Occupational Requirements Survey

The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) is a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) National Compensation Survey (NCS) program in association with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The ORS seeks to provide job characteristics data to help the SSA in their disability determination process. Specifically, the ORS will gather job-related information regarding physical demands, environmental conditions, mental and cognitive demands, and vocational preparation requirements.

The Occupational Requirements Survey: estimates from preproduction testing

The Occupational Requirements Survey: estimates from preproduction testing.

This article introduces preliminary estimates and is a followup to previous articles that examined ORS data elements in the context of collection, review, and estimation.

On This Page

ORS Production Materials

  1. Information sheet — September 2015 (PDF)
  2. Social Security Administration endorsement letter (PDF)
  3. Collection forms
    • Work schedule and leveling:
      • Government (PDF) Private (PDF)
    • ORS elements:
      • Government (PDF) Private (PDF)
  1. Collection manual (PDF)
  2. ORS visual overview
    • Physical demands (PDF)
    • Environmental conditions (PDF)

ORS Pre-production

BLS testing of the Occupational Requirements Survey included:

  1. Evaluating whether the National Compensation Survey (NCS) can produce estimates of sufficient quantity and quality to meet the needs of the SSA;
  2. Determining survey design options and developing processes, protocols, aids, and collection procedures to meet SSA data needs; and
  3. Providing documentation to the SSA summarizing the work performed by the BLS, conclusions drawn, and recommendations for future data collection, testing, and research.

All ORS Pre-production Materials

ORS Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

  1. What is the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS)?
  2. Why is the ORS being conducted?
  3. Why did SSA and BLS decide to start working together?
  4. How will SSA use ORS data?

Respondent FAQs

  1. Why should I participate?
  2. Will my information be kept confidential?
  3. Who do you typically speak to within establishments to obtain your survey data?
  4. How do I provide data?

All ORS FAQs »

Contact Us


The Office of Compensation Levels and Trends, Branch of Survey Information and Publications, will be glad to assist you with questions about any of the components of the Occupational Requirements Survey.

Ways to Contact BLS Directly

Email: Contact us

Telephone: (202) 691-6199 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.)

Information and assistance is also available from any BLS regional office.


Information voice phone: (202) 691-5200 The Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339

Write or Personal Visit

Bureau of Labor Statistics
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. - Suite 4175
Washington, D.C. 20212-0001

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