Teachers Guide

A Note to Teachers

Dear Teacher:

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) is an online publication that has information on hundreds of occupations in the United States. The OOH is a rich resource for those seeking career guidance. Using the OOH, students can explore different aspects of occupations by clicking on the following tabs:

As a teacher, you can help your students plan their future. Through the OOH, students can use valuable occupational information to help them make career choices. By familiarizing yourself with the features of the OOH, you will be in a position to quickly and effectively help your students use this valuable tool.

 Navigating the OOH Homepage

There are several ways to find career information about a detailed occupation:

  1. Occupation Group Search. The OOH is divided into clusters of similar occupations. To find an occupation, students may browse the occupational group of interest on the left-hand side of the homepage. Clicking on a group results in a landing page of similar occupations together with their respective job summaries, typical entry-level education, and median pay. Typical entry-level education and median pay can be quickly sorted by clicking the arrows at the top of each column.
  2. Occupation Finder. The occupation finder (located towards the top of the homepage) makes it easy to search for occupations by typical entry-level education, on-the-job training requirements, projected number of new jobs, projected employment growth rate, median pay, or a combination of any of these five characteristics. For example, a student who wants to learn which occupations typically require a bachelor's degree and pay an annual salary of $75,000 or more can use the drop-down menus to narrow down the occupations using those two criteria.
  3. Search Box. Students may also search for occupations by entering a title into the “Search Handbook” box at the top right side of the homepage.
  4. A–Z Index Search. Students may use the alphabetical index to look for an occupation. For example, someone looking for “Accountants” would click on “A” and then on “Accountants” in the A–Z index search. The student would then be directed to the occupational profile on accountants and auditors.
  5. Browse Occupations. Clicking on these buttons takes students to three distinct pages: highest paying occupations, occupations projected to be the fastest growing, and occupations projected to have the most new jobs created.
  6. Featured Occupation. With each visit to the OOH homepage, a different occupation will be featured that students can click on and explore.
  7. OOH Glossary. The OOH Glossary includes terms often used in the occupational profiles and related pages, including general economic concepts, such as seasonal employment and the labor force; definitions of BLS resources, such as surveys and classification systems; and terms particular to the OOH, such as education and training categories.
  8. Question Mark (?). Certain terms in the profiles have question marks next to them. Users can click on the question mark to read the definition of a term or about the section.  

 About the Information in Each Online Profile

Each occupational profile in the OOH is made up of nine separate “tabs” or pages. The Summary tab highlights key characteristics of the occupation, and the remaining tabs offer more detailed information:

1. Summary

2. What They Do

3. Work Environment

4. How to Become One

5. Pay

6. Job Outlook 

7. State and Area Data

8. Similar Occupations 

9. More Info 

About the Projections

Employment projections are released annually and cover a decade. The projections focus on long-term trends and are based on assumptions about economic and labor force growth. However, because the economy may be affected by unforeseeable events, such as those leading to an economic downturn, the projections are subject to error. Refer to the About the Numbers page on the employment projections site.

In describing projected employment change in an occupation, the OOH uses the phrases "much faster than the average," “faster than the average,” “about as fast as the average,” “more slowly than the average,” “little or no change,” and “decline.” A table found on this page explains how to interpret these key phrases.

BLS employment projections are national in scope and do not always show local conditions. State employment projections are developed by state employment security agencies. State projections are available on Projections Central.

The occupational projections describe expected employment change over the projections decade; employment change is expected to vary within that 10-year period. In addition to openings that stem from employment growth, many more openings are expected to occur from the need to replace workers who retire or who permanently leave an occupation for other reasons. See table 1.10.

To learn more about using the OOH, see Occupational Information Included in the OOH. For answers to frequently asked questions, see the OOH FAQs page.

Other Career-Related Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

In addition to publishing the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has other sources of career information that might be useful to teachers and students:

More Career Information

The U.S. Department of Defense

The MyFuture.com page is a career search database that provides information related to training, including both college and military training options.

 The U.S. Department of Labor


The text in the Occupational Outlook Handbook is in the public domain and can be reproduced without further permission. One may link to this site without obtaining special permission. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, requests appropriate citations. The following citation for the OOH website conforms to the U.S. Government Printing Office’s style guide:

"Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [article title], on the Internet at [http Web address] [date accessed]."

Information from the OOH will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 1 (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1 (800) 877-8339.

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019