary Schools
with Occupational Programs, 1978, is par­
ticularly useful to students who are explor­
ing alternatives to a college education. It
gives the names and addresses of all ac­
credited noncollegiate schools in the coun­
try that teach a particular skill or trade—
automotive mechanics, cosmetology, or
radio and television repair, for example.
Labor unions and school guidance offices
can provide information about apprentice­
ships. Local Job Service offices usually
have at least one counselor familiar with
apprenticeship programs in the area. In
some cities, Apprenticeship Information
Centers (AIC’s) affiliated with the U.S.
Employment Service furnish information,
counseling, and aptitude testing, and direct
people for more specific help to union hir­
ing halls, Joint Apprenticeship Commit­
tees, and employer sponsors. The local Job
Service can tell you whether there’s an
AIC in your community. The U.S. Depart­
ment of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship
and Training has prepared several pam­
phlets that provide background informa­
tion on apprenticeship. These may be re­
quested from:
Office of Information, Inquiries Unit, Employment
and Training Administration, U.S. Department of
Labor, Room 10225, 601 D St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20213.

Sources o f Financial Aid
If possible, consult a high school guidance
counselor or college financial aid officer for
advice on sources of financial aid. Don’t ne­
glect any possibility, for many organizations
offer scholarships, fellowships, grants, loans,
and work-study programs. Study the many
directories and guides to sources of student
financial aid which are updated and revised
periodically and are generally available in
guidance offices and public libraries. Many
career information systems also provide in­
formation on financial aid.
The Federal Government provides several
kinds of financial assistance to needy stu­
dents: Grants, loans, work-study, and be­
nefits. Details are presented in a pamphlet
entitled, Student Consumer's Guide; Six Fed­
eral Financial Aid Programs, 1979-80. This
pamphlet is frequently revised; request the
current edition from:
Bureau of Student Financial Assistance, Post
Office Box 84, Washington, D.C. 20044.

Some student aid programs are designed to
assist specific groups: Hispanics, blacks, na­
tive Americans, or women, for example. Se­
lected List o f Postsecondary Education Oppor­
tunities for Minorities and Women, published
annually by the U.S. Department of Educa­
tion, is a useful guide to organizations that
offer loan, scholarship, and fellowship assist­
ance, with special emphasis on aids for
minorities and women. Opportunities for
financial aid are listed by fields of study, in­
cluding architecture, arts and science, busi­
ness, education, engineering and science,
health, international affairs, journalism, law,
political science and public administration,
psychology, socioligy, social work, speech
pathology and audiology, and theology. Edu­
cational opportunities with the Armed
Forces are also described. This publication
can be found in many libraries and guidance
offices, or may be purchased from the Super­
intendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
Price for the 1979 edition is $3.75.

Career and Counseling Information
for Special Groups
Certain groups of jobseekers face special
difficulties in obtaining suitable and satisfy­
ing employment. All too often, veterans,
youth, handicapped persons, minorities, and
women experience difficulty in the labor mar­
ket. The reasons for job market disadvan­
tages vary, of course. People may have trou­
ble setting career goals and looking for work
for reasons as different as a limited command
of English, a prison record, or lack of selfconfidence. Some people are held back by
their background—by growing up in a set­
ting that provided only a few role models and
little exposure to the wide range of oppor­
tunities in the world of work.
A growing number of communities have
career counseling, training, and placement
services for people with special needs. Pro­

grams are sponsored by a variety of organiza­
tions, including churches and synagogues,
nonprofit organizations, social service agen­
cies, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and
the Job Service. Some of the most successful
programs provide the extensive counseling
that disadvantaged job-seekers require. They
begin by helping clients resolve the personal,
family, or other fundamental problems that
prevent them from finding a suitable job.
Some agencies that serve special groups take
a strong interest in their clients, and provide
an array of services designed to help people
find and keep jobs.
Employment counseling programs of all
kinds are included in Directory o f Counseling
Services, an annual publication that lists ac­
credited or provisional members of the Inter­
national Association of Counseling Services,
Inc. (I ACS), an affiliate of the American Per­
sonnel and Guidance Association. The
1979-80 edition is available for $6 from
IACS at Two Skyline Place, Suite 400, 5203
Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Va. 22041.
A directory of 140 women’s employment
programs, entitled The National Directory o f
Women’ Employment Programs, was pub­
lished in 1979 by Wider Opportunities for
Women, a nonprofit organization. You might
look for it in a library, or it can be purchased
for $7.50 plus 40 cents postage from Wider
Opportunities for Women, 1649 K St., NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20006.
A revised edition of Directory o f Organiza­
tions Interested in the Handicapped is sched­
uled for publication in 1980. The Directory
lists more than 100 voluntary and public
agencies in the rehabilitation field and briefly
describes their purpose, programs, and publi­
cations. Copies of the Directory may be ob­
tained from the People to People Committee
for the Handicapped, 1522 K St. NW., Room
1130, Washington, D.C. 20005
Career counseling and job placement ser­
vices for older workers are listed in Finding
a Job: A Resource Book for the Middle-Aged
and Retired, published in 1978 by Adelphi
University. The book is out of print, but cop­
ies may be available in libraries and counsel­
ing centers.
Career materials tailored to the needs of
women, handicapped workers, ex-offenders,
and other special groups are generally availa­
ble in counseling centers and libraries. State
vocational rehabilitation agencies are an im­
portant source of career and counseling in­
formation for people with disabilities. Several
agencies of the Federal Government publish
pamphlets on career opportunities and job
hunting techniques that may interest counse­
lors working with special groups. Much of
this material is free. Requests for career
materials currently in stock may be directed
Office of Information, Inquiries Unit,
Employment and Training Administration,
U.S. Department of Labor, Room 10225, 601 D St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20213.

Office of Information and Consumer Affairs, Em­
ployment Standards Administration, U.S. Depart­
ment of Labor, Room C-4331, 200 Constitution
Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20210.

Office of Information and Consumer Affairs, Em­
ployment Standards Administration, U.S. Depart­
ment of Labor, Room C-4331, 200 Constitution
Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20210.
Higher Education Scholarship Program, Division
of Postsecondary Education, Bureau of Indian
Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1951
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20245.

President’s Committee on Employment of the
Handicapped, Room 600, Vanguard Building,
1111 20th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
President’s Committee on Mental Retardation,
Washington, D.C. 20201.
Office of Information and Consumer Affairs,
Employment Standards Administration,
U.S. Department of Labor, Room C-4331, 200
Constitution Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20210.
Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. De­
partment of Education,
Room 1427, 330 C St. SW„
Washington, D.C. 20201.
Office of Personnel Management, Federal Job In­
formation Center,
P.O. Box 52, Washington, D.C. 20044.

Older Workers
Office of Information, Inquiries Unit,
Employment and Training Administration, U.S.
Department of Labor, Room 10225, 601 D St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20213.
National Clearinghouse on Aging,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Room 4551,
330 Independence Ave., SW.,
Washington, D.C. 20201.

Women’s Bureau,
U.S. Department of Labor, Room S3002,
200 Constitution Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20210.

Office of Information, Inquiries Unit,
Employment and Training Administration,
U.S. Department of Labor, Room 10225,
601 D St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20213.
Office of Personnel Management,
Federal Job Information Center,
P.O. Box 52,
Washington, D.C. 20044.
Department of Veterans Benefits, 232A,
Veterans Administration Central Office,
810 Vermont Avenue, NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20420.

Federal laws, Executive Orders, and se­
lected Federal grant programs bar dis­
crimination in employment based on race,
color, religion, sex, national origin, age,
and handicap. Employers in the private
and public sectors, Federal contrators, and
grantees are covered by these laws. The

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Co­
mission is responsible for administering
many of the programs that prohibit dis­
crimination in employment. Information
and inquiries about how to file a charge of
discrimination should be sent to:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
2401 E ST. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20506.

Information on Finding a Job
Do you need help in finding a job? For
information on job openings, follow up as
many leads as possible. Parents, neighbors,
teachers, and counselors may know of jobs.
Check the want ads. Investigate your local
Job Service office and find out whether pri­
vate or nonprofit employment agencies in
your community can help you. The following
section will give you some idea of where you
can go to look for a job and what sort of help
to expect.
Informal job search methods. Informal meth­
ods of job search are the most popular, and
also the most effective. Informal methods in­
clude direct application to employers with or
without referral by friends or relatives. Job­
seekers locate a potential employer and file
an application, often without certain knowl­
edge that an opening exists.
You can find targets for your informal
search in several ways. The Yellow Pages and
local chambers of commerce will give the
names and addresses of appropriate firms in
the community where you wish to work. You
can also get listings of most firms in a specific
industry—banking, insurance, and newspa­
per publishing, for example—by consulting
one of the directories on the reference shelf of
your public library. Friends, relatives, and
people you meet during your job search are
likely to give you ideas about places where
you can apply for a job.
Want ads. The “Help Wanted” ads in a
major newspaper contain hundreds of job
listings. As a job search tool, they have
two advantages: They are cheap and easy
to acquire, and they often result in success­
ful placement. There are disadvantages as
well. Want ads give a distorted view of the
local labor market, for they tend to under­
represent small firms. They also tend to
overrepresent certain occupations, such as
clerical and sales jobs. How helpful they
are will depend largely on the kind of job
you seek.
Bear in mind that want ads do not provide
complete information; many give little or no
description of the job, working conditions,
and pay. Some omit the identity of the em­
ployer. In addition, firms often run multiple
listings. Some ads offer jobs in other cities
(which do not help the local worker); others
advertise employment agencies rather than
If you use the want ads, keep the following
suggestions in mind:
—Don’t rely exclusively on the want ads;
follow up other leads, too.


—Answer ads promptly. The opening may
be filled before the ad stops running.

referral ensure a better match between appli­
cant and job.

—Follow the ads diligently. Checking
them every day as early as possible gives you
the best advantage over other applicants,
which may mean the difference between a job
and a rejection.

Services for veterans and youth. By law, veter­
ans are entitled to priority in interviewing,
counseling, testing, job development, and job
placement. Special counselors called veterans
reemployment representatives are trained to
deal with the particular problems of veterans,
who may find it difficult to readjust to civilian
life. Although such veterans often face multi­
ple problems, joblessness alone is a major
barrier to resuming an ordinary life. Special
help for disabled veterans begins with out­
reach units in each State, whose job it is to
identify jobless disabled veterans and make
them aware of the many kinds of assistance

—Don’t expect too much from “blind ads”
that do not reveal the employer’s identity.
Employers use blind ads to avoid being
swamped with applicants, or to fill a particu­
lar vacancy quietly and confidentially. The
chances of finding a job through blind ads
tend to be slim.
—Be cautious about answering “no experi­
ence necessary” ads. Most employers are able
to fill job openings that do not require experi­
ence without advertising in the newspaper.
This type of ad may mean that the job is hard
to fill because of low wages or poor working
conditions, or because it is straight commis­
sion work.
Public employment service. The public em­
ployment service, also called the Job Ser­
vice, is often overlooked in finding out
about local job openings. Run by the State
employment security agencies under the di­
rection of the Labor Department’s U.S.
Employment Service, the 2,500 local Job
Service offices provide help without charge.
Job Service staff help jobseekers find em­
ployment and help employers find qualified
workers. As its motto says, the Job Service
aims to “bring people to jobs and jobs to
people.” To find the office nearest you,
look in the State government telephone
listings under “Job Service” or “Employ­
Job matching and referral. Upon entering a
Job Service center, an applicant is inter­
viewed to determine the type of work for
which he or she indicates an interest and apti­
tude. The interviewer determines if the appli­
cant is “job ready” or if counseling and test­
ing services are needed. Applicants who
know what kind of work they are qualified
for may spend some time examining the Job
Bank, a computerized listing of public and
private sector job openings that is updated
every day. The Job Bank is self-service; appli­
cants examine a book or microfilm viewer
and select openings that interest them. After­
wards, a Job Service staff member may de­
scribe a particular job opening in some detail
and arrange for an interview with the pro­
spective employer.
Counseling and testing. Job Service centers
also help jobseekers who are uncertain about
their qualifications and the kind of work they
want. Most centers are staffed with a special­
ist who furnishes complete counseling and
testing services. Counselors help jobseekers
choose and prepare for an occupation based
on their qualifications and interests. They
aim to help individuals become aware of their
job potential and then develop it. The testing
program measures occupational aptitudes,
clerical and literary skills, and occupational
interests. Testing and counseling before job

To reduce excessive youth unemployment,
Job Service centers test, counsel and refer
young people to training programs or jobs
whenever possible. Each year, local Job Ser­
vice centers conduct a Summer Youth Pro­
gram to provide full and part-time summer
jobs for youth age 14 through 21. The pro­
gram, which gives priority to disadvantaged
youth, arranges for jobs in schools, libraries,
community service organizations, hospitals,
and private nonprofit agencies. The Job Ser­
vice also refers applicants to job and training
opportunities under the Comprehensive Em­
ployment and Training Act (CETA); Youth
Conservation Corps (YCC); National Alli­
ance of Business (NAB); and other Federal
and community programs concentrating on
youth employment.
Occupations in Demand. A monthly publica­
tion of the U.S. Employment Service entitled
Occupations in Demand highlights occupa­
tions for which the Job Bank network reports
large numbers of job openings. It also indi­
cates which cities and areas have significant
numbers of job openings. An extra edition for
students and graduates, published twice a
year, lists high-demand occupations for
which employers usually request people with
high school or postsecondary training. The
extra edition also identifies hard-to-fill occu­
pations listed with the Job Service. Copies of
Occupations in Demand may be found in li­
braries and counseling centers. Or you can
request single copies from:
Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, Colorado

Private employment agencies. In the ap­
propriate section of the classified ads or
the telephone book you can find numerous
advertisements for private employment
agencies. All are in business to make
money, but some offer higher quality ser­
vice and better chances of successful place­
ment than others.
The three main places in which private
agencies advertise are newspaper want ads,
the Yellow Pages, and trade journals. Tele­
phone listings give little more than the name,
address, phone number, and specialty of the
agency, while trade journals generally adver­
tise openings for a particular occupation,
such as accountant or computer program­

mer. Want ads, then, are the best source of
general listings of agencies.
These listings fall into two categories—
those offering specific openings and those off­
ering general promise of employment. You
should concentrate on the former and use the
latter only as a last resort. With a specific
opening mentioned in the ad, you have
greater assurance of the agency’s desire to
place qualified individuals in suitable jobs.
When responding to such an ad, you may
learn more about the job over the phone. If
you are interested, visit the agency, fill out an
application, present a resume, and talk with
an interviewer. The agency will then arrange
an interview with the employer if you are
qualified, and perhaps suggest alternative
openings if you are not.
Most agencies operate on a commission
basis, with the fee contingent upon a success­
ful match. The employer pays agencies ad­
vertising “no fees, no contracts” and the ap­
plicant pays nothing. Many agencies,
however, do charge applicants. You should
find out the exact cost before using the ser­
Community agencies. A growing number of
nonprofit organizations throughout the Na­
tion provide counseling, career development,
and job placement services. These agencies
generally concentrate on services for a partic­
ular labor force group—women, the elderly,
youth, minorities, or ex-offenders, for exam­
ple. Some of these agencies are listed in direc­
tories already mentioned in the section on
Career and Counseling Information for Spe­
cial Groups.
It’s up to you to discover whether your
community has such agencies and whether
they can help you. The local Job Service cen­
ter should be able to tell you whether such an
agency has been established in your commu­
nity. Your church, synagogue, or local li­
brary may have the information, too. The
U.S. Department of Labor is another possible
source of information, for many of these
agencies receive some or all of their funding
from the Federal government, through the
Comprehensive Employment and Training
Act (CETA). Among its many and varied
provisions, CETA authorizes Federal money
for local organizations that offer job counsel­
ing, training, and placement help to unem­
ployed and disadvantaged persons. For fur­
ther information, write:
Office of Comprehensive Employment Develop­
ment, Employment and Training Administration,
U.S. Department of Labor, Room 6000, 601 D
Street, NW., Washington, D.C., 20213.

College career planning and placement
offices. For those who have access to them,
career planning and placement offices at col­
leges and universities offer the jobseeker
many valuable services. Like community
agencies that offer supportive services to
disadvantaged jobseekers, college placement
offices function as more than just employ­
ment agencies. In addition to counseling,
they teach students to acquire jobseeking

skills. They emphasize writing resumes and
letters of application, listing possible employ­
ers, preparing for interviews, and other as­
pects of job search. College placement offices
offer other services, too. At larger campuses
they bring students and employers together
by providing schedules and facilities for in­
terviews with industry recruiters. Many
offices also maintain lists of local part-time
and temporary jobs, and some have files of
summer openings.

Labor Market Information
All State employment security agencies de­
velop detailed labor market data needed by
employment and training specialists and
educators who plan for local needs. Such in­
formation helps policymakers decide
whether to expand a vocational training pro­
gram, for example—or drop it altogether.
Jobseekers and counselors also may find
these studies helpful. Typically, State agen­
cies publish reports that deal with future oc­
cupational supply, characteristics of the
work force, changes in State and area eco­
nomic activities, and the employment struc­
ture of important industries. For all States,
and for nearly all Standard Metropolitan Sta­
tistical Areas (SMSA’s) of 50,000 inhabitants
or more, data are available that show current
employment as well as estimated future
needs. Each State issues a report covering
current and future employment for hundreds
of industries and occupations. In addition,
major statistical indicators of labor market
activity are released by all of the States on a
monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. For in­
formation on the various labor market stud­
ies, reports, and analyses available in a spe­
cific State, contact the chief of research and
analysis in the State employment security
agency. Titles and addresses are as follows:

Chief, Research and Statistics, Department of In­
dustrial Relations,
Industrial Relations Bldg.,
649 Monroe St.,
Montgomery, Ala. 36130.

Chief, Research and Analysis, Employment Secu­
rity Division,
Department of Labor,
P.O. Box 3-7000,
Juneau, Alaska 99802.

Chief, Labor Market Information, Research and
Department of Economic Security,
P.O. Box 6123,
Phoenix, Ariz. 85005.

Chief, Employment Data and Research Division,
Employment Development Department,
P.O. Box 1679,
Sacramento, Calif. 95808.

Chief, Research and Analysis, Division of Employ­
Department of Labor and Employment,
1210 Sherman St.,
Denver, Colo. 80203.

Director, Research and Information, Connecticut
Employment Security Division,
200 Folly Brook Blvd.,
Weatherfield, Conn. 06109.

Chief, Office of Research, Planning, and Evalua­
Department of Labor,
Bldg. D,
Chapman Rd.,
Route 273,
Newark, Del. 19713.

District of Columbia
Chief, Branch of Labor Market Information and
D.C. Department of Labor,
605 G St. NW., Room 1000,
Washington, D.C. 20001.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Division of Em­
ployment Security,
Florida Department of Commerce,
Caldwell Bldg.,
Tallahassee, Fla. 32304.

Director, Information Systems, Employment Se­
curity Agency,
Department of Labor,
254 Washington St. SW.,
Atlanta, Ga. 30334.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Department of
Labor and Industrial Relations,
P.O. Box 3680,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96811.

Chief, Research and Analysis, Department of Em­
P.O. Box 35,
Boise, Idaho 83707.

Manager, Research and Analysis Division, Bureau
of Employment Security,
Department of Labor,
910 South Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, 111. 60605.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Employment Secu­
rity Division,
P.O. Box 2981,
Little Rock, Ark. 72203.

Chief of Research, Employment Security Division,
10 North Senate Ave.,
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204.




Chief, Research and Statistics, "Department of Job
1000 East Grand Ave.,
Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Division of Em­
Department of Labor,
P.O. Box 94600,
Lincoln, Nebr. 68509.

Director, Research and Statistics, Bureau of Em­
ployment Security,
Department of Labor and Industry,
7th and Forster Sts.,
Harrisburg, Pa. 17121.

Chief, Research and Analysis, Department of
Human Resources,
401 Topeka Avenue,
Topeka, Kans. 66603.

Chief, Research and Special Projects, Department
of Human Resources,
275 E. Main St.,
Frankfort, Ky. 40601.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Department of Em­
ployment Security,
P.O. Box 44094,
Baton Rouge, La. 70804.

Director, Manpower Research Division, Employ­
ment Security Commission,
20 Union St.,
Augusta, Maine 04330.

Director, Research and Analysis, Department of
Human Resources,
1100 North Eutaw St.,
Baltimore, Md. 21201.

Director, Information and Research, Division of
Employment Security,
Hurley Bldg.,
Government Center,
Boston, Mass. 02114.

Director, Research and Statistics Division, Em­
ployment Security Commission,
Department of Labor Bldg.,
7310 Woodward Ave.,
Detroit, Mich. 48202.

Acting Director, Research and Statistics Services,
Department of Economic Security,
390 North Robert St.,
St. Paul, Minn. 55101.


Puerto Rico

Chief, Employment Security Research, Employ­
ment Security Department,
500 East Third St.,
Carson City, Nev. 89713.

Chief of Research and Statistics, Bureau of Em­
ployment Security,
427 Barbosa Ave.,
Hato Rey, P.R. 00917.

New Hampshire
32 South

Economic Analysis and Reports, De­
of Employment Security,
Main St.,
N.H. 03301.

New Jersey
Director, Division of Planning and Research, De­
partment of Labor and Industry,
P.O. Box 2765,
Trenton, N.J. 08625.

New Mexico

Rhode Island
Supervisor, Employment Security Research, De­
partment of Employment Security,
24 Mason St.,
Providence, R.I. 02903.

South Carolina
Director, Manpower Research and Analysis, Em­
ployment Security Commission,
P.O. Box 995,
Columbia, S.C. 29202.

South Dakota

Chief, Research and Statistics, Employment Secu­
rity Commission,
P.O. Box 1928,
Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87103.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Employment Secu­
rity Department,
607 North Fourth St.,
Box 730,
Aberdeen, S. Dak. 57401.

New York


Director, Division of Research and Statistics, De­
partment of Labor,
State Campus,
Bldg. 1Z,
Albany, N.Y. 12240.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Department of Em­
ployment Security,
Cordell Hull Bldg.,
Room 519,
Nashville, Tenn. 37219.

North Carolina


Director, Bureau of Employment Security Re­
search, Employment Security Commission,
P.O. Box 25903,
Raleigh, N.C. 2761 1.

Chief, Economic Research and Analysis, Employ­
ment Commission,
TEC Bldg.,
15th and Congress Ave.,
Austin, Tex. 78778.

North Dakota
Chief, Research and Statistics, Employment Secu­
rity Bureau,
P.O. Box 1537,
Bismarck, N.Dak. 58501.

Director, Research and Analysis, Department of
Employment Security,
P.O. Box 11249,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84147.



Director, Division of Research and Statistics, Bu­
reau of Employment Services,
145 South Front St.,
Columbus, Ohio 43216.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Department of Em­
ployment Security,
P.O. Box 488,
Montpelier, Vt. 05602.




Chief, Research and Statistics, Division of Em­
ployment Security,
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations,
P.O. Box 59,
Jefferson City, Mo. 65101.

Chief, Research and Planning Division, Employ­
ment Security Commission,
310 Will Rogers Memorial Office Bldg.,
Oklahoma City, Okla. 73105.

Commissioner, Virginia Employment Commis­
P.O. Box 1358,
Richmond, Va. 23211.




Chief, Reports and Analysis, Employment Secu­
rity Division,
P.O. Box 1728,
Helena, Mont. 59601.

Assistant Administrator, Research and Statistics,
Employment Division,
875 Union St. NE„
Salem, Oreg. 9731 1.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Employment Secu­
rity Department,
1007 So. Washington St.,
Olympia, Wash. 98501.

Chief, Research and Statistics, Employment Secu­
rity Commission,
P.O. Box 1699,
Jackson, Miss. 39205.


West Virginia



Chief, Labor and Economic Research, Depart­
ment of Employment Security,
112 California Ave.,
Charleston, W. Va. 25305.

P.O. Box

Chief, Research and Analysis, Employment Secu­
rity Commission,
P.O. Box 2760,
Casper, Wyo. 82601.

Research and Statistics, Department of
Labor and Human Relations,
Wis. 53701.


Ay One statement can be made about the-fu­
ture with absolute certainty: It will he Hiffierent from today. Constant change is one of the
most significant aspects of the US. job mar­
ket. Changes in the population, the introduc­
tion of new technology or business practices,
and changes in the needs and tastes of the
public continually alter the economy and
affect employment in all occupations. The
growth of the population has spurred^the
need for workers to provide more housing,
medical care, education, and other services
and goods. The use of new technology has
both created and eliminated hundreds of .
thousands of jobs. The computer, for exam­
ple, has given birth to an entire new group of
occupations—progranTmers, "systems analysts, peripheral equipment operators—while
at the same time it has decreasedTHe^need for
inventory~~clefks, bookkeepers, and other
clerical workers. Changes in the way busi­
nesses are organized and managed have had
similar effects. For example, the use of cen­
tralized credit offices has reduced the need
for credit managers in retail stores.
As an individual planning for a career, you
must come to terms with changes that occur
in the job market. Your interests and abilities
will determine the occupations that attract
you, but future economic and social condi­
tions will determine the job opportunities you
face. Fortunately, most factors that alter the
demand for workers in occupations—shifts
in population or the labor force, the introduc­
tion of technology, and the development of
new organization and management tech­
niques—generally occur over several years.
By examining what has happened in the re­
cent past, it is possible to project future re­
quirements for workers in industries and oc­
cupations. Although no one can forecast the
future with certainty, these employment pro­
jections will help you learn about future op­
portunities in occupations that interest you.
Individual chapters of the Handbook pre­
sent current trends and projections of em­
ployment for many occupations and indus­
tries. This chapter provides a perspective for
those discussions. In it you will find informa­
tion about expected changes in the popula­
tion and the labor force, as well as employ­
ment projections for major industrial sectors
and broad occupational groups.


Changes in population are among the basic
factors that will affect employment oppor­
tunities in the future. The demand for work­
ers in any occupation depends ultimately on
the goods and services sought by the public.
Changes in the size and characteristics of the
population influence the amount and types of


goods and services required and also affect
the size and characteristics of the labor force
—the people who work or are available to
work. Three population trends that will affect
future employment opportunities are popula­
tion growth, shifts m~ffie~age structure of the
'population, and movement of the population
within the-cauntr-V:
m )Population

Growth. The population of the
United States has increased throughout the
century. However, the rate of growth (the
size of the annual increases) was declining
until the “baby boom,” after World War II.
During the 1960’s, the rate of growth started
to decline again. (Chart 1).

ber of people between the ages of 14 and 24
will decline in the coming decade. The num­
ber of people 65 and over will grow but more
slowly than in recent years. These changes in
the age structure of the population will di­
rectly affect the types of goods and services
demanded. For example, as the number of
young people declines, the need for education
services will fall. When greater numbers of
people from the baby boom establish fami­
lies, they will require more housing and
goods such as appliances.
Shifts in the age structure of the popula­
tion also will affect the composition of the
labor force. These effects are discussed in a
later section.

By 1990, the population is expected to in­
crease to 244 million. This is 11 percent ^R eg io n a l Differences. National trends in
higher than the 1978 level of 219 million. population may not be the same as
Continued growth will mean more people to changes in a particular region or locality.
provide with goods and services causing A nation as large and diversified as the
greater demand for workers in many indus­ United States is bound to vary geograph­
tries. The effects of population growth on em­ ically in the rate of the population growth.
ployment in various occupations will differ. For example, between 1970 and 1975, the
The differences are accounted for in part by average annual rates of population change
the age distribution of the future population. in the Northeast and North Central re­
® ) Age Structure. Because of the “baby gions were .2 percent and .4 percent com­
boom,” the proportion of young people in the pared with 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent for
population has been high in recent years. the South and West. These trends reflect
Through the 1980’s, when these young adults the movement of people between states—to
start to enter the prime work years, the pro­ find new jobs, to retire, or for some other
portion of the population between the ages 25 reason.
to 44 will swell. By 1990, nearly one-third of
the population will be in this age group. As
a result of the relatively low number of births
during the 1960’s and early 1970’s, the num­

Chart 2 shows the projected trends in pop­
ulation growth among the states between
1975 and 1990 that will occur if the move­
ment of people in the next decade is similar

Since the 1960’s, the population has grown
more slowly
Average annual percent increase












of the Census



workers—and people looking for jobs—the
unemployed. Through the late 1960’s and the
1970’s the number of people in the labor
force grew tremendously because many peo­
ple born during the “baby boom” entered the
job market, and more women sought jobs. In
1978, the civilian labor force totaled about
100 million persons—63.2 percent of the
noninstitutional population 16 years of age
and over.

Because of interstate migration, changes in
population will vary among States
Percent change in population, 1975 to 1990

The labor force will continue to grow dur­
ing the 1980’s but at a slower rate than in
recent years. By 1990 about 119 million per­
sons will be in the labor force—an 18.5 per­
cent increase over the 1978 level. Contribut­
ing to this growth will be the expansion of the
working age population and the continued
rise in the proportion of women who work.
The labor force will grow more slowly be­
tween 1985 and 1990 than in the early 1980’s.
This slowdown will result from a drop in the
number of young people entering the work­
ing age and less rapid growth of the participa­
tion rate of women. (Chart 3).

□ District
of Columbia

I -10.0% to -.1%
I 0 to 9.9%
r ~ n 10.0% to 19.9%
■ 1 20.0% to 29.9%
30% or more
Source: Bureau of the Census

A larger labor force will mean more people
looking for jobs. However, because of shifts
in the age structure, the employment outlook
for many individuals will improve.



v •



' ^

J \ \ '' y £



Age Structure. As a result of the large
number of young people who have entered
the labor force in recent years, competition
for many entry level jobs has been stiff and
many young workers have been unemployed.
As the number of people between 16 and 24
—the ages when most people first enter the
labor force—drops, competition for entry
level jobs should ease. The 24 to 44 year old
age group, those born during the “baby
boom”, will find jobs and gain work experi­
ence. The whole economy should benefit
since experienced workers generally are more
productive and less likely to be unemployed.
(Chart 4).


' :\

__..irtH***11*1 * *


Ylf: . i ; /m ^
: "



Source: Bureau of t.abor Statistics










Education. Employers always wish to hire
the best qualified persons available. This does
not mean that they always choose those ap­
plicants who have the most education. How­
ever, individuals looking for a job should be
aware that the higher educational attainment
of the labor force as a whole could increase
competition in many occupations.

to that from 1970 to 1975. The population
shift to the South and West will result in over
half the population living in these areas by

found in the section, “Where to Go for More

Such geographic shifts in the population
will alter the demand for and supply of work­
ers in local job markets. In areas with grow­
ing populations for example, demand for ser­
vices such as police and fire protection, water
and sanitation will increase. At the same time
more people looking for work in those areas
could increase competition in some occupa­
tions. Individuals investigating future em­
ployment opportunities in an occupation
should remember that local conditions could
differ greatly from national projections pre­
sented in this Handbook. Sources of informa­
tion about local job market conditions can be

The size and characteristics of the labor
force determine the number and type of peo­
ple competing for jobs in the various occupa­
tions. In addition, because workers are a vital
part of the production process, the size of the
labor force limits the amount of goods and
services that can be produced. Growth, alter­
ations in the age structure, and rising educa­
tional levels are among the labor force
changes that will affect employment oppor­
tunities through the 1980’s.

Persons contemplating dropping out of
high school should recognize that a high
school education has become standard. The
educational attainment of the labor force has
risen from 11.1 years of school in 1952 to
12.6 years in 1978. Thus, high school drop­
outs are likely to be at a serious disadvantage
when seeking jobs that offer better pay or
advancement unless they have specific train­
ing for the occupation they wish to enter.
Many technical, craft, and office occupations
now require postsecondary vocational educa­
tion or apprenticeship, because employers
prefer to hire trained applicants rather than
provide training.

Growth. The civilian labor force consists of
people with jobs—wage and salary workers,
self-employed workers, and unpaid family

Traditionally, a college education has been
viewed as a gateway to better pay, higher
status, and more challenging work. As col-

Labor Force


lege education has become more widespread,
the proportion of workers ■ in the labor force
who have completed at least 4 years of col­
lege has risen from 8 to 17 percent between
1952 and 1978. Recent experience has
shown, however, that the traditional view of
a pollege degree as a guarantee of success has
not been matched by reality. Between 1968
and 1978, employment of college graduates
grew 76 percent. The proportion employed in
professional and technical occupations, how­
ever, declined because these occupations did
not expand as rapidly as the supply of gradu­
ates. As a result, 1 out of 4 college graduates
took jobs traditionally filled by someone with
less schooling. The proportion of graduates
in clerical, lower-level sales, and blue-collar
occupations grew.
Analysis of the future demand for college
graduates, and of future supply, indicates
that more college graduates will be available
than will be needed to fill jobs that require a
college degree. Not all occupations requiring
college degrees will be overcrowded, how­
ever. Despite widespread publicity about the
poor job market for college graduates, gradu­
ates still hold a relative advantage over other
workers. They are more likely to be em­
ployed and to hold the highest paying profes­
sional and managerial jobs. Persons inter­
ested in occupations that require college
degrees should not be discouraged from pur­
suing careers that they believe match their
interests and abilities, but they should be
aware of job market conditions. The intro­
ductory section of the Occupational Outlook
Handbook for College Graduates contains a
more detailed discussion of the job prospects
for college graduates.

Through the 1980’s, the number of workers In the
prime working ages will grow dramatically

1970 1978 1990

1970 1978 1990


1970 1978 1990

Source: Bureau of tabor Statistics

H i

Industries differ substantially in the kinds of
workers they employ
Service workers 0.5%

Sfue-coitar workers 3.5%

The previous sections discussed trends in
the population and the labor force—two fac­
tors which affect employment opportunities.
Other factors include the policies of the Fed­
eral government, the inflation rate, and the
availability of energy. The following sections
present estimates of 1990 employment in
major industries and occupational groups;
also included are discussions of the reasons
for changes in the level of employment.
Changes in the population and the labor
force and other factors determine the amount
and type of goods and services that will be
demanded in the future. If the demand for an
industry’s product increases in the future,
more workers generally will be hired to in­
crease production and employment in the in­
dustry will grow. Changes in occupational
employment will result from growth in the
industries that employ these workers. Every
industry group has a unique mix of workers.
Construction, for example, employs mostly
blue-collar workers, while finance, insurance,
and real estate is predominately a white-col­
lar industry group. (Chart 5). Growth in the
construction industry would result in an in­
crease in employment of blue-collar workers,
as would growth in mining, manufacturing
or transportation—industries that also em­
ploy high proportions of blue-collar workers.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Finance, Insurance, and
Real Estate

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Growth in the finance, insurance, and real
estate industries would result in an increase
in demand for white-collar workers.
The estimates of employment growth in
the following section are based on a model of
the U.S. economy prepared by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics. The model assumes, for the
next decade, a moderately expanding labor
force, a relatively slow decline in inflation,
and moderate growth of government expen­
The Bureau also has prepared a high em­
ployment alternative model which assumes
the Federal Government will seek to lower
the unemployment rate rapidly by increasing
grants to State and local governments. Be­
cause of government efforts to reduce unem­
ployment, the model also assumes a faster

rate of growth for the labor force. Under
these assumptions, employment in 1990
would be higher than estimated below for
virtually every industry. A discussion of the
assumptions and methods used to develop
the two models can be found in a separate
chapter of the Handbook and a more detailed
explanation is given in Employment Projec­
tions for the 1980's, BLS Bulletin 2030.

Industrial Profile
To discuss employment trends and projec­
tions in industries, it is useful to divide the
economy into nine industrial sectors under
two broad groups—service-producing indus­
tries and goods-producing industries. Over
two-thirds of the Nation’s workers currently
are employed in industries that provide ser­
vices such as health care, trade, education,

repair and maintenance, government, trans­
portation, banking, and insurance. Industries
that produce goods through farming, con­
struction, mining, and manufacturing em­
ploy less than one-third of the country’s work

volve personal contact, people are less likely
to be replaced by machines in service-produc­
ing industries.
Employment in the service-producing in­
dustries is expected to increase from 60.4 mil­
lion workers in 1978 to 78.4 million in 1990
or about 30 percent. Growth will vary among
industries within the group. (Chart 7). The
following paragraphs summarize recent
trends and the projections of employment in
the five industrial sectors that make up the
service-producing industries.

Service-Producing Industries. As shown in
chart 6, employment in service-producing in­
dustries has been increasing at a faster rate
than employment in goods-producing indus­
tries. Among the factors that have con­
tributed to this rapid growth are rising in­
comes and living standards that result in
greater demand for schooling, health care,
entertainment, and financial services. In ad­
dition, the growth of cities and suburbs
brought a need for more local government
services. Further, because many services in­

Transportation and public utilities. This is
the slowest growing sector of the service-pro­
ducing industries. Between 1965 and 1978,
employment in this sector increased only half
as fast as in the service-producing industries
as a whole due largely to declining employ­

Industries providing services wiil continue to
employ more people than those providing goods
Workers (millions)1
Service producing:
and public utilities
Finance, insurance,
and real estate
Goods producing:


Goods producing






'Wage and salary workers, except for agriculture, which includes self-employed and unpaid family workers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Through the 1980’s, changes in employment will
vary widely among industries
ilZ .
/P "

Projected change in employment, 1978-90 (millions)1

Contract construction
Transportation and public utilities
Finance, insurance, and reai estate
'Wage and salary workers, except for
includes self-employed and unpaid family
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Between 1978 and 1990, employment in
the transporation and public utility sector is
expected to rise from 4.9 to 5.4 million work­
ers or 10 percent. Communications indus­
tries will grow the fastest of the industries in
the sector, about 17 percent, from 1.2 to 1.4
million workers. Improvements in communi­
cations equipment which have minimized the
cost for such services and greatly increased
the demand, will keep employment from
growing as rapidly as output.
Although employment in railroad and
water transportation industries is expected to
decline (but at a slower rate than before),
other transportation industries such as air,
local transit, and trucking will increase. Em­
ployment in transportation as a whole will
rise about 7 percent from 2.9 to 3.1 million
The demand for electric power, gas utili­
ties, and water and sanitary services will in­
crease through the 1990’s as the population
grows and more households are formed.
Technological innovation in the systems used
to provide these services will limit employ­
ment growth to about 8 percent from 780,000
workers in 1978 to 840,000 workers in 1990.



ment requirements in the railroad and water
transportation industries. However, even in
the communications industries where de­
mand increased greatly, technological inno­
vations limited employment growth.


Trade. Both wholesale and retail trade
employment have increased as the popula­
tion has grown and as rising incomes have
enabled people to buy a greater number and
variety of goods. Retail trade has grown
more than wholesale trade; the expansion of
the suburbs has created a demand for more
shopping centers. Between 1978 and 1990,
wholesale and retail trade employment is
expected to grow from 19.4 to 24.8 million
workers or about 28 percent. Employment
will continue to increase faster in retail
trade than in wholesale trade, 34 percent
compared to 8 percent. Employment will
rise despite the use of some laborsaving in­
novations such as self-service merchandiz­
ing and computerized checkout systems.
Some of the employment growth in retail
trade will result from part-time workers re­
placing full-time workers.
Finance, insurance, and real estate. This
sector grew 57 percent between 1965 and
1978 as these industries expanded to meet
the financial and banking demands of a
growing population. Within the sector, the
two fastest growing industries have been
banking and credit. Employment require­
ments have increased as banks provide more
services, such as bank credit cards, and re­
main open longer hours.
Between 1978 and 1990, employment in
this sector is expected to rise from 4.7 to 6.3
million workers or 34 percent. A growing
population that increasingly uses credit to
finance purchases will keep the consumer de­
mand for credit and other financial services
high. In addition, businesses will need assist19

ance to finance the expansion of their plants
and the purchase of new equipment.
Services. This sector includes a variety of
industries, such as hotels, barber shops, auto­
mobile repair shops, business services, hospi­
tals, and nonprofit organizations. Employ­
ment in this sector has grown faster than any
other in the service-producing group, in­
creasing 77 percent between 1965 and 1978.
High demand for health care, maintenance
and repair, advertising, and commercial
cleaning services have been among the forces
behind this growth.
From 1978 to 1990, employment in the
service industries is expected to increase from
16 to 24.4 million workers or 53 percent,
nearly twice the rate of the service-producing
industries as a whole. Employment require­
ments in health care are expected to grow
rapidly due to population growth—particu­
larly the elderly—and rising incomes that in­
crease people’s ability to pay for medical
care. Business services, including accounting,
data processing, and maintenance, also are
expected to grow rapidly.
Government. Increased demand for ser­
vices provided by the government—educa­
tion, health and welfare, and police and fire
protection caused employment in the govern­
ment sector to rise about 54 percent between
1965 and 1978. Employment in State and
local governments expanded 65 percent com­
pared to 16 percent for the Federal Govern­
School enrollments are expected to decline
through the 1980’s as a result of low births
rates in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Consequently,
State and local governments will cut employ­
ment in schools. New government programs
to offset these cuts are unlikely because of the
public’s desire to limit government growth.
As a result, between 1978 and 1990, govern­
ment employment is expected to rise only 13
percent, from 15.5 to 17.5 million workers.
Goods-Producing Industries. Employment in
the goods-producing industries rose only 9
percent between 1965 and 1978. Significant
gains in productivity resulting from auto­
mated production, improved machinery, and
other technological breakthroughs permitted
large increases in output without additional
workers. Between 1978 and 1990, employ­
ment in goods-producing industries is ex­
pected to increase from 28.7 to 32.5 million
workers or about 13 percent. Growth rates
will vary among the four sectors—agricul­
ture, mining, construction, and manufactur­

for food will rise because of population
growth, and exports of food will increase
through the next decade. Farm productivity
will continue to improve—although more
slowly than in the past—and production is
expected to rise even as employment contin­
ues to decline. Between 1978 and 1990, em­
ployment is projected to drop from 3.3 to 2.9
million workers or about 12 percent.
Mining. Having declined through most of
the 1960’s, employment in the mining sector
increased substantially during the 1970’s.
Employment rose about 32 percent between
1965 and 1978, mostly because of the coun­
try’s need for oil, coal, and other energy
As the development of fuel sources contin­
ues through the next decade, employment in
the mining sector is expected to grow from
830,000 to 1 million workers about 20 per­
cent. In some nonenergy industries such as
iron ore mining, employment will remain the
same because of improvements in mining
Contract construction. Employment grew
during the 1960’s because of high demand for
houses, apartments, office buildings, and
highways. The slowdown of the economy
during the early 1970’s limited employment
growth in the construction industries during
most of the decade. However, employment
has increased greatly in the last few years due
to a strong demand for new housing.
During the early 1980’s, the demand for
new housing will remain high because the
number of households is expected to increase.
Business expansion and maintenance of exist­
ing buildings also will require more construc­
tion. Between 1978 and 1990, employment in
the construction sector is expected to in­
crease from 4.2 to 4.9 million workers or
about 17 percent.
Manufacturing. Although a growing pop­
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Manufacturing employment is expected to
rise to 23.6 million workers by 1990, a 16
percent increase from the 1978 level of 20.3
million workers. Demand for consumer
goods is expected to rise because of increas­
ing incomes. Demand for capital goods such
as machinery also should rise as businesses
expand their plants and foreign countries in­
crease imports.
Manufacturing is divided into two broad
categories, durable goods manufacturing and
nondurable goods manufacturing. Employ­
ment in durable goods manufacturing is ex­
pected to increase by about 19 percent, from
12.2 to 14.5 million workers, while employ­
ment in nondurable goods manufacturing is
expected to increase by only 11 percent, from
8.2 to 9.1 million workers.
Growth rates will vary among individual
industries within each of these categories.
In nondurable goods industries, for exam­
ple, employment in bakeries is expected to
decline, while a moderate rise in employ­
ment is projected for the paper industry.
Among durable goods industries, com­
puters and peripheral equipment is expected
to undergo a rapid employment increase;
iron and steel manufacturing will employ
about the same number of workers in 1990
as in 1978. (Chart 8).

Occupational Profile
Customarily, occupations are divided into
white-collar occupations—professional and
technical, clerical, sales, and managerial jobs;
blue-collar occupations—craft, operative,
and laborer jobs; service occupations; and
farm occupations.

by industry in 1990
Workers (millions)1



Agriculture. Employment in agriculture
which has long been declining dropped
nearly 23 percent between 1965 and 1978. At
the same time output of farms has been in­
creasing through the use of more and better
machinery, fertilizers, feeds, pesticides, and
hybrid plants.
Domestic demand for food will increase
only slightly faster than the population
through the 1980’s. The worldwide demand

ulation and rising incomes have increased de­
mand for almost all types of goods, improved
production methods have limited employ­
ment growth in many manufacturing indus­
tries. In fact, employment grew more slowly
in manufacturing than in any other sector
between 1965 and 1978, only 13 percent.


Mining 1.0
Contract construction


Wholesale and retail trade

which includes self-empfoyed and unpaid family workers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Growth rates among these groups have
differed markedly, as shown in chart 9.
Once a small proportion of the total labor
force, white-collar workers now represent
about half of the total. The number of ser­
vice workers also has risen rapidly, while
the blue-collar work force has grown only
slowly and farm workers have declined.
The following section describes expected
changes among the broad occupational
groups between 1978 and 1990. (Chart

employment in this group is expected to grow
from 14.2 to 16.9 million workers or about 19


Greater efforts in energy production,
transportation, and environmental protec­
tion will contribute to a growing demand for
scientists, engineers, and technicians. The
medical professions can be expected to grow
as the health services industry expands. The
demand for professional workers to further
develop and utilize computer resources also
is projected to grow.

Professional and technical workers. This
category includes many highly trained work­
ers, such as scientists and engineers, medical
practitioners, teachers, entertainers, pilots,
and accountants. Between 1978 and 1990,

Some occupations in this group will offer
less favorable jobs prospects, in many cases
because the supply of workers will exceed
openings. Teachers will continue to face
competition, as will artists and entertain­
ers, airline pilots, and oceanographers.

White-collar workers will continue to be the
largest occupational group
Workers (millions)









Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Through the 1980’s, changes In employment will
vary widely among occupational groups


Projected change in employment, 1978-90 (millions)





Professional and technical workers
Managers and administrators
Sales workers


Clerical workers
Craft workers



Nonfarm laborers


Private household workers

i® I

Service workers, except private household
Farm workers

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

I Employment decline

New developments in computers, office
machines, and dictating equipment will
greatly affect employment in many occupa­
tions within this group. As computers are
used more extensively to store information
and perform billing, payroll, and other calcu­
lations, employment of file clerks and many
types of office machine operators will level off
or decline. At the same time, however, the
need for computer and peripheral equipment
operators will increase. Dictation machines,
which have sharply reduced the need for ste­
nographers, will continue to adversely affect
employment prospects for workers in that
However, technological innovations will
not affect many clerical workers whose jobs
involve a high degree of personal contact.
Substantial opportunities, for example, are
anticipated for secretaries and receptionists.
Sales workers. These workers are em­
ployed primarily by retail stores, manufac­
turing and wholesale firms, insurance compa­
nies, and real estate agencies. Employment of
this group is expected to grow from 6.0 to 7.6
million workers, as increase of 27 percent.
Much of this growth will be due to expan­
sion in the retail trade industry, which em­
ploys nearly one-half of these workers. The
demand for both full- and part-time sales
workers in retail trade is expected to increase
as the growing population requires more
shopping centers and stores. Despite the use
of laborsaving merchandizing techniques
such as computerized checkout counters,
more stores and longer operating hours will
cause employment to increase.

Operatives, except transport
Transport equipment operatives

Changes in business size and organization
have resulted in differing trends for selfemployed and salaried managers. The num­
ber of self-employed business managers will
continue to decline as large corporations and
chain operations increasingly dominate
many areas of business. Some small busi­
nesses, such as quick-service groceries and
fast-food restaurants, still will provide oppor­
tunities for self-employment, however. The
demand for salaried managers will continue
to grow as firms increasingly depend on
trained management specialists, particularly
in highly technical areas of operation.
Clerical workers. This group constitutes
the largest occupational group and includes
bank tellers, bookkeepers, cashiers, secretar­
ies, and typists. Between 1978 and 1990, em­
ployment in these occupations is expected to
grow from 16.9 to 21.7 million workers or 28



Managers and administrators.
group includes workers such as bank offic­
ers and managers, buyers, credit managers,
and self-employed business operators Be­
tween 1978 and 1990, this group is ex­
pected to grow from 10.1 to 12.2 million
or 21 percent.


I Growth

Craft workers. This group includes a wide
variety of highly skilled workers, such as car­
penters, tool-and-die makers, instrument

makers, all-round machinists, electricians,
and automobile mechanics. Between 1978
and 1990, employment of this group is ex­
pected to increase from 12.4 to 14.9 million
or about 20 percent.
Employment in nearly all construction
trades is expected to grow, but particularly
rapid increases are anticipated for heavy
equipment operators, electricians, and plum­
bers and pipefitters. Among mechanics and
repairers, employment will increase most
among workers who repair automobiles com­
puters and office machines, appliances, and
industrial machinery.
In contrast, the long-run employment de­
cline in the railroad industry will lessen the
demand for some craft occupations concen­
trated in that industry, such as railroad and
car shop repairers. Because of advances in
printing technology, very little growth is an­
ticipated in the printing crafts.
Operatives. This group includes such pro­
duction workers as assemblers, production
painters, and welders. Between 1978 and
1990, employment of operatives is expected
to rise from 10.9 to 12.5 million workers or
15 percent.
Employment of operatives is tied closely to
the production of goods, because the major­
ity of these workers are employed in manu­
facturing industries. The projected slow
growth of some manufacturing industries
along with improved production processes,
will hold down the demand for many of these
workers. Employment of some textile opera­
tives, for example, is expected to decline as
more machinery is used in the textile indus­
Transport operatives. This group includes
workers who drive buses, trucks, forklifts,
and taxis. Employment will increase because
o f the need for transportatio n services. Some
occupations such as switch operators and bus
drivers are expected to decline. Between 1978
and 1990, the number of transport operatives
will rise from 3.5 to 4.1 million or 17 percent.
Nonfarm laborers. This group includes
workers such as garbage collectors, construc­
tion laborers, and freight and stock handlers.
Employment in this group is expected to
grow only slowly as machinery increasingly
replaces manual labor. Power-driven equip­
ment, such as forklift trucks, cranes and
hoists will handle more material in factories,
loading docks, and warehouses. Other ma­
chines will do excavating, ditch digging, and
similar work. Between 1978 and 1990, em­
ployment of laborers is expected to increase
from 4.7 to 5.1 million workers or 9 percent.
Private household service workers. These
workers include housekeepers, child care
workers, and caretakers. Employment will
decline from 1.2 million to 890,000 workers
or 26 percent, between 1978 and 1990. De­
spite a rising demand for their services, the
low wages and the strenuous nature of the
work make these occupations unattractive to
many people.
Federal 2Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Job openings will result from employment
growth, deaths, and retirements


Job openings 1978-90 (m illions)

Clerical workers

| H| if |§ §

Craft workers


■ — — j]


iitiss iip ilii


Sales workers




':' ' '

.' ■


Operatives, except transport
insport equipment operatives
Nonfarm laborers
Private household workers

1--- 1

Service workers
Farm workers

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




■Em ploym ent decline ■ G ro w th □ D e a th s and retirements

Service workers. This group includes a
wide range of workers—firefighters, janitors,
cosmetologists, and bartenders are a few ex­
amples. These workers, most whom are em­
ployed in service-producing industries, make
up the fastest growing occupational group.
Factors expected to increase the need for
these workers are the rising demand for com­
mercial cleaning services, protective services;
and—as incomes rise—more frequent use of
restaurants, beauty salons, and leisure ser­
vices. Between 1978 and 1990, employment
of service workers is expected to increase 35
percent from 11.7 to 15.8 million workers.
Farm workers. This group includes farm­
ers and farm operators as well as farm labor­
ers. Employment of these workers has de­
clined for decades as farm productivity has

increased as a result of fewer but larger
farms, the use of more and better machinery,
and the development of new feeds, fertilizers,
and pesticides. Between 1978 and 1990, the
number of farmworkers is expected to decline
from 2.8 million to 2.4 million workers or 14
percent. (Chart 11).

Jol) Openings )
ProjectecTsize and change in employment
are two indicators of future job prospects;
another is the total number of job openings
expected in the occupation. The total in­
cludes job openings resulting from employ­
ment growth and the need to replace em­
ployees in an occupation who die, retire,
transfer to another occupation, or simply
stop working, perhaps to attend college or
care for a family.

Between 1978 and 1990, replacement needs
from deaths and retirements are expected to
be twice those from employment growth.
(Chart 12). Although data are not available to
estimate other replacement needs, research
findings indicate occupational transfers and
temporary labor force separations are a larger
source of job openings than growth, deaths,
and retirements combined.
The relationship of replacement needs to
employment in an occupation is complex and
not completely understood. However, lim­
ited information indicates that some occupa­
tions will offer more job opportunities than
their projected employment or growth rates
would suggest.

Generally speaking, employees in occupa­
tions requiring the least training or experi­
ence—such as many operative, clerical, ser­
vice, and sales occupations—have a higher
replacement rate than other occupations.
These workers can quit and later easily find
a similar job. On the other hand, occupations
requiring the most training or experience—
such as professional and managerial occupa­
tions—tend to have the lowest replacement
rates. Physicians, engineers, and bank
managers, for example, have extensive train­
ing and there are few occupations to which
they could transfer without taking a cut in

replacement needs are not available. How­
ever, the patterns of the past are unlikely to
change significantly: Occupations which re­
quire little training will provide more em­
ployment opportunities from replacement
needs than occupations which require exten­
sive training or experience.
When reviewing the employment projec­
tions, keep in mind replacement needs. Be­
cause of job transfers, deaths, retirements,
and other labor force separations, employ­
ment opportunities may exist even in occupa­
tions where employment is expected to de­
cline or to increase slowly.

Unfortunately, projected data about total


Although the discussions of future em­
ployment contained in the Handbook are
written in qualitative terms, they are based
on quantitative estimates developed using
the most recent data available on popula­
tion, industry and occupational employ­
ment, productivity, consumer expenditures,
and other factors expected to affect em­
ployment. The Bureau’s research offices
provided much of these data, but many
other agencies of the Federal Government
were important contributers, including the
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of
the Department of Labor; the Bureau of
the Census of the Department of Com­
merce; the Office of Education and the
Rehabilitation Services Administration of
the Department of Education; the Veterans
Administration; the Office of Personal
Management; the Interstate Commerce
Commission; the Civil Aeronautics Board;
the Federal Communications Commission;
the Department of Transportation; and the
National Science Foundation.
In addition, experts in industry, unions,
professional societies, and trade associations
furnished data and supplied information
through interviews. Many of these individu­
als also reviewed preliminary drafts of the
statements. The information presented in
each statement thus reflects the knowledge
and judgment not only of the Bureau of
Labor Statistics staff, but also of leaders in
the fields discussed. The Bureau, of course,
takes full responsibility for the published ma­
After the information from these sources
was compiled, it was analyzed in conjunc­
tion with the Bureau’s model of the econ­
omy in 1990. Like other models used in
economic forecasting, the Bureau’s model
encompasses the major facets of the econ­
omy and represents a comprehensive view
of its projected structure. It is comprised
of internally consistent projections of gross
national product (GNP); industrial output
and productivity; labor force; average
weekly hours of work; and employment for
detailed industry groups and occupations.
A detailed description of the model ap­
pears in Methodology for Projections o f In­
dustry Employment, Bulletin 2036 (forth­
Assumptions. The Bureau’s projections to
1990 are based on the following general as­


—Inflation will decelerate to 5.2 percent annually
during 1980-90.
—A stable, long-run unemployment rate close to
4.5 percent will be achieved by the mid-1980’s.
—Higher energy prices will not constrain growth
in GNP.
—The institutional framework of the U.S. econ­
omy will not change radically.
—Current social, technological, and scientific
trends will continue.
—No major event such as widespread or longlasting energy shortages or war will significantly
alter the industrial structure of the economy or
alter the rate of economic growth.

Detailed information about the assump­
tions used in the projections are presented in
Employment Projections for the 1980's,
BLS Bulletin 2030.
Methods. Beginning with population pro­
jections by age and sex developed by the Bu­
reau of the Census, a projection of the total
labor force is derived using expected labor
force participation rates for each population
group. In developing participation rates, the
Bureau takes into account a variety of factors
that affect decisions to enter the labor force,
such as school attendance, retirement prac­
tices, and family responsibilities.
The labor force projection then is tran­
slated into the level of GNP that would be
produced by a fully employed labor force.
GNP is obtained by subtracting unemploy­
ment from the labor force and multiplying
the result by a projection of output per
worker. The estimates of future output per
worker are based on an analysis of trends in
productivity (output per work hour) among
industries and changes in average weekly
hours of work.
Next, the projection of GNP is divided
among its major components: Consumer ex­
penditures, investment, government expendi­
tures—Federal, State, and local—and net ex­
ports. Each of these components is broken
down by producing industry. Consumer ex­
penditures, for example, are divided among
industries producing goods and services such
as housing, food, automobiles, medical care,
and education.
Once estimates are developed for these
products and services, they are translated
into detailed projections of industry output,
not only for the industries producing the final
product—such as an automobile—but also
for the industries that provide electric power,

transportation, component parts and other
inputs required in the production process. In­
put-output tables developed by the Depart­
ment of Commerce and modified by the BLS
are used to estimate output.
By using estimates of future output per
workhour based on studies of productivity
and technological trends for each industry,
industry employment projections are
derived from the output estimates. These
projections are then compared with employ­
ment projections derived using regression
analysis. This analysis develops equations
that relate employment by industry to com­
binations of economic variables, such as
population and income, that are considered
determinants of long-run changes in em­
ployment. By comparing projections result­
ing from input-output analysis and regres­
sion analysis, areas may be identified where
one method produces a projection inconsis­
tent with trends or with the Bureau’s eco­
nomic model. The projections are then ad­
justed accordingly.
Occupational employment projections.
Projections of industry employment are tran­
slated into occupational employment projec­
tions using an industry-occupation matrix.
This matrix, which is divided into 200 indus­
try sectors and 400 occupation sectors, de­
scribes the current and projected occupa­
tional structure of each industry. By applying
the projected occupational structure for each
industry to the industry employment projec­
tion and aggregating the resulting estimates
for all industries, employment projections for
each of the 400 occupations contained in the
matrix are obtained. Thus, the projected em­
ployment of an occupation is determined by
changes in the proportion of workers in the
occupation in each industry, and the growth
rate of industries in which an occupation is
concentrated. For example, employment in
an occupation would be projected to grow:
(1) if its proportion of the work force in­
creases but industry employment remains
constant, or (2) if its proportion of the work
force remains constant but industry employ­
ment increases.
In some cases, employment is related di­
rectly to one of the components of the Bu­
reau’s model—for example, the number of
cosmetologists is related to consumer expen­
ditures for beauty shop services. In others,
employment is related to an independent
variable not explicitly projected in the model

but believed to be a primary determinant of
employment in that occupation. The projec­
tion of automobile mechanics, for example, is
based on the expected stock of motor vehi­
cles. Projections that are developed indepen­
dently are compared with those in the matrix
and revised, if necessary, to assure consist­
Replacement needs. In addition to a pro­
jection of employment for each occupation, a
projection is made of the number of workers
who will be needed to replace those who die

or retire. To estimate these replacement
needs, the Bureau has developed tables of
working life based on actuarial experience for
deaths, and on decennial Census data for
general patterns of labor force participation.
Tables of working life provide death and
labor force separation rates for the entire
labor force, by age and sex groups. The rate
for each age and sex group then is adjusted
to reflect expected changes in labor force be­
havior. An overall separation rate for an oc­
cupation is obtained by weighting each pro­

jected rate by employment in the occupation
for that age and sex group, and computing
the weighted average. Average annual re­
placement needs are calculated by applying
the projected occupational separation rate to
projected employment.
The Bureau is continuing research to de­
termine the effect of occupational transfers
and temporary labor force separations on job
openings. These transfers have not been
taken into account in calculating replace­
ment needs.




Industrial Production
Office • Service
Education • Sales
Scientific and Technical
Mechanics and Repairers
Social Scientists • Social Service
Performing Arts, Design, and



Cars, newspapers, radios, bathtubs, guided
missiles, eating utensils, books, and pencil
sharpeners all have at least one thing in com­
mon. They, and almost all other products
that we use, are made by the millions of
workers in industrial production and related
Most of these operatives and craft workers
are employed in factories in the mass produc­
tion of goods. Others work outside of manufacturing in a wide variety of activities rang­
ing from showing motion pictures to shoeing
Because mass production would not be
possible without interchangeable parts,
workers in the machining and foundry occu­
pations play a basic role in the production
process. These workers make the tools, dies,
molds, cores, and other items that can be
used to produce hundreds or even thousands
of identical parts. Assemblers then put these
parts together to make automobiles, tele­
phones, and hundreds of other products. If
the parts or finished products require paint­

ing, production painters do that job. After
the products are made, inspectors examine
and test them to insure quality.
Other factory workers are not directly in­
volved in the production process, but support
it in some way. Stationary engineers, for ex­
ample, operate boilers and other equipment
to heat and air-condition factories and other
buildings. Millwrights move and install
heavy machinery used in the production pro­
cess and power truck operators move materi­
als about the plant.
Printing is another type of mass produc­
tion. Printing craft workers operate the ma­
chinery used to print newspapers, books, and
other publications.
Industrial workers also are employed out­
side of manufacturing in a variety of activi­
ties. Automobile painters, for example, re­
store the finish on old and damaged cars.
Photographic laboratory workers develop
film and make prints and slides.
Most jobs in industrial production do not

require a high school diploma. However,
many employers prefer high school or voca­
tional school graduates who have taken
courses such as blueprint reading and ma­
chine shop.
Operatives, such as assemblers and
power truck operators, ordinarily need
only brief on-the-job training. Craft work­
ers, such as stationary engineers and ma­
chinists, require considerable training to
qualify for their jobs. Many learn their
trades on the job, but training authorities
generally recommend completion of a 3- or
4-year apprenticeship program as the best
way to learn a skilled trade.
This chapter includes statements on more
than 30 industrial production and related oc­
cupations. Many other workers who are in­
volved in industrial production are described
elsewhere in the Handbook because of their
close association with particular occupations.
For example, engineers are included in the
section on scientific and technical occupa­


Foundry Occupations
The average American home contains over
2 tons of metal castings. Cooking utensils,
stoves, sinks, bathtubs, and refrigerators are
just a few of the everyday products we use
that are cast or have cast metal parts. In
addition, many industries use cast products.
Machinery made of castings processes food,
generates electricity, and stamps out parts for
assembly lines.
The process of casting forms metal into
intricate objects by pouring molten metal
into carefully prepared molds and allowing it
to solidify. When the hot metal cools, cast­
ings take the shape of the mold cavity.
The patternmaker, the molder, and the
coremaker each play an important part in the
process. A patternmaker makes an exact
wood or metal model of the casting. A
molder then places the model in a box and
packs a sand mixture around it to form a
mold. If the casting is to have a hollow sec­
tion, such as an automobile engine block, a
coremaker makes a core of a packed and
hardened sand mixture that is positioned in
the mold before the molten metal is poured
In 1978, about 3,700 patternmakers, 21,000 molders, and 12,000 coremakers worked
in the foundry industry. About three-fourths
of them worked in shops that make and
sell castings. The remainder worked in
plants that make castings to use in their
final products, such as plants operated
by manufacturers of automobiles or ma­
A high school education is the minimum
requirement for an apprenticeship in pattern­
making. Some highly skilled molding and
coremaking jobs also may require a high
school education, but an eighth grade educa­
tion may be enough for entry into many
molding and coremaking jobs.
The production and use of castings are ex­
pected to grow significantly through the
1980’s. However, because of automation and
other laborsaving improvements in produc­
tion methods, employment of patternmakers,
coremakers, and molders is expected to in­
crease more slowly than the average for all
occupations. In addition to those job open­
ings that result from employment growth,
other openings will arise from the need to
replace experienced workers who die, retire,
or transfer to other occupations. The number
of openings may fluctuate from year to year
because foundry employment is sensitive to
ups and downs in the economy.
Patternmakers, molders, and coremakers
are discussed in detail in the following state­
ments. For general descriptions of the casting
process and many of the other jobs involved


in metal casting, see the statement on foun­
dries elsewhere in the Handbook.

pattern segments by hand, using glue, screws,
and nails.

Sources of Additional Information

Working Conditions

For details about training opportunities
for patternmakers, molders, and coremakers,
contact local foundries, the local office of the
State employment service, the nearest office
of the State apprenticeship agency, or the Bu­
reau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S.
Department of Labor. Information also is
available from the following organizations:

Patternmakers work indoors in welllighted, well-ventilated areas. The rooms in
which they work generally are separated
from the areas where the casting takes place,
so they are not exposed to the heat and noise
of the foundry floor. Although the work is
not strenuous, patternmaking requires con­
siderable standing and moving about.

American Foundrymen’s Society/Cast Metals In­
stitute, Golf and Wolf Rds., Des Plaines, 11 .
International Molders’ and Allied Workers’
Union, 1225 E. McMillan St., Cincinnati, Ohio

Nature of the Work
A high quality cast product depends upon
the initial pattern created by the foundry pat­
ternmaker. The formation of the hollow
mold cavity, and ultimately the metalcasting
itself, rely upon an accurate, well-con­
structed pattern. Patterns are formed from
many different materials—wood, metal, plas­
tic, plaster, and even wax.
Patternmakers work from blueprints pre­
pared by engineers or drafters. The blue­
prints contain information about the size,
shape, and other properties desired in the
finished cast object. From these instruc­
tions, patternmakers construct a precise
pattern for the product by carefully check­
ing each dimension with instruments such
as micrometers and calipers. Precision is
important because any imperfection in the
pattern will be reproduced in the castings
made from it.
Most workers in this occupation are metal
patternmakers (D.O.T. 600.280-050). These
workers prepare patterns from metal stock or
from rough castings made from a wood pat­
tern. To shape and finish the patterns, they
use many metalworking machines, including
lathes, drill presses, shapers, milling ma­
chines, and grinders. To smooth surfaces
they also use small handtools, such as files
and rasps.
Wood patternmakers (D.O.T. 661.281022) select the wood stock, lay out the pat­
tern, and saw each piece of wood to size.
They then shape the rough pieces into final
form with various woodworking machines,
such as lathes and sanders, as well as many
small handtools. Finally, they assemble the

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Apprenticeship is the best means of quali­
fying as an experienced patternmaker. Be­
cause of the high degree of skill and the wide
range of knowledge needed for patternmak­
ing, it is difficult to learn the trade on the job,
but with additional on-the-job training or ex­
perience, some skilled machinists have trans­
ferred to metal patternmaking. High school
courses in mechanical drawing, blueprint
reading, and shop mathematics are helpful to
persons interested in becoming patternmak­
ers. In addition, vocational and technical
school training in pattemmaking, metal­
working, and machining provide useful
preparation for an apprentice, and may be
credited toward completion of the appren­
The usual apprenticeship period for pat­
ternmaking is 5 years; however, a few ap­
prenticeships last only 3 or 4 years. At least
144 hours of classroom instruction generally
accompany the work experience provided
each year. Because of the precise skills
needed, apprenticeship programs for wood
and metal patternmaking are separate. Em­
ployers almost always require apprentices to
have a high school education.
Apprentices begin by helping experienced
patternmakers in routine duties. They make
simple patterns under close supervision; as
they progress, the work becomes increasingly
complex and the supervision more general.
Patternmakers earn higher pay as their skill
increases, and some become supervisors.
Manual dexterity and attention to detail
are especially important because of the pre­
cise nature of the work. The ability to visual­
ize objects in three dimensions also is impor­
tant when reading blueprints.

Employment Outlook
Employment of foundry patternmakers is
expected to increase more slowly than the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s despite anticipated increases in
foundry production. The increased use of

(D.O.T.'518.682-010) operate machines that
speed up and simplify the making of large
quantities of identical sand molds. This in­
cludes setting up the machine, controlling the
pressure applied to the sand by the working
levers and pedals, and cutting pouring spouts
in the mold. Machine molders also assemble
the flask and pattern on the machine table
and fill the flask with the prepared sand mix­
In a few foundries, hand molders still con­
struct the sand molds, using primarily man­
ual methods. Power tools, such as pneumatic
rammers and squeeze plates, and handtools,
such as trowels and mallets, are used to com­
pact the sand. Molds for small castings usu­
ally are made on the workbench by bench
molders (D.O.T. 518.361-010); those for
large and bulky casting are made on the
foundry floor by floor molders (D.O.T. 518.361-010). An all-around hand molder makes
many different types of molds. A less skilled
molder specializes in a few simple types.

Working Conditions
Using detailed blueprints, patternmakers design cast products.

metal patterns will allow production to in­
crease faster than employment. Because
metal patterns, unlike wooden ones, can be
used again and again, fewer patterns have to
be made. In addition to those openings
created by employment growth, some job
openings will arise because of the need to
replace experienced patternmakers who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other occupations.
Most of these openings will be for metal pat­
ternmakers. The number of openings may
fluctuate from year to year since the demand
for foundry products is sensitive to changes
in the economy.

Patternmakers generally have higher earn­
ings than other production workers in manu­
facturing. In January 1979, average straighttime hourly earnings of wood patternmakers
ranged from $7.30 in nonferrous foundries to
$7.90 in gray iron and malleable foundries,
according to a wage survey made by the Na­
tional Foundry Association. In comparison,
all production workers in manufacturing in­
dustries averaged $6.48 an hour.

Related Occupations
Because patternmakers learn either basic
metalworking or woodworking, they may be
able to use their skills and knowledge for jobs
in related fields. Wood patternmakers, for
example, may qualify for woodworking jobs
such as cabinetmaker or bench carpenter.
Metal patternmakers may be able to transfer
to metalworking occupations such as ma­
chinist, layout worker, or sheet-metal
Other workers who follow blueprints to
construct full-sized and scale models of pro­
ducts include sample-body builders (automo­
bile manufacturing); model makers (clocks

and watch), form builders (aircraft-aerospace
manufacturing), last-pattern graders (shoes),
loft workers (ship and boat building and re­
pairing), mock-up builders (transportation
equipment), and wood model makers (any

Sources of Additional Information
For sources of additional information, see
the introductory section of this chapter.

Nature of the Work
One of the oldest known methods of mak­
ing m etal p roducts is casting, the process o f

pouring molten metal into a previously made
mold and allowing the metal to harden in the
shape of the mold. There are several different
ways of making molds, but sand molding is
the most common because it is so economi­
cal. In sand molding, molders pack and ram
a specially prepared mixture of sand and
other binders, such as clay and chemicals,
around a pattern of the object that is to be
cast. The mixture is contained in a box called
a flask. The flask usually is made in two parts
that can be separated to remove the pattern
without damaging the mold cavity. When
molten metal is poured into the cavity, it
solidifies as it cools, and forms the casting.
(Other types of molds and molding processes
are described in the foundry industry section
of the Handbook).
Technologically advanced molding ma­
chines that pack and ram the sand mechani­
cally are now used to make most molds.
Thus, most of the workers in this occupation
are machine molders. Machine molders

Working conditions vary considerably
from one foundry to another. In many plants,
improved ventilation systems and air-condi­
tioning have reduced greatly the heat, fumes,
and dust; however, in many older foundries
these still are problems.
Working in a foundry can be hazardous,
and the injury rate is higher than the average
for all manufacturing industries. Safety pro­
grams and safety equipment, such as metalplated shoes, have helped reduce injuries at
many foundries; however, molders must be
careful to avoid burns from hot metal and to
avoid cuts and bruises when handling metal
parts, molds, and power tools.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Completion of a 4-year apprenticeship pro­
gram, or equivalent experience, is needed to
become a skilled hand molder. Workers with
this training also are preferred for some kinds
of machine molding, but in general a shorter
training period is required in order to become
a qualified machine molder. An eighth grade
education usually is the minimum require­
ment for apprenticeship. Many employers
prefer high school graduates, however.
Apprentices, under close supervision by
skilled molders, begin with simple jobs, such
as shoveling sand, and then gradually take
on more difficult and responsible work,
such as ramming molds, withdrawing pat­
terns, and setting cores. They also learn to
operate the various types of molding ma­
chines. As their training progresses, they
learn to make complete molds. In addition,
the apprentice may work in other foundry
departments to develop all-round knowl­
edge of foundry methods and practices. The
apprentice usually receives at least 144
hours of classroom instruction each year in
subjects such as shop arithmetic, metal­
lurgy, and shop drawing.

Nature of the Work
Many cast metal products—iron piping,
automobile engine blocks, and electric powerplant equipment, for example—are hollow.
Coremakers prepare the “cores” that are
placed in molds to form the hollow sections
in these castings. The poured metal solidifies
around the core, so that when the core is
removed the desired cavity or contour re­
A core may be made either by hand or by
machine. In both instances, sand is packed
into a block of wood, plastic, or metal in
which a cavity of the desired size and shape
has been formed or machined out. When
hand methods are used, the coremaker uses
mallets and other handtools to pack sand into
the core box. The core then is removed from
this box, and is hardened by baking or by
another drying method. Small cores are
made on the workbench by bench coremakers
(D.O.T. 518.381-014) and large ones are
made on the foundry floor by floor coremak­
ers (D.O.T. 518.381-014).

Pouring molten metal requires concentration and a steady hand.

Hand molders who do highly repetitive
work that requires less skill usually learn
their jobs during a brief training period.
Trainees work with a molder to make a par­
ticular kind of mold. After 2 to 6 months, the
trainee usually is capable of making a similar
mold. Most machine molders also learn the
necessary skills in a few months of informal
on-the-job training.
Physical standards for molding jobs are
fairly high. Molders stand while working,
must move about a great deal to do accurate
work, and must be competent in using mold­
ing tools such as shovels and rammers. They
need good eye-hand coordination and a high
degree of manual dexterity. Molders may ad­
vance to a specialized molding job or eventu­
ally to a supervisory position.

Employment Outlook
Employment of molders is expected to in­
crease more slowly than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Although
the demand or metal castings is expected to
increase significantly, the trend toward more
automatic machine molding, such as the sand
slinging process, and other laborsaving inno­
vations will allow large increases in produc­
tion with only moderate employment


growth. In addition to job openings created
by employment growth, openings will arise
from the need to replace experienced m olders
who retire, die, or transfer to other occupa­
tions. The number of openings, however,
may fluctuate greatly from year to year be­
cause the demand for foundry products is
sensitive to changes in the economy.

In January 1979, floor molders averaged
$6.20 an hour and bench molders averaged
$5.90, according to a wage survey made by
the National Foundry Association. By com­
parison, production workers in all manufac­
turing industries averaged $6.48 an hour.
Molders who were paid on an incentive basis
generally had higher earnings.

Related Occupations
Other workers who need a knowledge of
metal characteristics, molding sand, and
pouring procedures are molding machine set­
ters, mold-maker helpers, mold closers, sandslinger operators, and jewelry benchmolders.

Sources of Additional Information
For sources of additional information, see
the introductory section of this chapter

Machine coremakers (D.O.T. 518.685014, -018, -022) operate machines that make
sand cores by forcing sand into a core box.
Some machine coremakers are required to set
up and adjust their machines and do finishing
operations on the cores. Others are primarily
machine tenders. They are closely supervised
and their machines are adjusted for them.
(To see how the coremaker’s job is a basic
step in the casting process, read the descrip­
tion of sand casting given in the statement on
foundries elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Working conditions vary considerably
from one foundry to another. Heat, fumes,
and dust, have been greatly reduced in
many plants by the installation of im­
proved ventilation systems and air-condi­
tioning. Although the injury rate in foun­
dries is higher than the average for
manufacturing, coremaking is one of the
least hazardous foundry jobs.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Completion of a 4-year apprenticeship
training program or the equivalent experi­
ence is needed to become a skilled hand
coremaker. Workers with this training also
are preferred for the more difficult ma­
chine coremaking jobs, but in general a
shorter training period is required to be­
come a qualified machine coremaker. Ap­
prenticeships in coremaking and molding
often are combined.
Experienced coremakers teach apprentices
how to make cores and operate ovens. Class­
room instruction covering subjects such as
arithmetic and the properties of metals gen­
erally supplements on-the-job training. Core-

all occupations through the 1980’s, as the
growing use of machine coremaking will
allow large increases in production with only
moderate employment growth. In addition to
those job openings created by employment
growth, other openings will arise because of
the need to replace experienced coremakers
who retire, die, or transfer to other occupa­
tions. The number of openings may fluctuate
greatly from year to year since the demand
for foundry products is sensitive to changes
in the economy.

In January 1979, average hourly earnings
of floor coremakers were $6.30; bench core­
makers, $6 and machine coremakers, $5.40,
according to a wage survey made by the Na­
tional Foundry Association. By comparison,
production workers in all manufacturing in­
dustries averaged $6.48 an hour. Coremakers
who were paid on an incentive basis generally
had higher earnings than those who were
paid a straight hourly wage.

Related Occupations
Coremakers prepare the “cores” that form the hollow sections for automobile engine blocks.

; v

makers earn higher pay as their skill increases, and some may advance to supervisors.
An eighth grade education usually is the
minimum requirement for coremaking ap­
prentices; however, most employers prefer
high school graduates, and some employers
require apprentices to have graduated from

high school. Some types of hand coremaking require a high degree of manual dexterity.

Employment Outlook
Although the production and use of metal
castings are expected to increase substan­
tially, employment of coremakers is expected
to increase more slowly than the average for

Other workers who must know how to
make cores, set them in molds, or operate
coremaking machines are core setters, core­
making machine setters, pipe coremakers,
mold closers, core checkers, and coreroom
foundry laborers.

Sources of Additional Information
For sources of additional information, see
the introductory section of this chapter.


Machining Occupations
Machine tools are stationary, powerdriven machines used to shape or form metal
by cutting, impact, pressure, electrical tech­
niques, or a combination of these processes.
The most outstanding characteristic of
machine tools is their precision of operation.
For example, in this century the accuracy of
machine tools has improved from a thou­
sandth of an inch to about a millionth of an
inch. A millionth of an inch is about l/300th
as thick as a human hair. This precision
makes possible the production of thousands
of identical parts which may easily be inter­
changed in the assembly or repair of final
products. The interchangeability of parts,
made possible by machine tools, is the most
important requirement for the mass produc­
tion of goods. As a result, nearly every prod­
uct of American industry, from cornflakes to
turbines, is made either using machine tools
or using machines made with machine tools.
Most machine tools are named for the way
in which they shape metal. For example,
commonly used machine tools include boring
machines, milling machines, lathes, drilling
machines, and grinding machines. All-round
machinists can operate most types of ma­
chine tools, whereas machine tool operators
generally work with one kind only. Tool-anddie makers make dies (metal forms) for
presses and diecasting machines, devices to
guide drills into metal, and special gages to
determine whether the work meets specified
tolerances. Instrument makers use machine
tools to produce highly accurate instrument
parts from metal and other materials. Setup


workers adjust tools for semiskilled machine
tool operators to run. In 1978, over 1.1 mil­
lion workers were employed in these occupa­
tions. The following chapters present de­
tailed discussions of the work performed,
training required, job outlook, and earnings
for these occupations.

(D.O.T. 600.280-022, .281-022, and .381-018)

Nature of the Work
All-round machinists are skilled metal
workers who can turn a block of metal into
an intricate part, such as a gear or piston,
that meets precise specifications. They know
how to set up and operate most types of ma­
chine tools used to make metal parts for cars,
machines, and other equipment. They also
know the working properties of a variety of
metals such as steel, cast iron, aluminum,
brass, and other metals that are used to make
these parts. Using this knowledge of metals,
plus their skill with machine tools, produc­
tion machinists plan and carry out all the
operations needed to make a machined prod­
Before they actually begin work on a part,
machinists usually consult blueprints or writ­
ten specifications for the item. Using these,
they select tools and materials for the job and

plan the cutting and finishing operations.
When making a rifle barrel, for example, they
might select an alloy steel workpiece and
then use a boring machine to cut out the rifle
bore. After selecting a workpiece and the ap­
propriate machine for the job, machinists
make standard shop computations relating to
dimensions of work and machining computa­
tions. They must, for example, determine the
exact point on the workpiece where they will
bore the hole. They also must decide how fast
they can feed the metal workpiece into the
machine, and what cooling oils they should
use to keep the metal from overheating and
ruining the job.
To be sure their work is accurate, they
check it using precision instruments, such as
micrometers, which measure to thousandths
or even millionths of an inch. After complet­
ing machining operations, they may use hand
files and scrapers to smooth rough metal
edges before assembling the finished parts
with wrenches and screwdrivers.
Like production machinists, all-round ma­
chinists who work in plant maintenance
shops have a broad knowledge of metals, of
how machines work, and of machining oper­
ations. These workers are responsible for re­
pairing parts or making new parts for ma­
chinery that has broken down. They
sometimes also adjust and test the parts they
have made or repaired for a machine.

Working Conditions
The work environment for machinists has
improved considerably in recent years. Most
machine shops are clean, well lighted, and
well ventilated. Many modern shops are airconditioned. Noise levels also have been re­
duced with the introduction of better de­
signed machine tools. In those shops where
noise still is a problem, workers wear earmuffs or earplugs to protect their hearing.
Good “housekeeping” now is emphasized in
most machine shops, and helps make shops
safer by reducing the chances of accidents
caused by slippery floors or blocked aisles
between the machine tools.
Working around high-speed machine
tools, however, can still present certain dan­
gers. Flying pieces of hot metal, for example,
can cause burns and cuts. As a result, machi­
nists must follow strict safety practices.
Safety glasses with side shields, and other
protective devices must be worn; loose or bil­
lowy clothing, long hair, and rings or other
jewelry are prohibited. These regulations
help prevent once common accidents, such as
burns from hot metal, cuts and other injuries
caused by flying metal pieces, and parts of
the body getting caught and mangled in the
machine tool.

Places of Employment
About 400,000 persons worked as machi­
nists in 1978. Almost every factory that uses
substantial amounts of machinery employs
all-round machinists to maintain its mechan­
ical equipment. In some factories, machinists
made large quantities of identical parts such
as automobile axle shafts in production de­
partments. In others, machinists made lim­
ited numbers of varied products such as mis­
sile motor cases in machine shops.
Most all-round machinists worked in the
following industries: Machinery, including
electrical; transportation equipment; fab­
ricated metal products; and primary metals.
Other industries employing substantial num­
bers of these workers were the railroad,
chemical, food processing, and textile indus­
tries. The Federal Government also em­
ployed all-round machinists in Navy yards
and other installations.
Although machinists work in all parts of
the country, jobs are most plentiful in areas
where many factories are located. Among the
leading areas of employment are Los An­
geles, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia,
Boston, San Francisco, and Houston.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A 4-year formal apprenticeship is the best
way to learn the machinist trade, but some
companies have training programs for single­
purpose machines that require less than 4
years to complete. Many machinists do learn
this trade on the job, however.

Persons interested in becoming machi­
nists should be mechanically inclined so
that they can use the tools and machines
required in their work and so that they
can understand the often complex mech­
anisms it is their job to build. They also
should be temperamentally suited to do
highly accurate work that requires concen­
tration as well as physical effort. Prospec­
tive machinists should be able to work in­
dependently. Although the work sometimes
is tedious and repetitious, all-round machi­
nists frequently have the satisfaction of
seeing the final results of their work. They
also often are able to switch from making
one product to another; as a result, variety
is a major feature of all-round machinists’
A high school or vocational school educa­
tion, including mathematics, physics, or ma­
chine shop training, is desirable. Some com­
panies require experienced machinists to take
additional courses in mathematics and elec­
tronics at company expense so that they can
work with newer metalworking technologies,
such as numerically controlled machine
tools. In addition, equipment builders gener­
ally provide training in the electrical, hydrau­
lic, and mechanical aspects of machine-andcontrol systems.
Typical machinist apprentice programs
consist of approximately 8,000 hours of
shop training and about 570 hours of
related classroom instruction. In shop
training, apprentices learn chipping, filing,
hand tapping, dowel fitting, riveting, and
the operation of various machine tools. In
the classroom, they study blueprint read­

ing, mechanical drawing, shop mathemat­
ics, and shop practices.
All-round machinists have numerous op­
portunities for advancement. Many become
supervisors. Some take additional training
and become tool-and-die or instrument
makers. Skilled machinists may open their
own shops or advance into other techni­
cal jobs in machine programming and tool­

Employment Outlook
The number of all-round machinists is ex­
pected to increase at about the same rate as
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Growth in the demand for machined
metal parts will cause most of the increase. In
addition to openings created by growth in
this large occupation, many openings will
arise from the need to replace experienced
machinists who retire, die, or transfer to
other fields of work.
As population and income rise, so will the
demand for machined goods, such as au­
tomobiles, household appliances, and indus­
trial products. However, technological devel­
opments that increase the productivity of
machinists are expected to keep employment
from rising as fast as the demand for ma­
chined goods.
Chief among these technological innova­
tions is the use of numerically controlled ma­
chine tools. These machines, which use com­
puters to control various machining
operations, significantly reduce the time re­
quired to perform machining operations.
Much of the employment growth will
occur in the maintenance shops of manu­
facturing plants as industries continue to
use a greater volume of complex machin­
ery and equipment. More skilled mainte­
nance machinists will be needed to prevent
costly breakdowns in highly mechanized
plants. Often the breakdown of just one
machine can stop an entire production line
for hours.

The earnings of machinists compare favor­
ably with those of other skilled workers. Ma­
chinists employed in metropolitan areas had
estimated average hourly earnings of $8.02 in
1978. Average hourly rates in 10 of the areas
surveyed, selected to show how rates differ in
various parts of the country, appear in the
accompaning table. Because machinists work
indoors, they are able to work year round and
in all kinds of weather. As a result, their
earnings are relatively stable. Many also re­
ceive numerous opportunities for overtime

Many companies employ maintenance machinists to repair or make new parts for machinery that
has broken down.

Many machinists are members of unions,
including the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the In­
ternational Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the International
Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; the International Brotherhood of

Table 1. Average hourly earnings of all-round machinists in selected areas, 1978

Hourly rate

San Francisco-O akland.......................................................................................................... $9.56
Detroit........................................................................................................................................ 9.01
H ouston...............................................................................................
C hicago..................................................................................................................................... 8.39
New York.................................................................................................................................. 8.33
Minneapolis-St. P a u l ............................................................................................................. 8.11
A tla n t a ..................................................................................................................................... 8.10
New O rlean s............................................................................................................................ 8.05
Boston........................................................................................................................................ 7.15
Jackson, Miss............................................................................................................................ 6.65
SOURCE: Bureau o f Labor Statistics.

Electrical Workers; and the United Steel­
workers of America.

Related Occupations
The occupations most closely related to
all-round machinists are, of course, the other
machining occupations. These include tooland-die makers, machine tool operators,
setup workers (machine tool), and instru­
ment makers. There are other occupations
that require precision and skill in working
with metal, however, including arc cutters,
blacksmiths, gunsmiths, locksmiths, pattern­
makers (metal), and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
The National Machine Tool Builders As­
sociation, 7901 Westpark Dr., McLean, Va.
22102—whose members build a large pro­
portion of all machine tools used in this coun­
try—will supply, on request, information on
career opportunities in the machine tool in­
The National Tool, Die and Precision Ma­
chining Association, 9300 Livingston Rd.,
Washington, D.C., 20022, offers information
on apprenticeship training, including recom­
mended apprenticeship standards for tooland-die makers certified by the U.S. Depart­
ment of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship
and Training.
The Tool and Die Institute, 777 Busse
Highway, Park Ridge, 111. 60068—a trade
association—offers information on appren­
ticeship training in the Chicago area.
Many local offices of State employment
services provide free aptitude testing to per­
sons interested in becoming all-round machi­
nists or tool-and-die makers. In addition, the
State employment service refers applicants
for apprentice programs to employers. In
many communities, applicants for appren­
ticeship also are received by labor-manage­
ment apprenticeship committees.
Apprenticeship information also may be
obtained from the following unions (which
have local offices in many cities):
International Union, United Automobile, Aero­
space and Agricultural Implement Workers of
America, Skilled Trades Department, 8000 East
Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48214.
International Union of Electrical, Radio and Ma­
chine Workers, 1126 16th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.


dom use. They also work with a wider variety
of materials than other machining workers.
These materials include plastics and rare
metals such as titanium and rhodium.
In some instances, instrument makers
work on instruments from start to finish.
That is, they make all the parts, assemble
them, and then test the finished product.
However, in large shops, or where time is
important, the work may be divided
among a number of workers. Similarly, if
an instrument has electrical or electronic
components, electronic specialists may be

Working Conditions

Instrument Makers
(D.O.T. 600.280-010)

Nature Of the WorkInstrument makers (also called experi­
mental machinists and modelmakers) are
among the most skilled of all machining
workers. They work closely with engineers
and scientists to translate designs and ideas
into experimental models, special labora­
tory equipment, and custom instruments.
Experimental devices constructed by these
craft workers are used, for example, to reg­
ulate heat, measure distance, record earth­
quakes, and control industrial processes.
The parts and models may range from
simple gears to intricate parts of navigation
systems for guided missiles. Instrument
makers also modify existing instruments
for special purposes.
Instrument makers perform many tasks
similar to those done by all-round machi­
nists, tool-and-die makers, and setup work­
ers. For example, they may set up and use
machine tools such as lathes and milling ma­
chines to fabricate metal parts for the instru­
ments they make. In addition, they use handtools such as files and chisels to smooth
rough metal parts. As in other types of ma­
chining work, accuracy is important. Like
most machining workers, instrument makers
measure finished parts to make sure they
meet specifications, using a wide variety of
precision measuring equipment, including
micrometers, verniers, calipers, and dial in­
Unlike other skilled machining workers,
instrument makers often are not given de­
tailed instructions, such as blueprints, for
their work. Instead, they may work from
rough sketches or verbal instructions, or they
may simply be given a concept to work with.
As a result, their work often requires consid­
erable imagination and ingenuity. In addi­
tion, they must often work to finer tolerances
than other machining workers. Sometimes
specifications must not vary more than 10
millionths of an inch. To meet these stan­
dards, they use special equipment or preci­
sion devices, such as the electronic height
guage, which other machining workers sel-

Instrument makers often work under
nearly ideal conditions. Because of the deli­
cate nature of the mechanisms they work on,
instrument makers may work in the con­
trolled environment of “white rooms.’’ These
rooms are well lighted,slightly pressurized,
temperature controlled, and dust free.
Serious work accidents are not common,
but machine tools and flying bits of metal
may cause finger, hand, and eye injuries. To
prevent such accidents from occurring, in­
strument makers must folow certain safety
rules when using machine tools. These rules
include the wearing of special glasses, aprons,
and tightly fitted clothing.

