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Occupational Requirements Survey

Working around crowds

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The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) publishes job-related information on physical demands; environmental conditions; education, training, and experience; as well as cognitive and mental requirements. The job requirements reflect those necessary for workers to perform critical tasks in support of the critical job functions, and not the capabilities of individual workers. ORS provides information about working around crowds for workers in the U.S. These estimates are part of the cognitive and mental requirements.

In 2020, 4.1 percent of civilian workers were required to work around crowds and 95.9 percent did not have this requirement. 


The estimates for working around crowds vary by occupation and reflect the percentage of workers meeting the following conditions:

  • many unfamiliar people are present, compared with the space available,
  • movement is restricted,
  • the arrangement of the crowd is temporary,
  • there is a certain level of disorganization, and
  • workers are not separated from unfamiliar people by counters, dividers, or other objects.


Chart A data table
Chart A. Percentage of workers required to work around crowds by occupation, 2020
Required Not required


72.2% 27.8%

Emergency medical technicians

43.6% 56.4%

Security guards

35.4% 65.6%

Janitors and cleaners

6.2% 93.8%


- 100.0%

Note: Dashes indicate that estimate was not publishable or there are no workers with the requirement.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey


In protective service occupations, 48.3 percent of workers were required to work around crowds. Within this occupational group, working around crowds was required for 35.4 percent of security guards. The estimate does not reflect the duration of the task – some security guards may work around crowds for a small part of the workday, while others may routinely work around crowds for many hours and are included in the requirement.

Security guards may be required to work around crowds based on the setting or location of where the work is performed. For example, security guards at a concert venue monitoring large disorganized groups of concertgoers would have a requirement to work around crowds as they meet all of the criteria. However, security guards in a parking garage booth separated by a divider do not meet all the criteria for working around crowds.

Working around crowds was required for 6.2 percent of janitors and cleaners. Certain circumstances may require janitors and cleaners to work meeting these criteria, for instance they may be required to clean a sports venue during a show to keep people in the crowd from slipping on spilled beverages. While working around crowds may represent a small portion of each workday, these workers meet the criteria above.

Working around crowds is not required for 100 percent of tellers. While 100 percent of tellers interact with the general public, they do not meet the criteria for working around crowds, due to the use of counters to separate tellers from customers and the use of stanchions to organize customers.


Additional resources:



For additional information on occupational requirements see the ORS homepage or download the ORS complete dataset to explore the latest estimates.