Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are some management positions that only require a high school education?
  • What are some jobs that might require a character to work alone?
  • What are some jobs that require an apprenticeship?
  • How much does a mortician make?
  • What are some organizations for morticians and funeral directors?


The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides the following information for hundreds of specific occupations: What they do, work environment, how to become one, pay, job outlook, similar occupations and contacts for more info.

Occupational profiles can be searched by keywords or by the following criteria:


  • Median pay
  • Entry-level education
  • Amount of on the job training
  • Projected number of new jobs
  • Projected growth rate

The Handbook may also be browsed by occupation or broad occupational group. As of December 2013, these groups were:

  • Architecture and Engineering
  • Arts and Design
  • Building and Grounds Cleaning
  • Business and Financial
  • Community and Social Service
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Construction and Extraction
  • Education, Training, and Library
  • Entertainment and Sports
  • Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
  • Food Preparation and Serving
  • Healthcare
  • Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
  • Legal
  • Life, Physical, and Social Science
  • Management
  • Math
  • Media and Communication
  • Military
  • Office and Administrative Support
  • Personal Care and Service
  • Production
  • Protective Service
  • Sales
  • Transportation and Material Moving

When browsing by one of these broad areas, the results are initially sorted by title of occupation. The occupations can be additionally sorted by entry level education required or by median pay.

Search Tip:

The keyword search can be used to specify working conditions for your character. Try “outdoors”, “hazardous materials”, “angry”, “extreme heat” or (“alone” -“stand-alone”) for some interesting job choices for your character.


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