Skip to Content
Balloon Help
Print  |   Email This Page  |   FAQs  |   Rate This Page   |   A A A A
Topics A to Z    
Go
Translate:
CareerOneStop
FAQs New Topics
For help using CareerOneStop
email or call:
1-877-348-0502 or
TTY 1-877-348-0501

Job Search 

I’ve never looked for a job before.  How do I get started?
Find some tips to begin your job search at Job Search: Create a Job Search Plan.

I’ve been looking for a job but am not getting any interviews or offers. What should I do differently?
Learn some strategies for when your job search is not getting results.

Where can I find the fastest-growing and highest-paying occupations?
Find the fastest-growing occupations at Occupations: What’s Hot and find the highest-paying occupations at Highest-Paying Jobs. You’ll be able to select a state or view data at a national level.

Where can I find average pay for different occupations?
Find Wages & Salaries for Occupations in the Occupation Profile.

Salaries + Benefits

What is included and excluded in CareerOneStop’s salary and wage data?
Wage estimates include base rate, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay, incentive pay (e.g. commissions and production bonuses), and on-call pay. Wage estimates do not include back pay, jury duty pay, overtime pay, severance pay, shift differentials, nonproduction bonuses, and tuition reimbursements.

Why does the source for some of CareerOneStop's data say the data are a few years old? Is there more recent data?
An extensive data gathering process involving high data standards ensures that data estimates are accurate, while protecting the privacy of the participants who provide the data. As a result of this process, there is a lag in time between when the data is gathered and when it is released. CareerOneStop is updated with the newest data as it is released and provides the most recent data available.

What is the source of the wage data? How is wage data gathered? How often is the wage data updated?
Wage data are collected by each state through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the U.S. Department of Labor. National wage estimates are developed by BLS. State and national occupation information is classified using the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system. Wage data are updated on CareerOneStop annually. For more detailed information about the program or the survey refer to the OES webpage

What are Average Annual Wages?
Average annual wages are the total annual wages divided by average monthly employment for the year. The data unit is in dollars, not thousands of dollars.

What are Average Weekly Wages?
The average weekly wages is an amount that results from dividing total annual wages by annual average employment. The data unit is in dollars, not thousands of dollars.

What are Total Payroll Wages?
Total payroll wages is the total annual calculated wages for all ownership levels. The data unit is in dollars, not thousands of dollars.

How are regional areas defined?
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): The general concept of Metropolitan Statistical Area is one of a large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities which have a high degree of economic and social integration with that nucleus. These are defined by the Office of Management and Budget as a standard for Federal agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics relating to metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan Division (MSD): Metropolitan Division is used to refer to a county or group of counties within a Metropolitan Statistical Area that has a population core of at least 2.5 million. A Metropolitan Division is most generally comparable in concept, and equivalent to, the now obsolete Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area. Metropolitan Divisions are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as a standard for Federal agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics relating to metropolitan areas.

New England City and Town Area (MNECTA): The New England City and Town Area is a statistical area similar to that of a Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a core area comprised of a group of New England cities and towns containing a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of social and economic integration with that core.

NECTA Division (NECTA): A city or town or group of cities and towns within a NECTA that contains a core with a population of at least 2.5 million. A NECTA Division consists of a main city or town that represents an employment center, plus adjacent cities and towns associated with the main city or town, or with other cities and towns that are in turn associated with the main city or town, through commuting ties.

Balance of State (BOS): The Balance of State area is an area of a state not included in any of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget-defined Metropolitan Statistical Areas or other U.S. Office of Management and Budget-defined areas. For the purpose of the U.S Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Program, individual states can subdivide residual areas into smaller, state-defined Balance of State areas (e.g. BOS 1, BOS 2, etc.).

For more detailed information about the regional area definitions can be found at the Office of Management and Budget web site.

Now that I've found salary information, how can I find out which occupations have the most job openings in my area?
Find the occupations with the most openings at Occupations: What's Hot. You'll be able to select a state or view salary data at a national level.

Education + Training

Where can I find apprenticeship programs?
Check out the links below for apprenticeship information.

What is the Career Exploration tool and how do I use it?
The Career Exploration tool is a five-step process that lets you evaluate your career needs and move forward in your career planning. Included in each link are additional resources to help you in your career exploration.

  1. Assess Yourself
  2. Explore Career Options
  3. Gain Skills
  4. Find a Job
  5. Manage Your Career

How should I decide on a program or major for school?
You will want to consider many factors as you decide on a school program, including:

  • Your interests and skills. Visit the Testing and Assessment Center for links to resources about interests, abilities, aptitudes, and more.
  • Job outlooks in various fields.  Visit CareerOneStop sections such as Occupations: What’s Hot and  Highest-Paying Jobs to see what fields have the best employment outlooks. Also visit Browse Occupations to find out more information, including education and training requirements for particular jobs. Search for specific programs of study at Find Colleges & Training.
  • Your high school counselor or a college counselor can discuss program/major options with you.