Places of Employment
Many of the approximately 6,000 instru­
ment makers employed in 1978 worked for
firms that manufactured instruments. Others
were in research and development laborato­
ries that make special devices for scientific
research. The Federal Government em­
ployed many instrument makers.
The main centers of instrument making
are located in and around a few large cities,
particularly New York, Chicago, Los An­
geles, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, De­
troit, Buffalo, and Cleveland.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Some instrument makers advance from the
ranks of machinists or skilled machine tool
operators. These already skilled craft work­
ers begin by doing the simpler instrument
making tasks under close supervision. Usu­
ally 1 to 2 years or more of instrument shop
experience are needed to qualify as instru­
ment makers.
Other instrument makers learn their trade
through apprenticeships that generally last 4
years. A typical 4-year program includes 8,000 hours of shop training and 576 hours of
related classroom instruction. Shop training
emphasizes the use of machine tools, handtools, and measuring instruments, and the
working properties of various materials.
Classroom instruction covers related techni­
cal subjects such as mathematics, physics,
blueprint reading, chemistry, metallurgy,
electronics, and fundamental instrument de-

Other occupations that require precision
and skill in working with metal include arc
cutters, blacksmiths, locksmiths, pattern­
makers (metal), and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
See the list under this same heading in the
previous statement on all-round machinists.

Machine Tool
(D.O.T. 602., 603., 604., 605., and 606.)

Nature of the Work
Machine tool operators use machine tools
such as lathes, drill presses, milling ma­
chines, grinding machines, and punch presses
to shape metal to precise dimensions. Al­
though some operators can work with a wide
variety of machine tools, most specialize in
one or two types.

Instrument makers often do very precise work.

sign. Apprentices must learn enough shop
mathematics to plan their work and to use
formulas. A basic knowledge of how things
work is needed in solving gear and linkage
For apprenticeship programs, employers
generally prefer high school graduates who
have taken algebra, geometry, trigonometry,
science, and machine shopwork. Further
technical schooling in electricity, physics,
machine design, and electronics often is de­
sirable, and may make possible future pro­
motions to technician jobs.
Persons interested in becoming instrument
makers should have a strong interest in me­
chanical subjects and better than average
ability to work with their hands. They must
have initiative and resourcefulness because
instrument makers often work with little or

as the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Most openings, however, will occur
as workers retire, die, or leave the occupation
for other reasons. Overall, replacement needs
will be small because there are so few workers
in this field.
Some workers will be needed to make
models of new instruments for mass produc­
tion and also to make custom or special in­
struments, particularly in the expanding field
of industrial automation. Also, more versa­
tile and sensitive precision instruments can
be expected to emerge from current research
and development programs. Laborsaving
technological innovations, however, will
limit employment growth. Numerically con­
trolled machine tools, for example, reduce
the amount of labor required in machining

no supervision. Since instrum ent m akers

often face new problems, they must be able to
develop original solutions. Frequently, they
must visualize the relationship between indi­
vidual parts and the complete instrument and
must understand the principles of the instru­
ment’s operation. Because of the nature of
their jobs, instrument makers have to be very
conscientious and take considerable pride in
creative work.
As instrument makers’ skills and knowl­
edge improve, they may advance to more
responsible positions. For example, they
may plan and estimate time and material
requirements for the manufacture of the
instruments or provide specialized support
to professional personnel. Others may be­
come supervisors and train less skilled in­
strument makers.

Employment Outlook
Employment in this very small occupation
is expected to increase at about the same rate

Earnings of instrument makers compare
favorably with those of other highly skilled
metalworkers. In 1978, instrument makers
generally earned over $8 an hour.
Many instrument makers are union mem­
bers. Among the unions representing them
are the International Association of Machi­
nists and Aerospace Workers; the Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Electrical Workers;
and the International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America.

Related Occupations
The occupations most closely related to
instrument maker are, of course, the other
machining occupations. These include all­
round machinists, tool-and-die makers, setup
workers (machine tool), and machine tool

Operators fall into two broad skill cate­
gories—semiskilled and skilled. Semiskilled
operators are essentially machine tenders
who perform simple, repetitive operations
that can be learned relatively quickly.
Skilled operators can perform varied and
complex machining operations.
skilled and semiskilled operators have job
titles related to the kind of machine they
operate, such as milling machine operator
and drill press operator.
Most machine tool operators fall into
the semiskilled category. Their jobs vary
according to the type of machine they
work with; however, there are many tasks
common to most machine tools. Typically,
semiskilled operators place rough metal
stock in a machine tool on which the
speeds and operation sequence already
have been set by skilled workers. By using
special, easy-to-use gages they watch the
machine and make minor adjustments.
However, they depend on skilled machin­
ing workers for major adjustments when
their machine is not working properly.
The work of skilled machine tool operators
is similar to that of all-round machinists, ex­
cept that it usually is limited to only one type
of machine and involves little or no hand
fitting or assembly work. Skilled machine
tool operators plan and set up the correct
sequence of machining operations according
to blueprints, layouts, or other instructions.
They adjust speed, feed, and other controls,
and select the proper cutting instruments or
tools for each operation. Using micrometers,
gauges, and other precision measuring in­
struments, they compare the completed work
with the tolerance limits given in the specifi­
cations. They also may select cutting oils to
keep the metal workpiece from getting too
hot and lubricating oils to keep the machine
tools running smoothly.

Working Conditions
Most machine shops are clean, well
lighted, and well ventilated. Noise levels have
been reduced with the introduction of better
designed machine tools. However, some ma­
chine tools, such as screw machines, are still
very noisy. To combat this noise, operators
often wear earmuffs or earplugs. Coolants
(the liquids used to reduce friction) are well
contained on modern machine tools, but op­
erators of older machine tools sometimes
have to stand on slippery floors caused by
spilled coolants. Good shop practices and at­
tention to cleanliness, however, can signifi­
cantly reduce this danger.
Powerful, high-speed machine tools can
still be dangerous, though, if strict safety
rules are not observed. Machine tool opera­
tors must wear safety glasses and other pro­
tective devices to protect themselves from
flying metal particles. They cannot wear
loose-fitting clothes or jewelry as these might
get caught in the machine, injuring the opera­
tor or damaging the machine.

Places of Employment
More than 500,(X ) machine tool operators
were employed in 1978. Most worked in fac­
tories that produce fabricated metal pro­
ducts, transportation equipment, and ma­
chinery in large quantities. Skilled machine
tool operators also worked in production de­
partments, maintenance departments, and
Machine tool operators work in every
State and in almost every city in the United
States. They are concentrated, however, in
major industrial areas such as the Great
Lakes region. About one-fourth of all ma­
chine tool operators work in the Great Lakes

cities of Detroit, Flint, Chicago, Cleveland,
and Milwaukee. Among the other areas that
have large numbers of these workers are Los
Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and In­

also should not mind working in a relatively
small workspace. Although much of the
work is tedious, many machine tool opera­
tors derive satisfaction from seeing the re­
sults of their work.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Skilled machine tool operators may be­
come all-round machinists, tool-and-die
makers, or advance to jobs in machine pro­
gramming and maintenance.

Most machine tool operators learn their
skills on the job. Beginners usually start by
observing experienced operators at work.
Later they learn to use measuring instru­
ments and to make elementary computations
needed in shopwork. When trainees first op­
erate a machine, they are supervised closely
by more experienced workers. After gaining
some experience themselves, beginners often
take over more of the duties associated with
the tools they operate. For example, they
may learn to adjust feed speeds and cutting
edges, instead of calling upon other workers
to perform these tasks. Some also may learn
to read blueprints and plan the sequence of
machining work.
Individual ability and effort largely deter­
mine the time required to become a machine
tool operator. Most semiskilled operators
learn their jobs in a few months, but becom­
ing a skilled operator often requires 1 to 2
years. Some companies have formal training
programs for new employees.
Although no special education is required
for semiskilled jobs, persons seeking such
work can improve their opportunities by
completing courses in mathematics and blue­
print reading. In hiring beginners, employers
often look for persons with mechanical apti­
tude and some experience working with ma­
chinery. Physical stamina is important since
much time is spent standing. Applicants
should be able to work independently. They

Employment Outlook
Job opportunities for machine tool opera­
tors should be fairly plentiful in the years
ahead. Employment in the occupation is ex­
pected to increase about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. In
addition to openings arising from growth,
many thousands of openings are expected to
occur each year in this large occupation as
operators retire, die, or transfer to other
fields of work.
More machine tool operators will be
needed as metalworking industries expand
their output. However, the use of faster and
more versatile automatic machine tools and
numerically controlled machine tools will re­
sult in greater output per worker and tend to
limit employment growth. Other factors that
may slow growth in this occupation are the
increasingly important new processes in
metalworking, such as electrical discharge
and ultrasonic machining, and the use of
powdered metals that reduce the machining
necessary for a final product.
Workers with thorough backgrounds in
machining operations, mathematics, blue­
print reading, and a good working knowledge
of the properties of metals will be better able
to adjust to the changing job requirements
that will result from technological advances.

Machine tool operators are paid according
to hourly or incentive rates, or by a combina­
tion of both methods. Highly skilled opera­
tors in metropolitan areas had estimated
hourly earnings of $8.53 in 1978. This com­
pares favorably with the average for nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Average hourly rates in 10 of
the areas surveyed, selected to show how
wage rates of machine tool operators differ in
various parts of the country, appear in the
accompanying tabulation.
Most machine tool operators belong to un­
ions, including the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the
International Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the International
Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers; and the United Steel­
workers of America.

Related Occupations
Machine tool operators must spend much time on their feet observing machine operations to be
sure everything is working smoothly.


The occupations most closely related to
machine tool operators are, of course, the

Table 1. Average hourly earnings of machine tool operators in selected areas, 1978

Hourly rate

C leveland...........................................
C hicago..............................................
M ilw au k ee........................................
B altim ore...........................................
H ouston..............................................
Minneapolis-St. P a u l .....................
H artford..............................................


SOURCE: Bureau o f Labor Statistics.

other machining occupations. These include
all-round machinists, setup workers (ma­
chine tool), tool-and-die makers, and instru­
ment makers.
Other occupations that require precision
and skill in working with metal include arc
cutters, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, locksmiths,
patternmakers (metal), and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
See the list under this same heading in the
statement on all-round machinists elsewhere
in the Handbook.

Setup Workers
(Machine Tools)
(D.O.T. 600.380-014)

Nature of the Work
Machine tools used in shops that do ma­
chining in large volume usually are both very
large and very complex. Setup workers, often
called machine tool job setters, are skilled
workers who specialize in preparing these
tools for use. Most setup workers work on
only one type o f m achine, such as a drill press
or lathe; however, some set up several differ­
ent kinds.

Working Conditions
Generally, working conditions are good
for these workers. Most machine shops are
clean, well lighted, and well ventilated. Many
modern shops are air-conditioned. In those
shops where noise is a problem, setup work­
ers wear earmuffs or earplugs to protect their
hearing. Good “housekeeping” is empha­
sized in most shops, which lessens the
chances of accidents due to slippery floors or
blocked aisles between the machine tools.
Serious work accidents are not common,
but machine tools and flying metal particles
may cause finger, hand, and eye injuries. To
prevent such accidents from occurring, setup
workers must follow certain safety rules.
Safety glasses and other protective devices
must be worn and loose clothing and jewelry
are prohibited.
Setup workers do encounter some dangers
that other machining workers do not. Die
setters, for example, may have to place their
hands inside a press when they are preparing
the machine for use. A machine tool operator
could not do this as the guard rails would be
in place.

Places of Employment
In 1978, more than 60,000 setup work­
ers were employed in factories that manu­
factured fabricated metal products, trans­
portation equipment, and machinery. Most
worked for large companies that employed
many semiskilled machine tool operators.
Setup workers usually are not employed in
maintenance shops or in small jobbing
Setup workers are found in every State.
However, employment is concentrated in
major industrial areas such as Los Angeles,
Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Detroit,
and Cleveland.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Setup workers must meet the same
qualifications as all-round machinists. They
must be able to operate one or more kinds
of machine tools and select the sequence of
operations so that metal parts will be made
according to specifications. The ability to
communicate clearly is important in ex­
plaining the machining operations to
semiskilled workers. Setup workers may
advance within a shop to supervisory jobs
or transfer into other jobs, such as parts

Employment Outlook
Employment of setup workers is expected
to increase about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Although
consumer and industrial demand for ma­
chined goods will grow, partly offsetting this
will be greater productivity of setup workers
due to the increasing use of numerically con­
trolled machined tools. In these machine
tools, cutting sequences, feed speeds, tool se-

Before they begin preparing a machine for
use, setup workers consult blueprints, writ­
ten specifications, or job layouts. From these
they can determine how fast the material to
be machined should be fed into the machine,
operating speeds, and the order in which the
machine will perform its operations. They
then select and install the proper cutting or
other tools and adjust guides, stops, and
other controls.
After setting up the machine, they usually
make a trial run to be sure that it is running
smoothly and producing parts that conform
to specifications. When they are sure the ma­
chine is functioning properly, they explain to
semiskilled operators how to run the ma­
chine and how to be sure that the machine’s
output meets specifications. They then turn
the machine over to the semiskilled operators
to begin production.

Set-up workers prepare machine tools for use by semiskilled operators.

lection, and other operations are controlled
by a computer. Most job opportunities will
arise from the need to replace experienced
workers who retire, die, or transfer to other

The earnings of setup workers compare fa­
vorably with those of other skilled machining
workers. In 1978, setup workers in metropol­
itan areas had average earnings of about $8
an hour.
Many setup workers are members of un­
ions, including the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the
International Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; and the United Steel­
workers of America.

facturing, tool-and-die makers must be famil­
iar with the machining properties, such as
heat tolerance, of a wide variety of metals
and alloys.

Working Conditions
Tool-and-die makers usually work in
“toolrooms,” which are in a separate area of
the plant off the production floor. Toolrooms
usually are quieter than the production floor
because there are not as many machines in
use at one time. Otherwise, conditions are
about the same as those for other machining
Tool-and-die makers must follow strict
safety procedures when working around met­
al-cutting machines. Tool-and-die shops are
usually safer than similar operations in pro­
duction plants.

Related Occupation
The occupations most closely related to
setup worker (machine tool) are, of course,
the other machining occupations. These in­
clude all-round machinists, instrument mak­
ers, machine tool operators, and tool-and-die
Other occupations that require precision
and skill in working with metal include arc
cutters, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, locksmiths,
patternmakers (metal), and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
See the list under this same heading in the
statement on all-round machinists elsewhere
in the Handbook.

Tool-and-Die Makers
(D.O.T. 601.280-022 and -046), .281-010 and -026, and

Nature of the Work
Tool-and-die makers are highly skilled,
creative workers whose products—tools,
dies, and special guiding and holding devices
—are used by other machining workers to
mass-produce metal parts. Toolmakers pro­
duce jigs and fixtures (devices that hold
metal while it is shaved, stamped, or drilled).
They also make gauges and other measuring
devices used in manufacturing precision
metal parts. Diemakers construct metal
forms (dies) to shape metal in stamping and
forging operations. They also make metal
molds for diecasting and for molding plastics.
Tool-and-die makers also repair worn or
damaged dies, gauges, jigs, and fixtures, and
design tools and dies.
Compared with most other machining
workers, tool-and-die makers have a broader
knowledge of machining operations, mathe­
matics, and blueprint reading. Like machi­
nists, tool-and-die makers use almost every
type of machine tool and precision measuring
instrument. Because they work with all the
metals and alloys commonly used in manu­


Places of Employment
About 180,000 tool-and-die makers were
employed in 1978. Most worked in plants
that produce manufacturing, construction,
and farm machinery. Others worked in auto­
mobile, aircraft, and other transportation
equipment industries; small tool-and-die
shops; and electrical machinery and fab­
ricated metal industries.
Although tool-and-die makers are situ­
ated throughout the country, jobs are most
plentiful in areas where many large facto­
ries are located. About one-fifth of all tooland-die makers work in the Detroit and
Flint, Chicago, and Los Angeles areas,
which are major manufacturing centers for
automobiles, machinery, and aircraft, re­
spectively. Among the other areas that
have large numbers of these workers are
Cleveland, New York, Newark, Dayton,
and Buffalo.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Tool-and-die makers obtain their skills in
a variety of ways, including formal appren­
ticeship, vocational school, and on-the-job
training. Formal apprenticeship programs,
however, are probably the best way to learn
the trade.
In selecting apprentices, most employers
prefer persons with a high school or trade
school education. Applicants should have a
good working knowledge of mathematics and
physics, as well as considerable mechanical
ability, finger dexterity, and an aptitude for
precise work. Some employers test appren­
tice applicants to determine their mechanical
aptitudes and their abilities in mathematics.
Most of the 4 years of a tool-and-die ap­
prenticeship are spent in practical shop train­
ing. Apprentices learn to operate the drill
press, milling machine, lathe, grinder, and
other machine tools. They also learn to use
handtools in fitting and assembling tools,
gauges, and other mechanical equipment,
and study heat treating and other metalwork­
ing processes. Classroom training consists of
shop mathematics, shop theory, mechanical
drawing, tool designing, and blueprint read­
ing. Several years of experience after appren­
ticeship are often necessary to qualify for
more difficult tool-and-die work. Some com­
panies have separate apprenticeship pro­
grams for toolmaking and diemaking.
Some machining workers become tooland-die makers without completing formal
apprenticeships. After years of experience as
skilled machine tool operators or machinists,
plus additional classroom training, they de­
velop into skilled all-round workers who can
make tools and dies.
Skilled tool-and-die makers have numer-

ous paths for advancement. Some advance to
supervisory and administrative positons in
industry. Many tool-and-die makers become
tool designers and others may open their own
tool-and-die shops.

Employment Outlook
Employment of tool-and-die makers is ex­
pected to increase at about the same rate as
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Most openings, however, will occur
as experienced tool-and-die makers retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of work.
The long-range expansion in metalworking
industries will result in a continued need for

tools and dies. The growth of this occupation
may be limited, however, by the use of elec­
trical discharge machines and numerically
controlled machines that have significantly
changed toolmaking processes. Numerically
controlled machining operations require
fewer of the special tools and jigs and fixtures
and could increase the output of each tooland-die maker.
The extensive skills and knowledge of tooland-die makers can be acquired only after
many years of experience. Because of this,
these workers are able to change jobs within
the machining occupations more easily than
less skilled workers.

Table 1. Average hourly earnings of tool-and-die makers in selected areas, 1978

Hourly rate

San Francisco-O akland...........................................................................................................$10.53
C h icago...................................................................................................................................
C leveland................................................................................................................................
B altim ore................................................................................................................................
Minneapolis-St. P a u l ...........................................................................................................
A tla n t a ...................................................................................................................................
H ouston...................................................................................................................................
New York................................................................................................................................
H artford...................................................................................................................................
SOURCE: Bureau o f Labor Statistics.

Tool-and-die makers are among the high­
est paid machining workers. In 1978, tooland-die makers employed in metropolitan
areas had estimated earnings of $8.53 an
hour. This was about one and one-half times
as much as the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
Average hourly rates in 13 of the areas sur­
veyed, selected to show how wage rates for
tool-and-die makers differ in various parts of
the country, appear in the accompanying tab­
Many tool-and-die makers are members of
unions, including the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of America; and
the United Steelworkers of America.

Related Occupations
The occupations most closely related to
tool-and-die maker are, of course, the other
machining occupations. These include all­
round machinists, instrument makers, ma­
chine tool operators, and setup workers (ma­
chine tool).
Other occupations that require precision
and skill in working with metal include arc
cutters, blacksmiths, gunsmiths locksmiths,
patternmakers (metal), and welders.

Sources of Additional Information
See the list under this same heading in the
statement on all-round machinists elsewhere
in the Handbook.


Printing Occupations
In 1978, about 413,000 printing craft
workers were employed to produce newspa­
pers, magazines, business forms, and hun­
dreds of other printed materials. Although
most worked for publishers and commercial
printing shops, an increasing number had
jobs in “in-plant” shops operated by private
companies, government agencies, and other
organizations that do their own printing. The
rapid growth of “in-plant” printing shops
from an estimated 25,000 in 1967 to over
70,000 in 1978 has expanded employment
opportunities for printing craft workers.
However, not all “in-plant” printing shop
employees are classified as printing craft
workers; information about some of these
other jobs is provided in the statement on
office machine operators.
Printing craft workers usually specialize in
one area of printing operations: Type compo­
sition, platemaking, presswork, or binding.
The most common way to learn the skills
needed in most of these fields is through ap­
prenticeship, which generally lasts from 4 to
5 years. Apprenticeship applicants usually
must be high school graduates who are at
least 18 years of age, but requirements vary
among employers. Most printing craft work­
ers who are covered by union contracts work
fewer than 40 hours a week. Some contracts
specify a standard workweek of less than 35
hours, but most fall within a 35- to 37-1/2hour range.
Through the 1980’s, opportunities to enter
printing crafts will stem mainly from the
need to replace experienced workers who re­
tire, die, or leave the field for other reasons.
Employment growth also will provide job
openings in some crafts, but laborsaving
technological developments will restrict
growth in others.
The statements that follow deal with em­
ployment opportunities for the major groups
of printing workers: Compositors, photoen­
gravers, electrotypers and stereotypers, prin­
ting press operators and assistants, lithogra­
phers, bookbinders, and bindery workers.

(D.O.T. 650.582-010, 650.582-014, -022, and

Nature of the Work
In small shops, one person may do all the
work needed to complete a printing job. In
large shops, however, the work is divided
among specialists. Editors select the material
to be printed, while compositors prepare pre­
liminary printing plates for pressroom work­


ers who do the actual printing. Compositors
insure that the job is completed accurately
and on time.
After deciding what is to be printed and
how it should look, editors send the material
or “copy” along with a list of specifications
to the composing room. There, a composing
room supervisor reviews the editor’s specifi­
cations and marks the manuscript with in­
structions about the style and size of type,
column width, and size of pictures or illustra­
tions. The copy—the material to be printed
—then is given to a compositor who special­
izes in typesetting.
Hand compositors (D.O.T. 973.381-010)
make up the oldest composing room occupa­
tion. Today, hand typesetting is used only for
small jobs in which the setting of type by
machine is impractical. Hand typesetters
read from the copy and set each line of type,
letter by letter, on a “compositing stick,” a
device that holds type in place. They select
the place where words will be divided and a
hyphen placed (hyphemation), if the word
does not fit on a line, as well as adjust the
spacing of the type with pieces of metal so
that the line of type will be the width of the
column. As each “stick” is filled, they slide
the completed lines into a shallow metal tray
called “galley.”
Linotype and monotype machine opera­
tors are craft workers who operate semiauto­
matic machines that set type much more ra­
pidly than can be done by hand methods.
Linotype machine operators (D.O.T. 650.-

582-010) read from copy clipped to the ma­
chine and and operate a keyboard to select
letters and other characters. As they press
the keys, metal molds of the letters are assem­
bled into lines of words. After completing a
line, operators touch a level and the machine
automatically fills the molds with lead, form­
ing a line of type into a solid metal strip
called a “slug.” The slugs are assembled into
the type frames from which printing plates
are made.
Monotype keyboard operators (D.O.T.
650.582-014) also operate a keyboard ma­
chine. However, instead of selecting metal
molds, the monotype machine produces a
perforated paper tape. These operators feed
the tape into a machine that reads the tape
and automatically select metal molds for
each letter. The machine then forces molten
metal into each mold to form the type.
While machines make their tasks easier,
monotype and linotype machine operators
must hypenate and adjust type spacing to fit
the width of columns. In small plants, opera­
tors also may maintain and repair typesetting
Some typesetting will continue to be done
by hand or with monotype and linotype ma­
chines. However, more and more firms are
using phototypesetting machines, which can
set type much more rapidly than linotype or
monotype machines. With this equipment, a
photographic process replaces the casting of
type and the final product is a photographic
film of the type rather than a metal slug.

After arranging all the pages of a particu­
lar job in proper sequence, compositors use a
proof press to make a test of the entire job.
Page proofs are checked with the original
copy for errors and returned to the editor for
final changes. After final changes have been
put into the type, the plate is sent to the
pressroom where production printing plates
are made.

In a common type of phototypesetting, a
phototypesetter (D.O.T. 650.582-022) types
in the text without regard to column width or
hyphenation and produces a magnetic or per­
forated paper tape. The operator then feeds
the tape containing the text into a computer
that is programmed to do hyphenation and
create columns of text. The computer creates
a second tape—containing the text as it will
appear when printed—that phototypesetters
insert into a photocomposition machine. This
machine displays the individual characters
on the tape and photographs them. The
phototypesetter then develops films of the
material to be printed.
The most advanced method of typesetting
uses electronic phototypesetting equipment.
With this equipment, an operator uses a key­
board to select the size and style of type, to
select the column width, and to provide spac­
ing instructions, as well as to store each char­
acter in a computer. The computer then dis­
plays columns of type on a screen that is
similar to a TV picture tube. Operators visu­
ally check the text and make any required
corrections. They then photograph the
screen to obtain a film of the material. These
machines can prepare entire pages of type
and any accompanying pictures instead of a
single line of type.
After the copy is set, typesetters pass it to
other compositors who arrange the columns
of type, pictures, and illustrations according
to the desired layout for each page. If letterpress printing equipment is being used, they
assemble the metal type and photoengravings
in a large metal frame that clamps all the
pieces together. If lithographic film equip­
ment is being used, they cut the film of type
and pictures and tape the pieces in place.
Either method results in a preliminary prin­
ting plate.

Working Conditions
Hand compositiors are on their feet most
of the time and do some heavy lifting. Type­
setting machine operators sit for long periods
of time and work near noisy machinery.
All compositors may be required to work
overtime to meet publication deadlines; some
regularly work evenings, or night shifts.
Compositors employed by newspapers may
work holidays and weekends.

Places of Employment
About 181,000 workers were employed as
compositors in 1978. About one-third work
for newspaper plants. Many others worked
for commercial printing plants, book and
magazine printers, and Federal, State, and
local governments. Some worked for banks,
insurance companies, advertising agencies,
manufacturers, and other firms that do their
own printing.
Composing room workers are located in
almost every community throughout the
country, but they are concentrated in large

Training and Other Qualifications
In the past, almost all compositors were
trained through some type of apprenticeship
program. However, in recent years, the intro­
duction of new technology has reduced the

demand for all-round skilled compositors. As
a result, more and more compositors are
bypassing the traditional apprentice ap­
proach and learning the work on the job.
Training as an all-round skilled composi­
tor is usually obtained through apprentice­
ship programs. Generally, apprenticeship
covers a 4-year period of progressively ad­
vanced training, supplemented by classroom
instruction or correspondence courses. How­
ever, this period may be shortened by as
much as 2 to 2 1/2 years for apprentices who
have had previous experience or schooling or
who show the ability to learn the trade more
rapidly. Apprentices may receive intensive
training in one or more specialized fields,
such as in the operation of phototypesetting
machines, as well as in specialized work in
hand composition and photocomposition.
Applicants for apprenticeship generally
must be high school graduates and in good
physical condition. They usually are given
aptitude tests. Important qualifications in­
clude training in mathematics and English,
especially spelling. Printing and typing
courses in vocational or high schools are
good preparation for apprenticeship appli­
cants, and a general background in electron­
ics and photography is becoming increas­
ingly useful. Artistic ability is an asset for a
compositor in layout work. Many technical
institutes, junior colleges, and colleges offer
courses in printing technology, which pro­
vide a valuable background for people who
are interested in becoming all-round com­
Persons with good typing skills can learn
to be phototypesetting machine operators in
a relatively short period of time. These work­
ers need not be trained as skilled composi­
tors, but they must be familiar with printing
terms and measures.

Employment Outlook
Employment of compositors is expected to
decline through the 1980’s. Nevertheless, a
few thousand job openings are expected each
year as experienced workers retire, die, or
change occupations.
In spite of the anticipated expansion in
the volume of printing, employment of
compositors is expected to decline because
of the trend to high-speed phototypesetting
and typesetting computers. These high­
speed machines require fewer operators
than the traditional hot-metal method of
typesetting. Changes in printing technology
are expected to have the greatest impact
on compositors employed by newspapers.
Thus, employment prospects will be some­
what better for compositors in commercial

Compositor operating a phototypesetting machine.

For the jobs that do become available, opportunites should be best for persons who
have completed post-high school programs in
printing technology, such as those offered by
technical institutes and junior colleges. Many
employers prefer to hire applicants who have
completed these programs because the com­

prehensive training that they receive helps
them learn composing room trades and adapt
to new processes and techniques more ra­
Although most job opportunities will con­
tinue to be in the printing industry, a growing
number will be found in other industries,
such as paper and textile mills, which are
doing their own typesetting instead of con­
tracting it to printing firms.

Union compositors on the day shift in
newspaper plants had an estimated average
rate of $9 an hour in 1978, according to a
survey of 69 large cities. Union compositors
in commercial shops earned an estimated av­
erage minimum rate of $9.49 an hour. These
rates were about one and one-half times the
average for nonsupervisory workers in all
private industries, except farming. The
hourly rate for workers in non-union shops is
generally less.

Related Occupations
Other occupations in which workers op­
erate machines equipped with a typewriter­
like keyboard include clerk-typists, com­
puter terminal system operators, keypunch
operators, and telegraphic-typewriter oper­

Sources of Additional Information
Details about apprenticeship and other
training opportunities may be obtained from
local employers such as newspapers and prin­
ting shops, the local office of the Interna­
tional Typographical Union, or the local of­
fice of the State employment service.
For general information on composing
room occupations, write to:

cialize in occupations such as camera opera­
tor, artist, stripper, and platemaker.
Camera operators (D.O.T. 972.382-014)
start the process of making a lithographic
plate by photographing and developing nega­
tives of the material. They generally are clas­
sified as line camera operators, halftone oper­
ators, or color separation photographers.
Negatives may need retouching to lighten or
darken certain parts. Lithographic artists
(D.O.T. 972.281-010) make these corrections
by sharpening or reshaping images on the
negatives. They do the work by hand, using
chemicals, dyes, and special tools. Litho­
graphic artists must know the characteristics
of all types of paper and must produce fine
shades of color. Like camera operators, they
are assigned to only one phase of the work,
and may have job titles such as dot etchers,
retouchers, or letterers.
Strippers (D.O.T. 971.281-014) cut the
film to required size and arrange and paste
the negatives onto layout sheets, which are
used by platemakers to make press plates.
Platemakers (D.O.T. 971.381-010) cover the
surface of flat pieces of metal with a coating
of photosensitive chemicals, or may use
plates with the coating already applied. They
then put the layout sheet on top of the plate
and expose both to bright lights. As the final
step, platemakers treat the plate with chemi­
cals to bring out the images of the material to
be printed. In a growing number of printing
plants, lithographic platemakers use ma­
chines which automatically process the
plates. This new equipment places more em­
phasis on technical skills than craft skills.
The platemaker is responsible for operating
and maintaining the machine and insuring
that plates meet quality standards. When a
large number of plates or multiple images are
needed, operators use a photocomposition

Working Conditions
Although lithographers stand most of the
time, the work is not physically demanding.
Lithographic artists and strippers may find
working with fine detail tiring. Platemakers
working with toxic chemicals may be ex­
pected to skin irritations. Work areas usually
are well lighted and air-conditioned. Lithog­
raphers generally work a regular 8-hour day
but they sometimes have to work overtime to
meet publication deadlines. Some lithogra­
phers work nights.

Places of Employment
About 28,000 skilled lithographers were
employed in 1978. Many worked for com­
mercial printing plants, newspapers, and
book and magazine printers. Some worked in
U.S. Government printing plants.
Although lithographic workers are located
in all parts of the country, most are employed
in large cities.

Training and Other Qualifications
Many lithographers learn the trade
through on-the-job training—working as
helpers and observing and being taught by
experienced lithographers. However, a 4- or
5-year apprenticeship program usually is re­
quired in order to become a well-rounded
lithographic craft worker. These programs
may emphasize a specific craft, such as cam­
era operator or lithographic artist, although
an attempt is made to make the apprentice
familiar with all lithographic operations.
Usually, apprenticeship applicants must be
in good physical condition, high school grad­
uates, and at least 18 years of age. Aptitude
tests usually are given to prospective appren­
tices to determine if they are suited for the

American Newspaper Publishers Association, The
Newspaper Center, P.O. Box 17407, Dulles Inter­
national Airport, Washington, D.C. 20041.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 4615 Forbes
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
Printing Industries of America, Inc., 1730 N, Lynn
St., Arlington, Va. 22209.

Nature of the Work
Lithography, also called offset printing, is
one of the most rapidly growing methods of
printing. It is a process of photographing the
material to be printed, making a printing
plate from the photograph, and pressing the
inked plate against a rubber plate which in
turn presses the ink onto the paper.
Lithographers are responsible for a variety
of printing activities ranging from photo­
graphing copy and pictures to making the
final printing plates. Most lithographers spe­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Employment of lithographers is expected to grow faster
than any other printing craft occupations.

Many technical institutes, junior colleges,
and colleges offer 2-year programs in prin­
ting technology, which provide a valuable
background for persons who are interested
in learning lithographic crafts. High school
and vocational school training in printing,
physics, mechanical drawing, and art also
are helpful.

Sources of Additional Information
Details on apprenticeship and other train­
ing opportunities in lithographic occupations
are available from local employers such as
newspapers and printing shops, local offices
of the Graphic Arts International Union, or
the local office of the State employment ser­
vice. For information on schools that offer
courses in printing technology, write to:

Camera operators should have an understandng of chemistry, optics, and the entire
offset and photographic process. Precision,
patience, good eyesight, and artistic skills are
important qualifications for lithographic art­
ists and strippers. A knowledge of electronics
is becoming increasingly important because
more electronic color scanners are being used
for multicolor printing.

For general information on lithographic
occupations, write to:

Employment Outlook

Graphic Arts International Union, 1900 L St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

Employment of lithographers is expected
to increase faster than the average for all oc­
cupations through the 1980’s. In addition to
the job openings resulting from employment
growth the need to replace workers who re­
tire, die, or change occupations will provide
some openings.

International Printing and Graphic Communica­
tions Union, 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.
Printing Industries of America, Inc., 1730 N. Lynn
St., Arlington, Va. 22201.

Employment of lithographic workers is ex­
pected to increase in response to the con­
tinued growth of offset printing. Commercial
printing firms and newspaper publishers in­
creasingly are using offset printing methods
instead of letterpresses. Demand for workers
also will result from the greater use of photo­
graphs and drawings in printed matter, and
by the more widespread use of color in many
printed products.
Employment opportunities should be best
for people who have completed post-high
school programs in printing technology, such
as those offered by technical institutes and
junior colleges. Many employers prefer to
hire applicants who have completed these
programs because the comprehensive train­
ing they receive helps them learn lithography
and adapt more rapidly to new processes and

Based on a survey of union wages in 69
large cities, in 1978, estimated average mini­
mum hourly rates for lithographic artists
were $10.40; for strippers, $10.07; for camera
operators, $10.23; and for platemakers, $10.01. These rates were about twice the average
for all nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming.
Many lithographic workers are members
of the Graphic Arts International Union.

Related Occupations
Lithographers are required to use artistic
skills in their work. Artistic skills are also
essential for occupations such as sign paint­
ers, jewelers, decorators, engravers, and

Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 4615 Forbes.
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.

American Newspaper Publishers Association, The
Newspaper Center, P.O. Box 17407, Dulles Inter­
national Airport, Washington, D.C. 10041.
American Photoplatemakers Association, 556
West 167 St., South Holland, 111. 60473.

(D.O.T. 971.261.010, 971.381-014, 971.381-038,

Nature of the Work
Photoengravers make metal printing
plates of pictures and other copy that cannot
be set up in type. In letterpress photoengrav­
ing, ink is rolled over a printed surface which
stands higher than the rest of the plate. When
paper is pressed against the raised surface,
the print or image is picked up. Similarly,
gravure photoengravers make gravure cylin­
ders on which the image is etched below the
surface of the cylinder. Ink is placed in the
etched or sunken areas, and, when paper is
pressed against the surface, the ink is lifted
out and appears on the paper. In both meth­
ods, however, the work of photoengravers is
the same.
For a typical job, photoengravers first
mount the picture or copy to be reproduced
on a board, adjust the position and focus of
a camera, and take a picture. After develop­
ing the negative, they print its image on a flat,
metal plate by coating the plate with a chemi­
cal solution sensitive to light, placing the neg­
ative on the plate, and exposing both to a
bright light. As the final step in making the
printing plate, photoengravers put the plate
in an acid bath which eats the metal away
from areas which will not be covered with
ink. The areas to receive ink—those that
were shielded from the light by the negative
—stand out to make contact with the paper.
The number of photoengraving operations
performed depends on the quality of the prin­
ting required. Photoengravings for very highquality books or periodicals, for example, re­
quire more careful finishing than those for

newspapers. Photoengravers use handtools
to inspect and touch up the plates. They cut
away metal from the nonprinting part of the
plate to prevent it from touching the inking
rollers during printing.
In a small shop, the entire photoengraving
operation usually is done by one person. In
large shops, however, the work is divided
among specialists who perform a particular
operation such as camera work, printing, or

Working Conditions
Photoengravers stand up most of the time
but the work is not strenuous. Work areas
generally have good light and ventilation.
However, photoengravers who work with
toxic chemicals may be exposed to skin irrita­
Photoengravers may have to work over­
time to meet publication deadlines. Some
photoengravers work evening and night
shifts. Photoengravers employed by newspa­
pers frequently work weekends and holidays.

Places of Employment
An estimated 8,000 skilled photoengrav­
ers were employed in 1978. More than half
worked in commercial shops that make
photoengravings for other printing firms.
Newspapers and photogravure shops em­
ployed several thousand photoengravers.
Book and magazine printers and the Fed­
eral Government also employ these work­
ers. Many photoengravers have their own
Although photoengravers are located in all
parts of the country, employment is concen­
trated in large printing centers, such as New
York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los

Training and Other Qualifications
Most photoengravers learn their trade
through a 5-year apprenticeship program
that includes at least 800 hours of classroom
instruction. In addition to the care and use of
tools, apprentices are taught to cut and
square negatives, inspect negatives for de­
fects, mix chemicals, sensitize metals, and
operate machines used in the photoengraving
process. Many apprentices specialize in one
aspect of photoengraving such as camera
work, etching, finishing, or proofing.
Apprenticeship applicants must be at
least 18 years of age and generally must
have a high school or vocational school ed­
ucation or its equivalent, preferably with
courses in printing, chemistry, and physics.
Many employers require a physical exami­
nation for prospective photoengravers.
Good eyesight is particularly important be­
cause of the close work and color determi­
nations involved.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities for photoen­
gravers are expected to be scarce in the years

made from the metal type forms prepared in
the composing room. Electrotype are used
mainly in book and magazine work. Stereo­
type, which is less durable, is used chiefly for
newspapers. Electrotyping and stereotyping
are used for volume printing which requires
the use of duplicate plates. When a large edi­
tion of a magazine or newspaper is printed,
several plates must be used to replace those
that become too worn to make clear impres­
sions. Also, by having duplicate plates, print­
ers can use several presses at the same time
and finish a big run quickly. Furthermore,
many big plants use rotary presses, which
require curved plates made by either elec­
trotyping or stereotyping from flat type
Electrotypers make a wax or plastic mold
of the metal type form. They coat the mold
with chemicals and place it into an elec­
trolytic bath that puts a metallic shell on the
coated mold. They then strip the shell from
the mold and fill the back of the shell with
molten lead to form a plate. After removing
excess metal from the edges and back of the
plate, they inspect the plate for any defects.

Photoengraver preparing a metal printing plate.

ahead. Despite the growing use of photo­
graphs and other illustrations in publica­
tions, employment of photoengravers will de­
cline as many firms switch from letterpress to
offset printing, which requires no photoen­
graving. Also, new technological advances,
such as color scanners and color enlargers,
plus the trend toward automated platemak­
ing should reduce the need for these workers.
However, due to the expected growth in gra­
vure printing, there will be some employment
opportunities for gravure photoengravers. In
addition, some job openings are expected
each year as experienced photoengravers re­
tire, die, or leave the occupation for other

Photoengravers on the day shift in newspa­
per plants earned an estimated average mini­
mum rate of $9.63 an hour in 1978; photoen­
gravers working the night shift receive extra
pay. The average was about two-thirds more
than the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
Most photoengravers are members of the
Graphic Arts International Union.

Sources of Additional Information
Details about apprenticeship and other
training opportunities may be obtained from
local employers such as newspapers and prin­
ting shops, the local office of the union men­
tioned above, or the local office of the State
employment service.
For general information on photoengrav­
ers, write to:
American Newspaper Publishers Association, The
Newspaper Center, P.O. Box 17407, Dulles Inter­
national Airport, Washington, D.C. 20041.
American Photoplatemakers Association, 556
West 167 St., South Holland, 111. 60473.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 4615 Forbes
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
Graphic Arts International Union, 1900 L St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.
Printing Industries of America, Inc., 1730 N. Lynn
St., Arlington, Va. 22201.

Electrotypers and

Related Occupations
Photoengravers are required to use artistic
skills in their work. These skills also are es­
sential for occupations such as sign painters,
jewelers, decorators, engravers, and lithogra­


Nature of the Work
Electrotypers (D.O.T. 974.381-010) and
stereotypers (D.O.T. 974.382-014) make du­
plicate pressplates of metal, rubber, and plas­
tic for letterpress printing. These plates are

The stereotyping process is simpler,
quicker, and less expensive than electroty­
ping, but it does not yield as durable or as fine
a plate. Stereotypers make molds or mats of
papier-mache instead of wax or plastic. The
mat is placed on the type form and covered
with a cork blanket and a sheet of fiberboard.
The covered form is run under heavy steel
rollers to impress the type and photoengrav­
ings on the mat. Then the mat is placed in a
stereotype casting machine which casts a
composition lead plate on the mold. In many
of the larger plants, automatic machines cast
stereotype plates.
Some electrotypers and stereotypers do
only one phase of the work, such as casting,
molding, or finishing. Others handle many

Working Conditions
Most work in these trades requires little
physical effort since the preparation of dupli­
cate printing plates is highly mechanized.
However, some lifting of relatively heavy
pressplates occasionally is required. Electro­
typers who work with toxic chemicals may be
exposed to skin irritations
Some electrotypers and stereotypers work
evenings and night shifts. Others may have to
work overtime to meet publication deadlines.
Stereotypers employed by newspapers fre­
quently work weekends and holidays.

Places of Employment
About 2,000 electrotypers and stereoty­
pers were employed in 1978. Many electro­
typers work in large plants that print
books and magazines. Most stereotypers
work for newspaper plants, but some work
in large commercial printing plants. Elec­
trotypers and stereotypers also are em­
ployed in service shops that do this work
for printing firms.

tional Printing and Graphic Communica­
tions Union, or the local office of the State
employment service.
For general information on electrotypers
and stereotypers, write to:
American Newspaper Publishers Association, The
Newspaper P.O. Box 17407, Dulles International
Airport, Washington, D.C. 20041.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 4615 Forbes
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
International Printing and Graphic Communica­
tions Union, 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.
Printing Industries of America, Inc., 1730 N. Lynn
St., Arlington, Va. 22209.

Printing Press
Operators and
(D.O.T. 651.382-010 and -014, .482-010, .585-010, and

Nature of the Work
Printing press operators prepare and oper­
ate the printing presses in a pressroom.

Jobs in these trades can be found through­
out the country, but employment is concen­
trated in large cities.

Training and Other Qualifications
Nearly all electrotypers and stereotypers
learn their trades through 4 year apprentice­
ships. Electrotyping and stereotyping are
separate crafts and relatively few transfers
take place between the two. The apprentice­
ship program of each trade covers all phases
of the work and almost always includes
classes in related technical subjects as well as
training on the job. However, due to the de­
cline in demand for electrotypers and stereo­
typers, apprenticeships have not been offered
in the last several years. Many experienced
electroplaters and stereotypers are now being
retrained as offset plate makers and press op­

plicate plates. Furthermore, the greater use
of offset printing, which eliminates the need
for electrotype and stereotype plates, permits
photoengravers to do much of the work for­
merly done by electrotypers.

Based on a union wage survey, it is es­
timated that in 1978 union minimum wage
rates in 69 large cities averaged $8.14 an hour
for electrotypers and $9.17 an hour for
stereotypers in book and commercial prin­
ting shops. Both averages were considerably
higher than the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except
Nearly all electrotypers and stereotypers
are members of the International Printing
and Graphic Communications Union.

Employment Outlook

Related Occupations

Job opportunities for electrotypers and
stereotypers are expected to be scarce
through the 1980’s. Despite the anticipated
increase in the volume of printing, employ­
ment of electrotypers and stereotypers is ex­
pected to decline because of laborsaving de­
velopments. For example, automatic plate
casting eliminates many steps in platemak­
ing. The use of plastic printing plates also
requires less labor because such plates are
more durable and reduce the demand for du­

Electrotypers and sterotypers make molds
of metal type. Other workers who make
molds or cores are molders, coremakers, and

Sources of Additional Information
Details about apprenticeship and other
training opportunities may be obtained from
local employers such as newspapers and prin­
ting shops, the local office of the Interna­

Before actually starting the press, press op­
erators set up and adjust it to insure that the
printing impressions are distinct and uni­
form. Press operators first insert and lock
type setups or plates into the press bed and
then tighten the locking attachment with a
wrench. The operators then level the pressplates by placing pieces of paper that are ex­
actly the right thickness underneath low
areas of the plates.
Press operators also adjust control mar­
gins and the flow of ink to the inking roller.
In some shops, they oil and clean the presses
and make minor repairs. Press operators who
work with large presses have assistants and
Press operators’ jobs may differ from one
shop to another, mainly because of differ­
ences in the kinds and sizes of presses. Press
operators in small commercial shops gener­
ally operate relatively simple manual presses.
On the other hand, a crew of several press
operators and press assistants runs giant
presses used by the large newspaper, maga­
zine, and book printers. These presses are fed
paper in big rolls called “webs” up to 50
inches or more in width. They print the paper
on both sides; cut, assemble, and fold the
pages; and count the finished newspaper sec­
tions as they come off the press.
Many modern plants have installed prin­
ting presses that use computers and sophis­
ticated instrumentation to control press oper­
ations. With this equipment, the press
operator monitors a control panel that de­
tects problems. To adjust the press, the oper­
ator pushes the proper button on the control

presses, will partially offset the need for more
press operators arising from the growth in
the amount of printed materials.
In addition to the jobs from created by
growth in demand for printing, a few thou­
sand openings will arise each year as ex­
perienced workers retire, die, or leave their
jobs for other reasons. However, printing
press operators are expected to face competi­
tion for jobs. Since there are generally long
waiting lists for apprenticeship programs,
most people will have to take jobs as press
assistants or unskilled laborers before being
selected for an apprenticeship. It is not un­
common for a person to work 2 or 3 years or
more before beginning apprenticeship train­
Since many firms are switching to weboffset presses from letterpresses or sheet-fed
presses, opportunities are expected to be
more favorable for web-press operators.

Printing press assistants prepare finished work for shipment to the bindery.

panel. Press operators are generally desig­
nated according to the type of press they op­
erate: Letterpress, gravure, or offset.

Working Conditions
Operating a press is a physically demand­
ing job. Press operators are on their feet most
of the time and have to do some lifting of
heavy plates.
Pressrooms are noisy, and workers in cer­
tain areas frequently wear ear protectors.
Press operators are subject to hazards when
working near machinery. Often, they work
under pressure to meet deadlines.
Many press operators work evening and
night shifts.

Places of Employment
About 167,000 press operators and assist­
ants were employed in 1978. More than half
worked for commercial printing shops and
book and magazine publishers. Many others
had jobs in newspaper plants. Some press op­
erators and assistants work for banks, insur­
ance companies, manufacturers, and other
organizations that do their own printing,
such as Federal, State, and local govern­
Press operators and assistants can find jobs
throughout the country, but employment is
concentrated in large cities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most press operators learn their trade
through apprenticeship, but some workers
learn as helpers or press assistants. Others
obtain their skills through a combination of
work experience and vocational or technical
school training. OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The length of apprenticeship and the con­
tent of training depend largely on the kind of
press used in the plant. The apprenticeship
period in commercial shops is 2 years for
press assistants, and 4 years for press opera­
tors. In addition to on-the-job instruction,
the apprenticeship includes related class­
room or correspondence school courses.
Courses in printing provide a good back­
ground. Because of technical developments
in the printing industry, courses in chemistry
and physics also are helpful. Mechanical ap­
titude is important in making press adjust­
ments and repairs. An ability to visualize
color is essential for work on color presses.
Physical strength and endurance are needed
for work on some kinds of presses, where
operators lift heavy plates and stand for long
Technological changes have had a tremen­
dous effect on the skill requirements of press
operators. For example, printing companies
which change from sheet-fed offset presses to
web-offset presses have to retrain their entire
press crew because the skill requirements for
the two types of press are very different.
Web-offset presses, with their faster operat­
ing speeds, require faster decisions, monitor­
ing of more variables, and greater physical
Press operators may advance in pay and
responsibility by taking a job working on a
more complex printing press, or by becoming
the press operator-in-charge and being re­
sponsible for the work of the entire press

Employment Outlook
Employment of press operators is expected
to increase more slowly than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. The in­
creased use of faster and more efficient

Although most job opportunities will con­
tinue to be in the printing industry, a growing
number of openings will be found in other
industries, such as papermills, which are
doing more of their own presswork instead of
contracting it out to printing firms.

A survey of union wages in 69 large cit­
ies, it is estimated that in 1978 indicated
that the average minimum hourly rate for
newspaper press operators-in-charge was
$9.32; for newspaper press operators, $8.77; for book and job cylinder press opera­
tors, $8.72; and for book and job press as­
sistants and feeders, $8.70. These rates
were about one and one-half times the av­
erage for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industy, except farming. The
hourly rate for workers in nonunion shops
generally is less. Press operators who
worked night shifts received extra pay.
Many pressroom workers are covered by
union agreements. The principal unions in
this field is the International Printing and
Graphic Communications Union and the
Graphic Arts International Union.

Related Occupations
Other workers who set up and operate pro­
duction machinery are papermaking ma­
chine operators, shoe-making machine oper­
ators, bindery machine operators, and
precision machine operators.

Sources of Additional Information
Details about apprenticeships and other
training opportunities may be obtained from
local employers such as newspapers and prin­
ting shops, the local office of the union men­
tioned above, or the local office of the State
employment service.
For general information about press opera­
tors and assistants, write to:
American Newspaper Publishers Association, The
Newspaper Center, P.O. Box 17407, Dulles Inter­
national Airport, Washington, D.C. 20041.

Graphic Arts International Union, 1900 L St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 4615 Forbes
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
International Printing and Graphic Communica­
tions Union, 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20036.
Printing Industries of America, Inc., 1730 N. Lynn
St., Arlington, Va. 22209.

Bookbinders and
Bindery Workers
Nature of the Work
Many printed items, such as books and
magazines, must be folded, sewed, stapled, or
bound after they leave the printing shops.
Much of this work is done by skilled book­
binders (D.O.T. 977.381-010).
Bookbinding—the assembly of books in
quantity from large, flat printed sheets of
paper—is one of the most complicated occu­
pations of the printing industries. Bookbind­
ers first fold the printed sheets into units,
known as “signatures,” so that the pages will
be in the right order. They then insert any
illustrations that have been printed sepa­
rately, gather and assemble signatures in
proper order, and sew them together. They
shape the book bodies with presses and trim­
ming machines and reinforce them with
glued fabric strips. Covers are glued or
pasted onto the book bodies, and then the
books undergo a variety of finishing opera­
tions and frequently are wrapped in paper
jackets. Machines are used extensively
throughout the process.
Bookbinders seldom perform all the differ­
ent binding tasks, but many have had train­
ing in all of them. In large shops, bookbind­
ers may be assigned to one or a few
operations, most often to the operation of
complicated machines, such as a large papercutter or a folding machine. When necessary,
they make repairs and adjustments to bind­
ery equipment.
In many binding shops, much of the work
is done by bindery workers who are trained
in only one operation or in a small number of
relatively simple tasks. For example, bindery
workers (D.O.T. 653-685-010) perform such
tasks as fastening sheets or signatures to­
gether using a machine stapler and feeding
signatures into various machines for stitch­
ing, folding, or gluing operations.
Some bookbinders work in hand binderies
designing original bindings and special bind­
ings for a small number of copies of a large
edition or restoring and rebinding rare books.
This skilled work requires creative ability,
knowledge of materials, and a thorough
background in the history of binding. Hand
bookbinding is perhaps the only kind of bind­
ing that gives the individual an opportunity
to work at a variety of jobs.

Working Conditions
Many bookbinders work in plants that are
hot and poorly lighted, and all plants are very
Bookbinders do a considerable amount of
lifting, standing, and carrying. Some large
machines, such as cutting machines, require
a great deal of physical effort to operate.
Bookbinders have some variety in their
jobs, but the jobs of bindery workers tend to
be monotonous. Long periods of standing
and constant use of the arms can be tiring.
Most bookbinders are employed on a full­
time basis; many bindery workers work part
time or on a temporary basis.

Places of Employment
About 69,000 bookbinders and bindery
workers were employed in 1978. Many
worked in shops that specialize in book­
binding; others work in the bindery depart­
ments of book printing firms, commercial
printing plants, and large libraries. Some
bookbinders worked for the Federal Gov­
Although bookbinders work in all parts of
the country, employment is concentrated in
large printing centers such as New York
City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los An­
geles, and Philadelphia.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A 4- or 5-year apprenticeship, which in­
cludes on-the-job training as well as related
classroom instruction, generally is required
to qualify as a skilled bookbinder. Appren­
ticeship applicants usually must have a high
school education, mechanical aptitude, and
be at least 18 years of age. Appentices receive

training in all phases of bookbinding, such as
renovating old and worn bindings and oper­
ating bindery equipment, cutting and trim­
ming machines, for example. In most plants,
bookbinders are taught to operate and main­
tain at least three different pieces of bindery
Most bindery workers learn their tasks
through informal on-the-job training that
may last from several months to 2 years. A
large number, however, learn through formal
apprenticeship programs that include class­
room instruction as well as on-the-job train­
High school students interested in book­
binding careers should take shop courses to
develop their mechanical skills. Accuracy,
patience, neatness, and good eyesight are
among qualities needed by bookbinders.
Good finger dexterity is essential for those
who count, insert, paste, and fold.
Advancement opportunities generally are
limited. In large binderies, skilled bookbind­
ers with considerable experience may ad­
vance to supervisors.

Employment Outlook
Employment of bookbinders and bindery
workers is expected to increase more slowly
than the average for all occupations through
the 1980’s. Nevertheless, some job openings
will arise as experienced workers retire, die,
or change occupations.
Despite the anticipated increase in the
amount of bound printed materials, em­
ployment growth will be limited by the in­
creasing mechanization of bindery opera­
tions. Job opportunities are expected to be
better for skilled bookbinders than for
bindery workers since many tasks that
bindery workers used perform by hand will
be done by machine.

For example, the use of integral folders
that automatically fold pages as they come
off the press eliminates the need for bindery
workers to do the folding by hand. In addi­
tion, many binderies are installing sophis­
ticated conveyor belt systems to transport
materials. This equipment also will reduce
the need for bindery workers.

farming. The hourly rate for bookbinders in
nonunion plants is generally less.


Many bindery workers are members of
The Graphic Arts International Union.

Average wage rates for skilled bookbinders
are below the average for other printing
crafts. A survey of union wage rates in 69
large cities indicated that minimum wage
rates for bookbinders in publishing firms and
bookbinding shops averaged about $8.55 an
hour in 1978. This rate was about one and
one-half times the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except


Wage rates for bindery workers are con­
siderably lower than the rates for book­
binders, and are among the lowest for
printing industry workers. The average
minimum hourly rate for bindery workers
was $5.78 in 1978.

Related Occupations
Other workers who set up and operate
production machinery include papermaking
machine operators, shoemaking machine
operators, shoemaking machine operators,
press operators and precision machine op­

Sources of Additional Information
Details about apprenticeships and other
training opportunities may be obtained
from local bookbinding shops, local offices
of the International Graphic Arts Union,
or the local office of the State employment
For general information on bookbinding
occupations, write to:
American Newspaper Association, The Newspa­
per Center, P.O. Box 17407, Dulles International
Airport, Washington, D.C. 20041.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, 4615 Forbes
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
Graphic Arts International Union, 1900 L St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.
Printing Industries of America, Inc., 1730 N. Lynn
St., Arlington, Va. 22201.

Other Industrial Production
and Related Occupations

Nature of the Work
When Henry Ford began producing his
automobile on an assembly line, modem
mass production was bom. Workers who be­
fore had built each automobile indepen­
dently, now found themselves specializing in
just one part of the job. Production became
a team effort, with each worker performing a
single task on every car rolling by on the line.
Over the years, mass production spread to
other industries, until today almost every
manufactured item is produced in this way.
The workers who put together the parts of
manufactured articles are called assemblers.
Sometimes hundreds work on a single fin­
ished product.
Many assemblers work on items that move
past their work stations automatically on
conveyors. In the automobile industry, for
example, one assembler may start nuts on
bolts by hand or with a handtool, and the
next worker down the line may tighten the
nuts with a power wrench. These workers
must complete their job within the time it
takes the part or product to pass their work

test a calculator. Some work with the engi­
neers and technicians, assembling products
that these people have just designed. To test
new ideas and build models, these workers
must know how to read blueprints and other
engineering specifications, and use a variety
of tools and precision measuring instru­

the lines. Since most assemblers only per­
form a few steps in the assembly operation,
assembly jobs tend to be more montonous
than other blue-collar jobs.
Work schedules of assemblers may vary at
plants with more than one shift. Workers can
accept or reject a certain job on a given shift,
usually in order of seniority.

Working Conditions

Places of Employment

The working conditions of assemblers dif­
fer, depending on the particular job per­
formed. Bench assemblers work while
seated at tables. Many of them put together
electronic equipment in rooms that are
clean, well lighted, and free from dust.
Floor assemblers of industrial machinery
may come in contact with oil and grease,
and their working areas may be quite noisy
from nearby machinery or tools that are
used. They may have to lift and fit heavy
objects. Workers on assembly lines may be
under pressure to keep up with the speed of

About 1,164,000 assemblers worked in
manufacturing plants in 1978. More than
half were in plants that made machinery and
motor vehicles. About half of all assemblers
were employed in the heavily industrialized
States of California, New York, Michigan,
Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Inexperienced people can be trained to do
most kinds of assembly work in a few days or

Other assemblers, known as bench assem­
blers, do more delicate work. Some make
subassemblies. These units are the intermedi­
ate steps in the production process; for exam­
ple, steering columns for automobiles or mo­
tors for vacuum cleaners. Others make entire
products. Assemblers in rifle manufacturing
plants build complete rifles from a collection
of parts and subassemblies and then test all
the moving parts to be sure they function
correctly. Benchwork generally requires the
ability to do precise and detailed work. Some
electronics assemblers, for example, use
tweezers, tiny cutters, and magnifying lenses
to put together the small components used in
radios and calculators.
Another group of assemblers, called floor
assemblers, put together large machinery or
heavy equipment on shop floors. School
buses, cranes, and tanks are put together in
this manner. Parts are installed and fastened,
usually with bolts, screws, or rivets. Assem­
blers often use a power tool, such as a solder­
ing iron or power drill, to get a proper fit.
Some experienced assemblers work with
little or no supervision on the more complex
parts of subassemblies and are responsible for
the final assembly of complicated jobs. They
may wire a television set or put together and

Assemblers often must follow detailed instructions.

weeks. New workers may l\ave their job du­
ties explained to them by the supervisor and
then be placed under the direction of ex­
perienced employees. When new workers
have developed sufficient speed and skill,
they are placed on their own and are respon­
sible for the work they do.

the International Union of Electrical, Radio
and Machine Workers; the United Automo­
bile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and
United Steelworkers.

Employers seek workers who can do rou­
tine work at a fast pace. A high school di­
ploma is helpful but usually is not required.

Related Occupations

For some types of assembly jobs, appli­
cants may have to meet special requirements.
Some employers look for applicants with me­
chanical aptitude and prefer those who have
taken vocational school courses such as ma­
chine shop. Good eyesight, with or without
glasses, may be required for assemblers who
work with small parts. In plants that make
electrical and electronic products, which
may contain many different colored wires,
applicants often are tested for color blind­
As assemblers become more experienced
they may progress to assembly jobs that re­
quire more skill and be given more responsi­
bility. Experienced assemblers who have
learned many assembly operations and thus
understand the construction of a product
may become product repairers. These work­
ers fix assembled articles that inspectors have
ruled defective. Assemblers also may ad­
vance to inspector and a few are promoted to
supervisor. Some assemblers become trainees
in skilled trades such as machinists.

Other occupations which involve handling
or assembling things are sewers and stitchers,
welders, PBX installers, packers and wrap­
pers, opthalmic laboratory technicans,
checkers, postal clerks, and sorting clerks.

Source of Additional Information
Additional information about employment
opportunities for assemblers may be available
from local offices of the State employment

Automobile Painters
(D.O.T. 845.381-014)

Nature of the Work
Automobile painters make old and dam­
aged motor vehicles “look like new.” These
skilled workers repaint older vehicles that
have lost the luster of their original paint and

make fender and body repairs almost invisi­
ble. (Painters who work on the production
lines at motor vehicle manufacturing plants
are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook. )
When painting only the repaired portions
of a vehicle, painters often have to mix paint
to match the original color, which can be
very difficult if the color has faded. To pre­
pare a vehicle for painting, painters or their
helpers use air- or electric-powered sanders
and a coarse grade of sandpaper to remove
the original paint or rust. Small nicks and
scratches that cannot be removed by sanding
are filled with body putty. Painters also re­
move or mask areas they do not want
painted, such as chrome trim, headlights,
windows, and mirrors.
When the vehicle is ready, painters use a
spray gun to apply several primer coats to
the surface. Before applying paint, painters
adjust the nozzle of the spray gun accord­
ing to the kind of lacquer or enamel being
used and, if necessary, they adjust the airpressure regulator to obtain the correct
pressure. If the spray gun is not adjusted
properly, paint may run or go on too
thinly. To speed drying, they may place
the freshly painted vehicle under heat
lamps or in a special infrared oven that is
sealed to prevent dust and bugs from get­
ting onto the fresh paint. After each coat
of primer dries, they sand the surface until
it is smooth. Final sanding may be done

Employment Outlook
Employment of assemblers is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s, creating thousands
of openings each year. Most job openings,
however, will result as workers retire, die, or
leave the occupation.
More assemblers will be needed in manu­
facturing plants to meet the increasing de­
mand for consumer products, such as au­
tomobiles and household appliances, as well
as for industrial machinery and equipment.
Most assemblers work in plants that pro­
duce durable goods, such as automobiles and
aircraft, which are particularly sensitive to
changes in business conditions and national
defense needs. Therefore, even though em­
ployment is expected to grow, jobseekers
may find that job opportunities will vary with
the state of the economy.

Wage rates for assemblers ranged from
about $3 to $8 an hour in 1978, according to
information from a limited number of union
contracts. Most assemblers covered by these
contracts made between $5 and $6 an hour.
Some assemblers are paid incentive or piece­
work rates, and therefore can earn more by
working more rapidly.
Many assemblers are members of labor un­
ions. These include the International Associ­
ation of Machinists and Aerospace Workers;

Automobile painter uses a spray gun to apply a primer coat.

by hand, using a fine grade of sandpaper.
If the surface to be painted is not smooth,
the paint job will be rough and uneven.
After the final coat of paint has dried,
painters or their helpers usually polish the
newly painted surface.

Working Conditions
Automobile painters work indoors where
they may be exposed to fumes from paint and
paint-mixing ingredients. In most shops,
however, painting is done in special ven­
tilated booths that protect the painters.
Painters also wear masks to protect their
noses and mouths. While working painters
must bend and stoop to reach all parts of the

Places of Employment

Employment Outlook
Employment of automobile painters is ex­
pected to increase faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. In addi­
tion to jobs created by growth in demand for
these workers, many openings are expected
to arise each year as experienced painters re­
tire, die, or transfer to other occupations.
Employment of automobile painters is ex­
pected to increase primarily because more
motor vehicles will be damaged in traffic ac­
cidents. As the number of vehicles on the
road grows, accident losses will grow, even
though better highways, lower speed limits,
driver training courses, and improved bump­
ers and other safety features on new vehicles
may slow the rate of growth. Painters also
will be needed to repaint older vehicles which
have rust or faded paint.

About 40,000 persons worked as automo­
bile painters in 1978. Almost three-fourths
worked in shops that specialize in automobile
repairs. Most others worked in the repair
shops of automobile and truck dealers. Some
painters worked for organizations that main­
tained and repaired their own fleets of motor
vehicles, such as trucking companies and

Most persons who enter the occupation
can expect steady work because the automo­
bile repair business is not affected much by
changes in economic conditions. Job oppor­
tunities will be best in heavily populated

Painters are employed throughout the
country, but are concentrated in metropoli­
tan areas.

Painters employed by automobile dealers
in 36 large cities had estimated average
hourly earnings of $10.20 in mid-1978, com­
pared to an average of $5.67 an hour for all
nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. Inexperienced helpers and
trainees earned substantially less.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most automobile painters start as helpers
and gain their skills informally by working
with experienced painters. Beginning helpers
usually perform tasks such as removing trim,
cleaning and sanding surfaces to be painted,
and polishing the finished work. As helpers
gain experience, they progress to more com­
plicated tasks, such as mixing paint to
achieve a good match and using spray guns
to apply primer coats and painting small
areas. Becoming skilled in all aspects of auto­
mobile painting usually requires 3 to 4 years
of on-the-job training.
A small number of automobile painters
learn through apprenticeship. Apprentice­
ship programs, which generally last 3 years,
consist of on-the-job training supplemented
by classroom instruction in areas such as
shop safety practices, proper use of equip­
ment, and general painting theory.


Many painters employed by automobile
dealers and independent repair shops receive
a commission based on the labor cost charged
to the customer. Under this method, earnings
depend largely on the amount of work a
painter does and how fast it is completed.
Employers frequently guarantee commis­
sioned painters a minimum weekly salary.
Helpers and trainees usually receive an
hourly rate until they become sufficiently
skilled to work on a commission basis.
Trucking companies, buslines, and other or­
ganizations that repair their own vehicles
usually pay by the hour. Most painters work
40 to 48 hours a week.
Many automobile painters belong to un­
ions, including the International Associa­
tion of Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
the International Union, United Automo­
bile, Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America; the Sheet Metal
Workers’ International Association; and
the International Brotherhood of Team­
sters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and
Helpers of America (Ind.). Most painters
who are union members work for the
larger automobile dealers, trucking compa­
nies, and buslines.

Persons considering this work as a career
should have good health, keen eyesight, and
a good color sense. Courses in automobilebody repair offered by high schools and voca­
tional schools provide helpful experience.
Completion of high school generally is not
required but may be an advantage, because to
many employers graduation indicates that
the person has at least some traits of a good
worker, such as reliability and perseverance.

Related Occupations

An experienced automobile painter with
supervisory ability may advance to shop su­
pervisor. Many experienced painters with the
necessary funds open their own shops.

Restoring damaged motor vehicles often
involves repair of their bodies and mechani­
cal components as well as painting. Automo­
bile painters often work closely with the fol­

lowing related automotive service occu­
pations: Automobile service advisors, auto­
mobile body repairers and customizers, auto­
mobile mechanics, and truck and bus me­

Sources of Additional Information
For more details about work opportuni­
ties, contact local employers, such as au­
tomobile-body repair shops and automobile
dealers; locals of the unions previously
mentioned; or the local office of the State
employment service. The State employment
service also may be a source of informa­
tion about apprenticeship and other train­
ing programs.
For general information about the work of
automobile painters, write:
Automotive Service Industry Association, 444
North Michigan Ave,, Chicago, 111. 60611.
Automotive Service Councils, Inc., 188 Industrial
Dr., Suite 112, Elmhurst, 111. 60126.
National Automobile Dealers Association, 8400
Westpark Dr., McLean, Va. 22102.

(D.O.T. 610.381-010 and 418.381-010)

Nature of the Work
Years ago the village blacksmith was as
vital to a community as the country doctor.
No one else could repair a broken wagon
wheel, shoe a horse, or forge a tool to suit a
farmer’s needs. Today, the blacksmith’s work
still is important in factories and mines where
heavy metal equipment must be repaired, and
at stables and racetracks. Power hammers
and ready-made horseshoes have made much
of the work easier, but the basic tasks remain
largely the same.
The first thing a blacksmith must do when
making or repairing anything made of metal
is to heat it in a forge to soften it. Once the
metal begins to glow red, it is ready for the
blacksmith to pick it up with tongs, place it
on the anvil—a heavy, smooth-faced iron
block—and begin to shape it using presses
and power hammers. On repair jobs, broken
parts are rejoined by hammering them to­
gether. The blacksmith uses handtools such
as hammers and chisels to finish the task at
hand, often reheating the metal in the forge
to keep it soft and workable.
Before a finished product can be used, it
must be hardened. To complete this stage of
the process, the blacksmith reheats the metal
to a high temperature in the forge and then
plunges it into a water or oil bath. However,
metal hardened in this way is brittle and can
break under stress. If strength is important,
blacksmiths temper the metal instead. To do
this, they heat the metal to a lower tempera­
ture than they use for hardening, keep it hot
for some time, and then allow it to cool at
room temperature.
Blacksmiths who specialize in shoeing


to 5 years of special training or experience
are needed to obtain the skills necessary to
shoe racehorses.
Farriers who wish to work at racetracks
must pass a licensing examination to demon­
strate their knowledge of corrective shoeing
techniques and the proper shoe to use, de­
pending on the condition of the horse’s hoof
or leg and the condition of the racetrack. The
examination is a performance test and does
not require a written examination.
Blacksmiths must be in good physical con­
dition. Pounding metal and handling heavy
tools and parts require considerable strength
and stamina. Farriers, of course, must have
the patience to handle horses.
Opportunities for advancement are lim­
ited, especially for blacksmiths who work in
small repair shops. However, blacksmiths
may advance to be supervisors or inspectors
in factories, or decide to open their own re­
pair shops.

horses are called farriers. Today, most farri­
ers use ready-made horseshoes so that their
primary job is to adjust shoes for a proper fit.
On rare occasions, however, they make the
shoes themselves. Racehorses need special
care because they must withstand strenuous
punishment to their legs and hooves. Im­
proper shoeing can permanently damage a
valuable horse. Farriers who shoe racehorses
need to be able to recognize weaknesses in a
horse’s legs, and shoe it accordingly. Some
horses, for example, need shoes that are
thicker on the outside as compared to the
inside edge in order to walk correctly. To
shoe a horse, farriers begin by removing the
old shoe with nail snippers and pincers. They
examine the horse’s hoof for bruises or other
problems, and then clean, trim, and shape the
hoof. When the hoof is ready, they position
and nail a shoe onto the hoof and finish by
trimming the hoof flush to the new shoe.

Places of Employment
Of the approximately 11,000 blacksmiths
employed in 1978, almost two-thirds worked
in factories, railroads, and mines. The re­
mainder worked in small shops, and most
were self-employed. Blacksmiths work in all
parts of the country—in rural communities
as well as in large industrial centers.
Most farriers are self-employed and con­
tract their services to horse trainers at race­
track stables and to owners of horses used for
private or public recreation.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Blacksmith shops tend to be hot and noisy,
but conditions have improved in recent years
because of large ventilating fans and less vi­
bration from new machines. Blacksmiths are
subject to burns from forges and heated met­
als and cuts and bruises from handling tools.
Safety glasses, metal-tip shoes, face shields,
earplugs, and other protective devices have
helped to reduce injuries.

Many beginners enter the occupation by
working as helpers in blacksmith shops or
large industrial firms that employ black­
smiths. Others enter through formal 3- or
4-year apprenticeship programs and transfer
from related occupations such as hammer
operator, press operator, or heat treater. Ap­
prenticeship programs teach blueprint read­
ing, metal properties and heat-treatment of
metal, proper use of tools and equipment,
and forging methods. Most apprentices are
found in large industrial firms rather than in
small repair shops. Vocational school or high
school courses in metalworking, welding,
and blueprint reading are helpful to persons
interested in becoming blacksmiths.

The jobs of some farriers may be seasonal.
During the summer months, when horses are
ridden more often, farriers may work long
hours and even on weekends. Also, those
who specialize in shoeing racehorses often
work at several different racetracks within
their area, and therefore must travel a great
deal. In areas where horseracing is seasonal*
they may have to move to another State dur­
ing the off season.

Many farriers learn their craft by assist­
ing experienced farriers. Others may take a
short course in horseshoeing lasting about
3 or 4 weeks before gaining experience on
their own or as farriers’ assistants. Courses
in horseshoeing are taught in several col­
leges, as well as at private horseshoeing
schools. Persons considering enrolling at a
school should talk to a farrier in the area
about the school’s performance. At least 3

Working Conditions


Farriers may open their own shops or
travel from job to job with a portable forge,
if one is needed. Those with sufficient skills
to pass a licensing examination may find em­
ployment at racetracks.

Employment Outlook
Employment of blacksmiths is expected to
decline through the 1980’s. Forge shops are
using machines to produce many of the metal
articles that were formerly handmade by
blacksmiths. In addition, welders are doing
much of the metal repair work once done by
blacksmiths. Nevertheless, some job open­
ings will occur as experienced blacksmiths
retire, die, or leave the occupation for other
Employment of farriers may increase
slightly due to the growing popularity of
horseracing and the increasing use of horses
for recreational purposes. Since this is a small
occupation, however, relatively few job open­
ings will become available.

In union contracts covering a number of
blacksmiths in steel plants and in the ship­
building and petroleum industries, hourly
pay ranged from about $6 to $10.76 in 1978.
Earnings of blacksmiths in railroad shops
averaged $7.62 an hour in 1978. According
to limited information, earnings of farriers
who shoed saddle horses averaged between
$15,000 and $20,000 a year in 1978; those
who shoed racehorses earned up to $25,000
a year.
Many blacksmiths are members of the In­
ternational Brotherhood of Boilermakers,
Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and
Helpers. Other unions representing black­
smiths include the United Steelworkers of
America, the Industrial Union of Marine and
Shipbuilding Workers of America, and the
International Union of Journeymen Horseshoers.

Related Occupations
Forge shops workers also shape hot
metal with the aid of hammering and
pressing machines. Some forging occupa­
tions that are similar to blacksmiths in­
clude hammersmiths, press operators, upsetters, hammer operators, heaters, and
heat treaters. Other occupations that re­
quire similar skills and a knowledge of
working with metal are welders, boiler­
makers, and sheet-metal workers.
All of these occupations are discussed else­
where in the Handbook.

Sources of Additional Information
For details about training opportunities
for blacksmiths, contact local blacksmith
shops and local offices of the State employ­
ment service.
For general career information about the
blacksmithing trade contact:
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers;
AFL-CIO, 8th and State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

A list of schools that offer horseshoeing
instruction and general information about
the horseshoeing trade are available from:
International Union of Journeymen Horseshoers, 2917 South Florida Ave., Caldwell, Idaho
American Farriers Association, P.O. Box 695, Alburquerque, N. Mex. 87103. (Please send a
stamped self-addressed envelope.).

Blue-Collar Worker

and weight of each truck. In some cases,
supervisors also do the same work as other
employees. This is especially true in the con­
struction industry where, for example, brick­
layer supervisors also lay brick.
Because they are responsible for the output
of other workers, supervisors make work
schedules and keep production and employee
records. They use judgment in planning and
must allow for unforeseen problems such as
absent workers and machine breakdowns.
Teaching employees safe work habits and en­
forcing safety rules and regulations are other
supervisory responsibilities. Supervisors also
may demonstrate timesaving or laborsaving
techniques to workers and train new em­
In addition to their other duties, bluecollar worker supervisors tell their subordi­
nates about company plans and policies;
recommend good workers for wage in­
creases, awards, or promotions; and deal
with poor workers by issuing warnings or
recommending that they be disciplined or
fired. In companies where employees be­
long to labor unions, supervisors meet with
union representatives to discuss work prob­
lems and grievances. They must know the
provisions of labor-management contracts
and run their operations according to these

Working Conditions
Although working conditions vary from
industry to industry, most blue-collar worker
supervisors work in a normal shop environ­
ment. They may be on their feet much of the
time overseeing the work of subordinates and
may be subjected to the noise and grime of
Since these supervisors are responsible for
the work of other blue-collar workers, they

may work longer hours in order to be on the
job before other workers arrive and after they
First-line supervisors may have some prob­
lems being in the middle between the work
force and management. On the other hand,
blue-collar worker supervisors may find sat­
isfaction in having more challenging and
prestigious jobs than most blue-collar work­

Places of Employment
About 1,670,000 blue-collar worker super­
visors were employed in 1978. Although they
work for almost all businesses and govern­
ment agencies, over half of them work in
manufacturing, supervising the production
of cars, washing machines, and thousands of
other products. Most of the rest work in the
construction industry, in wholesale and retail
trade, in public utilities, and transportation.
Employment is distributed in much the same
way as population, and jobs are located in all
cities and towns.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
When choosing supervisors, employers
generally look for experience, skill, and lead­
ership qualities. Employers place emphasis
on the ability to motivate employees, main­
tain high morale, command respect, and get
along with people. Completion of high school
often is the minimum educational require­
ment, and 1 or 2 years of college or technical
school can be very helpful to workers who
want to become supervisors.
Most supervisors rise through the ranks—
that is, they are promoted from jobs where
they operated a machine, worked on an as­
sembly line, or at a construction craft. This

Nature of the Work
In any organization, someone has to be
boss. For the millions of workers who assem­
ble television sets, service automobiles, lay
bricks, unload ships, or perform any of thou­
sands of other activities, a blue-collar worker
supervisor is the boss. These supervisors di­
rect the activities of other employees and fre­
quently ensure that millions of dollars worth
of equipment and materials are used properly
and efficiently. While blue-collar worker
supervisors are most commonly known as
foremen or forewomen, they also have many
other titles. In the textile industry, they are
referred to as second hands; on ships, they
are known as boatswains; and in the con­
struction industry, they are often called over­
seers, strawbosses, or gang leaders.
Although titles may differ, the job of all
blue-collar worker supervisors is similar.
They tell other employees what jobs to do
and make sure the jobs are done correctly.
For example, loading supervisors at truck
terminals assign workers to load trucks, and
then check that the material is loaded cor­
rectly and that each truck is fully used. They
may mark freight bills and record the load

Blue-collar worker supervisors tell other workers what jobs are to be done.

work experience gives them’the advantage of
knowing how jobs should be done and what
problems may arise. It also provides them
with insight into management policies and
employee attitudes towards these policies.
Supervisors are sometimes former union rep­
resentatives who are familiar with grievance
procedures and union contracts. To supple­
ment this work experience, many companies
have training programs to help develop su­
pervisory skills.

Related Occupations

Although few blue-collar worker supervi­
sors are college graduates, a growing number
of employers are hiring trainees with a col­
lege or technical school background. This
practice is most prevalent in industries with
highly technical production processes, such
as the chemical, oil, and electronics indus­
tries. Employers generally prefer back­
grounds in business administration, indus­
trial relations, mathematics, engineering, or
science. The trainees undergo on-the-job
training until they are able to accept supervi­
sory responsibilities.

Sources of Additional Information

Outstanding supervisors, particularly
those with college education, may move up to
higher management positions. In manufac­
turing, for example, they may advance to jobs
such as department head and plant manager.
Some supervisors, particularly in the con­
struction industry, use the experience and
skills they gain to go into business for them­

Employment Outlook
Employment of blue-collar worker super­
visors is expected to increase about as fast as
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. In addition, many job openings will
arise as experienced supervisors retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations.
Population growth and rising incomes will
stimulate demand for goods such as houses,
air conditioners, TV sets, and cars. As a re­
sult, more blue-collar workers will be needed
to produce these items, and more supervisors
will be needed to direct their activities. Al­
though most of these supervisors will con­
tinue to work in manufacturing, a large part
of the increase in jobs will be in nonmanufac­
turing industries, especially in the trade and
service sectors.

In 1978, average annual earnings of bluecollar worker supervisors who worked full
time were about $18,000, approximately one
and one-half times the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Supervisors usually are sala­
ried. Their salaries generally are determined
by the wage rates of the highest paid workers
they supervise. For example, some compa­
nies keep wages of supervisors about 10 to 30
percent higher than those of their subordi­
nates. Some supervisors receive overtime


Many other workers have supervisory du­
ties, including those who supervise profes­
sional and technical, sales, clerical, and ser­
vice workers. Some of these are retail store or
retail department managers; bank officers
and head tellers; hotel managers, housekeep­
ers, and assistants; postmasters and line
supervisors; head cooks; head nurses; and

A bibliography of career literature on
management occupations is available from:
American Management Association, 135 West
50th St., New York, N.Y. 10020.

ers are carefully tested for leaks and other
Construction boilermakers also install
auxiliary equipment on boilers and other ves­
sels. For example, they install vapor barriers
on open-top oil, gas, and chemi ;al storage
tanks to prevent fumes from polluting the air
and air pollution control equipment, such as
precipitators and smoke scrubbers, in electric
plants that burn high sulfur coal.
Boilermakers also maintain and make re­
pairs so that boilers remain safe and in good
working conditions. For example, when boil­
ers occasionally develop leaks, boilermakers
may dismantle the boiler, patch weak spots
with metal stock, replace defective sections
or strengthen joints.

Working Conditions

Nature of the Work
Boilers, vats, and other large vessels that
hold liquids and gases are essential to many
industries. Boilers, for example, supply the
steam that drives the huge turbines in electric
utility plants and ships. Tanks and vats are
used to process and store chemicals, oil, beer,
and hundreds of other products. Layout
workers and fitters help make the parts for
these vessels, and boilermakers assemble
Layout workers (D.O.T. 809.281-010) fol­
low blueprints and templates in marking off
lines, curves, holes, and dimensions on metal
plates and tubes used to make the various
parts of a boiler, vat, or tank. Markings must
be planned and measured carefully, with al­
lowances for curvature and thickness of the
metal. Because errors in size or shape may be
difficult or impossible to correct after the
metal is cut, layout workers use instruments,
such as compasses, protractors, gauges, and
scales, to make precise measurements.
After other shop workers cut and shape
the metal to specifications, fitters (D.O.T.
805.361-014) use bolts or temporary welds,
called tackwelds, to hold the parts in place
while they check to see that parts line up
according to blueprints. Fitters use grind­
ers or cutting torches to remove excess
metal, and welding machines to fill in
small gaps. A new piece may have to be
cut' for large gaps.
Small boilers may be assembled at the
plant where they are made; however, once
the pieces for a larger boiler or tank have
been cut out and checked for proper fit,
they are transported to the shop or con­
struction site for installation. There, boiler­
makers (D.O.T. 805.361-014) assemble and
erect the vessels using rigging equipment
such as hoists and jacks to lift heavy metal
parts into place, and then weld of rivet the
parts together. Because installation work
must meet statutory safety standards, boil­

When laying out, fitting, assembling, or
repairing boilers, workers often use poten­
tially dangerous equipment, such as blow tor­
ches and power grinders, and handle heavy
materials. Work may be done in cramped
quarters inside boilers, vats, or tanks, which
are often damp and poorly ventilated. Be­
cause workers occasionally work at great
heights on top of large vessels, boilermaking
occupations are more hazardous than many
other metalworking occupations. To elimi­
nate injuries, employers and unions actively
promote safety programs and the use of pro­
tective equipment, such as safety glasses and
metal helmets.

Places of Employment
About 37,000 boilermakers, layout work­
ers, and fitters were employed in 1978. Of
these, several thousand boilermakers worked
in the construction industry, mainly to as­
semble and erect boilers and other pressure
vessels. Boilermakers also were employed in
the maintenance and repair departments of
iron and steel plants, petroleum refineries,
railroads, shipyards, and electric powerplants. Large numbers worked in Federal
Government installations, principally in
Navy shipyards and Federal powerplants.
Layout workers and fitters worked mainly in
plants that make fire-tube and water-tube
boilers, heat exchangers, heavy tanks, and
similar products.
Boilermaking workers are employed
throughout the country, but employment is
concentrated in highly industrialized areas,
such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago,
Pittsburgh, Houston, San Francisco, and Los

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Many people have become boilermakers
by working for several years as helpers to
experienced boilermakers, but most training
authorities agree that a formal apprentice­
ship is the best way to learn this trade. Ap­
prenticeship programs usually consist of 4
years of on-the-job training, supplemented by
about 150 hours of classroom instruction

According to a national survey of workers
in the construction industry, union wage
rates for boilermakers averaged $11.55 an
hour in 1978, compared with $10.63 for all
building trades. Annual earnings for boiler­
makers working in the building trades gener­
ally are lower than hourly rates would indi­
cate because poor weather conditions and
fluctuations in construction activity may ad­
versely affect the number of hours they can
work. Boilermakers employed in railroad
shops averaged about $7.90 an hour in 1978.
Comparable wage data were not available
for boilermakers employed in industrial
plants. However, hourly wage rates for many
union boilermakers, layout workers, and fit­
ters employed in fabricated plate work and in
the petroleum and shipbuilding industries
ranged from about $6 to $12 in 1978.
Most boilermaking workers belong to
labor unions. The principal union is the In­
ternational Brotherhood of Boilermakers,
Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and
Helpers. Other workers are members of the
Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding
Workers of America; the Oil, Chemical and
Atomic Workers International Union; and
the United Steelworkers of America.

Related Occupations
Workers in a number of other occupatons
assemble, install, or repair metal equipment
or machines. These occupations include as­
semblers, blacksmiths, instrument makers,
ironworkers, machinists, millwrights, pat­
ternmakers, plumbers, setup workers, sheetmetal workers, tool-and-die makers, and

Many boilermakers do maintenance and repair work.

each year in subjects such as blueprint read­
ing, shop mathematics, and welding. Ap­
prentices often have to travel if work is not
available in their locality. Otherwise, they
may be laid off and the program take longer
than 4 calendar years.
Most layout workers and fitters are hired
as helpers and learn the craft by working
with experienced employees. It generally
takes at least 2 years to become a highly
skilled layout worker or fitter.
When hiring apprentices or helpers, em­
ployers prefer high school or vocational
school graduates. Courses in shop, mathe­
matics, blueprint reading, welding, and ma­
chine metalworking provide a useful back­
ground for all boilermaking jobs. Most firms
require applicants to pass a physical exami­
nation because good health and the capacity
to do heavy work are necessary in these jobs.
Mechanical aptitude and the manual dexter­
ity needed to handle tools also are important
Layout workers and fitters may become
boilermakers or advance to shop supervisors.
Boilermakers who become skilled in the
practical and technical aspects of the trade
may advance to boilermaking supervisor
(D.O.T. 805.131-010). A few go into business
for themselves.

Employment Outlook

Sources of Additional Information

Employment in boilermaking occupations
is expected to increase faster than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. In
addition to job openings from employment
growth, other openings will arise each year as

For further information regarding boiler­
making apprenticeships or other training op­
portunities, contact local offices of the unions
previously mentioned, local construction

experienced w orkers retire, die, or transfer to

com panies and boiler m anufacturers, or the

other fields of work.

local office of the State employment service.

The construction of many new electric
powerplants will create a need for additional
boilers and will cause employment of boiler­
makers, layout workers, and fitters to in­

Boiler Tenders
(D.O.T. 951.685-010 and -014)

The expansion of other industries that use
boiler products, such as the chemical and
petroleum refining industries, will further in­
crease the demand for these workers. Also,
more boilermakers will be needed to install
pollution control equipment if further pollu­
tion control legislation is enacted.
Despite the expected overall increase in
employment, most of the industries that pur­
chase boilers are sensitive to economic condi­
tions. Therefore, during economic down­
turns some boilermakers, fitters, and layout
workers may be laid off, and others may have
to move from one area of the country to an­
other to find employment.

Nature of the Work
Boiler tenders operate and maintain the
steam boilers that power industrial machin­
ery and heat factories, offices, and other
buildings. They also may operate waste-heat
boilers that bum trash and other solid waste.
Boiler tenders control the mechanical or
automatic devices that regulate the flow of
air and fuel into the combustion chambers.
They may, for example, start the pulverizers
or stokers to feed coal into the firebox or start
the oil pumps and heaters to ignite burners.
These workers inspect and maintain boiler


sure if a licensed stationary engineer is on
Due to regional differences in licensing re­
quirements, a boiler tender who moves from
one State or city to another may have to pass
an examination for a new license. However,
the National Institute for Uniform Licensing
of Power Engineers is currently assisting
many State licensing agencies in adopting
uniform licensing requirements that would
eliminate this problem by establishing reci­
procity of licenses.
Boiler tenders may advance to jobs as sta­
tionary engineers. To help them advance,
they sometimes supplement their on-the-job
training by taking courses in chemistry,
physics, blueprint reading, electricity, and
air-conditioning and refrigeration. Boiler
tenders also may become maintenance me­

Employment Outlook
Little change in employment of boiler ten­
ders is expected through the 1980’s as more
new boilers are equipped with automatic con­
trols. Nevertheless, a few thousand openings
will result each year from the need to replace
experienced tenders who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations.


Boiler tenders read meters and gauges attached to boilers to insure safe operation.

equipment. Their work includes reading me­
ters and gauges attached to the boilers to
ensure safe operation. Sometimes boiler ten­
ders make minor repairs, such as packing
valves or replacing indicators.
Boiler tenders also chemically test and
treat water for purity to prevent corrosion of
the boiler and buildup of scale.
Boiler tenders generally work under the
supervision of licensed stationary engineers.
(Additional information on stationary engi­
neers appears elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Modern boiler rooms usually are clean
and well lighted. However, boiler tenders
may be exposed to noise, heat, grease,
fumes, and smoke, and may have to work
in awkward positions. They also are sub­
ject to burns, falls, and injury from defec­
tive boilers or moving parts, such as pul­
verizers and stokers. Modern equipment
and safety procedures, however, have re­
duced accidents.

