Occupational Employment Statistics

Chart Book, May 2009

Occupation Focus

Figure 1

Almost 35 million jobs, or over one-quarter of U.S. employment, are found in 15 occupations.

Employment and mean wages for the largest occupations in the United States, May 2009
Occupation Employment Percent of U.S. employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage

Retail salespersons

4,209,500 3.22 $11.84 $24,630

Cashiers

3,439,380 2.63 9.15 19,030

Office clerks, general

2,815,240 2.15 13.32 27,700

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food

2,695,740 2.06 8.71 18,120

Registered nurses

2,583,770 1.98 31.99 66,530

Waiters and waitresses

2,302,070 1.76 9.80 20,380

Customer service representatives

2,195,860 1.68 15.58 32,410

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

2,135,790 1.63 12.16 25,290

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

2,090,400 1.60 11.60 24,120

Stock clerks and order fillers

1,864,410 1.43 11.28 23,460

Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive

1,797,670 1.38 14.93 31,060

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

1,757,870 1.35 16.71 34,750

General and operations managers

1,689,680 1.29 53.15 110,550

Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer

1,550,930 1.19 18.87 39,260

Elementary school teachers, except special education

1,544,300 1.18 (1) 53,150
1 Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries, depending on how they are typically paid.

Figure 2

The smallest occupations in the United States are more specialized and include several occupations with annual mean wages of $100,000 or more.

Employment and mean wages for the smallest occupations in the United States, May 2009
Occupation Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage

Prosthodontists

660 $60.29 $125,400

Fabric menders, except garment

840 13.28 27,630

Radio operators

870 20.86 43,400

Locomotive firers

960 24.71 51,400

Farm labor contractors

1,000 17.37 36,130

Segmental pavers

1,040 13.81 28,730

Mathematical technicians

1,090 21.27 44,230

Geographers

1,170 34.33 71,420

Astronomers

1,240 49.40 102,740

Models

1,510 17.51 36,420

Patternmakers, wood

1,540 18.53 38,540

Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists

1,540 18.36 38,180

Animal breeders

1,700 16.93 35,210

Industrial-organizational psychologists

1,710 49.31 102,570

Model makers, wood

1,900 16.33 33,970

Makeup artists, theatrical and performance

1,930 21.64 45,010

Dredge operators

1,990 18.43 38,330
1 Omits some occupations that are concentrated in private households and the agricultural sector (except logging and support activities for crop and animal production), which are not covered by the OES survey.

Figure 3

Employment opportunities for people interested in repairing mechanical devices are found in a number of related fields, each with differing ranges of remuneration.

Employment opportunities for people interested in repairing mechanical devices are
found in a number of related fields, each with differing ranges of remuneration


Figure 4

Many of the largest occupations with wages near the U.S. mean were skilled manufacturing jobs or skilled trades.

Employment and hourly mean wages of largest occupations with wages
near the U.S. mean, May 2009


Figure 5

Workers in skilled construction trade occupations earned between 34 and 83 percent more than workers in those occupations that assist them.

Hourly mean wages for selected construction trade occupations, May 2009


Figure 6

Hourly mean wages for selected construction helper occupations, May 2009


Figure 7

Occupations with higher mean and median wages had a wider distribution of wages.

Distribution of employment by wage range for selected occupations, May 2009


Distribution of employment by wage range for selected occupations, May 2009


Figure 8

Three of the five occupational groups with high unemployment rates had 70 percent or more of their employment in a single industry sector: construction and extraction, production, and food preparation and serving related occupations.

Distribution of employment by industry sector for selected occupational groups with high
unemployment rates, May 2009


Figure 9

Two of the occupational groups with low unemployment rates had their employment concentrated in the healthcare and social assistance sector, and a third had employment concentrated in educational services.

Distribution of employment by industry sector for selected occupational groups with low
unemployment rates, May 2009


Figure 10

Political scientists had one of the highest geographic concentrations of any occupation. About two-thirds of political scientists were employed in a single metropolitan area—Washington, D.C.

Employment, mean hourly wages, and measures of concentration for selected occupations with high geographic concentrations, May 2009
Occupation Employment Mean hourly wage Herfindahl-Hirschman index Percent of occupational employment in the 10 metropolitan or nonmetropolitan areas with highest employment of this occupation

Political scientists

3,970 $48.58 4748.9 89.2

Subway and streetcar operators

6,050 25.38 2783.8 95.9

Fashion designers

15,780 35.78 2327.8 78.0

Fabric and apparel patternmakers

6,640 20.64 1643.8 68.8

Prosthodontists

660 60.29 1357.1 80.3

Economists

13,160 46.31 1275.8 57.4

Petroleum engineers

25,540 57.67 1226.8 63.1

Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes

11,700 42.04 1123.4 68.4

Loading machine operators, underground mining

3,570 21.14 1109.1 68.4

Film and video editors

17,550 30.62 1040.3 59.1

Shuttle car operators

3,520 22.31 980.5 77.0

Gaming supervisors

24,760 23.52 889.2 57.7

Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders

12,980 11.82 880.2 55.6

Astronomers

1,240 49.40 877.9 69.3

Segmental pavers

1,040 13.81 854.0 76.3

Figure 11

Postmasters and mail superintendents was one of the most geographically dispersed occupations. The 10 areas with the highest employment of this occupation accounted for less than 12 percent of occupational employment.

Employment, mean hourly wages, and measures of concentration for selected occupations with low geographic concentrations, May 2009
Occupation Employment Mean hourly wage Herfindahl-Hirschman index Percent of occupational employment in the 10 metropolitan or nonmetropolitan areas with highest employment of this occupation

Postmasters and mail superintendents

24,890 $28.65 44.4 11.9

Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators

57,990 18.53 55.7 14.2

Agricultural inspectors

14,030 20.12 58.4 15.0

Highway maintenance workers

139,490 16.98 59.5 15.6

Electrical power-line installers and repairers

108,980 26.86 59.6 16.1

Outdoor power equipment and other small engine mechanics

26,010 14.61 60.2 16.2

Water and liquid waste treatment plant and system operators

109,090 19.99 60.6 16.9

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

41,750 13.12 63.9 15.0

Fish and game wardens

7,530 26.42 65.2 17.4

Cooks, institution and cafeteria

383,540 11.48 65.5 18.0

Foresters

10,230 26.55 66.9 15.9

Correctional officers and jailers

455,350 20.49 68.3 16.7

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

368,200 21.24 69.4 19.2

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

224,360 10.16 70.1 19.4

Conservation scientists

16,810 29.41 71.9 19.8