What are the levels of education and training information? How are occupations matched to education and training information?
Occupations are matched to one of eleven education and training levels. The eleven education and training levels are as follows:

Postsecondary awards

  • First-professional degree
  • Doctoral degree
  • Master's degree
  • Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Associate degree
  • Postsecondary vocational award

Work-related training

  • Work experience in a related occupation
  • Long-term on-the-job training
  • Moderate-term on-the-job training
  • Short term on-the-job training

Occupations are matched to education and training levels based on the following:

  • An occupation is matched to the group that best describes the education or training needed by most workers to become fully qualified.
  • Postsecondary awards, if generally needed for entry into the occupation, take precedence over work-related training even though additional skills or experience may be needed for a worker to become fully qualified.
  • The length of time an average worker generally needs to become fully qualified through a combination of on-the-job training and experience is used to categorize occupations in which a postsecondary award is not needed for entry.

For more detailed information about the education and training levels, refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site.

What is the difference between short-term on-the-job training, moderate-term on-the-job training, and long-term on-the-job training?
Short-term on-the-job training is where the worker develops the needed skills after a brief demonstration of job duties or up to one month of paid on-the-job experience or instruction. Moderate-term on-the-job training involves one to twelve months of combined paid on-the-job experience and informal training. In long-term on-the-job training, workers receive instruction for more than one year while employed in an occupation.

What does the Education and Training level 'Postsecondary Vocational Training' mean?
This refers to vocational (occupation-based) school training above and beyond the high school level, which may also require passing an examination after completing the training.

What is the source of the education and training data?
The typical education and training level data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Office of Employment Projections, while the typical instructional program level data is provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Resumes + Interviews

What is the Resume Guide and how do I use it?
The Resume Guide provides step-by-step information, tips, and examples to help you create a resume that will stand out in today's job market. Topics include Why You Need a Great Resume, Top Resume Strategies, Do Your Research, Writing Your Resume, Market Your Resume, Make the Most of the Internet, Sample Resume Walk-Through, More Sample Resumes, Get More Resume Help, and Resume FAQs. You'll find updated information on embedding keywords in your resume, posting your resume online, and using social networking sites to get your resume in the right hands.

How can I find out more about writing a resume?
The following free tools and resources will assist with creating a resume:

  • The Resume Guide is an online guide for creating a resume that will catch the attention of potential employers.
  • The Skills Profiler helps you identify skills to include on your resume.
  • O*NET Academy has a quick tutorial about how to use O*NET to gather information for a resume.

Explore Careers

What is the Career Exploration tool and how do I use it?
The Career Exploration tool is a five-step process that lets you evaluate your career needs and move forward in your career planning. Included in each link are additional resources to help you in your career exploration.

  1. Assess Yourself
  2. Explore Career Options
  3. Gain Skills
  4. Find a Job
  5. Manage Your Career

Where can I find the highest-paying occupations?
Find the highest-paying occupations at Highest-Paying Jobs. You’ll be able to select a state or view data at a national level.

What are job families?
Job families are the way CareerOneStop groups occupations. CareerOneStop's job families are the same as the 23 major occupation groups of the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC). CareerOneStop excludes the military job family, because there are no available wage and occupation trend data for the occupation in this group. For more information about job families, refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics SOC Web page.

Why does the source for some of CareerOneStop's data say the data are a few years old? Is there more recent data?
An extensive data gathering process involving high data standards ensures that data estimates are accurate, while protecting the privacy of the participants who provide the data. As a result of this process, there is a lag in time between when the data is gathered and when it is released. CareerOneStop is updated with the newest data as it is released and provides the most recent data available.

How are the employment trend data collected?
Occupations included in the employment projections generally reflect the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is used to gather occupational employment data. Some occupations are not identified separately in this classification but are included in aggregate categories. The national employment projections data include employment in both primary and secondary jobs. The state employment projections data include employment in primary jobs only. National employment numbers are rounded to the nearest 100; the majority of state employment numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. The percent change displayed on America's Career InfoNet was calculated on the unrounded numbers. In some cases this may result in a discrepancy between the employment numbers and the percent change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more detailed information on this data collection.

People + Places

What resources are available in the People and Places section?
People and Places offers tools to help you locate job search assistance, workforce development, education and training, and other services available in your state and local community.

How can I get help looking for a job?
American Job Centers offer job search assistance. To find the one closest to you, click on American Job Center. From there you’ll be able to enter your zip code and find contact information for American Job Centers.

Where can I get assistance filing for unemployment insurance?
Click on Unemployment Insurance on the People + Places page.

Where can I find out about employment programs for youth in my area?
Click on Job Corps Offices to locate local offices that provide youth services.

Where can I find out about employment programs for seniors in my area?
Click on Employment Programs to locate local offices that provide employment services for seniors.

Where can I find employment resources for veterans?
At Veterans ReEmployment, transitioning service members and veterans will find information about job searching, education and training, unemployment insurance, and other benefits.

How can I find my state’s official Web site with employment and training information?
From the People + Places page, use the State Services left-hand navigation.

Where can I find information on local services, maps, driving directions and other resources formerly available on America’s Service Locator?
From People + Places, the links to help you locate American Job Centers, unemployment insurance filing information, and other local services will lead you to maps, driving directions and other resources.

Is there a toll free number that I can call to get help using the People + Places?
You can call the CareerOneStop Service Center at 1-877-348-0502 or the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Toll Free Hot Line at 1-800-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627).

Department of Labor CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor,
Employment and Training Administration