Places of Employment
About one-half of the 71,000 boiler tenders
employed in 1978 worked in factories. Plants
that manufacture lumber, iron and steel,
paper, chemicals, and stone, clay, and glass
products are among the leading employers of
boiler tenders. Public utilities also employ

many of these workers. Many others work in
hospitals, schools, and office and apartment
Although boiler tenders are employed in
all parts of the country, most work in the
more heavily populated areas where large
manufacturing plants are located.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Some large cities and a few States re­
quire boiler tenders to be licensed. An ap­
plicant can obtain the knowledge and expe­
rience to pass the license examination by
first working as a helper in a boiler room.
Applicants for helper jobs should be in
good physical condition and have mechani­
cal aptitude and manual dexterity. High
school courses in mathematics, motor me­
chanics, chemistry, and blueprint reading
also are helpful to persons interested in
becoming boiler tenders.
There are two types of boiler tenders’ li­
censes—for low-pressure and high-pressure
boilers. Low-pressure tenders operate boilers
generally used for heating buildings. Highpressure tenders operate the more powerful
boilers and auxiliary boiler equipment used
to power machinery in factories as well as
heat large buildings, such as high-rise apart­
ments. Both high- and low-pressure tenders,
however, may operate equipment of any pres­

Boiler tenders had average hourly earn­
ings of $6.69, according to a survey of
metropolitan areas in 1978. This was
higher than the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except
farming. The average for tenders ranged
from $4 in the San Antonio, Tex. metro­
politan area to $8.42 in the Seattle, Wash,
metropolitan area.
The principal unions to which boiler ten­
ders belong are the International Brother­
hood of Firemen and Oilers and the Interna­
tional Union of Operating Engineers.

Related Occupations
Boiler tenders monitor and check steam
boiler equipment which generates power for
industrial machinery. Others whose work re­
quires similar background and related duties
are oilers, operating engineers, power engi­
neers, and stationary engineers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about training or work oppor­
tunities in this trade is available from local
offices of State employment services, locals of
the International Brotherhood of Firemen
and Oilers, locals of the International Union
of Operating Engineers, and from State and
local licensing agencies.
Specific questions about the nature of the
occupation, training, and employment op­
portunities may be referred to:
National Association of Power Engineers, Inc.,
176 West Adams St., Chicago, III. 60603.

International Union of Operating Engineers, 1125
17th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.


ant odors also are part of the undesirable
working conditions in electroplating plants.
However, most plants have ventilation sys­
tems and other safety devices that reduce oc­
cupational hazards. Protective clothing and
boots provide additional safeguards.

(D O T . 500.362-010 through .684-010)

Places of Employment

Nature of the Work

About 40,000 people worked as electro­
platers in 1978. About half of them worked
in job shops that specialized in metal plating
and polishing for manufacturing firms and
other customers. Virtually all of the remain­
ing platers worked in plants that manu­
factured automobile bumpers, plumbing
fixtures, cooking utensils, household appli­
ances, electronic components, motor vehi­
cles, and other metal products. The Federal
Government employed a few platers for
maintenance purposes at a number of mili­
tary and civilian installations.

Electroplating is a commonly used manu­
facturing process that gives metal or plastic
articles a protective surface or an attractive
appearance. Products that are electroplated
include items as different as automobile
bumpers, silverware, costume jewelry, and
jet engine parts. In all cases, however, the
object being plated is connected to one end of
an electric circuit and placed in an appropri­
ate solution. The other end of the electric
circuit is connected to the plating material.
By controlling the amount of electricity that
flows from the plating material through the
solution to the object being plated, electro­
platers control the amount of chromium,
nickel, silver, or other metal that is applied to
the final product.
Prior to electroplating any object, electro­
platers study the job specifications which in­
dicate the parts of the objects to be plated, the
type of plating metal to be applied, and the
desired thickness of the plating. Following
these specifications, they prepare the plating
solution by carefully adding the proper
amounts and types of chemicals.

Electroplaters work in almost every part of
the country, although most work in the
Northeast and Midwest, near the centers of
the metalworking industry. Large numbers
of electroplaters work in Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Detroit,
Cleveland, Providence, and Newark.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

In preparing an item for electroplating,
platers may first cover parts of it with lac­
quer, rubber, or tape to keep these parts from
being exposed to the plating solution. They
then either scour the article or dip it into a
cleaning bath to remove dirt and grease be­
fore putting it into the solution.

Most electroplaters learn the trade on the
job by helping experienced platers. It usually
takes at least 3 years to become an all-round
plater. Platers in large shops usually are not
required to have an all-round knowledge of
plating and can learn their jobs in much less
time. However, workers who receive such
limited training generally have difficulty in
transferring to shops doing electroplating
with metals outside their specialty.

Electroplaters must carefully inspect their
work for defects such as minute pits and
nodules. They may use a magnifying glass to
examine the surface and micrometers and
calipers to check the plating thickness.

While a high school diploma is not essen­
tial for entry, high school or vocational
school courses in chemistry, electricity, phys­
ics, mathematics, and blueprint reading are

Skill requirements and work performed
vary by type of shop. All-round platers in
small shops analyze solutions, do a great va­
riety of plating, calculate the time and elec­
tric current needed for various types of plat­
ing, and perform other technical duties. They
also may order chemicals and other supplies
for their work. Platers in larger shops usually
carry out more specialized assignments that
require less extensive knowledge.

A small number of electroplaters receive
all-round training by working 3 or 4 years as
an apprentice. Apprenticeship programs
combine on-the-job training and related
classroom instruction in the properties of
metals, chemistry, and electricity as applied
to plating. Apprentices do progressively
more difficult work as their skill and knowl­
edge increase. By the third year, they deter­
mine cleaning methods, do plating without
supervision, make solutions, examine plating
results, and direct helpers. One- or two-year
electroplating courses are available in junior
colleges, technical institutes, and vocational
high schools. In addition, many branches of
the American Electroplaters Society give
basic courses in electroplating.

Working Conditions
Electroplaters stand most of the time while
they work. They also have to do a lot of
reaching, bending, and carrying. Although
mechanical equipment is generally used for
lifting, the platers often have to lift by hand
objects weighing as much as 100 pounds.
There are many occupational hazards as­
sociated with plating work such as the risk of
burns from splashing acids and the inhala­
tion of toxic fumes. Dampness and unpleas­

Qualified platers may become supervisors.
Some may become sales representatives for
metal products wholesalers or manufactur­
ers. Electroplaters with the necessary capital
may go into business for themselves.

Electroplaters must inspect their work for flaws.

Employment Outlook
Little change is expected in employment of
electroplaters through the 1980’s. Most
openings will result from the need to replace
experienced workers who retire, die, or leave
the occupation for other reasons.
Although there will be a continuing need
for electroplating, employment growth will
be restricted by the increasing application of
automated plating equipment. In addition,
stricter water quality standards established
by the Environmental Protection Agency
will require plants to install expensive equip­
ment. This could cause the closing of less
efficient plating operations.

Hourly wage rates for experienced electro­
platers ranged from about $5 to $8 in 1978,
according to the limited information availa­
ble. Entry level rates ranged from $3.75 to $4
an hour.
Some platers are members of the Metal
Polishers, Buffers, Platers and Helpers Inter­
national Union, Other platers have been or­
ganized by the International Union, United
Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America, and the In­
ternational Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers.

Related Occupations
Electroplaters finish metal products. Oth­
ers who work with or finish metals are heat
treaters, jewelers, metal finishers, metal
molders, metal sprayers, patternmakers,
photoengravers, and silversmiths.

Source of Additional Information
Information on the availability of appren­
ticeships or on-the-job training may be ob­
tained from State employment offices and


local union offices. Training opportunities
may also be located by contacting manufac­
turing plants and job shops that do electro­
For more specific information about job
opportunities and training, write to:
American Electroplaters Society, Inc., 1201 Loui­
siana Ave., Winter Park, Fla. 23609.
National Association of Metal Finishers, 111 East
Wacker Dr., Chicago, 111. 60611.

Forge Shop
Forging is one of the oldest methods of
working and shaping metals. The exceptional
strength of forged metal parts makes this an
often used method of forming products that
must withstand heavy wear. Many machine
tools, such as wrenches and drill bits, are
forged because they are subjected to constant
stress and pressure.
The simplest forging method is hand forg­
ing done by a blacksmith. Modern forge
shops, however, substitute heavy power
equipment and dies (tools that shape metal)
for the blacksmith’s hammer and anvil. In
this way, products can be forged in much
greater quantity. Five employees operating a
large forging machine can turn out more
forgings in an hour than five blacksmiths can
make in a year!
Most forgings are steel; but aluminum,
copper, brass, bronze, and other metals also
are forged. Nonferrous forgings are useful in
many critical applications, for example, air­
craft landing gear. Some of the advantages of
nonferrous metal forgings are corrosion re­
sistance and a lighter weight to strength
Forged products may be as small and light­
weight as a key, or as bulky and heavy as a
piece of industrial machinery.

Nature of the Work
Before metal can be shaped, it must be
heated intensely hot furnaces (forges) until it
is soft. Workers place the heated metal be­
tween two metal dies that are attached to
power presses or hammers. With tremendous
force, the hammers or presses pound or
squeeze the metal into the desired shape. To
finish the forging, other workers remove
rough edges and excess metal and perform
other finishing operations such as heat treat­
ing and polishing.
Two kinds of dies are used. The open die,
which is flat and similar to the blacksmith’s
hammer, is used when only a limited quantity
of forgings or large-size, simple-shaped forg­
ings are needed. The impression, or closed
die, has a cavity shaped to the form of the
metal part, and is used to produce large
quantities of identical forgings.
Basic forge shop equipment consists of varDigitized60/OCCUPATIO NAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ious types of hammers, presses, dies, upset ters, and furnaces. Forge shop workers also
use handtools, such as hammers and tongs, to
help mold and shape parts to fit exact specifi­
cations. Measuring devices such as rules,
scales, and calipers are needed to inspect the
finished products.
Descriptions of some major forge shop
production occupations follow.
Hammersmiths (D.O.T. 612.361-010) di­
rect the operation of open die power ham­
mers. They follow blueprints and interpret
drawings and sketches so that the part being
forged will meet specifications. Hammer­
smiths determine how to position the metal
under the hammer and which tools are
needed to produce desired angles and curves.
They decide the amount of hammer force and
if and when the metal needs additional heat­
Hammersmiths head crews of four or more
workers. A typical crew includes a hammer
driver or hammer runner who regulates the
force of the forging blow; a crane operator
who transfers the metal from the furnace to
the hammer and properly places it under the
hammer; and a heater who controls the fur­
nace that heats the metal to correct tempera­
tures. The rest of the crew consists of one or
more helpers to assist as needed.
The duties of hammer operators (D.O.T.
610.462-010) who operate impression die
power hammers, are similar to those just de­
scribed for hammersmiths. Generally the
parts forged by closed die hammers are more
intricate and detailed, thus these operators
are highly skilled. With the assistance of a
crew of helpers and heaters, hammer opera­
tors set and align dies in the hammers. They
correctly position the metal under the ham­
mer, control the force of the forging blow,
and determine if and when the metal needs
additional heating to make it easier to shape
the metal to that of the die impression.
Press operators (D.O.T. 611.482-010 and
.685-010) control huge presses equipped with
either impression or open dies. These ma­
chines press and squeeze rather than hammer
or pound the hot metal, and the operators
regulate machine pressure and move the hot
metal between the dies. They also may con­
trol the metal heating operations. Some oper­
ators, set up the dies in the presses, using
instruments such as squares and micrometers
to make sure these are in place. Their skills
are very similar to those of hammersmiths or
hammer operators.
'W ith the help of heaters and several help­
ers, upsetters (D.O.T. 611.462-010) operate
machines that shape hot metal by applying
horizontal pressure. The heads of nails and
bolts, for example, are made by upset forging.
Heaters (D.O.T. 619.682-022) control fur­
nace temperatures. They determine when the
metal has reached the correct temperature by
observing the metal’s color and the furnace’s
temperature gauge. Using tongs or mechani­
cal equipment, they transfer the hot metal
from the furnace to hammers or presses.
Some heaters clean furnaces.

Inspectors (D.O.T. 612.261-010) examine
forged pieces for accuracy, size, and quality.
They use tools such as gauges, micrometers,
squares, and calipers to measure the exact
dimensions of the forgings. Machines that
test strength and hardness and electronic
testing devices also may be used.
Die sinkers (D.O.T. 601.280-022) make
the impression dies for the forging hammers
and presses. Working from a blueprint, draw­
ing, or template, these skilled workers make
an outline of the object to be forged on two
matching steel blocks. They measure and
mark the object’s shape in the blocks to form
the impression cavity by using milling ma­
chines and other machine tools such as EDM
(electrical discharge machinery) and ECM
(electrical chemical machinery). Using handtools such as scrapers and grinders, and mea­
suring tools such as calipers and microme­
ters, die sinkers smooth and finish the die
cavity to fit specifications. Finally, a sample
is prepared from the finished cavity and is
checked against specifications.
Many forge shop workers clean and finish
forgings. For example, trimmers (D.O.T.
615.685-030) remove excess metal with
presses equipped with trimming dies. Grind­
ers (D.O.T. 705.484-010 and -014) remove
rough edges with power abrasive wheels.
Sandblasters or shotblasters (D.O.T. 503.687-010) operate equipment that cleans and
smoothes forgings by blasting them with a
mixture of air and metal shot or grit. Picklers
(D.O.T. 503.685-030) dip forgings in an acid
solution to remove surface scale and reveal
any surface defects. Heat treaters (D.O.T.
504.682-010 and -018) heat forgings and then
allow them to cool, which hardens and tem­
pers the metal.

Working Conditions
Forge shop occuapations are more hazard­
ous than most manufacturing occupations.
However, improvements in machinery and
shop practices have reduced some noise and
vibration. For example, many forge shops
have heat deflectors and ventilating fans to
reduce heat and smoke. Also, labor and man­
agement cooperate to encourage good work
practices through safety training and the re­
quired use of protective equipment such as
face shields, ear plugs and muffs, safety
glasses, metal-toed shoes, helmets, and ma­
chine safety guards.
Although cranes are Used to move very
large objects, forge shop workers must be
strong enough to lift and move heavy forging
and dies. They also need stamina and endur­
ance to work in the heat and noise of a forge

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 74,000 production workers
were employed in forge shops. About twothirds of these worked in shops that make
and sell forgings. The remainder worked in
plants that use forgings in their final pro­
ducts, such as plants operated by manufac-

Employment in some forge shops is sensi­
tive to changes in economic conditions. In
shops that make automobile parts, for exam­
ple, employment fluctuates with changes in
the demand for new cars; thus, jobs in these
shops may be plentiful in some years, scarce
in others.

Average hourly earnings of forge shop pro­
duction workers are higher than the average
for all manufacturing production workers. In
1978, production workers in iron and steel
forging plants averaged $8.03 an hour, com­
pared to $6.17 an hour for production work­
ers in all manufacturing industries.
Most forge shop workers are union mem­
bers. Many belong to the International
Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship­
builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers.
Others are members of the United Steelwork­
ers of America; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of America; the
International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers; and the International
Die Sinkers’ Conference (Ind).

Related Occupations
The occupations most closely related to
the forging occupations are, of course, the
other forge shop occupations. Other workers
who need precision and skill to work with
metal include welders, blacksmiths, arc cut­
ters, machinists, tool-and-die makers, and
metal patternmakers.

Before metal can be shaped, it must be heated until it glows.

turers of automobiles, farm equipment, and
handtools. Although forge shop workers are
found in all areas, they are concentrated near
steel-producing centers that provide the steel
for forgings, and near metalworking plants
that are the major users of forged products.
Large numbers of forge shop workers are em­
ployed in and around the cities of Detroit,
Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Pitts­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most forge shop workers learn their skills
on the job. They generally join hammer or
press crews as helpers or heaters, and prog­
ress to other jobs as they gain experience.
Advancement to hammersmith, for example,
requires several years of on-the-job training
and experience.
Some forge shops offer apprenticeship
training programs for skilled jobs such as diesinker, heat treater, hammer operator, ham­
mersmith, and press operator. These pro­
grams usually last 4 years, and offer
classroom training and practical experience
in metal properties, power hammer and fur­
nace operation, handtool use, and blueprint
Training requirements for inspectors
vary. Only a few weeks of on-the-job train­
ing are necessary for those who examine

forgings visually or use only simple gauges.
Others who inspect forgings that must
meet exact specifications may need some
background in blueprint reading and math­
ematics, and may be given several months
of training.
Employers usually do not require a high
school diploma, but graduates may be pre­
ferred. Persons interested in more skilled
forge shop jobs should complete high school
and take mathematics (especially geometry),
drafting, and shopwork.

Employment Outlook
Employment of forge shop production
workers is expected to increase more slowly
than the average for all occupations through
the 1980’s. Some new jobs will become avail­
able because of growth in demand for forge
shop products, but most openings will arise
as experienced workers retire, die, or transfer
to other fields of work.
Employment will grow because of expan­
sion in industries that use forgings, particu­
larly automobile and energy-related indus­
tries. Many forged drilling bits and other
forged products will be needed for oil drilling
and coal mining operations. However, em­
ployment will not keep pace with forge shop
production because improved forging tech­
niques and equipment will result in greater
output per worker.

Sources of Additional Information
For information on employment oppor­
tunities in forging, contact local offices of the
State employment service, personnel depart­
ments of forge shops, locals of the labor or­
ganizations listed above, or:
The Forging Industry Association, 55 Public
Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44113. Freeport Road,
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15238.

Nature of the Work
Most products—including the things we
eat, drink, wear, and ride in—are checked by
inspectors during the manufacturing process
to insure that they meet quality standards
and specifications. Inspectors also check the
raw materials and parts that make up fin­
ished goods.
Inspectors use a variety of methods to
make certain that products meet specifica­
tions. They may taste-test a soft drink; exam­
ine a jacket for defects; or use micrometers,
protractors, gauges, and magnifying glasses
to make sure that airplane components are


assembled properly. Inspectors frequently
make simple calculations to measure parts
and examine work orders or blueprints to
verify that products conform to standards.
Inexperienced inspectors usually work
under close supervision. More senior inspec­
tors generally have less supervision; they usu­
ally have authority to accept or reject pro­
ducts; and some analyze the reasons for
faulty construction and recommend correc­
tive action. Skilled inspectors usually know
how to use a variety of complex testing in­
struments. In assembling large, complicated
products such as automobiles, airplanes, and
electrical equipment, for example, skilled in­
spectors use automatic gauges and comput­
ers to assure that production standards are
maintained within safe and precise tolerance
Some inspectors make minor repairs and
adjustments, such as filing a rough edge or
tightening a bolt. They may also grade pro­
ducts for quality. Where proper performance
is critical, for example in nuclear reactor
parts or missile components, inspectors ex­
amine each part individually; for other parts,
such as spark plugs they only inspect sample

Working Conditions
Working conditions vary considerably de­
pending on the parts, products, or processes
to be examined.

Inspectors who work on the production
floor of machinery or metal fabricating
plants may be exposed to high temperatures,
oil, grease, and noise. Other inspectors, how­
ever, work while sitting in clean, quiet, airconditioned workplaces.

Places of Employment
About 736,000 inspectors were employed
in 1978. More than two-thirds worked in
plants that produced durable goods such as
machinery, transportation equipment, elec­
tronics equipment, and furniture. Others
worked in plants that produced nondurable
goods such as textiles, apparel, and leather
Inspectors worked in every part of the
country, although they were concentrated in
the industrialized States. The majority of
these workers are employed in Ohio, Penn­
sylvania, Illinois, California, Michigan, In­
diana, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Inspectors generally are trained on the job
—from a few hours or days to several
months, depending upon the skill required.
Employers look for applicants who have
good health and eyesight—with or without
glasses—who can follow directions, concen­
trate on details, and perform repetitive tasks

accurately. Also, manual dexterity is needed.
Applicants should be able to get along with
people since inspectors occasionally work as
part of a team. A few large companies give
pre-employment tests to check skills such as
the ability to work with numbers. Some em­
ployers may hire applicants who do not have
a high school diploma but who have qualify­
ing aptitudes or related experience. Other
employers prefer experienced workers for in­
spection jobs. Many inspectors acquire the
necessary skills and experience by working at
various production line jobs, especially as­
Inspectors in entry level jobs, after gain­
ing experience and perhaps studying blue­
print reading and shop mathematics, usu­
ally can advance to more highly skilled
inspection work. Some go on to become in­
spection supervisors or quality control

Employment Outlook
Employment of inspectors is expected to
increase about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. As popula­
tion and personal incomes grow, most manu­
facturing industries are expected to increase
their output and thus to employ more inspec­
tors. Additionally, the growing complexity of
manufactured products should result in a
need for more skilled inspectors as compa­
nies emphasize improved quality. Many
openings will result as workers retire, die, or
tranfer to other occupations.
Employment of inspectors may fluctuate
from year to year since they are concentrated
in firms that produce durable good. Produc­
tion of these items is particularly sensitive to
changes in business conditions.

Wages for inspectors ranged from $3.85 tp
$8.68 an hour in 1978, according to informa­
tion from a limited number of union con­
Many inspectors are members of labor
unions, including the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and Agri­
culture Implement Workers of America;
the International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers; the International
Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers; United Steelworkers;
and the Allied Industrial Workers of

Related Occupations

Inspectors insure that products meet quality standards and specifications.

Inspectors examine manufactured goods
for flaws and to control quality. Others who
test the reliability and quality of materials are
bridge inspectors, elevator examiners and ad­
justers, quality control technicians, auto re­
pair service estimators, petroleum inspectors,
water quality testers, agricultural commodity
inspectors, building inspectors, and weights
and measures inspectors.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about employment oppor­
tunities in this field may be available from
State employment service offices.
The American Society for Quality Control
certifies quality technicians. They also pub­
lish a booklet called “Careers in the Quality
Sciences,” which describes the occupation of
inspector and includes information on qual­
ity engineering and management careers as
well. For information about the test required
for certification, or for a free copy of the
booklet, write to:
American Society for Quality Control, 161 West
Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, Wis. 53203.

(D.O.T. 638.281-018)

Nature of the Work
With the coming of the Industrial Revolu­
tion, machines replaced many handcrafted
items and new and bigger factories became
necessary. The textile industry in England
was one of the first to use machinery to mass
produce its goods. The workers who planned
and built these textile mills, and set up the
equipment that was needed, were called mill­
wrights. The occupation gradually expanded
to other factories, and today the millwright
installs all types of machinery in almost every
The millwright is a skilled craft worker
who may perform any or all of the tasks in­
volved in preparing machinery for use in
plants. This often includes construction of
concrete foundations or wooden platforms
on which heavy machines are mounted. As
they either personally prepare or supervise
the construction of these structures, mill­
wrights must know how to read blueprints
and work with various building materials.
Millwrights also may dismantle existing
equipment when it becomes obsolete or to
make better use of factory space. To loosen
and disassemble parts, they use wrenches,
hammers, pliers, metal cutting torches, and
other hand and power tools.
To aid in moving machinery, the mill­
wright may use any number of rigging de­
vices. For example, to install a new oven in
a food processing plant, millwrights may use
a hoist or a small crane to move the oven
from the truck on which it arrived to a con­
veyor which would carry it into the plant.
Then it may be lifted, with the aid of a crow­
bar for leverage, onto a dolly and taken to a
foundation for proper positioning.
In assembling machinery, millwrights fit
bearings, align gears and wheels, attach mo­
tors and connect belts to prepare a machine
for use. Mounting and assembling a piece of
equipment requires tools similar to those
used in the dismantling process. When preci­
sion leveling is necessary, measuring devices

Millwrights install and check all types of machinery in plants.

are used. To set up automatic pin-setting
equipment in a bowling alley, for example,
plumb bobs—or weights which determine
perpendicularity—must be attached. Mill­
wrights also use squares to test right angles
and calipers to measure diameter and thick­

ards such as cuts and bruises. They also face
injury from falling objects or machinery that
is being moved, and from falls when climbing
up walkways and platforms to install equip­
ment. Accidents have been reduced by the
use of protective devices such as safety belts
and hats, however.

Many of the millwright’s duties also are
performed by industrial machinery repairers.
(See the statement on industrial machinery

Places of Employment
Most of the estimated 95,000 millwrights

repairers elsew here in the Handbook .) T his

em ployed in 1978 w orked for m anufacturing

includes preventive maintenance, such as oil­
ing and greasing, and fixing or replacing
worn parts.

companies; the majority were in transporta­
tion equipment, metal, paper, lumber, and
chemical products industries. Others worked
for contractors in the construction industry.
Machinery manufacturers employed a small
number to install equipment in customers’

Millwrights employed by contract installa­
tion and construction companies do a variety
of installation work. Those employed in fac­
tories usually specialize in installing the par­
ticular types of machinery used by their em­
ployers. They also may maintain plant
equipment such as conveyors and cranes.

Working Conditions
Millwrights employed by factories ordi­
narily work year round. Those employed by
construction companies and companies that
manufacture and install machinery may ex­
perience periods of unemployment; however,
they usually are compensated with a higher
hourly wage rate. Frequently these mill­
wrights must travel.
Millwrights are subject to usual shop haz­

Millwrights work in every State. However,
employment is concentrated in heavily indus­
trialized areas such as Detroit, Pittsburgh,
Cleveland, Buffalo, and the Chicago-Gary

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Some millwrights start as helpers to skilled
workers and learn the trade informally on the
job. This process can take from 6 to 8 years.
Others learn through 4-year formal appren­
ticeship programs which combine on-the-job
training with classroom instruction. Appren-


ticeship programs include training in dis­
mantling, moving, erecting, and repairing
machinery. Helpers also may work with con­
crete and receive instruction in related skills
such as carpentry, welding, and sheet-metal
work. Classroom instruction is given in shop
mathematics, blueprint reading, hydraulics,
electricity, and safety.
Applicants for apprentice or helper jobs
must be at least 17 years old. Some em­
ployers prefer to hire high school or voca­
tional school graduates. Courses in science,
mathematics, mechanical drawing, and ma­
chine shop practice are useful. Because
millwrights often put together and take
apart complicated machinery, mechanical
aptitude is important. Strength and ability
also are important, because the work re­
quires a considerable amount of lifting and

Workers; and the International Brother­
hood of Firemen and Oilers.

Related Occupations
To set up machinery for use in a plant,
millwrights must know how to use hoisting
devices, and to assemble, disassemble, and in
some cases repair machinery. Other workers
with similar job duties are elevator construc­
tors, industrial machinery repairers, iron
workers, machine assemblers, machinists,
and maintenance mechanics.

Sources of Additional Information
For futher information on apprenticeship
programs, write to the Apprenticeship Coun­
cil of your State’s labor department, local
offices of your State employment service, or
local firms that employ millwrights.

Employment Outlook
Employment of millwrights is expected to
increase about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Employ­
ment will increase as new plants are built, as
existing plant layouts are improved, and as
increasingly complex machinery is installed
and maintained. Besides job openings from
growth in the demand for millwrights, many
openings will arise annually as experienced
millwrights retire, die, or transfer to other

According to a survey of metropolitan
areas, hourly wages for millwrights averaged
$8.72 in 1978—about 50 percent higher than
the average wage for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
Earnings for millwrights in 10 areas that rep­
resent various regions of the country appear
in the accompanying tabulation.
Most millwrights belong to labor unions,
among which are the International Associa­
tion of Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners of America (construction mill­
wrights); United Steelworkers of America;
International Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; United Paperworkers
International Union; the International
Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine

Motion Picture
(D.O.T. 960.362-010)

Nature of the Work
Working as key behind-the-scenes person­
nel, projectionists operate the movie projec­
tors and sound equipment in theaters. Be­
cause the type of equipment differs from
theater to theater, they must be able to han­
dle a variety of duties.
In theaters with older equipment, projec­
tionists use two projectors, sound equipment,
a film rewinding machine, and seven reels of
film or more. Before the movie begins, they
examine the film, check the equipment to see
that it works properly, and load the projec­
tors with the first and second reels. After


extrem ely



lamp which provides light for the screen, pro­
jectionists start the first reel. If the picture is
out of focus or unsteady, they adjust the pro­
jector lens. Volume controls also may be ad­
justed if the sound is too loud or too soft.
A reel of film lasts 20 minutes or more.
When the reel is almost complete, cue marks
(small circles in the upper right comer of the
picture) signal that it is time to start the sec­
ond projector. After a second series of cue

Table 1. Average hourly earnings of millwrights in selected areas, 1978.

Hourly rate

D etroit..............................................................................
A tla n t a ................................................................................................................................... 9.05
H ouston................................................................................................................................... 8.95
B altim ore................................................................................................................................ 8.84
St. Louis................................................................................................................................... 8.60
C hicago................................................................................................................................... 8.56
Cincinnati................................................................................................................................ 8.45
Minneapolis-St. P a u l ..........................................................................................................
B oston...................................................................................................................................... 6.74

marks appears, the projectionist simultane­
ously closes the shutter on the first projector
and opens the second one. This changeover
happens so quickly that the audience does
not notice an interruption on the screen.
Next, the projectionist removes the first reel
and rewinds it on the rewinding machine.
The entire process is repeated until all the
reels have been shown. If the film breaks, the
projectionist must rethread it rapidly so that
the show may continue.
Almost all new theaters and many reno­
vated theaters have automated or semiautomated equipment. When the film is properly
programmed or “set up,” the machines auto­
matically can dim houselights, open curtains,
start the show with picture and sound,
change from one projector to another, and
rewind the film. This equipment also uses
larger reels, which lessens the number of pro­
jector changeovers.
In theaters that have this automated equip­
ment, the projectionist’s main job is the “set
up” of the film because a movie comes from
a film exchange company on seven to twelve
individual reels of film. To set up the film, the
projectionist must splice it from these reels
and rewind it on two to three reels or on one
“platter.” The projectionist also cues the pro­
gram by placing small metallic tabs on the
film that will activate the various functions of
the machinery, such as the film changeover,
when the film is run. The film must then be
carefully inspected for flaws, which may
cause the film to break during the showing.
In case of trouble, such as a break in the
film, the equipment shuts off until the projec­
tionist can correct the problem. When a
movie has finished its run in a theater, the
projectionist must cut the film to fit on the
smaller reels before returning it to the film
exchange company.
Projectionists also clean and lubricate
equipment, check for defective parts and
damaged film, and make minor repairs and
adjustments. For example, they may replace
a badly worn projector sprocket. Major re­
pairs usually are made by service technicians
who specialize in repairing projection and
sound equipment. However, employers
sometimes seek a projectionist who can do all
the repair work.

Working Conditions
Most projectionists work 4 to 6 hours on
weekday evenings and 10 hours or more on
Saturday or Sunday. In theaters with week­
day matinees, projectionists usually work 6
hours a day, 6 days a week. Some projection­
ists work at several theaters. For example, a
weekly schedule may call for two evenings in
each of three theaters. In small towns, projec­
tionists usually work only part time because
of the small number of shows. Projectionists
employed at drive-ins—particularly in north­
ern States—may be laid off for several
months during the winter.

SOURCE: Bureau o f Labor Statistics.


Projection rooms usually have adequate

lighting and ventilation, and some are airconditioned. The work is not strenuous and
is relatively hazard free, but there is danger
of electrical shock and acid bums from the
projector’s lamp if proper safety precautions
are not taken. Although projectionists must
stand a lot, they may sit for short periods
while the equipment is operating. Most pro­
jectionists work without direct supervision
and have infrequent contact with other thea­
ter employees.

Places of Employment
An estimated 11,000 motion picture pro­
jectionists were employed full time in 1978.
The majority worked for indoor theaters;
most of the remainder worked for drive-ins.
Some projectionists worked for large manu­
facturing companies, colleges, television stu­
dios, and Federal, State, and local govern­
Projectionists work in every section of the
country. Geographically, employment is dis­
tributed about the same as population.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most theaters in urban areas are union­
ized, and young people seeking jobs as projec­
tionists generally must meet union member­
ship requirements. The union locals establish
these membership requirements, and they
vary considerably among the locals. In
nonunion theaters young people may start as
ushers or helpers and learn the trade by
working with an experienced projectionist.
Generally, unions prefer that applicants be
high school graduates. In a few cities and
States, projectionists must be licensed. The
license often must be obtained before apply­
ing for union membership.

Several locals only admit applicants who
have had experience with projection equip­
ment. These applicants may work for a trial
period in several theaters under the supervi­
sion of the regular projectionist. If they dem­
onstrate an adequate knowledge of the pro­
jection equipment and its operation, they
may join the union. The trial period usually
lasts several weeks, and during that time the
applicant receives no pay.
Some locals conduct training programs,
which usually do not require previous experi­
ence with projection equipment. Trainees
learn the trade by working with projection­
ists. They first learn simple tasks, such as
threading and rewinding film and progress to
more difficult assignments such as adjusting
and repairing equipment. A trainee often
works in several theaters to become familiar
with different types of equipment. Some
training programs include classroom instruc­
tion in basic electronics and mechanics. After
training, the applicant must pass a written
exam about equipment use and maintenance;
the applicant then becomes a union member.
Trainees are not paid for their work in the
Persons interested in becoming projection­
ists should have good eyesight—including
normal color perception—and good hearing.
They should be temperamentally suited to
working alone. Manual dexterity and me­
chanical aptitude also are important qualifi­
cations. High school courses in mechanics
and electronics or practical experience
gained from operating 16-millimeter projec­
tors at school or in the Armed Forces is help­
Advancement opportunities for projec­
tionists are limited. Some, however, become
projectionist-managers and run many of the

theater’s daily operations.

Employment Outlook
Little change is expected in employment of
motion picture projectionists through the
1980’s. Most job openings will occur as ex­
perienced workers retire, die, or transfer to
other fields of work. Applicants may face
keen competition for the jobs that become
available. Because earnings of motion picture
projectionists are relatively high, applicants
frequently outnumber job openings. In some
areas, new union members may only be able
to work part time as replacements for full­
time projectionists.
The number of movie theaters is expected
to increase more slowly than in recent years,
because lack of new films will hurt the theat­
ers’ ability to compete with other forms of
entertainment such as television. Further­
more, because of laborsaving innovations in
equipment and theater design, employment
of projectionists will not keep pace with the
increase in theaters. While older theaters had
one screen and employed at least one projec­
tionist, most new theaters are built with sev­
eral screens side by side so that one projec­
tionist, aided by automated projection
machines and longer film reels, can run films
for more than one auditorium at a time. The
replacement of single-screen theaters by
those with multiple screens will slow the
growth of employment for projectionists,
even though new theaters will be con­

Average hourly earnings for projectionists
in large metropolitan areas ranged from $5 to
$12.50 in 1978, according to information
from several union contracts. Wages vary
among locals, the specific rate being deter­
mined by the type of theater, movie, and
equipment involved. Generally, downtown
theaters pay higher hourly rates than subur­
ban or drive-in theaters. Projectionists who
work more than one screen also receive extra

Related Occupations
Motion picture projectionists operate
and repair movie projectors and sound
equipment. Others who work with small
machinery include appliance repairers, bi­
cycle repairers, blueprinting machine oper­
ators, television and radio installers and re­
pairers, and offset-duplicating machine

Sources of Additional Information

Trainee projectionists first learn simple tasks such as threading and rewinding film.

Details about training programs and em­
ployment opportunities may be obtained
from any local of the International Alliance
of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving
Picture Machine Operators of the United
States and Canada.


(D.O.T. 716.280-014)

Nature of the Work
Ophthalmic laboratory technicians (also
called optical mechanics) make eyeglasses
according to specifications provided by dis­
pensing opticians, eye physicians (ophthal­
mologists), and optometrists. Some ophthal­
mic laboratory technicians help make hard
contact lenses. There are two types of oph­
thalmic laboratory technicians: Surfacer (or
lens grinder) and bench technician (or fin­
isher). In small laboratories, one person may
perform the tasks of both a surfacer and a
finisher. Starting with standard size lens
blanks, which large optical firms massproduce, surfacers set up and operate ma­
chines to grind and polish eyeglass lenses ac­
cording to prescription specifications. They
use precision instruments, such as lensometers and objective lens analyzers, to measure
the lenses and make sure that they fit the
prescription. In large laboratories, work is
divided into separate operations which are
performed mainly by workers who operate
power grinding and polishing machines.

Bench technicians mark and cut lenses and
smooth their edges to fit frames. They then
assemble the lenses and frame parts into fin­
ished glasses. Bench technicians use special
tools, such as lens cutters and glass drills, as
well as small files, pliers, and other handtools. They also use automatic edging ma­
chines to shape lens edges and precision in­
struments to detect imperfections. In large
laboratories, the duties of bench technicians
are divided into several operations which are
performed mainly by skilled workers.

Working Conditions
Ophthalmic laboratory technicians work
with machines that make a constant hum­
ming, whining sound. Sometimes they need
to wear goggles to protect their eyes. Because
most of their time on the job is spent stand­
ing, these workers are subject to fatigue.

Places of Employment
About 26,500 persons worked as ophthal­
mic laboratory technicians in 1978. Most
ophthalmic laboratory technicians work in
ophthalmic laboratories. Some work for re­
tail optical dispensaries or other stores that
sell prescription lenses. A few work for eye
physicians or optometrists who dispense
glasses directly to patients.
Ophthalmic laboratory technicians are
found in every State. However, employment

is concentrated in large cities and in populous

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The vast majority of all ophthalmic labora­
tory technicians learn their skills on the job.
At first, technician trainees do simple jobs
such as processing lenses through a grinding
machine. As they gain experience, they prog­
ress to other operations such as lens cutting
and eyeglass assembly. When the trainees
have acquired experience in many types of
work, which usually takes about 3 years, they
are considered all-round optical mechanics.
Some technicians specialize in one type of
job, such as surfacing or bench work. The
training time required to become a specialist
is less than that needed to become an all­
round technician.
High school graduates can prepare to be­
come a technician through 3- to 4-year for­
mal apprenticeship programs. Apprentices
with exceptional ability may complete their
training in a shorter period. Most training
authorities agree that technicians who learn
as apprentices have more job opportunities
and more opportunities for advancement
than those without such training.
Apprentices are generally trained to be ei­
ther ophthalmic surfacers or finishers. Oph­
thalmic surfacers receive training in lens
grinding and ophthalmic finishers learn to
assemble eyeglasses into frames and to do
frame repair.
Some technicians receive training while in
the Armed Forces. Others attend community
colleges or vocational or technical schools,
where they receive certificates, diplomas, or
associate degrees in programs varying in
length from 9 months to 3 years. Graduates
from these types of programs generally need
additional on-the-job training.
Employers prefer applicants for entry
jobs as ophthalmic laboratory technicians
to be high school graduates who have had
courses in the basic sciences. A knowledge
of physics, algebra, geometry, and mechan­
ical drawing is particularly valuable. Inter­
est in and ability to do precision work are
Some States require licenses for ophthal­
mic laboratory technicians. To obtain a li­
cense, the applicant generally must meet cer­
tain minimum standards of education and
training and must also pass either a written
or practical examination attesting to his or
her competency in the field. For specific re­
quirements, the licensing boards of individ­
ual States should be consulted.

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians use machines to grind and polish lenses.


Ophthalmic laboratory technicians can be­
come supervisors and managers. Some tech­
nicians become dispensing opticians, al­
though the trend is to train specifically for
optician jobs. Some technicians, especially
those receiving their training in both shop
and dispensing work, may go into business
for themselves.

Employment Outlook

For general information about the occupa­
tion, contact:

Employment of ophthalmic laboratory
technicians is expected to increase about as
fast as the average for all occupations
through the 1980’s. In addition to the job
openings from employment growth, some
openings will arise from the need to replace
experienced workers who retire, die, or leave
the occupation for other reasons.

International Union of Electrical, Radio and Ma­
chine Workers, 1126 16th St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.
Chairman of Optical Council, IUE-AFL-CIOCLC, 200 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y.
Opticians Association of America, 1250 Connecti­
cut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

More technicians will be needed due to the
rising demand for corrective lenses. This de­
mand is expected to increase as the general
population grows and as the elderly, the
group requiring the most eye care, continues
to grow as a proportion of the general popu­
lation. State programs to provide eye care for
low-income families, union health insurance
plans, and Medicare also will stimulate de­
mand. Moreover, the growing variety of
frame styles and colors may encourage in­
dividuals to buy more than one pair of
However, because of the small size of the
occupation, there will be relatively few job
openings. Persons who have completed a for­
mal training program should have the best
opportunities for these jobs, while those with­
out formal skills may face competition.

Hourly wage rates for ophthalmic techni­
cians ranged from $5.30 to $8.75 in 1978,
based on information from a small number of
union contracts.
Apprentices start at about 60 percent of
the skilled worker’s rate; their wages are
increased periodically so that upon comple­
tion of the apprenticeship program, they
receive the beginning rate for experienced
Most ophthalmic laboratory technicians
work a 5-day, 40-hour week.
Some ophthalmic laboratory technicians
are members of unions. The principal union
in this field is the International Union of
Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers

Related Occupations
Other occupations in which workers
with technical knowledge use machines
and tools to do precise, delicate work in­
clude calibrators, dental laboratory techni­
cians, dispensing opticians, glass blowers,
instrument repairers, locksmiths, orthodon­
tic technicians, prosthetics technicians, and
watch repairers.

Sources of Additional Information
A list of schools offering courses for people
who wish to become ophthalmic laboratory
technicians is available from:
National Academy of Opticianry, 514 Chestnut
St., Big Rapids, Mich. 49307.
National Federation of Opticianry Schools, Ferris
State College, Big Rapids, Mich. 49307.

(D.O.T. 550.485-010, 970.281-018, 976.267-010 through

Nature of the Work
Amateur snapshots, home movies, profes­
sional portraits, and photographs to illustrate
publications require the skills of thousands of
photographic laboratory employees. These
workers develop film, make prints and slides,
and perform related tasks, such as enlarging
and retouching photographs. (This chapter
does not discuss employees of laboratories
who specialize in processing professional mo­
tion picture film).
All-round darkroom technicians can per­
form all tasks necessary to develop and print
film. They vary the developing process ac­
cording the the type of film—black-andwhite negative, color negative, or color posi­
tive. For example, a developing process for
black-and-white negative film covers five
steps: Developer, stop bath, fixing bath,
washing, and drying. The first three steps use
chemical solution and are performed in dark­
ness. In a hand operation, the technician first
immerses unwound film in the developer, a
solution that brings out the image on exposed
film. When the film has remained in the de­
veloper for a specified period, the technician
transfers it to a stop bath to prevent over­
development. Next, the film is placed in a
fixing bath that makes it insensitive to light
to prevent further exposure. Finally, the
technician washes the film with water to re­
move the fixing solution and places the film
in a drying cabinet. Although processing is
done by hand in some small photographic
studios, in many photographic labs techni­
cians operate machines that automatically
perform the steps described above.
Processing of color film is more complex
than for black-and-white. Thus, some labs
employ color-laboratory technicians (D.O.T.
976.681-010)—highly skilled workers who
specialize in processing color film.
The darkroom technician makes a photo­
graph by transferring the image from a nega­
tive to photographic paper. Printing fre­
quently is performed on a projection printer,
which consists of a fixture for holding nega­
tives and photographic paper, an electric

lamp, and a magnifying lens. The technician
places the negative between the lamp and
lens, and the paper below the lens. When the
technician turns on the lamp, light passes
through the negative and lens and records a
magnified image of the negative on the paper.
During printing, the technician may vary the
contrast of the image or remove unwanted
background by using paper patterns to shade
part of the photographic paper from the pro­
jected image. After removing the exposed
photographic paper from the printer, the
technician develops it in much the same way
as the negative. If the customer desires, the
technician mounts the finished print in a
frame or on a paper or cardboard back.
In addition to working in the laboratory,
darkroom technicians may set up lights and
cameras or otherwise assist experienced pho­
tographers. Many technicians, particularly
those in portrait studios who aspire to be­
come professional photographers, divide
their time between taking and processing pic­
tures. In some labs, helpers assist technicians.
Technicians also may be assisted by workers
who specialize in a particular activity, such
as developers (D.O.T. 976-681-010), print
washers (D.O.T. 976.684-022), projection
printers (D.O.T. 976.381-018), and photo­
graph retouchers (D.O.T. 970.281-018).
In most large photo labs where the filmdeveloping processes are largely automated,
darkroom technicians supervise workers who
do assignments requring only a limited
knowledge of developing and printing. In­
cluded are photofinishing laboratory workers
(D.O.T. 976.687-018), who sort film accord­
ing to the type of processing needed and
number each roll for identification; colorprinter operators (D.O.T. 976.382-014), who
control the equipment used to produce color
prints from negatives; print controllers
(D.O.T. 976.685-010), who operate machines
that expose rolls of photographic paper to
negatives; automatic print developers (D.O.T.
976.685-026), who operate machines that de­
velop rolls of exposed photographic paper;
cutters (D.O.T. 976.685-010), who tend ma­
chines that cut processed film or prints into
single or multiple units; chemical mixers
(D.O.T. 550.485-010), who measure and
combine the various chemicals that make up
developing solutions; automatic mounters
(D.O.T. 976.685-022), who tend the auto­
matic mounting presses that cut film into in­
dividual transparencies and seal them in
mounting frames; and photo checkers and as­
semblers (D.O.T. 976.687-014), who inspect
and package finished slides and prints for

Working Conditions
Photo lab jobs are not physically strenuous
and are performed in clean, well-lighted, and
air-conditioned photofinishing laboratories.
However, many workers, especially in large
laboratories, do repetitious work at a rapid
pace. Some workers who perform detailed
tasks like photo checkers and assemblers are
subject to eye fatigue.


training time is required to become a special­
ist than to become an all-round darkroom
When hiring darkroom technician helpers,
employers prefer applicants who are high
school graduates. Courses in chemistry and
mathematics are helpful to people interested
in this field. Some high schools and trade
schools offer courses in photography that in­
clude training in film processing. The Armed
Forces also offer training in photographic
processing. Experience gained through proc­
essing film as a hobby is helpful.
Two-year curricula leading to an associate
degree in photographic technology are of­
fered by several colleges. Formal training
also is available from vocational schools and
technical institutes. Completion of post­
secondary courses in this field is helpful to
people who are interested in supervisory and
managerial jobs in photo labs.
Some darkroom technicians eventually be­
come professional photographers. (See state­
ment on photographers elsewhere in the
Handbook). Others advance to supervisory
positions in laboratories.
On-the-job training for workers in special­
ized photo lab occupations ranges from a few
weeks for film numberers and automatic
mounters, for example, to several months for
photo checkers and assemblers and chemical
mixers. For many jobs, manual dexterity,
good vision including normal color percep­
tion, and good hand-eye coordination are im­
portant qualifications.

Employment Outlook
Employment in photo lab occupatons is
expected to increase about as fast as the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s as
the demand for film processing rises. In additon to jobs arising from the increase in de­
mand for these workers, many openings will
result as workers retire, die, or transfer to
other occupations.
Lab workers reproduce a magazine picture for use as a photo slide.

Most photo lab employees work a 40-hour
week. In labs that specialize in processing
film for amateur photographers, employ­
ees may work a considerable amount of
overtime, at premium pay, during peak
seasons such as summer and after Christ­

in processing the work of professional pho­
Photo lab workers are employed in all
parts of the country but are concentrated
in the more populous areas such as New
York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other
large cities.

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 57,000 persons worked in
photo lab occupations.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Most workers are employed by large
photofinishing labs that process film for ama­
teur photographers. A large proportion of
darkroom technicians work in photo labs
operated by portrait and commercial studios
and by manufacturers, newspaper and maga­
zine publishers, advertising agencies, and
other organizations. Darkroom technicians
also work in commercial labs that specialize

Most photographic laboratory workers
learn their skills through informal on-the-job
training. Beginners start as helpers and grad­
ually learn to develop and print film by assist­
ing experienced technicians. It generally
takes about 3 years to become a fully quali­
fied darkroom technician. Some helpers be­
come specialists in a particular activity, such
as printing or developing. Generally, less


The demand for film processing is ex­
pected to rise as a result of the expanding
interest in amateur photography—spurred
by rising population and personal income as
well as improvements in still and movie cam­
eras that make them easier to load and oper­
ate. Business and government also are ex­
pected to contribute to the demand for film
processing through expanded use of photog­
raphy in research and development activities
and increased use of photographs to illustrate
printed materials. Employment of photo­
graphic laboratory workers is not expected to
grow as fast as the demand for film process­
ing, however, because of the growing popu­
larity of self-processing instant cameras and
the increasing automation of photo lab oper­

Earnings of photo lab workers vary
greatly depending on skill level, experience,
and geographic location. Inexperienced
photo lab workers generally earned between

$2.90 and $4 an hour in 1978, according to
the limited information available. Workers
in specialized occupations earned from
$2.90 to $6 an hour. Among these workers,
printer operators and chemical mixers gen­
erally had the highest earnings. In general,
darkroom technicians and those in supervi­
sory positions earned more than the special­
ized workers. Most of the experienced dark­
room technicians earned between $5 and $8
an hour in 1978.

Related Occupations
Some of the more skilled photographic lab­
oratory workers such as all-round darkroom
technicians and color-laboratory technicians,
require specialized knowledge of the
photodeveloping process. Other laboratory
workers who apply specialized technical
knowledge to perform their jobs include
chemical laboratory technicians, criminal­
ists, food testers, medical laboratory assist­
ants, metallurgical technicians, and quality
control technicians.

Sources of Additional Information
For information about employment oppor­
tunities in photographic laboratories and
schools that offer degrees in photographic
technology, write to:
Photo Marketing Association, 603 Lansing Ave.,
Jackson, Mich. 49202.
Professional Photographers of America, Inc., 1090
Executive Way, Des Plaines, 111. 60018.

that are stacked on the floor or a platform,
drivers must judge distance accurately and
operate the truck smoothly so that no dam­
age occurs to the stock. Operators also must
know the lifting capacity of the truck and the
kinds of jobs it can do.

made automobiles, machinery, fabricated
metal products, paper, building materials,
and iron and steel. Many power trucks opera­
tors also were employed in warehouses, de­
pots, freight and marine terminals, and

Operators may have to keep records of
materials moved and do some manual load­
ing and unloading. They also may be respon­
sible for keeping their trucks in good working
condition by cleaning and oiling them, check­
ing the water in batteries, making simple ad­
justments, and reporting any mechanical

Power truck operators are employed in all
parts of the country, but most work in large
industrial and transportation centers.

Working Conditions
Power truck operators are subject to haz­
ards such as collisions and falling objects.
Safety laws to minimize these hazards have
led to safer, quieter, and better handling
trucks. For example, all rider-type power
trucks now have overhead guards and most
trucks used outdoors have all-weather cabs.
Also, more firms are using battery-powered
trucks which are relatively noiseless and pol­
lution free.

Places of Employment
About 360,000 persons worked as power
truck operators in 1978. About three-fourths
of them worked in manufacturing industries.
Large numbers were employed in plants that

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Power truck operators train on the job.
Most workers can learn to operate a power
truck in a few days. It takes several weeks,
however, to learn the layout of the plant, the
operation of a truck in the plant, and the
handling of materials in the most efficient
Many companies have training programs
that include classroom instruction and prac­
tice with the power truck. In classes, trainees
learn how the vehicle and its lift operate,
proper methods of transporting materials,
simple maintenance procedures, and safe
driving rules. These 1- to 5-day programs
stress practice with power trucks which
trainees may be required to operate on an
obstacle course. Because trucks are becoming
more versatile and expensive, firms are ex­
pected to emphasize training programs
which will increase the skills of operators and

Power Truck
(D O T. 921.683-050)

Nature of the Work
In the past, when a company needed pro­
ducts or raw materials moved from one place
to another, workers were required to move
the items manually. This method, in most
cases, was physically demanding and ineffi­
cient. Today, the task has been greatly facili­
tated by the increasing use of power trucks.
A typical power truck has a hydraulic lift­
ing mechanism and forks to carry a load on
a wooden skid or pallet, or other attachments
for greater versatility. For example, a truck
may have a clamp lift to move cartons, bales,
or paper rolls, a scoop to lift coal, or a tow
bar to pull warehouse trailers.
Because the trucks are steered by the rear
wheels and start and stop very quickly, oper­
ators must use care and skill in driving. Al­
though power trucks are relatively easy to
operate, operators usually must follow spe­
cial procedures at a plant, warehouse, or con­
struction site. For example, forks must be
kept down if the truck is driven without a
load. If the load is too high or wide to see
around, the operator must drive the truck in
reverse. When loading or removing materials

Operators must judge distance accurately to avoid damage to merchandise.

avoid damage to trucks and materials from
Employers seek applicants who have aver­
age manual dexterity, strength, and stamina
because operators must get on and off the
truck frequently and occasionally load and
unload material. Good eyesight, including
good depth perception, is required to pick up,
move, and deposit loads with the power
truck. Large companies generally require ap­
plicants to pass a physical examination. Some
mechanical ability is helpful because opera­
tors often perform minor maintenance on
power trucks.
Opportunities for advancement are lim­
ited. A few operators may become supervi­

Employment Outlook
Employment of power truck operators is
expected to increase about as fast as the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s. In
addition to jobs resulting from employment
growth, many operators will be needed to
replace those who retire, die, or transfer to
other occupations.
As the population grows and living stan­
dards rise, and as power trucks increasingly
replace hand labor in moving materials, more
power truck operators will be needed. The
number of jobs available annually will vary,
because the occupation is sensitive to changes
in the demand for manufactured-goods.

several times before they are packed into
The workers who apply the varnish, lac­
quer, paint, and other finishes used in facto­
ries are called production painters. Because
they generally work on assembly lines, pro­
duction painters’ skills are different from
those of painters who repair damaged cars in
body shops or from those who paint build­
ings. (Information on these painters can be
found in separate statements elsewhere in the
Handbook.) Most production painters use
spray guns to apply finishes; the rest operate
automatic painting machinery, such as spray­
ing machines, dipping tanks, and tumbling
Painters mix the paint at the beginning of
the process. They first figure areas to be cov­
ered, and then follow directions to blend
paint to its correct color and thickness. These
steps require simple arithmetic involving
decimals and fractions. Viscosity meters are
used to make sure the paint is the right con­
sistency for proper application. Pressure of
the spray gun nozzles and spray pattern con­
trols also must be adjusted properly to ensure
that the paint is evenly applied.
Besides spraying, painters are responsible
for other duties on the production line. If an
object is to be multicolored, masking tape
must be applied to keep colors from over­
lapping. Production painters who operate

machinery set up the painting equipment at
the beginning of the shift and are responsi­
ble for keeping it running. Other machines
used in the painting process may also be
operated by the painters. For example,
washing tanks are used to clean items before
painting and baking ovens to dry the paint.
At the end of the shift, painters clean spray
guns, viscosity meters, mixing paddles, and
other equipment.
An increasing number of production lines
use automatic painting machinery. Here,
production painters check for imperfections
and spray-paint parts of an article that the
machine misses or cannot reach, such as in­
side surfaces. As production lines become
more automated, painters must learn to han­
dle all types of modem painting machinery,
such as electrostatic applicators and powdertype painting systems.

Working Conditions
Work schedules of production painters
may vary at plants with more than one shift.
Usually in order of seniority, workers can
accept or reject a certain job on a given shift.
Production painters usually have to stand
for long periods of time to do their jobs. To
paint the underside or top of an object, such
as a car, may require reaching or crouching
in uncomfortable positions. Production
painters on assembly lines may be under

In 1978, power truck operators earned an
average of about $6.50 an hour, slightly
above the average for nonsupervisory work­
ers in private industry, except farming. Earn­
ings of operators varied slightly by region
and industry.

Related Occupations
Other occupations using power-operated
equipment to lift and move materials include
conveyor console operators, crane operators,
derrick operators, hoist engineers, jammer
operators, and operating engineers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on work opportunities for
power truck operators may be available from
the local office of the State employment ser­

Production Painters
Nature of the Work
Almost every metal or wood product
manufactured gets a coating of paint or other
finish before it leaves the factory. Automo­
biles, for example, usually receive rust pre­
ventative, primer, and paint totaling at least
10 coats. Even pencils are dipped in paint


Production painters wear masks to protect them from exposure to fumes.

pressure to keep up with the speed of the
lines. Since painters may spray hundreds of
identical items a day, the work may become

processes and other laborsaving innovations
should raise output per worker. Neverthe­
less, there will still be a need for extensive
touchup work which can not be automated.

Because production painters are exposed
to fumes from paint and paintmixing ingredi­
ents, they may wear masks which cover the
nose and mouth. Many wear coveralls to pro­
tect their clothes.

Most production painters work in plants
that produce durable goods, such as automo­
biles, where employment is particularly sen­
sitive to changes in general economic and
business conditions. Therefore, employment
of these painters can be expected to fluctuate
from year to year.

Places of Employment
About 133,000 production painters were
employed in 1978. More than two-thirds
worked in plants that made automobiles, ma­
chinery, furniture and other wood products,
or manufactured metal products such as
cans, tinware, and handtools. Although pro­
duction painters are scattered geograph­
ically, large numbers are employed in indus­
trialized States. About one-fourth of all
furniture painters were employed in North
Carolina and Pennsylvania, while approxi­
mately one-third of all automobile painters
worked in Michigan—over one-half of these
in Detroit. Over one-fourth of the painters
employed by companies making machinery
and metal products worked in Ohio and Illi­

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Hourly wage rates for production painters
ranged from $3.42 to $10.50 in 1978, based
on information from a limited number of
union contracts.
Unions to which production painters be­
long include the International Union, United
Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America; Interna­
tional Association of Machinists and Aero­
space Workers; and the United Steelworkers
of America.

Related Occupations
Production painters apply paints using
spray equipment. Other workers who use
spray equipment are: Auto painters, con­
struction painters, ceramics and pottery
makers, and fumigators.

Production painters acquire their skills on
the job, usually by watching and helping ex­
perienced painters. Training varies from a
few days to several months. Some modern
painting processes, such as those used to
apply powdered coatings, demand more skill
than others and thus a correspondingly
longer training period. As painters gain expe­
rience, they can advance to higher skill cate­
gories, assume more responsibility, and re­
ceive higher wages.

Research Department, United Automobile Work­
ers, 800 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48214.

Production painters need good eyesight
and a discriminating sense of color in order
to distinguish subtle color differences and to
check that paint has been applied evenly.

Stationary Engineers

Sources of Additional Information
More facts about job opportunities in this
field may be available from local offices of the
State employment service. General informa­
tion on production painters may be obtained

High school graduation is generally not
required for entry level positions, but a di­
ploma or its equivalent may be needed to
advance to higher skill levels.

(D.O.T. 950.362, .382, .485-010, .562-010, .585-010,
and .685-010)

Employment Outlook
Employment of production painters is ex­
pected to increase about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. Many
job openings also will result as experienced
workers retire, die, or transfer to other occu­

Stationary engineers operate and maintain
the machinery that provides mechanical and
electrical power for industry, and heat, airconditioning, refrigeration, and ventilation
for factories and other buildings. The equip­
ment they tend and control includes steam
boilers, diesel engines, turbines, generators,
pumps, condensers, and air compressors.

Most manufacturing industries are ex­
pected to increase their output in the years
ahead. Demand for consumer products, such
as automobiles and furniture, will increase as
population and personal income grow. Busi­
ness growth will create a need for more in­
dustrial machinery and equipment. Employ­
ment of painters is not expected to keep pace
with this greater manufacturing output be­
cause increased use of automatic painting

Stationary engineers start up and shut
down equipment, monitor meters and gauges
that are attached to equipment to make sure
it is running properly, and make adjustments
whenever necessary. On a steam boiler, for
example, they observe, control, and keep rec­
ords of steam pressure and temperature,
water level, power output, and the amount of
fuel consumed. Stationary engineers control
the flow of fuel to the boiler and the steam

Nature of the Work

pressure by adjusting throttles or valves or
overriding automatic controls.
Stationary engineers also protect equip­
ment from soot and corrosion. Boiler water,
for example, frequently is tested for purity
and treated with chemicals.
These workers detect and identify any
trouble that develops. They watch and listen
to machinery and routinely check the safety
controls. Often stationary engineers use hand
or power tools to make minor repairs, such
as replacing defective valves, gaskets, or bear­
In a large plant, the stationary engineer
may be in charge of the boiler room and di­
rect the work of assistant stationary engi­
neers, turbine operators, boiler tenders, and
air-conditioning and refrigeration mechan­
ics. In a small plant, the stationary engineer
may be the only person operating and main­
taining equipment.

Working Conditions
Stationary engineers generally have steady
year-round employment. They usually work
a 5-day, 40-hour week. In plants that operate
around the clock, they may be assigned to
any one of three shifts—often on a rotating
basis—and to Sunday and holiday work.
Engine rooms, powerplants, or boiler
rooms usually are clean and well lighted.
Even under the most favorable conditions,
however, some stationary engineers are ex­
posed to high temperatures, dust, and dirt
from the equipment. General maintenance
duties may cause contact with oil and grease,
and fumes or smoke. Workers also may have
to crawl inside boilers and work in crouching
or kneeling positions to inspect, clean, or re­
pair equipment.
Because stationary engineers often work
around boilers and electrical and mechanical
equipment, they must be alert to avoid bums,
electric shock, and injury from moving ma­

Places of Employment
In 1978, 179,000 stationary engineers were
employed in a wide variety of places, includ­
ing power stations, factories, sewage and wa­
ter-treatment plants, office and apartment
buildings, hotels, and hospitals. Usually,
plants that operate on three shifts employ
four to eight stationary engineers, but some
have more. In many plants, only one engineer
works on each shift.
Because stationary engineers work in so
many different kinds of industries, they are
employed in all parts of the country. Al­
though some are employed in small towns
and in rural areas, most work in the more
heavily populated areas where large indus­
trial and commercial businesses are located.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Many stationary engineers start as helpers
or oilers and acquire their skills through in-


tion and an approved apprenticeship or onthe-job training. The lower class licenses
limit the capacity of the equipment the engi­
neer may operate without the supervision of
a higher rated engineer.
Because of regional differences in licensing
requirements, a stationary engineer who
moves from one State or city to another may
have to pass an examination for a new li­
cense. However, the National Institute for
Uniform Licensing of Power Engineers is
now assisting many States in adopting a
standardized licensing program that would
eliminate this problem by establishing reci­
procity of licenses.
Stationary engineers advance to more re­
sponsible jobs by being placed in charge of
larger, more powerful, or more varied equip­
ment. Generally, engineers advance to these
jobs as they obtain higher class licenses. Ad­
vancement, however, is not automatic. For
example, an engineer who has a first-class
license may work for some time as an assist­
ant to another first-class engineer befor a va­
cancy occurs. Some stationary engineers
eventually advance to jobs as plant engineers
and as building and plant superintendents. A
few obtain jobs as examining engineers and
technical instructors.

Employment Outlook

Stationary engineers monitor meters and guages to make sure machinery is running properly.

formal on-the-job experience. A good back­
ground also can be obtained in the Navy or
Merchant Marine. However, most training
authorities recommend formal apprentice­
ship programs because of the increasing com­
plexity of the machines and systems.
In selecting apprentices, most joint labormanagement apprenticeship committees pre­
fer high school or trade school graduates who
have received instruction in mathematics,
mechanical drawing, machine-shop practice,
physics, and chemistry. Mechanical aptitude,
manual dexterity, and good physical condi­
tion also are important qualifications.
The apprenticeship usually lasts 4 years. In
addition to on-the-job training, apprentices
receive classroom instruction in practical
chemistry, elementary physics, blueprint
reading, applied electricity, and other techni­
cal subjects.
Becoming a stationary engineer without
going through a formal apprenticeship pro­

gram usually takes many years of experience
as an assistant to licensed stationary engi­
neers or as a boiler tender. This practical
experience can be supplemented by technical
or other school training or home study.
Many States, the District of Columbia, and
many cities have licensing requirements for
stationary engineers. Although requirements
for a license differ from place to place, appli­
cants usually must be at least 18 years of age,
reside for a specified period in the State or
locality in which the examination is given,
meet the experience requirements for the
class of license requested, and pass a written
Generally, there are several classes of sta­
tionary engineer licenses. Each class specifies
the steam pressure or horsepower of the
equipment the engineer can operate. The
chief engineer license permits the stationary
engineer to operate equipment of all types
and capacities. An applicant for this license
may be required to have a high school educa­

Despite an expanding economy which will
require more mechanical and electrical
power, employment of stationary engineers is
expected to show little change through the
1980’s. The need for stationary engineers will
be limited by the trend toward more powerful
and more centralized equipment. For exam­
ple, a large boiler operated by one stationary
engineer can supply heat and refrigeration
for several buildings, instead of each building
having its own small boiler and its own engi­
neer. Nevertheless, many job openings will
arise annually because of the need to replace
experienced workers who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations.

Stationary engineers had average hourly
earnings of $7.93 in 1978, according to a sur­
vey of metropolitan areas. This was almost
50 percent higher than the average for all
nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. Averages for engineers in in­
dividual cities ranged from $5.25 in the
Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., metropolitan
area to $9.50 in the Sacramento, Cal., metro­
politan area.
The principal unions to which these work­
ers belong are the International Union of Op­
erating Engineers and the International
Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers.

Related Occupations
Other workers involved with monitoring
and operating stationary machinery include
nuclear reactor operators, power station
operators, wastewater treatment plant op­

erators, waterworks pump-station opera­
tors, chemical operators, and refinery oper­

Sources of Additional Information
Information about training or work op­
portunities is available from local offices of
State employment services, locals of the
International Union of Operating Engi­
neers, and from State and local licensing
Specific questions about the occupation
may be referred to:
International Union of Operating Engineers, 1125
17th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
National Association of Power Engineers, Inc.,
176 West Adams St., Chicago, 111. 60603.

For questions concerning licensing re­
quirements, contact:
National Institute for Uniform Licensing of Power
Engineers, 176 West Adams St., Chicago, 111.

Treatment Plant

an abnormal amount of wastewater to flow
into sewage pipes which might exceed a
plant’s treatment capacity.
The duties of operators vary depending on
the type and size of plant. For example, the
treatment process in an industrial plant, such
as a food-processing company, may be simple
since the wastewater is of a known content.
Treatment plants that serve entire cities, on
the other hand, must be equipped to treat a
mixture of waste products that varies daily,
thus making the operator’s job more compli­
cated. In smaller plants, one operator may be
responsible for the entire system—making re­
pairs, keeping plant records, handling com­
plaints, and doing the maintenance work for
the facility. In larger plants, the staff may
include chemists, engineers, laboratory tech­
nicians, mechanics, helpers, supervisors, and
a superintendent.
As a result of the passage of the Federal
Water Pollution Control Act of 1972,
water pollution standards will become in­
creasingly stringent. In order to meet these
higher requirements, operators will have to
be able to operate more sophisticated sys­

Working Conditions
Wastewater treatment plant operators
work both indoors and outdoors and may be
exposed to noise from machinery and un­

pleasant odors, although chlorine and other
chemicals are used to minimize these. Per­
sons with allergies might suffer due to dust
and other substances in the air. Because
plants operate around the clock, operators
are required to work shifts. During emergen­
cies, overtime is common. Operators have to
stoop, reach, and climb and often get their
clothes dirty.

Places of Employment
About 112,000 people worked full time as
wastewater treatment plant operators in
1978, of whom about 62,000 worked in mu­
nicipal plants, 48,000 in private industry, and
2,000 in Federal installations.
Wastewater treatment plant operators are
employed throughout the country. Geo­
graphically, employment is distributed much
like the Nation’s population, with most jobs
in larger towns and cities. Many operators in
small towns are employed part time or han­
dle additional duties.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Trainees usually start as helpers and
learn their skills on the job under the di­
rection of an experienced operator. They
learn by doing routine tasks such as re­
cording meter readings; taking samples of
wastewater and sludge; and doing simple

(D.O.T. 955.362-010)

Nature of the Work
Clean water is essential for many things:
our health and recreation; the existence of
fish and wildlife; and the functioning of many
industries. Wastewater treatment plant oper­
ators help keep America’s water clean by
removing harmful domestic and industrial
Waste materials are carried by water
through sewer pipes to treatment plants.
Operators control equipment to remove
these materials or render them harmless.
By operating and maintaining the pumps,
pipes, valves, and processing equipment of
the treatment facility, operators move the
wastewater that comes from the collection
system through the various treatment pro­
Operators read and interpret meters and
gages to make sure plant equipment is
working properly. Other jobs include oper­
ating chemical-feeding devices; taking sam­
ples of the water and performing chemical
and biological laboratory analyses; and
testing and adjusting the level of chlorine
in the water. Operators also make minor
repairs on valves, pumps, and other equip­
ment. They use gages, wrenches, pliers,
and other common handtools, as well as
special tools. Occasionally operators must
work under emergency conditions. A
heavy rainstorm, for example, may cause

Making minor repairs is part of the wastewater treatment plant operator’s job.

maintenance and repair work on pumps,
electric motors, and valves. They also are
expected to perform housekeeping tasks
such as cleaning and maintaining plant
equipment and property.
Persons interested in entering the field
should have some mechanical aptitude and
should be competent in basic mathematics.
Employers generally prefer trainees who
have a high school diploma or its equivalent,
and, in some States, this is a minimum educa­
tional requirement. Some positions, particu­
larly in larger cities and towns, are covered
by civil service regulations, and applicants
may be required to pass written examinations
testing elementary mathematics skills, me­
chanical aptitude, and general intelligence.
Operators must be agile, since they have to
climb ladders and move easily around heavy
Some 2-year programs leading to an asso­
ciate degree in wastewater technology and
1-year programs leading to a certificate are
available; these provide a good general
knowlege of water pollution control as well
as basic preparation for becoming an opera­
tor. Because plants are becoming more com­
plex, completion of such courses increases an
applicant’s chances for employment and pro­
Most State water pollution control agen­
cies offer training courses to improve the
skills of treatment plant operators. These
courses cover principles of sludge diges­
tion, odors and their control, chlorination,
sedimentation, biological oxidation, and
flow measurements. Some operators take
correspondence courses on subjects related
to wastewater treatment, and some em­
ployers will pay part of the tuition for
courses leading to a college degree in sci­
ence or engineering.
Operators may be promoted to positions
such as supervisor and superintendent. A
high school diploma and increasingly respon­
sible experience as an operator may be suffi­
cient to qualify for superintendent of a small
plant, since at many small plants the superin­
tendent also serves as an operator. Educa­
tional requirements, however, are rising as
larger, more complex treatment plants are
being built to meet new water pollution con­
trol standards. Superintendents of large
plants are expected to have an engineering or
science degree. Training in management
techniques is becoming increasingly impor­
tant for operators seeking supervisory posi­
tions. A limited number of operators may
become technicians employed by State water
pollution control agencies to monitor and
provide technical assistance to plants
throughout the State. Some technical-voca­
tional school or junior college training gener­
ally is preferred for technician jobs.
In 42 States, supervisors and certain opera­
tors must pass an examination to certify that
they are capable of overseeing treatment
plant operations. Voluntary certification pro­
grams are in effect in the remaining States,'
with the exception of Alaska.

Under a typical program, there are differ­
ent classes of certification for different sizes
of treatment plants. For example, to be certi­
fied a “class I operator” capable of operating
a small plant with simple equipment, an ap­
plicant should be a high school graduate,
demonstrate general knowledge of treatment
operations by passing a written test, and
complete 1 year of satisfactory employment
at a treatment plant. Requirements for cer­
tification as a class IV operator who super­
vises a large plant employing complex tech­
nology may require a bachlelor’s degree in
science or engineering; 4 years of treatment
plant experience, 2 years of which were in a
position of major responsibility; and specific
knowledge of the entire field of wastewater
treatment as demonstrated through a written
test. Typically, a large plant would employ
mostly operators certified for operating small
or medium-sized plants, but always under the
supervision of a class IV operator.

operators, gas-compressor operators, powerplant operators, power reactor operators, sta­
tionary engineers, turbine operators, and
waterworks pump-station operators.

Sources of Additional Information
People interested in a career in wastewater
treatment should contact their local or State
water pollution control agencies. Additional
information is available from:
Water Pollution Control Federation, 2626 Penn­
sylvania Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20037.
Manpower Planning and Training Branch (WH596), Office of Water Program Operations, Envi­
ronmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

(D.O.T. 81)

Employment Outlook
Employment of wastewater treatment
plant operators is expected to increase much
faster than the average for all occupations
through the 1980’s, mainly as a result of the
construction of new treatment plants to pro­
cess the increasing amount of domestic and
industrial wastewater. Also, more highly
trained operators will be needed as existing
plants expand and modernize their facilities
to cope more effectively with water pollution.
In addition to new jobs from expansion of
wastewater treatment, many job openings
will occur as experienced operators retire,
die, or transfer to other occupations. Those
operators with formal training will have the
best job opportunities.
People who enter this field should have
steady employment in the years ahead. Even
during economic downturns, treatment
plants seldom lay off employees.

According to a survey conducted by the
Water Pollution Control Federation, aver­
age annual salaries of wastewater treatment
plant operators ranged from $9,300 to
$14,100 in 1978. Some experienced opera­
tors earned as much as $22,000 a year.
Salaries depend, among other things, on
the size of the plant and the complexity of
the operator’s job. Salaries for trainees
were roughly 90 percent of operators’ sala­
ries. Average yearly salaries of supervisors
of wastewater treatment plants ranged
from $10,200 to $21,300, while those of
superintendents ranged from $12,200 to
$24,600. Average earnings of experienced
wastewater treatment plant operators are
above the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farm­

Related Occupations
Other workers whose main activity con­
sists of operating a system of machinery to
process or produce materials include boiler

Nature of the Work
Welding is the most common way of per­
manently joining metal parts. Typically heat
is applied to the metal pieces to be joined, the
parts melt, fuse, and then form a permanent
bond. Because of its strength, welding is used
to construct and repair parts of ships, au­
tomobiles, spacecraft, and thousands of other
products. It also joins beams and steel rein­
forcing rods in buildings, bridges, and high­
There are three common ways to create the
heat that is applied to the parts being joined.
In electric arc welding, the most frequently
used process, heat is created in the arc as
electric current flows through the arc be­
tween the tip of the welding electrode and the
metal. In resistance welding, heat is created
in the weld metal by resistance to the flow of
current through the metal. In gas welding,
the flame from the combustion of burning
gases melts the metal. In arc and gas welding,"
filler materials, called welding electrodes or
welding rods, are melted and added to the
weld puddle to give the joint greater strength.
It is the welder’s job to control the amount of
heat and the size of the melted area and to
add the proper amount of filler material so
that they form a strong joint.
Since welding processes differ and are used
for many purposes, the equipment and skill
levels of welders vary. Some jobs require
highly skilled manual welders who know
how to safely use gas and electric arc welding
equipment in all positions and are able to
plan their work from drawings or specifica­
tions. Other jobs can be handled by unskilled
welding machine operators who simply press
a button to start the welding machine. Skilled
welders know the characteristics and proper­
ties, such as melting points, of steel, alumi­
num, and other commonly used metals. Ex­
amples of skilled welders are maintenance
welders, pipe welders, and welders who con­
struct ships and bridges.
In ship construction, welders join the steel

plates, beams, and pipes. Some joints to be
welded are on the floor, some are on the
walls, and some are overhead. Each must be
carefully welded to insure that the ship will
not break apart in rough seas.
Ship welders generally use manual arc
welding equipment, although semiautomatic
equipment is used in some places. After weld­
ers read instructions to learn which materials
and welding method to use, they obtain sup­
plies from the storage area. To form a joint
by arc welding, they use an electrode in a
holder attached to an electrical cable coming
from a welding power supply. Another such
cable is attached to the metal being welded.
Thus, electricity will flow through the the
welding electrode, through the arc to the
metal being welded, and back to the power
supply. The power supply can be adjusted to
provide the correct amount of current. When
the power is turned on, welders “strike an
arc” by briefly touching the electrode to the
metal to start the electricity flowing and then
pulling the rod back to form a small arc gap
over which the current must flow. If the dis­
tance between the electrode and the metal is
correct, a stable electric arc will bridge the
space; the heat from the arc melts the elec­
trode and the metal. Welders move the arc
along the length of the joint. As the electrode
melts and becomes shorter, they move the
holder closer to the metal to keep the right
distance from the arc. They replace very
short electrodes.
Maintenance welders repair tools, ma­
chines, and equipment. Often they bring por­
table gas torches, hoses, and tanks to the job
because electricity may not be available.
When working on a broken pipe, for exam­
ple, they examine the pipe and prepare the
break for repair. Maintenance welders then
select a welding filler rod appropriate for the
job. Next, they light the torch and adjust
regulators on the cylinders of fuel gas, such
as acetylene, and oxygen to obtain the right
gas mixtures and flame. Then they heat the
edges of the break with the torch. As the
metal begins to soften, welders melt the end
of the filler rod in the hot liquid metal as they
carefully move the torch and rod along the
break. Welders must keep the torch the cor­
rect distance from the metal, apply heat cor­
rectly, and repair the break with filler mate­

quires less manipulative skill because all
parts are identical and each is welded in the
same position.
Large factories, having many identical
parts to be welded may reduce production
costs by using automatic arc, electron beam,
or resistance welding machines. Workers
who operate such machines to weld automo­
bile mufflers and washing machines, for ex­
ample, need little knowledge of welding.
These workers, frequently called welding ma­
chine operators to distinguish them from
more skilled, manual welders, place the parts
to be joined in fixtures on the machine and
push a button. The machine then clamps the
part in place and positions it, as necessary, to
complete the welding cycle. After the cycle is
finished, operators remove the welded parts
and load the machine again.
The work of arc and flame cutters is
closely related to that of welders. Using heat
from burning gases or an electric arc, cutters
cut and trim rather then join metal. Some
electrically and mechanically operated ma­
chines follow guidelines automatically.

Working Conditions
Welders are exposed to more potential
hazards than most other workers. They use
protective clothing, safety shoes, goggles,
helmets with protective lenses, and other de­
vices to prevent bums and eye injuries. Al­
though lighting and ventilation usually are
adequate, some metals give off toxic gases
and fumes as they melt. Workers often are in
contact with rust, grease, and dirt on metal
surfaces. Machine operators, however, are
largely free from hazards associated with
manual welding. A face shield or goggles
generally are adequate protection. Skilled
welders, working in welding booths, often
have long periods of isolation from other

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 679,000 welders and flame
cutters were employed, including a relatively
small number of cutters who used both flame
and arc-cutting equipment. Almost twothirds of all welders help manufacture dura­
ble goods; for example, boilers, bulldozers,
trucks, ships, and heavy machinery. Most of
the rest repair metal products or help con­
struct bridges, large buildings, and pipelines.
Welders are concentrated in the manufac­
turing centers of the Great Lakes States.
About one-third work in Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. The rest are
distributed much the same as the population,
with large numbers in New York, Texas,
Wisconsin, and California.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Though several years of on-the-job train­
ing are required to become a skilled welder,
less skilled work can be learned on the job in
a few months. Some welding operators, for
example, can operate a machine in a few
hours and handle all parts of their job in a
Beginners often start in simple production
jobs where the type and thickness of the
metal and the position of the welding opera­
tion rarely change. As the need arises, super­
visors or experienced workers teach new em­
ployees how to weld vertical and overhead
joints and different metals. Many large com­
panies train their own welders. A few compa­
nies have apprenticeship programs including
classroom and on-the-job training that last
several years.
Persons planning careers as welders or cut­
ters need manual dexterity, good eyesight,
and good eye-hand coordination. They

Not all welders have the skills required of
shipbuilding or maintenance welders. For ex­
ample, less skilled workers use semiauto­
matic arc weld equipment to weld automo­
bile frames. Semiautomatic equipment
automatically supplies the proper amount of
arc heat and filler material to the joint. For
example, assembly lines bring car frames to
welders who then position their welding guns
near the parts to be welded and operate a
switch on the handle which automatically
starts the arc. They guide the arc to complete
the required joints before the assembly line
takes the frame to another worker. Like other
welders, they are responsible for the quality
of the joint. However, the job usually re­


should have the ability to concentrate on de­
tailed work for long periods, and be physical
able to bend, stoop, and work in awkward
positions. Most employers prefer applicants
who have high school or vocational school
training in welding. Courses in shop mathe­
matics, mechanical drawing, blueprint read­
ing, physics, and chemistry also are help­
New technological developments, espe­
cially in the nuclear energy and aerospace,
require new skills. Because of the hazards of
nuclear power plant operation or high-speed
air and space travel, both industries demand
high standards of reliability for welds. Before
being assigned to work on buildings, bridges,
pipelines, or other jobs where the strength of
the weld is highly critical, welders may be
required to pass an examination of their
welding skills given by an employer or gov­
ernment agency. Welders who pass such ex­
aminations generally are referred to as “certi­
fied welders.”
Promotion opportunities for welders are
good. Some welding machine operators learn
skilled welding jobs; skilled welders may be
promoted to welding inspectors, technicians,
or supervisors. Experienced workers who
have obtained college training are in great
demand as welding engineers to develop new
applications for welding. A small number of
experienced welders open their own repair

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Employment Outlook
Employment for welders is expected to in­
crease faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s because of the
greater use of welding. In addition, many
jobs should arise each year as welders retire,
die, or transfer to other occupations. Job op­
portunities may vary as the economy fluctu­
Increases in population and income are ex­
pected to stimulate demand for cars, build­
ings, heavy machinery, appliances, and thou­
sands of other products that welders help
make. Employment of welders also is ex­
pected to increase as welding replaces other
methods of joining metals. Welding generally
is cheaper than other methods of joining
metal parts, and it is being used more fre­
quently in the manufacturing and construc­
tion industries.

National wage data on welders are not
available. However, the limited data availa­
ble indicate that welding machine operators
earned from $6 to $7 an hour in 1978. Weld­
ers in the construction industry earned $9 to
$12 an hour, depending on location.
Welders belong to many different unions.
Among these are the International Associa­
tion of Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
the International Brotherhood of Boilermak­

ers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers
and Helpers; the International Union, United
Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America; the United
Association of Journeymen and Apprentices
of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of
the United States and Canada; and the
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Work­
ers of America (Ind.).

Related Occupations
Welders are highly skilled workers who
must be very familiar with the properties of
metal and use hand-held equipment or ma­
chines to do factory or construction work.
Other people with similar duties are black­
smiths, forge shop workers, all-round machi­
nists, instrument makers (mechanical), ma­
chine tool operators, and tool-and-die

Sources of Additional Information
For further information on training and
work opportunities for welders, contact local
employers or the local office of the State em­
ployment service. For general information
about welders, write to:
The American Welding Society, 2501 NW. 7th St.,
Miami, Fla. 33125.
International Union, United Automobile, Aero­
space and Agricultural Implement Workers of
America, 8000 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Mich.

Office workers perform a wide range of
tasks that are needed to keep business and
other organizations running on a day-to-day
basis. Clerical workers, such as secretaries
and typists, keep records and maintain files,
type, and operate office machines. Profes­
sional and technical employees give legal ad­
vice, prepare and analyze financial reports,
design computer systems, and arrange bank

Opportunities in office work exist for peo­ order to maintain accurate records. Besides
ple with many different educational back­ . the technical skills required to do their jobs,
grounds. Some jobs can be entered with a all office workers need good judgment and
high school education; many others, how­ the ability to communicate their ideas to oth­
ever, require at least a college degree.
Office work also involves a wide variety of
This chapter of the Handbook describes
skills. Most professionals, for example, need office work in clerical occupations, computer
problem-solving ability to analyze data and and related occupations, banking occupa­
help determine company policy. Clerical tions, insurance occupations, and adminis­
workers must pay close attention to detail in trative and related occupations.


Clerical Occupations
About 17 million people worked in clerical
jobs in 1978. Many kept records and did
other office paperwork. Others handled com­
munications, operated office machines,
shipped and received merchandise, and rang
sales on cash registers.
Workers in clerical jobs have a wide var­
iety of skills and experience. They include
highly skilled title searchers in real estate
firms and executive secretaries in business
offices as well as relatively unskilled messen­
gers and file clerks. Despite the diversity of
jobs and duties, clerical employment is con­
centrated in a few familiar jobs. Roughly 1 of
every 5 clerical workers is a secretary. One in
ten is a bookkeeper. The accompanying chart
shows employment in these and other major
clerical occupations discussed in this section
of the Handbook. Other sections of the
Handbook also discuss clerical occupations.
See the statements on computer operating
personnel, bank clerks, bank tellers, mail car­
riers, telephone operators, teacher aides, and
social service aides.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Employers prefer high school graduates
for clerical jobs. They look for people who
understand what they read, know basic spell­
ing and grammar, and can use arithmetic.
The ability to type and do neat and accurate
paperwork is required for nearly all entry
level positions, and some employers expect
applicants to take typing or clerical aptitude
tests. Many employers prefer applicants who


have some knowledge of office practices.
High schools, community and junior col­
leges, business schools, and home study
schools teach these skills.
Business education programs typically in­
clude courses in typing, shorthand, clerk-typ­
ist skills, and office procedures. Many workstudy programs permit students to earn
school credits while they gain experience in
a clerical job. Many States and localities
sponsor programs to train unemployed and
low-skilled workers for entry level jobs.
Whether or not they have had formal
training in business and office practices, be­
ginning clerical workers generally receive
some on-the-job training. They learn how
their employers keep records and become fa­
miliar with the kinds of business forms used.
Some workers learn to operate adding and
duplicating machines; others may attend
classes to learn how to operate word process­
ing equipment; still others learn about the
procedures involved in handling stock or in­
ventory control.
Continuing changes in the office environ­
ment, many made possible by the computer,
have increased the demand for clerical work­
ers who are adaptable, flexible, and versatile.
Workers must be prepared to be retrained
whenever an employer introduces new equip­
ment. Secretaries and typists, for example,
may have to spend days or weeks in classes
to learn to operate word processing equip­
ment, information storage systems, and other
automated equipment. The frequency with
which office equipment is changed or up­

dated makes retraining or continuing educa­
tion more important than ever for clerical
Advancement opportunities for clerical
workers are good, and many employers pro­
vide courses in the skills needed for more
demanding jobs. As workers become more
highly skilled, they are assigned more dif­
ficult tasks. Junior typists, for example, may
be promoted to senior typists as their speed
and accuracy improve. Receptionists who
learn typing and office procedures may be­
come secretaries or typists. Promotion to
such jobs as administrative assistant, office
manager, or clerical supervisor generally de­
pends on leadership ability, work experience,
and knowledge of the organization as a

Employment Outlook
Employment of clerical workers is ex­
pected to increase faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. In addi­
tion to new jobs, many openings will occur as
employees die, retire, or leave their jobs.
Growth in the number of clerical workers
is expected to result primarily from an in­
crease in paperwork in most kinds of organi­
zations. Although a great deal of paperwork
is handled by computer, and automation has
had a strong impact on office equipment and
procedures, computerization and automation
will not affect all clerical jobs. Job opportuni­
ties will be especially favorable for reception­
ists, secretaries, and typists. Demand for
these workers will continue to be strong in
banking, insurance, and manufacturing and
in firms that provide business, professional,
health, or educational services. Opportuni­
ties may be reduced in a number of routine
clerical jobs such as payroll, bank, and file
At the same time, the nature of clerical
jobs is likely to change. The introduction of
new equipment often involves a reorganiza­
tion of work flow, office procedures, and
staff. Very often, this entails retraining staff,
assigning new responsibilities, and doing the
job somewhat differently.
Persons with clerical skills, particularly
secretarial and typing, should find extensive
opportunities for temporary or part-time
work as more employers use these workers
during peak business periods.

Some clerks in routine jobs earned just
over $100 a week, while highly skilled
workers were paid $200 or more, accord­
ing to a 1978 survey. Salary variations
within an occupation are relatively com-

They record business transactions, including
payroll deductions and bills paid and due.
They also may type vouchers, invoices, and
other financial records.

Working Conditions
For the most part, working conditions for
bookkeeping workers are the same as those
for other office employees in the same com­
pany. Bookkeeping requires sitting for long
periods and involves examining detailed nu­
merical information. Some persons may find
this tiring. Workers who operate older book­
keeping machines may be exposed to high
noise levels. Newer equipment is relatively
quiet, however.

Places of Employment

mon and usually reflect differences in edu­
cational level, work experience, and level
of responsibility.
Salaries in different parts of the country
also vary; earnings generally are lowest in
southern cities and highest in northeastern
and western urban areas. In 1978, for exam­
ple, secretaries averaged $225 a week in the
Northeast, $236 in the West, and $210 in
southern cities.
Clerical employees work 40 hours a week
in many cities. In some, especially in the
Northeast, the scheduled workweek is 37
hours or less.
Most clerical workers in large cities receive
7 paid holidays or more a year and a 2 week
vacation after working 1 year. Longer vaca­
tions, based on added years of service, may
range to 4 weeks or more. Group life and
health insurance plans, sickness benefits, and
retirement plans often are available.

Sources of Additional Information
Many State employment service offices
can provide information about earnings,
hours, and employment opportunities in cler­
ical jobs.
Information concerning training for cleri­
cal occupations in your State is available
State Supervisor of Office Occupations Education,
State Department of Education, State capital.

A directory of private business schools
located in cities throughout the country may
be obtained from:
Association of Independent Colleges and Schools,
1730 M St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

For the names of labor organizations and
professional associations that can provide in­
formation about specific occupations, see the
discussions of individual clerical occupations
that follow.

(D.O.T. 210.382-010 through -026)

Nature of the Work
Every business needs systematic and upto-date records of accounts and business
transactions. Bookkeeping workers maintain
these records in journals, ledgers, and on
other accounting forms. They also prepare
periodic financial statements showing all
money received and paid out. The duties of
bookkeeping workers vary with the size of
the business. However, virtually all of them
use calculating machines each day. Many use
check-writing machines, mechanical or elec­
tronic bookkeeping machines, and other
kinds of office equipment.
In many small firms, a general bookkeeper
(D.O.T. 210.382-014) handles all the book­
keeping. He or she analyzes and records all
financial transactions, such as orders and
cash sales. General bookkeepers also check
money taken in against that paid out to be
sure accounts “balance,” calculate the firm’s
payroll, and make up employees’ paychecks.
General bookkeepers also prepare and mail
customers’ bills and answer the telephone.
In large businesses, several bookkeepers
and accounting clerks work under the direc­
tion of a head or supervisory bookkeeper. In
these organizations, bookkeepers often spe­
cialize in certain types of work. Some, for
example, prepare statements of a company’s
income from sales or its daily operating ex­
penses. Others may post payments and
charges on cards using bookkeeping ma­
chines, or feed information on accounts re­
ceivable and accounts payable into the
computer. Accounting clerks (D.O.T. 216.482-010), sometimes known as bookkeeping
clerks, perform a variety of routine tasks.

More than 1.8 million persons worked as
bookkeeping workers in 1978. Jobs for book­
keeping workers are found throughout the
economy—in business firms mostly, but also
in schools, hospitals, nonprofit organiza­
tions, and government agencies. An espe­
cially large number of bookkeepers work in
wholesale and retail trade. Approximately 1
bookkeeper in 3 works for a retail store or

Training, Other Qualifications, and
High school graduates who have taken
business arithmetic, bookkeeping, and princi­
ples of accounting meet the requirements for
most bookkeeping jobs. Some employers pre­
fer applicants who have completed business
courses at a community or junior college or
business school. Employers sometimes seek
applicants who have had experience working
with accounts payable and receivable. A fa­
miliarity with bookkeeping machines and the
ways in which computers are used in book­
keeping operations is an asset. A knowledge
of typing also is useful.
Training for this occupation is widely
available. Bookkeeping is taught in high
schools, in community and junior colleges,
and in business schools and colleges. Busi­
ness education programs typically include
bookkeeping-accounting, business law, busi­
ness arithmetic, office practices, and princi­
ples of data processing for office workers.
Some programs give business students an op­
portunity to learn on the job through workstudy programs arranged by high schools
and local businesses. The work experience,
together with the first-hand knowledge of of­
fice procedures, can help when students look
for jobs after graduation.
In a few States, bookkeeping workers must
be licensed to work on tax returns. State lic­
ensing agencies can provide information on
these requirements in your area.
Above all, bookkeeping workers need to be
good at working with numbers. They also
have to be able to concentrate on details.
Small mistakes can be very serious in this
field, so bookkeepers need to be careful, accu­
rate, and orderly in their work. Because they

jobs and have different job titles. Those who
work in theaters, for example, are often
called box office cashiers or ticket sellers.
They operate ticket-dispensing machines and
answer telephone inquiries. Restaurant cash­
iers, sometimes called cashier checkers, may
handle reservations for meals and special
parties, type menus, or sell items at the candy
and cigarette counter. In supermarkets and
other self-service stores, cashiers known as
checkout clerks, checkers, or grocery clerks
wrap or bag purchases. They also may re­
stock shelves and mark prices, rearrange dis­
plays of merchandise, and take inventory. In
many offices, cashiers, known as agency or
front-office cashiers, type, operate the switch­
board, do bookkeeping, and act as reception­

Bookkeeping workers must perform calculations quickly and accurately.

often work with others, bookkeepers should
be cooperative and able to work as part of a
Newly hired bookkeeping workers begin
by recording routine transactions such as ac­
counts receivable or accounts payable. They
advance to more responsible assignments,
such as preparing income statements and op­
erating bookkeeping machines or computers.
Some bookkeeping workers are promoted
to supervisory jobs. Others who enroll in col­
lege accounting programs may advance to
jobs as accountants. Bookkeeping experience
provides a good background for college
courses in accounting but normally cannot be
substituted for such courses.

Employment Outlook
Jobs for bookkeepers will be numerous
through the 1980’s even though employment
in the occupation is expected to grow slowly.
The occupation is large and turnover is high.
Many openings will occur, therefore, because
of the need to replace workers who die, retire,
or leave the occupation for other reasons.
Future employment growth in this occupa­
tion will be slowed by the increasing use of
bookkeeping machines and computers that
process data more accurately, rapidly, and
economically than workers doing it by hand.

Beginning accounting clerks in private
firms averaged $724 a month in 1978, ac­
cording to a Bureau of Labor Statistics sur­
vey of clerical occupations. They had higher
salaries, on the average, than beginning file
clerks or typists, but earned less than begin­
ning secretaries or stenographers. Ex­
perienced accounting clerks earned $916 a
month, about the same as the average for all


nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming.
In early 1979, the starting salary in the
Federal Government was $7,422 for book­
keeping workers right out of high school. Ap­
plicants for Federal jobs who had 1 year of
experience or 1 year of education beyond
high school could start at $8,366. The aver­
age salary for general accounting clerks in
the Federal Government in 1978 was $14,802
per year.

Related Occupations
Workers in a number of other jobs com­
pute totals and record financial transactions.
Like bookkeepers, they must be good at
working with numbers. Among such workers
are audit clerks, payroll clerks, posting
clerks, statistical clerks, and bank tellers.

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on clerical occupations
for sources of additional information.

(D.O.T. 211.137., .362-010, .367-010, .462, .467, .482,
and .582, 249.467-010)

Nature of the Work
Supermarkets, movie theaters, and res­
taurants are among the many businesses
that employ cashiers to handle payments
from customers. Most cashiers receive
money, make change, fill out charge forms,
and give receipts. The related occupation
of bank teller is discussed elsewhere in the
In addition to these duties, cashiers, de­
pending on their employers, may do other

Cashiers operate several types of ma­
chines. Many use cash registers that print the
amount of the sale on a paper tape. A rapidly
growing number of cashiers operate elec­
tronic registers, computerized point-of-sale
registers, or computerized scanning systems.
Depending upon its complexity, a computer­
ized system may automatically calculate the
necessary taxes and record inventory num­
bers and other information. Such registers
are replacing less versatile, conventional
models in many stores. Cashiers who work in
hotels and hospitals use machines that record
charges for telephone, medical, and other ser­
vices and prepare itemized bills. Cashiers
also operate adding and change-dispensing

Working Conditions
Most cashiers work indoors, often in small
booths or behind counters located near store
entrances. They may have to stand for long
periods of time. In some cases, they are ex­
posed to cold drafts in the winter and consid­
erable heat during the summer.

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 1,400,000 persons worked
as cashiers. More cashiers work in supermar­
kets and other foodstores than in any other
kind of store. However, cashiers are needed
in businesses and organizations of all types
and sizes, and many find jobs in department
stores, drugstores, shoestores, hardware
stores, furniture stores, and in other kinds of
retail stores. Restaurants, theaters, schools,
and hospitals also employ a large number of
cashiers. Businesses employing cashiers are
located in large cities, in suburban shopping
centers, in small towns, and in rural areas.
The Federal Government employs a small
number, primarily in the Department of De­
fense, in clubs, cafeterias, and exchanges on
military installations.
Opportunities for part-time work are very
good. Nearly half of all cashiers work part
time; about 1 in 4 is a student.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Employers prefer beginning cashiers with
high school diplomas. Courses in business

Code-UPC) of each purchase to a com­
puter that is programed to record a decription and price of the item, add the tax,
and print out a receipt. The computer also
keeps track of the store’s inventory and
places orders with the warehouse when
stock is needed. The widespread adoption
of automated checkout systems in super­
markets and other establishments is ex­
pected to slow employment growth of
cashiers and other workers. However, re­
sistance from consumer and labor groups
may slow the adoption of such systems.

Beginning cashiers often earn the mini­
mum wage required by law. In establish­
ments covered by the Federal law, the mini­
mum was $2.65 an hour in 1978. In addition,
minimum wages in many establishments are
governed by State law. Cashiers earn wages
ranging from the minimum in a given estab­
lishment to several times that amount. Ac­
cording to a 1977 Bureau of Labor Statistics
survey of grocery stores, the top hourly union
rates for full-time cashiers ranged from $3.72
to $7.64. Wages tended to be highest in the
West and the North Central region and low­
est in the South; wages generally were higher
in large metropolitan areas than in smaller
Experienced full-time cashiers who were
members of the United Food and Commer­
cial Workers International Union earned av­
erage wages of $6.67 per hour in 1978; begin­
ners earned average wages of $4.50 per hour.
Wages for nonunion cashiers are generally
lower than those for union cashiers.
Because they meet the public, cashiers should be neat in appearance, tactful, and pleasant.

arithmetic, bookkeeping, typing, and other
business subjects are good preparation for
cashier jobs. Cashier training is offered as
part of many public school vocational pro­
Many employers offer on-the-job train­
ing for cashiers. In a small firm, the begin­
ner is trained on the job by an experienced
worker. In large firms, cashier training
programs often include classroom instruc­
tion in the use of electronic or computer­
ized registers and in other phases of cash­
ier’s jobs. Many persons enter cashier
positions without significant prior work ex­
perience. For some jobs, however, employ­
ers seek persons who have special skills or
business experience, such as typing or sell­
ing. Many openings also are filled by pro­
moting other qualified workers who are al­
ready employed by the firm.
Persons who want to become cashiers
should be able to do repetitious work accu­
rately. They need finger dexterity, a high de­
gree of eye-hand coordination, and an apti­
tude for working with figures. Because they
meet the public, cashiers should be neat in
appearance and able to deal tactfully and
pleasantly with customers.

Promotion opportunities as cashiers tend
to be limited. However, the cashier’s job af­
fords a good opportunity to learn an em­
ployer’s business and so may serve as a steppingstone to a more responsible clerical job,
such as bookkeeper, or to a managerial posi­
tion. Cashiers working in chainstores and
other large retail businesses, for example,
may advance to department or store manag­

Employment Outlook
Job openings for cashiers are expected to
be plentiful through the 1980’s. Employment
is expected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations. Some new jobs will result
from growth in retail trade. However, much
more important as a source of jobs for cash­
iers will be the need to replace workers who
die, retire, or change jobs. Because the occu­
pation is large and turnover is high, many
cashier jobs will be available over the next 10
Further employment of cashiers is likely
to be affected by the use of computerized
checkout systems, which are beginning to
replace cash registers in some supermar­
kets. An optical or magnetic scanner trans­
mits the code number (Universal Product

Many cashiers are members of the United
Food and Commercial Workers Interna­
tional Union. Others are represented by a
variety of unions, depending on the industry
in which they work. They generally receive
health insurance, annual and sick leave, pen­
sion benefits, and other benefits available to
other workers.
Cashiers often work during rush periods
such as holidays, weekends, late afternoons,
and evenings. Work at these times often is
required in theaters, restaurants, and foodstores. Many cashiers in these places work
part time or on split shifts. Full-time cashiers
in supermarkets and other large retail stores
usually work a 5-day, 40-hour week; how­
ever, they may work on weekends and have
time off during the week.

Related Occupations
Cashiers pay or receive money and keep
account of such exchanges. Other workers
with similar duties include bank tellers, ticket
sellers, post office clerks, toll collectors, and
sales clerks.

Sources of Additional Information
Details about employment opportunities
are available from local businesses and the
local office of the State employment ser­

Collection Workers
(D O T. 241.367-010)

Nature of the Work
Companies that lend money or extend
credit expect to be repaid. However, custom­
ers who “buy now” are not always able to
“pay later.” Collection workers, often called
bill collectors, help maintain a company’s fi­
nancial well-being by keeping bad debts to a
A collector’s primary job is to convince
people to pay their unpaid bills. The col­
lector usually receives a bad debt file after
normal billing methods, such as monthly
statements and collection form letters, have
failed to elicit payment. The file contains
information about the debtor, the nature
and amount of the unpaid bill, the last
charge incurred, and the last time payment
was made.
The collector then contacts the debtor by
phone or by mail, determines why the bill is
unpaid, and tries to get the debtor to pay or
make new arrangements for payment.
The approach that collectors use de­
pends on the type of payment problem
they are handling. For example, customers
may feel that the bill is incorrect, or that
the merchandise they bought is faulty, or
that services they were billed for were not
properly performed. Collectors normally
recommend that the debtors resolve these
disagreements by contacting the original
sellers. In large stores, problems are re­
ferred to special “customer service” de­
partments, set up to deal with disputed ac­
counts. If the problems are not settled, the
collectors again contact the customers to
convince them that they were properly
charged and should pay the debts.
When customers have met with financial
emergencies or mismanaged their money,
collectors may work out new payment
schedules. If collectors find customers
fraudulently avoiding payment of their bills,
they may recommend that the files be turned
over to an attorney.
When a debtor moves without leaving a
forwarding address, the collector may in­
quire at the post office, search telephone
directories, and call on references listed on
the original credit application. In large col­
lection operations, this may be done by col­
lection workers known as “tracers.”
In small organizations, bill collectors
may perform other functions besides con­
tacting delinquent customers. They may
advise customers with financial problems,
or contact customers to determine if they
are satisfied with the way their accounts
are being handled. Some collectors super­
vise the repossession procedure for busi­
nesses that reclaim goods when payment is
not made, such as banks and finance com­

Collection workers must be quick witted and persuasive to get people to pay their debts.

Working Conditions
Collectors spend most of their time in the
office. In most cases, the person with the de­
linquent account has received a form letter
reminder that the account is past due, and
the collector’s job is to follow up by making
telephone calls. On rare occasions, a collector
may make a personal visit to the debtor.
These visits usually are necessary when a
large amount of money is involved and the
debtor has not responded to telephone con­

Places of Employment
About 78,000 collection workers were em­
ployed in 1978. Although collectors work for
a variety of businesses, most are employed by
banks, loan companies, and collection agen­
cies. Many others work for retail and whole­
sale businesses.
Jobs for collectors are located throughout
the United States, but opportunities are best
in heavily populated urban centers. Many
firms with branch offices in rural areas locate
their collection departments in the business
district of nearby cities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A high school education usually is suffi­
cient for entry into the collection field. Be­
cause a collector handles delinquent accounts
on a person-to-person basis, high school
courses in psychology and speech may be
useful. Previous employment as a sales clerk
can help the collection workers learn how
credit transactions originate and how they
are handled at the point of sales. Knowledge
of a foreign language may be an asset for
persons seeking collection jobs in areas with
a large non-English-speaking population.

Usually, the collector’s training is on the
job. The employer may provide training
manuals that explain collection procedures,
but more often the new employee gains col­
lection skills informally. For example, the
new collector learns telephone techniques by
observing experienced workers make collec­
tion calls.
Training also is available through the edu­
cational branch of the American Collectors’
Association, which offers short courses for
collectors in areas such as collection of bad
debts by telephone and skip tracing.
A collector’s most important asset is the
ability to get along with different kinds of
people. He or she must be alert, imaginative,
and quick-witted to handle the difficult situa­
tions that are part of collection work. While
collectors should be sympathetic to the billpayers’ problems, they also must be persua­
sive to overcome some debtors’ reluctance to
fulfill their financial obligations. Because a
collector spends most of the day on the tele­
phone, a pleasant speaking voice and manner
are important.
The collector’s job generally offers limited
opportunities for advancement; competition
for the few supervisory positions is keen. The
collector with above-average abilities, how­
ever, may become a collection manager or
supervisor of a staff of collectors. A few col­
lection workers progress to other positions in
the credit field, such as bank loan officer or
supervisor in a collection agency. Further ed­
ucation, such as that available through pro­
fessional associations of collectors or college
courses, may be helpful for advanced posi­
tions in the credit and collection field.

Employment Outlook
The applicant who has a background of
high school business courses and can demon­

strate effective telephone skills should find
good job opportunities in the collection field.
Demand is strongest for people who are per­
sonable, outgoing, and have the ability to mo­
tivate others, for traits such as these are likely
to lead to success on the job.
In recent years, the role of the collector has
expanded to include customer debt counsel­
ing, and collection methods have been modi­
fied in line with modem management tech­
niques and recent consumer legislation.
Despite this improved image, the number of
persons seeking collection jobs is expected to
fall short of the need for additional workers.
Employers will need large numbers of collec­
tors to fill vacancies createcf by turnover,
which is relatively high in this occupation. In
addition, new positions will open up as the
need for collection work grows.
Employment opportunities should be best
in collection agencies, where replacement
needs continue to be high, and in retail trade
firms, where earnings often are somewhat
lower than the average. The strongest compe­
tition for collection positions will be in large
metropolitan banks that generally offer
higher salaries and better opportunities for
advancement than other employers.
The demand for collection workers
through the 1980’s will be spurred by the
expansion of credit card services and the fur­
ther growth of suburban retail stores. Delin­
quent accounts, unfortunately, are an un­
avoidable aspect of the credit system. As
businesses extend attractive credit terms for
the purchase of greater numbers of goods and
services to more and more people, the num­
ber of delinquent accounts can be expected to
increase. Additional collection workers will
be required to service these accounts on a
person-to-person basis.

Although earnings for collectors vary
among employers, the limited information
available indicates that beginning collectors
earned about $165 a week in 1978, or about
$8,600 a year. Managers of collection depart­
ments often earned $17,000 a year and more.
A survey by the American Collectors As­
sociation showed that telephone collectors
working for collection agencies had an aver­
age monthly income of $950, or about $11,400 a year. Incomes of individual workers
can vary substantially because collection
agencies generally use some form of salary
plus commission plan as an incentive to their
Commission schedules vary widely from
agency to agency. A collector may be paid a
relatively high salary with a low rate of com­
mission or receive a low salary and a high
rate on the money he or she collects for the
agency. In some agencies, a quota is assigned
to a collector or group of collectors and a
bonus is paid if the quota is reached. A few
collection workers only earn commissions.
In addition to salary, collectors receive the
benefits common to other office occupations,

such as paid vacations -and health insurance.
Those who occasionally make visits outside
the office usually are furnished a company
car or are paid expenses for using their own

Related Occupations
Many other workers deal with customers
to adjust claims, arrange for payment of
debts, and repossess merchandise. Some of
these workers are customer-complaint clerks,
credit analysts, credit reporters, collection
clerks, repossessors, and skip tracers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on jobs as collection workers
as well as other positions in a credit collec­
tion office is available from:
American Collectors Association, 4040 W. 70th
St., Minneapolis, Minn. 55435.

File Clerks
(D.O.T. 206)

Nature of the Work
An orderly file system is often the key to
an efficient organization. In most offices, rec­
ords are arranged so that information can be
located quickly. This creates many job op­
portunities for file clerks, who keep records
accurate, up to date, and properly placed.
File clerks classify, store, update, and re­
trieve office information on request. To do
this, they examine incoming material and
store it for future use according to a system,
such as by number, letter of the alphabet, or
subject matter. When these records are re­
quested, file clerks locate them and turn them
over to the borrower. They keep track of
materials removed from the files and make
sure that those given out are returned.
Some clerks operate mechanized files that
rotate to bring the needed records to them.
Others retrieve documents or spools of mi­
crofilm and place them in an electronic trans­
mitter that displays the information on video
terminals located elsewhere in the organiza­
tion. Records must be up to date to be useful.
File clerks make sure that new information is
added to existing files shortly after it is re­

Working Conditions
File clerks usually work in offices, with a
company’s other clerical workers. However,
if the organization has a central filing room,
workers may be separated from other depart­
ments. Although they do not do heavy lift­
ing, file clerks must frequently stoop, bend,
and reach.

Places of Employment
About 273,000 persons worked as file
clerks in 1978. In addition, many other cleri­
cal workers performed some filing tasks in
connection with their work. As in other cleri­
cal occupations, opportunities for temporary
or part-time work are abundant. Although
filing jobs are found in almost every kind of
organization, about one-half of all file clerks
work in banking, insurance, or real estate
firms, or in the offices of lawyers, doctors,
and other professionals.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Employers prefer high school graduates
for beginning file clerk positions. Generally,
they seek applicants who can type and do
accurate paperwork. Many employers prefer
applicants who have some knowledge of of­
fice practices as well.
High schools, community and junior col­
leges, and business schools teach these and
other skills. Business education programs
typically include courses in typing, short­
hand, clerk-typist skills, and office practices
and procedures. Many programs have workstudy arrangements which permit students to
earn school credits while they gain experi­
ence in an office job. Many States and locali­
ties sponsor programs to train unemployed
and low-skilled workers who can read and
spell well for beginning clerical jobs as file
Because file clerk generally is an entry
level job, some employers consider an appli­
cant’s willingness to work and learn more
important than any special training or educa­
tion. The file clerk usually receives some
training when beginning work. On-the-job
training almost always is necessary because
each organization has its own filing system
and office procedures. In organizations that
have their own filing procedures, the clerk
learns the job in a few weeks. Learning to
operate mechanical filing systems usually
takes more time. If more than filing is in­
volved, several months of on-the-job training
is needed.

From time to time, file clerks may destroy
outdated file materials or transfer them to
inactive storage. They check files at regular
intervals to ensure that all items are correctly
placed. Whenever data cannot be located, the
file clerk searches for the missing records. As
an organization’s needs for information
change, file clerks modify old filing systems
or establish new ones.

File clerks must read accurately and ra­
pidly, spell well, and like detailed work. Most
file clerks must be able to type. They should
be neat, able to work as part of a team, and
not be easily bored by repetitive tasks.

In small offices, file clerks often type,
sort mail, or operate duplicating machines.
Those who work with automated filing sys­
tems may code and microfilm all incoming

File clerk jobs often are filled by beginners.
Workers can advance to more difficult filing
duties and to jobs supervising other file
clerks. In addition, after some experience and
more training, they may be promoted to jobs

eye and, through their attitude and behavior,
greatly influence guests’ impressions and
promote a hotel’s reputation.
Reservation clerks record written or tele­
phoned requests for rooms, prepare registra­
tion forms, and notify room clerks of guests’
arrival times.
Rack clerks keep records of room assign­
ments to advise housekeepers, telephone op­
erators, and maintenance workers that rooms
are occupied.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Employers usually select high school grad­
uates who have some clerical aptitude as
front office clerks. A knowledge of bookkeep­
ing is helpful for work in a smaller hotel or
on the night shift, because clerks often have
a wider range of duties under these circum­
stances. Occasionally, employees in other
hotel occupations, such as bellhops or eleva­
tor operators, may be promoted to front of­
fice jobs.
File clerks add new records to existing files shortly after they are received.

as typists, receptionists, or office machine op­

eral Government averaged about $187 a
week in 1978.

Employment Outlook

Related Occupations

Employment of file clerks is expected to
grow about as fast as the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s as business expan­
sion continues to create a need for more and
better recordkeeping. In addition, a large
number of file clerks will be needed each year
to replace those who die, retire, or transfer to
other jobs.

Other workers sort, store, and retrieve
documents and other materials. Among these
are general clerks, mail handlers, property
clerks, tape librarians, collators, and sorters.

The growing volume of paperwork and
continued expansion of those businesses that
traditionally have employed many file clerks
is expected to assure steady employment
growth. However, this growth will be slower
than in past years, reflecting more extensive
use of computers to arrange, store, and trans­
mit information. Jobseekers who have typing
and other secretarial skills and are familiar
with a wide range of office machines should
have better opportunities than less ex­
perienced applicants. File clerks should find
many opportunities for temporary or parttime work, especially during peak business

According to a recent survey, beginning
file clerks in urban areas averaged $127 a
week in 1978. Those with some experience
averaged $152; those with a great deal of ex­
perience, $194. File clerks earned somewhat
less than three-fourths of the average earn­
ings of nonsupervisory workers in private in­
dustry, except farming.
In the Federal Government, beginning
file clerks without high school diplomas
started at about $126 a week in early 1979,
and high school graduates began at $143 a
week. Experienced file clerks in the Fed­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on clerical occupations
for sources of additional information.

Hotel Front Office
(D.O.T. 238.137-010, .362-010, and .367-030)

Nature of the Work
Handling room reservations, greeting
guests, issuing keys, and collecting payments
are among the duties performed by hotel and
motel front office clerks. Because many
smaller hotels and motels require minimal
staffs, the front office clerk may also function
as a bookkeeper, cashier, or telephone opera­
tor. Large hotels, however, usually employ
several front office clerks to perform various
services, such as receiving mail, providing in­
formation, or issuing keys. About 79,000 per­
sons worked as front office clerks in 1978.
Room or desk clerks assign rooms to
guests and answer questions about hotel ser­
vices, checkout time, or parking facilities. In
assigning rooms, they must consider guests’
preferences while trying to maximize hotel
revenues. These clerks fill out guests’ regis­
tration forms and sometimes collect pay­
ments. Room clerks are always in the public

Newly hired workers usually begin as mail,
information, or key clerks and receive their
training on the job. The training period is
usually brief and includes an explanation of
the job’s duties and information about the
hotel, such as room locations and services
offered. Once on the job, they receive help
and supervision from the assistant manager
or an experienced front office worker. Some
clerks may need additional training in data
processing or office machine operation be­
cause of the increased use of computerized
front office systems.
In the past, front office personnel fre­
quently have made the transition to
managerial positions. Most hotels promote
front office workers from within so that a key
or mail clerk may be promoted to room clerk,
then to assistant front office manager, and
later to front office manager. Although a col­
lege background is generally not required for
front office work, it is an asset for advance­
ment to management. Clerks may also im­
prove their opportunities for promotion by
taking home or group study courses in hotel
management such as those sponsored by the
Educational Institute of the American Hotel
& Motel Association. (See the chapter on
hotel managers and assistants elsewhere in
the Handbook.) A presentable appearance, a
courteous and friendly manner, and a desire
to help people are important traits for front
office clerks. Another attribute helpful for
work in larger hotels or resorts that cater to
a diverse clientele is the ability to speak a
foreign language.

Employment Outlook
Employment of front office clerks is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. Em­
ployment growth will be limited by the use of
computerized front office systems in most
hotel and motel chains, and most job open­
ings will result from the need to replace

Working Conditions
Because some types of office machines are
very noisy, operators may work in special
areas apart from other company offices. In
other respects, working conditions are simi­
lar to those of other office workers in the
same firm. The work requires sitting for long
periods and demands concentration and at­
tention to detail, which may tire some people.

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 160,000 people worked as
office machine operators. Large numbers
were employed by banks, insurance compa­
nies, and wholesale and retail stores. Many
office machine operators work for firms that
specialize in providing such business services
as preparing bills, mailing circulars, and
copying and collating records and reports.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Computerization of reservation systems will increase the training requirements
for many front office clerks.

workers who die, retire, or leave the occupa­

Related Occupations

Billing machine operators (D.O.T. 214.482-010) prepare customer statements by
typing information, such as customers’
names, purchases, and amount of sales, on a
billing machine that automatically computes
the balances and required payments.

Hotel front office clerks are often the first
employees customers deal with, and it is im­
portant that they leave customers with a
good impression. Other workers who are also
responsible for giving a good first impression
are receptionists, hosts/hostesses, and sales

Bookkeeping machine operators (D.O.T.
210.382-022 and -026) record a firm’s finan­
cial transactions on a bookkeeping machine
and calculate trial balances, summary re­
ports, and other necessary data.

See the statement on the hotel industry
elsewhere in the Handbook for information
on earnings and working conditions, sources
of additional information, and more informa­
tion on employment outlook.

Adding and calculating machine operators
(D.O.T. 216.482-014 and -022) use mechani­
cal adding machines and electronic calcula­
tors to compute payrolls and invoices and do
other statistical work.

Office Machine
(D.O.T. 207; 208.462-010 and .582-014; 210.382-022
and -026; 213.682-010; 214.482-010; and 216.482-014
and -022)

Nature of the Work
To speed their paperwork, most businesses
use office machines to record information,
determine bills and inventories, and perform
other operations. Some of the clerical work­
ers who operate copiers, bookkeeping ma­
chines, calculators, and the many other kinds
of machines commonly found in offices
are described in this statement. (Several
other jobs that involve the use of office ma­
chines are described elsewhere in the Hand­
book . See the statements on computer oper­
ating personnel, bank clerks, statistical
clerks, typists, and secretaries and stenogra­

Mail preparing and mail handling machine
operators (D.O.T. 208.462-010) use machines
to open incoming mail and prepare bills and
letters for mailing. Some machines fold and
insert enclosures, while others address, seal,
and stamp envelopes. Addressing machines
print addresses on envelopes using stencils or
metal plates prepared by embossing machine
operators (D.O.T. 208.582-014) using special
Duplicating machine operators (D.O.T.
207) run equipment that can reproduce let­
ters, bills, invoices, and other documents.
Included are mimeograph, stencil, and
copying machines. These workers keep the
machines loaded with paper, see that they
are properly adjusted for the number of
copies to be made, and may collate—put
together—pages of lengthy documents by
hand or machine.
Tabulating machine operators (D.O.T.
213.682-010) operate machines that sort and
total large quantities of accounting and sta­
tistical information and print the results on
special business forms.

Employers prefer high school or business
school graduates for all but the most routine
office machine jobs. Most newly hired work­
ers are expected to be able to type, operate
adding machines and calculators, and use
basic business arithmetic. These skills, which
are taught in nearly all high schools, are use­
ful for most office jobs. Vocational education
programs offered by most public school sys­
tems provide training in office machine oper­
ation. In addition, private business schools
often teach machine operation as part of the
training for clerical jobs.
Previous training may not be necessary,
however, for this is a beginning clerical job
and most employers expect to train newly
hired workers. The amount of instruction
and on-the-job training beginners receive de­
pends on the types of machines they operate.
Duplicating machine operators, for example,
work with simplified and automated equip­
ment; they generally learn their jobs in a few
days. Bookkeeping machine operators, how­
ever, use more complex equipment and may
need several weeks to learn to use their ma­
chines correctly.
Sometimes training is given at schools run
by office equipment manufacturers. Ad­
vances in office technology mean fairly fre­
quent changes in office machinery and equip­
ment. When new machines are installed, all
the operators—not just newly hired opera­
tors—may have to spend some time in class.
A willingness to learn new techniques and
master new equipment is increasingly impor­
tant for office machine operators.
Finger dexterity, good eye and hand coor­
dination, and good vision are also important.
Billing and calculating machine operators
should know simple arithmetic so they can
detect obvious errors in computations. Me­
chanical ability is an advantage, especially
for duplicating and tabulating machine oper­
ators, who may have to clean and take care
of their machines.
Most employers promote from within and

are distribution clerks who sort incoming and
outgoing mail in workrooms.
Postal clerks work at local post offices or
at large central mail processing facilities. At
local post offices postal clerks sort the mail
for delivery to individual customers. Incom­
ing mail collected from the local neighbor­
hood boxes is forwarded to the nearest mail
processing center where clerks continue the
process of sorting and preparing the mail for
About 300 mail processing centers
throughout the country service the local post
offices in surrounding areas. Once mail is re­
ceived at a center, letter-sorting machine
clerks, distribution clerks, and mailhandlers
separate the mail into groups of letters, par­
cel post, magazines, and newspapers. Then
mailhandlers feed the letters through stamp­
canceling machines. Afterwards mailhan­
dlers take the mail into other workrooms to
be sorted according to destination. There,
clerks read the ZIP codes and simply push
keys corresponding to the letters’ destina­
tions on electronic mail-sorting machines;
the letters drop into the proper slots. Finally,
the mail is sent from the mail processing cen­
ter to local post offices or to other centers for
further sorting.

Finger dexterity and good vision are important for office machine operators.

give strong consideration to seniority and job
performance as shown by supervisors’ rat­
ings. Promotion may be from a routine ma­
chine job to a more complex one, or to a
related clerical job. Employers often provide
any additional training that may be required.
In firms having large clerical staffs, office
machine operators may advance to jobs train­
ing beginners or to supervisory positions as
section or department heads.

In the Federal Government, the starting
salary for office machine operators in early
1979 was $6,561 a year. Those with some
experience began at $7,422 a year.

Employment Outlook

Workers in a number of other occupations
operate office equipment. Among these are
clerk typists, computer operators, peripheral
equipment operators, keypunch operators,
cashiers, and typists.

Employment of office machine operators is
expected to grow more slowly than the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s.
Most job openings will result from the need
to replace workers who die, retire, or leave
the occupation. Demand for additional
workers will be restrained because of con­
tinued advances in office technology which
permit even small businesses to adopt com­
puterized recordkeeping and to reduce the
requirements for operators in branch offices.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics
estimates of earnings for clerical workers in
urban areas, bookkeeping machine operators
averaged $167 a week in 1978. Those with
more experience earned $189. Machine bill­
ers earned somewhat more. Those operating
billing machines averaged $195.


Billing and bookkeeping machine opera­
tors earned slightly less than the average for
all nonsupervisory workers in private indus­
try, except farming.

Related Occupations

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on clerical occupations
for sources of additional information.

In addition to selling stamps and money
orders, clerks at post office windows weigh
packages to determine postage and check
to see if their condition is satisfactory for
mailing. Clerks also register and insure
mail and answer questions about postage
rates, mailing restrictions, and other postal
matters. Occasionally they may help a cus­
tomer file a claim for a damaged package.
In large post offices, a window clerk may
provide only one or two of these services
and may be called a registry, stamp, or
money order clerk.

Working Conditions
Working conditions of clerks differ ac­
cording to work assignments and the
amount and kind of laborsaving machinery
in the post office. In small post offices,
clerks may carry heavy mail sacks from
one part of the building to another, and
sort the mail by hand. In large post offices
and mail processing centers, chutes and
conveyors move the mail, and much of the
sorting is done by machine. In either case,
clerks are on their feet most of the time,
reaching for sacks and trays of mail and
placing packages and bundles into sacks
and trays while walking around the work­

Nature of the Work

Distribution clerks may become bored
with the routine of sorting mail unless they
try to improve their speed and accuracy.
They also may have to work at night or on
weekends, because most large post offices
process mail around the clock.

Most people are familiar with the post of­
fice window clerk who works behind the
counter selling stamps or accepting parcel
post. However, the majority of postal clerks

A window clerk, on the other hand, has a
greater variety of duties, has frequent contact
with the public, generally has a less strenuous
job, and rarely has to work at night.

Postal Clerks
(D.O.T. 243.367-014)

Places of Employment
Two out of every five employees of the
U.S. Postal Service were postal clerks in
1978. The majority of the 260,000 postal
clerks work at mail processing centers, al­
though many still sort mail and provide win­
dow services at local post offices throughout
the country. Three out of four clerks worked
full time; most of the others were part-time

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Postal clerks must be U.S. citizens and at
least 18 years old (at least 16 if they have a
high school diploma). They must qualify on
a written examination that measures their
clerical accuracy and abilities to memorize
mail distribution systems, read, and do sim­
ple arithmetic. Applicants must also pass a
physical examination and may be asked to
show that they can lift and handle mail sacks
weighing up to 70 pounds. Applicants who
are to work with an electronic sorting ma­
chine must pass a special examination which
includes a machine aptitude test.
Applicants should apply at the post office
or mail processing center where they wish to
work. Applicants’ names are listed in the
order of their stores. Five points are added to
the score of an honorably discharged veteran,
and 10 points to the score of a veteran
wounded in combat or disabled. Disabled
veterans who have a compensable, serviceconnected disability of 10 percent or more
are placed at the top of the list. When a va­
cancy occurs, the appointing officer chooses
one of the top three applicants; the rest of the
names remain on the list for future appoint­
New clerks are trained on the job. Most
clerks begin with simple tasks to learn re­
gional groupings of States, cities, and ZIP
codes. To help clerks learn these groups,
many post offices offer classroom instruc­
A good memory, good coordination, and
the ability to read rapidly and accurately are
important. Distribution clerks work closely
with other clerks, frequently under the ten­
sion and strain of meeting mailing deadlines.
Window clerks must be courteous and tactful
when dealing with the public, especially
when answering questions or receiving com­
Postal clerks are classified as casual, parttime flexible, part-time regular, or full-time.
Casual workers are not career employees, but
are hired to help process mail during peak
mailing periods of the year. Part-time flexible
clerks are career employees who do not have
a regular work schedule but replace absent
workers and help with extra work as the need
arises. Part-time flexible clerks sometimes
work as many as 40 hours per week. Parttime regulars have a set work schedule—for
example, 4 hours a day. Full-time clerks usu­
ally work a 40 hours week.

Window clerks must be courteous and tactful.

Most clerks begin as part-time flexible
employees and become full-time workers as
vacancies occur. Full-time clerks may bid
for preferred assignments such as the day
shift, a window job, or a higher level nonsupervisory position as expediter or win­
dow service technician. Clerks may become

Employment Outlook
Employment of postal clerks is expected to
decline through the 1980’s as more efficient
automated sorting machines are installed.
The quantity of mail handled by the postal
service is expected to increase only slowly
because of rising postal rates, greater use of
telephones, and new ways of distributing ad­
vertising circulars. In addition, growing
quantities of mail will be transmitted elec­
tronically, and will require little or no sort­
ing. Nevertheless, many job openings will re­
sult from the need to replace clerks who
retire, die, or transfer to other occupations.

In 1978, experienced full-time postal
clerks averaged $17,058 a year, about one
and one-half times the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
pect farming.
Full-time postal clerks started at a base
rate of $14,603 a year and increased to a
maximum of $17,188 after 8 years. Clerks
working part-time flexible schedules started
at $7.27 an hour and could advance to $8.56
an hour after 8 years. All clerks who work
night shifts receive 10 percent additional pay.
Full-time postal employees have more job se­
curity than workers in most other industries.
For information on fringe benefits, see the
statement on postal service occupations else­
where in the Handbook.

Related Occupations
Although postal clerks play an important
role in moving the Nation’s mail, mail carri­
ers and mailhandlers also play key roles, and
their work and qualifications are closely
related to that of postal clerks. Postal clerks
sort mail either by hand or by keyboarding
addresses into electronic letter-sorting ma­
chines. Other information processing occu­
pations that have related duties include mail
clerks, file clerks, routing clerks, sorters,
medical record clerks, clerk-typists, cashiers,
keypunch operators, and ticket sellers.

Sources of Additional Information
Local post offices and State employment
service offices can supply details about en­
trance examinations and employment oppor­
tunities for postal clerks.

(D.O.T. 237.367-038)

Nature of the Work
All organizations want to make a good
first impression on the public. This is an im­
portant part of the job of the receptionist,
who generally is the first person a caller sees.
Receptionists greet customers and other
visitors, determine their needs, and refer call­
ers to the person who can help them. Recep­
tionists’ day-to-day duties vary a great deal,
depending on where they work. Those in hos­
pitals and doctors’ offices, for example, may
obtain personal and financial information
and then direct patients to the proper waiting
rooms. In beauty shops, receptionists arrange
appointments and may show customers to

the operator’s booth. In factories or large
business firms, they provide callers with
identification cards and arrange escorts to
take them to the proper office.
Many receptionists keep business records
of callers, the times at which they called, and
the persons to whom they were referred.
When they are not busy with callers, recep­
tionists may type, file, or operate a switch­
board. Some receptionists open and sort mail
and collect and distribute messages. Still oth­
ers prepare travel vouchers and do simple

Working Conditions
Because receptionists greet customers and
visitors, they usually work in areas that are
carefully designed and furnished to make a
good impression. Working conditions usually
are pleasant; offices are clean, well lighted,
and relatively quiet.
Although most have regular hours, recep­
tionists in hospitals and some professional
offices may work weekends or in the even­

Places of Employment
About 588,000 persons worked as recep­
tionists in 1978. Although receptionists work

in almost every kind of organization, almost
half work for doctors, dentists, hospitals,
nursing homes, and other health-service
providers. Large numbers of receptionists
also work in insurance companies, banks,
factories, and firms providing business and
personal services.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
This occupation offers good opportunities
for persons without prior work experience.
Employers usually require that receptionists
have a high school diploma. Courses in En­
glish, spelling, typing, elementary bookkeep­
ing, and business practices are useful for
A receptionist should like meeting new
people and have a desire to be helpful and
informative. A neat appearance, a pleasant
voice, and an even disposition also are impor­
tant. Because receptionists do not work
under close supervision, common sense and a
thorough understanding of how the business
is organized help them handle various situa­
tions that arise.
Promotion opportunities for receptionists
are limited, especially in small offices. In
large workplaces, however, a receptionist

who has clerical skills may advance to a bet­
ter paying job as a secretary, administrative
assistant, or bookkeeper.
Typing, shorthand, business arithmetic,basic accounting, and other useful subjects
are taught in high schools throughout the
country. College or business school training
also can be helpful in advancing to better
paying office jobs. Many companies have
their own training programs so that the skills
needed for advancement can be learned on
the job.

Employment Outlook
Employment of receptionists is expected to
grow faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s. Thousands of open­
ings will result each year as businesses ex­
pand and many experienced receptionists
leave their jobs. The number of replacements
will be quite large because the occupation is
large and turnover is high.
Within the fast-growing clerical field, re­
ceptionist employment is expected to grow
rapidly. This is largely because so many
receptionists work for firms providing busi­
ness and professional services—sectors of the
economy that are expected to continue to
show very strong growth. The need for recep­
tionists in law firms, management consulting
firms, doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, ad­
vertising agencies, and many similar kinds of
organizations will contribute to the an­
ticipated employment increase. In addition,
more and more firms are coming to recognize
the importance of the receptionist in promot­
ing good public relations. Further, because
the receptionist’s work is of a person-to-person nature, it is unlikely to be affected by
office automation.

Full-time switchboard operator-reception­
ists working in urban areas averaged $155 a
week in 1978. This was just over three-quar­
ters as much as the average earnings for nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Receptionists working in the
western United States had average weekly
earnings of $166. Those in southern cities
averaged $147 a week. In the Federal Gov­
ernment, beginning information receptionists
with a high school diploma or 6 months of
work experience earned $143 a week in early

Related Occupations
A number of other workers deal with the
public, receive and provide information, or
direct people to others who can assist them.
Among these are information clerks, infor­
mation and referral aides, and customer ser­
vice representatives.

Sources of Additional Information
A pleasant appearance and a good speaking voice are essential to the receptionist.


See the section on clerical occupations for
sources of additional information.

Secretaries and
(D.O.T. 201 and 202)

Nature of the Work
The efficiency of any organization depends
upon secretaries and stenographers, who are
at the center of communications within their
firm. They process and transmit information
to the staff and to persons in other organiza­
Secretaries (D.O.T. 201.362-030) relieve
their employers of routine duties so that they
can work on other matters. Most secretaries
schedule appointments, deal with callers,
type, and take shorthand. However, the time
spent on these duties varies in different types
of organizations.
In offices where dictation and typing are
handled in word processing centers, adminis­
trative secretaries handle all other secretarial
duties. (For more information on these cen­
ters, see the statement on typists elsewhere in
the Handbook.) Adminstrative secretaries
often work in clusters of three or four so that
they can readily help each other. Because
they are released from dictation and typing,
they can serve several members of the profes­
sional staff. Their duties range from filing,
routing mail, and answering telephones to
more responsible work such as answering let­
ters, doing statistical research, and writing
Some secretaries do very specialized work
for which training is available in business
schools and community and junior colleges.
Legal secretaries (D.O.T. 201.362-010) pre­
pare legal papers and correspondence such as
summonses, complaints, motions, and subpo­
enas. They may also review law journals and
assist in other ways with legal research. Med­
ical secretaries (201.362-014) compile and re­
cord medical records, charts, and corre­
spondence; they need to know medical ter­
minology and hospital or laboratory proce­
dures. Technical secretaries assist engineers
or scientists. In addition to the usual secre­
tarial duties, they may prepare much of the
correspondence, maintain the technical li­
brary, and gather and edit materials for
scientific papers.
Another specialized secretary is the social
secretary (D.O.T. 201.162-010), who ar­
ranges social functions, answers personal
correspondence, and keeps the employer in­
formed about all social activities. Member­
ship secretaries (D.O.T. 201.362-018) com­
pile and maintain membership lists, record
the receipt of dues and contributions, and
give out information to members of organiza­
tions and associations. They may have such
other duties as sending out newsletters and
promotional materials. School secretaries
(D.O.T. 201.362-022) handle secretarial du­
ties in elementary and secondary schools;
they may take care of correspondence, pre­

pare bulletins and reports, keep track of
money for school supplies and student activi­
ties, and maintain a calendar of school
Stenographers (D.O.T. 202.362-014) take
dictation and then transcribe their notes on a
typewriter. They may either take shorthand
or use a stenotype machine that prints sym­
bols as certain keys are pressed. General ste­
nographers, including most beginners, take
routine dictation and do other office tasks
such as typing, filing, answering telephones,
and operating office machines. Experienced
and highly skilled stenographers take dif­
ficult dictation and do more responsible cleri­
cal work. They may sit in on staff meetings
and later give a summary report or a wordfor-word record of the proceedings. They
also supervise other stenographers, typists,
and clerical workers. Technical stenographers
must know the terms used in a particular
profession. They include medical, legal, and
engineering or scientific stenographers. Some
experienced stenographers take dictation in
foreign languages; others work as public ste­
nographers serving traveling business people
and others.
Shorthand reporters (D.O.T. 202.362-010)
are specialized stenographers who record all
statements made in a proceeding. Shorthand
reporters often work as court reporters. They
take down all statements made at legal pro­
ceedings and present their record as the offi­
cial transcript. Many other shorthand report­
ers work as free-lance reporters who record
out-of-court testimony for attorneys, pro­
ceedings of meetings and conventions, and
other private activities. Still others record the
proceedings in the Congress of the United
States, in State legislatures, and in both State
and Federal agencies.
Most reporters dictate notes on magnetic
tapes that a typist can transcribe later. Be­
cause the reporter’s transcript is the official
record of a proceeding, accuracy is vitally

Working Conditions
Working conditions for secretaries are
similar to those of other office workers in the
same organization. Offices are clean, welllighted, and usually free from high noise lev­
els except during peak typing periods.
These jobs often involve sitting for long
periods, and typing often requires working
from materials that are difficult to read. Ex­
ecutive secretaries, on the other hand, who
perform a number of duties, have the variety
in their jobs that many workers prefer.

Places of Employment
Nearly 3.6 million persons worked as
secretaries in 1978, including 162,000 legal
secretaries and 83,000 medical secretaries.
Fewer than 100,000 persons worked as ste­
Secretaries and stenographers are em­
ployed in businesses and organizations of all
kinds. About two-thirds of them, however,

work in banks, insurance companies, real es­
tate firms, government agencies, and other
establishments providing services to the pub­
lic. Most specialized stenographers and
secretaries work for doctors, lawyers, and
other professional people.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Generally, graduation from high school is
required for a job as a secretary or stenogra­
pher. Many employers prefer applicants who
have additional secretarial training at a col­
lege or private business school. Courses vary
from a few months’ instruction in basic short­
hand and typing to longer programs teaching
specialized skills such as shorthand reporting
or legal or medical secretarial work. Short­
hand reporters generally must complete a 2year course in a shorthand reporting school.
An increasing number of private firms and
government agencies have their own training
facilities where employees can upgrade their
skills and broaden their knowledge of the or­
ganization. Also, many State and local gov­
ernments sponsor programs to train unem­
ployed and low-skilled workers for entry
level jobs as secretaries.
Several States require each court reporter
to be a Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR).
A certification test is administered by a board
of examiners in each of the States that have
CSR laws. The National Shorthand Report­
ers Association confers the designation Reg­
istered Professional Reporter (RPR) upon
those who pass a two-part examination and
participate in continuing education pro­
grams. The RPR designation is recognized as
the mark of excellence in the profession.
Employers usually have no preferences
among the many different shorthand meth­
ods. For court reporters, however, the prefer­
ence is for stenotype (machine shorthand),
not only because reporters can write faster
using stenotype, but also because they can
feed stenotype notes to a computer for high
speed transcription. The most important fac­
tors in hiring and promotion are speed and
accuracy. To qualify for jobs in the Federal
Government, stenographers must be able to
take dictation at a minimum of 80 words per
minute and type at least 40 words per minute.
Workers must achieve higher rates to ad­
vance to more responsible positions. In pri­
vate firms the requirements vary, but appli­
cants with the best speed and accuracy will
receive first consideration in hiring. Many
shorthand reporting jobs require more than
225 words of dictation per minute; shorthand
reporters in the Federal Government gener­
ally must take 175 words a minute.
Secretaries and stenographers should have
good hearing; a knowledge of spelling, punc­
tuation, grammar, and a good vocabulary are
essential. The ability to concentrate amid dis­
tractions is vital for shorthand reporters.
Employers look for persons who are poised
and alert, and who have pleasant personali­
ties. Discretion, judgment, and initiative are

ment have been introduced in recent years,
no adverse impact on employment of secre­
taries is expected. However, jobseekers who
are familiar with a wide range of office ma­
chines and procedures are likely to have bet­
ter prospects than other workers.
Persons with secretarial skills should find
extensive opportunities for temporary or
part-time work as employers increasingly
turn to these workers during peak business
periods. Such arrangements may be espe­
cially attractive to students, persons with
family responsibilities, retired persons, and
others interested in flexible work schedules.

In addition to having good typing and shorthand
skills, secretaries should be poised, alert, and

important for the more responsible secretar­
ial positions.
Many stenographers who improve their
skills advance to secretarial jobs; others who
acquire the necessary speed through addi­
tional training can become shorthand report­
ers. Secretaries can increase their skills and
broaden their knowledge of their company’s
operations by taking courses offered by the
company or by local business schools, col­
leges, and universities. As secretaries gain
knowledge and experience, they can qualify
for the designation Certified Professional
Secretary (CPS) by passing H series of exams
given by the National Secretaries Associa­
tion. This designation is recognized by a
growing number of employers as the mark of
achievement in the secretarial field. Many
executive secretaries are promoted to man­
agement positions because of their extensive
knowledge of their employer’s operations.

Employment Outlook
Employment of secretaries is expected to
increase faster than the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s as the expansion
of business and government continues to cre­
ate more paperwork. Hundreds of thousands
of jobs will become available each year due to
growth and the need to replace those who
die, retire, or stop working for other reasons.
Demand for secretaries will rise mainly as
organizations that require large secretarial
staffs expand their operations. New govern­
ment agencies, particularly at the State and
local level; insurance companies offering new
forms of protection; and banks providing fi­
nancial counseling for an increasingly afflu­
ent population are just a few of the organiza­
tions that will need well-trained and versatile
secretaries in the years ahead. Although
many new types of automated office equip­


Employment of stenographers is expected
to continue the decline of recent years. The
increased use of dictation machines has
severely reduced the need for office stenogra­
phers, and fewer jobs will be available than in
the past. In contrast, demand for skilled
shorthand reporters should remain strong as
State and Federal court systems expand to
handle the rising number of criminal court
cases and civil lawsuits. Competition for
entry level jobs is increasing as more students
enter the field. Opportunities will be best
for those who have earned certification by
the National Shorthand Reporters Associ­

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS) survey, general stenographers working
in private industry averaged $819 a month in
1978; experienced workers who were highly
skilled averaged $918.
According to the 1978 BLS survey, secre­
taries to supervisors in small offices earned
monthly salaries of $817. Secretaries to offic­
ers in small companies had average monthly
salaries of $893; those working for middle
management in large companies averaged
$991. Secretaries having greater responsibili­
ties, such as executive secretaries to corpo­

rate officers, earned average monthly salaries
of $1,085.
Beginning clerk-stenographers in the Fed­
eral Government earned from $697 to $876
a month in early 1979 depending on educa­
tion, training, and experience. Shorthand re­
porters generally earn higher salaries than
stenographic office workers. In 1978, accord­
ing to a survey made by the National Short­
hand Reporters Association, earnings of be­
ginning reporters ranged from $1,000 to
$1,400 a month depending on speed, educa­
tion, experience, and geographical location
(earnings are generally higher in large cities
than in rural areas). Starting salaries for
secretaries in the Federal Government
ranged from $876 to $1,085 a month, while
the average for all secretaries was $1,081 a
month. Stenographers earned slightly less,
and secretaries slightly more, than average
earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming.

Related Occupations
A number of other workers type, record
information, and process paperwork. Among
these are bookkeepers, receptionists, office
managers, personnel clerks, typists, adminis­
trative assistants, medical assistants, and
legal assistants.

Sources of Additional Information
For information on careers in secretarial
work, write to:
National Secretaries Association (International),
2440 Pershing Rd., Suite G10, Kansas City, Mo.

Additional information on careers in sec­
retarial work and a directory of business
schools are available from:
Association of Independent Colleges and Schools,
1730 M St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

High school students interested in careers
as legal secretaries may request the pamphlet

“So you want to be a legal secretary.” Write
National Association of Legal Secretaries (Interna­
tional), 3005 East Skelly Dr., Tulsa, Okla. 74105.
For information about shorthand reporting,
National Shorthand Reporters Association, 18
Park St. SE„ Vienna, Va. 22180.

Shipping and
Receiving Clerks
(D.O.T. 219.367-030; 222.137-030 and -034, .367-058,
.387-050, and .687-018 through -034; 248.362-010,
.367-014; and 920.687-162)

Nature of the Work
Shipping and receiving clerks keep track of
goods transferred between businesses and
their customers and suppliers. In small com­
panies, one clerk may record all shipments
sent out and received; in larger companies, a
number of clerks take care of this record­
Shipping clerks are responsible for all ship­
ments leaving a business place. Before goods
are sent to a customer, these clerks check to
be sure the order has been filled correctly,
and may fill the order themselves. They ob­
tain merchandise from the stockroom and
wrap it or pack it in shipping containers.
Clerks also put addresses and other identify­
ing information on packages, look up and
compute either freight or postal rates, and
record the weight and cost of each shipment.
They also may prepare invoices and furnish
information about shipments to another part
of the company, such as the accounting de­
partment. Once a shipment is checked and
ready to go, shipping clerks may move it to
the shipping dock and direct its loading into
trucks according to its destination. Shipping
and receiving clerks in small businesses may
perform some stock clerk duties. (For more
information about the additional duties of
shipping clerks in small firms, see the state­
ment on stock clerks elsewhere in the Hand­
When shipments arrive, receiving clerks
perform tasks similar to those of shipping
clerks. They determine whether their em­
ployer’s orders have been correctly filled by
verifying incoming shipments against the
original order and the accompanying bill of
lading or invoice. They record the shipment
and the condition of its contents. Clerks also
arrange for adjustments with shippers when­
ever merchandise is lost or damaged. The job
may also include routing or moving ship­
ments to the proper department, warehouse
section, or stockroom and providing infor­
mation that is needed to compute invento­

Working Conditions
Although shipping and receiving clerks
generally work in warehouses or in shipping
and receiving rooms, they may spend consid­
erable time on outside loading platforms.
Workplaces often are large, unpartitioned
areas that may be drafty, cold, and littered
with packing materials.
Most clerks have to stand for long periods
while they check merchandise. Locating
numbers and descriptions on cartons often
requires a great deal of bending, stooping,
and stretching. Also, under the pressure of
getting shipments moved on time, clerks
sometimes may help load or unload materials
in the warehouse.
Night work and overtime, including work
on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, may be
necessary when shipments have been unduly
delayed or when materials are needed im­
mediately on production lines. Most shipping
and receiving clerks receive time and onehalf for work over 40 hours.

Places of Employment
About 461,000 persons worked as shipping
and receiving clerks in 1978. More than half
worked in factories and about one-third were
employed by wholesale houses or retail
stores. Although jobs for shipping and receiv­
ing clerks are found throughout the country,
most clerks work in urban areas, where many
factories and wholesale houses are located.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
High school graduates are preferred for
beginning jobs in shipping and receiving de­
partments. Business arithmetic, typing, and
other high school business subjects are help­
ful. The ability to write legibly and keep or­

derly records is important. Dependability
and an interest in learning about the firm’s
products and business activities are other
qualities that employers seek. In addition,
shipping and receiving clerks should be able
to work under close supervision at repetitive
New employees usually are trained on the
job by an experienced worker. As part of
their training, they often file, check ad­
dresses, attach labels, and check items in­
cluded in shipments. As clerks gain experi­
ence, they may be assigned tasks requiring a
good deal of independent judgment, such as
handling problems with damaged merchan­
dise, or supervising other workers in shipping
or receiving rooms.
A job as a shipping or receiving clerk offers
a good opportunity for new workers in a firm
to learn about their company’s products and
business practices. Some clerks may be pro­
moted to head shipping or receiving clerk,
warehouse manager, or purchasing agent.
Very experienced workers with a broad un­
derstanding of shipping and receiving may
enter related fields such as industrial traffic
management. (Industrial traffic managers
and purchasing agents are discussed else­
where in the Handbook.)

Employment Outlook
Employment of shipping and receiving
clerks is expected to increase about as fast as
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. The number of shipping and receiving
clerks will not increase as much as office cler­
ical workers such as secretaries or bank
clerks, however, largely because so many
shipping and receiving clerks work in manu­
facturing and trade, industry sectors that are
among the slowest growing in the economy.
Further, employment of shipping and reCLERICAL OCCUPATIONS/91

ceiving clerks will continue to be affected
by automation. Growing numbers of firms
are using computers to store and retrieve
shipping and receiving records. The in­
creased use of conveyor belts to move ship­
ments also will make warehouse operations
more efficient.

Shipping and receiving clerks in urban
areas averaged $232 a week in 1978, accord­
ing to a recent survey. This is about as much
as the average for all nonsupervisory workers
in private industry, except farming. Salaries
varied substantially, however, by type of em­
ployer. Shipping and receiving clerks em­
ployed by manufacturing firms averaged
$227, those working for wholesale houses
averaged $249, and those employed by public
utilities averaged $280.

Related Occupations
Shipping and receiving clerks record,
check, and often store the materials that a
company receives. They also process and
pack goods for shipment. Other workers who
perform similar duties are stock clerks, mate­
rial clerks, distributing clerks, routing clerks,
and order fillers.

Sources of Additional Information
See the section on clerical occupations for
sources of additional information.

Statistical Clerks
(D.O.T. 206.387-010, 209.362-026 and .387-101,
214.362-010, 215.362-010 and .367-010, 216,
219.482-014, 221.587-030, 222.387-014 and .687-030,
and 953.167-010)

ber talliers or lumber checkers record the
amount and type of lumber processed in saw­
mills; pit recorders collect production data in
the steel industry.

roads, use rate tables to compute railway
freight charges and calculate the weight of
shipments or distance railroad cars have

Compiling and coding. In organizations of
all types, information must be properly filed,
verified, or prepared for data processing.
Posting clerks (D.O.T. 216.587-014) do this
work by making entries in registers and jour­
nals. They receive and sort records of ship­
ments, production, and financial transactions
to provide company officials with current in­
formation on business activities. Classifica­
tion clerks (D.O.T. 206.387-010) record data
systematically for easy location. Coding
clerks (D.O.T. 209.387-010) convert infor­
mation obtained from records and reports
into computer codes for data processing. Per­
sonnel clerks (D.O.T. 209.362-026) gather
and file information on the training, skills,
job duties, work history, and wages of a
firm’s employees. Their work may include
some typing and preparation of reports.

Scheduling. Statistical clerks may sched­
ule business activities that involve the move­
ment of people and things to assure that these
activities run smoothly and efficiently. For
example, assignment clerks (D.O.T. 215.367010) in bus companies assign drivers to meet
riders’ transportation needs. Drivers are
selcted on the basis of experience, seniority,
and nature of the assignment. Crew schedul­
ers (D.O.T. 215.362-010) do similar work for
airlines; they assign pilots to scheduled
flights and log the mileage each pilot has
flown. Gas dispatchers (D.O.T. 953.167-010)
determine the proper pressure in a natural
gasline to meet customers’ requirements after
considering information such as weather,
time of day, and other factors that affect the
use of gas.

Computing and tabulating. Organizations
frequently use numerical records for reports
and research. Statistical clerks gather infor­
mation from records to present in a chart or
table for analysis. Actuarial clerks (D.O.T.
216.382-062) use formulas, statistical charts,
and insurance rate books to assist actuaries in
determining insurance rates for company
customers. They also prepare charts and ta­
bles for studies on general insurance prac­
tices. Policy checkers (D.O.T. 219.482-014)
verify the accuracy of insurance company
records. Statistical clerks (D.O.T. 216.382062) are employed by government agencies,
business firms, health care facilities, and re­
search organizations to calculate numerical
data and prepare charts and tables on topics
such as population, housing, health, and
business conditions. Demurrage clerks
(D.O.T. 214.362-010), employed by rail­

Working Conditions
Most statistical clerks are employed in of­
fices where working conditions generally are
good. Work areas are clean, well-lighted, and
free from loud noises. Not all clerks work in
offices, however. For example, talliers and
shipping checkers are stationed where a com­
pany produces, ships, or receives products or
raw materials. In such cases, clerks may
work alongside production workers and ma­
terial handlers. These clerks must be careful
as they move about these fast-paced opera­

Places of Employment
About 377,000 persons worked as statisti­
cal clerks in 1978. Although statistical clerks
are employed in nearly every industry, over
half of them worked in finance, insurance,

Nature of the Work
Administrators and managers in all types
of organizations depend on numerical rec­
ords to help make decisions. Statistical clerks
prepare these records and help ensure their
accuracy and completeness. Although the oc­
cupational title “statistical clerk” covers a
number of different jobs, all of them can be
grouped into four categories: Recording,
compiling and coding, computing and tabu­
lating, and scheduling.
Recording. This work involves collecting
and verifying the accuracy of information.
Shipping checkers (D.O.T. 222.687-030) in
manufacturing companies and wholesale and
retail businesses ensure that merchandise to
be shipped is properly labeled and contains
the desired number of items. Car checkers
(D.O.T. 222.387-014) keep records of ship­
ments as they arrive at or leave a railroad
freight terminal. They check the number of
railroad cars and verify their contents with
the specifications on the invoice. Talliers
(D.O.T. 221.587-030) record the number of
items received, transferred, or produced.
They may have a job title that indicates the
kind of items they count. For example, lum­


Statistical clerks increasingly use data processing equipment.

and real estate firms; manufacturing compa­
nies; or government agencies.
Because businesses of almost every size re­
quire numerical records, statistical clerks
work throughout the United States. Jobs are
concentrated, however, in heavily populated
cities that are centers of industry and govern­
ment activities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most employers prefer to hire high school
graduates for statistical clerk jobs. They seek
applicants who have an aptitude for working
with numbers and the ability to do detailed
work. High school students may prepare for
jobs as statistical clerks by taking courses in
general mathematics, algebra, and geometry.
Also recommended are courses in data proc­
essing, office procedures, bookkeeping, and
In many companies, general clerks who
have become familiar with their employers’
record systems and office procedures are pro­
moted to statistical clerk positions. On-thejob training may include the use of calcula­
tors, tabulating machines, and typewriters.
Statistical clerks must be familiar with the
items or information they observe and re­
cord. For example, lumber checkers must
know the various types and qualities of wood
products. In preparing data for processing,
coding clerks must use the proper computer
codes to avoid errors.
Statistical clerks should be able to do
prompt and accurate work under close super­
vision. Also, they should be tactful and even
tempered when working with others in the
same office.
Most employers follow a promotion-fromwithin policy that allows experienced work­
ers to qualify for more responsible jobs as
they become available. Qualified statistical
clerks may perform more difficult assign­
ments or advance to supervisory positions.
Some statistical clerks are able to advance to
a technician level where they may deal with
the technical problems of statistical research
projects. Some clerks become computer pro­

Employment Outlook
Employment of statistical clerks is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. In ad­
dition to job opportunities arising from this
growth, many additional openings will occur
as clerks die, retire, or leave the occupation
for other reasons.
This occupation includes a wide range of
jobs, and prospects are better in some areas
than in others. Some routine jobs, for exam­
ple, may be eliminated as computers are used
increasingly to collect and process informa­
tion. However, statistical clerks in jobs that
require personal contact or involve the prepa­
ration of data for computer analysis are ex­
pected to be in great demand.

Among the factors that will contribute to
the demand for statistical clerks is the ex­
pected increase in business and government
activities, including projects requiring the
collection and processing of large amounts of
numerical data. In addition, administrators
increasingly will rely on numerical records to
analyze and control all aspects of their orga­
nization’s work.

Limited information indicates that begin­
ning statistical clerks earn about as much as
workers in other entry level clerical jobs such
as office clerks or file clerks; salaries for these
workers ranged between $129 and $149 a
week in 1978. The entrance salary for begin­
ning statistical assistants employed by the
Federal Government was $161 a week in
Experienced workers such as accounting
clerks who perform statistical work earned
between $168 and $215 a week in 1978. Earn­
ings are highest in manufacturing, transpor­
tation, and utilities industries; they tend to be
lower in retail trade; finance, insurance, and
real estate; and service industries.

Related Occupations
Other workers perform calculations, keep
numerical records, and prepare statistical re­
ports for use by other departments in a com­
pany. Among these are accounting clerks,
bookkeepers, payroll clerks, and insurance

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on clerical occupations
for sources of additional information.

Stock Clerks_____
(D.O.T. 206.387-030; 209.367-054; 222.137-034;
.367-010, -038,-042, and -062; ,587-030 and -050;
.687-010; 249.367-066; and 969.367-010)

Nature of the Work
Keeping track of supplies and equipment is
important in all kinds of businesses. Wellbalanced inventories and accurate record­
keeping help prevent production slowdowns
and lost sales.
Stock clerks control the flow of supplies in
and out of stock rooms. They receive, un­
pack, and store incoming merchandise or
material. When necessary, they report dam­
aged or spoiled goods. They also issue equip­
ment and supplies; keep track of the number
of items in storage; and reorder things that
are in short supply. On outgoing orders, they
may check the items for quality and quantity
and sometimes make minor repairs or adjust­
Materials are stored in bins, on the floor,
or on shelves according to the plan of the
stockroom. Stock clerks organize and mark
items with identifying codes or prices so that

inventories can be located quickly and easily.
They keep records of items entering or leav­
ing the stockroom. Sometimes they label,
pack, crate, or address goods for delivery.
Stock clerks working in small firms also
may perform various duties usually handled
by shipping and receiving clerks. (For more
information about the additional duties of
stock clerks in small firms, see the statement
on shipping and receiving clerks elsewhere in
the Handbook.) In large firms with special­
ized jobs, inventory clerks periodically count
items on hand and make reports showing
stock balances. Procurement clerks work in
factories and prepare orders for the purchase
of new equipment.

Working Conditions
Although stock clerks usually work in
relatively clean, heated, and well-lighted
areas, workers are on their feet much of the
day. The job involves considerable bending
and lifting.
Working conditions may vary depending
on the items they handle. For example, stock
clerks who handle refrigerated goods will
spend some time in cold storage rooms.
Those who handle construction materials
such as bricks and lumber must do much
walking and climbing to note the condition
and quantity of items.

Places of Employment
About 507,000 persons worked as stock
clerks in 1978. About two-thirds of them
worked in factories, wholesale firms, and re­
tail stores. Others were employed by airlines,
government agencies, schools, hospitals, and
other organizations that keep large quantities
of goods on hand. Jobs for stock clerks are
found in all parts of the country, but most
work in urban areas where factories, ware­
houses, and stores are concentrated.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although there are no specific educational
requirements for beginning stock clerks, em­
ployers prefer high school graduates. Read­
ing and writing skills and a basic knowledge
of mathematics are necessary; typing and fil­
ing abilities also are useful. Good health, es­
pecially good eyesight, is important. Gener­
ally, those who handle jewelry, liquor, or
drugs must be bonded.
Stock clerks usually receive on-the-job
training. New workers begin with simple
tasks such as counting and marking stock.
Basic responsibilities of the job usually are
learned within several weeks. As they prog­
ress, stock clerks learn to keep records of
incoming and outgoing materials, take inven­
tories, and order supplies. In small firms,
stock clerks may advance to sales positions or
become assistant buyers or purchasing
agents. In large firms, stock clerks can ad­
vance to more responsible stock handling
jobs such as invoice clerk, stock control
clerk, or procurement clerk. A few may be

More experienced typists do work that re­
quires a high degree of accuracy and indepen­
dent judgment. Senior typists work from
rough drafts which are difficult to read or
which contain technical material. They may
plan and type complicated statistical tables,
combine and rearrange materials from differ­
ent sources, or prepare master copies to be
reproduced on copying machines.
Clerk typists (D.O.T. 203.362-010) com­
bine typing with filing, sorting mail, answer­
ing telephones, and other general office work.
Varitypists (D.O.T. 203.382-026) produce
master copies, such as stencils, on machines
similar to typewriters. Transcribing machine
operators (D.O.T. 203.582-058) type letters
and reports as they listen to dictation re­
corded on magnetic tape. Other typists who
have special duties include policy writers
(D.O.T. 203.582-066) in insurance compa­
nies, and mortgage processing clerks (D.O.T.
203.382-022) in banks.

Fully stocked shelves insure that sales of fast-moving products are not interrupted.

promoted to warehouse manager. This job
involves a wide range of duties and respon­
sibilities and normally requires extensive
stock room experience and additional educa­

Employment Outlook
Employment of stock clerks is expected to
increase about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Stock clerks
will not experience the rapid employment
growth projected for office clerical workers
such as secretaries or bank clerks, however.
Growth will be slower than in other clerical
occupations largely because so many stock
clerks work in manufacturing and trade, in­
dustry sectors that are among the slowest
growing in the economy. Further, employ­
ment of stock clerks will continue to be af­
fected by automation. Computers are used
for inventory control in many concerns, and
automated storage systems have reduced the
need for frequent shifting of stock by hand.
Nevertheless, many job openings for stock
clerks will occur each year as employment
rises and as workers die, retire, or transfer to
other jobs.
In large companies, people who apply for
entry level, unskilled work may be placed in
stock clerk positions. Employers generally
fill such jobs quickly. Individual^ who
specifically seek work as a stock clerk there­
fore may have to apply at a number of con­
cerns to find employment.

Experienced stock clerks earned average
weekly salaries of $226 in 1978, according to
the limited data available. This was slightly
above the average for nonsupervisory work­
ers in private industry, except farming.
In the Federal Government, beginning

stock clerks without experience were paid
$143 a week in early 1979; those with some
education beyond high school received $161
a week. Experienced stock clerks in the Fed­
eral Government averaged about $194 a
week in 1978.
Stock clerks generally receive time and
one-half for work over 40 hours. Overtime
may be required when large shipments are
delivered and when inventory is taken.

Related Occupations
Other workers also handle, organize, and
store materials for a company. Among these
are order fillers, shipping and receiving
clerks, material clerks, distributing clerks,
and routing clerks.

Sources of Additional Information
See the section on clerical occupations for
sources of additional information.

(D.O.T. 203)

Nature of the Work
A rapid flow of written communication is
essential to the modern office. The typist
helps to maintain this flow by making neat,
typed copies of handwritten, printed, and re­
corded words.
Beginning or junior typists usually type
headings on form letters, copy directly from
handwritten drafts, and address envelopes.
Often, they do other office tasks, including
answering telephones, filing, and operating
office machines such as copiers and calcula­

Some offices group many typists in word
processing centers to handle the transcrip­
tion and typing for several departments.
These magnetic-tape typewriter operators
(D.O.T. 203.584-034) produce letters and
reports on high-speed typing machines
from material stored in a programmed
memory. They eliminate a great deal of re­
typing because they make corrections be­
fore producing the final copy. Word proc­
essing supervisors (D.O.T. 203.137-010)
coordinate the activities of workers who
operate magnetic-tape typewriters and
composing machines.

Working Conditions
Typists work in offices and have working
conditions similar to those of other office em­
ployees. They must sit for long periods and
sometimes must contend with high noise lev­
els caused by nearby office machines.

Places of Employment
About 1 million persons worked as typists
in 1978. In addition, many other workers—
including secretaries, newspaper reporters,
writers, and editors—used typing skills in the
performance of their jobs.
Part-time employment is readily available
for workers with clerical skills. Typists are
employed throughout the entire economy.
About half of them work in factories, banks,
insurance companies, real estate firms, and
government agencies.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Typists generally need a high school di­
ploma. Good spelling, punctuation, and
grammar are essential. The ability to operate
office equipment, such as copying and adding
machines, and a knowledge of office proce­
dures, are assets.
An increasing number of companies and
government organizations have typist train­
ing programs to help employees learn or up-

Employment Outlook
The number of typists is expected to grow
about as fast as the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s as business expan­
sion increases the volume of paperwork.
Also, many job openings will occur every
year because turnover in this occupation is
very high.
Continued growth of the economy, partic­
ularly in industries that generate vast quanti­
ties of written records and correspondence,
will assure very good prospects for typists in
the years ahead. Demand should be particu­
larly strong for highly skilled workers and
those who can handle other office jobs in
addition to typing. Many employers will pre­
fer typists who are familiar with word proc­
essing equipment. Because an increasing
number of employers are using temporary
and part-time workers during peak business
periods, opportunities should continue to be
excellent for typists who do not wish to work
full time.

According to a 1978 survey, beginning
typists averaged $162 a week. Those with
experience earned $193 a week, slightly less
than the average earnings for nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
In the Federal Government, the starting
salary for typists without experience was
$143 a week in early 1979, compared with
$181 a week for those with experience. Aver­
age weekly earnings for all typists in the Fed­
eral Government were $174 in 1978.
Successful typists are neat, accurate, and able to concentrate on details.

Related Occupations

grade skills and advance to more responsible
positions. Many States and localities sponsor
programs to train unemployed and lowskilled workers for entry jobs as typists.

Many other office workers use typing
skills. Among these are secretaries, stenogra­
phers, receptionists, office machine opera­
tors, telephone operators, personnel clerks,
and administrative assistants.

Many employers test the speed and accu­
racy of applicants for typing jobs. Most jobs
require a speed of 50 to 60 words per minute.
All typists who transcribe recorded dictation
need sharp hearing and must be especially

good in spelling. Typists should be neat, ac­
curate, and able to concentrate amid distrac­
As beginners increase their skills, they
often advance to higher level typing jobs.
Some typists are promoted to supervisor jobs
in word processing centers. Others who mas­
ter additional skills can move into secretarial

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on secretaries and ste­
nographers for places to write for more infor­
mation on clerical jobs.


Computer and Related Occupations
Since 1951 when the first computer was
installed for commercial use, computer sys­
tems have become an increasingly important
part of everyday life. Today these machines
bill customers, pay employees, record airline
and hotel reservations, help forecast weather,
and monitor factory production processes.
Scientific and engineering researchers rely on
computer systems to solve complex equations
as well as to collect, store, and sort vast
amounts of data. Microcomputers are used at
home for business and pleasure.
Workers in computer and related occupa­
tions design systems for processing informa­
tion, write instructions and translate them
into machine-readable language, and operate
computers and peripheral equipment such as
remote terminals.
Most computer careers require some type
of specialized training. A college degree is
becoming increasingly important for systems
analysts and programmers—especially for
those working in scientific and engineering
research operations. Computer operators
usually need a high school diploma, and spe­
cialized training and experience may be con­
sidered more important than formal educa­
tion beyond high school. For all computer
occupations, employers stress the importance
of learning on the job.
In addition to technical knowledge and
skills, computer personnel must be able to
concentrate and should enjoy working with
details. Those who operate equipment—data
entry or console operators, for example—
must have manual dexterity and some me­ OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

chanical aptitude. Programmers and systems
analysts must be able to think logically and
should enjoy solving problems.
This chapter describes three basic com­
puter occupations: Computer operating per­
sonnel, programmers, and systems analysts.

Computer Operating
(D.O.T. 203.582-022, -030; 206.387-030; 208.685-030;
and 213.132-010 and -014, .362-010, and .382-010)

Nature of the Work
All data systems require specialized work­
ers to enter data and instructions, operate the
computer, and retrieve the results. The data
to be processed and the instructions for the
computer are called “input;” the results are
called “output.”
Information is entered into a computer
system by data entry personnel in a variety of
ways. In some systems, keypunch operators
(D.O.T. 203.582-030) prepare input by
punching patterns of holes in computer cards
to represent specific letters, numbers, and
special characters, using a machine similar to
a typewriter. In others, data typists (D.O.T.
203.582-022) use special machines that con­
vert the information they type to holes in
cards or magnetic impulses on tapes or disks.
Most newer systems are capable of remote
data entry. The user sits at a machine

equipped with a typewriter keyboard and an
electronic screen that displays the data as it
is entered directly into the computer. In some
newer systems, data enters the computer at
the source of creation, for example, at the
loading dock or at a supermarket checkout
Once the input is coded—prepared in a
form the computer can read—it is ready to be
processed. Console operators (D.O.T. 213.362-010), who monitor and control the com­
puter, decide what equipment should be set
up for each job by examining the special in­
structions that the programmer has written
out. To process the input, they make sure the
computer has been loaded with the correct
cards, magnetic tapes, or disks, and then start
the computer. While it is running, they watch
the computer console paying special atten­
tion to signals, such as error lights, that could
indicate a malfunction. If the computer stops
or an error is signalled, operators must locate
the problem and solve it or terminate the
In some systems, devices directly con­
nected to the computer provide output in the
form desired by the programmer. In others,
high-speed printers or card-tape-converters
run by auxiliary equipment operators—high­
speed printer operators (D.O.T. 213.382-010)
and card-tape-converter operators (D.O.T.
213.382-010)—perform this function.
Frequently, data on punched cards, mag­
netic tape, or disks are kept for future use.
Tape librarians (D.O.T. 206.387-030) clas­
sify and catalog this material and maintain
files of current and previous versions of pro­
grams, listings, and test data. In smaller or­
ganizations, librarians may do some data
entry as well as coordinate activities between
the programmer and the operations depart­

Working Conditions
Because electronic computers must be ope­
rated at carefully controlled temperatures,
operators work in well-ventilated rooms; airconditioning counteracts the heat generated
by machine operations. When the equipment
is operating, the computer room can be
Some console and auxiliary equipment op­
erators work evening or night shifts because
many organizations use their computers 24
hours a day. Tape librarians usually work
only day shifts.

Places of Employment
About 666,000 persons worked as console,
auxiliary equipment, and keypunch opera­
tors in 1978.

judgment, especially when working without
supervision on second and third shifts.
Advancement opportunities for keypunch
and auxiliary equipment operators are lim­
ited, as data entry techniques become more
specialized. However, promotion to a super­
visory position is possible after several years
on the job. With additional training, often
including community or junior college study,
a few operators advance to jobs as console
Console operators also may be promoted
to supervisory positions, or to jobs that com­
bine supervision and console operation.
Through on-the-job experience and addi­
tional training, some console operators ad­
vance to jobs as programmers.

Employment Outlook

Computer operators must feel comfortable working with machines.

Although workers in these occupations are
employed in almost every industry, most
work in manufacturing firms, wholesale and
retail trade establishments, banks, and gov­
ernment agencies. Many computer and pe­
ripheral equipment operators work for insur­
ance companies and firms that provide data
processing services for a fee.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
In firms that have just installed a new com­
puter system, tabulating and bookkeeping
machine operators may be transferred to jobs
as keypunch or auxiliary equipment opera­
tors, or console operators. Most often, how­
ever, employers recruit workers who already
have the necessary skills to operate the equip­
Many high schools, public and private vo­
cational schools, private computer schools,
business schools, and community or junior
colleges offer training in computer operating
skills. The military services also offer valu­
able training in a number of computer skills.
In addition, a growing number of business
firms across the country hold weekend semi­
nars on data processing for high school stu­
dents. Similarly, computer professional as­
sociations encourage student participation in
professional conferences.
Employers in private industry usually re­
quire applicants to have a high school educa­
tion, and many prefer console operators to
have some community or junior college train­
ing, especially in data processing. The Fed­
eral Government requires a high school di­
ploma, unless applicants have had
specialized training or experience. Many em­
ployers test applicants to determine their ap­
titude for computer work, particularly their
ability to reason logically. Keypunch opera­

tors and other data entry personnel often are
tested for their ability to work quickly and
Beginners usually are trained on the job.
The length of training needed varies—auxil­
iary equipment operators can learn their jobs
in a few weeks, but console operators require
several months of training because they must
become sufficiently familiar with the com­
puter equipment to be able to identify the
causes of equipment failures.
Keypunch and auxiliary equipment opera­
tors should be able to work under close
supervision as part of a team. They also must
feel comfortable working with machines and
doing repetitive, organized tasks. Console
operators, however, must use independent

Changes in data processing technology
will have differing effects on computer oper­
ating occupations over the next decade. Em­
ployment of console and peripheral equip­
ment operators is expected to rise about as
fast as the average for all occupations
through the 1980’s while employment of key­
punch operators should continue the decline
of recent years.
Recent advances in miniaturizing cir­
cuits have enabled manufacturers to reduce
both the size and the cost of computer
components. As this technology develops,
a continued expansion in the use of com­
puters is expected, especially by small busi­
nesses. Employment of console and periph­
processing service firms may grow less ra­
pidly than in the past as more small firms
install their own computer systems, but
overall demand for these workers should
remain fairly strong.
This same technology will further reduce
demand for keypunch operators. The pri-

New ways to prepare data for computers have added
to the growing need for peripheral equipment operators
but have lessened demand for keypunch operators
Employment (thousands)


equ ipment operators


Keypunch operators ....*......






Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


mary reason for this decline is the increased
use of computer terminals and storage of data
on disks and cassettes. As direct data entry
techniques continue to become more effi­
cient, the importance of punched cards as a
form of input will diminish. Despite the an­
ticipated decline in employment, several
thousand openings will occur each year as
workers die, retire, or transfer out of the oc­

Weekly earnings of keypunch operator
trainees in private industry averaged around
$160 in 1978, according to surveys conducted
in urban areas by the Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics and firms engaged in research on data
processing occupations. Lead operators
earned from $220 to $250 weekly.
Weekly earnings of beginning console op­
erators averaged about $175. Experienced
workers earned from $220 to $250, and lead
operators earned from $260 to $300 weekly.
The average weekly earnings for tape librari­
ans in 1978 was $190.
In the Federal Government, console oper­
ators and keypunch operators without work
experience started at about $140 a week.
Throughout the economy in 1978, console
operators earned slightly more and keypunch
operators earned slightly less than average
earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming.

Related Occupations
Other occupations in which workers orga­
nize data and process information on elec­
tronic equipment include secretaries and typ­
ists, printing typesetters and compositors,
transcribing machine operators, and file

Sources of Additional Information
Further information on data processing
careers is available from:
American Federation of Information Processing
Societies, 1815 North Lynn St., Arlington, Va.

(D.O.T. 020.162-014 and .167-022)

Nature of the Work
Computers can process vast quantities of
information rapidly and accurately, but only
if they are given step-by-step instructions to
follow. Because the machines cannot think
for themselves, computer programmers must
write detailed instructions called programs
that list in a logical order the steps the ma­
chine must follow to organize data, solve a
problem, or do some other task.
Programmers usually work from problem
descriptions prepared by systems analysts
who have carefully studied the task that the


computer system is going to perform—per­
haps organizing data collected in a survey or
estimating the stress on portions of a building
during a hurricane. These descriptions con­
tain a detailed list of the steps the computer
must follow, such as retrieving data stored in
another computer, organizing it in a certain
way, and performing the necessary calcula­
tions. (A more detailed description of the
work of systems analysts is contained in the
following chapter.) An applications pro­
grammer then writes the specific program for
the problem, by breaking down each step into
a series of coded instructions using one of the
languages developed especially for comput­
Some organizations, particularly smaller
ones, do not employ systems analysts. In­
stead, workers called programmer-analysts
are responsible for both systems analysis and
Programs vary with the type of problem to
be solved. For example, the mathematical
calculations involved in payroll accounting
procedures are different from those required
to determine the flight path of a space probe.
A business applications programmer devel­
oping instructions for billing customers
would first take the company records the
computer would need and then specify a so­
lution by showing the steps the computer
must follow to obtain old balances, add new
charges, calculate finance charges, and de­
duct payments before determining a cus­
tomer’s bill. The programmer then codes the
actual instructions the computer will follow
in a high-level programming language, such
Next, the programmer tests the operation
of the program to be sure the instructions are
correct and will produce the desired informa­
tion. The programmer tries a sample of the
data with the program and reviews the re­
sults to see if any errors were made. If errors
did occur, the program must be changed and
rechecked until it produces the correct re­
sults. This is called “debugging” the pro­
Finally, an instruction sheet is prepared
for the computer operator who will run the
program. (The work of computer operators is
described in the statement on computer oper­
ating personnel.)
Although simple programs can be written
in a few hours, programs that use complex
mathematical formulas or many data files
may require more than a year of work. In
some cases, several programmers may work
together in teams under a senior program­
mer’s supervision.
Applications programmers are usually
business-oriented, engineering-oriented, or
science-oriented. A different type of special­
ist, the systems programmer, maintains the
general instructions (called software) that
control the operation of the entire computer
system. These workers make changes in the
sets of instructions that determine the alloca­
tion of the computer’s resources among the

various jobs it has been given. Because of
their knowledge of operating systems, sys­
tems programmers often help applications
programmers determine the source of prob­
lems that may occur with their programs.

Working Conditions
Programmers work about 40 hours a week,
but their hours are not always from 9 to 5.
Once or twice a week a programmer may
report early or work late to use the computer
when it is available; occasionally, they work
on weekends. When a new program is being
tested, programmers may get calls from com­
puter operators asking for advice at all hours
of the day or night.

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 247,000 persons worked as
computer programmers. Most were em­
ployed by manufacturing firms, banks and
insurance companies, data processing service
organizations, and government agencies.
Many programmers work in large firms
that need and can afford expensive computer
systems. Small firms, which generally require
computers only for payroll or billing pur­
poses, often pay data processing service or­
ganizations to do this work. Small firms may
maintain their own low-cost, small business
computers. Systems programmers usually
work in research organizations, computer
manufacturing firms, and large computer

Training, Other Qualifications, and
There are no universal training require­
ments for progammers because employers’
needs vary. Most programmers are college
graduates; others have taken special courses
in com puter program m ing to supplem ent
their experience in fields such as accounting
or inventory control.
Employers using computers for scientific
or engineering applications prefer college
graduates who have degrees in computer or
information science, mathematics, engineer­
ing, or the physical sciences. Graduate de­
grees are required for some jobs. Very few
scientific organizations are interested in ap­
plicants who have no college training.
Although some employers who use com­
puters for business applications do not re­
quire college degrees, they prefer applicants
who have had college courses in data process­
ing, accounting, and business administration.
Occasionally, workers who are experienced
in computer operation or payroll accounting
but have no college training are promoted to
programming jobs; however, they need addi­
tional data processing courses to become
fully qualified programmers. Although it
may be preferred, prior work experience is
not essential for a job as a programmer; in
fact, about half of all entrants to the occupa­
tion have no significant work experience.
Computer programming is taught at pub-

vancement are good. In large organizations,
they may be promoted to lead programmers
and be given supervisory responsibilities.
Some applications programmers may be­
come systems programmers. Both applica­
tions programmers and systems program­
mers often become systems analysts or are
promoted to managerial positions.

Employment Outlook
Employment of programmers is expected
to grow faster than the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s as computer
usage expands, particularly in firms provid­
ing accounting and business management
services, and in organizations involved in re­
search and development. In addition to job
openings resulting from growth of the occu­
pation, several thousand openings will arise
each year from the need to replace workers
who leave the occupation. Because many
programmers are relatively young, few open­
ings will result from deaths or retirements.
However, many vacancies will be created as
experienced workers transfer into jobs as sys­
tems analysts or managers.
The demand for applications programmers
will increase as many processes once done by
hand are automated, but employment will
not grow as rapidly as in the past for several
reasons. Improved software, such as utility
programs that can be used by other than data
processing personnel, will simplify or elimi­
nate some programming tasks. Also, employ­
ment of programmers in data processing
firms is not expected to rise as fast as in re­
cent years. Technology has reduced both the
size and cost of computer hardware, bringing
a computer system within reach of small
businesses. As more small firms install their
own computer rather than rely on a data
processing firm, employment growth in these
data processing firms may slow somewhat.

Programmers write detailed instructions that list the steps the computers must follow
to solve a problem.

lie and private vocational schools, commu­
nity and junior colleges, and universities. In­
struction ranges from introductory home
study courses to advanced courses at the
graduate level. High schools in many parts of
the country also offer courses in computer
An indication of experience and profes­
sional competence at the senior programmer
level is the Certificate in Computer Program­
ming (CCP). This designation is conferred by
the Institute for Certification of Computer
Professionals upon candidates who have
passed a basic five-part examination. In addi­
tion, individuals may take another section of
the exam in order to specialize in business,
science, or systems.
In hiring programmers, employers look for
people who can think logically and are capa­

ble of exacting analytical work. The job calls
for patience, persistence, and the ability to
work with extreme accuracy even under pres­
sure. Ingenuity and imagination are particu­
larly important when programmers must
find new ways to solve a problem.
Beginning applications programmers usu­
ally spend their first weeks on the job attend­
ing training classes. After this initial instruc­
tion, they work on simple assignments while
completing further specialized training pro­
grams. Programmers generally must spend at
least several months working under close
supervision before they can handle all aspects
of their job. Because of rapidly changing
technology, programmers must continue
their training by taking courses offered by
their employer and software vendors. For
skilled workers, the prospects for further ad­

Demand throughout the economy, how­
ever, should remain strong over the next dec­
ade. Prospects should be brightest for college
graduates who have had computer-related
courses, particularly for those with a major in
computer science or a related field. Gradu­
ates of 2-year programs in data processing
technologies also should find ample oppor­
tunities, although generally limited to busi­
ness applications.

Average weekly earnings of programmer
trainees in private industry ranged from $240
to $250 in 1978, according to surveys con­
ducted in urban areas by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics and firms engaged in research on
data processing occupations. Systems pro­
grammers generally earn more than applica­
tions programmers, and lead programmers
earn more than either systems or applications
programmers. For example, experienced sys­
tems programmers averaged about $430 a
week compared to $360 for applications pro­
grammers. Average weekly salaries for lead
systems programmers were $465, compared
to $415 for lead applications programmers.

In the Federal civil service, the entrance sal­
ary for persons with a college degree was
about $200 a week in 1978. In general, pro­
grammers earn about twice as much as the
average earnings of all nonsupervisory work­
ers in private industry, except farming.
Programmers working in the North and
West earned somewhat more than those
working in the South. Those working for
data processing services and public utilities
had higher earnings than programmers em­
ployed in banks, advertising, or educational

Related Occupations
Other workers in mathematics, business,
and science who solve detailed problems in­
clude mathematicians, statisticians, engi­
neers, financial analysts, actuaries, mathe­
matical technicians, and operations research

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information about the occupa­
tion of programmer is available from:
American Federation of Information Processing
Societies, 1815 North Lynn St., Arlington, Va.

Information about the Certificate in Com­
puter Programming is available from:
The Institute for Certification of Computer Profes­
sionals, 35 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 2828, Chicago, 111.

specifications for programmers to follow and
work with them to “debug,” or eliminate er­
rors from the system. (The work of computer
programmers is described in another chapter
in this section of the Handbook.)
The problems that systems analysts solve
range from monitoring nuclear fission in a
powerplant to forecasting sales for an appli­
ance manufacturing firm. Because the work
is so varied and complex, analysts usually
specialize in either business or scientific and
engineering applications.
Some analysts improve systems already in
use by developing better procedures or adapt­
ing the system to handle additional types of
data. Others do research, called advanced
systems design, to devise new methods of sys­
tems analysis.

Working Conditions
Systems analysts usually work about 40
hours a week—the same as other professional
and office workers. Unlike many computer
operators, systems analysts are not assigned
to evening or night shifts. Occasionally, how­
ever, evening or weekend work may be neces­
sary to complete emergency projects.

Places of Employment
About 182,000 persons worked as systems
analysts in 1978. Employment of these work­

ers is concentrated in two geographic regions
—about one-third of the total are employed
in the Midwest and one-fourth work in the
northeastern portion of the United States.
Most systems analysts worked in urban areas
for manufacturing firms, banks, insurance
companies, and data processing service or­
ganizations. In addition, large numbers
worked for wholesale and retail businesses
and government agencies.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
There is no universally acceptable way of
preparing for a job as a systems analyst be­
cause employers’ preferences depend on the
work being done. However, college graduates
generally are sought for these jobs, and, for
some of the more complex jobs, persons with
graduate degrees are preferred. Employers
usually want analysts with a background in
accounting, business management, or eco­
nomics for work in a business environment
while a background in the physical sciences,
mathematics, or engineering is preferred for
work in scientifically oriented organizations.
A growing number of employers seek appli­
cants who have a degree in computer science,
information science, information systems, or
data processing. Regardless of college major,
employers look for people who are familiar
with programming languages. Courses in

Systems Analysts
(D.O.T. 003.167-062, 012.167-066, and 020.062-010)

Nature of the Work
Many essential business functions and
scientific research projects depend on sys­
tems analysts to plan efficient methods of
processing data and handling the results.
Analysts begin an assignment by discussing
the data processing problem with managers
or specialists to determine the exact nature of
the problem and to break it down into its
component parts. If a new inventory system
is desired, for example, systems analysts must
determine what new data must be collected,
the equipment needed for computation, and
the steps to be followed in processing the
Analysts use various techniques, such as
cost accounting, sampling, and mathematical
model building to analyze a problem and de­
vise a new system. Once a system has been
developed, they prepare charts and diagrams
that describe its operation in terms that
managers or customers can understand.
They also may prepare a cost-benefit analysis
to help the client decide whether the pro­
posed system is satisfactory.
If the system is accepted, systems analysts
translate the logical requirements of the sys­
tem into the capabilities of the computer ma­
chinery or “hardware.” They also prepare


Analysts begin by discussing a problem to break it down into component parts.

computer concepts, systems analysis, and
data base management systems offer good
preparation for a job in this field.
Prior work experience is important.
Nearly half of all persons entering this occu­
pation have transferred from other occupa­
tions, especially from computer programmer.
In many industries, systems analysts begin as
programmers and are promoted to analyst
positions after gaining experience.
Systems analysts must be able to think log­
ically and should like working with ideas.
They often deal with a number of tasks
simultaneously. The ability to concentrate
and pay close attention to detail also is im­
portant. Although systems analysts often
work independently, they also work in teams
on large projects. They must be able to com­
municate effectively with technical person­
nel, such as programmers, as well as with
clients who have no computer background.
In order to advance, systems analysts must
continue their technical education. Techno­
logical advances come so rapidly in the com­
puter field that continuous study is necessary
to keep skills up to date. Training usually
takes the form of 1- and 2-week courses of­
fered by employers and “software” vendors.
Additional training may come from profes­
sional development seminars offered by pro­
fessional computing societies.
An indication of experience and profes­
sional competence is the Certificate in Data
Processing (CDP). This designation is con­
ferred by the Institute for Certification of
Computer Professionals upon candidates
who have completed 5 years’ experience and
passed a five-part examination.
In large data processing departments, per­
sons who begin as junior systems analysts
may be promoted to senior or lead systems
analysts after several years of experience.
Systems analysts who show leadership ability
also can advance to jobs as managers of sys­
tems analysis or data processing depart­

Employment Outlook
Employment of systems analysts is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s as computer
usage expands, particularly in accounting
firms and organizations engaged in research
and development. In addition to opportuni­
ties that will result from growth in computer
usage, some openings will occur as systems
analysts advance to managerial positions, be­
come consultants, or enter other occupa­
tions. Because many of these workers are
relatively young, few positions will result
from retirement or death.
The demand for systems analysts is ex­
pected to rise as computer capabilities are
increased and as new applications are found
for computer technology. Sophisticated ac­
counting systems, telecommunications net­
works, and scientific research are just a few
areas where continual study of the potential
uses of computer systems is resulting in new
approaches to problem solving. Over the next
decade, systems analysts also will be develop­
ing ways to use the computer’s resources to
solve problems in areas we have not yet
Advances in technology that have drasti­
cally reduced the size and cost of computer
hardware will have differing effects on em­
ployment of systems analysts. Employment
in data processing firms may not grow as
rapidly as in recent years as more small busi­
nesses install their own computers rather
than rely on a data processing service. This
will be offset, however, by a rising demand
for analysts to design systems especially for
the small computer and geared specifically
for problems of small firms.
The outlook for graduates of computerrelated curriculums should be excellent. Col­
lege graduates who have had courses in com­
puter programming, systems analysis, and
other data processing areas should also find
many opportunities. Persons without a col­
lege degree and college graduates unfamiliar

with data processing will face competition
from the large number of experienced work­
ers seeking jobs as systems analysts.

Earnings for beginning systems analysts in
private industry averaged about $300 a week
in 1978, according to surveys conducted in
urban areas by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
and private firms engaged in research on
computer occupations. Experienced workers
earned from $370 to $420, and lead systems
analysts earned from $450 to $460 weekly. In
the Federal Government, the entrance salary
for recent college graduates with a bachelor’s
degree was about $200 a week in 1978. Over­
all, systems analysts earn well over twice as
much as the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
Systems analysts working in the North and
West earned somewhat more than those in
the South, and generally their earnings were
greater in data processing service firms or in
heavy manufacturing than in insurance com­
panies or educational institutions.

Related Occupations
Other workers in mathematics, business,
and science who use logic and reasoning abil­
ity to solve problems are financial analysts,
urban planners, engineers, mathematicians,
operations research analysts, and actuaries.

Sources of Additional Information
Further information about the occupation
of systems analyst is available from:
American Federation of Information Processing
Societies, 1815 North Lynn St., Arlington, Va.
Association for Systems Management, 24587 Bagley Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44138.

Information about the Certificate in Data
Processing is available from:
The Institute for Certification of Computer Profes­
sionals, 35 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 2828, Chicago, 111.


Banking Occupations
Commercial banks constitute one of the
fastest growing industries in our economy.
To keep pace with requirements of the
community, they offer a variety of services:
Checking, savings, and credit card ac­
counts; commercial and consumer loans;
trust fund management; and financial


Banks employ highly specialized tech­
niques and equipment in very detailed
work. Consequently, most employees gain
experience and skill through on-the-job
training. Although banks usually seek col­
lege graduates for officer trainee jobs,
many openings exist for high school gradu­
ates in other bank positions. Bank em­
ployees generally have good opportunities
for advancement. They can qualify for better positions by enrolling in programs of­
fered by the American Bankers Associa­
tion, American Institute of Banking, or
State banking associations, or by taking
college courses in finance and business.
Bank employees should enjoy working
with numbers and be able to perform detailed
work. Personal qualifications, such as
honesty and the ability to communicate with
customers, are important.
This section discusses three categories of
banking occupations: Clerks, officers and
managers, and tellers.


Bank Clerks______
(D.O.T. 209.687-022; 210.382-014, -018, -022, -026,
-058; 216.362-014, -018, -026, and .382-038;
217.382-010, -014; 219.362-062; and 249.382-010)

Nature of the Work
All organizations need clerks to handle
paperwork. Because of the specialized nature
of banking, some clerical duties in banks dif­
fer from those of other businesses. (Secretar­
ies, typists, receptionists, file clerks, and
other clerical workers whose jobs are much
the same in banks as in other businesses are
discussed in greater detail elsewhere in the
In a small bank, one clerk may do several
jobs, such as sorting checks, totaling debit
and credit slips, and preparing monthly state­
ments for depositors. In a large bank, how­
ever, each clerk usually specializes and fre­
quently has a special job title, as well.
Many bank clerks use office machines
unique to banking. Clerks known as sorters
(D.O.T. 209.687-022) separate documents—
checks, deposit slips, and other items—into
different groups and tabulate each “batch” so
they may be charged to the proper accounts.
Often clerks use canceling and adding ma­
chines in their work. Proof-machine operators
(D.O.T. 217.382-010) use equipment that
sorts checks and deposit slips, adds their
amounts, and records the tabulations.
Bookkeeping workers are the largest group
of bank clerks. The job titles of bookkeepers

generally reflect the kinds of records they
keep—for example, Christmas club book­
keepers, discount bookkeeper, interestaccrual bookkeeper, trust bookkeeper, and
commodity loan clerk. Bookkeeping-machine
operators (D.O.T. 210.382-022 and -026),
sometimes called account clerks, posting ma­
chine operators, or recording clerks—run
conventional or electronic posting machines
to record financial transactions. Reconcile­
ment clerks (D.O.T. 210.382-058) process fi­
nancial statements from other banks to rec­
oncile differences, ensure accuracy, and aid
the auditing of accounts. Trust securities
clerks (D.O.T. 219.362-062) post investment
transactions made by trust officers in behalf
of bank customers. In addition to duties in­
dicated by their titles, many of these workers
do routine typing, calculating, and posting.
Other clerical employees whose duties and
job titles are unique to banking include coun­
try-collection clerks (D.O.T. 219.362-014),
who sort thousands of pieces of mail daily
and determine which items must be held at
the main office and which should be routed
to branch banks for collection; transit clerks
(D.O.T. 217.382-014), who sort checks and
drafts on other banks, list and total the
amounts involved, and prepare documents to
be mailed for collection; exchange clerks
(D.O.T. 216.362-018), who service foreign
deposit accounts and determine charges for
cashing or handling checks drawn against
such accounts; interest clerks (D.O.T. 216.382-038), who keep records on interest-bear­
ing items that are due to or from the bank;
and mortgage clerks (D.O.T. 249.382-010),
who type legal papers dealing with real estate
upon which money has been loaned and
maintain records relating to taxes and insur­
ance on these properties.
Electronic data-processing has created
several new clerical occupations unique to
banking. These include the electronic readersorter operator, who runs electronic check
sorting equipment; the check inscriber or en­
coder, who operates machines that print in­
formation in magnetic ink on checks,and
other documents for machine reading; and
the control clerk, who keeps track of the
large volume of documents flowing in and
out of the computer division. Other occupa­
tions include card-tape converter operator,
coding clerk, console operator, data typist,
data converting machine operator, data ex­
amination clerk, high-speed printer operator,
tape librarian, teletype operator, and verifier

Working Conditions
Although some bank clerks work evenings
or weekends, most generally work about 36

ries than have firms in other industries, such
as wholesale trade or manufacturing.

Related Occupations
Many clerical skills and abilities found in
banking also are needed in other sectors of
the financial community and in many other
industries. For example, accounting clerks
combine an ability to record and compute
numerical data with a knack for concentrat­
ing on detail to provide and maintain accu­
rate, comprehensive, and up-to-date financial
records; other clerical workers who perform
similar duties include audit clerks, bookkeep­
ers, claims examiners, payroll clerks, and
Administrative clerks perform a variety of
office tasks, including preparing correspon­
dence, running errands, and maintaining rec­
ords. Others who perform similar tasks are
insurance, mortgage, real-estate, securities,
and court clerks.

Some bank clerks provide customers with information about safe deposit boxes.

hours per week during normal business
hours. Clerks generally do not deal with cus­
tomers. Much of their work is routine and
requires remaining at work stations for ex­
tended periods.

promotion depends upon the worker’s per­
formance, qualifications, and motivation as
well as the available openings.


Employment of bank clerks is expected to
grow much faster than the average for other
occupations through the 1980’s. In addition
to opportunities stemming from growth in
the industry, many jobs will arise from the
need to replace the large number of clerks
who leave their jobs each year. As a result,
banking should continue to be a good source
of employment for clerical workers.

Banks employed approximately 500,000
clerks in 1978; one-fourth were secretaries or
typists, one-third were bookkeepers, and an­
other one-third were office machine opera­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
High school graduation is considered ade­
quate preparation for most beginning clerical
jobs in banks. Courses in bookkeeping, typ­
ing, business arithmetic, and office machine
operation are desirable. Applicants may he
given brief tests to determine their ability to
work rapidly and accurately, and to commu­
nicate effectively with others. They should be
able to work under close supervision as part
of a team.
Beginners often are hired as file clerks,
keypunch operators, transit clerks, or clerktypists. Some are trained by the bank to oper­
ate various office machines. A few start as
A clerk in a routine job may be promoted
to a clerical supervisory position, to teller or
credit analyst, and eventually to senior super­
visor. Advancement to a bank officer posi­
tion is a possibility for outstanding clerks
who have had college training or have taken
specialized courses in banking. Additional
education—particularly courses offered by
the American Institute of Banking—may
help workers advance. (See statement on the
banking industry for information on the In­
stitute’s educational program.) In general,

Employment Outlook

Jobs for clerks will arise as established
banks expand their services and new banks
and branches open. Future employment
growth will differ markedly among individ­
ual clerical occupations. Nearly all banks use
electronic equipment that lessens demand for
workers such as check sorters and bookkeep­
ing machine operators. Moreover, the need
for keypunch operators is declining as banks
shift from punched card to magnetic tapebased computer systems.
New technologies, however, are unlikely
to displace large numbers of workers. Over­
all, the banking industry and employment of
clerks in the banking industry are expected to
grow. Workers whose duties are given to a
machine most likely will be reassigned to new
jobs created by the change or to duties related
to new banking services.

Beginning salaries for clerical workers de­
pend upon the worker’s actual position and
length of experience, as well as the size and
location of the bank. An inexperienced typist
usually earned between $110 and $135 a
week in early 1979. In general, financial insti­
tutions have paid clerical workers lower sala­

Bank messengers gather, sort, and distrib­
ute various items and documents within and
outside of the bank. Other workers who simi­
larly process information are correspondence
clerks, expediters, mail handlers, medical re­
cord technicians, and proofreaders.
Proof machine operators employ concen­
tration and finger dexterity to process large
amounts of financial data quickly and accu­
rately. Other occupations requiring similar
capabilities in the operation of machines are
billing machine operators, keyboard opera­
tors, linotype operators, tabulating machine
operators, and typists.

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on the banking industry
elsewhere in the Handbook for additional in­

Bank Officers and
(D.O.T. 186.117-026, 038, 050, -054, -070, -074 -078,
.137-010, .167-014, -050, -054, -058, and .267-018)

Nature of the Work
Practically every bank has a president who
directs operations; one or more vice presi­
dents who act as general managers or who
are in charge of bank departments such as
trust or credit; and a comptroller or cashier
who, unlike cashiers in stores and other busi­
nesses, is an executive officer generally re­
sponsible for all bank property. Large banks
also may have treasurers and other senior
officers, as well as junior officers, to supervise
the various sections within different depart­
ments. Banks employed over 330,000 officers
and managers in 1978.
Bank officers make decisions within a
framework of policy set by the board of direc­
tors and existing laws and regulations. They
must have a broad knowledge of business acBANKING OCCUPATIONS/103

tivities to relate to the operations of their
department. For example, loan officers eval­
uate the credit and collateral of individuals
and businesses applying for a loan. Similarly,
trust officers must understand each account
before they invest funds to support families,
send young people to college, or pay retire­
ment pensions. Besides supervising financial
services, officers advise individuals and busi­
nesses and participate in community pro­
Because banks offer many services, a wide
choice of careers is available to workers who
Loan officers may handle installment,
commercial, real estate, or agricultural loans.
To evaluate loan applications properly, offic­
ers need to be familiar with economics, pro­
duction, distribution, merchandising, and
commercial law. Also, they need to know
business operations and should be able to an­
alyze an industry’s financial statements.
Bank officers in trust management require
knowledge of financial planning and invest­
ment for investment research and for estate
and trust administration.
Operations officers plan, coordinate, and
control the workflow, update systems, and
strive for administrative efficiency. Careers
in bank operations include electronic data
processing manager and other positions in­
volving internal and customer services.
A correspondent bank officer is responsi­
ble for relations with other banks; a branch
manager, for all functions of a branch office;
and an international officer, for advising cus­
tomers with financial dealings abroad. A
working knowledge of a foreign country’s fi­
nancial system, trade relations, and eco­
nomic conditions is beneficial to those inter­
ested in international banking.

Other career fields for bank officers are
auditing, economics, personnel administra­
tion, public relations, and operations re­

Working Conditions
Since a great deal of bank business depends
on customers’ impressions, officers and
managers are provided attractive, comforta­
ble offices and are encouraged to wear con­
servative, somewhat formal, business clothes.
Bank officers and managers typically work
40 hours a week; however, attending civic
functions, keeping abreast of community de­
velopments, establishing and maintaining
business contacts, and similar activities are
aspects of their jobs that occasionally require
overtime work.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Bank officer and management positions
generally are filled by management trainees,
and occasionally by promoting outstanding
bank clerks or tellers. College graduation
usually is required for management trainees.
A business administration major in finance
or a liberal arts curriculum, including ac­
counting, economics, commercial law, politi­
cal science, and statistics, serves as excellent
preparation for officer trainee positions. In
fact, a Master of Business Administration
(MBA) in addition to a social science bache­
lor’s degree comes closest to the “ideal” col­
lege education. However, banks do hire peo­
ple with diverse backgounds such as
chemical engineering, nuclear physics, and
forestry to meet the needs of complex, hightechnology industries with which they deal.
Valuable experience may be gained through
summer employment programs.
A management or officer trainee may

spend a year or two learning the various
banking areas before choosing a permanent
position. This practice is common but not
universal. A bank may hire an applicant with
specific skills for a position that is clearly
defined at the outset.
Persons interested in becoming bank offic­
ers should like to work independently and to
analyze detailed information. They also need
tact and good judgment to counsel customers
and supervise employees.
Advancement to an officer or management
position may come slowly in small banks
where the number of positions is limited. In
large banks that have special training pro­
grams, promotions may occur more quickly.
For a senior officer position, however, an em­
ployee usually needs many years of experi­
Although experience, ability, and leader­
ship are emphasized for promotion, advance­
ment may be accelerated by special study.
The American Bankers Association (ABA)
offers courses, publications, and other train­
ing aids to officers on every phase of banking.
The American Institute of Banking, an arm
of the ABA, has long filled the same educa­
tional need among bank support personnel.
(See the statement on the banking industry
elsewhere in the Handbook for more infor­
mation on these and other training programs
sponsored by universities and local bankers’
Because banking is an essential part of
business, well trained, experienced officers
and managers may transfer to closely related
positions in other areas of finance or to posi­
tions within other industries, such as manu­
facturing, that need individuals with banking

Employment Outlook
Through the 1980’s, employment of bank
officers is expected to increase much faster
than the average for all occupations. Rising
costs due to expanded banking services and
the increasing dependence on computers will
require more officers to provide sound man­
agement and effective quality control.
Greater international trade and investment
will stimulate international and domestic
banking activities, thus increasing the need
for bank officers and managers. Opportuni­
ties also will arise as experienced officers
leave their jobs. College graduates who meet
the standards for management trainees
should find good opportunities for entry po­


Bank officers provide personal financial assistance to customers.


Officer trainees at the bachelor’s level gen­
erally earned between $900 and $1,000 a
month in 1978. Those with master’s degrees
started at between $1,100 and $1,300 a
month. A Master of Business Administra­
tion, however, appears to be worth more in
salary terms: Graduates with an MBA were
offered starting salaries of $1,400 to $1,600 a
month in 1978.

Salaries of senior bank officers may be sev­
eral times as much as starting salaries. The
actual salary level depends upon the particu­
lar position and the size and location of the
bank. For officers, as well as for other bank
employees, earnings are likely to be lower in
small towns than in big cities.

Related Occupations
Bank officers and managers combine for­
mal schooling with further exposure in one or
more areas of banking, such as lending, to
provide services for customers. Other occu­
pations which require similar training and
ability include business representatives, in­
dustrial relations directors, safety council di­
rectors, city managers, export managers, and
purchasing agents.

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on the banking industry
elsewhere in the Handbook for additional in­

Bank Tellers________
(D.O.T. 211.132-010, .362-014, -018, -022, and -026)

Nature of the Work
Most bank customers have contact with
the teller, the individual who cashes checks
and processes deposits or withdrawals. Many
banks employ one or two “all-purpose” tell­
ers; larger banks employ tellers in more spe­
cialized functions. One teller, for example,
sells savings bonds; another accepts payment
for customers’ utility bills. A third receives
deposits for Christmas club accounts; and a
fourth keeps records and performs the neces­
sary paperwork for customer loans. Still
other tellers handle foreign currencies, sell
travelers’ checks, or compute interest on sav­
ings accounts.
Commercial tellers, the most common
kind of teller, cash customers’ checks and
handle deposits and withdrawals from check­
ing and savings accounts. Before cashing a
check, the teller must see that the written and
numerical amounts agree, verify the identity
of the person to receive payment, and be cer­
tain that the account has sufficient funds to
cover the check. The teller must carefully
count out the cash to avoid errors. Often a
customer withdraws money in the form of a
cashier’s check, which the teller types up and
verifies. When accepting a deposit, the teller
checks the accuracy of the deposit slip and
enters the total in a passbook or on a deposit
receipt. Tellers may use machines to make
change and total deposits. In some banks,
tellers use computer terminals to record
deposits and withdrawals. In other banks,
they write deposit receipts and passbook en­
tries by hand.
Tellers’ duties begin before and continue
after banking hours. They begin the day by
receiving and counting an amount of work­
ing cash for their drawer; this amount is

verified by a supervisor, usually the head
teller. Tellers use this cash for payments
during the day and are responsible for its
safe and accurate handling. After banking
hours, tellers count cash on hand, list the
currency-received tickets on a settlement
sheet, and balance the day’s accounts.
They also sort checks and deposit slips.
Paying and receiving tellers may supervise
one clerk or more.

days to 3 weeks or longer. Beginners usually
start as commercial tellers; in large banks
which have a separate savings teller’s “cage,”
they may start as savings tellers. Often banks
simultaneously train tellers for other clerical


The conditions governing advancement of
tellers are much the same as those for clerks.
The teller interested in promotion has access
to courses and other sources of additional
training. Such self-improvement efforts, cou­
pled with satisfactory performance on the
job, would make a teller an attractive candi­
date for promotion. After gaining experience,
a teller in a large bank may advance to head
teller; those who have had some college or
specialized training offered by the banking
industry may be promoted to an officer or
managerial position. (See the statement on
the banking i n d u s t r y for information about
the educational programs of the American
Institute of Banking.)

About 410,000 tellers were employed in
1978. A large number work part time.

Employment Outlook

Working Conditions
Although some tellers work evenings or on
Saturdays, most generally work during the
day, Monday through Friday. Continual
communication with customers, repetitive
tasks, and prolonged standing characterize
the job. After a couple of years’ work, tellers
typically seek other positions.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
In hiring tellers, banks seek people with
basic qualities: Clerical skills, friendliness,
and attentiveness. Although not required, a
high school diploma is generally preferred.
Maturity, neatness, tact, and courtesy are im­
portant because customers deal with tellers
far more frequently than with other bank em­
ployees. Although tellers work indepen­
dently, their recordkeeping is closely super­
vised. They work with detail and are
confined to a small work area.
New tellers usually observe experienced
workers for a few days before doing the work
themselves. Training may last from a few

The number of bank tellers is expected to
increase faster than the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s as banks expand
services. Thousands of openings will occur
each year as a result of growth in demand for
tellers and the need to replace tellers who
retire, die, or stop working for other reasons.
The relatively high replacement needs in this
occupation are expected to be an important
source of job opportunities. Qualified appli­
cants should find good employment pros­
Although increased use of mechanical and
electronic equipment may eliminate some
routine duties and speed other work, total
employment is not likely to be adversely af­

Most beginning tellers earned between
$110 and $135 a week in 1978. Experienced
tellers generally earned between $135 and
$180 a week. The actual salary depends upon
the length of service, the location and size of
the bank, and the worker’s specific duties.
Most savings tellers, for example, earned be­
tween $135 and $165 a week in 1978, while
note tellers usually earned between $160 and


$190 a week. In general, the greater the range
of responsibilities the teller performs, the
higher the salary.

similar duties include cashiers, toll collec­
tors, post office clerks, auction clerks, and
ticket sellers.

Related Occupations

Sources of Additional Information

Tellers combine a knowledge of bank
procedures with quickness and accuracy to
exchange money, checks, and other financial
items with customers. Other workers with

See the statement on the banking industry
elsewhere in the Handbook for additional in­
formation on this and other banking occupa­

Insurance Occupations
Insurance protection is an integral part of
our lives. It frees policyholders and their
beneficiaries from worry about the enormous
financial burdens that sometimes result from
death, illness, or other losses. Businesses
could not operate, nor could most people buy
homes or other major items, without the as­
surance of protection from sudden disaster.
Insurance workers adapt policies to meet
changing needs, decide which applications
can be accepted, establish premium rates on
the policies, and investigate and settle claims.
A college degree is increasingly important
for managerial, professional, and sales jobs in
insurance, although some positions are open
to high school graduates who have appropri­
ate experience. Insurance workers in clerical
positions generally need a high school di­
ploma. Regardless of their previous training,
insurance workers must continually learn
while on the job. Many professional associa­
tions sponsor courses in all phases of insur­
ance work, and employees are encouraged to
participate to prepare themselves for more
responsible jobs.
This section describes three insurance oc­
cupations: Actuaries, claim representatives,
and underwriters. (Statements on the insur­
ance industry and insurance agents and
brokers are included elsewhere in the Hand­


expenses as they occur. In the same manner,
the actuary calculates premium rates and de­
termines policy contract provisions for each
type of insurance offered. Most actuaries spe­
cialize in either life and health insurance or
property and liability (casualty) insurance; a
growing number specialize in pension plans.
To perform their duties effectively, actuar­
ies must keep informed about general eco­
nomic and social trends, and legislative,
health, and other developments that may af­
fect insurance practices. Because of their
broad knowledge of insurance, company ac­
tuaries may work on problems arising in their
company’s investment, group underwriting,
or pension planning departments. Actuaries
in executive positions help determine general
company policy. In that role, they may be
called upon to explain complex technical
matters to company executives, government
officials, policyholders, and the public. They
may testify before public agencies on pro­
posed legislation affecting the insurance busi­
ness, for example, or explain intended
changes in premium rates or contract provi­
Actuaries who work for the Federal Gov­
ernment usually deal with a particular insur­
ance or pension program, such as social secu­
rity or life insurance for veterans and
members of the Armed Forces. Actuaries in
State government positions regulate insur­
ance companies, supervise the operations of
State retirement or pension systems, and
work on problems connected with unemploy­

ment insurance or workers’ compensation.
Consulting actuaries set up pension and wel­
fare plans for private companies, unions, and
government agencies. They calculate future
benefits and determine the amount of the an­
nual employer contribution. Actuaries who
are enrolled under the provisions of the Em­
ployee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 (ERISA) evaluate these pension plans
and submit reports certifying their financial

Working Conditions
Actuaries have desk jobs that require no
unusual physical activity; their offices gener­
ally are comfortable and pleasant.
Most actuaries work between 35 and 40
hours a week, although they may be required
to work overtime during busy periods. Ac­
tuaries may travel to branch offices of their
company or to clients.

Places of Employment
Approximately 9,000 persons worked as
actuaries in 1978. Four of every 10 actuaries
worked New York, Hartford, Chicago, Phil­
adelphia, or Boston.
About two-thirds of all actuaries worked
for private insurance companies. Almost 90
percent of these worked for life insurance
companies; the rest worked for property and
liability (casualty) companies. The number of
actuaries employed by an insurance company
depends on its volume of business and the

(D.O.T. 020.167-010)

Nature of the Work
Why do young persons pay more for auto­
mobile insurance than older persons? How
much should an insurance policy cost? An­
swers to these and similar questions are pro­
vided by actuaries who design insurance and
pension plans that can be maintained on a
sound financial basis. They assemble and an­
alyze statistics to calculate probabilities of
death, sickness, injury, disability, unemploy­
ment, retirement, and property loss from ac­
cident, theft, fire, and other hazards. Actuar­
ies use this information to determine the
expected insured loss. For example, they may
calculate how many persons who are 21 years
old today can be expected to live to age 65—
the probability that an insured person might
die during this period is a risk to the com­
pany. They then calculate a price for assum­
ing this risk that will be profitable to the
company yet be competitive with other insur­
ance companies. Finally, they must make
sure that the price charged for the insurance
will enable the company to pay all claims and

Actuaries analyze statistical data.


types of insurance policies it offers. Large
companies may employ over 100 actuaries on
their staffs; others, generally smaller compa­
nies, may rely instead on consulting firms or
rating bureaus (associations that supply actu­
arial data to member companies).
Consulting firms and rating bureaus em­
ploy about one-fifth of all actuaries. Other
actuaries work for private organizations ad­
ministering independent pension and welfare
plans or for Federal and State government
agencies. A few teach in colleges and univer­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A good educational background for a be­
ginning job in a large life or casualty com­
pany is a bachelor’s degree with a major in
mathematics or statistics; a degree in actuar­
ial science is even better. Some companies
hire applicants with a major in engineering,
economics, or business administration, pro­
vided they demonstrate a thorough founda­
tion in calculus, probability, and statistics
(20-25 hours). Courses in accounting, com­
puter science, economics, and insurance also
are useful. Although only 25 colleges and
universities offer a degree in actuarial sci­
ence, several hundred schools offer a degree
in mathematics or statistics.
A strong background in mathematics is
essential for persons interested in a career as
an actuary. Of equal importance, however, is
the need to pass, while in school, one or more
of the examinations offered by professional
actuarial societies. Three societies sponsor
programs leading to full professional status
in they specialty. The Society of Actuaries
gives nine actuarial examinations for the life
and health insurance and pension field, the
Casualty Actuarial Society gives ten exami­
nations for the property and liability field,
and the American Society of Pension Actuar­
ies gives nine examinations covering the pen­
sion field. Because the first parts of the exam­
ination series of each society cover similar
materials, students need not commit them­
selves to a career specialty until they have
taken about five examinations. The first two
test competence in subjects such as algebra,
calculus, elementary statistics, geometry, and
trigonometry; the next three the more ad­
vanced concepts of actuarial science such as
theories of compound interest, mortality ta­
bles, and risk. Success in passing these first
few examinations helps students evaluate
their potential as actuaries, and those who
pass usually have better opportunities for em­
ployment and higher starting salaries.
Actuaries are encouraged to complete the
entire series of examinations as soon as possi­
ble; completion generally takes from 5 to 10
years. Examinations are given twice each
year. Extensive home study is required in
order to pass the advanced examinations;
many actuaries spend as much as 20-25 hours
a week studying. Actuaries who complete
five examinations in either the life insurance
series or the pension series or seven examina­

tions in the casualty series are awarded “as­
sociate” membership in their society. Those
who have passed an entire series receive full
membership and the title “fellow.”
Consulting pension actuaries who service
private pension plans and certify their sol­
vency must be enrolled by the Joint Board for
the Enrollment of Actuaries. Applicants for
enrollment must meet certain experience and
education requirements as stipulated by the
Joint Board.
Beginning actuaries often rotate among
different jobs to learri various actuarial oper­
ations and to become familiar with different
phases of insurance work. At first, their work
may be routine, such as preparing tabulations
for actuarial tables or reports. As they gain
experience, they may supervise clerks, pre­
pare correspondence and reports, and do re­
Advancement to more responsible work as
assistant, associate, and chief actuary de­
pends largely on job performance and the
number of actuarial examinations passed.
Many actuaries, because of their broad
knowledge of insurance and related fields,
are selected for administrative positions in
other company activities, particularly in un­
derwriting, accounting, or data processing
departments. Many advance to top executive

Employment Outlook
Employment of actuaries is expected to
rise faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s. In addition to job
openings resulting from growth in demand
for actuaries, additional openings will arise
each year as individuals retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations. Job opportunities
will be best for new college graduates who
have passed at least two actuarial examina­
tions while still in school and have a strong
mathematical and statistical background.
However, because of the large number of per­
sons expected to receive degrees in actuarial
science, mathematics, and statistics, and the
large number of students taking actuarial ex­
aminations, competition for beginning jobs
should remain keen.
Employment in this occupation is in­
fluenced to a great extent by the volume of
insurance sales, which will continue to grow
over the next decade. Shifts in the age distri­
bution of the population through the 1980’s
will result in a large increase in the number
of people with established careers and family
responsibilities. This is the group that tradi­
tionally has accounted for the bulk of private
insurance sales.
Increased sales, however, are only one
determinant of the demand for actuaries.
Changes in existing insurance practices have
created a need for more actuarial services.
For example, as more and more insurance
companies branch out into more than one
kind of insurance coverage, more actuaries
will be needed to establish the rates for the
different types of insurance offered. Growth

in sales of relatively new forms of protection,
such as dental, prepaid legal, and kidnap in­
surance also will create additional demand
for actuaries. As more States pass competi­
tive rating laws, many companies that previ­
ously relied on rating bureaus for actuarial
data can be expected to expand existing actu­
arial departments or create new ones.
The liability of companies for damage re­
sulting from their product has recieved much
attention as a result of recent court decisions.
In the years ahead, actuaries will be more
involved in the development of product lia­
bility insurance, medical malpractice and
workers’ compensation coverage.

In 1978, actuaries had average salaries
more than twice as high as the average for all
nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. New college graduates enter­
ing the life insurance field without having
passed any actuarial exams averaged $10,933
in 1978, according to a survey of U.S. compa­
nies by the Life Office Management Associa­
tion (LOMA). Applicants who had success­
fully completed the first exam received
$12,754 and those who had passed two exams
averaged $13,584.
In the Federal Government, new gradu­
ates with the bachelor’s degree could start at
$10,500 a year in 1978. Applicants with ei­
ther 1 year of graduate study or relevant
work experience were hired at $13,000, and
those with the master’s degree or 2 years’
experience started at $15,900 a year. Actuar­
ies in the Federal Government averaged $28,350 a year in 1978.
Beginning actuaries can look forward to a
marked increase in earnings as they gain pro­
fessional experience and advance in an actu­
arial society’s examination program. Life in­
surance companies usually give merit
increases averaging from $566 to $978 to
their actuaries as they pass each successive
examination leading to membership in the
Society of Actuaries. Associates who re­
ceived that designation in 1978 averaged
$18,325 a year; salaries for actuaries who be­
come fellows during that year averaged $27,163. Fellows with additional years of experi­
ence earned substantially more—top actu­
arial executives averaged about $47,600 in
Although data are not available for salaries
of actuaries in casualty companies or consult­
ing firms, it is believed that salaries for these
specialists generally are comparable to those
paid by life insurance companies. Most ac­
tuaries have liberal vacation policies and
other employee benefits.

Related Occupations
Actuaries assemble and analyze statistics
as well as apply various statistical techniques
in their day-to-day work. Other workers
whose jobs involve similiar skills include
mathematicians, statisticians, economists, fi­
nancial analysts, and engineering analysts.

Sources of Additional Information
For facts about actuarial opportunities and
qualifications, contact:
American Society of Pension Actuaries, 1700 K
St., NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.
Casualty Actuarial Society, 110 Plaza, 250 West 34
St., New York, N.Y. 10001.
Society of Actuaries, 208 South LaSalle St., Chi­
cago, 111. 60604.

(D.O.T. 168.267-014, 241.217-010, .267-018, and

Nature of the Work
Fast and fair settlement of all claims is
essential to any insurance company if it is to
meet its commitments to policyholders and
also protect its own financial well-being. The
people who investigate claims, negotiate set­
tlement with policyholders, and authorize
payment are known as claim representatives
—a group that includes claim adjusters and
claim examiners.
When a property-liability (casualty) insur­
ance company receives a claim, the claim ad­
juster determines whether the policy covers it
and the amount of the loss. Adjusters use
reports, physical evidence, and testimony of
witnesses in investigating a claim. When their
company is liable, they negotiate with the
claimant and settle the case.
Adjusters must make sure that settlements
reflect the claimant’s actual losses. They
must protect their company from false or in­
flated claims but, at the same time, settle
valid claims fairly and promptly. Some ad­

justers are allowed to issue checks on com­
pany funds; most, however, submit their
findings to claim examiners who review them
to insure that proper procedures have been
followed and then authorize payment.
Some adjusters work with all lines of insur­
ance. Others specialize in claims from fire
damage, marine loss, automobile damage,
workers’ compensation loss, or product lia­
bility. Several States have “no-fault” automo­
bile insurance plans that relieve the adjuster
from determining responsibility for a loss.
Adjusters in these States still must decide the
amount of loss, however. A growing number
of casualty companies employ special adjust­
ers to settle small claims, usually minor auto­
mobile or homeowner damage claims. These
workers, generally called “inside adjusters”
or “telephone adjusters,” contact claimants
by telephone or mail and have the policy­
holder send repair costs, medical bills, and
other statements to the company. Many com­
panies centralize this operation in a drive-in
claims center where the cost of repair is de­
termined and a check is issued on the spot.
Adjusters work away from the office most
of the time. They may be called to the site of
an accident, fire, or burglary. Adjusters make
their own schedules of the activities needed
to dispose of a claim properly. They also keep
written or taped records of information ob­
tained from witnesses and other sources and
prepare reports of their findings.
In life insurance companies, the counter­
part of the claim adjuster is the claim exam­
iner, who investigates questionable claims or
those exceeding a specified amount. They
may check claim applications for complete­
ness and accuracy, interview medical special­
ists, consult policy files to verify information
on a claim, or calculate benefit payments.
Generally, examiners are authorized to inves­

tigate and approve payment on all claims up
to a certain limit; larger claims are referred to
a senior examiner.
Examiners checking incorrect or question­
able claims may correspond with investigat­
ing companies, field managers, agents, or the
family of the insured. Claim examiners occa­
sionally travel to obtain information by per­
sonal interview, or contact State insurance
departments and other insurance companies.
In addition to verifying claims and approving
payment, examiners also maintain records of
settled claims and prepare reports to be sub­
mitted to their company’s data processing
department. Some experienced examiners
serve on committees, conduct surveys of
claim practices within their company, and
help devise more efficient ways to process
claims. They, like claim adjusters, sometimes
testify in court on contested claims.

Working Conditions
Claim adjusting is not a desk job. It re­
quires that a person be physically fit because
much of the day may be spent in traveling,
walking about outdoors, and climbing stairs.
Adjusters may have to work evenings or
weekends in order to interview witnesses and
claimants. Since most companies provide 24hour claim service to their policyholders,
some adjusters always must be on call. (See
the statement on the insurance industry for
additional information on working condi­
tions and employee benefits.) Occasionally,
an experienced adjuster may travel to the
scene of a disaster, such as a hurricane or a
riot, to work with local personnel. Some
cases may require travel outside the United
Claim examiners have desk jobs that re­
quire no unusual physical activity. Although
the average workweek for examiners is 35 to
40 hours, they may work longer at times of
peak claim loads or when quarterly and an­
nual statements are prepared. They also may
need to travel occasionally.

Places of Employment
About 169,000 persons worked as claim
representatives in 1978. The majority of
claim adjusters worked for insurance compa­
nies that sell property and liability coverage.
Some were employed by independent adjust­
ing firms that contract their services for a fee.
These independent firms ranged from na­
tional companies employing hundreds of ad­
justing specialists to small 3- or 4-person
local operations. A relatively small number
of adjusters represent the insured rather than
the insurance company. These “public ad­
justers” usually are retained by banks, finan­
cial organizations, and other business firms
to handle fire and other losses to property.
They negotiate claims against insurance
companies and deal with adjusters for such

Recording the details of damage assists agents in accurately estimating repair costs.

Most claim examiners worked for life in­
surance companies in large cities, such as
New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas,

and Philadelphia, where most home offices
are located.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although a growing number of insur­
ance companies prefer claim representa­
tives to have a college degree, many hire
those without college training, particularly
if they have specialized experience. For ex' ample, persons experienced in automobile
repair may qualify as auto adjusters, and
those with clerical experience might be
hired as inside adjusters.
'J f
No specific field of college study is recom­
mended. Although courses in insurance, eco­
nomics, or other business subjects are help­
ful, a major in almost any college field is
adequate preparation. An adjuster who has a
business or accounting background might
specialize in financial loss from business in­
terruption or damage to merchandise. Col­
lege training in engineering is helpful in ad­
justing industrial claims. A legal background
is most helpful to those handling workers’
compensation and product liability cases.
Most large insurance companies provide
beginning claim adjusters and examiners onthe-job training and home study courses.
Claim representatives are encouraged to take
courses designed to enhance their profes­
sional skills. For example, the Insurance In­
stitute of America offers a six-semester study
program leading to an associate degree in
claims adjusting upon successful completion
of six examinations. Adjusters can prepare
for these examinations by independent home
study or through company or public classes.
A professional Certificate in Insurance Ad­
justing also is available from the College of
Insurance in New York City.
The Life Office Management Association
(LOMA), in cooperation with the Interna­
tional Claim Association, offers a claims edu­
cation program for life and health examiners.
The program is part of the LOMA Institute
Insurance Education Program leading to the
professional designation, FLMI (Fellow, Life
Management Institute) upon successful com­
pletion of eight written examinations.
About three-fourths of the States require
adjusters to be licensed. Despite wide varia­
tion in State licensing requirements, appli­
cants usually must comply with one or more
of the following: Pass a written examination
covering the fundamentals of adjusting; fur­
nish character references; be 20 or 21 years of
age and a resident of the State; offer proof
that they have completed an approved course
in insurance or loss adjusting; and file a
surety bond.
Because they often work closely with
claimants, witnesses, and other insurance
professionals, representatives must be able to
adapt to many different persons and situa­
tions. They should be able to communicate
effectively and gain the respect and coopera­
tion of people from different backgrounds.
For example, when adjusters’ evaluations of

claims differ from those of the persons who
have suffered the loss, they should be able to
explain their conclusions tactfully. Examin­
ers need to be familiar with medical and legal
terms and practices and Federal and State
insurance laws and regulations. Because they
may have to check premium payments, pol­
icy values, and other numerical items in proc­
essing a claim, examiners should be adept at
making mathematical calculations. Both ad­
justers and examiners should have a good
memory and enjoy working with details.
Beginning adjusters and examiners work
on small claims under the supervision of an
experienced worker. As they learn more
about claim investigation and settlement,
they are assigned claims that are higher in
loss value and more difficult. Trainees are
promoted as they demonstrate competence in
handling assignments and as they progress in
their course work. Because of the complexity
of insurance regulations and claims proce­
dures, workers who lack formal academic
training may advance more slowly than those
with 2 years or more of college. Employees
who show unusual competence in claims
work or outstanding administrative skills
may be promoted to department supervisor
in a field office or to a managerial position in
the home office. Qualified adjusters and ex­
aminers sometimes transfer to other depart­
ments, such as underwriting or sales.

Employment Outlook
Employment of claim representatives is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s as the num­
ber of insurance claims continues to increase.
In addition to jobs created by growth in the
need for these workers, many jobs will result
from the need to replace workers who die,
retire, or transfer to other jobs.
Several factors point to a growing volume
of insurance and a resulting need for claim
adjusters. Over the next decade a steadily
rising number of workers will be entering
their most productive years. These workers
and their families are likely to seek insurance
protection as they purchase homes, automo­
biles, and other consumer durables. New or
expanding businesses will need protection for
new plants and equipment and for insurance
covering their employees’ health and safety.
As more people live and work in densely
populated areas, the increased risk of auto­
mobile accident, fire, or theft should result in
a greater number of claims.
As ways of doing business continue to
change, the demand for certain kinds of
claim adjusters will be stronger than for oth­
ers. For example, the growing trend toward
drive-in claim centers and claim handling by
telephone should reduce the demand for au­
tomobile adjusters while it stimulates de­
mand for inside adjusters. Independent ad­
justers who specialize in automobile damage
claims should continue to suffer some loss of
business. Prospects should be excellent, how­
ever, for adjusters who specialize in highly
complex types of business insurance such as

marine cargo, workers’ compensation, and
product liability.
A similar situation exists for claim examin­
ers. Employment of examiners in casualty
companies should rise about as fast as for
adjusters; however, much slower growth is
expected for life insurance examiners as in­
creased use of computers enables them to
process more claims, especially routine ones
and those that arise under group policies.

According to a survey of property and lia­
bility companies, claim adjusters averaged
about $14,760 a year in 1978; inside adjusters
earned average salaries of about $11,215.
Most public adjusters are paid a percentage
of the amount of the settlement—generally
10 percent. Adjusters are furnished a com­
pany car or are reimbursed for use of their
own vehicles for business purposes. Salaries
of claim adjusters are about one and one-half
times the average earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except
farming; salaries of inside adjusters are
slightly above the average for all nonsupervisory workers.
A survey of life insurance companies by
the Life Office Management Association re­
vealed that claim examiners earned average
salaries of $13,870 a year in 1978. According
to the survey of property and liability compa­
nies, casualty claim examiners averaged $ 17,100. Claim supervisors in casualty companies
and life companies averaged $18,650 a year.
Claim examiners earn more than one and
one-half times the average for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except
Most insurance companies have liberal va­
cation policies and other employee benefits.

Related Occupations
Other workers who have to make critical
decisions on the basis of financial data in­
clude auditors, loan officers, credit manag­
ers, and real estate appraisers.

Sources of Additional Information
General information about a career as a
claim examiner or adjuster is available from
the home offices of many life and property
and liability insurance companies.
Information about licensing requirements
for claim adjusters may be obtained from the
department of insurance in each State.
Information about career opportunities in
these occupations also may be obtained from:
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William St.,
New York, N.Y. 10038.
American Alliance of Insurance, 20 N. Wacker
Dr., Chicago, 111. 60606.
The National Association of Independent Insurers,
Public Relations Department, 2600 River Rd., Des
Plaines, 111. 60018.

For information about public insurance
adjusting, contact:

National Association of Public Adjusters, 1613
Munsey Building, Baltimore, Md. 21202.

sometimes accompany salespeople on ap­
pointments with prospective customers.

Career information on life insurance claim
examining is available from:

Most underwriters specialize in one of
three major categories of insurance: Life,
property and liability, or health. They further
specialize in group or individual policies. The
property and liability underwriter specializes
by type of risk insured, such as fire, automo­
bile, marine, or workers’ compensation.
Some underwriters, called commercial ac­
count underwriters, handle business insur­
ance exclusively. They often must evaluate a
firm’s entire operation in appraising its insur­
ance application. Casualty companies are
doing more “package” underwriting,
whereby various types of risks are insured
under a single policy. In such situations, the
underwriter must be familiar with several dif­
ferent lines of insurance rather than specializ­
ing in a single line.

American Council of Life Insurance, 1850 K St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.

(D.O.T. 169.167-058)

Nature of the Work
Insurance companies assume millions of
dollars in risks each year by transferring the
chance of loss from their policyholders to
themselves. Underwriters appraise and select
the risks their company will insure. (The
term underwriter sometimes is used in refer­
ring to insurance agents; see the statement on
insurance agents and brokers elsewhere in
the Handbook for a discussion of that occu­
Underwriters decide whether their compa­
nies will accept risks after analyzing informa­
tion in insurance applications, reports from
loss control consultants, medical reports, and
actuarial studies (reports that describe the
probability of insured loss). Because these
decisions seldom are reviewed at a higher
level, underwriters have great responsibility.
Their companies may lose business to com­
petitors if they appraise risks too conserva­
tively or may have to pay more claims if their
underwriting actions are too liberal.
When deciding that a policy is an accept­
able risk, an underwriter may outline the
terms of the contract, including the amount
of the premium. Underwriters frequently
correspond with policyholders, agents, and
managers about policy cancellations or to fill
requests for information. In addition, they

An increasing proportion of total insur­
ance sales is being made through group con­
tracts. A standard group insurance policy in­
sures all persons in a specified group through
a single contract at uniform premium rates;
this type of group policy generally provides
life or health insurance protection. The group
underwriter analyzes the overall composition
of the group to be sure that total risk is not
excessive. A different type of group policy
that has gained widespread acceptance is the
policy that provides the members of a group
—a labor union, for example—with individ­
ual policies geared to their own circum­
stances. These policies generally are in the
casualty field, covering automobiles, pleasure
boats, and homes. The casualty underwriter
analyzes the application of each group mem­
ber and makes individual appraisals. Some
group underwriters attend meetings with
union or employer representatives to discuss
the types of policies available to their groups.

Working Conditions
Underwriters have desk jobs that require
no unusual physical activity. Their offices
generally are comfortable and pleasant. Al­
though some overtime may be required, the
normal workweek is 35-40 hours. Underwrit­
ers occasionally may be away from home for
several days while attending meetings.

Places of Employment
An estimated 28,000 persons worked as
insurance underwriters in 1978. Over threefourths were property and liability under­
writers working in regional or home offices
throughout the United States; most life insur­
ance underwriters were in home offices in a
few large cities, such as New York, San Fran­
cisco, Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia.

ground. Some small companies hire persons
without a college degree for underwriter
trainee positions. In addition, some high
school graduates who begin as underwriting
clerks may be trained as underwriters after
they demonstrate an aptitude for the work.
Underwriter trainees begin by evaluating
routine applicants under the close supervi­
sion of an experienced risk appraiser. They
study claim files to become familiar with fac­
tors associated with certain types of losses.
As they develop the sound judgment that is
required, they are assigned policy applica­
tions that are more complex and have a
greater face value.
Continuing education is a necessity if the
underwriter expects to advance to senior
level positions. Insurance companies gener­
ally place great emphasis on completion of
one or more of the recognized independent
study programs. Many companies pay tui­
tion and the cost of books for those who satis­
factorily complete underwriting courses;
some offer salary increases as an additional
incentive. Independent study programs are
available through the American Institute of
Property and Liability Underwriters, the
American College of Life Underwriters, the
Academy of Life Underwriters, the Health
Insurance Association of America, and the
Life Office Management Association. As un­
derwriters gain experience, they can qualify
as a ‘fellow” of the Academy of Life Under­
writers by passing a series of examinations
and completing a paper on a topic in the
underwriting field. Examinations are given
by the Institute of Home Office Underwriters
and the Home Office Life Underwriters As­
sociation. Designation as a “fellow” is recog­
nized as a mark of achievement in the under­
writing field.
Underwriting can be a satisfying career for
persons who like working with detail and
enjoy evaluating information. In addition to
analyzing problems, underwriters must make
prompt decisions and be able to communi­
cate their ideas effectively. They must also be
imaginative and aggressive, especially when
they have to get additional information from
outside sources.
Experienced underwriters who complete
courses of study may advance to chief under­
writer or underwriting manager. Some un­
derwriting managers are promoted to senior
managerial jobs after several years.

Employment Outlook

Training, Other Qualifications, and

To assure an accurate appraisal of risk, under­
writers carefully review applications.

Employment of underwriters is expected
to rise faster than the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s as insurance sales
continue to expand. Each year many jobs will
become available as the need for underwrit­
ers grows and as those who die, retire, or
transfer to other work are replaced.

For beginning underwriting jobs, most
large insurance companies seek college grad­
uates who have a degree in liberal arts or
business administration, but a major in al­
most any field provides a good general back­

Several factors underlie the expected
growth in the volume of insurance and the
resulting need for underwriters. Over the
next decade, a much larger portion of our
population will enter their most productive

years. As this traditional market for life in­
surance expands, the volume of life insurance
sales is expected to rise to protect families’
standards of living, finance children’s educa­
tion, and provide retirement income. Prop­
erty and liability insurance sales also should
expand as purchases of automobiles, pleasure
boats, and other consumer durables increase.
Both spending for new home construction
and the American public’s growing security
consciousness should contribute to demand
for more extensive insurance protection.
New or expanding businesses will need pro­
tection for new plants and equipment and
insurance for workers’ compensation and
product liability. Heightened competition
among insurance companies and changes in
regulations affecting investment profits also
are expected to increase the insurance indus­
try’s need for competent underwriters.

Underwriters in life insurance who had 2
to 4 years’ experience averaged about $14,000 a year in 1978, according to a Life Office
Management Association (LOMA) survey.
Senior life underwriters (those with 5 to 8
years’ experience) averaged $18,600, while

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

senior group underwriters earned average
salaries of $18,700. Supervisors of underwrit­
ing in life insurance companies averaged
$17,670 to $23,860. In most cases, underwrit­
ers in larger companies earned higher sala­
A survey of companies that sell property
and liability insurance showed that under­
writers with 2 to 4 years’ experience averaged
$14,800 a year in 1978. Earnings varied subs­
tantially by underwriting specialty, however:
personal lines underwriters earned average
salaries of $12,800, while those specializing
in surety bonds averaged $15,600. Senior un­
derwriters earned substantially higher in­
comes—personal lines underwriters ave­
raged $17,300 while those specializing in
commercial lines received an average of $13,600 a year. Experienced underwriters earn
about one and one-half times the average
earnings of nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming. Underwriting
supervisors in property and liability compa­
nies averaged about $19,700 a year in 1978.
Most insurance companies have liberal va­
cation policies and other employee benefits.
(See the statement on the insurance industry

for additional information on working condi­
tions and employee benefits.)

Related Occupations
Underwriters make important decisions on
the basis of financial data. Other workers
with the same type of responsibility include
auditors, loan officers, credit managers, and
real estate appraisers.

Sources of Additional Information
General information about a career as
an insurance underwriter is available from
the home offices of many life insurance
and property and liability insurance com­
panies. Information about career oppor­
tunities as an underwriter also may be ob­
tained from:
American Council of Life Insurance, 1850 K St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William St.,
New York, N.Y. 10038.
Alliance o f American Insurers, 1776 F St. NW.,
Suite 504, Washington, D.C. 20006.
The National Association of Independent Insurers,
Public Relations Department, 2600 River Rd., Des
Plaines, 111. 60018.

Administrative and Related Occupations
Business and other organizations need a
diversity of workers to keep things running
smoothly. Hotels, for example, need manag­
ers to operate the hotel profitably and to see
that the needs of guests are satisfied. Large
corporations require workers to handle spe­
cialized areas such as personnel, public rela­
tions, purchasing, and market research.
Many communities employ city managers to
help solve problems such as air and water
pollution, and urban planners to make deci­
sions concerning growth and development.
Most organizations also employ the services
of accountants and lawyers; larger organiza­
tions have these workers on their staff. The
decisions and advice of these and other ad­
ministrative workers combine to set organi­
zation goals and policies and determine dayto-day actions.
Nearly all administrative jobs require a
college degree, although employers vary in
the specific area of study they seek. The jobs
also involve different types of skills. Ac­
countants, for example, need to be competent
in mathematics because they prepare and an­
alyze financial reports. For other workers,
such as college student personnel workers
and hotel managers, the ability to deal well
with people is more important.
This section describes a number of ad­
ministrative occupations, including city
managers, buyers, lawyers, and purchasing


. .

ents more effectively or give advice about dif­
ferent types of computers or electronic data
processing systems.

(D.O.T. 160 and 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Managers must have up-to-date financial
information to make important decisions.
Accountants prepare and analyze financial
reports that furnish this kind of information.
Three major fields are public, manage­
ment, and government accounting. Public ac­
countants have their own businesses or work
for accounting firms. Management account­
ants, also called industrial or private ac­
countants, handle the financial records of
their company. Government accountants ex­
amine the records of government agencies
and audit private businesses and individuals
whose dealings are subject to government
Accountants often concentrate on one
phase of accounting. For example, many
public accountants specialize in auditing (ex­
amining a client’s financial records and re­
ports to judge their compliance with stan­
dards of preparation and reporting). Others
specialize in tax matters, such as preparing
income tax forms and advising clients of the
advantages and disadvantages of certain
business decisions. They often help develop
estate plans that will have high benefits and
low taxes. Still others specialize in manage­
ment consulting and give advice on a variety
of matters. They might develop or revise an
accounting system to serve the needs of cli­

- ........

Openings vary greatly among administrative and
related occupations
Average annual openings in selected occupations, 1978-90 (thousands)




Accountants staff the faculties of business
and professional schools. As educators, they
may teach accounting as well as finance,
marketing, management, and related fields;
some are primarily researchers or adminis­
trators. Many accountants teach part time,
work as consultants, or serve on committees
of professional organizations. For additional
information, see the Handbook statement on
college and university faculty.

Working Conditions
Most accountants work in offices and have
structured work schedules. Accounting
teachers, on the other hand, with more flexi­
ble schedules, divide their time among teach­
ing, research, and administrative respon­
sibilities. Self-employed accountants, who
may set up offices at home, work as many
hours as the business requires.
Tax accountants work long hours under
heavy pressure during the tax season. Ac­
countants employed by large firms may
travel extensively to audit or work for clients
or branches of the firm.

Over 980,000 people worked as account­
ants in 1978, including over 150,000 Certified
Public Accountants (CPA), 17,000 licensed
public accountants, and about 9,000 Certi­
fied Internal Auditors (CIA).

Personnel and labor
relations workers
Purchasing agents
Hotel managers
and assistants

Many persons with accounting back­
grounds work for the Federal Government as
Internal Revenue Service agents or are in­
volved in financial management, financial in­
stitution examining, and budget administra­

Places of Employment


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Management accountants provide the fi­
nancial information executives need to make
sound business decisions. They may work in
areas such as taxation, budgeting, costs, or
investments. Internal auditing, a specializa­
tion within management accounting, is ra­
pidly growing in importance. Accountants
who work as internal auditors examine and
evaluate their firm’s financial systems and
management control procedures to ensure ef­
ficient and economical operation.

I Growth

J Deaths and


About 60 percent of all accountants do
management accounting. An additional 25
percent are engaged in public accounting as
proprietors, partners, or employees of inde­
pendent accounting firms. Other accountants
work for Federal, State, and local govern­
ment agencies, and some teach in colleges
and universities. Opportunities are plentiful


for part-time work, particularly in smaller

30 additional semester hours. This trend is
expected to continue in the coming years.

Accountants are found in all business, in­
dustrial, and government organizations.
Most, however, work in large urban areas
where many public accounting firms and
central offices of large businesses are concen­
trated, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New
York, and Washington, D.C.

For a “public accountant” or “accounting
practitioner” license or registration, some
States require only a high school diploma
while others require college training. Infor­
mation on requirements may be obtained di­
rectly from individual State boards of ac­
countancy or from the National Society of
Public Accountants.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training is available at colleges and uni­
versities, accounting and business schools,
and correspondence schools. Although many
graduates of business and correspondence
schools are successful, most public account­
ing and business firms require applicants for
accountant and internal auditor positions to
have at least a bachelor’s degree in account­
ing or a closely related field. Many employers
prefer those with the master’s degree in ac­
counting. A growing number of large em­
ployers prefer applicants who are familiar
with computers and their applications in ac­
counting and internal auditing. For begin­
ning accounting positions, the Federal Gov­
ernment requires 4 years of college (including
24 semester hours in accounting or auditing)
or an equivalent combination of education
and experience. However, applicants face
competition for the limited number of open­
ings in the Federal Government. For teach­
ing positions, most colleges and universities
require at least the master’s degree or the
Certified Public Accountant Certificate.
Previous experience in accounting can
help an applicant get a job. Many colleges
offer students an opportunity to gain experi­
ence through summer or part-time internship
programs conducted by public accounting or
business firms. Such training is invaluable in
gaining permanent employment in the field.
Professional recognition through certifica­
tion or licensure also is extremely valuable.
Anyone working as a “certified public ac­
countant” must hold a certificate issued by a
State board of accountancy. All States use
the four-part Uniform CPA Examination,
prepared by the American Institute of Certi­
fied Public Accountants, to establish certifi­
cation. The CPA examination is very rigor­
ous and candidates are not required to pass
all four parts at once. However, most States
require candidates to pass at least two parts
for partial credit. Although the vast majority
of States require CPA candidates to be col­
lege graduates, some States substitute a cer­
tain number of years of public accounting
experience for the educational requirement.
Most States require applicants to have some
public accounting experience for a CPA cer­
tificate. For example, bachelor’s degree hold­
ers most often need 2 years of experience
while master’s degree holders often need no
more than 1 year. Based on recommenda­
tions made by the American Institute of Cer­
tified Public Accountants, a few States now
require or are considering requiring CPA
candidates to have a bachelor’s degree plus

The Institute of Internal Auditors, Inc.,
confers the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
upon graduates from accredited colleges and
universities who have completed 3 years’ ex­
perience in internal auditing and who have
passed a four-part examination. The Na­
tional Association of Accountants (NAA)
confers the Certificate in Management Ac­
counting (CMA) upon candidates who pass a
series of uniform examinations and meet spe­
cific educational and professional standards.
Persons planning a career in accounting
should have an aptitude for mathematics, be
able quickly to analyze, compare, and inter­
pret facts and figures, and to make sound
judgments based on this knowledge. They
must question how and why things are done
and be able to clearly communicate the re­
sults of their work, orally and in writing, to
clients and management.
Accountants must be patient and able to
concentrate for long periods of time. They
must be good at working with systems and
computers as well as with people. Accuracy
and the ability to handle responsibility with
limited supervision are important.
Perhaps most important, because millions
of financial statement users rely on the ser­

vices of accountants, the public expects ac­
countants to have the highest standards of
A growing number of States require
both CPA’s and licensed public account­
ants to complete a certain number of hours
of continuing education before licenses can
be renewed. Increasingly, accountants are
studying computer programming so they
can adapt accounting procedures to data
processing. Although capable accountants
should advance rapidly, those having
inadequate academic preparation may be
assigned routine jobs and find promotion
Junior public accountants usually start
by assisting with auditing work for several
clients. They may advance to intermediate
positions with more responsibility in 1 or 2
years and to senior positions within an­
other few years. Those who deal success­
fully with top industry executives often be­
come supervisors, managers, or partners,
or transfer to executive positions in private
firms. Some open their own public ac­
counting offices.
Beginning management accountants often
start as ledger accountants, junior internal
auditors, or as trainees for technical account­
ing positions. They may advance to chief
plant accountant, chief cost accountant, bud­
get director, or manager of internal auditing.
Some become controllers, treasurers, finan­
cial vice-presidents, or corporation presi­
dents. Many corporation executives have
backgrounds in accounting and finance. In
the Federal Government, beginners are hired
as trainees and usually are promoted in a year

Accountants must be able to concentrate and work accurately on detailed matters
for long periods of time.

or so. In college and university teaching,
those having minimum training and experi­
ence may receive the' rank of instructor with­
out tenure; advancement and permanent fac­
ulty status depend upon further education
and teaching experience and are increasingly
difficult to attain.

Employment Outlook
Employment is expected to grow faster
than the average for all occupations through
the 1980’s due to increasing pressure on busi­
nesses and government agencies to improve
budgeting and accounting procedures. Be­
cause of the size of the occupation, however,
even more job openings should result from
deaths, retirements, and other separations
from the labor force than from employment
Demand for skilled accountants will rise as
managers rely increasingly on accounting in­
formation to make business decisions. For
example, plant expansion, mergers, or for­
eign investments may depend upon the finan­
cial condition of the firm, tax implications of
the proposed action, and other considera­
tions. On a smaller scale, small businesses are
expected to rely more and more on the exper­
tise of public accountants in planning their
operations. Government legislation to moni­
tor business activity also is expected to add to
the demand for accountants. Legislation and
regulations regarding pension reform, tax re­
form, revenue sharing, funding of elections,
financial disclosure, and other matters
should create many jobs for accountants. In
addition, increases in investment and lending
and the need for government to allocate lim­
ited funds also should spur demand for ac­
College graduates will be in greater de­
mand for accounting jobs than applicants
who lack this training. Opportunities for ac­
countants without a college degree will occur
mainly in small businesses and accounting
Many employers prefer graduates who
have worked part time in a business or ac­
counting firm while in school. In fact, experi­
ence has become so important that some em­
ployers in business and industry seek persons
with 1 or 2 years’ experience for beginning

Earnings of experienced accountants ranged
between $15,700 and $27,300, depending on
their level of responsibility and the complex­
ity of the accounting system. Chief account­
ants who direct the accounting program of a
company or one of its establishments earned
between $23,700 and $39,900, depending
upon the scope of their authority and size of
professional staff.
According to the same survey, beginning
auditors averaged $13,200 a year in 1978,
while experienced auditors’ earnings ranged
between $15,700 and $23,100.
In the Federal Government, the starting
salary for junior accountants and auditors
was $10,507 in early 1979. Candidates who
had a superior academic record could begin
at $13,014. Applicants with a master’s degree
or 2 years’ professional experience began at
$15,920. Accountants in the Federal Govern­
ment averaged about $24,300 a year in early
According to a 1978 survey of State gov­
ernments, average annual salaries of begin­
ning accountants or auditors ranged from
about $10,800 to $14,200; principal auditors
(work at first level of full supervision),
$15,900 to $21,300; accounting supervisors
(work at first level of full supervision), $14,700 to $19,600; and chief fiscal officers (those
who administer accounting and fiscal man­
agement programs of large State agencies),
$20,800 to $27,400.

Related Occupations
Accountants design and control financial
records and analyze financial data. Others
for whom training in accounting is invalu­
able include appraisers, budget officers,
loan officers, financial analysts, bank offic­
ers, actuaries, underwriters, FBI special
agents, securities sales workers, and pur­
chasing agents.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about careers in accounting
and about aptitude tests administered in high
schools, colleges, and public accounting
firms may be obtained from:
American Institute of Certified Public Account­
ants, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York,
N.Y. 10036.

The increasing use of computers and elec­
tronic data processing systems in accounting
should stimulate the demand for those
trained in such procedures.

Information on specialized fields of ac­
counting is available from:


National Association of Accountants, 919 Third
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022.

According to a 1978 College Placement
Council Salary Survey, bachelor’s degree
candidates in accounting received offers ave­
raging around $13,500 a year; master’s de­
gree candidates, $16,000. Public accounting
firms offered bachelor’s degree candidates
around $14,000 a year.

National Society of Public Accountants, 1717
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.

The starting salary of beginning account­
ants in private industry was about $12,800 a
year in 1978, according to a national survey.

Institute of Internal Auditors, 249 Maitland Ave.,
Altamonte Springs, Fla. 32701.

For information on educational institu­
tions offering a specialization in accounting,
American Assembly o f Collegiate Schools of Busi­
ness, 1755 Massachusetts Ave. NW., Suite 320,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

(D.O.T. 162.157-018 and -022; 185.167-034)

Nature of the Work
The Americans have been invited to a pri­
vate showing in Paris. Representing a major
New York department store, they sit with a
select group in an elegantly furnished room.
They watch closely as graceful models float
down the runway before them to display the
latest creations by the world’s most famous
designers. After some consultation, they
make choices involving thousands, perhaps
millions of dollars. All in a day’s work.
The job of retail buyer often brings to mind
the glamour of high fashion; indeed, many
fashion buyers do lead exciting, fast-paced
lives involving travel abroad. Not every
buyer, however, deals in fashion. All mer­
chandise sold in a retail store—garden furni­
ture, automobile tires, toys, aluminum pots,
and canned soups alike—appears in that
store on the decision of a buyer. Although all,
buyers seek to satisfy their stores’ customers
and sell at a profit, the kind and variety of
goods they purchase depend on the store
where they work. A buyer for a small cloth­
ing store, for example, may purchase its com­
plete stock of merchandise, from sportswear
to formal evening clothes. Buyers who work
for larger retail businesses often handle one
or a few related lines of goods, such as men’s
wear, ladies’ sportswear, or children’s
toys. Some, known as foreign buyers,
purchase merchandise outside the United
In order to purchase the best selection of
goods for their stores, buyers must be famil­
iar with the manufacturers and distributors
who handle the merchandise they need. They
also must keep informed about changes in
existing products and the development of
new ones. To learn about merchandise, buy­
ers attend fashion and trade shows and visit
manufacturers’ showrooms. They usually
order goods during buying trips, and also
place orders with wholesale and manufactur­
ers’ sales workers who call on them to display
their merchandise.
Buyers must be able to assess the resale
value of goods after a brief inspection and
make a purchase decision quickly. They
are aware of their stores’ profit margins
and try to select merchandise that will sell
quickly at well above the original cost.
Since most buyers work within a limited
budget, they must plan their purchases to
keep needed items always in stock but also
allow for unexpected purchases when a
“good buy” presents itself.
Because buyers purchase merchandise for
their firms to resell (unlike purchasing agents
who buy goods for direct use by the firm—
see the statement on purchasing agents else­
where in the Handbook), they must know
what motivates customers to buy. Before or­
dering a particular line of merchandise, buy­
ers study market research reports and ana­


lyze past sales records to determine what pro­
ducts are currently in demand. They also
work closely with assistant buyers and sales
clerks whose daily contact with customers
furnishes information about consumer likes
and dislikes. In addition, buyers read fashion
and trade magazines to keep abreast of style
and manufacturing trends; follow ads in
newspapers and other media to check retail
competitors’ sales activities; and watch gen­
eral economic conditions to anticipate con­
sumer buying patterns.
Merchandise managers (D.O.T. 185.167034) plan and coordinate buying and selling
activities for large and medium-sized stores.
They divide the budget among buyers, decide
how much merchandise to stock, and assign
each buyer to purchase certain goods. Mer­
chandise managers may review buying deci­
sions to ensure that needed categories of
goods are in stock, and help buyers to set
general pricing guidelines.
Buyers and merchandise managers usually
have very busy schedules and deal with many
different people in the course of a day. They
work with manufacturers’ representatives,
other store personnel including store execu­
tives and sales workers, and customers. As­
sisting with sales promotions and creating
enthusiasm among sales personnel are part of
the buyer’s job, and he or she may be asked
to provide information, such as dress sizes
and product descriptions, to the advertising
department for a sales promotion, or to meet
with floor sales workers before a new line of
merchandise is introduced. Some buyers di­
rect assistants who handle routine aspects of
purchasing such as verifying shipments; oth­
ers supervise department managers.

job can provide more than make up for any
emotional strain.

statement on retail trade sales workers else­
where in the Handbook.)

Buyers frequently work more than a 40hour week because of special sales, confer­
ences, and travel. The amount of traveling a
buyer does varies with the type of merchan­
dise bought and the location of suppliers, but
most spend 4 or 5 days a month on the road.

More and more, however, employers pre­
fer applicants who have a college degree.
Many colleges and universities offer associate
degree or bachelor’s degree programs in mar­
keting and purchasing. Postsecondary train­
ing also is offered in vocational schools or
technical institutes that prepare students for
careers in fashion merchandising. While
courses in merchandising or marketing may
help in getting started in retailing, such train­
ing is not essential, as a rule. Most employers
accept college graduates in any field of study
and train them on the job.

Places of Employment
In 1978, approximately 115,000 buyers
and merchandise managers worked for retail
firms. Although jobs for buyers are found in
all parts of the country, most jobs are in
major metropolitan areas where retail stores
are concentrated. Market representatives
work for buying offices in major market areas
such as New York, Chicago, and Dallas.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Because familiarity with the merchandise
and with the retailing business itself is such
a central element in the buyer’s job, prior
retailing experience sometimes provides suf­
ficient preparation. Many a successful buyer
began in a stockroom or behind a sales
counter and worked up the ladder. High
school distributive education programs have
launched careers in retailing that led, eventu­
ally, to a buyer’s position. (More information
about distributive education appears in the

In many stores, beginners who are candi­
dates for buying jobs start out in executive
training programs. These programs usually
last from 6 to 8 months and combine class­
room instruction in merchandising and pur­
chasing with short rotations to various jobs
in the store. This training introduces the new
worker to store operations
The trainee’s first job is likely to be that of
assistant buyer. The duties include supervis­
ing sales workers, checking invoices on mate­
rial received, and keeping account of stock on
hand. Assistant buyers gradually assume
purchasing responsibilities, depending upon
their individual abilities and the size of the
department where they work. Training as an
assistant buyer usually lasts at least a year.

Some buyers represent large stores or
chains in cities where many manufacturers
are located. The duties of these “market rep­
resentatives” vary by employer; some pur­
chase goods, while others supply information
and arrange for store buyers to meet with
manufacturers when they are in town.
New technology has altered the buyer’s
role in retail chainstores. In the past, firms
employed a buyer for each store or group
of stores in a local area. Now cash regis­
ters connected to a computer, known as
point-of-sale terminals, allow retail chains
to maintain centralized, up-to-the-minute
inventory records. With these records, a
single garden furniture buyer, for example,
can purchase lawn chairs and picnic tables
for the entire chain.

Working Conditions
Retailing is a highly competitive business,
and buyers operate under considerable pres­
sure. Anticipating customers’ preferences
and ensuring that goods are in stock when
they are needed is far from easy, and mistakes
can be costly. The buyer’s job calls for re­
sourcefulness and good judgment, as well as
the self-confidence to make decisions and
take risks. However, many successful buyers
feel that the stimulation and excitement the


Buyers must be able to assess the resale value of goods.

After years of working as a buyer, those who
show exceptional ability may advance to
merchandise manager. A few find further
promotion to top executive jobs such as gen­
eral merchandise manager for a retail store or
chain. The length of time it takes to reach any
of these levels depends not just on the indi­
vidual’s ability but on the store’s need for
management personnel. The faster the com­
pany grows, the greater the opportunity for
a worker to acquire responsibility.
Buyers should be good at planning and
decisionmaking and have an interest in mer­
chandising. They need leadership ability and
communications skills to supervise sales
workers and assistant buyers and to deal ef­
fectively with manufacturers’ representatives
and store executives. Because of the fast pace
and constant pressure of their work, buyers
need physical stamina and emotional stabil­

Employment Outlook
Employment of buyers is expected to grow
about as fast as the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s. The rate of growth
is expected to be slower than that projected
for the retail trade industry as a whole, how­
ever. This mainly reflects the increased use of
computerized systems to maintain invento­
ries and to order standard items of merchan­
dise through centralized buying. Such sys­
tems are gaining popularity among
chainstores and are expected increasingly to
dominate general merchandise retailing.
Most job openings will arise each year from
the need to replace workers who leave the
Competition for buying jobs is expected to
be keen, for merchandising attracts large
numbers of college graduates every year.
Prospects are likely to be best for qualified
applicants who enjoy the competitive nature
of retailing and work best in a demanding,
fast-paced job.

Buyers for discount department stores and
other mass merchandising firms are among
the most highly paid in the industry, as are
those who buy centrally for large chain de­
partment stores. Most earned between $23,000 and $32,000 a year in 1978, though many
earned salaries outside this range. Merchan­
dising managers earned considerably more.
The actual income depends upon the product
line purchased, the sales volume of the store,
and the individual’s seniority.
Buyers often earn large bonuses (cash
gifts) for exceptional performance. In addi­
tion, many stores have incentive plans, such
as profit sharing and stock options.

Related Occupations
Workers in other occupations need a
knowledge of marketing and the ability to
assess consumer demand; among them are
comparison shoppers, manufacturers’ sales
representatives, insurance sales agents,

wholesale trade sales representatives, and
travel agents.

Sources of Additional Information
General information about a career in re­
tailing is available from:
National Retail Merchants Association, 100 West
31st St., New York, N.Y. 10001.

Information on schools that teach retailing
is available from:
U.S. Department of Education, Division of Vocational/Technical Education, Washington, D.C.

National Association o f Trade and Technical
Schools, 2021 K St. NW„ Washington, D.C.

City Managers

ceive visitors, answer correspondence, and
generally help to keep the city government
functioning smoothly. Assistant city manag­
ers organize and coordinate city programs,
supervise city employees, and act for the city
manager on occasion. They also may assume
responsibility for some projects, such as the
development of a preliminary annual budget.
Department head assistants generally are re­
sponsible for one activity, such as personnel,
finance, or law enforcement, but they also
may assist in other areas. Administrative as­
sistants, also called executive assistants or as­
sistants to the city manager, usually do ad­
ministrative and staff work in all
departments under the city manager. For in­
stance, they may compile operating statistics
or review and analyze work procedures.
Management analysts study and recommend
possible changes in organization or adminis­
trative procedures.

Working Conditions

(D .O .T. 188.117-114)

Nature of the Work
Population growth and industrial expan­
sion place increasing pressure on housing,
transportation, and other facilities of cities.
Problems associated with the growth of mod­
em communities, such as air and water pollu­
tion and rising crime rates, also demand at­
tention. To cope effectively with these
problems, many communities hire a special­
ist in management techniques—the city man­
A city manager usually is appointed by the
community’s elected officials and is responsi­
ble directly to them. Although duties vary by
city size, city managers generally administer
and coordinate the day-to-day operations of
the city. They are responsible for functions
such as tax collection and disbursement, law
enforcement, and public works. They also
hire department heads and their staffs and
prepare the annual budget to be approved by
elected officials. In addition, they study cur­
rent problems, such as traffic congestion,
crime, or urban renewal, and report their
findings to the elected council.
City managers must plan for future growth
and development of cities and surrounding
areas. To provide for an expansion of public
services, they frequently appear at civic meet­
ings to advocate certain programs or to in­
form citizens of current government opera­
City managers work closely with planning
departments to coordinate new and existing
programs. In smaller cities that have no per­
manent planning staff, coordination may be
done entirely by the manager.
To aid the city manager, many cities em­
ploy management assistants: assistant city
managers, department head assistants,
(D.O.T. 189.167-030), administrative assist­
ants (D.O.T. 169.167-010), and management
analysts (D.O.T. 161.167-010). Under the
manager’s direction, management assistants
administer programs, prepare reports, re­

City managers generally work in well
lighted and ventilated offices. They often
work overtime at night and on weekends
meeting citizens’ groups, attending civic
functions, reading and writing reports, or fin­
ishing paperwork. When a problem arises or
a crisis occurs, they may be called to work at
any hour.

Places of Employment
About 3,000 city managers were employed
in 1978. In addition, several times as many
persons worked as administrative assistants,
department head assistants, and assistant city
managers. Most city managers worked for
cities and counties that had a councilmanager form of government. Under this
type of government, an elected council ap­
points a manager who is responsible for the
day-to-day operation of the government as
well as for the hiring and firing of assistants,
department heads, and other staff. Many
other city managers worked for municipali­
ties that had th e m ayor-coun cil form of gov­
ernment, in which the mayor appoints the
city manager as his or her chief administra­
tive officer. A few city managers also worked
for county governments, metropolitan or re­
gional planning organizations, and councils
of governments. All types of local govern­
ments employed management assistants, but
larger jurisdictions generally employed them
in greater numbers.
Although over three-fourths of all city
managers work for small cities having fewer
than 25,000 inhabitants, many larger cities
also employ a city manager. About one-half
of the cities having a population of between
10,000 and 500,000 have city managers.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A master’s degree, preferably in public or
business administration, is becoming essen­
tial for those seeking a career in city manage-


managers should find jobs in other fields of
public administration.

Salaries of city managers and management
assistants vary according to experience, job
responsibility, and city size. In 1978, the av­
erage annual salary for all managers was
more than $26,000, about two and one- half
times the average earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except
farming. In 1978, average annual salaries of
city managers ranged from about $22,000 in
small cities of 5,000 to 10,000 inhabitants to
about $40,000 in medium-sized cities of 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, according to the
International City Management Association.
City managers employed in large cities
earned salaries of more than $50,000 a year.
City managers in cities not having councilmanager governments received slightly less.

City manager and management assistant prepare to brief the city council
on the proposed city budget.

ment. Although some applicants with only a
bachelor’s degree may find employment,
strong competition for positions, even among
master’s degree recipients, will make the
graduate degree a requirement for most entry
level jobs. In some cases, employers may hire
a person with a graduate degree in a field
related to public administration, such as en­
gineering, social work, political science or
In 1978, over 200 colleges and universities
offered graduate degrees in public affairs or
administration. Degree requirements in some
schools include completion of an internship
program in a city manager’s office. During
this internship period, which may last from 6
months to a year, the degree candidate ob­
serves local government operations and does
research under the direct supervision of the
city manager.
Nearly all city managers begin as manage­
ment assistants. Most new graduates work as
management analysts or administrative as­
sistants to city managers for several years to
gain experience in solving urban problems,
coordinating public services, and applying
management techniques. Others work in a
government department such as finance,
public works, or public planning. They may
acquire supervisory skills and additional ex­
perience by working as assistant city man­
ager or department head assistant. City
managers often are first employed in small
cities, but during their careers they may work
in several cities of increasing size.
Persons who plan a career in city man­
agement should like to work with detail
and to be a part of a team. They must
have sound judgment, self-confidence, and
the ability to perform well under stress. To
handle emergencies, city managers must


quickly isolate problems, identify their
causes, and provide a number of possible
solutions. City managers should be tactful
and able to communicate and work well
with people.
City managers also must be dedicated to
public service since they often put in long,
hard hours in times of crisis.

Employment Outlook
Employment of city managers and local
government management assistants is ex­
pected to expand faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s as man­
agement of our governments becomes more
complex. Examples of more sophisticated
management techniques include computer­
ized tax and utility billing, electronic traffic
control, and application of systems analysis
to urban problems. The demand for city
managers also will increase as more cities
convert to the council-manager form of gov­
ernment, currently the fastest growing form
of city government. Furthermore, city
managers and management assistants will be
employed by other types of local government
to help elected officials with day-to-day oper­
ations of government. Increased emphasis on
regional solutions to urban problems should
result in additional job opportunities for city
managers and management assistants in
councils of government.
Persons who seek beginning management
assistant jobs are expected to face keen com­
petition through the 1980’s. Competition also
should be keen among the growing number
of administrative assistants, department head
assistants, and assistant city managers for the
relatively few city manager positions. How­
ever, many of those unable to find employ­
ment as management assistants or city

Salaries of management assistants ranged
from about $12,000 in small cities to more
than $20,000 in large ones. Salaries of assist­
ant city managers generally were higher than
those of other management assistants.
City managers often work more than 40
hours a week. Emergencies may require eve­
ning and weekend work and meetings with
individuals and citizen’s groups consume ad­
ditional time.

Related Occupations
A variety of related careers are open to
persons interested in managerial work. In the
private sector, a wide range of managerial
and executive carrers are possible in business
and industry. In the public sector, related
managerial occupations include: Program
analysts, government program managers,
management analysts, budget officers, school
or hospital administrators, and airport

Sources of Additional Information
For information on a career in city man­
agement, contact:
International City Management Association, 1140
Connecticut Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

College Student
Personnel Workers
(D.O.T. 045.107-010, -018, -026, -038; 090.107 through
.167 exc. 117-022; 129.107-018; 166.167-014)

Nature of the Work
A student’s choice of a particular institu­
tion of higher education is influenced by
many factors. Availability of a specific edu­
cational program, quality of the school, cost,
and location all may play important roles.
For many students, however, an equally
important factor is the institution’s ability to
provide for their housing, social, cultural,

and recreational needs. Developing and ad­
ministering these services are the tasks of col­
lege student personnel workers. The admis­
sions officer, the registrar, the dean of
students, and the career planning and place­
ment counselor are probably the best known
among these. Other workers who make up
this broad occupational field include student
activities and college union personnel, stu­
dent housing officers, counselors in the col­
lege counseling center, financial aid officers,
and foreign student advisers.
Titles of student personnel workers vary
from institution to institution, from program
to program within a single school, and with
the level of responsibility within a student
personnel program. The more common titles
include dean, director, officer, associate
dean, assistant director, and counselor.
The dean o f students, or the vice president
for student affairs, heads the student person­
nel program at a school. Among his or her
duties are evaluating the changing needs of
the students and helping the president of the
college develop institutional policies. For ex­
ample, to meet the needs of an increasing
number of older, part-time students, colleges
and universities have been changing their
policies concerning areas such as student
housing and student participation in deci­
sions on graduation requirements and course
offerings. In addition, the dean of students
generally coordinates a staff of associate or
assistant deans who are in charge of specific
programs that deal directly with the stu­
Admissions counselors interview and eval­
uate prospective students and process their
applications. They may travel extensively to
recruit high school, junior college, and older
students and to acquaint them with oppor­
tunities available at their college. They work
closely with faculty, administrators, financial
aid personnel, and public relations staffs to
determine policies for recruiting and admit­
ting students.
Personnel in the office of the registrar
maintain the academic records of students
and provide current enrollment statistics to
those who require them both within the col­
lege and in the community.
Student financial aid personnel help stu­
dents obtain financial support for their edu­
cation. Workers in this field must keep well
informed about the sources and management
of all forms of financial aid—scholarships,
grants, loans, employment, fellowships, and
teaching and research assistantships. They
work closely with administrators and the ad­
missions, counseling, business, and academic
office staffs.
Career planning and placement counse­
lors, sometimes called college placement of­
ficers, assist students in career selections and
also may help them get part-time and sum­
mer jobs. On many campuses, they arrange
for prospective employers to visit the school
to discuss their personnel needs and to inter­
view applicants. For further information on

Financial aid personnel must be well informed about all sources of financial aid.

this field, see the chapter on college career
planning and placement counselors.
The student personnel staff in charge of
student activities work with members of pro­
posed and established student organizations,
especially with student government. They
help the student groups to plan, implement,
and evaluate their activities. Often, the stu­
dent activities staff will assist in the orienta­
tion of new students.
College union staff members work with
students to provide intellectual, cultural, and
recreational programs. Many college union
staff members direct the operation of the
physical facilities and services of the college
union building, such as food and recreational
services, building maintenance, fiscal plan­
ning, and conference facilities.
Student housing officers sometimes live in
the dormitories and, in general, help the stu­
dents to live together in harmony. They may
serve as counselors to individual students
with personal problems. Housing officers
also may be involved in managing the fiscal,
food service, and housekeeping operations of
student residences.
Counselors help students with personal,
educational, and vocational problems. Stu­
dents may come to the counselors on their
own or be referred by a faculty member, a
residence hall counselor, or a friend. Coun­
seling needs may arise from lack of self-confi­
dence or motivation on the part of the stu­
dent, failure in academic work, desire to
leave college or transfer to another college,
inability to get along with others, loneliness,
drug abuse, or marriage problems. In addi­
tion, there is a growing trend for counselors
to try to reach more students by establishing
group sensitivity sessions and telephone
“hotlines.” Counselors often administer tests
that indicate aptitudes and interests to stu­

dents having trouble understanding them­
selves. Some also teach in the college or assist
with admissions, orientation, and training of
residence hall staff. For further information
on this field, see the chapter on psychologists
that appears elsewhere in the Handbook.
Foreign student advisers administer and
coordinate many of the services that help to
insure a successful academic and social expe­
rience for students from other countries.
They usually assist with foreign student ad­
missions, orientation, financial aid, housing,
English as a foreign language, academic and
personal counseling, student-community re­
lationships, job placement, and alumni rela­
tions. In addition, they may work as an ad­
viser for international associations and
nationality groups and for U.S. students in­
terested in study, educational travel, work, or
service projects abroad.

Working Conditions
Students are not always available for con­
sultation or meetings during the day, so eve­
ning and weekend work is common. And
since the workflow at a college may be irregu­
lar, college student personnel workers some­
times face hectic periods where they work
more than 40 hours a week. Registrars, for
example, are especially busy during the
weeks immediately preceding and including
registration, while admissions counselors at
private institutions may work long hours in
early spring, as the deadline for determining
next year’s student body approaches.

Places of Employment
An estimated 55,000 college student per­
sonnel workers were employed in 1978.
Every college and university, whether a 2year or a 4-year school, has a staff performing
student personnel functions. They are not al­


ways organized as a unified program. Large
colleges and universities generally have spe­
cialized staffs for each personnel function. In
many small colleges, a few persons may carry
out the entire student personnel program.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Because of the diversity in duties, the edu­
cation and backgrounds of college student
personnel workers vary considerably. Gener­
ally, however, a master’s degree is preferred
and a doctoral degree may be necessary for
advancement to toplevel positions. Schools
often prefer persons who have a bachelor’s
degree in a social science, such as economics
or history, and a master’s degree in student
personnel work. In 1978, over 100 colleges
and universities offered graduate programs in
this area.
Other specialized training also may be required for some student personnel occupa­
tions. A master’s degree in clinical or coun­
seling psychology usually is required for
work as a college counselor. This degree also
is helpful in other student personnel fields
such as career planning and placement. Fa­
miliarity with data processing is an asset, es­
pecially for work in admissions, records, or
financial aid.
Previous experience in college administra­
tion is desirable. Many graduate students ob­
tain this experience by working part time in
residence halls or in financial aid or admis­
sions offices, sometimes as part of a work/study program. Participation in student gov­
ernment as an undergraduate also provides
useful exposure.
College student personnel workers must be
interested in, and able to work with, people
of all backgrounds and ages. They must have
the patience to cope with conflicting view­
points of students, faculty, and parents. Peo­
ple in this field often deal with the unex­
pected and the unusual; therefore, emotional
stability and the ability to function while
under pressure are necessities.
Entry level positions usually are those of
student activities advisers, admissions
counselors, financial aid counselors, resi­
dence hall directors, and assistants to deans.
Persons who do not have graduate degrees
may find advancement opportunities limited.
A doctorate usually is necessary for the top
student personnel positions.

Employment Outlook
The employment outlook for college stu­
dent personnel workers is likely to be some­
what competitive through the 1980’s. Tight­
ening budgets in both public and private
colleges and universities are expected to limit
growth in employment. Student personnel
positions least likely to be affected if some
reduction becomes necessary are those in ad­
missions and financial aid. Most openings
will result from the need to replace personnel
who transfer to other positions, retire, or
leave the field for other reasons.


Any employment growth that does occur
is expected to be in junior and community
colleges. Enrollment at this level of education
has been rising and many new schools have
opened. If this trend continues, some addi­
tional student personnel workers will be
needed in 2-year institutions.

In 1978, annual salaries averaged $37,800
for presidents and chancellors, $28,100 for
deans, $20,600 for counseling directors, $20,300 for admissions directors, $18,000 for reg­
istrars, $17,900 for placement directors, $16,800 for financial aid directors, and $16,700
for housing directors, according to a survey
by the National Center for Education Statis­
tics. Salaries vary greatly, however, depend­
ing on geographic location and the size of the
Employment in these occupations usually
is on a 12-month basis. In many schools, col­
lege student personnel workers are entitled to
retirement, group medical and life insurance,
and sabbatical and other benefits.

Related Occupations
Secondary and elementary schools also
need a variety of administrative workers to
operate effectively. Included in this group are
superintendents, principals, deans, guidance
counselors, and school psychologists.

Credit Managers
(D.O.T. 168.167-054)

Nature of the Work
Over the years, buying on credit has be­
come a customary way of doing business.
Consumers use credit extensively to buy
houses, cars, refrigerators, and many other
goods and services. The vast majority of busi­
ness purchases, such as raw materials used in
manufacturing and merchandise to be sold in
retail stores, also are bought on credit so that
businesses do not have to tie up their cash in
For most forms of credit, a credit manager
has final authority to accept or reject a credit
application. In extending credit to a business
(commercial credit), the credit manager or
an assistant analyzes detailed financial re­
ports submitted by the applicant, interviews
a representative of the company about its
management, and reviews credit agency re­
ports to determine the firm’s record in repay­
ing debts. The manager also checks at banks
where the company has deposits or previ­
ously was granted credit. In extending credit
to individuals (consumer credit), detailed fi­
nancial reports usually are not available. The
credit manager must rely more on personal
interviews, credit bureaus, and banks to pro­
vide information about the person applying
for credit.
Particularly in large organizations, execu­

tive level credit managers work with other
top managers to formulate a credit policy.
They establish financial standards to be met
by applicants and thereby determine the
amount of risk that their company will ac­
cept when offering its products or services for
sale on credit. Managers must cooperate with
the sales department in developing a credit
policy liberal enough to allow the company’s
sales to increase and yet strict enough to deny
credit to customers whose ability to repay
their debts is questionable. Many credit
managers establish office procedures and su­
pervise workers who gather information, an­
alyze facts, and perform general office duties
in a credit department; they include applica­
tion clerks, collection workers, bookkeepers,
and secretaries.
In small companies that handle a limited
number of accounts, credit managers may do
much of the work of granting credit them­
selves. They may interview applicants, ana­
lyze the information gained in the interview,
and make the final approval. They frequently
must contact customers who are unable or
refuse to pay their debts. They do this
through writing, telephoning, or personal
contact. If these attempts at collection fail,
credit managers may refer the account to a
collection agency or assign an attorney to
take legal action.

Working Conditions
Credit managers normally work the stan­
dard 35-40 hour workweek, but some may
work longer hours. In wholesale and retail
trade, for example, a seasonal increase in
credit sales can produce a greater work vol­
Credit managers usually spend most of
their time in the office. However, they may
travel occasionally. Some credit managers,
for example, attend conferences sponsored by
industry and professional organizations in
which they develop and discuss new tech­
niques for credit department management.

Places of Employment
About 49,000 persons worked as credit
managers in 1978. About one-half were em­
ployed in wholesale and retail trade, but
many others, about 40 percent of the total,
worked for manufacturing firms and finan­
cial institutions.
Although credit is granted throughout the
United States, most credit managers work in
urban areas where many financial and busi­
ness establishments are located.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A college degree is becoming increasingly
important for entry level jobs in credit man­
agement. Employers usually seek persons
who have a degree in business administra­
tion, but they may also hire graduates hold­
ing liberal arts degrees. Courses in account­
ing, economics, finance, computer pro­
graming, statistics, and psychology all are

National Consumer Finance Association, 1000
16th St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

Employment Outlook
Employment of credit managers is ex­
pected to grow more slowly than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s. De­
spite this relatively slow growth, many jobs
will become available each year due to the
need to replace persons who leave the occu­
pation. Although there will be opportunities
throughout the country, employment pros­
pects should continue to be best for wellqualified jobseekers in metropolitan areas.
The volume of credit extended rose very
rapidly during the past decade. In the years
ahead, businesses can be expected to require
increasing amounts of credit to secure raw
materials for production and obtain finished
goods for eventual resale. It is in the area of
business credit where demand for credit
managers will be strongest.

Credit managers must be able to analyze de­
tailed information in order to make a sound deci­
sion on granting credit.

valuable in preparing for a career in credit
management. Some employers may promote
high school graduates to credit manager posi­
tions if they have experience in credit collec­
tion or processing credit information.
Newly hired workers normally begin as
management trainees and work under the
guidance of more experienced personnel in
the credit department. Here they gain a thor­
ough understanding of the company’s credit
procedures and policies. They may analyze
previous credit transactions to learn how to
recognize which applicants should prove to
be good customers. Trainees also learn to
deal with credit bureaus, banks, and other
businesses that can provide information
on the past credit dealings of their custom­
Many formal training programs are
available through the educational branches
of the associations that service the credit
and finance field. This training includes
home study, college and university pro­
grams, and special instruction to improve
beginners’ skills and keep experienced
credit managers aware of new develop­
ments in their field.
A person interested in a career as a credit
manager should be able to analyze detailed
information and draw valid conclusions
based on this analysis. Because it is necessary
to maintain good customer relationships, a
pleasant personality and the ability to speak
and write effectively also are characteristics
of the successful credit manager.
The work performed by credit managers
allows them to become familiar with almost
every phase of their company’s business.
Highly qualified and experienced managers
can advance to top-level executive positions.
However, in small and medium-sized compa­
nies, such opportunities are limited.

Consumers, whose personal incomes have
risen, are expected to finance greater num­
bers of high-priced items. In addition, the use
of credit for everyday purchases is expected
to grow as demand increases for recreation
and household goods as well as for consumer
services. Despite increases in consumer debt,
the use of computers for storing and retriev­
ing information will enable this greater vol­
ume of information to be processed more effi­
ciently. The use of telecommunications
networks enables retail outlets to have imme­
diate access to a central credit office, regard­
less of distance.
Another factor that is expected to slow the
growth in the number of credit managers is
the increased use of bank credit cards for
consumer purchases. As stores substitute
bank credit cards for their own charge ac­
counts, retail store credit departments may
be reduced or eliminated.

In 1978, credit manager trainees who had
a college degree earned annual salaries that
ranged from about $11,000 to $12,000, de­
pending on the type of employer and the geo­
graphic location of the job.
Assistant credit managers averaged about
$13,000 to $16,000 a year and credit manag­
ers had average earnings of about $20,000.
Individuals in top-level positions often earn
over $40,000 a year.

Related Occupations
Other managerial occupations in banks,
investment companies, and credit agencies
include loan officers, credit card operations
managers, credit union managers, risk and
insurance managers, controllers, financial in­
stitution managers, letter of credit negotia­
tors, and dealer accounts credit officers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about a career in consumer
credit may be obtained from:
International Consumer Credit Association, 243
North Lindbergh Blvd., St Louis, Mo. 63141.

For information about training programs
available in commercial credit, write:
National Association of Credit Management, 475
Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 10016.

Hotel Managers and
(D.O.T. 163.117-018; 187.117-038, .167-078, -110, -122,

Nature of the Work
Hotel managers are responsible for operat­
ing their establishments profitably and satis­
fying guests. They determine room rates and
credit policy, direct the operation of the
foodservice operation, and manage the
housekeeping, accounting, security, and
maintenance departments of the hotel. Han­
dling problems and coping with the unex­
pected are important parts of the job.
A small hotel or motel requires only a lim­
ited staff, and the manager may have to fulfill
various front office duties, such as taking
reservations and assigning rooms. When
management is combined with ownership,
these activities may expand to include all as­
pects of the business.
General managers of large hotels usually
have several assistants or department heads
who manage various parts of the operation.
Because the hotel restaurant and cocktail
lounge are important to the success of the
entire establishment, they almost always are
operated by managers with experience in the
restaurant field. Other areas that usually are
handled separately are advertising, rental of
banquet and meeting facilities, marketing
and sales, personnel, and accounting.
Large hotel and motel chains often central­
ize some activities, such as purchasing and
advertising, so that individual hotels in the
chain may not need managers for these de­
partments. Managers who work for chains
may be assigned to organize a newly built or
purchased hotel or to reorganize an existing
hotel or motel that is not operating success­
About 168,000 hotel and motel managers
worked in 1978. More than a third were selfemployed.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Experience generally is the most important
consideration in selecting managers. How­
ever, employers increasingly are emphasizing
college education. A bachelor’s degree in
hotel and restaurant administration provides
particularly strong preparation for a career in
hotel management. In 1979, about 50 col­
leges and universities offered 4-year pro­
grams in this field. Applicants to these pro­
grams may face increasing competition in the


Sources of Additional Information
See the chapter on the hotel industry else­
where in the Handbook for information on
earnings and working conditions, sources of
additional information, and more informa­
tion on employment outlook.

(D.O.T. 110 and 090.227-010)

Laws permeate every aspect of our society.
They regulate the entire spectrum of relation­
ships among individuals, groups, businesses,
and governments. They define rights as well
as restrictions, covering such diverse human
activities as judging and punishing criminals,
granting patents, drawing up business con­
tracts, paying taxes, settling labor disputes,
constructing buildings, and administering

In small hotels, managers may have to fulfill various front office duties.

coming years, however. Many junior col­
leges, technical institutes, and the Educa­
tional Institute of the American Hotel &
Motel Association also have courses in hotel
work that provide a good background.
Included in many college programs in
hotel management are courses in hotel ad­
ministration, accounting, economics, data
processing, housekeeping, food service man­
agement and catering, and hotel maintenance
engineering. Part-time or summer work in
hotels and restaurants is encouraged because
the experience gained and the contacts with
employers may benefit students when seeking
a job after graduation.
Managers should have initiative, self-dis­
cipline, and the ability to organize and di­
rect the work of others. They must be able
to solve problems and concentrate on de­
Sometimes large hotels sponsor special­
ized, on-the-job management training pro­
grams which enable trainees to rotate among
various departments and receive a thorough
knowledge of the hotel’s operation. Other ho­
tels may help finance outstanding employees
in acquiring the necessary training in hotel
Most hotels promote employees who have
proven their ability, usually front office
clerks, to assistant manager and eventually to
general manager. Newly built hotels, particu­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

larly those without well-established on-thejob training programs, often prefer ex­
perienced personnel for managerial positions.
Hotel and motel chains may offer better opportunites for advancement than indepen­
dent properties, because employees can
transfer to another hotel or motel in the
chain or to the central office if an opening

Employment Outlook
Employment of hotel managers is expected
to grow more slowly than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Some job
openings will occur as additional hotels and
motels are built and chain and franchise op­
erations spread. However, most openings will
occur as experienced managers die, retire, or
leave the occupation. Applicants who have
college degrees in hotel administration will
have an advantage in seeking entry positions
and later advancement.

Related Occupations
Hotel managers and assistants are not
the only workers concerned with organiz­
ing and directing a business where pleasing
people is very important. Other workers
with similar responsibilities include apart­
ment managers, food service managers, de­
partment managers, office managers, and
sales managers.

Because social needs and attitudes are con­
tinually changing, the legal system that regu­
lates our social, political, and economic rela­
tionships also change. Keeping the law
responsive to human needs is the work of
lawyers. Also called attorneys, lawyers link
the legal system and society. To perform this
role, they must understand the world around
them and be sensitive to the numerous as­
pects of society that the law touches. They
must comprehend not only the words of a
particular statute, but the human circum­
stances it addresses as well.
As our laws grow more complex, the work
of lawyers takes on broader significance.
Laws affect our lives in new ways as the legal
system takes on regulatory tasks in areas
such as transportation, energy conservation,
consumer protection, and social welfare.
Lawyers interpret these laws, rulings, and
regulations for individuals and businesses.

Nature of the Work
Certain activities are common to nearly
every attorney’s work. Probably the most
fundamental is interpretation of the law.
Every attorney, whether representing the de­
fendant in a murder trial or the plaintiff
(suing party) in a lawsuit, combines an un­
derstanding of the relevant laws with knowl­
edge of the facts in the case to determine how
the first affects the second. Based on this de­
termination, the attorney decides what action
would best serve the interests of the client.
To interpret the law, lawyers do research.
They must stay abreast of their field, in both
legal and nonlegal matters. An attorney
representing electronics manufacturers, for
example, must follow trade journals and the
latest Federal regulations affecting his or her
clients. Attorneys in the State Department
must remain well versed in current events
and international law, while divorce lawyers
read about the changing role of the family in
modern society.

demic settings and teach part time. (For ad­
ditional information, see the Handbook
statement on college and university faculty.)
Some attorneys use their legal background
in administrative or managerial positions in
various departments of large corporations. A
transfer from a corporation’s legal depart­
ment to another department often is viewed
as a way to gain administrative experience
and rise in the ranks of management.
People may use their legal background as
journalists, management consultants, finan­
cial analysts, insurance claim adjusters, real
estate appraisers, lobbyists, tax collectors,
probation officers, and credit investigators. A
legal background also is an asset to office

Working Conditions
Lawyers do most of their work in offices
and courtrooms. They sometimes meet in cli­
ents’ homes or places of business and, when
necessary, in hospitals or prison cells. They
frequently travel to attend meetings, to
gather evidence, and to appear before courts,
legislative bodies, and other authorities.
A lawyer consults with clients to deter­
mine the details of problems, advise them of
the law, and suggest action that might be
taken. To be effective, a lawyer must deal
with people in a courteous, efficient manner
and not disclose personal matters. Lawyers
serve as models for conduct and their prac­
tice is governed by strict rules of ethics.
Finally, most lawyers write reports or
briefs which must be communicated clearly
and precisely. The more detailed aspects of a
lawyer’s job depend upon his or her field and
A significant number specialize in one
branch of law, such as corporate, criminal,
labor, patent, real estate, tax, admiralty, pro­
bate, or international law. Communications
lawyers, for example, may represent radio
and television stations in their dealings with
the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC). They help established stations pre­
pare and file license renewal applications,
employment reports, and other documents
required by the FCC on a regular basis. They
also keep their clients informed of changes in
FCC regulations. Communications lawyers
help individuals or corporations buy or sell a
station or establish a new one.
Other lawyers representing public utilities
before the Federal Power Commission (FPC)
and other regulatory agencies handle matters
involving utility rates. They develop strategy,
arguments, and testimony; prepare cases for
presentation; and argue the case. These law­
yers also inform clients about changes in
regulations and give advice about the legality
of their actions.
Still other lawyers advise insurance com­
panies about the legality of insurance tran­
sactions. They write insurance policies to
conform with the law and to protect compa­
nies from unwarranted claims. They review

claims filed against insurance companies and
represent companies in court.
Private practitioners specializing in other
areas deal with wills, trusts, contracts, mort­
gages, titles, and leases. Some manage a per­
son’s property as trustee or see that provi­
sions of a client’s will are carried out as
executor. A small number of lawyers work
entirely in the courtroom. An increasing
number handle only public interest cases—
civil or criminal—which have a potential im­
pact extending well beyond the individual cli­
ent. Attorneys hope to use these cases as a
vehicle for legal and social reform.
A single client may employ a lawyer full
time. Known as house counsel, this lawyer
usually advises a company about legal ques­
tions that arise from business activities. Such
questions might involve patents, government
regulations, a business contract with another
company, or a collective bargaining agree­
ment with a union.
Attorneys employed at the various levels
of government constitute still another cate­
gory. Criminal lawyers may work for the
State attorney general, a prosecutor or public
defender, or the court itself. At the Federal
level, attorneys may investigate cases for the
Justice Department or other agencies. Law­
yers at every government level help develop
laws and programs; draft legislation; estab­
lish enforcement procedures; and argue
Other lawyers work for legal aid societies
—private, nonprofit corporations established
to serve poor people in particular areas.
These lawyers generally handle civil rather
than criminal cases.
A relatively small number of attorneys
work in law schools. Most specialize in one
or more subjects, while others serve as ad­
ministrators. Some work full time in nonaca­

Salaried lawyers in government and pri­
vate firms generally have structured work
schedules. Law teachers, on the other hand,
whose schedules are more flexible, divide
their time among teaching, research, and ad­
ministrative responsibilities. Independent
lawyers may work irregular hours while con­
ducting research, conferring with clients, or
preparing briefs during nonoffice hours.
Lawyers generally work long hours and are
under particularly heavy pressure when a
case is being tried. Preparation for court in­
cludes keeping abreast of the latest laws and
judicial decisions.
Although work generally is not seasonal,
the work of tax lawyers may be an exception.
Since lawyers in private practice can deter­
mine their own workload, many stay in prac­
tice well beyond the usual retirement age.

Places of Employment
Over 480,000 persons worked as lawyers in
1978. About 70 percent of them practiced
privately. Many worked in law firms; others
had solo practices. Most of the remaining 30
percent held positions in Federal, State, and
local government. Others were employed as
house counsel by public utilities, transporta­
tion firms, banks, insurance companies, real
estate agencies, manufacturing firms, welfare
and religious organizations, and other busi­
ness firms and nonprofit organizations.
About 8,000 lawyers taught full or part time
in law schools. Some salaried lawyers also
have independent practices; others do legal
work part time while in another occupation.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
To practice law in the courts of any State,
a person must be admitted to its bar. Appli­
cants for admission to the bar must pass a


written examination; however, a few States
drop this requirement for graduates of their
own law schools. Lawyers who have been
admitted to the bar in one State occasionally
may be admitted in another without taking
an examination if they meet that State’s stan­
dards of good moral character and have a
specified period of legal experience. Federal
courts and agencies set their own qualifica­
tions for those practicing before them.
To qualify for the bar examination in most
States, an applicant must complete at least 3
years of college and graduate from a law
school approved by the American Bar Asso­
ciation (ABA) or the proper State authori­
ties. (ABA approval signifies that the law
school meets certain standards developed by
the Association to promote quality legal edu­
cation. With certain exceptions, graduates of
nonapproved schools generally are restricted
to taking the bar examination and practicing
in the State in which the school is located.)
A few States accept the study of law in a law
office or in combination with study in a law
school; only California accepts the study of
law by correspondence as qualification for
taking the bar exam. Several States require
registration and approval of students by the
State Board of Examiners, either before they
enter law school or during the early years of
legal study.
Although there is no nationwide bar exam,
43 States and the District of Columbia partic­
ipate in the Multistate Bar Examination
(MBE). The MBE, covering issues of broad
interest since the early 1970’s, is given in ad­
dition to the State bar exam. States vary in
their treatment of MBE scores.
The required college and law school educa­
tion usually takes 7 years of full-time study
after high school—4 years of undergraduate
study followed by 3 years in law school. Al­
though some law schools accept a very small
number of students after 3 years of college,
an increasing number require applicants to
have a bachelor’s degree. To meet the needs
of students who can attend only part time, a
number of law schools have night or parttime divisions which usually require 4 years
of study. In 1977 about one-seventh of all
graduates of ABA-approved schools were
part-time students.
Competition for admission to law school
has become intense in recent years. Enroll­
ments have risen very rapidly, with appli­
cants outnumbering available seats by about
2 to 1. Competition is even stiffer in more
prestigious law schools. Although the in­
crease in enrollments may slow during the
1980’s, admission to law school will remain
the first of several hurdles for prospective
Preparation for a career as a lawyer really
begins in college. Although there is no such
thing as a “prelaw major, ” the undergradu­
ate program almost always makes a differ­
ence. Certain courses and activities are desir­
able because they give the student the skills
needed to succeed both in law school and in
the profession. Essential skills—the ability to

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

write, to read and analyze, to think logically,
and to communicate verbally—are learned
during high school and college. An under­
graduate program that cultivates these skills
while broadening the student’s view of the
world is best. Majors in the social sciences,
natural sciences, and humanities all are suit­
able, as long as the student does not special­
ize too narrowly. Regardless of one’s major,
English, foreign language (particularly
Latin), public speaking, government, philos­
ophy, history, economics, and mathematics,
among others, are highly recommended.
Students interested in a particular aspect
of law may find related courses helpful; for
example, engineering and science courses for
the prospective patent attorney, and account­
ing for the future tax lawyer. In addition,
typing is advisable simply for convenience in
law school.
Acceptance by most law schools depends
on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate an
aptitude for the study of law, usually through
good grades and the Law School Admission
Test (LSAT), administered by the Educa­
tional Testing Service. In 1978, the American
Bar Association approved 167 law schools.
Others were approved by State authorities
During the first year or year and a half of
law school, students generally study funda­
mental courses such as constitutional law,
contracts, property law, and judicial proce­
dures. In the remaining time, they may elect
specialized courses in fields such as tax,
labor, or corporation law. Practical experi­
ence often is acquired by participation in
school-sponsored legal aid or legal clinic ac­
tivities, in the school’s moot court where stu­
dents conduct practice trials under the super­
vision of experienced lawyers and judges, and
through writing on legal issues for the
school’s law journal.
A number of law schools have clinical pro­
grams where students gain legal experience
in “lawyering” through practice trials and
law school projects under the supervision of
practicing lawyers and law school faculty.
Law school clinical programs might include
work in legal aid clinics, for example, or on
the staff of legislative committees. Part-time
or summer clerkships also provide experi­
ence that can be extremely valuable later on.
Such training can provide references or lead
directly to a job after graduation, and can
help students decide what kind of practice
best suits them. Clerkships also may be an
important source of financial aid.
Graduates receive the degree of juris doctor
(J.D.) or bachelor o f law (LL.B.) as the first
professional degree. Advanced study is desir­
able for those planning to specialize, do re­
search, or teach. Some law students pursue
joint degree programs, which generally re­
quire an additional year or more. Joint de­
gree programs are offered in a number of
areas, including law and business administra­
tion; law and public administration; and law
and social work.

The practice of law involves a great deal of
responsibility. Persons planning careers in
law should like to work with people and be
able to win the respect and confidence of
their clients, associates, and the public. Integ­
rity and honesty are vital personal qualities.
Intellectual capacity and reasoning ability
are essential to analyze complex cases and
reach sound conclusions.
Most beginning lawyers start in salaried
positions. Newly hired salaried attorneys
usually act as research assistants (law clerks)
to experienced lawyers or judges. After sev­
eral years of progressively responsible sala­
ried employment, many lawyers go into prac­
tice for themselves. Some lawyers, after years
of practice, become judges.

Employment Outlook
Employment of lawyers grew very rapidly
during the late 1970’s. Faster-than-average
growth is expected to continue through the
1980’s as increased population, business ac­
tivity, and government regulation help sus­
tain the strong demand for attorneys. Em­
ployment growth also will be spurred by
Supreme Court decisions extending the right
to counsel for all persons accused of crimes,
an increase in publicly funded legal services
for low-income persons, the growth of legal
action in such areas as consumer protection,
the environment, and safety, and an an­
ticipated increase in the use of legal services
by middle-income groups through prepaid
legal service programs. As colleges and uni­
versities add law courses to their liberal arts,
business, and other curriculums, additional
lawyers may be needed to teach part time.
Most jobs, however, will be created by the
need to replace lawyers who die, retire, or
leave the occupation for other reasons.
Despite very strong employment growth in
this occupation, the sizable number of law
school graduates entering the job market
each year has created keen competition for
jobs. While the number of graduates is ex­
pected to level off during the 1980’s, competi­
tion for jobs will remain intense.
Employers will continue to be selective in
hiring new lawyers. Graduates of prestigious
law schools and those who rank high in their
classes should find salaried positions with
law firms, on the legal staffs of corporations
and government agencies, and as law clerks
for judges. Graduates of less prominent
schools and those with lower scholastic rat­
ings will experience some difficulty in finding
salaried jobs. An increasing proportion will
enter fields where legal training is an asset
but not normally a requirement. For exam­
ple, banks, insurance firms, real estate com­
panies, government agencies, and other or­
ganizations seek law graduates to fill many
administrative, managerial, and business po­
With increasing competition for jobs, a law
graduate’s geographic mobility and experi­
ence assume greater importance. The willing­
ness and ability to relocate may be an advan-

tage in getting a job. In addition, employers
increasingly seek graduates who have train­
ing and experience in a particular field such
as tax, patent, or admiralty law.
Establishing a new practice probably will
continue to be best in small towns and ex­
panding suburban areas, as long as an active
market for legal services already exists. In
such communities, competition is likely to be
less than in big cities and new lawyers may
find it easier to become known to potential
clients; also, rent and other business costs are
somewhat lower. Nevertheless, starting a
new practice will remain an expensive and
risky proposition that should be weighed
carefully. Salaried positions will continue
largely in urban areas where government
agencies, law firms, and big corporations are

Starting salaries offered to 1978 law school
graduates varied from a low of $8,000 a year
offered by small firms to a high of $29,000
offered by a large corporation. Beginning at­
torneys in private industry averaged around
$18,000. In the Federal Government, annual
starting salaries for attorneys in early 1979
were $15,920 or $19,263, depending upon ac­
ademic and personal qualifications. Factors
affecting the salaries offered to new gradu­
ates include: Academic record; type, size,
and location of employers; and the desired
specialized educational background. The
field of law makes a difference, too. Patent
lawyers, for example, generally are among
the highest paid attorneys.
Salaries of experienced attorneys also vary
widely according to the type, size, and loca­
tion of the employers. The average salary of
the most experienced lawyers in private in­
dustry in 1978 was over $50,000. The median
annual salary of nonsupervisory lawyers em­
ployed by business corporations in 1977 ex­
ceeded $31,000, while some heads of law de­
partments earned over $70,000. General
attorneys in the Federal Government ave­
raged around $30,400 a year in 1978; the
relatively small number of patent attorneys
averaged around $37,400. Although lawyers
are concentrated in the Departments of Jus­
tice, Defense, and Treasury, significant num­
bers work in many other Federal agencies.
Lawyers starting their own practice may
need to work part time in other occupations
during the first years. Lawyers on salary re­
ceive increases as they assume greater re­
sponsibility. Incomes of lawyers in private
practice usually grow as their practices de­
velop. Private practitioners who are partners
in law firms generally earn more than those
who practice alone.

Related Occupations
Legal training is invaluable in many other
occupations. Some of these are abstractors,
arbitrators, conciliators, hearing officers,
patent agents, title examiners, legislative as­
sistants, and FBI
 special agents.

Sources of Additional Information
Persons considering law as a career will
find information on law schools and prelaw
study in the Prelaw Handbook, published an­
nually (Law School Admission Services, Box
944, Princeton, N.J. 08540). Copies may be
available in public or school libraries. In ad­
dition, many colleges and universities have a
prelaw advisor who counsels undergraduates
about their course work, the LSAT, law
school applications, and other matters.
Information on law schools, financial aid
for law students, and law as a career is availa­
ble from:
American Bar Association, Information Services,
1155 East 60th St., Chicago, 111. 60637. (There may
be a slight charge for publications.)

For information on the placement of law
graduates and the legal profession in general,
National Association for Law Placement, 3200
Fifth Avenue, Sacramento, California 95817.

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

For advice on financial aid, contact a law
school financial aid officer.
The specific requirements for admission to
the bar in a particular State may be obtained
at the State capital from the clerk of the Su­
preme Court or the Secretary of the Board of
Bar Examiners.

Marketing Research
(D.O.T. 050.067-014)

Nature of the Work
If a business is to be successful, it must
provide a product or service people will buy.
Yet, persuading people to spend their money
requires more than simply offering a useful
or desirable item. People try a product for
many reasons in addition to basic utility.
They consider price, of course, as well as
convenience, appearance, and a trusted
name. For some products, reliability and ease
of maintenance are most important. Very
often, it is the product’s image—created by
advertisements, sales promotion, and the
type of store in which it is sold—that influ­
ences people.
Business executives have to make decisions
concerning all these areas when they put a
product or service on the market. Other or­
ganizations, whether they are asking the pub­
lic to volunteer their time, contribute to a
charity, or even spend a vacation in their
State, must make similar decisions. Marketing research workers analyze the buying pub­

lic and its wants and needs, thus providing
the information on which these marketing
decisions can be based.
Most marketing research starts with a col­
lection of data and information about pro­
ducts or services and the people who are
likely to buy the product or service. For ex­
ample, if the researcher’s task is to find out
why a company’s frozen foods are not selling
well in a certain city, he or she may start by
studying the company’s current marketing
strategy to see if it matches consumers’
needs. Is the company shipping foods that
suit the tastes of most people in the city? Is
the price reasonable for the income of most
people in the area? Does the distributor de­
liver the food to the stores in good condition?
Is the company advertising its products and
are the ads seen by the people most likely to
buy them? Is the company’s sales force well
trained and actively promoting the product
to the stores? Are the stores providing good
shelf space or are the boxes of food in a cor­
ner of the freezer where they may be over­
looked? By investigating these and other is­
sues, marketing research workers determine
what actions should be taken. They may con­
clude, for example, that sales would improve
substantially with an increased newspaper
advertising campaign, or perhaps that the
company should pull out completely and
concentrate its efforts in other sections of the
country where the product is more success­
Since the goal of marketing is to satisfy the
consumer, research workers often are con­
cerned with finding out customers’ opinions
and tastes. They conduct telephone, per­
sonal, or mail surveys, and sometimes offer
samples of a product to find out whether po­
tential customers are pleased with the design
and satisfied with the price.
Marketing researchers employed by large
organizations often work with statisticians
who help them select a group of people to be
interviewed who will accurately represent
prospective customers, and “motivational re­
search” specialists who design survey ques­
tions that produce in depth reliable informa­
tion. Trained interviewers then conduct the
survey, and office workers tabulate the re­
sults under the direction of marketing re­
search workers.
In contrast to surveys for consumer goods,
researchers for business and industrial firms
often conduct the interviews themselves to
gather opinions of the products. They also
may speak to company officials about new
uses for it. Therefore, they must have a thor­
ough knowledge of both marketing tech­
niques and the industrial uses of the product.

Working Conditions
Marketing research workers usually work
in modern, centrally located offices. Some,
especially those employed by independent re­
search firms, may travel for their work. Also,
they may have to work long hours, including
nights and weekends, when working to meet


ments in business firms or advertising agen­
Bachelor’s programs in marketing and
related fields, including courses in statistics,
English composition, communications, psy­
chology, sociology, and economics, are valu­
able preparation for work in marketing re­
search. Some marketing research positions
require specialized skills such as engineering,
or substantial sales experience and a thor­
ough knowledge of the company’s products.
Knowledge of data processing is helpful for
sales forecasting, distribution, and cost anal­
College graduates may find their first job
in any of a number of places: The market
research department of a large company, a
research firm, an advertising agency, a gov­
ernment planning agency, or even a univer­
sity marketing department.
Trainees usually start as research assist­
ants or junior analysts. At first, they may do
considerable clerical work, such as copying
data from published sources, editing and cod­
ing questionnaires, and tabulating survey re­
turns. They also learn to conduct interviews
and write reports on survey findings. As they
gain experience, assistants and junior ana­
lysts may assume responsibility for specific
marketing research projects, or advance to
supervisory positions. An exceptionally able
worker may become marketing research di­
rector or vice president for marketing or
Either alone or as part of a team, market­
ing research workers must be able to analyze
problems objectively and apply various tech­
niques to their solution. As advisers to man­
agement, they should be able to write clear
reports informing company officials of their

Employment Outlook

Places of Employment
About 24,000 full-time marketing research
workers were employed in 1978. Most jobs for
marketing research workers are found in
manufacturing companies, advertising agen­
cies, and independent research organizations.
Large numbers are employed by stores, radio
and television firms, and newspapers; others
work for university research centers and gov­
ernment agencies. Marketing research organ­
izations range in size from one-person enter­
prises to firms with a hundred employees or
A large number of marketing research
workers are employed in New York City
where major advertising agencies, indepen­
dent marketing organizations, and central of­
fices of large manufacturers are located. Chi­
cago has another large concentration.


However, marketing research workers are
employed in many other cities as well—
wherever there are central offices of large
manufacturing and sales organizations.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although a bachelor’s degree usually is
sufficient for trainees, graduate education is
necessary for many specialized positions in
marketing research. Graduate study usually
is required for advancement, and a sizable
number of market researchers have a mas­
ter’s degree in business administration or
other graduate degree in addition to a bache­
lor’s degree in marketing. Some people qual­
ify for jobs through previous experience in
other types of research; university professors
of marketing or statistics, for example, may
be hired to head marketing research depart­

Opportunities should be best for applicants
with graduate training in marketing research
or statistics. The growing complexity of mar­
keting research techniques also may expand
opportunities in this field for psychologists,
economists, and other social scientists.
Marketing research employment rises as
new products and services are developed,
particularly when business activity and per­
sonal incomes are expanding rapidly. In peri­
ods of slow economic growth, however, the
reduced demand for marketing services may
limit the hiring of research workers.
Over the long run, population growth and
the increased variety of goods and services
that businesses and individuals will require
are expected to stimulate a high level of mar­
keting activity. As a result, employment of
marketing reserch workers is expected to
grow much faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s.
Competition among manufacturers of both
consumer and industrial products will make
the appraising of marketing situations in­
creasingly important. As techniques improve

and statistical data accumulate, company of­
ficials are likely to turn more often to market­
ing research workers for information and ad­

Salaries of beginning marketing research­
ers were about $14,(XX) a year in 1978, ac­
cording to the limited information available.
Persons with master’s degrees in business ad­
ministration and related fields usually started
with salaries of about $18,000 a year. Starting
salaries varied according to the type, size,
and location of the firm as well as the exact
nature of the position. Generally, though,
starting salaries were somewhat higher but
promotion somewhat slower than in other
occupations requiring similar training.
Experienced workers such as senior ana­
lysts received salaries of over $24,000 a year.
Earnings were highest, however, for workers
in management positions of great responsibil­
ity. Directors of marketing research earned
well over $35,000 a year in 1978.

Related Occupations
Besides marketing research workers, many
others are involved in social research—in­
cluding the planning, implementation, and
analysis of surveys to learn more about peo­
ple’s wants and needs. Some of these workers
include economists, employment research
and planning directors, social welfare re­
search workers, political scientists, urban
planners, sociologists, developmental psy­
chologists, and experimental pyschologists.

workers concentrate on different aspects
of employer-employee relations. Personnel
workers interview, select, and recommend
applicants to fill job openings. They handle
wage and salary administration, training and
career development, and employee benefits.
“Labor relations” usually means union-man­
agement relations, and people who specialize
in this field work mostly in unionized busi­
nesses and government agencies. They help
officials prepare for collective bargaining ses­
sions, participate in contract negotiations
with the union, and handle labor relations
matters that come up every day.
In a small company, personnel work con­
sists mostly of interviewing and hiring, and
one person usually can handle it all. By con­
trast, a large organization needs an entire
staff, which might include recruiters, inter­
viewers, counselors, job analysts, wage and
salary analysts, education and training spe­
cialists, and labor relations specialists, as well
as technical and clerical workers.
Personnel work often begins with the per­
sonnel recruiter or employment interviewer
(D.O.T. 166.267-010), who travels around
the country, often to college campuses, in the
search for promising job applicants. These
workers talk to applicants, and select and
recommend those who appear qualified to fill
vacancies. They often administer tests to ap­
plicants and interpret the results. Hiring and
placement specialists need to be thoroughly

familiar with the organization and its person­
nel policies, for they must be prepared to
discuss wages, working conditions, and pro­
motional opportunities with prospective and
newly hired employees. They also need to
keep informed about equal employment op­
portunity (EEO) and affirmative action
guidelines. Special EEO counselors or coor­
dinators handle this complex and sensitive
area in some large organizations. The work
of employment counselors, which is similar
in a number of ways, is described in a sepa­
rate chapter of the Handbook.
Job analysts (D.O.T. 166.067-010) and sal­
ary and wage administrators (D.O.T. 166.167-022) do very exacting work. Job analysts
collect and examine detailed information on
jobs, including job qualifications and worker
characteristics, in order to prepare job de­
scriptions. These descriptions, sometimes
called position classifications, explain the du­
ties, training, and skills each job requires.
Whenever a government agency or large
business firm introduces a new job or evalu­
ates existing ones, it calls upon the expert
knowledge of the job analyst. Accurate infor­
mation about job duties also is required when
a firm evaluates its pay system and considers
changes in wages and salaries. Establishing
and maintaining pay systems is the principal
job of wage administrators. They devise ways
to ensure that pay rates within the firm are
fair and equitable, and conduct surveys to see

Sources of Additional Information
A pamphlet, “Careers in Marketing’’
(Monograph Series No. 4), may be obtained
American Marketing Association, 222 South Riv­
erside Plaza, Chicago, 111. 60606.

Personnel and Labor
Relations Workers
(D.O.T. 166 and 169.207-010)

Nature of the Work
Attracting the best employees available
and matching them to the jobs they can do
best is important for the success of any orga­
nization. Today, many enterprises have be­
come too large to permit close con tact, be­
tween management and employees. Instead,
personnel and labor relations workers pro­
vide this link—assisting management to
make effective use of employees’ skills, and
helping employees to find satisfaction in their
jobs and working conditions. Although some
jobs in this field require only limited contact
with people outside the office, most involve
frequent contact with others. Dealing with
people is an essential part of the job.
Personnel workers and labor relations

Personnel workers interview and select applicants to fill job openings.


how their pay rates compare with others.
Being certain that the firm’s pay system com­
plies with laws and regulations is another
part of the job, one that requires knowledge
of compensation structures and labor law.
Training specialists supervise or conduct
training sessions, prepare manuals and other
materials for these courses, and look into new
methods of training. They also counsel em­
ployees on training opportunities, which may
include on-the-job, apprentice, supervisory,
or management training.
Employee-benefits supervisors and other
personnel specialists handle the employer’s
benefits program, which often includes
health insurance, life insurance, disability in­
surance, and pension plans. These workers
also coordinate a wide range of employee ser­
vices, including cafeterias and snack bars,
health rooms, recreational facilities, newslet­
ters and communications, and counseling for
work-related personal problems. Counseling
employees who are approaching retirement
age is a particularly important part of the job.
Occupational safety and health programs
are handled in various ways. In small compa­
nies especially, accident prevention and in­
dustrial safety are the responsibility of the
personnel department—or of the labor rela­
tions specialist, if the union has a safety rep­
resentative. Increasingly, however, there is a
separate safety department under the direc­
tion of a safety and health professional, gen­
erally a safety engineer or industrial hygien­
ist. (The work of occupational safety and
health workers is discussed in another chap­
ter of the Handbook.)
Labor relations specialists (D.O.T. 166.167-034) advise management on all aspects of
union-management relations. When a com­
pany’s contract is up for negotiation, they
provide background information and techni­
cal support, a job that requires extensive
knowledge of economics, labor law, and col­
lective bargaining trends. Actual negotiation
of the agreement is conducted at the top
level, with the director of labor relations or
another top-ranking official serving as the
employer’s representative, but members of
the company’s labor relations staff play an
important role throughout the negotiations.
Much of the everyday work of the labor
relations staff concerns interpretation and
administration of the contract, the grievance
procedures in particular. Members of the
labor relations staff might work with the
union on seniority rights under the layoff
procedure set forth in the contract, for exam­
ple. Later in the day, they might meet with
the union steward about a worker’s griev­
ance. Doing the job well means staying
abreast of current developments in labor law,
including arbitration decisions, and main­
taining continuing liaison with union offi­
Personnel workers in government agencies
generally do the same kind of work as those
in large business firms. There are some differ­
ences, however. Public personnel workers OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

deal with employees whose jobs are governed
by civil service regulations. Civil service jobs
are strictly classified as to duties, training,
and pay. This requires a great deal of empha­
sis on job analysis and wage and salary clas­
sification; many people in public personnel
work spend their time classifying and evalu­
ating jobs, or devising, administering, and
scoring competitive examinations given to
job applicants.
Knowledge of rules and regulations per­
taining to affirmative action and equal oppor­
tunity programs is important in public per­
sonnel work. In 1972, the U.S. Civil Service
Commission—now the Office of Personnel
Management—established a specialization
for Federal personnel workers concerned
with promoting equal opportunity in hiring,
training,' and advancement. Similar emphasis
is evident in State and local government
Labor relations is an increasingly impor­
tant specialty in public personnel administra­
tion. Labor relations in this field have
changed considerably in recent years, as
union strength among government workers
has grown. This has created a need for more
and better trained workers to handle negotia­
tions, grievances, and arbitration cases on be­
half of Federal, State, and local government

Working Conditions
Since personnel offices generally are
located where outside visitors and prospec­
tive employees gain an initial impression of
the organization, they tend to be modern and
pleasant places to work. Personnel employees
usually work a standard 35 to 40 hour work­
week. Labor relations workers, however,
may work longer hours—particularly when
contract agreements are being prepared and
Although most of their time is spent in the
office, personnel workers may be required to
do some traveling. They may attend profes­
sional conferences, for example, or visit a
university to recruit prospective employees.

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 405,000 people were per­
sonnel and labor relations workers. Nearly 3
out of 4 worked in private industry, for
manufacturers, banks, insurance companies,
airlines, department stores, and other busi­
ness concerns. Some worked for private em­
ployment agencies, including executive jobsearch agencies, “office temporaries”
agencies, and others.
A large number of personnel and labor re­
lations workers, over 100,000 in 1978,
worked for Federal, State, and local govern­
ment agencies. Most of these were in person­
nel administration; they handled recruit­
ment, interviewing, testing, job classification,
training, and other personnel matters for the
Nation’s 15 million public employees. Some
were on the staff of the U.S. Employment
Service and State employment agencies. Still

others worked for agencies that oversee com­
pliance with labor laws. Some, for example,
were wage-hour compliance officers; their
work is described in another part of the
Handbook, in the section on health and
regulatory inspectors (Government). Other
public employees in this field carried out re­
search in economics,. labor law, personnel
practices, and related subjects, and sought
new ways of ensuring that workers’ rights
under the law are understood and protected.
Compared with private industry, labor un­
ions employ few professionally trained labor
relations workers. An elected union official
generally handles labor relations matters at
the company level. At national and interna­
tional union headquarters, however, the re­
search and education staff usually includes
specialists with a degree in industrial and
labor relations, economics, or law.
A few personnel and labor relations work­
ers are in business for themselves as manage­
ment consultants or labor-management rela­
tions experts. In addition, some teach college
or university courses in personnel adminis­
tration, industrial relations, and related sub­
Most jobs for personnel and labor relations
workers are located in the highly industrial­
ized sections of the country.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most beginning positions in personnel and
labor relations are tilled by with college grad­
uates. Some employers look for graduates
who have majored in personnel administra­
tion or industrial and labor relations, while
others prefer college graduates with a general
business background. Still other employers
feel that a well-rounded liberal arts education
is the best preparation. A college major in
personnel administration, political science,
or public administration can be an asset in
looking for a job with a government agency.
Approximately 200 colleges and universi­
ties offer undergraduate courses in personnel
or labor relations. In addition, 30 schools
offer a master’s degree in labor or industrial
relations. (While personnel administration is
widely taught, the number of programs that
focus primarily on labor relations is quite
small.) In addition, many schools offer
course work in closely related fields. An in­
terdisciplinary background is appropriate for
work in this area, and a combination of
courses in the social sciences, behavioral
sciences, business, and economics is useful.
Prospective personnel workers might in­
clude courses in personnel management,
business administration, public administra­
tion, psychology, sociology, political science,
economics, and statistics. Courses in labor
law, collective bargaining, labor economics,
labor history, and industrial psychology pro­
vide valuable backgound for the prospective
labor relations worker.
Graduate study in industrial or labor rela-

tions is often required for work in labor rela­
tions. Although a law degree seldom is re­
quired for entry level jobs, most of the people
who are responsible for contract negotiations
are lawyers, and a combination of industrial
relations courses and a law degree is becom­
ing highly desirable.
A college education, though highly impor­
tant, is not the only way to enter personnel
work. Some clerks advance to professional
positions through experience. However, parttime college courses are useful.
New personnel workers usually enter for­
mal or on-the-job training programs to learn
how to classify jobs, interview applicants, or
administer employee benefits. Next, new
workers are assigned to specific areas in the
employee relations department, to gain expe­
rience. Later, they may advance within their
own company, transfer to another employer,
or move from personnel to labor relations
A growing number of people enter the
labor relations field directly, as trainees.
They usually are graduates of master’s degree
programs in industrial relations, or may have
a law degree. Quite a few people, however,
begin in personnel work, gain experience in
that area, and subsequently move into a labor
relations job.
Workers in the middle ranks of a large
organization often transfer to a top job in a
smaller one. Employees with exceptional
ability may be promoted to executive posi­
tions, such as director of personnel or direc­
tor of labor relations.
Personnel and labor relations workers
should speak and write effectively and be able
to work with people of all levels of education
and experience. They also must be able to see
both the employee’s and the employer’s
points of view. In addition, they should be
able to work as part of a team. They need
supervisory abilities and must be able to ac­
cept responsibility. Integrity, fairmindedness, and a persuasive, congenial personality
are all important qualities.

Employment Outlook
The number of personnel and labor rela­
tions workers is expected to grow faster than
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s, as employers, increasingly aware of
the benefits to be derived from good labormanagement relations, continue to support

sound, capably staffed employee relations
programs. In addition to new jobs created by
growth of the occupation, many openings
will occur as workers die, retire, or leave their
jobs for other reasons.
Legislation setting standards for employ­
ment practices in areas of occupational safety
and health, equal employment opportunity,
and pensions has stimulated demand for per­
sonnel and labor relations workers. Con­
tinued growth is foreseen, as employers
throughout the country review existing pro­
grams in each of these areas and, in many
cases, establish entirely new ones. This has
created job opportunities for people who
have appropriate expertise. The effort to end
discriminatory employment practices, for ex­
ample, has led to scrutiny of the testing, se­
lection, placement, and promotion proce­
dures in many companies and government
agencies. The findings are causing a number
of employers to modify these procedures, and
to take steps to raise the level of professional­
ism in their personnel departments.
Substantial employment growth is fore­
seen in public personnel administraton.
Opportunities probably will be best in
State and local government. By contrast,
Federal employment will grow slowly.
Moreover, as union strength among public
employees continues to grow, State and
local agencies will need many more work­
ers qualified to deal with labor relations.
Enactment of collective bargaining legisla­
tion for State and local government em­
ployees could greatly stimulate demand for
labor relations workers knowledgeable
about public sector negotiations.

nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming. Wage and salary administra­
tors earned about $22,100 and personnel
managers averaged $23,600, according to a
survey conducted by the Administrative
Management Society. Top personnel and
labor relations executives in large corpora­
tions earned considerably more.
Average salaries for personnel specialists
employed by State governments ranged from
$11,000 to $14,500 a year in 1978, according
to a survey conducted by the U.S. Office of
Personnel Management. Personnel special­
ists who had supervisory responsibilities ave­
raged from $16,200 to $21,600 and State di­
rectors of personnel earned average salaries
ranging from $31,000 to $36,000.
In the Federal Government, new gradu­
ates with a bachelor’s degree generally
started at about $10,000 a year in 1978.
Those with a master’s degree started at about
$15,300. Average salaries of Federal em­
ployees in several different areas of personnel
and labor relations work ranged from about
$21,400 to $33,800 in 1978, as shown in the
accompanying table.

Related Occupations

All of the personnel and labor relations
occupations are, of course, closely related to
each other. Other workers who help people
find satisfactory jobs or help to make the
work environment safe and pleasant in­
clude health and regulatory inspectors, occu­
pational safety and health workers, lawyers,
counselors, college career planning and
placement counselors, industrial engineers,
Although the number of jobs in both per­ psychologists, and sociologists. All of these
sonnel and labor relations is projected to in­ occupations are described in other chapters
crease over the next decade, competition for of the Handbook.
these jobs also is increasing. Particularly
keen competition is anticipated for jobs in Sources of Additional Information
labor relations. A small field, labor relations
For general information on careers in per­
traditionally has been difficult to break into,
and opportunities are best for applicants with sonnel and labor relations work, write to:
a master’s degree or a strong undergraduate American Society for Personnel Administration,
major in industrial relations, economics, or 30 Park Dr., Berea, Ohio 44017.
business. A law degree is an asset.
For information concerning a career in
employee training and development, contact:
American Society for Training and Development,

Beginning job analysts in private industry P.O. Box 5307, Madison, Wis. 53705.
started at about $12,O X a year in 1978, ac­
A brochure describing a career in laborcording to a Bureau of Labor Statistics sur­
management relations as a field examiner is
vey. Experienced job analysts earned $22,600, about twice the average for all available from:

Director o f Personnel, National Labor Relations
Board, 1717 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington,
Table 1. Average salaries of Federal personnel and labor relations workers in selected D.C., 20570.

specialties, 1978
M e d ia to r ....................................................................................................................................
Personnel management specialist.........................................................................................
Employee development s p e c ia lis t......................................................................................
Position classifier.......................................................................................................................
Occupational analyst................................................................................................................
Salary and wage adm inistrator.............................................................................................
Staffing specialist.......................................................................................................................
SO U R CE: U.S. Office o f Personnel M anagem ent.


Purchasing Agents

(D.O.T. 162.157-038)

Nature of the Work
If materials, supplies, or equipment are not
on hand when they are needed, the entire
production process or work flow in an orga­
nization could be interrupted or halted.


Maintaining an adequate supply of necessary
items is the purchasing agent’s responsibility.
This includes more than just buying goods
and services, however. Market forecasting,
production planning, and inventory control
all are a part of the job.
Purchasing agents, also called industrial
buyers, obtain goods and services of the qual­
ity required at the lowest possible cost, and
see that adequate supplies always are availa­
ble. Agents who work for manufacturing
firms buy machinery, raw materials, product
components, services, and maintenance and
repair supplies; those working for govern­
ment agencies purchase office supplies, furni­
ture, business machines, and vehicles. Infor­
mation on retail buyers, who purchase
merchandise for resale in its original form, is
presented in the chapter on buyers elsewhere
in the Handbook.
Purchasing agents buy supplies when the
stocks on hand reach a predetermined
reorder point, or when a department in the
organization requisitions items it needs. Be­
cause agents often can purchase from many
sources, their main job is selecting the seller
who offers the best value.
Purchasing agents use a variety of means
to select among suppliers. They compare list­
ings in catalogs and trade journals and tele­
phone suppliers to get information. They also
meet with salespersons to examine samples,
attend demonstrations of equipment, and dis­
cuss items to be purchased. Frequently,
agents invite suppliers to bid on large orders,
and then select the lowest bidder among
those who meet the organization’s require­
ments for quality of goods and delivery date.
New products are researched through trade
journals, catalogs, and discussions with supp­
Sometimes purchasing agents must deal
directly with a manufacturer to obtain spe­
cially designed items made exclusively for
their organization. To insure that all product
specifications are met, agents must have a
thorough understanding of the particular
product and its applications. In some cases,
such as when buying computer equipment,
this means agents must have considerable
technical knowledge.

Because purchasing agents can buy from many sources, their main job is to choose the supplier
who offers the best value.

ally is designated as a separate responsibility
within an organization. In a large firm or
government agency, purchasing agents usu­
ally specialize in one or more specific com­
modities or groups of commodities—for ex­
ample, steel, lumber, cotton, or petroleum
products. Agents are divided into sections,
headed by assistant purchasing managers,
that are responsible for a group of related
commodities. In smaller organizations,
agents generally are assigned certain catego­
ries of goods, such as all raw materials or all
office supplies, furniture, and business ma­

It is important that purchasing agents de­
velop a good business relationship with their
suppliers as this can result in cost savings,
favorable payment terms, and quick delivery
on emergency orders or help in obtaining
materials in short supply. Agents also work
closely with other employees in various de­
partments of their own organization. For ex­
ample, they may discuss product design with
company engineers or shipment problems
with workers in the traffic department.

Working Conditions

Once an order has been placed with a sup­
plier, the purchasing agent checks periodi­
cally to insure prompt delivery. When an
order arrives, it is inspected before the pur­
chasing agent authorizes payment to the sup­

Places of Employment

Because of its importance, purchasing usuDigitized 130/O CCUPATIO NAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Purchasing agents generally work a stan­
dard 35 to 40 hour week. Some overtime may
be necessary, for example, if the supply of
materials or equipment needed to maintain
the production schedule runs short. Al­
though they spend most of their time in the
office, some travel usually is required to at­
tend educational seminars and sales conven­
tions, or to visit suppliers.

About 185,000 persons worked as pur­
chasing agents in 1978. Over half worked in
manufacturing industries. Large numbers
also were employed by government agencies,
construction companies, hospitals, and

About half of all purchasing agents work
in organizations that have fewer than five
employees in the purchasing department.
Many large business firms and government
agencies, however, have much larger pur­
chasing departments; some employ as many
as 100 specialized buyers or more.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although there are no universal educa­
tional requirements for entry level jobs, most
large organizations now require a college de­
gree, and prefer applicants who have a mas­
ter’s degree in business administration or
management. Training requirements vary
with the needs of the firm. For example, com­
panies that manufacture complex machinery
or chemicals may prefer applicants whose
backgrounds are in engineering or science,
while other companies hire persons who have
majored in business administration or a tech­
nical discipline for trainee jobs. Courses in
purchasing, accounting, economics, and sta­
tistics are very helpful. Familiarity with the
computer and its uses also is desirable in un­
derstanding the systems aspects of the pur­
chasing job.
Small companies generally have less rigid
educational requirements because they often
purchase less complex goods and order much
smaller quantities. Some require a bachelor’s

degree; many others, however, hire graduates
of associate degree programs in purchasing
for entry level jobs. Also, small organizations
more frequently promote clerical workers or
technicians into purchasing jobs. Regardless
of the size of an organization, however, a
college, degree is becoming increasingly im­
portant for advancement to management po­
Whatever their educational background,
beginning purchasing agents spend consider­
able time learning about company operations
and purchasing procedures. They may be as­
signed to the production planning section to
learn about the purchasing system, inventory
records, and storage facilities. They work
with experienced buyers to learn about com­
modities purchased, prices, suppliers used,
and negotiating techniques.
Following the initial training period, jun­
ior purchasing agents usually are given the
responsibility for purchasing standard and
catalog items. As they gain experience and
develop expertise in their assigned areas, they
may be promoted to purchasing agent, then
senior purchasing agent.
Purchasing agents must be able to analyze
the technical data in suppliers’ proposals in
order to make buying decisions and spend
large amounts of money responsibly. The job
requires the ability to work independently
and a good memory for details. In addition,
a purchasing agent must be able to get along
well with people in order to balance the needs
of personnel in his or her organization with
budgetary constraints, and negotiate with
Workers with proven ability can move into
a job as assistant purchasing manager in
charge of a group of purchasing agents and
then advance to manager of the entire pur­
chasing department. Many purchasing
managers move into executive positions as
director of purchasing or director of materi­
als management.
Continuing education is essential for pur­
chasing agents who want to advance in their
careers. Purchasing agents are encouraged to
participate in frequent seminars offered by
professional societies and to take courses in
purchasing at local colleges and universities.
The recognized mark of experience and pro­
fessional competence in private industry is
the designation Certified Purchasing Man­
ager (CPM). This designation is conferred by
the National Association of Purchasing
Management, Inc., upon candidates who
have passed four examinations and who meet
educational and experience requirements! In
government agencies, the indications of pro­
fessional competence are the designations
Professional Public Buyer (PPB) and Certi­
fied Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO),
which are conferred by the National Institute
of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. The PPB
is earned by passing two written examina­
tions and meeting certain educational and ex­
perience requirements. A candidate must
have met a more stringent set of basic re­
quirements, pass two
 different written exams,

and pass an oral exam as well in order to earn
the CPPO.

Employment Outlook
Employment of purchasing agents is ex­
pected to increase faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. Several
thousand jobs will be open each year as de­
mand for purchasing agents increases and as
workers die, retire, or transfer to other work.
Demand for purchasing agents is expected
to rise as their importance in reducing costs
is increasingly recognized. In large industrial
organizations, the purchasing department
will be expanded in order to handle the grow­
ing complexity of manufacturing processes.
Companies that manufacture complex items
such as industrial engines and turbines, elec­
tronic computer equipment, and communi­
cations equipment, there will be a growing
need for persons with a technical background
to select highly technical goods.
Many opportunities also should arise in
firms providing personal, business, and pro­
fessional services. Strong growth is expected
for this sector of the economy, as a growing
number of hospitals, school districts, and
other relatively small employers are recog­
nizing the importance of professional pur­
chasers in reducing their operating costs.
Opportunities will be excellent for persons
who have a master’s degree in business ad­
ministration. Persons with a bachelor’s de­
gree in engineering, science, or business ad­
ministration whose college program included
one course or more in purchasing also should
have bright prospects. Graduates of 2-year
programs in purchasing should continue to
find ample opportunities, although they will
probably be limited to small firms.

Earnings and Working Conditions
College graduates hired as junior purchas­
ing agents in large firms earned about $12,900 a year in 1978, according to surveys con­
ducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Experienced agents purchasing standard
items averaged about $16,200 a year; senior
purchasing agents specializing in complex or
technical goods averaged about $19,600. As­
sistant purchasing managers received aver­
age salaries of about $23,900 a year, while
managers of purchasing departments re­
ceived about $29,500. Many corporate direc­
tors of purchasing or materials management
earned well over $50,000 a year. Salaries gen­
erally are higher in large firms where respon­
sibilities often are greater. In 1978, purchas­
ing agents earned almost twice as much as
the average for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming.
In the Federal Government, beginning
purchasing agents who had college degrees
earned $10,096 or $12,505 in 1978, depend­
ing on scholastic achievement and relevant
work experience. The average salary for all
purchasing agents in the Federal Service was
$22,239. Salary levels vary widely among
State governments; average earnings range

from $11,549 to $15,235 for purchasers of
standard items, from $15,856 to $21,028 for
senior buyers purchasing highly complex
items, and from $23,293 to $29,781 for State
purchasing directors.

Related Occupations
Other workers who negotiate and contract
to purchase equipment, supplies, or other
merchandise include retail buyers, purchaseprice analysts, grain buyers, procurement
services managers, livestock commission
agents, traffic managers, and wholesalers.

Sources of Additional Information
Further information about a career in pur­
chasing is available from:
National Association of Purchasing Management,
Inc., 11 Park Place, New York, N.Y. 10007.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing,
Inc., 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW., Suite 922,
Washington, D.C. 20036.

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

Nature of the Work
Urban and regional planners, often called
community or city planners, develop pro­
grams to provide for future growth and revi­
talization of urban, suburban, and rural com­
munities. They help local officials make
decisions to solve social, economic, and envi­
ronmental problems.
Planners examine community facilities
such as health clinics and schools to be sure
these facilities can meet the demands placed
upon them. They also keep abreast of the
legal issues involved in community develop­
ment or redevelopment and changes in hous­
ing and building codes. Because suburban
growth has increased the need for better ways
of traveling to the urban center, the planner’s
job often includes designing new transporta­
tion and parking facilities.
Urban and regional planners prepare for
situations or needs that are likely to de­
velop as a result of population growth or
social and economic change. They esti­
mate, for example, the community’s longrange needs for housing, transportation,
and business and industrial sites. Working
within a framework set by the community
government, they analyze and propose al­
ternative ways to achieve more efficient
and attractive urban areas.
Before preparing plans for long-range
community development, urban and regional
planners prepare detailed studies that show
the current use of land for residential, busi­
ness, and community purposes. These re­
ports present information such as the ar­
rangement of streets, highways, and water
and sewer lines, and the location of schools,


quired to work in a planning office part time
or during the summer.
Candidates for jobs in Federal, State, and
local government agencies usually must pass
civil service examinations to become eligible
for appointment.
Planners must think in terms of spatial re­
lationships and visualize the effects of their
plans and designs. They should be flexible
and able to reconcile different viewpoints to
achieve constructive policy recommenda­

Urban and regional planners map current and proposed future land uses
when planning community growth.

libraries, and playgrounds. They also provide
information on the types of industries in the
community, characteristics of the popula­
tion, and employment and economic trends.
With this information, urban and regional
planners propose ways of using undeveloped
land and design the layout of recommended
buildings and other facilities such as sub­
ways. They also prepare materials that show
how their programs can be carried out and
the approximate costs.
Urban and regional planners often confer
with private land developers, civic leaders,
and officials of public agencies that do spe­
cialized planning. They may prepare materi­
als for community relations programs, speak
at civic meetings, and appear before legisla­
tive committees to explain and defend their
In small organizations, planners must be
able to do several kinds of work. In large
organizations, planners usually specialize in
areas such as physical design, community re­
lations, or the reconstruction of rundown
business districts.

Working Conditions
Like other administrative workers, urban
and regional planners spend most of their
time in offices behind desks. To be familar
with areas that they are developing, however,
they occasionally must spend time outdoors
examining the features of the land under con­
sideration for development, its current use,
and the types of structures existing on it.
Planners rarely work outdoors in bad
weather, however. Although most planners
have a scheduled 40-hour workweek, they
sometimes must attend evening or weekend
meetings or public hearings with citizens’

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Places of Employment
About 17,000 persons were urban and re­
gional planners in 1978. Most work for city,
county, or regional planning agencies. A
growing number are employed by States or
by the Federal Government in agencies deal­
ing with housing, transportation, or environ­
mental protection.
Many planners do consulting work, either
part time in addition to a regular job, or full
time for a firm that provides services to pri­
vate developers or government agencies.
Planners also work for large land developers
or research organizations and teach in col­
leges and universities.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Employers often seek workers who have
advanced training in urban or regional plan­
ning. Most entry jobs in Federal, State, and
local government agencies require 2 years of
graduate study in urban or regional planning,
or the equivalent in work experience. Al­
though the master’s degree in planning is the
usual requirement at the entry level, some
people who have a bachelor’s degree in city
planning, architecture, landscape architec­
ture, or engineering may qualify for begin­
ning positions.
In 1978, over 70 colleges and universities
gave a master’s degree in urban or regional
planning. Although students holding a bach­
elor’s degree in architecture or engineering
may earn a master’s degree after 1 year, most
graduate programs in planning require 2 or 3
years. Graduate students spend considerable
time in workshops or laboratory courses
learning to analyze and solve urban and re­
gional planning problems, and often are re­

After a few years’ experience, urban and
regional planners may advance to assign­
ments requiring a high degree of independent
judgment, such as outlining proposed stud­
ies, designing the physical layout of a large
development, or recommending policy, pro­
gram, and budget options. Some are pro­
moted to jobs as planning directors, and
spend a great deal of time meeting with offi­
cials in other organizations, speaking to civic
groups, and supervising other professionals.
Further advancement is more difficult at this
level and often may only occur through a
transfer to a large city, where the problems
are more complex and the responsibilities

Employment Outlook
Employment of urban and regional plan­
ners is expected to grow faster than the aver­
age for all occupations through the 1980’s.
Land-use planning activities are expected to
increase in suburban and nonmetropolitan
areas as populations grow. Opportunities
also are expected to arise in fields, such as
environmental or economic development
planning in which planners have not been
employed traditionally. In addition, some
jobs will open up because of the need to re­
place planners who will die, retire, or transfer
to other occupations
In recent years, qualified applicants have
exceeded openings in urban or regional plan­
ning, and the situation is expected to persist
unless fewer degrees are awarded through the
1980’s than in recent years. As a result, some
persons trained as planners will have to ac­
cept jobs in other areas of public administra­

Urban and regional planners earned a me­
dian salary of about $20,500 a year in early
1978—about twice as much as the average
earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming. Planners
with master’s degrees in urban or regional
planning started at about $13,500 a year in
early 1978. Planners with a master’s degree
were hired by the Federal Government at
$15,920 a year in early 1979. In some cases,
persons having less than 2 years of graduate
work could enter Federal service as interns at
yearly salaries of either $10,507 or $13,014.
Salaries of urban and regional planners em­
ployed by the Federal Government averaged
$27,450 a year in early 1979.

State governments paid urban and re­
gional planners average beginning salaries
of about $12,150 a year in mid-1978, al­
though planners started at more than $14,000 in some States. Salaries of experienced
State planners ranged from an average
minimum of nearly $17,700 a year to an
average maximum of more than $23,500 a
year. Salaries of State planning directors
ranged from an average minimum of about
$26,000 to an average maximum of nearly
$32,000 in mid-1978.
City, county, and other local governments
paid urban and regional planners median sal­

aries of more than $19,000 a year in early
1978. Planning directors earned median
salaries of more than $23,000 a year. Most
planners have sick leave and vacation
benefits and are covered by retirement and
health plans.

Related Occupations
Urban and regional planners develop plans
for the orderly growth of urban and rural
communities. A number of related occupa­
tions also engage in planning. Architects plan
and design buildings for construction or al­
teration. Landscape architects lay out parcels

of land for development or recreation. City
managers plan and administer community
public services. Planning engineers design in­
dustrial plants for maximum efficiency.
Transportation planning engineers plan
transportation systems.

Sources of Additional Information
Facts about careers in planning and a list
of schools offering training and job referrals
are available from:
American Planning Association, 1313 East 60th
St., Chicago, 111. 60637.


ployed in personal service jobs.

Workers in service occupations perform a
wide variety of tasks ranging from policing
streets and fighting fires to serving food and
cleaning buildings. In 1978, almost 13 mil­
lion people were employed in service jobs.
The major groups of service occupations are
discussed below:

Protective and related service occupations.
Almost 1.4 million persons were employed to
safeguard lives and property in 1978. The
majority were police officers, guards, or fire­
fighters. Most police officers and detectives
were government employees, but some
worked for hotels, stores, and other busi­
nesses. Guards, another large group of pro­
tective service employees, worked chiefly for
private companies to protect company prop­
erty and enforce company rules and regula­
tions. Firefighters worked mainly for city
governments. The remaining protective ser­
vice workers were sheriffs and bailiffs, cross­
ing guards and bridge tenders, and marshals
and constables.

Food service occupations. The largest
group of service workers, almost 4.3 mil­
lion persons in 1978, prepared and served
food in restaurants, cafeterias, schools, hos­
pitals, and other institutions. Workers in
this group included cooks and chefs, wait­
ers and waitresses, bartenders, and kitchen
Cleaning and related occupations. Work­
ers in these occupations clean and maintain
buildings such as apartments, houses,
schools, and offices. More than 2.4 million
persons were employed in these jobs in 1978.
The group included janitors, building cus­
todians, and pest controllers.

Private household service occupations.
Most of the almost 1.2 million private house­
hold workers employed in 1978 were domes­
tic workers who cleaned their employers’
homes, prepared meals, and cared for chil­
dren. Some worked as launderers, caretakers,
and companions.

Health service occupations. More than 1.8
million persons were employed as health ser­
vice workers in jobs such as practical nurses
or hospital attendants. Most of these workers
were employed in hospitals, but some worked
in doctors’ or dentists’ offices.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training and skill requirements differ
greatly among the various service occupa­
tions. FBI special agents, for example, must
have a college degree. Barbers and cos­
metologists need specialized vocational

Personal service occupations. Workers in
this group range from barbers and cos­
metologists to ski instructors and theater
ushers. Almost 1.8 million persons were em­

More than one-third of all service workers are employed
food service occupations

Employment, 1978 (milii<



^ SQrv|^^
Health service


pe |j ^ >

SiI j f f t i i if p



training. Still other occupations—household
workers, building custodians, and hotel bell­
hops, for example—have no specific educa­
tional requirements for entry, although a
high school diploma is always an advantage.
For many service occupations, personality
traits and special abilities may be as impor­
tant as formal schooling. Thus, physical
strength and endurance are a necessity for
work as a porter, lifeguard, or window
cleaner; and a pleasing manner and appear­
ance are especially important for a waiter or
waitress, elevator operator, or usher. Other
service workers, such as store and hotel de­
tectives and travel guides, need good judg­
ment and should be skillful in dealing with
Some service workers eventually go into
business for themselves as caterers or res­
taurant operators, for example, or proprie­
tors of barber or beauty shops. Advance­
ment from service occupations that require
little training or skill may be difficult for
people without a good basic education and
some knowledge of the business in which
they work.

Employment Outlook
Employment in the service occupations is
expected to grow faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. Health
services occupations will grow much faster
than the average for all occupations, as pop­
ulation growth and the aging of the popula­
tion will create more demand for all health
care occupations. More police officers and
guards will be needed in the future as popu­
lation increases and the need for protection
against crime, theft, and vandalism contin­
ues to grow. Rising incomes, increasing lei­
sure time, and the growing number of
women who combine family responsibilities
and a job are likely to cause the demand for
most food service workers to grow as more
people eat out. Employment of private
household workers is expected to experience
little change, despite a strong demand for
these workers.
The following sections of the Handbook
contain detailed information on most of the
service occupations mentioned here. Others
are described in the industry statements on
government; transportation, communica­
tions, and public utilities; wholesale and re­
tail trade; and service and miscellaneous in­
dustries. The health service occupations are
included in the section on health care occu­

Cleaning and Related Occupations
Every public building and apartment
house needs to be kept clean and in good
condition for the comfort and safety of the
people who work or live there. Much of this
work is done by persons in cleaning and
related occupations. These workers may
clean floors and windows in hospitals,
change linens in hotels, repair broken faucets
in apartments, or exterminate insects and ro­
dents in office buildings.
Workers in these occupations usually learn
their skills on the job, but other training
sometimes is available. Building custodians,
for example, may attend training programs
offered by unions and government agencies.
Hotel housekeepers may take homestudy or
classroom courses in housekeeping proce­
dures offered by their employer, junior col­
leges, or technical institutes. Workers who
learn their jobs thoroughly and show that
they can handle responsibility may advance
to supervisory positions.
Besides a knowledge of their job, these
workers must be courteous, tactful, and neat
if their job requires contact with the public.
They should be able to follow instructions
and work well on their own. Some of these
workers perform monotonous and tiring
tasks, such as scrubbing and waxing floors or
making up beds, and must be able to tolerate
the boredom of the job.

Schools employ many custodians.

This section describes three cleaning and
related occupations: Building custodians,
pest controllers, and hotel housekeepers and

equipment have made many tasks easier and
less time consuming, but custodians must
know how to use them properly to avoid
harming floors and fixtures.

Building Custodians

Some custodians supervise a group of cus­
todial workers and are responsible for main­
taining a section of a building or an entire
building. They assign tasks t o each w o r k e r ,
give instructions, and see that jobs, such as
floor waxing or window washing, are done

(D.O.T. 187.167-190; 381.137-010, .687-014, -018, -022;
382.664-010; and 891.137-010)

Nature of the Work
Building custodians, sometimes called
janitors or cleaners, keep office buildings,
hospitals, stores, and apartment houses clean
and in good condition. Their routine includes
necessary maintenance tasks such as fixing
leaky faucets, emptying trash, minor painting
and carpentry, replenishing bathroom sup­
plies, and mowing lawns. They also see that
heating and air-conditioning equipment
works properly. On a typical day, a custodian
may wet- or dry-mop floors, vacuum carpets,
dust furniture, make minor repairs, and ex­
terminate insects and rodents.
Custodians use many different tools and
cleaning materials. For one job they may
need a mop and bucket; for another an elec­
tric polishing machine and a special cleaning
solution. Chemical cleaners and power

Working Conditions
Because most office buildings are cleaned
while they are empty, custodians often work
evening hours. Some jobs, however, such as
school custodian, call for daytime work. In
buildings requiring 24-hour maintenance,
custodians may work on shifts.
Although custodians usually work inside
heated, well-lighted buildings, they some­
times work outdoors sweeping walkways,
mowing lawns, or shoveling snow. Work­
ing with machines can be noisy and some
tasks, such as cleaning bathrooms and
trash rooms, can be dirty. Custodial work­
ers may suffer minor cuts, bruises, and
burns from machines, handtools, and
Building custodians spend most of their

time on their feet, sometimes lifting or
pushing heavy furniture or equipment.
Many tasks, such as dusting or sweeping,
require constant bending, stooping, and

Places of Employment
In 1978, almost 2.3 million people worked
as building custodians. One-third worked
part time.
Most custodians worked in office buildings
and factories, but many others were em­
ployed in schools, apartment houses, hospi­
tals, and recreation facilities, such as theaters
and stadiums. Some worked for firms supply­
ing building maintenance services on a con­
tract basis.
Although custodial jobs can be found in
all cities and towns, most are located in
highly populated areas where there are
many office buildings, stores, and apart­
ment houses.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
No special education is required for most
custodial jobs, but the beginner should know
simple arithmetic and be able to follow in­
structions. High school shop courses are

helpful for minor plumbing or carpentry
Most building custodians learn their skills
on the job. Usually, beginners do routine
cleaning and are given more complicated du­
ties as they gain experience.
In some cities, unions and government
agencies have developed programs to teach
custodial skills. Students learn how to clean
buildings thoroughly and efficiently, and
how to operate and maintain machines, such
as wet and dry vacuums, buffers, and polish­
ers, that they will use on the job. Instruction
in minor electrical, plumbing, and other re­
pairs also is given. As part of their training,
students learn to plan their work, to follow
safety and health regulations, to deal with
people in the buildings they clean, and to
work without supervision.

Related Occupations
Custodians are not the only workers who
clean and maintain buildings. Some workers
who have similar skills and job duties are
trash collectors, floor waxers, sweepers, win­
dow cleaners, private household workers*
sextons, gardeners, boiler tenders, hotel
housekeepers, and pest controllers.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about custodial jobs and
training opportunities may be obtained from
the local office of your State employment ser­
For general information on job opportuni­
ties in local areas, contact:
Service Employees International Union, 2020 K
St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20006.

H otel Housekeepers
and Assistants_____
(D.O.T. 321 and 323 except 323.687-010)

Nature of the Work
A hotel or motel’s reputation depends on
how well it serves its guests. Although some
offer economical accommodations and oth­
ers stress luxurious surroundings and atten­
tive service, all are concerned with their
guests’ comfort. Hotel housekeepers are re­
sponsible for keeping hotels and motels clean
and attractive and providing guests with the
necessary furnishings and supplies. It is their
job to hire, train, schedule, and supervise the
housekeeping staff, including linen and laun­

Building custodians usually find work by
answering newspaper advertisements or ap­
plying directly to a company or a building
maintenance service where they would like to
work. They also get jobs through State em­
ployment offices. Custodial jobs in the gov­
ernment are obtained by applying to the civil
service personnel headquarters.
Advancement opportunities for custodial
workers usually are limited because the cus­
todian is the only maintenance worker in
many buildings. Where there is a large main­
tenance staff, however, custodians can be
promoted to supervisory jobs. A high school
diploma improves the chances for advance­
ment. Some custodians go into the mainte­
nance business for themselves.

Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities in this occupa­
tion are expected to be good through the
1980’s. The need to replace workers who die,
retire, or leave the occupation will create
many jobs each year. Construction of new
office buildings, hospitals, and apartment
houses will cause employment of custodians
to grow about as fast as the average for all
Persons seeking part-time or evening work
can expect to find many opportunities.

In 1978, building custodians averaged
$4.21 an hour, which is about three-fourths
as much as the average earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Earnings, however, vary by in­
dustry and area of the country. Workers in
large cities of the Northeast, North Central,
and Western regions usually earn the highest
Custodians working in the Federal Gov­
ernment are paid at the same rates offered by
private industries in the local area.
Most building service workers receive paid
holidays and vacations, and health insur­
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Housekeepers who work in small or middle-sized establishments may perform some household
duties themselves.

dry workers, and repairers. They also keep
employee records and order supplies. About
19,500 persons worked as hotel housekeepers
in 1978.
Housekeepers who work in small or mid­
dle-sized establishments may not only super­
vise the housekeeping staff, but perform
some of these duties themselves. In contrast,
the work of housekeepers in large or luxury
hotels is primarily administrative, and they
are usually called executive or head
Besides supervising a staff that may num­
ber in the hundreds, executive housekeepers
prepare the budget for their departments;
submit reports to the general manager on the
condition of rooms, needed repairs, and sug­
gested improvements; and purchase supplies
and furnishings. Executive housekeepers are
assisted by floor housekeepers, who supervise
the cleaning and maintenance of one or sev­
eral floors in the hotel, and assistant execu­
tive housekeepers, who help with the ad­
ministrative work.
Some larger hotel and motel chains as­
sign executive housekeepers to special jobs,
such as reorganizing housekeeping proce­
dures in an established hotel or setting up
the housekeeping department in a new

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Housekeeping positions require little or no
specialized educational training, but most
employers prefer applicants who have a high
school diploma. Likewise, experience or
training in hotel housekeeping also is helpful
in getting a job.
Several colleges, junior colleges, and tech­
nical insititutes offer instruction in hotel ad­
ministration that includes courses in
housekeeping; some of these courses are of­
fered in summer or evening classes. Many
schools have developed programs under the
guidance and approval of the National Ex­
ecutive Housekeepers Association, an orga­
nization that confers certified membership
status upon those members who complete
certain education and experience require­
ments. In addition, the Educational Insti­
tute of the American Hotel & Motel Associ­
ation offers courses for either classroom or
home study. Most helpful are courses on
housekeeping; personnel management; bud­
get preparation; recordkeeping; interior dec­
oration; safety practices; environmental con­
trols; and the purchase, use, and care of
different types of equipment and fabrics.
While executive housekeepers should be
good at planning and organizing, they also
should be able to deal effectively with people,
especially the housekeeping personnel.
Housekeepers also should be able to work
independently, keep records, and analyze
Although assistant housekeepers may be
promoted to executive housekeepers after

several years of experience, opportunities are
limited because only one executive
housekeeper job is available in any hotel or
motel. Those who have degrees or have taken
courses in institutional housekeeping man­
agement may have the best advancement op­

Employment Outlook
Employment of hotel housekeepers is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. Many open­
ings will result from the need to replace
workers who die, retire, or leave the occupa­
Because established hotels usually fill va­
cancies by promoting assistant housekeepers
to executive housekeepers, beginners will
find their best job opportunities in newly
built motels or hotels.

Related Occupations
Hotel housekeepers and assistants are not
the only workers concerned with hiring,
training, scheduling, and supervising work­
ers when pleasing customers and providing
service is important. Other occupations in­
volving similar responsibilities include apart­
ment superintendents, janitorial service oper­
ators, pursers, and supervisory maintenance

Sources of Additional Information
See the chapter on the hotel industry else­
where in the Handbook for information on
earnings and working conditions, sources of
additional information, and more informa­
tion on the employment outlook.

Pest Controllers
(D .O .T. 383.361-010, .364-010, .367-010; and

Nature of the Work
Rats, mice, and common household in­
sects such as flies and roaches contaminate
food and spread sickness; termites eat wood.
Protecting us and our property from these
pests is the job of professional pest controll­
ers, who are classified either as pest control
route workers or termite specialists. Al­
though these fields of work are separate,
many controllers do both.
Often working alone, a pest control route
worker usually begins the day by making
sure the route truck has the necessary pesti­
cides, sprayers, traps, and other supplies for
servicing customers’ facilities. With the su­
pervisor’s instructions, the route worker
starts out to visit the 5 to 15 customers on the
route list.
A route worker generally services restau­
rants, hotels, food stores, homes, and other
facilities that have problems with rats, mice,
or insects. Commercial customers commonly
have service contracts calling for regular vi­

sits, such as once a month. Service to homes
usually is less frequent, or as required.
A route worker, who must know pests’
habits and hiding places, carefully inspects
the facility to determine the extent of the pest
problem. To eliminate pests and prevent their
return, the route worker sprays pesticides in
and around areas such as cabinets and sinks
where insects usually live, and sets traps and
poisonous bait near areas where rats or mice
nest and along paths they travel.
Although regular visits are helpful, the
route worker may suggest to customers ways
to eliminate conditions that attract pests.
They may, for example, recommend replac­
ing damaged garbage containers, sealing
open food containers, and repairing cracks in
Termite specialists are pest controllers
who work to eliminate termites and pre­
vent them from reaching wood structures.
If not controlled, these insects can go vir­
tually unnoticed until they severely under­
mine the wood structure of a home, or
other building.
Termite specialists, usually working in
pairs, can effectively control termites by pro­
viding a poison barrier between the termites’
underground colonies and the wood struc­
To provide a barrier, these workers insert
a steel nozzle with holes into the ground and
pump in termite poison through a hose at­
tached to the nozzle. They repeat the process
at numerous points around the foundation.
To reach soil beneath or behind cement or
other surfaces, they drill holes through the
surface, insert the nozzle into the soil, and
pump in the poison. They then seal these
holes with cement. Specialists also may spray
poison directly on to the wood’s surface, es­
pecially on older, all-wood structures.
Since termites will not cross poisonous
areas, those in the ground must find food
elsewhere or starve while those trapped in the
wood structure die from lack of moisture.
Because barriers last for years, termite spe­
cialists seldom revisit a treated facility.
Termite specialists sometimes have to alter
buildings to prevent pests from returning.
For example, they may remove and rebuild
foundations or insulate wood-to-earth con­
tacts with concrete.
Helpers assist termite specialists by dig­
ging around and underneath houses, helping
set up and operate equipment, mixing ce­
ment, and doing general cleanup work.
Some highly experienced specialists in­
spect houses for termites, estimate costs, and
explain the proposed work to customers. In
most exterminating firms, however, manag­
ers, supervisors, or pest control sales workers
do these jobs.

Working Conditions
Generally, pest controllers work 40 to 44
hours a week. During spring and summer,

becoming route workers also may benefit
from courses in sales. Those interested in
becoming termite specialists can gain valu­
able experience by taking courses related to
building construction such as carpentry.
Certification indicates competence in the
field. To become certified, the pest controller
must demonstrate in a written examination
knowledge of pesticides and their safe use.
Most States require pest control firms to have
at least one certified pest controller available
for consultation to noncertified workers.
Experienced workers with ability can ad­
vance to higher paying positions, such as ser­
vice manager or pest-control sales worker.

Employment Outlook

Pest controllers know the habits and hiding places of different insects.

however, hours may be longer because pests
are more prevalent. Most work is done dur­
ing the day. Route workers, however, occa­
sionally work nights because many restau­
rants and stores do not want them to work
while customers are present.
Pest controllers work both indoors and
outdoors in all kinds of weather. They fre­
quently lift and carry equipment and materi­
als, but usually these items weigh less than 50
pounds. Route workers also do a great deal
of walking and driving. Termite specialists
occasionally must crawl under buildings and
work in dirty, cramped spaces. Workers in
these occupations are subject to some haz­
ards. Although most pesticides are not harm­
ful to humans, some can cause injury if they
are inhaled or left on the skin. Such injuries,
however, are avoided if safety precautions are
followed. Termite specialists risk injury from
power tools and sharp or rough materials in
Pest controllers are on their own to a great
extent and may decide, within limits, how
they will handle a job.

Places of Employment
More than half of the estimated 31,500
pest controllers employed in 1978 were route
workers; the rest were termite specialists and
combination route worker-termite special­
Most pest controllers work for or own
firms that specialize in this service. A small
number work for Federal, State, and local
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Jobs in this field can be found throughout
the country. Employment, however, is con­
centrated in major metropolitan areas and
large towns.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Beginning pest controllers are trained by
supervisors and experienced workers. Many
large firms also provide several weeks of
training, which includes classes on the char­
acteristics of termites or other pests, the safe
and effective use of pesticides, customer rela­
tions, and the preparation of work records.
To aid beginners, many employers provide
training manuals. Beginners gain practical
experience by helping pest control route
workers or termite specialists on the job.
After a week or two of on-the-job training,
and 2 or 3 months of detailed follow-up in­
spections, new employees can work alone.
Employers prefer trainees who are high
school graduates, have safe driving records,
and are in good health. Many firms require
employees to be bonded; applicants must
have a record of honesty and respect for the
law. Because route workers frequently deal
with customers, employers look for appli­
cants who are courteous, tactful, and wellgroomed. Termite specialists need manual
dexterity and mechanical ability. Some firms
give aptitude tests to determine an appli­
cant’s suitability for the work.
High school courses in chemistry and busi­
ness arithmetic provide a helpful background
for pest controllers. Students interested in

Employment of pest controllers is ex­
pected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s. In addition
to the jobs resulting from growth in the de­
mand for pest control, the need to replace
experienced workers who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations also will create many
job openings.
Because pests reproduce rapidly and tend
to develop resistance to pesticides, their con­
trol is a never-ending problem. Population
growth and further congestion of metropoli­
tan areas will add to the need for more pest
controllers. Older buildings which are more
prone to infestation also increase the need for
these workers.

The starting pay for inexperienced trainees
ranged from $3.50 to $4 an hour in 1978,
based on the limited information available.
Earnings of experienced pest controllers
ranged from $5 to $9 an hour.
Some route workers are paid an hourly
rate or weekly salary. Others receive a com­
mission based upon charges to customers.
Nearly all termite specialists are paid an
hourly rate or weekly salary.

Related Occupatons
Pest controllers spend much of their work­
day covering a route by truck to service cus­
tomers. Other workers with similar duties in­
clude sales route drivers, carpet installers,
glass installers, and household appliance in­

Sources of Additional Information
Further information about opportunities
in this field is available from local exter­
minating companies and the local office of
the State employment service. General infor­
mation about the work can be obtained from:
National Pest Control Association, Inc., 8150
Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Va. 22180.

Food Service Occupations
Food service workers make up one of the
largest and fastest growing occupational
groups in the Nation’s labor force. More than
four times as many persons work in food ser­
vice as in automobile manufacturing and
steel manufacturing combined. In 1978,
about 4.3 million persons were employed in
food service, mostly in restaurants, hotels,
factory and school cafeterias, and catering
firms. Job opportunities exist almost every­
where and for almost any interested person,
including those who have limited skills or
little formal education.
There are no specific educational require­
ments for most food service work and skills
usually are learned through on-the-job train­
ing. Many restaurants hire inexperienced
persons as dining room attendants, dish­
washers, food counter workers, waiters and
waitresses, and bartenders. Experience some­
times is necessary, however, to obtain one of
these positions in a large restaurant or ca­
tering firm. Previous employment in a food
service occupation, such as kitchen helper or
assistant cook, often is necessary to get a job
as a cook. Experienced workers may advance
to food service manager, maitre d’hotel, head
cook, or chef.
Vocational schools, both public and pri­
vate, offer courses in cooking, catering, and
bartending. Employment of food service
workers is expected to increase faster than
the average for all occupations through the
1980’s. The demand for these workers will
increase as new restaurants, cafeterias, and
bars open in response to population growth
and increased spending for food and bever­

ages outside the home. Higher average in­
comes and more leisure time will allow peo­
ple to eat out more often. Also, as more wives
work, families are finding dining out a wel­
come convenience. Detailed discussions of
the work, training, outlook, and earnings of
dining room attendants and dishwashers,
food counter workers, waiters and waitresses,
cooks and chefs, and bartenders are pre­
sented in the statements that follow.

suit a customer’s taste. Most bartenders must
know dozens of drink recipes and be able to
mix drinks accurately by sight alone so they
can serve drinks quickly, without wasting
anything, even during the busiest periods.
Besides mixing and serving drinks, bartend­
ers also serve limited food items or snacks to
customers seated at the bar, collect payment,
operate the cash register, and clean up after
customers who have left.


Bartenders usually are responsible for or­
dering and maintaining an inventory of li­
quor, mixes, and other bar supplies. They
also arrange the bottles and glassware into
attractive, geometric displays, and often
wash glassware.

(D .O .T . 312.474 and .477)

Nature of the Work
Screaming Zombies, Harvey Wallbangers,
Gold Cadillacs, and Singapore Slings are just
a few of the exotic cocktails embodied in the
art of mixology, or bartending. Bartenders
make these concoctions by combining, in
exact proportion, ingredients selected from
what may seem a bewildering variety of liq­
uors and mixers. A well-stocked bar contains
dozens of types and brands of liquor plus soft
drinks, fruit juices, cream, and soda and tonic
water. In addition, bartenders serve beer,
wine, and a wide variety of nonalcoholic bev­
Bartenders take drink orders from waiters
and waitresses serving customers seated in
the restaurant or lounge, as well as from cus­
tomers seated at the bar. Because some peo­
ple like their cocktails made a certain way,
bartenders often are asked to mix drinks to

Bartenders who work in large restaurants
or hotels usually have bartender helpers
(D.O.T. 312.687-010) to assist them with
their duties. Helpers keep the bar supplied
with liquor, mixes, and ice; stock refrigera­
tors with beer and wine; and replace empty
beer kegs with full ones. They also keep the
area behind the bar clean and remove empty
bottles and trash.
Many bartenders own their own tavern or
bar and, therefore, also must keep their own
business records and hire, train, and direct

Working Conditions
Many bartenders work more than 40 hours
a week, and night and weekend work and
split shifts are common. For many bartend­
ers, however, the opportunity for friendly
conversation with customers and the possi­
bility of someday managing or owning a bar
or restaurant more than offset these disad­
vantages. For others, the opportunity to get
part-time work is important.
Better than average strength sometimes is
necessary to lift heavy cases of liquors or
mixes. Also, bartenders have to work quickly
and under pressure in a popular bar during
busy periods.

Places of Employment
Most of the 282,000 bartenders employed
in 1978 worked in restaurants and bars; oth­
ers had jobs in hotels and private clubs.
Roughly one-fifth were self-employed.
Several thousand people, many of whom
work in other occupations or attend college,
tend bar part time. Often they serve at ban­
quets and private parties which are held at
restaurants, hotels, or even private homes.
Most bartenders work in the urban popu­
lation centers of New York, California, and
other large States, but many are employed in
small communities. Seasonal employment is

Related Occupations
Bartenders’ duties include taking orders,
serving drinks, and collecting payment from
customers. Other workers who serve custom­
ers include short-order cooks, restaurant and
coffee shop managers, sales clerks, and wait­
ers and waitresses.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about job opportunities may
be obtained from the State employment ser­
For general information on job opportuni­
ties in bartending, write to:
American Hotel and Motel Association, 888 7th
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.
Culinary Institute of America, P.O. Box 53, Hyde
Park, N.Y. 12538.

Cooks and Chefs
(D.O.T. 187.161-010, 313, and 315)

Bartenders often are asked to mix drinks to suit a customer’s taste.

Nature of the Work
available in vacation resorts, and some bar­
tenders migrate between summer and winter
resorts rather than remain in one area the
entire year.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most bartenders learn their trade on the
job. Although preparing drinks at home can
be good practice, it does not qualify a person
to be a bartender. Besides knowing a variety
of cocktail recipes, bartenders must know
how to stock a bar properly and be familiar
with State and local laws concerning the sale
of alcoholic beverages.
Persons who wish to become bartenders
can get good experience by working as bar­
tender helpers, dining room attendants, wait­
ers, or waitresses. By watching a bartender at
work, they can learn how to mix drinks and
do other bartending tasks.
Some schools offer short courses in bartending that include instruction on State and
local laws and regulations, cocktail recipes,
attire and conduct, and stocking a bar. Some
of these schools help their graduates find
Since they deal with the public, bartenders
should have a pleasant personality and a neat
and clean appearance. Physical stamina also
is necessary, because they stand while work­
ing and must lift heavy kegs of beer or cases
of beverages.
Generally, bartenders must be at least 21
years of age, although some employers prefer
those who are 25 or older. Some States re­
quire bartenders to have health certificates
assuring that they are free from contagious
diseases. In some instances, they must be
Small restaurants, neighborhood bars, and
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

resorts usually offer a beginner the best entry
opportunities. After gaining experience, a
bartender may wish to work in a large restau­
rant or cocktail lounge where pay is higher
and promotion opportunities are greater. Al­
though promotional opportunities in this
field are limited, it is possible to advance to
head bartender, wine steward, or beverage
manager. Some bartenders open their own

Employment Outlook
Employment of bartenders is expected to
increase faster than the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s. In addition to the
job openings caused by employment growth,
several thousand will arise annually from the
need to replace experienced bartenders who
retire, die, or leave the occupation for other

A reputation for serving fine food is an
asset to any restaurant, whether it prides
itself on “home cooking” or exotic foreign
cuisine. Cooks and chefs are largely re­
sponsible for the reputation a restaurant
acquires. Many chefs have earned fame for
both themselves and the restaurants and
hotels where they work because of their
skill in creating new dishes and improving
familiar ones.
A cook’s duties depend partly on the size
and kind of restaurant. Smaller restaurants
usually feature a limited number of easy-toprepare, short order specialties, and ready­
made desserts from a nearby bakery. Typi­
cally, one cook prepares all of the food with
the help of a short order cook and one or two
kitchen helpers.

Higher average incomes and more leisure
time will allow people to go out for dinner or
cocktails more often, and to take more vaca­
tions. Also, with both spouses working, fami­
lies are finding dining out a welcome con­

Large eating places usually have more
varied menus and prepare more of the
food they serve. Kitchen staffs often in­
clude several cooks, sometimes called as­
sistant or apprentice cooks, and many
kitchen helpers. Each cook usually has a
special assignment and often a special job
title—pastry, fry, or sauce cook, for exam­
ple. Head cooks or chefs coordinate the
work of the kitchen staff, and often direct
certain kinds of food preparation. They de­
cide the size of servings, sometimes plan
menus, and buy food supplies.


Working Conditions

Hourly earnings of bartenders ranged from
$3.34 to $6.53 in 1978, according to limited
data from union contracts in the restaurant
industry. Besides wages, bartenders usually
receive tips that increase their earnings.

Many kitchens have modem equipment,
convenient work areas, and air-conditioning,
but others, particularly in older and smaller
eating places, are frequently marginally
equipped and poorly ventilated. Other varia­
tions in working conditions depend on the
type and quantity of food being prepared and
the local laws governing food service opera­
tions. In most kitchens, however, cooks must

The demand for bartenders will increase as
new restaurants, hotels, and bars open in re­
sponse to population growth and as spending
on food and beverages outside the home in­

Bartenders usually receive free meals at
work and may be furnished bar jackets or
complete uniforms.

Little experience is required to become an
assistant or fry cook, but many years of train­
ing and experience are necessary to achieve
the level of skill required of an executive chef
or cook in a fine restaurant. Even though a
high school diploma is not required for begin­
ning jobs, it is recommended for those plan­
ning a career as a cook or chef. High school
or vocational school courses in business
arithmetic and business administration are
particularly helpful. To get experience, high
school students can work part time in fastfood or other restaurants.
Persons who have had courses in commer­
cial food preparation will have an advantage
when looking for jobs in large restaurants
and hotels where hiring standards often are
high. Some vocational programs in high
schools offer this kind of training to students.
But usually these courses, ranging from a few
months to 2 years or more and open in some
cases only to high school graduates, are given
by trade schools, vocational centers, junior
colleges, universities, professional associa­
tions, hotel management groups, and trade
unions. The Armed Forces also are a good
source of training and experience in food ser­
vice work.
Although curricula may vary, students
usually spend most of their time learning to
prepare food through actual practice. They
learn to bake, broil, and prepare food, and to
use and care for kitchen equipment. Training
programs often include courses in selection
and storage of food, use of leftovers, determi­
nation of portion size, menu planning, food
cost control, and purchasing food supplies in
quantity. Students also learn hotel and res­
taurant sanitation and public health rules for
handling food. Training in supervisory and
management skills sometimes is emphasized
in courses offered by private vocational
schools, professional associations, and uni­
versity programs.

stand most of the time, lift heavy pots and
kettles, and work near hot ovens and ranges.
Hours in restaurants may include late eve­
ning, holiday, and weekend work, and range
from 37 1/2 to 48 hours a week. Cooks em­
ployed in public and private schools work
during the school year only, usually for 9

Places of Employment
About 1,186,000 cooks and chefs were em­
ployed in 1978. Most worked in restaurants
and hotels, but many worked in schools, col­
leges, airports, and hospitals. Government
agencies, factories, private clubs, and many
other kinds of organizations also employed
cooks and chefs.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most cooks start work in an unskilled posi­
tion such as kitchen helper and acquire their
skills on the job; however, an increasing num­
ber are obtaining their training through high
school and post-high school vocational pro­
grams. Cooks may also be trained in appren­
ticeship programs offered by professional as­
sociations and trade unions, or in a 3-year
apprenticeship program administered by
local offices of the American Culinary Feder­
ation in cooperation with local employers
and junior colleges or vocational education
institutions. In addition, some large hotels
and restaurants operate their own training
programs for new employees.

Many school districts, in cooperation with
school food services divisions of State depart­
ments of education, provide on-the-job train­
ing and sometimes summer workshops for
cafeteria workers who wish to become cooks.
Some junior colleges, State departments of
education, and school associations also offer
training programs. Cafeteria employees who
have participated in these training programs
often are selected for jobs as cooks.
Persons who want to become cooks or
chefs should be able to work as a team and
to withstand the pressure and strain of work­
ing in close quarters during busy periods. A
keen sense of taste and smell, the physical
stamina to stand for hours at a time, and
personal cleanliness also are important
qualifications. Most States require health cer­
tificates indicating that cooks and chefs are
free from contagious diseases.
Advancement opportunities for cooks are
better than for most other food service occu­
pations. Many cooks acquire higher paying
positions and new cooking skills by moving
from one operation to another. Others gradu­
ally advance to chef positions or supervisory

or management positions, particularly in ho­
tels, clubs, or the larger, more elegant restau­
rants. Some eventually go into business as
caterers or restaurant owners; others may be­
come instructors in vocational programs in
high schools, junior and community colleges,
and other academic institutions.

Employment Outlook
Employment of cooks and chefs is ex­
pected to increase faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. In addi­
tion to employment growth, thousands of job
openings will arise annually from the need to
replace experienced workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations. Small res­
taurants, school cafeterias, and other eating
places with simple food preparation will pro­
vide the greatest number of starting jobs for
The demand for cooks and chefs will in­
crease as population grows and people eat
out more. Higher personal incomes and more
leisure time will allow people to go out for
dinner more often and to take more vaca­
tions. Also, as more wives work, families are
finding dining out a welcome convenience.

In 1978, hourly pay rates ranged from
$3.68 to $7.15 for chefs, from $2.90 to $6.36
for cooks of various types, and from $2.54 to
$4.97 for assistant cooks, according to lim­
ited data from union contracts in several
large metropolitan areas.
Wages of cooks and chefs vary depending
on the part of the country and the type of
establishment in which they work. Wages
generally are higher in the West and in large,
well-known restaurants and hotels. Cooks
and chefs in famous restaurants earn much
more than the minimum rates, and several
chefs with national reputations earn more
than $40,000 a year.
The principal union organizing cooks and
chefs is the Hotel and Restaurant Employees
and Bartenders International Union.

Related Occupations

Culinary Institute of America, P.O. Box 53, Hyde
Park, N.Y. 12538.
National Institute for the Foodservice Industry, 20
North Wacker Dr., Suite 2620, Chicago, 111. 60606.
The American Hotel and Motel Association, 888
7th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.

For information on the American Culi­
nary Federation’s apprenticeship program
for cooks and chefs, write to:
American Culinary Federation, Educational Insti­
tute, 920 Long Blvd., Suite One, Lansing, Mich.

Dining Room
Attendants and

may have to make minor adjustments to keep
machines operating properly. Dishwashers
might clean large pots and pans by hand, or
operate a mechanical pot and pan washer. In
addition, they may clean refrigerators and
other kitchen equipment, sweep and mop
floors, and carry out trash.

Working Conditions
Most attendants and dishwashers work
less than 30 hours a week. Some are on duty
only a few hours a day during either the
lunch or dinner period. Others work both
periods but may take a few hours off in the
middle of the day. Weekend and holiday
work often is required.

(D.O.T. 311.677 except -014; and 318.687-010)

Job hazards include the possibility of falls,
cuts, and bums, but injuries are seldom seri­
ous. The work is strenuous, however, as these
workers have to lift heavy trays filled with
dishes, and large pots and pans.

Nature of the Work

Places of Employment

Clean and attractive table settings are as
important to a restaurant’s reputation as the
quality of food it serves. An egg-stained fork,
a soiled tablecloth, or an empty salt shaker
can make a customer unhappy. Dining room
attendants and dishwashers provide the
quick hands and sharp eyes needed to pre­
vent such problems.

About 240,000 dishwashers and 215,000
attendants were employed in 1978. Many
worked only part time.

Attendants do many jobs that otherwise
waiters and waitresses would have to do.
They clear and reset tables, carry soiled
dishes to the dishwashing area and bring in
trays of food, and clean up spilled food and
broken dishes. By taking care of these details,
attendants give waiters and waitresses more
time to serve customers.
Dining room attendants help waiters and
waitresses in some restaurants, by serving
water and bread and butter to customers. In
addition, when business is light, they do vari­
ous jobs such as refilling salt and pepper
shakers and cleaning coffee pots.
Dishwashers pick up where the attendants
leave off—with the soiled dishes. They oper­
ate special machines that clean tableware
quickly and efficiently. Occasionally, they

Most attendants and dishwashers work in
restaurants, bars, and hotels. Dishwashers
also work in schools, hospitals, and other in­
stitutional feeding operations.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A high school education is not needed to
qualify for jobs as dining room attendants
and dishwashers, and many employers will
hire applicants who do not speak English.
Attendants and dishwashers must be in good
physical condition and have physical stamina
because they stand most of the time, lift and
carry trays, and work at a fast pace during
busy periods. State laws often require them to
obtain health certificates to show that they
are free of contagious diseases. Because of
their close contact with the public, attend­
ants should be neat in appearance, have good
personal hygiene, and get along well with
Promotions for dining room attendants

Cooks and chefs are not the only workers
who create and then display a product to its
best advantage. Other workers similarly in­
volved include artists, bakers, clothes de­
signers, and decorators. In addition, cooks
and chefs may manage facilities ranging in
size from a two person sandwich shop to a
large restaurant’s kitchen employing dozens
of people. Other workers with similar man­
agement responsibilities include food service
directors, executive housekeepers, and purs­

Sources of Additional Information
Information about job opportunities may
be obtained from local employers and local
offices of the State employment service.
General information about restaurant
cooks and chefs is available from: OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Dishwashers pick up where attendants leave off— with the dirty dishes.

and dishwashers are limited. Attendants
sometimes advance to positions as waiter or
waitress, and dishwashers occasionally ad­
vance to cook’s helper or short-order cook.
The ability to read, write, and do simple
arithmetic is required for promotion. Oppor­
tunities for advancement generally are best in
large restaurants.

Employment Outlook
Job openings for dining room attendants
and dishwashers are expected to be plentiful
in the years ahead. Many openings will result
from the need to replace workers who find
jobs in other occupations, retire, or die.
Turnover is particularly high among parttime workers. About one-half of the attend­
ants and dishwashers are students, most of
whom work part time while attending school.
Additional openings will result from em­
ployment growth. Employment of dining
room attendants and dishwashers is expected
to increase much faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s as popula­
tion growth and higher incomes create more
business for restaurants.

Dining room attendants and dishwashers
have relatively low earnings. Limited data
from union contracts that cover restaurants
and bars in several large cities indicate that
hourly rates for these workers ranged from
$1.54 to $4.28 in 1978. These amounts were
below the average earnings of most other
nonsupervisory workers in private industry,
except farming.
In addition to wages, however, attendants
may receive a percentage of waiters’ and wai­
tresses’ tips. Patrons usually tip their waiter
or waitresses between 10 and 20 percent of
their checks, but locale and custom fre­
quently determine the amount.

Food Counter
(D.O.T. 311.137-010, .477-014, .674-010, .677-014;

Nature of the Work
Counter workers serve customers in eating
places that specialize in fast service and inex­
pensive food, such as hamburger and fried
chicken carryouts, drugstore soda fountains,
and school and public cafeterias. About 463,000 persons, most of whom worked part
time, had food counter jobs in 1978.
Typical duties of counter workers include
taking customers’ orders, serving food and
beverages, making out checks, and taking
payments. At drugstore fountains and in din­
ers, they also may cook, make sandwiches
and cold drinks, and prepare sundaes and
other ice cream dishes. In hamburger carry­
outs, where food is prepared in an assembly­
line manner, counter workers may take turns
waiting on customers, making french fries,
toasting buns, and doing other jobs.
Counter workers in cafeterias supply serv­
ing lines with desserts, salads, and other
dishes, in addition to filling customers’ plates
with meats and side orders. Cafeterias usu­
ally employ central cashiers to take payments
and make change.
Counter workers also do odd jobs, such as
cleaning kitchen equipment, sweeping and
mopping floors, and carrying out trash.

Working Conditions
Since most counter workers are on duty
less than 30 hours a week, some work only a
few hours a day. Many others may work split
lunch-dinner shifts and have a few hours off

in the middle of the day. This flexible sched­
ule enables students to fit working hours
around classes. Weekend and holiday work
often is required.
During busy periods, food counter work­
ers must work quickly and effectively under
pressure. Other job requirements include the
ability to stand for long periods of time and
to perform tasks within a restricted area. Un­
like waiters, food counter workers do not
handle heavy trays, but are exposed to minor
injuries from sharp implements or flatware,
wet floors, or hot utensils or grease.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
For counter jobs that require totaling bills
and making change, employers prefer to hire
persons who are good in arithmetic and have
attended high school, although a diploma
usually is not necessary. Managers of fastfood restaurants often hire high school stu­
dents as part-time counter workers. Counter
jobs in cafeterias have no specific educational
Most counter workers learn their skills on
the job by observing and working with more
experienced workers. Some employers, in­
cluding some fast-food restaurants, use selfstudy instructional booklets and audiovisual
aids to train new employees.
Because counter workers deal with the
public, a pleasant personality and neat ap­
pearance are important. Good health and
physical stamina also are needed to stand
most of the time and work at a fast pace
during busy periods. State laws often require
counter workers to obtain health certificates
to show that they are free of contagious dis­
Opportunities for advancement are lim-

Employers usually furnish uniforms and a
free meal. In addition, most attendants and
dishw ashers receive paid vacations and vari­

ous types of health insurance and pension

Related Occupations
Other jobs which require little formal edu­
cation but provide comfort and convenience
to people are bell captains, building custodi­
ans, hospital attendants, and porters.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about job opportunities may
be obtained from local employers and local
offices of the State employment service.
For general information about dining
room attendants and dishwashers, write to:
National Institute for the Foodservice Industry, 20
N. Wacker Dr., Suite 2620, Chicago, 111. 60606.
Culinary Institute of America, P.O. Box 53, Hyde
Park, N.Y. 12538.
The American Hotel and Motel Association, 888
7th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.


ited, especially in small eating places. Some
counter workers move into higher paying
jobs and learn new skills by transferring to a
larger restaurant. Advancement can be to
cashier, cook, waiter or waitress, counter or
fountain supervisor, or, for counter workers
in cafeterias, to line supervisor or merchan­
diser (person in charge of stocking food).
Many large companies, such as the nation­
wide hamburger chains, operate formal man­
agement training programs, while others
offer informal on-the-job training. Counter
workers who show leadership ability may
qualify for these programs.

Employment Outlook
Job openings for food counter workers are
expected to be plentiful in the years ahead.
Most openings will result from the need to
replace workers who find jobs in other occu­
pations, retire, or die. Because many counter
workers are students who work part time and
leave the occupation after graduation, turn­
over is high.
Employment of counter workers is ex­
pected to increase faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s, as popu­
lation growth and higher incomes create
more business for eating places. In addition,
expansion of the restaurant industry, particu­
larly the fast-food segment, will create many
job openings. Thus, jobs should be relatively
easy to find.

Hourly rates for food counter workers
ranged from $1.70 to $3.73 in 1978, based on
limited data from union contracts that cov­
ered eating places in several large cities.
These amounts were well below the average
earnings for nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming. However,
some counter workers, such as those in drug­
stores and diners, receive tips, which can be
greater than hourly wages. Tips usually aver­
age between 10 and 20 percent of patrons’
checks. Counter workers usually receive free
meals at work, and may be furnished with

Related Occupations
Most food counter workers are employed
in small restaurants and fast food places and
often are rushed to take care of customers.
Other workers who have similar jobs include
sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, car hops,
and bartenders.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about job opportunities may
be obtained from local employers and local
offices of the State employment service.
For general information
counter workers, write to:



Educational Director, National Institute for the
Foodservice Industry, 20 North Wacker Dr., Chi­
cago, 111. 60606.
Culinary Institute of America, P.O. Box 53, Hyde
Park, N.Y. 12538.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The American Hotel and Motel Association, 888
7th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.

of meat, demands physical strength and
stamina. Meatcutters also must be careful
when working with sharp tools, especially
those that are powered.


Health and safety standards require clean
and sanitary work areas.

(D O T. 316)

Nature of the Work
Meatcutters prepare meat, fish, and poul­
try in supermarkets or wholesale food out­
lets. When the animal quarters and carcasses
arrive from a meatpacking plant or central
distribution center, meatcutters divide quar­
ters into primal cuts, such as round, loins,
and ribs, with a band saw. Then they use
knives to separate these large cuts into serv­
ing-size portions, such as steaks, roasts, and
chops. Boneless cuts are divided by knives,
slicers, or power cutters while band saws are
used on bony pieces. Meat trimmings are
ground into hamburger. They also may pre­
pare sausage and corned beef. In addition,
cutters in retail foodstores may be required to
stock meat display cases and assist custom­

Working Conditions
Meatcutters work in coldrooms designed
to prevent meat from spoiling. The low tem­
perature, combined with the need to stand
for long periods of time and lift heavy pieces

Places of Employment
About 204,000 persons worked as meat­
cutters in 1978. They had jobs in almost
every city and town in the Nation. Most
meatcutters worked in retail foodstores, al­
though a few worked in wholesale stores, res­
taurants, hotels, hospitals, and other institu­

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most meatcutters acquire their skills on
the job. Although many are informally
trained, most learn through apprenticeship
programs. A few meatcutters learn their
skills by attending private schools specializ­
ing in this trade.
Generally, on-the-job trainees begin by
doing odd jobs, such as removing bones and
fat from retail cuts. Under the guidance of
skilled meatcutters, they learn about the
various cuts and grades of meats and the
proper use of tools and equipment. After
demonstrating skill with tools, they learn to
divide quarters into primal cuts and to di-

vide primal cuts into individual portions.
Trainees may learn to cut and prepare fish
and poultry, roll and tie roasts, prepare sau­
sage, and cure and corn meat. Later, they
may learn marketing operations such as in­
ventory control, meat buying and grading,
and recordkeeping.
Meatcutters who learn the trade through
apprenticeship programs generally complete
2 years of supervised on-the-job training that
may be supplemented by classroom work. At
the end of the training period, apprentices are
given a meatcutting test which is observed by
their employer. In union shops, a union
member also is present during the exam. Ap­
prentices who pass the test qualify as meatcutters. Those who fail the exam may repeat
it at a later time. In some areas, apprentices
may become meatcutters without completing
the entire training program if they can pass
the test.
Besides training requirements, most em­
ployers prefer applicants who have a high
school diploma and the potential to develop
into meat department managers. Other
skills important in meat cutting are manual
dexterity, good depth perception, color dis­
crimination, and good eye-hand coordina­
tion. A pleasant personality, a neat appear­
ance, and the ability to communicate clearly
are important qualifications when cutters
wait on customers. Also, better-than-average strength is needed to lift heavy pieces of
meat. A health certificate may be required
for employment.
Meatcutters may progress to supervisory
jobs, such as meat department managers in
supermarkets. A few become meat buyers for
wholesalers and supermarket chains. Some
cutters become grocery store managers or
open their own meat markets.

Employment Outlook
The number of meatcutters is expected to
decline slightly through the 1980’s. Never­
theless, thousands of entry jobs will be availa­
ble as experienced workers retire, die, or
leave the occupation for other reasons.
Employment of meatcutters in food stores
will be limited by central cutting—the prac­
tice of cutting and wrapping meat for sev­
eral stores at one location. Central cutting,
which permits meatcutters to specialize in
both a type of meat and a type of cut, in­
creases efficiency. In addition, more central
cutting is expected to be done in meatpack­
ing plants, thus reducing the amount of
meat cut—and the need for meatcutters—in
food stores.

Hourly earnings of most meatcutters ave­
raged $8.32 in 1978, according to a 1978 sur­
vey of union wage rates for grocery store em­
ployees in cities of 100,000 inhabitants or
more. Meatcutters working in cities with
500,000 inhabitants or more tended to earn
more than those
 in smaller cities. Among

grocery store occupations, meatcutters have
the highest wages.
Beginning apprentices usually receive be­
tween 60 and 70 percent of the experienced
cutter’s wage and generally receive increases
every 6 months.
Many cutters are members of the United
Food and Commerical Workers Interna­
tional Union.

Related Occupations
Meatcutters must be able to do both skilled
hand and machine work and have some
knowledge of processes and techniques in­
volved in preparing food. Other occupations
in food preparation which require similar
skills are bakers; cooks; butchers, chicken
and fish; salad makers, and kitchen supervi­

Sources of Additional Information
Information about work opportunities can
be obtained from local employers or local
offices of the State employment service. For
information on training and other aspects of
the trade, contact:
United Food and Commerical Workers Interna­
tional Union, 2800 North Sheridan Rd., Chicago,
111. 60657.

Waiters and
(D .O T . 311.137-014 through .137-022; 311.477-018
through .477-038; and 311.674-018)

Nature of the Work
Whether they work in small lunchrooms
or fashionable restaurants, all waiters and
waitresses have jobs that are essentially the
same. They take customers’ orders, serve
food and beverages, make out checks, and
sometimes take payments. The manner in
which waiters and waitresses go about their
work may vary considerably, however. In
diners, coffee shops, and other small restau­
rants, they are expected to provide fast, effi­
cient service. In eating places where meals
are served elaborately and a great deal of
emphasis is placed on the satisfaction and
comfort of each guest, waiters and waitresses
serve food at a more leisurely pace and offer
more personal service to their customers. For
example, they may suggest wines and explain
the preparation of items on the menu.
Depending on the type of restaurant,
waiters and waitresses may perform duties
other than waiting on tables. These tasks
may include setting up tables and clearing
and carrying soiled tableware to the
kitchen. Although very small restaurants
usually combine waiting on tables with
counter service or cashiering, larger or
more formal restaurants frequently relieve
their waiters and waitresses of these addi­
tional duties.

Working Conditions
Some waiters and waitresses work split
shifts—that is, they work for several hours
during the middle of the day, take a few
hours off in the afternoon, and then return to
their jobs for the evening hours. Most are
expected to work on holidays and weekends.
The wide range in dining hours creates a
good opportunity for part-time work. Wait­
ers and waitresses stand most of the time and
often have to carry heavy trays of food. Dur­
ing dining hours, they may have to rush to
serve several tables at once. The work is rela­
tively safe, but they must be careful to avoid
slips or falls and bums.

Places of Employment
About 1,383,000 waiters and waitresses
were employed in 1978. More than half
worked part time (less than 35 hours a week).
Most worked in restaurants; some worked in
hotels, colleges, and factories that have res­
taurant facilities. Jobs are located throughout
the country but are most plentiful in large
cities and tourist areas. Vacation resorts offer
seasonal employment, and some waiters and
waitresses alternate between summer and
winter resorts instead of remaining in one
area the entire year.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most employers prefer to hire applicants
who have had at least 2 or 3 years of high
school. A person may start as a waiter or
waitress, or advance to that position after
working as a dining room attendant, car hop,
or food counter worker. Although most wait­
ers and waitresses pick up their skills on the
job, at least 3 months’ experience is preferred
by larger restaurants and hotels. Some public
and private vocational schools, restaurant as­
sociations, and large restaurant chains pro­
vide classroom training. Other employers use
self-instruction programs to train new em­
ployees. In these programs, an employee
learns food preparation and service skills by
observing film strips and reading instruc­
tional booklets.
Because people in this occupation are in
close and constant contact with the public, a
neat appearance and an even disposition are
important qualifications. Physical stamina
also is important, as waiters and waitresses
are on their feet for hours at a time, lifting
and carrying trays of food from kitchen to
table. Waiters and waitresses also should be
good at arithmetic and, in restaurants spe­
cializing in foreign foods where some cus­
tomers may not speak English, knowledge of
a foreign language is helpful. State laws often
require waiters and waitresses to obtain
health certificates showing that they are free
of contagious diseases.
Due to the small size of most food-serving
establishments, opportunities for promotion
in this area are limited. After gaining some
experience, however, a waiter or waitress
may transfer to a larger restaurant where

dents, most of whom work part time while
attending school and then find other jobs
after graduation. In addition to the job open­
ings from turnover, many will result from
employment growth.
Employment of waiters and waitresses is
expected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s, as
population growth and higher incomes create
more business for restaurants. Higher in­
comes and more leisure time will permit peo­
ple to eat out more often. Also, as more wives
work, families may find dining out a welcome
Beginners will find their best opportunities
for employment in the thousands of informal
restaurants. Those who seek jobs in expensive
restaurants may find keen competition for
the jobs that become available.

Hourly rates for waiters and waitresses
(excluding tips) ranged from $1.31 to $3.54
in 1978, according to limited data from union
contracts that covered eating and drinking
places in several large cities. For many wait­
ers and waitresses, however, tips are greater
than hourly wages. Tips generally average
between 10 and 20 percent of guests’ checks.
Most waiters and waitresses receive meals at
work, and many are furnished with uniforms.
The principal union organizing waiters
and waitresses is the Hotel and Restaurant
Employees and Bartenders International

Related Occupations
Other workers whose jobs involve serving
customers and helping them feel at ease and
enjoy themselves include flight attendants,
butlers, counter workers, hosts and hostesses,
and bellhops.

Sources of Additional Information

In luxury restaurants, waiters and waitresses may suggest wines and explain the preparation of
items on the menu.

earnings and prospects for advancement are
better. Successful waiters and waitresses are
those who genuinely like people, offer good
service, and possess the ability to sell rather
than just take orders. Advancement can be to
cashier or supervisory jobs, such as host or
hostess, maitre d’hotel, or dining room super­
visor. Some supervisory workers advance to
jobs as restaurant managers.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook
Job openings are expected to be plentiful in
the years ahead, mainly due to the need to
replace the waiters and waitresses who find
other jobs or who retire, die, or stop working
for other reasons. Turnover is particularly
high among part-time workers. About onefourth of the waiters and waitresses are stu­

Information about job opportunities may
be obtained from local employers and local
offices of the State employment service. Gen­
eral information on waiter and waitress jobs
is available from:
National Institute for the Foodservice Industry, 20
North Wacker Dr., Suite 2620, Chicago, 111. 60606.
The American Hotel and Motel Association, 888
7th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.
Culinary Institute of America, P.O. Box 53, Hyde
Park, N.Y. 12538.
American Culinary Federation, Educational Insti­
tute, 920 Long Blvd., Suite One, Lansing, Mich.

Personal Service Occupations
Personal service workers perform a variety
of tasks for people, such as styling or cutting
hair, conducting tours, carrying baggage, or
arranging funerals. Some of these tasks re­
quire special skills that must be learned
through formal training. Others require skills
that can be learned on the job. For some
personal service jobs, workers must obtain a
State license after completing a training pro­
gram or apprenticeship.
Neatness, tactfulness, and the ability to
deal effectively with people are necessary in
the personal service field because success de­
pends on the impression personal service
workers make on their customers. Physical
stamina is necessary for those jobs that in­
volve lifting heavy objects or standing for
long periods of time.
Personal service workers may receive sala­
ries, commissions or both. In many cases
they also receive tips that add substantially to
their income. Employers often furnish uni­
forms for jobs that require them. Workers
like barbers and cosmetologists must provide
their own tools.

ordering supplies, paying bills, keeping rec­
ords, and hiring employees.

than half of all barbers operated their own

Working Conditions

Almost all cities and towns have barber­
shops, but employment is concentrated in the
most populous cities and States. Hairstylists
usually work in large cities where the greatest
demand for their services exists.

Barbers usually work in clean, pleasant
surroundings, with good lighting and ventila­
tion. Good health and stamina are important
because barbers must stand a great deal and
work with both hands at shoulder level—a
position that can be tiring.
Most full-time barbers work more than 40
hours a week, and a workweek of over 50
hours is not uncommon. Although Saturdays
and lunch hours are generally very busy, a
barber may have some time off during slack
periods. To assure an even workload, some
barbers ask customers to make appoint­

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Places of Employment

All States require barbers to be licensed.
The qualifications necessary to get a li­
cense vary from one State to another, how­
ever. Generally a person must be a gradu­
ate of a State-approved barber school and
be at least 16 (in some States 18) years
old. In addition, States have varying edu­
cation requirements—some require gradua­
tion from high school, while others have
no requirement at all.

Most of the 121,000 barbers in 1978
worked in barbershops. Some worked in uni­
sex salons, and a few worked for government
agencies, hotels, or department stores. More

Many States require a beginner to take an
examination for an apprentice license, and
serve 1 or 2 years as an apprentice before
taking the examination required for a license

This section describes four personal ser­
vice occupations: Barbers, cosmetologists,
funeral directors and embalmers, and bell­
hops and bell captains.

(D.O.T. 330.371-010 and 014; 332.271-018)

Nature of the Work
Although most men go to a barber for just
a haircut, other services such as hairstyling
and permanents have become increasingly
popular. Barbers trained in these areas are
called “hairstylists” and work in styling sa­
lons, “unisex” salons, and some barbershops.
They cut and style hair to suit each customer
and may color or straighten hair and fit hair­
pieces. Most barbers offer hair and scalp
treatments, shaves, facial massages, and
A small but growing number of barbers cut
and style women’s hair. They usually work in
unisex salons—shops that have male and fe­
male customers. Some States require a cos­
metologist’s license as well as a barber’s li­
cense, however, to permanent wave or color
women’s hair.
As part of their responsibilities, barbers
keep their scissors, combs, and other instru­
ments sterilized and in good condition. They
clean their work areas and may sweep the
shop as well. Those who own or manage a
shop have additional responsibilities such as

Barbers need steady, agile hands.


as a registered barber. In the examinations,
the applicant usually is required to pass a
written test and demonstrate an ability to
perform the basic services. Fees for these ex­
aminations range from $5 to $85.

who offer conventional services. This trend is
expected to continue, and employment op­
portunities should be better for hairstylists
than for regular barbers.

Because some States do not recognize
training, apprenticeship work, or licenses ob­
tained in another State, persons who wish to
become barbers should review the laws of the
State in which they want to work before en­
tering a barber school.


Barber training is offered in about 300
schools; 3 out of 4 barber schools are private.
Some public high schools offer barbering in
their vocational programs. Barber school
programs usually last 9 to 12 months. Stu­
dents buy their own tools, which cost about
$200. They study the basic services—haircut­
ting, shaving, facial massaging, and hair and
scalp treatments—and, under supervision,
practice on customers in school “clinics.” Be­
sides attending lectures on barber services
and the use and care of instruments, students
take courses in sanitation and hygiene, and
learn how to recognize certain skin condi­
tions. Instruction also is given in selling and
general business practices. Advanced courses
are available in some localities for barbers
who wish to update their skills or specialize
in hairstyling, coloring, and the sale and ser­
vice of hairpieces.
Dealing with customers requires patience
and a better than average disposition. In ad­
dition, good eye-hand coordination is re­
quired. Barbers also should have sound judg­
ment about what hair style is most flattering.
Beginners usually get their first jobs
through the barber school they attended.
Some experienced barbers advance by
becoming managers of large shops or by
opening their own shops. A few may teach at
barber schools. Barbers who go into business
for themselves must have the capital to buy
or rent a shop and install equipment. New
equipment for a one-chair shop averaged
about $3,000 in 1978. Some shopowners buy
used equipment and fixtures at reduced
prices, however.

Employment Outlook
The employment decline of the last decade
is not expected to continue as population
growth and the increasing popularity of
hairstyling offset the effect of the fashion for
longer hair. The occupation is expected to
grow about as fast as the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s. Besides openings
due to growth in the demand for barbers’
services, several thousand job openings for
barbers will occur each year because of the
need to replace workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other kinds of work. Replacement
needs in barbering are high, compared with
many other occupations.
The shift in consumer preferences from
regular haircuts to more personalized and in­
tensive services has greatly affected the occu­
pation. Barbers who specialize in hairstyling
have been much more successful than those


Barbers receive income from commissions
or wages and tips. Most barbers who are not
shopowners normally receive 60 to 70 per­
cent of the money they take in; a few are paid
straight salaries.
Weekly earnings (including tips) of ex­
perienced barbers generally ranged between
$230 and $290 in 1978, according to lim­
ited information available. Hairstylists usu­
ally earned $360 to $460 a week, because
the services they provide are more person­
alized and therefore more expensive. Some
hairstylists and a few barbers who operated
their own shops earned more than $500 a
week. Beginning barbers usually earn about
$200 to $230 a week, hairstylists $230 to
$290 a week.
Earnings depend on the size and location
of the shop, customers’ tipping habits, com­
petition from other barbershops, and the bar­
ber’s ability to attract and hold regular cus­
tomers. Some barbers receive 1- or 2-week
paid vacations, insurance, and medical bene­
The principal union that organizes barbers
—both employees and shopowners—is the
Barbers, Beauticians, and Allied Industries
International Association. The principal as­
sociation that represents and organizes shopowners, managers, and employees is the As­
sociated Master Barbers and Beauticians of

Related Occupations
Other workers whose main activity con­
sists of using special knowledge, techniques,
and tools, along with personal judgment, to
improve a person’s physical appearance in­
clude cosmetologists, electrologists, embalmers, makeup artists, and manicurists.

Sources of Additional Information
Lists of barber schools, by State, are availa­
ble from:
National Association of Barber Schools, Inc., 304
South 11th St., Lincoln, Nebr. 68508.
National Association of Trade and Technical
Schools, 2021 K St., NW., Washington, D.C.

Every State maintains information on
State licensing requirements and approved
barber schools. For details, contact the State
board of barber examiners or the equivalent
authority at your State capital.
Additional information on this occupation
is available from:
National Barber Career Center, 3839 White Plains
Rd., Bronx, N.Y. 10467.
Barbers, Beauticians, and Allied Industries Inter­
national Association, 7050 West Washington St.,
Indianapolis, Ind. 46241.

Bellhops and Bell
(D.O.T. 324.137, .477, and .677-010)

Nature of the Work
Bellhops carry baggage for hotel and motel
guests and escort them to their rooms on
arrival. When showing new guests to their
rooms, bellhops make sure everything is in
order and may offer information about valet
services, restaurant hours, or other hotel ser­
vices. Bellhops also run errands for guests
and may relieve elevator operators or switch­
board operators in smaller properties.
Large and medium-sized hotels employ
bell captains to supervise the service staff.
They plan work assignments, record the
hours each bellhop is on duty, and train new
employees. Bell captains take care of any
unusual requests guests may make and han­
dle any complaints regarding the depart­
ment. Sometimes, they help arriving or de­
parting guests, if a bellhop is unavailable. In
1978, more than 20,000 persons worked as
bellhops and bell captains.
A few hotels have large service depart­
ments and employ superintendents of service
to supervise bell captains and bellhops, eleva­
tor operators, doorkeepers, and washroom

Training, Other Qualifications, and
A high school education is not essential
for work as a bellhop, but it does increase
the chances for promotion to a job as desk
clerk or reservation clerk. Frequently, ho­
tels promote elevator operators to bellhop
Because bellhops have frequent contact
with guests, they must be neat, tactful, and
courteous. A knowledge of the local area is
an asset because guests often ask about local
tourist attractions, restaurants, and transpor­
tation services. Bellhops also must be able to
stand for long periods, carry heavy baggage,
and work independently.
Bellhops can advance to bell captain and
then to superintendent of service, but oppor­
tunities are limited.

Employment Outlook
Employment of bellhops is expected to de­
cline through the 1980’s. Most openings will
result from the need to replace workers who
die, retire, or leave the occupation.
Although many motels now offer services
similar to those of a hotel and employ bell­
hops, the growing popularity of economy
motels that offer only basic services is ex­
pected to limit employment growth. New
workers will have better opportunities in mo­
tels and small hotels because the large luxury
hotels prefer to hire experienced workers.
Opportunities also will be available in resort

Places of Employment
Most of the more than 542,000 cosmetolo­
gists employed in 1978 worked in beauty sa­
lons. Some worked in “unisex” shops, bar­
ber-styling shops, or department stores, and
a few were employed by hospitals and hotels.
About one-third operated their own busi­
All cities and towns have beauty salons,
but employment is concentrated in the most
populous cities and States. Those cosmetolo­
gists who set fashion trends with their hair­
styles usually work in New York City, Los
Angeles, and other centers of fashion and the
performing arts.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Although all States require cosmetologists
to be licensed, the qualifications necessary to
obtain a license vary. Generally, a person
must have graduated from a State-approved
cosmetology school, pass a physical examina­
tion, and be at least 16 years old. In addition,
States have varying education requirements
—some have no requirement, while others
require graduation from high school. In some
States completion of an apprentice training
program can substitute for graduation from
a cosmetology school, but very few cos­
metologists learn their skills in this way.

areas where hotels and motels are open only
part of the year.

Related Occupations
Bellhops and bell captains do most of their
work in a fast paced, hectic setting; usually in
large hotels or resorts. Other workers who
perform similar jobs are baggage porters,
skycaps, and doorkeepers.

Sources of Additional Information
See the statement on the hotel industry
elsewhere in the Handbook for information
on earnings and working conditions, sources
of additional information, and more informa­
tion on employment outlook.

(D .O .T. 331.674-010; 332.271-010, -014, and -018;
332.361-010; 339.371-014)

Cosmetologists, who also are called beauty
operators, hairstylists, or beauticians, sham­
poo, cut, and style hair, and advise patrons
on how to care for their hair. Frequently they
straighten or permanent wave a patron’s hair
to keep the style in shape. Cosmetologists
may also lighten or darken the color of the
hair. Cosmetologists may give manicures,
scalp and facial treatments; provide makeup
analysis for women; and clean and style wigs
and hairpieces.
Most cosmetologists make appointments
and keep records of hair color formulas and
permanent waves used by their regular pa­
trons. They also keep their work area clean
and sanitize their hairdressing implements.
Those who operate their own salons also
have managerial duties which include hiring
and supervising workers, keeping records,
and ordering supplies.

Working Conditions

Cosmetologists generally work in clean,
pleasant surroundings, with good lighting
Hair has been a center of attention since and ventilation. They must be on their feet
people first began to care about their appear­ for hours at a time, and work with their
ance. Throughout history a great deal of ef­ hands at shoulder level. Many full-time cos­
fort has gone into acquiring a fashionable metologists work more than 40 hours a week,
hairstyle or a perfectly trimmed beard. Al­ including evenings and Saturdays when
though styles change from year to year, the beauty salons are busiest. About one-quarter
cosmetologist’s task remains the same—to •of all cosmetologists work part time, usually
help people look attractive.
during these busy hours.

Nature of the Work

Cosmetology instruction is offered in both
public and private vocational schools, in ei­
ther daytime or evening classes. A daytime
course usually takes 6 months to 1 year to
complete; an evening course takes longer.
Many public school programs include the ac­
ademic subjects needed for a high school di­
ploma and last 2 to 3 years. An apprentice­
ship program usually lasts 1 or 2 years.
Both public and private programs include
classroom study, demonstrations, and practi­
cal work. Most schools provide students with
the necessary hairdressing implements, such
as manicure implements, combs, scissors, ra­
zors, and hair rollers, and include their cost
in the tuition fee. Sometimes students must
purchase their own. A good set of imple­
ments costs over $50. Beginning students
work on manikins or on each other. Once
they have gained some experience, students
practice on patrons in school “clinics.”
After graduating from a cosmetology pro­
gram, students take the State licensing exam­
ination. The examination consists of a writ­
ten test and a practical test in which
applicants demonstrate their ability to pro­
vide the required services. In some States, an
oral examination is included and the appli­
cant is asked to explain the procedures he or
she is following while taking the practical
test. In some States, a separate examination
is given for persons who want only a mani­
curist’s license. Some States have reciprocity
agreements that allow a cosmetologist li­
censed in one State to work in another with­
out reexamination.
Persons who want to become cosmetoloPERSONAL SERVICE OCCUPATIONS/149

a week. Beginners usually earned $110 to
$145 a week.
Earnings also depend on the size and loca­
tion of the salon, patrons’ tipping habits,
competition from other beauty salons, and
the individual cosmetologist’s ability to at­
tract and hold regular patrons.
A few large salons and department stores
offer group life and health insurance and
other benefit plans. Nearly all employers pro­
vide annual paid vacations of at least 1 week
after a year’s service.

Sometimes cosmetologists help customers with makeup.

gists must have finger dexterity and a sense
of form and artistry. They should enjoy deal­
ing with the public and be willing and able to
follow patrons’ instructions. Because hair­
styles are constantly changing, cosmetolo­
gists must keep abreast of the latest fashions
and beauty techniques. Business skills are im­
portant for those who plan to operate their
own salons.
Many schools help their students find jobs.
During their first months on the job, new
cosmetologists are given relatively simple
tasks, such as giving manicures or shampoos,
or are assigned to perform the simpler hairs­
tyling patterns. Once they have demon­
strated their skills, they are gradually permit­
ted to perform the more complicated tasks
such as hair coloring and permanent waving.
Advancement usually is in the form of
higher earnings as cosmetologists gain expe­
rience and build a steady clientele, but many
manage large salons or open their own after
several years of experience. Some teach in
cosmetology schools or use their knowledge
and skill to demonstrate cosmetics in depart­
ment stores. A few work as examiners for
State cosmetology boards.

face keen competition for the position of their
choice. If current trends continue, trained
cosmetologists will outnumber job openings
by almost 2 to 1. However, numerous open­
ings should be available for part-time work.

Cosmetologists receive income from com­
missions or wages, and from tips. Those who
are not salon owners receive a percentage of
the money they take in, usually 50 percent; a
few are paid straight salaries.
Weekly earnings (including tips) of ex­
perienced cosmetologists generally ranged
between $330 and $390 in 1978, according to
limited information available. After 10 years
of experience, they can earn more than $500

The principal union which organizes cos­
metologists—both employees and salon own­
ers—is the Barbers, Beauticians, and Allied
Industries International Association. The
principal trade association which represents
and organizes salon owners, managers, and
employees is the Associated Master Barbers
and Beauticians of America. Other organiza­
tions include the National Hairdressers and
Cosmetologists Association, Inc.; the Na­
tional Association of Cosmetology Schools,
Inc., which represents school owners and
teachers; and the National Beauty Culturists’
League, representing black cosmetologists,
teachers, managers, and salon owners.

Related Occupations
Other occupations whose main activity
consists of using special knowledge, tech­
niques, and tools, along with personal judg­
ment, to improve a person’s physical appear­
embalmers, makeup artists, and manicurists.

Sources of Additional Information
A list of approved training schools and lic­
ensing requirements can be obtained from
State boards of cosmetology or from:
Cosmetology Accrediting Commission, 1735 K St.
NW„ Suite 1108, Washington, D.C. 20006

Additional information about careers in

for all occupations, a large proportion of
cosmetologists are self-employed

Employment Outlook
Employment of cosmetologists is expected
to grow about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s as the popu­
lation increases and the number of working
women rises. The trend to hairstyling for
men also creates a demand for these workers
because many men go to unisex shops or
beauty salons for styling services. In addition
to openings due to growth in the demand for
cosmetologists, thousands of cosmetologists
will be needed each year to replace those who
die, retire, or leave the occupation.
DigitizedDespite rising demand, jobseekers may
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


National Beauty Career Center, 3839 White Plains
Rd„ Bronx, N.Y. 10467.

for social security, insurance, and other bene­
fits. Directors may serve a family for several
months following the funeral until such mat­
ters are satisfactorily completed.

National Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Associ­
ation, 3510 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo. 63103.

Working Conditions

For general information about the occupa­
tion, contact:

Funeral directors and embalmers often
work long hours and may be required to be
“on call” and within quick traveling distance
of the funeral home. Some employees work
shifts; for example, nights 1 week, and days
the next.

cosmetology and State licensing require­
ments is available from:

Barbers, Beauticians, and Allied Industries Inter­
national Association, 7050 West Washington St.,
Indianapolis, Ind. 46241.
National Association of Cosmetology Schools, 808
Main St., Boonton, N.J. 07005.

Funeral Directors
and Embalmers
(D.O.T. 187.167-030 and 338.371-014)

Nature of the Work
Few occupations require the tact, discre­
tion, and compassion called for in the work
of funeral directors and embalmers. The fam­
ily and friends of the deceased may be under
considerable emotional stress and may be
bewildered by the many details of the occa­
sion. The funeral director (D.O.T. 187.16730) helps them to make the personal and
business arrangements necessary for the ser­
vice and burial. The embalmer (D.O.T. 338.371-014) prepares the body for viewing and
burial. In many instances, one person per­
forms both functions.
The director’s duties begin when a call is
received from a family requesting services.
After arranging for the deceased to be
removed to the funeral home, the director
obtains the information needed for the death
certificate, such as date and place of birth and
cause of death. The director makes an ap­
pointment with the family to discuss the de­
tails of the funeral. These include time and
place of service, clergy and organist, selection
of casket and clothing, and provision for
burial or cremation. Directors also make ar­
rangements with the cemetery, place obitu­
ary notices in newspapers, and take care of
other details as necessary. Directors must be
familiar with the funeral and burial customs
of various religious faiths and fraternal or­
Embalming is a sanitary, preservative and
cosmetic measure. Embalmers, perhaps with
the help of resident trainees (apprentices),
first wash the body with germicidal soap. The
embalming process itself replaces the blood
with a preservative fluid. Embalmers apply
cosmetics to give the body a natural appear­
ance and, if necessary, restore disfigured fea­
tures. Finally, they dress the body and place
it in the casket selected by the family.
On the day of the funeral, directors pro­
vide cars for the family and casketbearers,
receive and usher guests to their seats, and
organize the funeral procession. After the
service they may help the family file claims

Occasionally embalmers may come into
contact with contagious diseases, but the pos­
sibility of their becoming ill is remote, even
less likely than for a doctor or nurse.

Places of Employment
About 45,000 persons were licensed as fu­
neral directors and embalmers in 1978. A
substantial number of the directors were fu­
neral home owners.

niques and restorative art. Community col­
leges offer 2-year programs, and a small
number of colleges and universities offer 2and 4-year programs in funeral service. These
programs included liberal arts and manage­
ment courses as well as mortuary science. All
programs offered courses in psychology, ac­
counting, and funeral law.
State board examinations consist of writ­
ten and oral tests and actual demonstration
of skills. After passing the examination and
meeting other requirements, resident trainees
receive a license to practice. If they want to
work in another State, they may have to pass
its examination, although many States have
mutual agreements that make this unneces­
Important personal traits for funeral direc­
tors are composure, tact, and the ability to
communicate easily with the public. They
also should have the desire and ability to
comfort people in their time of sorrow.

Most of the 22,000 funeral homes in 1978
had 1 to 3 directors and embalmers, includ­
ing the owner. Many large homes, however,
had 20 or more. Besides the embalmers em­
ployed by funeral homes, several hundred
worked for morgues and hospitals.

Advancement opportunities are best in
large funeral homes where directors and em­
balmers may earn promotion to higher pay­
ing positions such as personnel manager or
general manager. Some workers eventually
acquire enough money and experience to es­
tablish their own businesses.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Employment Outlook

A license is needed to practice embalm­
ing. State licensing standards vary, but
generally an embalmer must be 21 years
old, have a high school diploma or its
equivalent, graduate from a funeral service
college, serve a 1- or 2-year resident
traineeship, and pass a State board exami­
nation. One-half of the States require a
year or more of college in addition to
training in mortuary science.
All but six States also require funeral di­
rectors to be licensed. Qualifications are simi­
lar to those for embalmers, but directors may
have to take special apprenticeship training
and board examinations. Most people enter­
ing the field obtain both licenses, however
some States issue a single license to embalmer/funeral directors. Information on licens­
ing requirements is available from the State
office of occupational licensing.
High school students can start preparing
for a career in this field by taking courses in
biology, chemistry, and speech. Students
may find a part-time or summer job in a fu­
neral home. Although these jobs consist
mostly of maintenance and clean-up tasks,
such as washing and polishing funeral
coaches, they can be helpful in gaining fa­
miliarity with the operation of funeral
In 1978, 35 schools had mortuary science
programs accredited by the American Board
of Funeral Service Education. About onehalf were private vocational schools that
offer 1-year programs emphasizing basic sub­
jects such as anatomy and physiology as well
as practical skills such as embalming tech­

Little change in the employment of funeral
directors and embalmers is expected through
the 1980’s. Demand for funeral services will
rise as the population grows and deaths in­
crease. Most funeral homes, however, will be
able to meet the demand without expanding
their employment. The average funeral home
conducts only one or two funerals each week
and is capable of handling several more with­
out hiring additional employees.
In recent years, the number of funeral ser­
vice college graduates has approximately
equaled the number of jobs available due to
retirements, deaths, and transfers to other
occupations. Because there are a limited
number of employers in any geographical
area, many students should secure a promise
of employment before entering a program.
However, barring any significant growth in
enrollments, future graduates should find job
opportunities available.

In 1978, funeral directors and embalmers
generally earned from $11,000 to $17,000 a
year. Resident trainees earned between $135
and $220 a week. Managers generally earned
between $13,000 and $24,500 a year, and
many owners and officers of homes earned
more than $35,000. In addition, the majority
of funeral homes have health or life insurance
programs, and many homes provide directors
with clothing allowances.
In large funeral homes, employees usually
have a regular work schedule. Typically they
put in 8 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week.
Occasionally, however, overtime may be nec­

Sources of Additional Information

United States, Inc., 135 W. Wells St., Milwaukee,
Wise. 53203.

Information about job opportunities in this
field is available from local funeral homes
and from:

science and information about scholarship
opportunities, contact:

National Selected Morticians, 1616 Central St.,
Evanston, 111. 60201.

The American Board of Funeral Service Educa­
tion, Inc., 201 Columbia St., Fairmont, W. Va.

National Funeral Directors Association of the

For a list of accredited schools of mortuary


Private Household
Service Occupations
About 1.4 million workers were employed
in private households in 1978. The majority
were domestic workers who performed
household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or
caring for children, but workers in other oc­
cupations also were employed by private
households. Gardeners keep the grounds of
large estates looking attractive by planting
shrubs and flowers and cutting the lawn.
Chauffeurs drive their employers’ cars and
keep the vehicles clean and in good running
condition. Carpenters, painters, and other
craft workers maintain and redecorate
homes. Private nurses, secretaries, and cura­
tors or librarians are employed in some
The following chapter discusses the do­
mestic occupations most frequently found in
private households, including general
housekeeper, mother’s helper, and compan­

Private Household
(D .O .T. 099.227-010, 301., 302., 305., and 309., except

Nature of the Work
Thousands of people employ private
household workers to help care for children,
clean and maintain the house and yard, cook
meals, or serve the family. Some household
workers specialize in one of these jobs, but
the duties of m ost w orkers change from day
to day. Frequently, workers who specialize
live in their employer’s house.
Most private household workers are em­
ployed as general houseworkers or mothers'
helpers. These workers clean the house and
may also be responsible for preparing meals,
doing the laundry, or caring for children.
When hired by the day or hour, they are
called day workers.
Heavy household tasks and yard mainte­
nance usually are performed by caretakers.
Their work includes jobs such as washing
windows, painting fences, and mowing the
In some households, meals are prepared
by cooks. Depending on their training or
the wishes of their employer, a cook’s du­
ties may range from planning menus and
buying food to serving meals and cleaning
the kitchen. In some households, cooks
may be assisted by a cook's helper, who is
less skilled than a cook and performs sim­

ple tasks, such as peeling vegetables and
cleaning the kitchen.
A few households employ launderers to
wash, iron, and fold the laundry.
Some private household workers specialize
in performing personal services for members
of the family. Personal attendants keep their
employers’ clothes pressed and hung, make
their beds, help them dress, and run errands.
Companions do similar work, but they also
act as a friend or aide to the convalescent,
elderly, or handicapped person who employs
The most rapidly growing type of private
household worker is the person whose sole
job is child care. Unlike mothers’ helpers
whose duties generally include some light
housekeeping, these workers’ sole responsi­
bility is caring for children. They bathe the
children, prepare their meals, launder their
clothes, and supervise their play. Those who
care for very young children are responsible
for sterilizing bottles, preparing formulas,
and changing diapers. Some households em­
ploy tutors to take charge of school-age chil­
dren. These workers supervise their recrea­
tion, diet, and health, as well as their
education. They also are responsible for dis­
ciplining the children.
A household with a large staff of workers
may employ a home housekeeper or a butler
to supervise the staff and the operation of the
household. These workers usually are re­
sponsible for hiring and firing the other
household employees. In addition to these
duties, butlers receive and announce guests,
answer telephones, serve food and drinks,
and may act as gentleman’s attendants.
Housekeepers order food and cleaning sup­
plies and keep a record of expenditures.

Working Conditions
Most private household workers receive
instructions from their employers but are free
to work on their own. Frequently, they have
a key to the house or apartment. Household
work is often tedious, especially for day
workers who generally are given less desir­
able tasks, such as cleaning bathrooms or de­
frosting the refrigerator. Long or irregular
working hours can isolate workers who “live
in’’ from their families and friends, and, if
they are the sole employees in the
households, they are likely to be alone most
of the time.

Places of Employment
Nearly 1.2 million persons were employed
as private household workers in 1978. Most

are employed part time, working half-days or
only 2 or 3 days a week. Those who live in
their employer’s house often work more than
40 hours a week.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
For most household jobs, experience and
an ability to cook, clean, or care for a yard is
more important than formal education. Em­
ployers prefer workers who know how to op­
erate vacuum cleaners, floor waxers, and
lawnmowers, but most young people can
learn these skills while helping with the
house and yard work at home. Some house­
hold workers acquire skills by spending a
year working as a mother’s helper under the
supervision of either an experienced house­
hold worker or their employer.
Home economics courses in high schools,
vocational schools, and junior colleges offer
training in child development and meal
preparation that can be very useful to persons
interested in becoming cooks or child care
workers. Training programs sponsored by
Federal agencies, State employment service
offices, and local welfare departments also
teach many of the skills needed for household
For a person wishing a job serving as a
companion or caring for children, educa­
tional and cultural background is more im­
portant than work experience. Generally a
companion’s background, interests, and age
should be similar to the employer’s, and prac­
tical nursing experience is useful if the em­
ployer is an invalid. Being able to read well
or carry on an interesting conversation is
helpful. A well-rounded education and teach­
ing skills are important for persons interested
in caring for children.
Private household workers must have
physical stamina because they are on their
feet most of the time and sometimes must do
some heavy lifting. The desire to do a job
carefully and thoroughly is important.
Household workers should be able both to
get along well with people and to work inde­
pendently. Some workers, particularly cooks
and infant’s nurses, need a health certificate
showing that they are free of contagious dis­
eases. Many employers arrange and pay for
the necessary physical examination.
Advancement other than an increase in
wages generally is not possible in private
household work. Few households require
live- in workers, and even fewer require so
many workers that a butler or home
housekeeper is needed as a supervisor. WorkPERSONAL SERVICES OCCUPATIONS/153

Private household workers are covered by
Federal and State minimum wage laws. In
1978, the minimum wage was $2.65. Some
Some private household workers earn more
than the minimum wage, as wages vary ac­
cording to the work performed, employer’s
income, and the custom of the local area.
Earnings are highest in large cities, especially
in the North.

Related Occupations
Many private household workers use
their training and experience to transfer to
related jobs—in child-care or day-care
facilities, or as kitchen workers in restau­
rants. Some may go to work as building
cleaners, employed by commerical cleaning
services. Others may go to work as nursing
aides in hospitals or nursing homes, or as
homemaker-home health aides in health
agencies, public welfare departments, or
commerical firms.
Child care workers are the fastest growing group of private household workers.

Sources of Additional Information
ers can transfer to better paying and more
highly skilled household jobs, such as cook or
lady’s or gentleman’s attendant, but job
openings in these occupations are limited.

Employment Outlook
Although the number of private household
workers is expected to decline through the
1980’s, thousands of openings will result each
year from the need to replace those who die,
retire, or leave the occupation. The demand
for household workers has exceeded supply
for some time, as more women, especially OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

those with young children, enter the labor
force. Low wages, the tedious nature of some
household tasks, and the lack of advance­
ment opportunities discourage many persons
from entering the occupation, however, and
some prospective employers are turning to
child-care centers and commerical cleaning
services for help.
Job openings for domestic workers, partic­
ularly for general housekeepers and mothers’
helpers, will be plentiful through the 1980’s.
Many opening will be available for part-time

Facts about employment opportunities
and training programs in private household
work are available from local offices of State
employment agencies.
Information on laws affecting household
workers and guidelines for work is available
National Committee on Household Employment,
7705 Georgia Ave. NW., Suite 208, Washington,
D C. 20012.
Household Employment Program, National
Urban League, Inc., 500 E. 62d St., New York,
N.Y. 10021.

Protective and
Related Service Occupations
The growth of our Nation’s population
and economy has put an increasing emphasis
on protective services. Each city, suburban
area, and national port of entry requires pro­
tective and related service workers to check
crime, minimize loss of life and property, and
enforce regulations that protect the health
and safety of our citizens at home and on the
Careers in protective and related service
occupations require varied combinations of
education and experience. Workers such as
FBI special agents and some Federal Gov­
ernment inspectors must have at least a bach­
elor’s degree, while guards may have less
than a high school education. Most occupa­
tions in this group, however, require a high
school diploma. In many cases, a college de­
gree is an asset for advancement to higher
level positions.
In addition to educational requirements,
most workers in protective and related ser­
vices must undergo formal training programs
and get on-the-job experience before they are
fully qualified. Training programs last from
several days to a few months and emphasize
specific job-related skills.
Personal qualifications such as honesty
and an understanding of human nature are
important. Persons seeking careers in protec­
tive and related service occupations should
desire to serve the community and be able to
exercise proper judgment under a variety of

This section describes the work of several
occupations in protective and related ser­
vices: Correction officers, FBI special agents,
firefighters, guards, police officers, State po­
lice officers, occupational safety and health
workers, and health, regulatory, and con­
struction inspectors.

Correction Officers
(D.O.T. 372.137, .367-014, .667-018, and .677; and

Nature of the Work
Correction officers are charged with the
safekeeping of persons who have been ar­
rested, are awaiting trial, or who have been
tried and convicted of a crime and sentenced
to serve time in a correctional institution.
They maintain order within the institution,
enforce rules and regulations, and often
counsel inmates.
To make sure inmates are orderly and
obey rules, correction officers keep a close
watch on everything the immates do—
working, exercising, eating, and bathing.
They give and oversee work assignments for
inmates, as well as instruct and help them
on specific tasks. Sometimes it is necessary
to search inmates for forbidden items, such
as weapons or drugs, to settle disputes be­
tween inmates, and to enforce discipline.

They cannot show favoritism to any inmate
and must report all who violate rules. To
prevent escapes, officers serve as guards on
towers and at gates. They count inmates to
make sure all are present during transfers
and activities.
Correction officers examine facilities to as­
sure the safety and security of prisoners.
They check cells and other areas of the insti­
tution for unsanitary conditions, fire haz­
ards, and evidence of infraction of rules by
inmates. Periodically, they inspect locks,
window bars, grill doors, and gates for tam­
Correction officers report orally and in
writing on inmate conduct and on the quality
and quantity of work done by inmates. Offic­
ers also report disturbances, violations of
rules, and any unusual occurrences. They
keep a record of their activities.
Correction officers escort inmates to and
from cells and other areas and admit and
accompany authorized visitors within the fa­
cility. From time to time, they may inspect
mail for contraband, administer first aid, or
assist police authorities by investigating
crimes committed within the institution and
by searching for escaped inmates.
Counseling and helping inmates with
problems also is an important part of the
correction officer’s job. Officers play a key
role in rehabilitation by helping inmates ad­
just to institutional life, prepare for later ci­
vilian life, and avoid future criminal behav­
ior. In some institutions, officers lead or
participate in group counseling sessions.
M ore often, how ever, the counseling is infor­

mal. Officers may arrange a change in a daily
schedule so that an inmate has an opportu­
nity to visit the library, help inmates get news
of their families, talk over personal problems
that may have led to committing a crime, or
suggest where to look for a job after release
from prison.
Correction sergeants directly supervise
correction officers. They usually are respon­
sible for maintaining security and directing
the activities of a group of inmates during an
assigned watch.

Working Conditions
Correction officers may work indoors or
outdoors, depending on their duties. Some
indoor areas are well lighted, heated, and
ventilated, but others are overcrowded, hot,
and noisy. Outdoors, they may be subject to
disagreeable weather conditions. Working in
a correctional institution can be hazardous,
and in the past correction officers occasionPRIVATE HOUSEHOLD SERVICE OCCUPATIONS/155

Employment Outlook
Employment of correction officers is ex­
pected to increase faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. Expan­
sion of correctional facilities together with a
likely growth in the inmate population is ex­
pected to create many new jobs for correction
officers. Many additional job openings will
result from job turnover and the need to re­
place workers who die or retire.

In 1978, salaries for correction officers var­
ied widely by level of government. At the
Federal level, the starting salary was $10,500
per year; correction sergeants and other su­
pervisory officers could advance to maxi­
mum salaries of more than $20,000 per year.
The ayerage salary for all Federal correction
officers and correction sergeants was $14,900
per year.
At the State level, correction officers ave­
raged a starting salary of $10,000 per year in
1978 and a maximum salary of $13,000 a
year, although they could earn maximum sal­
aries of more than $16,000 in some States.
Correction sergeants averaged from mini­
mum of $11,600 to maximum of $15,300 at
the State level, although they could earn
more than $19,000 in some States.
At the local level, starting salaries in 1978
averaged $7,900 a year for correction officers
and $9,800 a year for supervisors.
Correction officers oversee work assignments of inmates and instruct them in specific tasks.

ally have been injured or killed during dis­
Correction officers usually work an 8-hour
day, 40-hour week. Prison security must be
provided around the clock, which means
some officers work weekends, holidays, and
nights. During emergencies, officers may
work overtime, for which they receive
straight time, time-and-one-half, or equal
time off.

Places of Employment
There were about 100,000 correction offic­
ers in 1978. More than half worked at State
correctional institutions such as prisons,
prison camps, and reformatories. Most of the
remainder worked at city and county jails or
other institutions run by local governments.
A few thousand correction officers worked at
Federal correctional institutions.
Most correction officers work in relatively
large institutions located outside metropoli­
tan areas, although a significant number
work in jails and other smaller facilities
located in cities and towns.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The Federal Government, as well as al­
most every State and a few localities, pro­
vides training for correction officers. Some
States—Maryland and New York are two—


have special training academies. Most States,
however, provide informal on-the-job train­
Academy trainees generally receive 4 to 8
weeks of instruction on institutional policies,
regulations and procedures, the behavior and
custody of inmates, writing reports, and se­
curity. On-the-job trainees receive 2 to 6
months of similar training in an actual job
setting under the guidance of an experienced
officer. Experienced officers sometimes re­
ceive inservice training to keep abreast of
new ideas and procedures.
Most penal systems require that correction
officers be at least 21 years old and have a
high school education or its equivalent, or
else work experience that qualifies them.
They must be in good health. Many States
require candidates to meet formal standards
of height, weight, vision, and hearing.
Strength, good judgment, and the ability to
think and act quickly are assets. Some States
require candidates to have 1 or 2 years of
experience in corrections or related police
work. A few States require candidates to pass
a written examination.
With additional education, experience,
and training, qualified officers may advance
to correction sergeant or other supervisory or
administrative positions. Officers sometimes
transfer to related areas, such as probation
and parole.

Most officers get paid vacation and sick
leave as well as a pension upon retirement.
They usually are given uniforms or an allow­
ance to purchase their own. Most correction
officers are provided or can participate in
hospitalization or major medical insurance
plans; many officers can get disability and life
insurance. Officers employed by the Federal
Government and most State governments are
covered by civil service systems or merit

Related Occupations
A number of related careers are open to
high school graduates who are interested in
the protective services and the field of secu­
rity. Bailiffs guard offenders and maintain
order in court rooms during proceedings.
Bodyguards escort and protect people from
injury or invasion of privacy. Border and im­
migration guards take into custody persons
attempting to enter the country illegally.
House or store detectives patrol business es­
tablishments to protect against theft and van­
dalism and to enfore standards of good be­
havior. Security guards protect government,
commercial, and industrial property against
theft, vandalism, illegal entry, and fire. Police
officers and deputy sheriffs maintain law and
order, prevent crime, and arrest offenders.
Other careers open to persons interested in
working with offenders, may require college
education. Probation and parole officers
counsel offenders, process their release from
correctional institutions, and evaluate their

progress in becoming productive members of
society. Recreation leaders organize and in­
struct offenders in sports, games, arts, and
crafts. Many related occupations are dis­
cussed elsewhere in the Handbook.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about entrance requirements,
training, and career opportunities for correc­
tion officers may be obtained from Federal
and State civil service commissions, State de­
partments of correction, or nearby correc­
tional institutions and facilities.
Information on a career as a correction
officer and other corrections careers, as well
as information about schools that offer crimi­
nal justice education, financial assistance,
and job listings is available from:
CONtact, Inc., P.O. Box 81826, Lincoln, Neb.

Additional information on careers in cor­
rections is also available from:
The American Correctional Association, 4321
Hartwick Rd., College Park, Md. 20740.
Newly appointed FBI special agents receive intensive training in the use of firearms.

----------- =

FBI Special Agents
(D.O.T. 375.167-042)

Nature of the Work
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) spe­
cial agents investigate violations of Federal
laws in connection with bank robberies, kid­
nappings, white-collar crime, thefts of Gov­
ernment property, organized crime, espio­
nage, and sabotage. The FBI, which is part of
the U.S. Department of Justice, has jurisdic­
tion over many different Federal investiga­
tive matters. Special agents, therefore, may
be assigned to any type of case, although
those with specialized training usually work
on cases related to their background. Agents
with an accounting background, for example,
may investigate white-collar crimes such as
bank embezzlements or fraudulent bankrupt­
cies or land deals.
Because the FBI is a fact-gathering
agency, its special agents function strictly as
investigators, collecting evidence in cases in
which the U.S. Government is or may be an
interested party. In their casework, special
agents conduct interviews, examine records,
observe the activities of suspects, and partici­
pate in raids. Because the FBI’s work is
highly confidential, special agents may not
disclose any of the information gathered in
the course of their official duties to unauthor­
ized persons, including members of their
families. Frequently agents must testify in
court about cases that they investigate.
Although they work alone on most assign­
ments, agents communicate with their super­
visors by radio or telephone as the circum­
stances dictate. In performing potentially
dangerous duties, such as arrests and raids,
two agents or more are assigned to work to­

Working Conditions
Although FBI special agents work out of
clean, well lighted offices, they spend a great
deal of their time away from their desks con­
ducting investigations. They may visit
homes, offices, or industrial plants and inter­
view persons from all walks of life. Their
work requires use of automobiles and fire­
arms and occasionally involves some risk of
personal injury.
Special agents are subject to call 24 hours
a day and must be available for duty at all
times. Their duties require some travel, and
occasionally they may be transferred to an­
other location.

Places of Employment
About 8,000 persons were special agents in
1978. Most agents were assigned to the FBI’s
59 field offices located throughout the Na­
tion. They worked in cities where field office
headquarters are located or in resident agen­
cies (suboffices) established under field office
supervision to provide prompt and efficient
handling of investigative matters arising
throughout the field office territory. Some
agents are assigned to the Bureau headquar­
ters in Washington, D.C., which supervises
all FBI activities.

have a 4-year college degree with a physical
science major or fluency in a foreign lan­
guage, or who have 3 years of professional,
executive, complex investigative, or other
specialized experience.
Applicants for the position of FBI special
agent must be citizens of the United States,
be at least 23 years old, but less than 35 be­
fore they begin duty, and be willing to serve
anywhere in the United States or Puerto
Rico. They must be capable of strenuous
physical exertion, and have excellent hearing
and vision, normal color perception, and no
physical defects that would prevent their
using firearms or participating in dangerous
assignments. All applicants must pass a rigid
physical examination, as well as written and
oral examinations testing their aptitude for
meeting the public and conducting investiga­
tions. All of the tests except the physical
examinations are given by the FBI at its
facilities. Background and character investi­
gations are made of all applicants. Appoint­
ments are made on a probationary basis and
become permanent after 1 year of satisfactory

To be considered for appointment as an
FBI special agent, an applicant usually must
be a graduate of a State-accredited law school
or a college graduate with a major in ac­
counting. The law school training must have
been preceded by at least 2 years of under­
graduate college work.

Each newly appointed special agent is
given about 15 weeks of training at the FBI
Academy at the U.S. Marine Corps Base in
Quantico, Va., before assignment to a field
office. During this period, agents receive in­
tensive training in defensive tactics and the
use of firearms. In addition, they are
thoroughly schooled in Federal criminal law
and procedures, FBI rules and regulations,
fingerprinting, and investigative work. After
assignment to a field office, the new agent
usually works closely with an experienced
agent for about 2 weeks before handling any
assignments independently.

From time to time, as the need arises, the
FBI accepts applications from persons who

All administrative and supervisory jobs are
filled from within the ranks by selecting those

Training, Other Qualifications, and


FBI special agents who have demonstrated
the ability to assume more responsibility.

Employment Outlook
The jurisdiction of the FBI has expanded
greatly over the years. Although it is impossi­
ble to forecast special agent personnel re­
quirements, employment may be expected to
increase with growing FBI responsibilities.
The FBI provides a career service and its
rate of turnover is traditionally low. Never­
theless, the FBI is always interested in ap­
plications from qualified persons.

The entrance salary for FBI special agents
was $17,532 in late 1978. Special agents are
not appointed under Federal Civil Service
regulations, but, like other Federal em­
ployees, they receive periodic within-grade
salary raises if their work performance is sat­
isfactory; they can advance in grade as they
gain experience. Salaries of supervisory
agents start at $32,442 a year.
Agents frequently work longer than the
customary 40-hour week and, under specified
conditions, receive overtime pay up to $4,400
a year. Agents are required to retire at age 55
if they have served at least 20 years.

Related Occupations
FBI special agents conduct investigations
and apprehend lawbreakers. Other related in­
vestigative and law enforcement occupations
include: Detectives, private investigators, po­
lice officers, deputy sheriffs, Secret Service
agents, Internal Revenue Service Agents,
Border Patrol agents, fire marshals, and fish
and game wardens.

Sources of Additional Information
The Federal Bureau o f Investigation, U.S. Depart­
ment o f Justice, Washington, D.C. 20535.

(D O T. 373)

Nature of the Work
Every year, fires destroy thousands of
lives and property worth millions of dol­
lars. Firefighters help protect the public
against this danger. This statement gives
information only about paid career fire­
fighters; it does not cover the many thou­
sands of volunteer firefighters in communi­
ties across the country.
During duty hours, firefighters must be
prepared to respond to a fire and handle
any emergency that arises. Because fire­
fighting is dangerous and complicated, it
requires organization and teamwork. At
every fire, firefighters perform specific du­
ties assigned by a company officer such as
lieutenant, captain, or other department of­
ficer: They may connect hose lines to hy­


drants, operate a pump, or position lad­
ders. Because their duties may change
several times while the company is in ac­
tion, they must be skilled in many different
firefighting activities, such as rescue, venti­
lation, and salvage. Some firefighters oper­
ate fire apparatus, emergency rescue vehi­
cles, and fire-boats. In addition, they help
people to safety and administer first aid.
Most fire departments also are responsible
for fire-prevention activities. They provide
specially trained personnel to inspect public
buildings for conditions that might cause a
fire. They may check building plans, the
number and working condition of fire es­
capes and fire doors, the storage of flamma­
ble materials, and other possible hazards. In
addition, firefighters educate the public
about fire prevention and safety measures.
They frequently speak on this subject before
school assemblies and civic groups, and, in
some communities, they inspect private
homes for fire hazards.
Between alarms, they have practice drills,
classroom training, and clean and maintain

Working Conditions
Firefighters spend much of their time at
fire stations which usually have facilities for
dining and sleeping. When an alarm comes
in, firefighters must rapidly respond, regard­
less of the weather or hour. They may spend
long periods outdoors fighting fires in ad­
verse weather.
Firefighting is among the most hazardous
occupations. The job of a firefighter involves
risk of death or injury from sudden cave-ins
of floors or toppling walls and danger from
exposure to flames and smoke. Firefighters
also may come in contact with poisonous,
flammable, and explosive gases and chemi­
In some cities, firefighters are on duty for
24 hours, then off for 48 hours, and receive
an extra day off at intervals. In other cities,
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. Although in many large cities,
particularly in the East, firefighters work a
standard 40 hour week, many fire fighters
average as many as 56 hours a week. In ad­
dition to scheduled hours, firefighters often
must work extra hours when they are bring­
ing a fire under control. Fire lieutenants and
fire captains work the same hours as the
firefighters they supervise. Duty hours may
include some time when firefighters are free
to read, study, or pursue other personal in­

Places of Employment
More than 220,000 persons worked as fire­
fighters in 1978. Nine out of ten worked in
municipal fire departments. Some very large
cities have several thousand firefighters on
the payroll while many small towns have
fewer than 25. Some firefighters work in fire

departments on Federal installations; others
work at airports and in large manufacturing

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Applicants for municipal firefighting jobs
must pass a written test, a medical examina­
tion, and tests of strength, physical stamina,
and agility, as specified by local regulations.
These examinations are open to persons who
are at least 18 years of age, meet certain
height and weight requirements, and have a
high school education or the equivalent.
Those who receive the highest scores on the
examinations have the best chances for ap­
pointment. Extra credit usually is given for
military service. Experience gained as a vol­
unteer firefighter or through training in the
Armed Forces also may improve an appli­
cant’s chances for appointment.
As a rule, beginners in large fire depart­
ments are trained for several weeks at the
city’s fire school. Through classroom instruc­
tion and practice drills, the recruits study
firefighting techniques, fire prevention, local
building codes, and first aid; also, they learn
how to use axes, chemical extinguishers, lad­
ders, and other equipment. After completing
this training, they are assigned to a fire com­
pany where they are evaluated during a pro­
bationary period.
A small but growing number of fire depart­
ments have accredited apprenticeship pro­
grams lasting 3 to 4 years. These programs
combine formal, technical instruction with
on-the-job training under the supervision of
experienced firefighters. Technical instruc­
tion covers subjects such as firefighting tech­
niques and equipment, chemical hazards as­
sociated with various combustible building
materials, first aid, and fire prevention and
Experienced firefighters often continue to
study to improve their job performance and
prepare for promotional examinations. To
progress to higher level positions, firefighters
must acquire a great deal of expertise related
to firefighting, building construction, emer­
gency first aid, writing, public speaking,
management and budgeting procedures, and
labor relations. Fire departments frequently
conduct training programs, and many col­
leges and universities offer courses such as
fire engineering and fire science that are help­
ful to firefighters.
Among the personal qualities firefighters
need are mental alertness, courage, mechani­
cal aptitude, endurance, and a sense of public
service. Initiative and good judgment are ex­
tremely important because firefighters often
must make quick decisions in emergency
situations. Because members of a crew eat,
sleep, and work closely together under condi­
tions of stress and danger, they should be
dependable and able to get along well with
others in a group. Leadership qualities are
assets for officers who must establish and
maintain a high degree of discipline and effi-

budgets. This means that in some financially
troubled cities, firefighter employment prob­
ably will remain at current levels or decline,
while in other cities, employment is likely to
increase substantially to meet the needs of an
expanding population.
The number of people who qualify for fire­
fighter jobs in large cities usually is greater
than the number of job openings, even
though the written examination and physical
requirements eliminate many applicants.
Therefore, competition among candidates in
urban areas is apt to remain keen. Opportuni­
ties should be much better in smaller com­

In 1978, entrance salaries for beginning
full-time firefighters averaged $12,700 a year,
ranging from about $11,000 to $14,500 a
year, depending on city size and region of the
country. Maximum salaries averaged $15,800 and varied from $14,200 to $18,000 an­
nually. Earnings for firefighters are lowest in
the South and highest in the West, and gener­
ally are higher in large cities than in small
ones. Average earnings of all firefighters are
about one and one-half times as much as the
average of all nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
Practically all fire departments provide
protective clothing (helmets, boots, and
coats) and many also provide dress uniforms.
Firefighters generally are covered by lib­
eral pension plans that often provide retire­
ment at half pay at age 50 after 25 years of
service or at any age if disabled in the line of
About 8 out of 10 firefighters are members
of the International Association of Fire fight­
ers (AFL-CIO).

Related Occupations

Operation of complicated fire apparatus requires organization and teamwork.

ciency as well as direct the activities of the
firefighters in their companies.
Opportunities for promotion are good in
most fire departments. As firefighters gain
experience, they may advance to a higher
rank. After 3 to 5 years of service, they may
become eligible for promotion to the grade of
lieutenant. The line of further promotion
usually is to captain, then battalion chief, as­
sistant chief, deputy chief, and finally to
chief. Chances for advancement generally de­
pend upon each candidate’s position on the
promotion list, as determined by the score on
a written examination, his or her supervisor’s
rating, and seniority.

Employment Outlook
Employment of firefighters is expected to
increase about as fast as the average for all
occupations through the 1980’s to meet the

growing need for fire protection. Thousands
of jobs will become available each year due to
growth and the need to replace those who
die, retire, or leave the occupation. Employ­
ment should rise as new fire departments are
formed and as others enlarge their fire pre­
vention sections. Much of the expected in­
crease will occur in smaller communities as
volunteer firefighters are replaced by profes­
sionals. Additional firefighters also may be
required as more cities shorten the workweek
for firefighters.
The number of firefighters in a community
ultimately depends upon the availability of
funds from the municipal government for sal­
aries and equipment. Fire protection is an
essential service, and citizens are likely to
exert considerable pressure on city officials to
expand fire-protection coverage. However,
local governments must live within their

Firefighters work to prevent fires, and
when fire emergencies occur, firefighters
quickly respond so that destruction and loss
of life are minimized. Related fire protection
occupations include fire rangers, forest-fire
fighters, and smoke jumpers who work to
prevent and supress forest fires; and fire-pro­
tection engineers who identify fire hazards in
the Nation’s homes and workplaces and de­
sign fire prevention programs and automatic
fire detection and extinguishing systems.
Other related occupations in which workers
must respond to emergencies include police
officers and emergency medical technicians.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on obtaining a job as a fire­
fighter is available from local civil service
commission offices or fire departments.
Information about a career as a firefighter
may be obtained from:
International Association of Fire Chiefs, 1329 18th
St. NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.
National Fire Protection Association, 470 Atlantic
Ave., Boston, Mass. 02210.


International Association of Fire Fighters, 1750
New York Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.

Additional information on the salaries and
hours of work of firefighters in various cities
is published annually by the International
City Management Association in its Munici­
pal Yearbook, which is available in many li­

a watch clock—a device that indicates the
time at which they reach various check­
Correction officers, guards who work in
prisons and other correctional institutions,
are discussed separately in the section on pro­
tective service occupations

Working Conditions

(D O T. 372 except .667-022 and -026.)

Nature of the Work
Guards patrol and inspect property to pro­
tect it against fire, theft, vandalism, and il­
legal entry. The specific duties of these work­
ers, however, vary with the size, type, and
location of their employer.
In office buildings, banks, hospitals, and
department stores, guards protect records,
merchandise, money, and equipment. In de­
partment stores they often work with under­
cover detectives watching for theft by cus­
tomers or store employees.
At ports and railroads, guards protect
merchandise in shipment as well as property
and equipment. They insure that nothing is
stolen while being loaded or unloaded, and
watch for fires, prowlers, and trouble among
work crews. Sometimes they direct traffic.
Guards who work in public buildings, such
as museums or art galleries, protect paintings
or exhibits from fire, theft, or damage. They
also answer routine questions from visitors
and sometimes guide traffic.
In large factories, aircraft plants, and de­
fense installations where valuable informa­
tion must be protected, some guards check
the credentials of persons and vehicles enter­
ing and leaving the premises. University,
park, or recreation guards perform similar
duties and also may issue parking permits
and direct traffic.
At social affairs, sports events, conven­
tions, and other public gatherings, guards
maintain order, give information, and watch
for persons who may cause trouble.
In a large organization, a security officer
often is in charge of the guard force; in a
small organization, a single worker may be
responsible for security. Patrolling usually is
done on foot; but if the property is large,
guards may make their rounds by car or
motor scooter.
As they make their rounds, guards check
all doors and windows, see that no unauthor­
ized persons remain after working hours, and
insure that fire extinguishers, alarms, sprin­
kler systems, furnaces, and various electrical
and plumbing systems are working properly.
They sometimes set thermostats or turn on
machines for janitorial workers.
Guards usually are uniformed and often
carry a nightstick or gun. They also may
carry a flashlight, whistle, 2-way radio, and


Guards work both indoors and outdoors
patrolling buildings, industrial plants, and
their grounds. Indoors, they may be sta­
tioned at a guard desk to monitor electronic
security and surveillance devices or check the
credentials of persons entering or leaving the
premises. They also may be stationed at gate
shelters or may patrol grounds in all weather.
Since guards often work alone, no one is
nearby to help if an accident or injury occurs.
Some large firms, therefore, use a reporting
service that enables guards to be in constant
contact with a central station outside the
plant. If they fail to transmit an expected
signal, the central station investigates. Guard
work is usually routine, but guards must be
constantly alert for threats to themselves and
to the property that they are protecting.
Guards who work during the day may have
a great deal of contact with other employees
and members of the public.
Many guards work at night; the usual shift
lasts 8 hours. Some employers have three
shifts where guards rotate to divide daytime,
weekend, and holiday work equally. Guards
usually eat on the job instead of taking a
regular lunch break.

Places of Employment
In 1978, almost 550,000 persons worked as
guards. Most work in office buildings, gov­
ernment installations and buildings, stores,
hotels, banks, schools, and manufacturing
plants. Industrial security firms and guard
agencies employ about 30 percent of all
guards; agency guards work under contract
in private business establishments and in
some government facilities.
Although guard jobs are found throughout
the country, most are located in metropolitan

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Most employers prefer guards who are
high school graduates. Applicants with less
than a high school education usually are
tested for their reading and writing abilities
and their competence in following written
and oral instructions. Employers also seek
people who have had experience in the mili­
tary police or in State and local police depart­
ments. Most persons who enter guard jobs
have prior work experience, although it is
usually unrelated. Some have retired from
military careers or other protective services,
and guard employment is a second career.
Candidates for guard jobs in the Federal
Government must be veterans, have some ex-

Guard checks the credentials of plant visitor.

perience as guards, and pass a written exami­
nation. For most Federal guard positions, ap­
plicants must qualify in the use of firearms.
Some jobs require a driver’s permit.
Many employers give newly hired guards
instruction before they start the job and also
provide several weeks of on-the-job training.
Guards may be taught to use firearms, to
administer first aid, to handle various emer­
gencies, to operate alarm systems and elec­
tronic security equipment, and to spot and
deal with security problems.
Applicants are expected to have good
character references, no police record, good
health—especially in hearing and vision—
and good personal habits such as neatness
and dependability. They should be mentally
alert, em otionally stable, and physically fit to

cope with emergencies. Some employers re­
quire guards to meet height and weight
specifications or to be within a certain age
Although guards in small companies re­
ceive periodic salary increases, advancement
is likely to be limited. However, most large
organizations use a military type of ranking
that offers advancement in position and sal­
ary. Guard experience enables some persons
to transfer to police jobs that offer higher pay
and greater opportunities for advancement.
Guards with some college education may ad­
vance to jobs that involve administrative du­
ties or the prevention of espionage and sabo­

Employment Outlook
Employment of guards is expected to grow
faster than the average for all occupations
through the 1980’s. Increased concern for
crime and vandalism will heighten the need
for security in and around plants, stores, and
recreation areas and is expected to cause
rapid growth of agency guard employment.
Additional guards will be needed by banks,

manufacturing plants, and Federal, State,
and local governments to provide better secu­
rity and monitor remote cameras, alarm sys­
tems, and other electronic surveillance equip­
ment. Many openings also will arise as
guards retire, die, or leave their jobs for other
reasons. Opportunities will be most plentiful
for persons seeking work on night shifts.

Guards working in 36 urban areas were
estimated to average $3.63 an hour in 1978,
about two-thirds as much as the average
earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in
private industry, except farming. Those
working in the North Central States earned
more than the average while guards em­
ployed in the South earned somewhat less.
Hourly wages of guards were estimated -to
average $5.04 in manufacturing; $5.29 in
transportation and public utilities; $4.10 in
banking, finance, insurance, and real estate;
$4.22 in wholesale trade; $3.70 in retail trade;
and $2.61 in the various service industries,
including security and guard agencies.
Guards employed by industrial security and
guard agencies generally earned less than
those employed directly by business.
Depending on their experience, newly
hired guards in the Federal Government
earned between $8,366 and $9,391 a year in
early 1979. Guards employed by the Federal
Government averaged $11,500 a year. These
workers usually receive overtime pay as well
as a wage differential for the second and third
shifts. Guards generally have paid vacations,
sick leave, and insurance and pension plans.

Related Occupations
Guards protect property, maintain secu­
rity, and enforce standards of conduct. Other
related security and protective service occu­
pations include: bailiffs, border guards,
bouncers, deputy sheriffs, fish and game
wardens, house or store detectives, life­
guards, police officers, and private investiga­

Police officers and sheriffs’ deputies who
work in small communities and rural areas
have many duties. In the course of a day’s
work, they may direct traffic at the scene of
a fire, investigate a housebreaking, and give
first aid to an accident victim. In a large po­
lice department, by contrast, officers usually
are assigned to a specific type of duty. Most
officers are detailed either to patrol or to traf­
fic duty; smaller numbers are assigned to spe­
cial work such as accident prevention or op­
eration of communications systems. Others
work as detectives (plainclothes officers) as­
signed to criminal investigation; still others,
as experts in chemical and microscopic anal­
ysis, firearms identification, and handwriting
and fingerprint identification. In very large
cities, a few officers may work with special
units such as mounted and motorcycle po­
lice, harbor patrols, helicopter patrols, ca­
nine corps, mobile rescue teams, and youth
aid services.
Most new recruits begin on patrol duty.
Recruits may be assigned to such varied areas
as congested business districts or outlying
residential areas. They may cover their beats
alone or with other officers. They may ride in
a police vehicle or walk on “foot” patrol. In
any case, they become thoroughly familiar
with conditions throughout their area and,
while on patrol, remain alert for anything
unusual. They note suspicious circum­
stances, such as open windows or lights in
vacant buildings, as well as hazards to public
safety such as burned-out street lights or
fallen trees. Officers also watch for stolen au­
tomobiles and enforce traffic regulations.
At regular intervals, they report to police
headquarters through call boxes, by radio,
or by walkie-talkie. They prepare reports
about their activities and may be called on
to testify in court when cases result in legal

Working Conditions
The scheduled workweek for police offic­
ers usually is 40 hours. Because police protec­
tion must be provided around the clock in all
but the smallest communities, some officers
are on duty over weekends, on holidays, and
at night. Police officers are subject to call any
time their services are needed and may work
overtime in emergencies.
Police officers may have to work outdoors
for long periods in all kinds of weather. The
injury rate is higher than in many occupa­
tions and reflects the risks officers take in
pursuing speeding motorists, capturing law­
breakers, and dealing with public disorder.

Places of Employment
About 450,000 full-time officers worked
for local police departments in 1978. Some
cities have very large police forces. For exam­
ple, New York has about 25,000 police offic­
ers and Chicago has nearly 13,000. Hundreds
of small communities employ fewer than 25
officers each.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Local civil service regulations govern the
appointment of police officers in practically
all large cities and in many small ones. Can­
didates must be U.S. citizens, usually at least
21 years of age, and must meet certain height
and weight standards. Eligibility for appoint­
ment depends on performance in competitive
examinations as well as on education and ex­
perience. The physical examinations often in­
clude tests of strength and agility.
Because personal characteristics such as
honesty, good judgment, and a sense of re­
sponsibility are especially important in police
work, candidates are interviewed by a senior

Sources of Additional Information
Further information about work oppor­
tunities for guards is available from local em­
ployers and the nearest State employment
service office.

Police Officers
(D.O.T. 375 except .167-026, -042, .263-018, and
.363-010; and 377 except 377.667-010)

Nature of the Work
The security of our Nation’s cities and
towns greatly depends on the work of local
police officers and sheriffs’ deputies whose
jobs range from controlling traffic to prevent­
ing and investigating crimes. Whether on or
off duty, these officers are expected to exer­
cise their authority whenever necessary.

Police officers on traffic duty investigate accidents and enforce traffic regulations.


officer at police headquarters, and their char­
acter traits and background are investigated.
In some police departments, candidates also
may be interviewed by a psychiatrist or a
pyschologist, or be given a personality test.
Although police officers work independently,
they must perform their duties in line with
laws and departmental rules. They should
enjoy working with people and serving the
In large police departments, where most
jobs are found, applicants usually must have
a high school education. A few cities require
some college training and some hire law en­
forcement students as police interns. A few
police departments accept applicants who
have less than a high school education as
recruits, particularly if they have worked in
a field related to law enforcement.
More and more, police departments are
encouraging applicants to take post-high
school training in sociology and psychology.
In 1978, more than 800 junior colleges, col­
leges, and universities offered programs in
law enforcement or criminal justice. Other
courses helpful in preparing for a police ca­
reer include English, American history, civ­
ics and government, business law, and phys­
ics. Physical education and sports are
especially helpful in developing the stamina
and agility needed for police work.
In some large cities, young persons who
have completed high school can enter police
work as police cadets, or trainees, while still
in their teens. As paid civilian employees of
the police department, they attend classes to
learn police skills and do clerical work. They
may be appointed to the regular force at age
21 if they have all the necessary qualifica­
Before their first assignments, officers usu­
ally go through a period of training. In small
communities, recruits learn by working for a
short time with experienced officers. Train­
ing provided in large city police departments
is more formal and may last several weeks or
a few months. This training includes class­
room instruction in constitutional law and
civil rights; in State laws and local ordi­
nances; and in accident investigation, patrol,
and traffic control. Recruits learn how to use
a gun, defend themselves from attack, admin­
ister first aid, and deal with emergencies.
Police officers usually become eligible for
promotion after a specified length of service.
In a large department, promotion may allow
an officer to specialize in one type of police
work such as laboratory work, traffic con­
trol, communications, or work with juve­
niles. Promotions to the rank of sergeant,
lieutenant, and captain usually are made ac­
cording to a candidate’s position on a promo­
tion list, as determined by scores on a written
examination and on-the-job performance.
Many types of training help police officers
improve their performance on the job and
prepare for advancement. Through training
given at police department academies and
colleges, officers keep abreast of crowd-con­


trol techniques, civil defense, legal develop­
ments that affect their work, and advances in
law enforcement equipment. Many police de­
partments encourage officers to work toward
college degrees, and some pay all or part of
the tuition.

Employment Outlook
Employment of police officers is ex­
pected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s as
the Nation’s population and police protec­
tion needs increase. Employment growth
will be tempered by increased use of civil­
ian police department employees in traffic
control, parking enforcement, administra­
tion, and other routine, nonhazardous
areas of police work.
Police work is attractive to many. The
job frequently is challenging and involves
much responsibility. Furthermore, layoffs
are rare. Although the written examina­
tions and strict physical requirements al­
ways eliminate many applicants, competi­
tion is expected to be keen for job
openings through the 1980’s. The outlook
should be good for persons having some
college training in law enforcement.

In early 1978, entry level salaries for police
officers employed in medium- and large-sized
cities averaged nearly $13,200 a year, al­
though they varied widely from city to city.
In some smaller communities, officers
started at less than $9,000 a year, while some
major cities offered over $15,000 a year to
new employees. Most officers receive regular
salary increases during the first few years of
employment until they reach a set maximum
for their rank. Maximum earnings averaged
$16,650 a year in early 1978, and exceeded
$18,000 a year in some areas. Promotion to
a higher rank brings a higher basic salary. In
general, police officers were paid about one
and one-half times as much as nonsupervisory workers in private industry, except
Police departments usually provide offic­
ers with special allowances for uniforms and
furnish revolvers, night sticks, handcuffs,
and other required equipment. Because po­
lice officers generally are covered by liberal
pension plans, many retire at half pay after
20 years of service.

Related Occupations
Police officers maintain law and order in
the Nation’s cities, towns, and rural areas.
Other related law enforcement occupations
include State police officers, FBI special
agents, Internal Revenue Service agents, Se­
cret Service agents, Border Patrol agents, fire
marshals, and fish and game wardens.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about entrance requirements
may be obtained from local civil service com­
missions or police departments.

State Police Officers
(D.O.T. 375.163-010 and -014, .167-018 and .263-018)

Nature of the Work
The laws and regulations that govern the
use of our Nation’s roadways are designed to
insure the safety of all citizens. State police
officers (sometimes called State troopers or
highways patrol officers) patrol our high­
ways and enforce these laws.
State police officers issue traffic tickets
to motorists who violate the law. At the
scene of an accident, they direct traffic,
give first aid, call for emergency equipment
including ambulances, and write reports to
be used in determining the cause of the ac­
In addition, State police officers provide
services to motorists on the highways. For
example, they radio for road service for
drivers with mechanical trouble, direct tou­
rists to their destination, or give informa­
tion about lodging, restaurants, and tourist
State police officers also provide traffic as­
sistance and control during road repairs,
fires, and other emergencies, as well as dur­
ing special occurrences such as parades and
sports events. They sometimes check the
weight of commercial vehicles, conduct
driver examinations, and give information on
highway safety to the public.
In addition to highway responsibilities,
State police in some States also investigate
crimes such as burglary or assault, particu­
larly in areas that do not have a local police
force. They sometimes help city or county
police catch lawbreakers and control civil
disturbances. State highway patrols, how­
ever, normally are restricted to vehicle safety
and traffic matters on state highway.
Some officers work with special State po­
lice units, such as the mounted police, canine
corps, and marine patrols. Others instruct
trainees in State police schools, pilot police
aircraft, or specialize in fingerprint classifica­
tion or chemical and microscopic analysis of
criminal evidence.
State police officers also write reports and
maintain police records. Some officers, in­
cluding division or bureau chiefs responsible
for training or investigation and those who
command police operations in an assigned
area, have administrative duties.

Working Conditions
Although the work of State police offic­
ers is usually routine, it sometimes is dan­
gerous. They always run the risk of an au­
tomobile accident while pursuing speeding
motorists or fleeing criminals. Officers also
face the risk of injury while apprehending
criminals or controlling disorders. In addi­
tion, they must be on patrol in all kinds of

cans have been using the motor vehicle as a
means of transportation and a source of rec­
reation. This growth probably will continue,
requiring additional officers to control traffic
and maintain highway safety.
Because law enforcement work is becom­
ing more complex, specialists will be needed
in crime laboratories and electronic data
processing centers to develop administrative
and criminal information systems. However,
in many departments, these jobs will be filled
by civilian employees rather than uniformed


State police officers issue traffic tickets to motorists who violate the law.

Places of Employment
About 47,000 State police officers were
employed in 1978. The size of State police
forces varies considerably. The largest force
(in California) has over 5,000 officers; the
smallest (in North Dakota) has about 100.
One State (Hawaii) does not maintain a po­
lice force.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
State civil service regulations govern the
appointment of State police officers. All can­
didates must be citizens of the United States.
Other entry requirements vary, but most
States require that applicants have a high
school education or an equivalent combina­
tion of education and experience and be at
least 21 years old.
Officers must pass a competitive examina­
tion and meet physical and personal qualifi­
cations. Physical requirements include stan­
dards of height, weight, and eyesight. Tests of
strength and agility often are required. Be­
cause honesty and a sense of responsibility
are important in police work, an applicant’s
character and background are investigated.
Although State police officers work inde­
pendently, they must perform their duties in
line with department rules.
In all States, recruits enter a formal train­
ing program for several months. They receive
classroom instruction in State laws and juris­
dictions, and they study procedures for acci­
dent investigation, patrol, and traffic control.
Recruits learn to handle firearms, defend
themselves from attack, handle an automo­
bile at high speeds, and give first aid. Some
experienced officers take advanced training
in police science, administration, law en­
forcement, or criminology at junior colleges,

colleges and universities, or special police in­
stitutions such as the National Academy of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
High school and college courses in En­
glish, government, psychology, sociology,
American history, and physics help in pre­
paring for a police career. Physical education
and sports are useful for developing stamina
and agility. Driver education courses and
military police training also are helpful.
Police officer recruits serve a probationary
period ranging from 6 months to 3 years.
After a specified length of time, officers be­
come eligible for promotion. Most States
have merit promotion systems that require
officers to pass a competitive examination to
qualify for the next highest rank. Although
the organization of police forces varies from
State to State, the typical avenue of advance­
ment is from private to corporal, to sergeant,
to first sergeant, to lieutenant, and then to
In some States, high school graduates may
enter State police work as cadets. These paid
civilian employees of the police organization
attend classes on aspects of police work and
are assigned nonenforcement duties. Cadets
who qualify may be appointed to the State
police force at age 21.

Employment Outlook
State police employment is expected to
grow about as fast as the average for all occu­
pations through the 1980’s. Some openings
will also be created as officers retire, die, or
leave the occupation for other reasons.
Although some State police will be needed
in criminal investigation and other nonhigh­
way functions, the greatest demand will con­
tinue to be for officers to work in highway
patrol. In ever-increasing numbers, Ameri­

In 1978, beginning salaries for State po­
lice officers averaged about $13,200 a year.
Officers generally receive regular salary in­
creases, based on experience and perform­
ance, until a specified maximum is
reached. Maximum salaries averaged $17,000 a year, but ranged to nearly $19,000 a
year in some States. Salaries are normally
higher than average in the West and lower
in the South. State police officers on the
average earn about one and one-half times
as much as nonsupervisory workers in pri­
vate industry, except farming.
Starting salaries of State police sergeants
averaged $15,450 a year in 1978; maximum
salaries averaged $19,300. Starting salaries of
lieutenants averaged $17,900 a year; maxi­
mum salaries, $22,100.
State police agencies usually provide of­
ficers with uniforms, firearms, and other
necessary equipment, or give special allow­
ances for their purchase. State police offic­
ers usually are covered by liberal pension
plans. Paid vacations, sick leave, medical
insurance, and life insurance plans fre­
quently are provided.
In most States, the scheduled workweek
for police officers is 40 hours. Although
the workweek is longer in some States, the
trend is toward a 40-hour week. Since po­
lice protection must be provided around
the clock, some officers are on duty over
weekends, on holidays, and at night. Police
officers also are subject to emergency calls
at any time.

Related Occupations
State police officers patrol the Nation’s
highways and enforce its laws, apprehending
speeders and more dangerous lawbreakers.
Related law enforcement occupations incude
local police officers, deputy sheriffs, detec­
tives, FBI special agents, Secret Service
agents, Internal Revenue Service agents, Bor­
der Patrol agents, fire marshals, and fish and
game wardens.

Sources of Additional Information
Information about specific entrance re­
quirements may be obtained from State civil
service commissions or State police head­
quarters, usually located in each State capi­


(D .O .T . 168.167-030, -034, -038, -046, and -050)

Nature of the Work
Federal, State, and local government con­
struction inspectors examine the construc­
tion, alteration, or repair of highways,
streets, sewer and water systems, dams,
bridges, buildings, and other structures to in­
sure compliance with building codes and or­
dinances, zoning regulations, and contract
specifications. Construction inspectors gen­
erally specialize in one particular type of con­
struction work. Broadly categorized, these
are building, electrical, mechanical, and pub­
lic works. Inspectors usually work alone on
small jobs, but several may be assigned to a
large, complex project.
Building inspectors inspect the structural
quality of buildings. Some may specialize—
for example, in structural steel or reinforced
concrete buildings. Before construction, in­
spectors determine whether the plans for the
building or other structure comply with local
zoning regulations and are suited to the engi­
neering and environmental demands of the
building site. They visit the worksite before
the foundation is poured to inspect the posi­
tioning and depth of the footings. They in­
spect the foundation after it has been comp­
leted. The size and type of structure and the
rate of completion determine the number of
other visits they must make. Upon comple­
tion of the project, they conduct a final com­
prehensive inspection.
Electrical inspectors inspect the installa­
tion of electrical systems and equipment to
insure that they work properly and are in
compliance with electrical codes and stan­
dards. They visit worksites to inspect new
and existing wiring, lighting, sound and secu­
rity systems, and generating equipment.
They also may inspect the installation of the
electrical wiring for heating and air-condi­
tioning systems, kitchen appliances, and
other components.
Mechanical inspectors examine plumbing
systems including septic tanks, plumbing fix­
tures and traps, and water, sewer, and vent
lines. They also inspect the installation of the
mechanical components of kitchen appli­
ances, heating and air-conditioning equip­
ment, gasoline and butane tanks, gas piping,
and gas-fired appliances. Some specialize in
inspecting boilers, mechanical components,
or plumbing.
Public works inspectors insure that Fed­
eral, State, and local government construc­
tion of water and sewer systems, highways,
streets, bridges, and dams conforms to de­
tailed contract specifications. They inspect
excavation and fill operations, the placement
of forms for concrete, concrete mixing and


An inspector making sure the methods and materials used in the construction of this house meet
the local building code.

pouring, and asphalt paving. They also re­
cord the amount of work performed and
materials used so that contract payment cal­
culations can be made. Public works inspec­
tors may specialize in inspection of highways,
reinforced concrete, or ditches.
While inspections are primarily visual, in­
spectors often use tape measures, metering
devices, concrete strength measurers, and
other test equipment during inspections.
They often keep a daily log of their work,
take photographs, file written reports, and, if
necessary, act on their findings. For example,
construction inspectors notify the construc­
tion contractor, superintendent, or supervi­
sor when they discover a detail of a project
that is not in compliance with the appropri­
ate codes, ordinances, or contract specifica­
tions. If the deficiency is not corrected within
a reasonable period of time, they have au­
thority to issue a “stop-work” order.
Many inspectors also investigate reported
incidents of “bootlegging,” construction or
alteration that is being carried on without
proper permits. Violators of permit laws are
directed to obtain permits and submit to in­

Working Conditions
Construction inspectors work indoors and
out. They spend about half their time in an
office reviewing blueprints, answering letters

or telephone calls, writing reports, and sche­
duling inspections. The rest of their time is
spent traveling to construction sites—usually
in a government car—and making inspec­
Inspection sites may be dirty, and cluttered
with tools, materials, or debris. Inspectors
may have to climb ladders or several flights
of stairs, or may have to crawl beneath build­
ings to make inspections. However, the work
is not considered hazardous.
Inspectors normally work regular hours.
However, in case of an accident at the con­
struction site, such as a partially collapsed
concrete structure, inspectors must respond
immediately, and may be expected to work
irregular hours until a report has been comp­
Inspection work tends to be steady and
year round, unlike the seasonal and intermit­
tent nature of employment in many of the
occupations associated with the construction

Places of Employment
About 20,000 persons worked as govern­
ment construction inspectors in 1978. More
than three-fourths worked for municipal or
county building departments. Public works
construction inspectors were employed pri­
marily at the Federal and State levels.

The employment of local government con­
struction inspectors is concentrated in cities
and in suburban areas undergoing rapid
growth. These governments employ large in­
spection staffs, including most of the inspec­
tors who specialize in structural steel, rein­
forced concrete, and boiler inspection.
About one-half of the 3,500 construction
inspectors employed by the Federal Govern­
ment in 1978, worked for the Department of
Defense, primarily for the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
To become a construction inspector, sev­
eral years of experience as a construction
contractor, supervisor, or craft worker are
generally required. Federal, State, and most
local governments also require an applicant
to have a high school diploma. High school
preparation should include courses in draft­
ing, algebra, geometry, and English.
Workers who want to become inspectors
should have a thorough knowledge of con­
struction materials and practices in either a
general area like structural or heavy con­
struction, or in a specialized area such as
electrical or plumbing systems, reinforced
concrete, or structural steel; a significant
number of construction inspectors have re­
cent experience as carpenters, electricians,
plumbers, or pipefitters.
Many employers prefer inspectors to be
graduates of an apprenticeship program, to
have studied at least 2 years toward an engi­
neering or architectural degree, or to have a
degree from a community or junior college,
with courses in construction technology,
blueprint reading, technical mathematics,
English, and building inspection.
Construction inspectors must be in good
physical condition in order to walk and
climb about construction sites. They also
must have a motor vehicle operator’s li­
cense. In addition, Federal, State, and
many local governments usually require
that construction inspectors pass a civil
service examination.
Construction inspectors receive most of
their training on the job. During the first
couple of weeks, working with an ex­
perienced inspector, they learn about inspec­
tion techniques; codes, ordinances, and regu­
recordkeeping and reporting duties. They
begin by inspecting less complex types of
construction such as residential buildings.
The difficulty of their assignments is gradu­
ally increased until they are able to handle
complex assignments. An engineering degree
is frequently needed in order to advance to
supervisory inspector.
Since they advise representatives of the
construction industry and the general public
on matters of code interpretation, construc­
tion practices, and technical developments,
construction inspectors must keep abreast of

new building code developments. The Fed­
eral Government and most State and large
city governments conduct formal training
programs for their construction inspectors to
broaden their knowledge of construction
materials, practices, and inspection tech­
niques and to acquaint them with new
materials and practices. Inspectors who work
for small agencies that do not conduct train­
ing programs frequently can broaden their
knowledge of construction and upgrade their
skills by attending State-conducted training
programs or by taking college or correspon­
dence courses.

Sources of Additional Information
Persons seeking additional information on
a career as a State or local government con­
struction inspector should contact their State
or local employment service or:
International Conference of Building Officials,
5360 South Workman Mill Rd., Whittier, Calif.

Persons interested in a career as a con­
struction inspector with the Federal Govern­
ment can get information from:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20415.

Employment Outlook
Employment of government construction
inspectors is expected to grow faster than the
average for all occupations through the
1980’s. Because of the increasing complexity
of construction technology and the trend to­
ward the establishment of professional stan­
dards for inspectors by State governments,
job opportunities should be best for those
who have some college education or who are
currently employed as carpenters, electri­
cians, or plumbers.
In addition to growth needs, job openings
for construction inspectors will occur each
year to replace those who die, retire, or leave
the occupation for other reasons.
The number of new positions for construc­
tion inspectors will be largely affected by the
level of new housing and commercial build­
ing activity. Because construction activity is
sensitive to ups and downs in the economy,
the number of job openings may fluctuate
from year to year.
The demand for construction inspectors
also should increase as they are given more
responsibility for insuring safe construction
of prefabricated buildings mass-produced in
factories and assembled on the construction

In 1978, most construction inspectors
working for the Federal Government earned
between $13,000 and $19,000 a year, with the
average about $15,000.
According to limited information, salaries
for inspectors working for State or local gov­
ernments ranged from $10,000 to $20,000 a
year, with top supervisors earning somewhat
more than $20,000 a year. Salaries in the
North and West are slightly higher than sala­
ries in the South.

Related Occupations
Construction inspectors combine a knowl­
edge of law with their abilities to coordinate
data, diagnose problems, and communicate
with people to provide accurate inspections
of construction sites. Other occupations in­
volving a combination of some similar skills
are drafters, estimators, industrial engineer­
ing technicians, surveyors, and technical il­

Health and
(D.O.T. 168.167-010, -022, and -062; .264-010; .267-018
and -022; .267-042 through -066, -074, and -078; and

Nature of the Work
Protecting the public from health and
safety hazards, prohibiting unfair trade and
employment practices, and raising revenue
are included in the wide range of responsibili­
ties of government. Health and regulatory
inspectors help insure observance of the laws
and regulations that govern these respon­
sibilities. For discussion of a third type of
inspector, see the statement on construction
inspectors (Government) elsewhere in the
The duties, titles, and responsibilities of
Federal, State, and local health and regula­
tory inspectors vary widely. Some types of
inspectors work only for the Federal Govern­
ment while others also are employed by State
and local governments. Many accountants,
agricultural cooperative extension service
workers, and other agricultural professionals
also have inspection duties.
Health Inspectors. Health inspectors work
with engineers, chemists, microbiologists,
and health workers to insure compliance
with public health and safety regulations gov­
erning food, drugs, and various other con­
sumer products. They also administer regula­
tions that govern the quarantine of persons
and products entering the United States from
foreign countries. The major types of health
inspectors are: consumer safety, food, agri­
cultural quarantine, and environmental
health inspectors. In addition, some inspec­
tors work in a field that is closely related to
food inspection—agricultural commodity

Most consumer safety inspectors specialize
in one area of inspection such as food, feeds
and pesticides, weights and measures, or
drugs and cosmetics. Some, especially those
who work for the Federal Government, may


be proficient in several of these areas. Work­
ing individually or in teams under the direc­
tion of a senior or supervisory inspector, they
periodically check firms that produce, han­
dle, store, and market food, drugs, and cos­
metics. They look for evidence of inaccurate
product labeling, decomposition, chemical or
bacteriological contamination, and other fac­
tors that could result in a product becoming
harmful to health. They assemble evidence of
violations, using portable scales, cameras, ul­
traviolet lights, container sampling devices,
thermometers, chemical testing kits, and
other types of equipment.

They also check to see that products are la­
beled correctly and that proper sanitation is
maintained in slaughtering and processing
Agricultural quarantine inspectors protect
American agricultural products from the in­
troduction and spread of foreign plant pests
and animal diseases. To safeguard crops, for­
ests, and gardens, they inspect ships, aircraft,
railroad cars, and motor vehicles entering the
United States for the presence of restricted or
prohibited plant or animal materials.

Product samples collected as part of their
examinations are sent to laboratories for
analysis. After completing their inspection,
inspectors discuss their observations with the
management of the plant and point out any
areas where corrective measures are needed.
They prepare written reports of their find­
ings, and, when necessary, compile evidence
that may be used in court if legal actions
must be taken to effect compliance with the

Environmental health inspectors, or
sanitarians, work primarily for State and
local governments. These inspectors perform
a variety of inspection duties to help insure
that food water, and air meet government
standards. They check the cleanliness and
safety of food and beverages produced in dai­
ries and processing plants, or served in res­
taurants, hospitals, and other institutions.
They often examine the handling, processing,
and serving of food for compliance with sani­
tation rules and regulations.

Federal and State laws empower food in­
spectors to inspect meat, poultry, and their
byproducts to insure that they are whole­
some and safe for public consumption.
Working as part of a constant onsite team
under the general supervision of a veterinar­
ian, they inspect meat and poultry slaughter­
ing, processing, and packaging operations.

Environmental health inspectors con­
cerned with waste control oversee the treat­
ment and disposal of sewage, refuse, and gar­
bage. They examine places where pollution is
a danger, perform tests to detect pollutants,
and collect air or water samples for analysis.
They determine the nature and cause of the
pollution, then initiate action to stop it.

In large local and State health or agricul­
ture departments, environmental health in­
spectors may specialize in areas of work such
as milk and dairy products, food sanitation,
waste control, air pollution, institutional san­
itation, and occupational health. In rural
areas and small cities, they may be responsi­
ble for a wide range of environmental health
Agricultural commodity graders apply
quality standards to various commodities to
insure that retailers and consumers receive
good and reliable products. They generally
specialize in an area such as eggs and egg
products, processed or fresh fruits and vege­
tables, grain, or dairy products. They inspect
samples of a particular product to determine
its quality and grade, and issue official grad­
ing certificates. Graders also may inspect the
plant and equipment to insure that adequate
sanitation standards are maintained.
Regulatory Inspectors. Regulatory inspec­
tors insure compliance with various laws and
regulations that protect the public welfare.
Important types of regulatory inspectors are:
Immigration; customs; air safety; mine;
wage-hour compliance; and alcohol, tobacco,
and firearms inspectors.

Immigration inspectors interview and ex­
amine people seeking admission, readmis­
sion, or the privileges of passing through or
residing in the United States. They inspect
the passports of those seeking to enter the
United States to determine whether they are
legally eligible to enter and to verify their
citizenship, status, and identity. Immigration
inspectors also prepare reports, maintain rec­
ords, and process applications and petitions
by aliens for privileges such as immigrating
to or living temporarily in the United States.
Customs inspectors enforce the laws gov­
erning U.S. imports and exports. Stationed at
airports, seaports, and border crossing
points, they count, weigh, gauge, measure,
and sample commercial cargoes entering and
leaving the United States to determine the
amount of tax that must be paid. They also
inspect baggage and articles worn or carried
by the passengers and crew of ships, aircraft,
and motor vehicles to insure that all mer­
chandise being brought through ports of
entry is declared and the proper taxes paid.
Air safety inspectors insure that Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations
that govern the quality and safety of aircraft
equipment and personnel are maintained. Air
safety inspectors may inspect aircraft manu­
facturing, maintenance, or operations proce­
dures. They usually specialize in inspecting
either commercial or general aviation air­
craft. They are responsible for the inspection
of aircraft manufacturing and of major re­
pairs. They also certify aircraft pilots and
schools, pilot examiners, flight instructors,
and instructional materials.

Consumer safety inspectors check food for evidence of inaccurate labeling,
decomposition, or contamination.


Mine inspectors work to insure the health
and safety of miners and to promote good
mining practices. To insure compliance with
safety laws and regulations, mine inspectors

visit mines and related facilities to obtain in­
formation on health and safety conditions.
Mine inspectors discuss their findings with
the management of the mine, prepare written
reports that incorporate their findings and
decisions, and issue notices of findings that
describe violations and hazards that must be
corrected. They also investigate and prepare
reports on mine accidents and direct rescue
and firefighting operations when fires or ex­
plosions occur.
Wage-hour compliance inspectors inspect
the employer’s time, payroll, and personnel
records to insure compliance with the provi­
sions of various Federal laws on minimum
wages, overtime, pay, employment of minors,
and equal employment opportunity. They
often interview employees to verify the em­
ployer’s records and to check for any com­
Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms inspectors
insure that the industries which manufacture
these products comply with the provisions of
revenue laws and other regulations on oper­
ating procedures, unfair competition, and
trade practices. They spend most of their
time inspecting distilleries, wineries, and
breweries; cigar and cigarette manufacturing
plants; wholesale liquor dealers and import­
ers; firearms and explosives manufacturers,
dealers, and users; and other regulated facili­
ties. They periodically audit these establish­
ments to determine that appropriate taxes are
correctly determined and paid.

Working Conditions
Most health and regulatory inspectors live
an active life, meeting many people and
working in a variety of environments. Many
travel frequently and are usually furnished
with an automobile or reimbursed for travel
At times, inspectors have unfavorable
working conditions. For example, food, and
alcohol, tobacco, and firearms inspectors fre­
quently come in contact with strong, un­
pleasant odors. Mine inspectors often spend
a great deal of time in mines where they are
exposed to the same hazards as miners. Many
inspectors work long and often irregular

Places of Employment
About 100,000 persons worked as health
and regulatory inspectors in 1978. Nearly
two-thirds of all health and regulatory in­
spectors work for the Federal Government,
although State and local governments also
employ large numbers. The largest single em­
ployer of consumer safety inspectors is the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but the
majority work for State governments. Food
inspectors and agricultural commodity grad­
ers who work in processing plants are em­
ployed mainly by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. Agricultural quarantine inspec­
tors work either for the U.S. Public Health
Service or the U.S. Department of Agricul­
ture. Environmental health inspectors work

primarily for State and local governments.
Regulatory inspectors work for various
agencies within the Federal Government,
mainly in regional and district offices
throughout the United States. Air safety in­
spectors work for the Federal Aviation Ad­
ministration; wage-hour compliance officers
and mine inspectors, for the Department of
Labor; and alcohol, tobacco, and firearms in­
spectors, for the Treasury Department. Im­
migration, customs, and agricultural quaran­
tine inspectors work at U.S. airports,
seaports, border crossing points, and at for­
eign airports and seaports. They are em­
ployed by the Justice and Treasury Depart­

Training, Advancement, and Other
Because inspectors perform such a wide
range of duties, qualifications for employ­
ment vary greatly. The Federal Government
requires a passing score on the Professional
and Administrative Career Examination
(PACE) for several inspector occupations,
including immigration; customs; wage-hour
compliance; alcohol, tobacco, and firearms;
occupational safety; and consumer safety in­
spectors. To take this examination, a bache­
lor’s degree or 3 years of responsible work
experience, or a combination of the two, are
required. In most cases, agencies will give
preference to an applicant whose course
work or experience is related to the field of
Food inspectors must pass an examination
based on specialized knowledge, in addition
to having experience in related fields.
Air safety inspectors must have considera­
ble experience in aviation maintenance, and
an FAA Air Frame and Power Plant certifi­
cate. In addition, various pilot certificates
and considerable flight experience are re­
quired, with the type dependent on the in-

spection duties. Many air safety inspectors
receive both flight training and mechanical
training in the Armed Forces. No written
examination is required.
Applicants for mine safety inspector posi­
tions generally must have specialized work
experience in mine safety, management, or
supervision, or possess a skill such as electri­
cal engineering (for mine electrical inspec­
tors). In some cases, a general aptitude test
may be required.
Some Civil Service registers, including
those for agricultural quarantine inspectors
and agricultural commodity graders, rate ap­
plicants solely on their experience and educa­
tion and require no written examination.
Qualifications for inspectors at the State
and local level usually are similar to those for
Federal employees. However, this may vary
among government employers, particularly
at the local level. Environmental health in­
spectors, called sanitarians in many States,
usually must have a bachelor’s degree in envi­
ronmental health or the physical or biologi­
cal sciences. In 35 States, they are licensed
and their qualifications regulated by examin­
ing boards.
All inspectors are trained in the laws
and inspection procedures related to their
specific field through a combination of
classroom and on-the-job training. In gen­
eral, people who want to become health
and regulatory inspectors should be able to
accept responsibility and like detailed
work. They should be neat and personable
and able to express themselves well orally
and in writing.
All Federal Government inspectors are
promoted on a Civil Service “career ladder.”
This means that, assuming satisfactory work
performance, workers will advance automat­
ically, usually at 1-year intervals, to a speci­
fied maximum level. Above this level (usually
supervisory positions), advancement is com­


petitive, based on needs of the agency and
individual merit.

Employment Outlook
Employment of health and regulatory in­
spectors as a group is expected to increase
about as fast as the average for all occupa­
tions through the 1980’s. The growth in em­
ployment of health and regulatory inspectors
is expected to be rapid at the Federal and
local levels. In addition to job opportunities
stemming from growth in the need for in­
spectors, many inspectors will be needed
each year to replace those who die, retire, or
transfer to other occupations.
Increased food consumption caused by
population growth and greater public con­
cern over potential health hazards should
create additional jobs for food, consumer
safety, and environment health inspectors, as
well as for agricultural commodity graders.
Public concern for improved quality and
safety of consumer products also may result
in new legislation in these areas, requiring
additional inspectors to insure compliance.
Aviation industry growth, increased inter­
national travel, and increases in the volume
of U.S. imports and exports should continue
to create new openings for air safety, agricul­
tural quarantine and immigration inspectors,
and customs inspectors. Increasing coal min­
ing activity and concern over mine safety
should create additional mine inspector jobs.
Continued public pressure for equal employ­
ment rights should cause a growing need for
wage-hour compliance officers.

Related Occupations
Health and regulatory inspectors are re­
sponsible for seeing that government laws
and regulations are obeyed. Related occupa­
tions with similar law enforcement respon­
sibilities include bank examiners, revenue
agents, construction inspectors, State and
local police officers, and fish and game ward­

Sources of Additional Information
Information on inspector careers in the
Federal Government is available from State
employment service offices or from U.S. Of­
fice of Personnel Management area offices or
Federal Job Information Centers located in
various large cities throughout the country.
For information on a career as a specific type
of inspector, the Federal department or
agency that employs them may also be con­
tacted directly.
Information about career opportunities as
inspectors in State and local governments is
available from State civil service commis­
sions, usually located in each State capital, or
from local government offices.

Occupational Safety
and Health Workers
(D.O.T. 010.061-026; 012.061-014, .167-022, -026, -034,
and -058, and .261-010; .079.021-010 and .161-010;
168.167-078, .264-014, and .267-074; 373.167-018 and
.367-010; and 821.367-014)


Nature of the Work

With the exception of mine inspectors and
aviation safety officers, the Federal Govern­
ment paid health and regulatory inspectors
and graders starting salaries of $10,507 or
$13,014 a year in 1979, depending on the type
of position and the qualifications of the appli­
cant. Aviation safety officers and mining in­
spectors usually received starting salaries of

People in the occupational safety and
health field have the challenging job of insur­
ing a safe and healthful environment for
workers and safe products for consumers.
Safety and health workers in a number of
different occupations strive to control occu­
pational accidents and diseases, property
losses, and injuries from unsafe products.
Workers employed in safety and health occu­
pations peculiar to government are discussed
in the statement on health and regulatory
inspectors elsewhere in the Handbook.

Salaries of experienced food inspectors,
agricultural guarantine inspectors, alcohol,
tobacco, and firearms inspectors, and cus­
toms and immigration inspectors were over
$16,000 a year in 1979. Experienced con­
sumer safety inspectors, mine inspectors,
and wage-hour compliance officers usually
received salaries of more than $20,000
from the Federal Government in 1979. Ex­
perienced aviation safety officers averaged
over $23,000 a year.
Nonsupervisory environmental health in­
spectors working for selected U.S. cities and
counties received average starting salaries of
about $12,500 in 1978; those working for
State governments started at about $1,500
less. Experienced environmental health in­
spectors working for State governments
earned between $12,700 and $16,800 but
those in top supervisory and administrative
positions had salaries between $18,200 and
$24,300 in 1978.


The largest group of safety workers is
safety engineers. Although all of them are
concerned with preventing accidents, their
specific tasks depend on where they work.
For example, the safety engineer working in
a large manufacturing plant (D.O.T. 012.061-014) may develop a comprehensive
safety program covering several thousand
employees. This usually entails detailed anal­
ysis of each job in the plant to identify poten­
tial hazards so that preventive measures can
be taken. When accidents do occur, safety
engineers in manufacturing plants investigate
to determine the cause. If poor design, im­
proper maintenance, or mechanical failure is
involved, they use their technical skills to
correct the situation and prevent its recur­
rence. When human error is the cause of an
accident, safety engineers may establish

training courses for plant workers and super­
visors or reemphasize existing ones.
Safety engineers who work for trucking
companies (D.O.T. 909.127-010) study
schedules, routes, loads, and speeds to deter­
mine their influence on trucking accidents.
They also inspect heavy rigs, such as trucks
and trailers, to suggest ways of safer opera­
tion. In the mining industry, safety engineers
(D.O.T. 010.061-026) may inspect under­
ground or open-pit areas to insure compli­
ance with State and Federal laws, design pro­
tective equipment and safety devices for mine
machinery, or lead rescue activities during
Many safety engineers are directly con­
cerned with the safety of their company’s
product. They work closely with design engi­
neers to develop models that meet all safety
standards, and they monitor the manufactur­
ing process to insure the safety of the finished
Safeguarding life and property against loss
from fire, explosion, and related hazards is
the job of the fire protection engineer (D.O.T.
012.167-026). Those who specialize in re­
search investigate problems such as fires in
high-rise buildings or the manufacture, han­
dling, and storage of flammable materials.
Fire protection engineers in the field use
these research findings to identify hazards
and devise ways to correct them. For exam­
ple, new findings concerning flashpoints (the
temperatures at which different materials
will ignite) are valuable to the engineer de­
signing storage facilities in a chemical plant.
Like safety engineers, fire protection engi­
neers may have different job duties depend­
ing on where they work. One who works for
a fire equipment manufacturing company
may design new fire protection devices, while
engineers in consulting firms work with ar­
chitects and others to insure that fire safety
is built into new structures. In contrast, fire
protection engineers working for insurance
rating bureaus (organizations that calculate
basic costs of insurance coverage in particu­
lar areas) inspect private, commercial, and
industrial properties to evaluate the ade­
quacy of fire protection for the entire area.
Many fire protection engineers have special
expertise in one area or more of fire protec­
tion, such as sprinkler or fire detection sys­
Losses in the workplace cannot be reduced
without measures to eliminate hazards to
workers’ health. Designing and maintaining
a healthful work environment are the respon­
sibilities of industrial hygienists (D.O.T.
079.161-010). These health professionals are
concerned with how noise, dust, vapors, and
other hazards common to the industrial set­
ting affect workers’ health. After a problem
is detected, perhaps by analyzing employee
medical records, the industrial hygienist at
the job site may take air samples, monitor
noise levels, or measure radioactivity levels in
the areas under investigation.
Other industrial hygienists work in private

industrial safety, mechanical or chemical en­
gineering, or fire protection engineering,
often is helpful in getting a good job. Many
employers prefer applicants with a graduate
degree in areas such as industrial hygiene,
public health, safety engineering, or occupa­
tional safety and health engineering, or those
with prior industrial work experience. Some
employers will hire graduates of 2-year col­
lege curriculums as technicians, particularly
if they have work experience related to the

Safety engineers inspect plant machinery for potential hazards.

laboratories or in those maintained by large
insurance companies or industrial firms.
Laboratory hygienists analyze air samples,
do research on the reliability of health equip­
ment such as respirators, or investigate the
effects of exposure to chemicals or radiation.
Some hygienists specialize in problems of air
and water pollution. For example, these
health professionals may work with govern­
ment officials, environmental groups, labor
organizations, and plant management to de­
velop a system to screen harmful substances
before they enter and pollute a river.
Loss control and occupational health con­
sultants (D.O.T. 168.167-078) in propertyliability insurance companies perform many
services for their clients. These range from
correcting a single hazard in a small business
to devising a program to eliminate or reduce
all losses arising out of a large firm’s opera­
tion. When dealing with a new account, the
consultant makes a thorough inspection of
the plant and then confers with management
to formulate a program that meets the com­
pany’s needs. The consultant may, for exam­
ple, help set up plant health programs and
medical services, assist plant personnel to in­
sure that a new facility meets all safety re­
quirements, or train plant safety people.
Safety and health consultants also help their
company’s underwriters determine whether a
risk is acceptable and the amount of premium
to charge.

Working Conditions
Although occupational safety and health
workers are based in offices, much of their
time is spent at work sites inspecting or
studying safety hazards, talking to workers,
or taking air or dust samples. Safety and
health workers may have to travel a great
deal if they don’t work exclusively at a single
plant. The amount of travel required depends

upon job specialty and geographic location.
For example, the plant safety engineer may
travel only to seminars and conferences,
while the insurance consultant may spend
about half the time traveling between work­
sites. Usually, a car is furnished or workers
are reimbursed for the expenses of using their
own vehicles.

Places of Employment
An estimated 80,000 persons were engaged
in occupational safety and health work in
1978. About half of them were safety engi­
neers, and most of the rest were fire protec­
tion engineers, industrial hygienists, or work­
ers who divided their time between two or
more of these areas. A relatively small num­
ber of occupational safety and health workers
were employed as technicians.
The largest numbers of occupational safety
and health workers were employed by manu­
facturing firms, although they were em­
ployed by firms in most other industries as
well. Property and liability insurance compa­
nies employ many safety and health workers
to provide engineering, consulting, and in­
spection services to their clients. Others
worked for a variety of industrial, manufac­
turing, and commercial concerns.
Occupational safety and health workers
are generally employed in population and in­
dustrial centers. Insurance consultants gen­
erally have their headquarters in a region’s
major city and travel to and from the sites
they visit.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Entry level safety and health professionals
generally need at least a bachelor’s degree in
engineering or science. A more specialized
degree, such as one in safety management,

Continuing education is necessary to stay
abreast of changing technologies, new ideas,
and emerging trends. Many insurance com­
panies offer training seminars and correspon­
dence courses for their staffs. The Occupa­
tional Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) conducts courses for safety and
health workers on topics such as occupa­
tional injury investigation and radiological
health hazards. The recognized marks of
achievement in the field are the designations
Certified Safety Professional; Certified In­
dustrial Hygienist; and Member, Society of
Fire Protection Engineers. Certification is
conferred by the Board of Certified Safety
Professionals and the American Board of In­
dustrial Hygiene, after the candidate com­
pletes the required experience and passes an
examination. A small number of States re­
quire that occupational safety and health
professionals be licensed.
In addition to possessing technical compe­
tence, safety and health workers must be able
to communicate well and motivate others.
They should be able to adapt quickly to dif­
ferent situations, being equally at ease with a
representative of a local union, a supervisor
in the welding shop, or a corporate executive.
Because physical activity is basic to the job,
good physical condition is necessary.
In the insurance industry, safety and
health workers can be promoted to depart­
ment manager in a small branch office, move
up to larger branch offices, and finally take
an executive position in the home office. In
industrial firms, they can advance to plant
safety and health manager or corporate man­
ager over several plants. Although extensive
experience is required, technicians can ad­
vance to professional safety and health posi­

Employment Outlook
Employment of safety and health workers
is expected to increase faster than the average
for all occupations through the 1980’s as con­
cern grows for occupational safety and health
and consumer safety. Many openings will
arise also to replace workers who die, retire,
or leave their jobs for other reasons.
Much of the employment growth is ex­
pected to occur in industrial and manufactur­
ing firms. Many firms now without a safety
and health program are expected to establish
one, and others will upgrade and expand ex­
isting programs in response to government
requirements, union interest, and rising in­


surance costs. The number of safety and
health workers in casualty insurance compa­
nies also will increase as more small employ­
ers request the services of their insurer’s en­
gineering or loss control department. Pros­
pects should be best for graduates of occupa­
tional safety or health curriculums and
persons with graduate degrees in related

Related Occupations
Occupational safety and health workers
are responsible for seeing that industrial
production is carried out in a manner that
is safe for workers. Related occupations
also concerned with the technology of pro­
duction include mechanical, chemical,
product safety, industrial, and pollutioncontrol engineers.

Career information concerning fire protec­
tion engineering may be obtained from:

Sources of Additional Information

The National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health of the U.S. Public Health
Service provides general information on re­
quirements for various careers in the occupa­
tional safety and health field, as well as lists
of college and universities that award degrees
in the various occupational safety and health
disciplines. This information is available

Occupational safety and health workers
had median salaries of $27,000 a year in
1978, more than twice the average earnings
for nonsupervisory workers in private indus­
try, except farming. Safety and health work­
ers were paid average starting salaries of
$14,500 a year in 1978. Those with a gradu­
ate degree usually received higher starting
salaries, and technicians somewhat lower
ones. Many safety and health workers with
supervisory responsibilities earned more than
$30,000 a year.


American Industrial Hygiene Association, 475
Wolf Ledges Pkwy., Ohio 44311.

For general information about safety ca­
reers, write to:
American Society of Safety Engineers, 850 Busse
Hwy., Park Ridge, 111. 60068.

Information is also available from the Soci­
ety on colleges and universities offering de­
gree programs in the occupational safety and
health field.
Information concerning a career in indus­
trial hygiene is available from:

Society of Fire Protection Engineers, 60 Batterymarch St., Boston, Mass. 02110.

Career information on insurance loss con­
trol consulting is available from the home
offices of many property-liability insurance

Division of Training and Manpower Development,
National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 4676 Co­
lumbia Pkwy., Cincinnati, Ohio 45226.

Other Service Occupations

Mail Carriers
(D.O.T. 230.363-010 and .367-010)

Nature of the Work
Most mail carriers travel planned routes
delivering and collecting mail. Carriers start
work at the post office early in the morning,
where they spend a few hours arranging their
mail for delivery and taking care of other
A carrier may cover the route on foot, by
vehicle, or by a combination of both. On foot,
carriers tote a heavy load of mail in a satchel
or push it in a cart. In outlying suburban or
rural areas, a car or small truck is used to
deliver mail. Residential carriers cover their
routes only once a day, but carriers assigned
to a business district may make two trips a
day. Deliveries are made house-to-house, to
roadside mailboxes, and to large buildings,
such as apartments, which have all the mail­
boxes on the first floor.
Besides making deliveries, carriers col­
lect postage-due and c.o.d. cash on deliv­
ery fees and obtain signed receipts for reg­
istered, certified, and, sometimes, 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 and homes.
They turn in the mail receipts and money
collected during the day and may separate
letters and parcels so that they can be can­
celed easily.
Many carriers have more specialized du­
ties. Some deliver only parcel post while oth­
ers collect mail from street boxes and office
mail chutes. In contrast, rural carriers pro­
vide a wide variety of postal services. In addi­
tion to delivering and picking up mail, they
sell stamps and money orders and accept par­
cels and letters to be registered or insured.
All carriers answer customers’ questions
about postal regulations and service and pro­
vide change-of-address cards and other
postal forms when requested.

Working Conditions
Most carriers begin work early in the
morning, in some cases as early as 4 a.m. if
they have routes in the business district. Car­
riers spend most of their time outdoors in all
kinds of weather delivering mail. Even those
who drive often must walk when making
deliveries and must lift heavy sacks of parcel
post when loading their vehicles.

Mail carriers often tote mail in a heavy satchel when making deliveries on foot.

The job, however, has its advantages. Car­
riers who begin work early in the morning
are through by early afternoon. They are also
free to work at their own pace as long as they
cover their routes within a certain period of

Places of Employment
The U.S. Postal Service employed 245,000
mail carriers in 1978, three-quarters of them
full time. Although about 50,000 were rural
carriers, most worked in cities and suburban
communities throughout the Nation.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Mail carriers must be U.S. citizens and at
least 18 years old. They must qualify on a
written examination that tests their clerical
accuracy and abilities to memorize mail dis­
tribution systems, read, and do simple arith­
If the carrier job involves driving, appli­
cants must have a driver’s license, a good
driving record, and pass a road test. Before
appointment, mail carriers must pass a physi­
cal examination and may be asked to show
that they can lift and handle mail sacks
weighing up to 70 pounds.
Applicants for mail carrier jobs should
apply at a post office in the general area
where they wish to work. Applicants’ names
are listed in order of their examination
scores. Five points are added to the score of

an honorably discharged veteran, and ten
points to the score of a veteran wounded in
combat or 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 open­
Mail carriers are classified as casual,
part-time flexible, part-time regular, or full
time. Casual workers are not career em­
ployees, but are hired to help deliver mail
during peak mailing periods of the year.
Part-time flexible carriers are career em­
ployees who do not have a regular work
schedule, but replace absent workers and
help with extra work as the need arises.
Part-time flexible carriers sometimes work
as many as 40 hours per week. Part-time
regulars have a set work schedule—for ex­
ample, 4 hours a day. Full-time carriers
usually work a 40-hour week.
New carriers are trained on the job.
They may begin as part-time flexible city
carriers and become regular or full-time
carriers in order of seniority as vacancies
occur. Advancement possibilities are lim­
ited, but carriers can look forward to ob­
taining preferred routes or higher level jobs
such as carrier technician as their seniority

Employment Outlook
Employment of mail carriers is expected
to increase more slowly than the average

for all occupations through the 1980’s. Al­
though the number of homes and business
establishments is expected to increase
along with growth in population and busi­
ness activity, anticipated cutbacks in the
frequency of mail delivery should limit the
need for additional carriers. Nevertheless,
thousands of job openings will result from
the need to replace experienced carriers
who retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations. Openings will be concentrated in
metropolitan areas.

In 1978, experienced full-time mail carri­
ers earned an average salary of $17,168 a
year, about one and one-half times as much
as average earnings for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
Full-time carriers started at a rate of $14,603
a year and could rise to a maximum of $17,188 after 8 years. They also received 10 per­
cent additional pay for work between 6 p.m.
and 6 a.m. Part-time flexible carriers began at
$7.27 an hour in 1978, with provision for
periodic increases up to $8.56 an hour after
8 years of satisfactory service.
The earnings of rural carriers are deter­
mined through an evaluation of the amount
of work required to service their particular
routes. Carriers with longer, more populated
routes generally earned more than those with
shorter routes that served fewer homes.
Rural carriers also received an equipment
maintenance allowance for the use of their
automobiles. They work either a 5-or a 6-day
week. For information on fringe benefits, see
the statement on postal service occupations
elsewhere in the Handbook.

Related Occupations
Although mail carriers play an impor­
tant role in moving the Nation’s mail,
postal clerks and mailhandlers also provide
necessary services, and their work and
qualifications are closely related to those of
mail carriers. Other related delivery occu­
pations include messengers, merchandise
delivers, delivery-route truck drivers, news­
paper delivery drivers, and newspaper car­

Sources of Additional Information
Local post offices and State employment
service offices can supply details about en­
trance examinations and employment oppor­
tunities for mail carriers.

Telephone Operators
Nature of the Work
Although millions of telephone numbers
are dialed directly each day, making a call
sometimes requires the assistance of a tele­
phone operator. Often an operator is needed
because a caller wants to reverse long-dis­ OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In many telephone company central offices, manual switchboards have been replaced
with sophisticated computerized equipment.

tance charges, find out a telephone number in
another city, or know the cost of a call. Oper­
ators also may be needed to contact the police
or fire departments in an emergency or ar­
range a conference call for business execu­
Providing these services are two groups
of telephone operators. The operators who
work in telephone company central offices
probably are the most familiar. But many
business and large organizations receive so
many calls that they employ operators to
run their private branch exchange (PBX)
switchboards. Sometimes operators place
calls by inserting and removing plugs that
make switchboard connections and by lis­
tening and speaking into their headsets.
However, many switchboards, especially
those in telephone company central offices,
are now operated by pushbuttons or dials.
Telephone company operators may be as­
signed either to handle long-distance calls or
to give directory assistance. Long-distance
operators (D.O.T. 235.462-010) obtain the
information needed to complete the call,
make the necessary connections, and record
the details for billing. Directory assistance op­
erators (D.O.T. 235.662-018) look up and
provide telephone numbers. Service assist­
ants train and help new operators to com­
plete difficult calls.
PBX operators (D.O.T. 235.662-022) run
switchboards for business offices and other
establishments. They connect interoffice or
house calls, answer and relay outside calls,
assist company employees in making out­
going calls, supply information to callers,
and record charges. In many small estab­
lishments, PBX operators work at switch­
boards that serve only a limited number of
telephones. These operators may do other

office work such as typing or sorting mail
and many also act as receptionists or infor­
mation clerks. (The work of receptionists is
described elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Working Conditions
Most telephone company and PBX oper­
ators work between 35 and 40 hours a
week. Often, their scheduled hours are the
same as those of other office clerical work­
ers. In telephone companies, however, and
in hotels, hospitals, and other places where
telephone service is needed on a 24-hour
basis, operators work on shifts and on
holidays and weekends. Some operators
work split shifts—that is, they are on duty
during the peak calling periods in the late
morning and early evening and have time
off in between.
Operators usually work in pleasant, welllighted, air-conditioned surroundings. The
job of a telephone operator requires little
physical exertion; however, during the
peak calling periods, the pace at the
switchboard may be very hectic. Often op­
erators are unable to leave their seats dur­
ing these periods.

Places of Employment
About 310,000 telephone operators were
employed in 1978. More than one-half
worked as PBX operators in manufacturing
plants, hospitals, department stores, or busi­
nesses. The remainder worked in telephone
companies. About one-fourth of all operators
work only part time.
Both telephone company and PBX opera­
tors are concentrated in heavily populated
areas. Nearly one-fifth work in the New York
City, Chicago, and Los Angeles metropolitan

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Persons planning to become telephone op­
erators should like to serve the public, be
pleasant and courteous, and not mind sitting
for long periods. A clear and pleasing voice
and good hearing also are important. Many
telephone companies and business firms re­
quire applicants, including operators, to pass
a physical examination. High school courses
in speech, office practices, and business math
provide a helpful background for persons in­
terested in this occupation.
New operators are taught on the job how
to use the equipment and keep records of
calls. Once they have learned the procedure,
they put through practice calls. Instruction
and practice usually last from 1 to 3 weeks.
Operators then are assigned to regular opera­
tor jobs and receive further instruction from
PBX operators who handle routine calls
may have a somewhat shorter training period
than telephone company operators. In large
businesses, an instructor from the local tele­
phone company may train new employees.
Experienced telephone company operators
may be promoted to supervisory jobs or
transfer to clerical occupations such as secre­
tary or bookkeeper. They also may have the
opportunity to advance to craft jobs such as
telephone installers and repairers. PBX oper­
ators in large firms may advance to more
responsible clerical positions; however, in
many small businesses, opportunities for ad­
vancement usually are limited.

Employment Outlook
Employment of telephone and PBX opera­
tors as a group is expected to decline slightly
through the 1980’s. Nevertheless, thousands

of full-time and part-time workers will be
hired each year to replace experienced opera­
tors who die, retire, or stop working for other
reasons. Many other openings will result
from the need to replace operators who ad­
vance to other occupations.
Employment of telephone company opera­
tors is expected to decline more than employ­
ment of PBX operators. As more telephone
companies start charging customers for di­
rectory assistance and information calls,
more people will dial numbers directly and
use telephone directories to locate unknown
numbers, thus reducing the need for opera­
tors. Also, technological improvements will
limit the employment of operators. For ex­
ample, more telephone companies are install­
ing electronic switching systems in their cen­
tral offices, thus reducing the need for
manual switching of calls. In addition, traffic
service position systems are being added,
which automatically feed data about each tel­
ephone connection, such as the length and
cost of the call, into a computer that pro­
cesses the billing statements. Formerly this
information was tabulated by an operator
and then transferred to the statement.
Even though more small businesses will
require PBX services, employment growth of
PBX operators will be limited as many large
businesses convert to Central Exchange
(CENTREX). With CENTREX, incoming
and outgoing calls can be dialed directly
without an operator’s assistance.

Telephone company operators in training
averaged $4.31 an hour in 1978; experienced
operators, $6.24; service assistants, $7.25;
and supervisors or chief operators, $10.20.
Contracts between unions and telephone
companies generally provide for periodic pay

increases and extra pay for work on evenings,
Sundays, and holidays. Earnings of ex­
perienced telephone operators are about the
same as the average for all nonsupervisory
workers in private industry, except farming.
Insurance, pension programs, holidays,
vacations, and other benefits are much the
same as those for other types of clerical em­
ployees. For specific information about bene­
fits for telephone company operators, see the
statement on the telephone industry else­
where in the Handbook.
Many operators employed by telephone
companies are members of the Communica­
tions Workers of America, the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the
Telecommunications International Union.

Related Occupations
Other workers whose main activity con­
sists of orally providing information and ser­
vices to the general public include customer
service representatives, dispatchers, hotel
clerks, information clerks, police aides,
receptionists, reservations agents, taxicab
starters, and travel clerks.

Sources of Additional Information
For more details about employment op­
portunities, contact the telephone company
in your community or local offices of the
unions that represent telephone workers. For
general information on telephone operator
jobs, write to:
Telecommunications International Union, P.O.
Box 5462, Hamden, Conn. 16518.
United States Independent Telephone Association,
1801 K St. NW„ Suite 1201, Washington, D.C.


The importance of an education has grown
considerably since the birth of our Nation.
Once primarily an agrarian economy, we
have evolved into a highly sophisticated,
technical, and urban society. Machinery and
products never envisioned before are con­
stantly being invented, calling for new jobs
and skills to produce and use them. As a
result, more educated workers are needed to


fill a variety of positions at all levels of soci­
In addition, as our economy has pros­
pered, it has allowed people more time for
personal development and leisure. No longer
required to labor from early morning until
dusk, workers have sought new avenues for
personal enrichment. Adult education and

craft courses, for example, draw increasingly
larger numbers of interested students.
Teachers, teacher aides, and librarians
play vital roles in the education of people of
all ages. In large urban classrooms or rural
county libraries, teachers and librarians are
the people we turn to for information. These
occupations are discussed in the following

Teaching Occupations
Most people would agree that education is
a life-long process. At every age we learn
from our friends, family, and associates. We
also teach others along the way, often unwit­
tingly. But perhaps our most influential edu­
cational experiences occur during the years
of formal education. During those years, stu­
dents learn the skills to function in the world
around them. They learn about their own
interests and goals as they explore many sub­
jects. They also make career decisions and
train for productive work. Most significantly,
they learn to think for themselves.
Today, about 3 million teachers are in­
volved at all levels of this educational pro­
cess. Teachers work with people of all ages in
a variety of different subjects. Some teach
youngsters in their first years away from
home, while others work primarily with
adults who are taking courses for recreation,
personal fulfillment, or to increase their jobrelated skills. Some teachers are members of
other professions and instruct part time.
Detailed information on teaching occupa­
tions and the outlook for teachers through
the 1980’s is presented in the following state­

Kindergarten and
Elementary School
(D.O.T. 092.227-010 and -014)

Nature of the Work
Kindergarten and elementary school
teachers play a vital role in the development
of children. What is learned or not learned in
these early years can, to a large measure,
shape students’ views of themselves, the
world, and the process of education.
Kindergarten and elementary school
teachers must introduce children to the basic
concepts of mathematics, language, science,
and social studies to provide a sound founda­
tion for more advanced study in the higher
grades. They also try to instill good study and
work habits and an appreciation for learning,
while closely watching and evaluating each
child’s performance and potential.
Elementary school teachers often devise
creative means to present specific subject
matter. They may use films, slides, comput­
ers, or develop instructional games. They
also arrange class trips, speakers, and class
projects. All of this work takes much time
and effort, often after the regular school day.
Teachers also are concerned with the so­

cial development and health of their stu­
dents. They study each child’s interactions
with classmates and discuss any problems
with the parents. Teachers may, for example,
meet with the parents of a child who habitu­
ally resists authority to discover the cause
and work out a solution. Teachers also report
any possible health problems to parents and
school health officials. The teacher’s primary
concern is to insure that each child receives
as much personalized help as possible.
Most elementary school teachers instruct a
single group of children in several subjects.
In some schools, two or more teachers team
teach and are jointly responsible for a group
of students or for a particular subject. An
increasing number of elementary school
teachers specialize in one or two subjects and
teach these subjects to several classes. Some
teach special subjects such as music, art, or
physical education, while others teach basic
subjects such as English, mathematics, or so­
cial studies.
Teachers participate in many activities
outside the classroom. They generally must
attend regularly scheduled faculty meetings
and may serve on faculty committees, such as
those to revise curricula, or to evaluate the
school’s objectives and the student’s perform­
ance. Teachers also may supervise after
school activities such as glee clubs, drama
clubs, or arts and crafts classes. To stay upto-date on educational materials and teach­
ing techniques, they participate in workshops
and other in-service activities and take
courses at local colleges and universities.

A growing number of elementary school
teachers have aides to do secretarial work
and help supervise lunch and playground ac­
tivities. As a result, teachers can be free from
routine duties to give more individual atten­
tion to students.

Working Conditions
In addition to hours spent with classes,
teachers must spend time preparing lessons,
grading papers, making reports, attending
meetings, and supervising extracurricular ac­
tivities. As a result, most teachers end up
working well over 40 hours a week. Because
the individual needs of each student put
many demands on a teacher’s time, teaching
can be both physically and emotionally ex­
In addition to their regular assignments,
some elementary school teachers teach sum­
mer sessions, take courses, or work at other
jobs, such as camp counseling. Most elemen­
tary school teachers work a traditional 2semester, 10-month school year. Some, how­
ever, work in year-round schools where they
work 8-week sessions, are off 1 week between
sessions, and have a longer midwinter break.
This type of schedule may make finding addi­
tional employment ouside the school system
Teachers spend much of their time stand­
ing, walking, kneeling, or even sitting on the
floor. For example, kindergarten teachers
may join their students on the floor to finger
paint, cut out pictures, or do other crafts.
Employment in teaching is fairly steady.


Population trends rather than business con­
ditions affect the market for teachers.
Most States have tenure laws—laws that
ensure the jobs of teachers who have taught
successfully for a certain number of years. In
25 States, tenure status is achieved automati­
cally if the probationary period is completed
and the teacher’s contract has not been ter­
minated. In States where tenure status is not
achieved automatically, teachers who have
completed a probationary period are re­
quired to negotiate a new contract.

Places of Employment
Over 1.3 million people worked as elemen­
tary school teachers in 1978. Most elemen­
tary school teachers work in public schools
that have six grades; however, some teach in
middle schools which cover the 3 or 4 years
between the lower elementary grades and 4

years of high school. Only about 12 percent
of elementary school teachers work in non­
public schools.
A large proportion of all public elementary
school teachers teach in urban areas.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
All 50 States and the District of Columbia
require public elementary school teachers to
be certified by the department of education in
the State in which they work. Some States
also require teachers in private and parochial
schools to be certified.
To qualify for certification, a teacher must
have a bachelor’s degree from an institution
with an approved teacher education pro­
gram. Besides a bachelor’s degree, which
provides the necessary liberal arts back­

ground, States require that prospective teach­
ers have student-teaching and other educa­
tion courses. In 1978, 23 States rqguired
teachers to have graduate degrees. However,
this requirement was often coupled with
provisions concerning continuing education.
Thirty States had continuing education re­
quirements for teachers in 1978. Some States
required U.S. citizenship; some an oath of
allegiance; and several a health certificate.
Only one State, Florida, had a residency re­
Local school systems sometimes have ad­
ditional requirements for employment. Stu­
dents should write to the local superinten­
dent of schools and to the State department
of education for information on specific re­
quirements in the area where they want to
In addition to meeting educational and
certification requirements, teachers should
be creative, dependable, and patient. Most
important, they should want to be directly
involved in the educational and emotional
development of children. Competence in
handling classroom situations also is impor­
As a teacher gains experience, he or she
may advance within a school system or trans­
fer to another which recognizes experience
and has a higher salary scale. Some teachers
may advance to supervisory, administrative,
or specialized positions. Often, however,
these positions require additional training
and certification. As a result, for most teach­
ers, advancement consists of higher pay
rather than more responsibility or a higher

Employment Outlook
Kindgergarten and elementary school
teachers may face competition for jobs of
their choice through the 1980’s. If the pattern
continues in line with past trends, the num­
ber of persons qualified to teach in elemen­
tary schools will approximate the number of
The basic sources of teacher supply are
recent college graduates qualified to teach at
the elementary level and teachers seeking
reentry to the profession. Reentrants, al­
though more experienced, will face increas­
ing competition from new graduates, who
command lower salaries and have more re­
cent training.
Pupil enrollment is the basic factor under­
lying the need for teachers. Because of fewer
births in the 1960’s, elementary enrollments
have been on the decline since 1967, when
they peaked at nearly 32 million. The Na­
tional Center for Education Statistics pro­
jects that, by 1983, the downward enrollment
trend will halt at a level of 27 million. There­
after, enrollments will advance to nearly 32
million by 1990.

Teachers often must give students individual attention.


Teachers will be needed to fill new posi­
tions created by larger enrollments; to re­
place those who are not now certified; to

meet the expected pressure for an improved
pupil-teacher ratio; and to fill positions
vacated by teachers who retire, die, or leave
the profession for other reasons.
A decline in the projected number of chil­
dren bom over the next decade could lessen
the demand for teachers. While the trend has
not been clearly established, since 1970
women have continued to have fewer chil­
dren, and according to a recent survey, they
expect to continue having smaller families
than were common 10 years ago. However,
the number of births is expected to rise as a
result of the growing number of women en­
tering the childbearing years.
Several factors could alter the outlook for
teachers. Increased emphasis on early child­
hood education, on special programs for
disadvantaged children, and on individual in­
struction may result in larger enrollments,
smaller student-teacher ratios, and conse­
quently an increased need for teachers. Possi­
ble budget contraints, on the other hand,
might limit expansion of educational ser­

According to the National Education As­
sociation, public elementary school teachers
averaged $14,669 a year in 1978-79. Average
earnings in 1978 were about one and onethird times the average earnings for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Generally, States in the
Northeast and in the West paid the highest
Collective bargaining agreements cover an
increasingly large number of teachers. In
1978, 31 States had enacted laws that re­
quired collective bargaining in teacher con­
tract negotiations. Most public school sys­
tems that enroll 1,000 students or more
bargain with teacher organizations over
wages, hours, and the terms and conditions
of employment.

Related Occupations
Kindergarten and elementary school
teaching requires a wide variety of skills and
aptitudes, including organizational and ad­
ministrative abilities, a talent for working
with children, communication skills, the
power to influence, motivate, and train oth­
ers, recordkeeping expertise, creativity, and
leadership ability. Other occupations that
make use of some or all of these aptitudes
include administrative officers; child care at­
tendants; education and training managers
for government or private industry; employ­
ment interviewers; encyclopedia research
workers; lawyers; librarians; newswriters;
personnel managers; public relations repre­
sentatives; records managers; sales repre­
sentatives; social workers; and career, voca­
tional, or school counselors.

systems and State departments of educa­
For information on the Teacher Corps,
Teacher Corps, U.S. Department of Education,
400 Maryland Ave. SW., Washington, D.C. 20202.

Other sources of general information are:
American Federation of Teachers, 11 Dupont Cir­
cle, Fifth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036.
National Education Association, 1201 16th St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

meetings with parents and school personnel.
Often they work with student groups outside
of class to help solve specific problems.
Teachers also participate in workshops and
college classes to keep up-to-date on their
subject specialty and on current trends in ed­
In recent years, teachers have been able to
spend more time teaching due to the in­
creased availability of teacher aides who per­
form secretarial work, grade papers, and do
other routine tasks.

Working Conditions

Secondary School
(D.O.T. 091. except -107)

Nature of the Work
The high school years are the years of tran­
sition from childhood to young adulthood.
They are the years when students delve more
deeply into subject matter introduced in ele­
mentary school and learn more about them­
selves and the world. It is also a time of
preparation for their future lives as citizens
and jobholders. Secondary school teachers
have a direct role in this process.
The primary function of the secondary
school teacher is to instruct students in a
specific subject, such as English, mathemat­
ics, social studies, or science. Within a
teacher’s specialized subject area, he or she
may teach a variety of courses. A social stud­
ies teacher, for example, may instruct two
9th grade classes in American History, two
12th grade classes in Contemporary Ameri­
can Problems, and another class in World
Geography. For each class, the teacher devel­
ops lesson plans, prepares and gives examina­
tions, and arranges other activities, such as a
class project to devise an urban redevelop­
ment plan for the city.
T eachers also m ust design their classroom

presentations to meet the individual needs
and abilities of their students. They may ar­
range tutoring for students, or give advanced
assignments for highly motivated pupils.
Recognizing the needs of each student can be
difficult because most teachers conduct five
separate classes a day.
Teachers use a variety of instructional
materials including films, slides, and com­
puter terminals. They also may arrange for
speakers or trips to supplement their class­
room lectures, such as a visit to the planetar­
ium after a discussion of the earth’s rotation.

In addition to hours spent with their
classes, teachers must spend time preparing
lessons, grading papers, making reports, at­
tending meetings, and supervising extracur­
ricular activities. As a result, most teachers
end up working well over 40 hours a week.
Teaching involves long periods of standing
and talking and can be both physically and
mentally tiring. Dealing with disruptive stu­
dents can also be emotionally exhausting.
While many teachers work the traditional
10-month school year with a 2-month vaca­
tion, some school districts have converted to
a year-round schedule. Teachers on this type
of schedule may work 8 weeks, be on vaca­
tion for 1 week, and have a 5-week midwinter
The District of Columbia and most States
have tenure laws—laws that ensure the jobs
of teachers who have taught successfully for
a certain number of years. In 25 States, ten­
ure status is achieved automatically if the
probationary period is completed and the
teacher’s contract has not been terminated.
In States where tenure status is not achieved
automatically, teachers who have completed
a probationary period are required to negoti­
ate a new contract.

Places of Employment
In 1978, more than 1 million teachers
taught in secondary schools. More than 90
percent of them taught in public schools. Al­
though they work in all parts of the country,
teachers are concentrated in cities and in sub­
urban areas.
According to a recent survey, slightly
more than one-half of all public secondary
school teachers teach in senior high schools;
about one-third teach at the junior high level.
About one-tenth teach in junior-senior high
schools, and a very small number are elemen­
tary-secondary combination teachers.

Training, Other Qualifications, and

Sources of Additional Information

Some teachers teach courses, such as weld­
ing, auto mechanics, or distributive educa­
tion, which train students for specific jobs
after graduation. These teachers instruct
with the actual tools of the trade, whether
they be adding machines or an 8-cylinder car

All 50 States and the District of Columbia
require public secondary school teachers to
be certified. Many States also require certifi­
cation of secondary teachers in private and
parochial schools.

Information on schools and certification
requirements is available from local school

Secondary school teachers also supervise
study halls and homerooms, and attend

In 1978, 23 States required graduate de­
grees for initial certification. However, this


requirement was often coupled with provi­
sions concerning continuing education.
Thirty States required continuing education
of teachers in 1978.
The educational requirements for second­
ary school teachers vary by State and by
school system. Approved colleges and uni­
versities in every State offer programs that
include the education courses and the stu­
dent-teaching that States require. They also
offer the academic courses that are necessary
to qualify teachers in the various subject spe­
cialties taught at the secondary level.

increasing proportion of prospective teachers
will have to consider alternatives to second­
ary school teaching.
Although the overall outlook for second­
ary teachers indicates a highly competitive
market, employment conditions may be more
favorable in certain fields. Education of the
gifted and talented, special and vocational
education, mathematics, natural sciences,
and physical sciences should not experience
as large an oversupply as some other subjects.


States and local jurisdictions often have
general requirements for teachers, such as
the recommendation of the college, a certifi­
cate of health, and U.S. citizenship. Prospec­
tive teachers may get complete information
on educational and general requirements
from each State department of education and
from the superintendent of schools in each

According to the National Education As­
sociation, public secondary school teachers
averaged $15,474 per year in 1979. This is
one and one-half times the average for nonsupervisory workers in private industry, ex­
cept farming. Generally, salaries were higher
in the Northeast and in the West than they
were in the Southeast and in the Midwestern

Aside from educational requirements, a
secondary school teacher must want to work
with young people, have an interest in a spe­
cial subject, and have the ability to motivate
students and to relate knowledge to them.

Collective bargaining agreements cover an
increasingly large number of teachers. In
1978, 31 States had enacted laws that re­
quired collective bargaining in teacher con­
tract negotiations.

Education and experience provide the pri­
mary basis for advancement, usually in the
form of higher salaries rather than a different
job. Advancement to supervisory and ad­
ministrative positions usually requires at
least 1 year of professional education beyond
the bachelor’s degree and several years of
successful classroom teaching. Only a small
proportion of secondary school teachers,
however, advance to administrative posi­

In some schools, teachers receive supple­
mentary pay for such school-related activi­
ties as coaching sports and working with stu­
dents in extracurricular activities, such as
music, dramatics, or school publications.

Some public school teachers also work in
their school systems during the summer.
Others hold summer jobs outside the school

Related Occupations
Secondary school teaching requires a wide
variety of skills and aptitudes, including or­
ganizational and administrative talents; re­
search abilities; communication skills; the
power to influence, motivate, and train oth­
ers; recordkeeping expertise; creativity; help­
fulness; and leadership ability. Other occupa­
tions which make use of some or all of these
aptitudes include: Administrative officers;
career, vocational, or school counselors; edu­
cation and training managers for government
or private industry; employment interview­
ers; encyclopedia research workers; lawyers;
librarians; newswriters; personnel managers;
public relations representatives; records
managers; sales representatives; and social
workers. Other related occupations include
those in the particular subject field in which
the teacher is trained.

Sources of Additional Information
Information on schools and certification
requirements is available from local school
systems and State departments of education.
For information on the Teacher Corps,

Some experienced teachers with specific
preparation may work as special school ser­
vice personnel, such as school psychologists,
reading specialists, or guidance counselors.
Often these jobs require special certification
as well as special education.

Employment Outlook
The supply of secondary school teachers
through the 1980’s will greatly exceed an­
ticipated requirements, if past trends con­
tinue. As a result, prospective teachers are
likely to face keen competition for jobs.
The prime sources of teacher supply are
recent college graduates qualified to teach
secondary school and teachers seeking to re­
enter the profession. Although reentrants
have experience in their favor, many schools
may prefer to hire new graduates who com­
mand lower salaries and whose training is
more recent.
Pupil enrollment is the basic factor under­
lying the demand for teachers. The National
Center for Education Statistics projects that
enrollment in secondary schools will decline
and, in turn, reduce the demand for teachers.
As a result, over the 1978-90 period, nearly
all teaching positions will stem from the need
to replace teachers who die, retire, or leave
the profession for other reasons. Thus, an


In addition to hours spent in the classroom, teachers must spend time preparing lessons, grading
papers, and supervising extracurricular activities.

Teacher Corps, U.S. Department of Education,
400 Maryland Ave. SW., Washington, D.C. 20202.

Other sources of general information are:
American Federation of Teachers, 11 Dupont Cir­
cle, Fifth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036.
National Education Association, 1201 16th St.
NW„ Washington, D.C. 20036.

College and
University Faculty
(D.O.T. 090.227-010)

Nature of the Work
Each year thousands of Americans enter
college. People attend college for a variety of
reasons. Some view it primarily as an oppor­
tunity for personal enrichment. Many others
seek higher education to obtain the skills they
need for a job. To meet all these needs, col­
leges and universities hire faculty to provide
instruction in many different subjects.
The primary function of the college or uni­
versity faculty member is to present an indepth analysis of a paricular field of study.
Many faculty members conduct several dif­
ferent courses in the same field—freshman
composition and 18th century English litera­
ture, for example. Many instruct under­
graduates only, while some instruct both un­
dergraduates and graduate students. Still
fewer instruct only graduate students. Usu­
ally, the more experienced and educated fac­
ulty members conduct the higher level
College and university faculty members
use various methods to present information,
depending on the subject, interest, and level
of their students. Some conduct lectures in
classrooms that seat hundreds of students
while others lead seminars for only a few
students. Still others work primarily in
laboratories for subjects such as biology, en­
gineering, or chemistry. Some have the aid of
teaching assistants who may lead discussion
sections or grade exams. Closed-circuit tele­
vision, tape recorders, computers, and other
teaching aids frequently are used.
College faculty members must keep up
with developments in their field by reading
current literature, participating in profes­
sional activities, and conducting scholarly re­
search. Writing books or journal articles can
be very important, and some college faculty
members experience a serious conflict be­
tween their responsibilities to their students
and the pressure to “publish or perish.” The
importance of research and publication var­
ies, however. Research usually is stressed
more at major colleges and universities than
at junior and community colleges. A recent
survey indicated that as many as one-fourth
of the faculty in science and engineering de­
partments that offered doctoral degrees were
primarily involved in research and develop­
ment activities.

In addition to teaching, many college teachers participate in professional activities and research.

In addition to time spent on preparation,
instruction, evaluation, and research, college
and university faculty members work with
student organizations and act as student ad­
visors; work with the college administration;
and in other ways serve the institution and
the community. Those who are department
chairpersons have supervisory and adminis­
trative duties.

which faculty members may work, travel,
study, or pursue hobbies, they also have
breaks during other school holidays.

Working Conditions

Places of Employment

College faculty members generally have
flexible schedules, dividing their time among
teaching, research, and administrative re­
sponsibilities. The normal teaching load usu­
ally is heavier in junior and community col­
leges where less emphasis is placed on
scholarly research and publication than in
major universities.

In 1978, about 673,000 faculty members
worked in about 3,200 colleges and universi­
ties. An estimated 441,000 faculty members
were full-time senior staff; about 204,000
were part-time senior staff; and 28,000 were
full-time junior instructors. In addition, there
were thousands of part-time assistant in­
structors, teaching fellows, teaching assist­
ants, or laboratory assistants who aided these
faculty members while studying for their ad­
vanced degrees.

Over 90 percent of all full-time college and
university faculty work in institutions that
have tenure systems (the assurance of con­
tinuing employment with freedom from dis­
missal without cause). Over three-fifths of
those faculty members are tenured. Under a
tenure system, a faculty member usually re­
ceives 1-year contracts during a probationary
period lasting at least 3 years and ordinarily
no more than 7 years; some universities
award 2- or 3-year contracts. After the pro­
bationary period, institutions consider fac­
ulty members for tenure. Due to declining
enrollments and budgetary constraints, how­
ever, faculty members now find it increas­
ingly difficult to gain tenure. Some colleges
and universities are turning more and more
to short-term contracts and to part-time fac­
ulty members to save money and avoid long­
term commitments.
Few professions offer vacation arrange­
ments as attractive as those in college teach­
ing. In addition to summer months during

College faculty share in the growth and
development of students and are constantly
exposed to new ideas. Many persons pursue
teaching careers because of the intangible re­
wards from working in an academic environ­

Public institutions, which amount to less
than one-half of all colleges and universities,
employ over 70 percent of all full-time fac­
ulty. They employ about two-thirds of the
full-time faculty in all universities and 4-year
colleges, and over 90 percent in all 2-year
Nearly one-third of full-time faculty teach
in universities; almost one-half work in 4year colleges; and over one-fifth teach in 2year colleges.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
The overwhelming majority of full-time
college and university faculty are classified in
four academic ranks: Instructors, assistant
professors, associate professors, and profes­
sors. The top three ranks comprise about

three-fourths of full-time faculty. A small
proportion of faculty are classified as lectur­
ers. Most full-time junior and community
college faculty are in institutions that do not
use academic ranks.
Most college faculty enter the profession as
instructors and must have at least a master’s
degree. Because competition for positions is
so keen, however, some colleges and universi­
ties consider only doctoral degree holders for
entry level academic appointments.
Doctoral programs usually require 3-5
years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree,
including intensive research for a doctoral
dissertation which makes an original contri­
bution to the candidate’s field of study. A
working knowledge of one or more foreign
languages and in scientific fields, advanced
mathematical and statistical techniques,
often is required as well. Students should
carefully consider their academic potential
and motivation before beginning doctoral
Advancement through the academic ranks
usually requires a doctorate plus college
teaching experience, even in institutions that
hire master’s degree holders as instructors.
Assistant professors usually have a few years
of prior experience as an instructor, while an
appointment as associate professor fre­
quently requires 3 years or more of experi­
ence as an assistant professor. For a profes­
sorship, extensive teaching experience and
published books and articles that evidence
expertise in one’s discipline usually are essen­
Academic, administrative, or professional
contributions affect advancement opportuni­
ties in this field. Research, publication, con­
sulting work, and other forms of professional
recognition all have a bearing on a college
faculty member’s chances of rising through
the academic ranks.
A special zeal for learning and the desire
and skill to help others learn are necessary
for success. College faculty must have inquir­
ing, analytical minds in order to devote their
lives to the pursuit and dissemination of
knowledge. Since they function both as
teachers and researchers, they must be good
at communicating information and ideas
both orally and in writing. As models for
their students, they must exhibit dedication
to the principles of academic integrity and
intellectual honesty. College faculty must al­
ways be open to new ideas—from their stu­
dents, their peers, and the nonacademic com­

Employment Outlook
The basic factor underlying the demand
for college faculty is enrollment. During the
1960’s and most of the 1970’s, enrollments
rose and employment of college faculty in­
creased. The steady rise in the number of
persons attending college reflected not only
growth in the number of 18- to 21-year-olds,
but an increase in the proportion of collegeage persons who actually went to college. In
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

recent years, a growing number of adults
have entered college. Although the outlook
for college enrollments during the 1980’s is
uncertain, they are likely to decline. Com­
pared to the recent past, there will be many
fewer people of college age, and enrollments
by adults are not expected to make up the
difference. Fewer students during the 1980’s
almost certainly would mean some decrease
in employment of college faculty over the
As a result, job openings for college faculty
will result almost entirely from replacement
needs. In any given academic institution, the
number of vacancies will be influenced by the
age of current faculty, tenure patterns and
policies, and retirement practices.
Competition for these openings will be ex­
tremely keen, particularly for faculty posi­
tions in the largest and most outstanding in­
stitutions. The number of Ph. D. recipients
alone will exceed greatly the number of open­
ings for college faculty through the 1980’s.
Many graduates who succeed in finding aca­
demic jobs may have to accept appointments
that offer little or no hope of gaining tenure.
Preference for faculty candidates with a
doctorate will continue to be much stronger
in 4-year institutions than in 2-year institu­
tions. Because of possible enrollment declines
and budgetary constraints, however, some 4year institutions may find it more economical
to hire some new faculty members at the
master’s degree level. At 2-year institutions,
the education and training required for at­
tainment of the doctorate often is not consid­
ered advantageous for a person whose pri­
mary task will be teaching undergraduates.
Throughout the 1980’s, an increasing pro­
portion of prospective college faculty mem­
bers will have to seek nonacademic jobs.
Government and private industry will pro­
vide such positions, for the most part. How­
ever, some persons holding graduate degrees

may find it necessary to enter occupations
that have not traditionally required a mas­
ter’s degree or a Ph. D.

Earnings vary widely according to faculty
rank and type of institution. In general, faculty members in 4-year institutions average
higher salaries than those in 2-year schools.
According to a 1977-78 survey, salaries for
all full-time faculty on 9-month contracts
averaged around $18,700; professors, $25,100; associate professors, $19,000; assistant
professors, $15,500; and instructors, $12,500.
Many institutions pay according to salary
schedules determined by rank. On the aver­
age, more faculty in public than in private
institutions are covered by these schedules.
In institutions without schedules, a college
senate often determines salaries according to
a general set of criteria.
Since almost 90 percent of full-time faculty
members have 9-month contracts, many
have additional summer earnings from teach­
ing, research, writing for publication, or
other employment. Royalties and fees for
speaking engagements may provide addi­
tional earnings. Some faculty members also
undertake additional teaching or research
projects or work as consultants.
Some college and university faculty mem­
bers also may enjoy certain benefits offered
by few other professions, including tuition
waivers for dependents, housing allowances,
travel allowances, and paid leaves of absence.
In many institutions, faculty members are
eligible for a sabbatical leave after 6 or 7
years of employment.

Related Occupations
College and university faculty assist stu­
dents in their academic pursuits. Others who
assist college students in a variety of ways

and whose jobs generally require advanced
training include college presidents, deans of
students, academic deans, directors of admis­
sions, directors of athletics, financial aid of­
ficers, foreign student advisors, college stu­
dent personnel workers, college career
planning and placement counselors, and aca­
demic librarians.

Sources of Additional Information
General information on teaching as a ca­
reer is available from:
American Federation of Teachers, 11 Dupont Cir­
cle NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Professional societies in the various subject
fields will generally provide information on
teaching requirements and employment op­
portunities in their particular fields. Names
and addresses of societies are given in the
statements on specific professions elsewhere
in the Handbook.

Teacher Aides
(D.O.T. 099.327, 249-367-074)

Nature of the Work
Teacher aides free teachers from routine
tasks that persons without extensive training
in teaching can handle. They support teach­
ers directly in work involved with teaching
students and, indirectly, in nonteaching ac­
tivities. Aides may work in the classroom
under the teacher’s supervision or have du­
ties assigned outside the learning environ­

may spend much of their time standing,
walking, or kneeling. Working closely with
the students can be both physically and emo­
tionally tiring.

Places of Employment
In 1978, about 342,0000 persons worked as
teacher aides. While aides work in both ele­
mentary and secondary schools, they are
concentrated in the early grades. Large city
schools or schools in metropolitan areas sur­
rounding large cities employ a large propor­
tion of aides. Schools with large enrollments
are more likely than small schools to employ
teacher aides, and they more often hire them
on a full-time, regular basis.

Training, Other Qualifications, and
Training requirements for teacher aides
vary widely. Some schools hire beginning
aides with a high school diploma; some do
not require even a high school education.
Other employers may want aides to have
some college training or a bachelor’s degree.
Areas that delegate a significant amount of
classroom responsibility to aides usually re­
quire more training than those districts
which primarily assign aides to clerical or
monitor jobs.

Teacher aides may receive their training
for classroom work in a preservice program
or on the job. A growing number of junior
and community colleges offer teacher aide
programs. Upon completion of one of these
programs, the student is awarded an associ­
ate degree and is prepared to work directly in
the classroom. In 1978, there were about 400
such programs.
In training programs, teacher aides learn
how to help the classroom teacher work with
students. Aides are taught to operate audiovi­
sual equipment, administer first aid, and han­
dle recordkeeping activities. They also learn
to make charts and other instructional
materials and practice techniques for making
bulletin boards and working with other art
media. In addition, teacher aides are made
familiar with the organization and operation
of a school, and they learn about the methods
used to teach handwriting, reading, math,
science, and other school subjects.
Personal traits are among the most impor­
tant qualifying factors for the teacher aide’s
job. Aides should be able to work with chil­
dren and to handle classroom situations with
fairness and patience. Preference may be
given in hiring to those with previous experi­
ence working with children. Aides also must
demonstrate initiative and a willingness to
follow the classroom teacher’s directions.
They must have basic speech and writing

Aides’ responsibilities vary greatly by
school district. In some areas, aides work di­
rectly in the instruction of children. Under
the supervision and guidance of the teacher,
they help students individually or in small
groups. An aide might listen to one student
read, for example, or help another find infor­
mation needed for a report, or watch a third
practice or demonstrate a skill. Sometimes,
the teacher has an aide take charge of a spe­
cial project for a group of students, such as
preparing equipment for a science demon­
In other areas, teacher aides primarily
handle many of the routine tasks that other­
wise would be left to the teacher. They may
grade tests and papers, check homework, and
keep health and attendance records. Also,
secretarial duties such as typing, filing, and
duplicating materials for the teacher’s use
may be part of the aide’s job. Sometimes, the
duties of teacher aides include stocking sup­
plies, preparing materials for use by students,
and operating audiovisual equipment. They
also may supervise students during lunch and
recreation periods and school bus loading
and help keep the classroom in order.

Working Conditions
Teacher aides may work full time or part
time. They may work inside or outdoors and

In some areas, teachers aides work directly in the instruction of children.


skills and be able to communicate effectively
with students and teachers. Clerical skills
may be necessary also.
Some schools have regulations regarding
the hiring of teacher aides. Applicants may
be required to have a family income below a
certain level or to be a parent of children in
the school district. Sometimes, persons living
in the school community are given preference
in hiring. In addition, health regulations may
require that teacher aides pass a physical ex­
amination. Thirty-two States either require
or authorize teacher aides to have teacheraide certification. In other areas, the city or
county board of education may set standards
for employment of aides. The local superin­
tendent of schools and the State department
of education can provide information on spe­
cific requirements for employment in a par­
ticular area.
Advancement for teacher aides, usually in
the form of higher earnings or increased re­
sponsibility, comes primarily with experi­
ence. Some school districts provide release
time so that aides may take courses. In this
way, aides eventually can earn bachelor’s de­
grees and become certified teachers.


Employment Outlook
Employment of teacher aides is expected
to increase much faster than the average for
all occupations through the 1980’s. If past
trends continue, the proportion of teacher
aides in relation to teachers being hired is
expected to increase. Actual job prospects,
however, will vary by district. Budget con­
straints may adversely affect demand for
these workers in some areas, while other dis­
tricts, unable to afford additional more
highly paid teachers, may hire aides to lessen
teachers’ clerical duties. In addition, more
aides will be needed to fill openings as work­
ers die, retire, or transfer to other occupa­

region and also by the work experience
and academic qualifications of the aide.
Most aides, usually those covered by col­
lective bargaining agreements, have health
and welfare benefits similar to those of the
teachers in their schools.

Related Occupations
The educational support activities that
teacher aides perform demand organizational
skills, cooperativeness, recordkeeping abili­
ties, and a talent for getting along with peo­
ple. Other occupations requiring some or all
of these skills include childcare attendants,
career guidance technicians, guides, home
health aides, library attendants, medical rec­
ords technicians, nurse aides, receptionists,
records custodians, and retail sales clerks.

In 1978-79, teacher aides involved in
teaching activities earned an average of
$3.70 an hour, with the majority earning
between $3 and $4.25 an hour. Those per­
forming nonteaching activities averaged
$3.50 an hour, with most earning between
$2.75 and $4 an hour. Earnings varied by

Sources of Additional Information
Additional information on teacher aides
may be obtained from:
National Education Association, 120116th St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
American Federation o f Teachers, 11 Dupont Cir­
cle, Fifth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Library Occupations
Libraries came into being in response to
the need for access to recorded knowledge.
As the volume of materials grows, the task of
acquiring, organizing, and providing access
to them becomes more and more complex.
Information now takes many forms—books,
periodicals, microfilms, slides, cassettes, mo­
tion pictures, recordings, and computer
tapes, to name a few.
Four distinct kinds of libraries have
evolved: Public libraries, school libraries, col­
lege and university libraries, and special li­
Public libraries, long thought of as centers
for recreational reading, are enlarging the
scope of their activities and finding addi­
tional ways to serve the community—as in­
formation and referral services, cultural cen­
ters, and learning centers or “open
School libraries, also called media centers
because such a large part of their collection
is usually in nonprint form, have become an
integral part of the elementary and secondary
school educational experience.
College and university libraries have a dual
role of providing reference collections for col­
lege students and supporting the highly spe­
cialized research conducted in the academic
Contributing to the evolution in the special
library field are advances in science and tech­
nology and an emphasis on information and
documentation as the basis for decisionmak­
ing. Special libraries, which tailor their ser­
vices to a single group of users—lawyers,
physicians, or engineers, for example—are
found in government agencies, law offices,
hospitals and medical centers, scientific re­
search laboratories, banks and other financial
institutions, museums and art collections,
historical societies, and industrial firms of all
Librarians and library support staff take
care of recorded knowledge and help users
find needed information. The growing com­
plexity of the field demands that the library
staff have specialized knowledge. Computer
technology, for example, is integral to the
operation of more and more libraries, and
increasingly, librarians must be able to use
automated systems or equipment.
Information-handling skills are in demand
both in libraries and in other settings.
Today’s volume of documentation and re­
cordkeeping, combined with new possibilities
in information-handling by computers, has
produced a growing demand for appropri­
ately trained librarians outside the traditional
setting. New roles are emerging particularly
in the rapidly developing commercial “infor­

mation industry” that could enlarge oppor­
tunities for library school graduates in the
The following statements describe the
work of librarians and library technicians
and assistants in greater detail, and discuss
training requirements and job prospects in
these occupations.

(D.O.T. 100 except 100.367-018)

Nature of the Work
Librarians make information available to
people. They serve as a link between the pub­
lic and the millions of sources of information
by selecting and organizing materials and
making them accessible.
Library work is divided into two areas:
user services and technical services. Librari­
ans in user services—for example, reference
and children’s librarians—work directly with
the public helping them find the information
they need. Librarians in technical services—
such as acquisitions librarians—are primar­
ily concerned with acquiring and preparing
materials for use and deal less frequently
with the public.
The size of the library affects the scope of
a librarian’s job. In small libraries, librarians
generally handle both user and technical ser­
vices. They select, purchase, and process li­
brary materials; publicize services; provide

reference help to groups and individuals; su­
pervise the support staff; prepare the budget;
and oversee other administrative matters. In
large libraries, librarians work in a single
area, such as acquisitions, cataloging, bibli­
ography, reference, circulation, or adminis­
tration. Or they may handle special collec­
Building and maintaining a strong collec­
tion is essential in any library, large or small.
Acquisitions librarians (D.O.T. 100.267-010)
select and order books, periodicals, films, and
other materials that suit users’ needs. To
keep abreast of current literature, they read
book reviews, look over publishers’ an­
nouncements and catalogs, confer with book­
sellers, and seek advice from library users. A
knowledge of book publishing and business
acumen are important, for these librarians
are under pressure to get as much for their
money as possible.
After library materials have been received,
other librarians prepare them for use. Clas­
sifiers (D.O.T. 100.367-014) classify library
materials by subject matter. They may skim
through a book quickly to be sure what it is
about, then assign a classification number.
Catalogers (D.O.T. 100.387-010) then super­
vise assistants who prepare cards that indi­
cate the book’s title, author, subject, pub­
lisher, and date of publication. The cards are
then filed in the card catalog.
Bibliographers (D.O.T. 100.367-010), who
usually work in research libraries, compile
lists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio­
visual materials on particular subjects. They

t half of all
cians and assistants, work in
media centers

sixth of ali

Employment, 1978





Technicians and assistants

Source! Bureau of Labor Statistics


also recommend materials to be acquired in
subject areas with which they are familiar.
Special collections librarians (D.O.T. 100.267-014) collect and organize books, pam­
phlets, manuscripts, and other materials in a
specific field, such as rare books, genealogy,
or music. From time to time, they may pre­
pare reports to inform scholars about impor­
tant additions to the collection.
Librarians are also classified according to
the type of library in which they work: Public
libraries, school library media centers, aca­
demic libraries, and special libraries.
Public librarians serve people of all ages
and from all walks of life. Increasingly, pub­
lic librarians provide special materials and
services to culturally and educationally de­
prived persons, and to persons who, because
of physical handicaps, cannot use conven­
tional print.
The professional staff of a large public li­
brary system may include the chief librarian,
an assistant chief, and division heads who
plan and coordinate the work of the entire
system. The system also may include librari­
ans who supervise branch libraries and spe­
cialists in areas such as acquisitions, catalog­
ing, and special collectons.
Some public librarians work with specific
groups of readers. Children's librarians
(D.O.T. 100.167-018) serve young people by
finding books they will enjoy and showing
them how to use the library. They may plan
and conduct special programs such as story
hours or film programs. In serving children
they often work with school and community
organizations. Adult services librarians sug­
gest materials suited to the needs and inter­
ests of adults. They may cooperate in plan­
ning and conducting education programs,
such as community development, public af­
fairs, creative arts, problems of the aging, and
home and family. Young adult librarians
(D.O.T. 100.167-034) help junior and senior
high school students select and use books and
other materials. They may organize pro­
grams of interest to young adults, such as
book or film discussions or concerts of re­
corded music. They also may coordinate the
library’s work with school programs. Com­
munity outreach librarians and bookmobile
librarians (D.O.T. 100.167-014) develop li­
brary services to meet the needs of special
groups within the community. They might
arrange for books to be brought to a migrant
labor camp, an inner city housing project, or
a nursing home, for example.
School librarians (D.O.T. 100.167-030)
teach students how to use the school library
media center and help them choose from its
collection of print and nonprint materials.
Working with teachers and supervisors,
school librarians familiarize students with
the library’s resources. They prepare lists of
materials on certain subjects and help select
materials for school programs. They also se­
lect, order, and organize the library’s materi­
als. Increasing