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About the Data

So Where Does All This Data Come From?

The short answer: the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

For this site - and for many others like it - the DOL provides a treasure trove of Labor Market Information (LMI), occupation descriptions, and other data.

More specifically, the information comes from two entities within DOL:

  1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and
  2. The Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) O*NET Online (Occupational Information Network).


  • The BLS provides hard data such as occupation growth projections, wage data, and educational requirements. Click here to view the gory details in a pop-up window.
  • O*NET is more focused on the skills required to work in various occupations.

Because it originates with the Federal Government (and is funded by tax dollars), all of this information falls in the public domain and may be freely used by web sites such as this one.

A third web site,, also provides valuable occupation information that is based, not surprisingly, on O*NET research and data.

How Did You Select These Occupations?

O*NET provides several different ways to categorize occupations. Among these methods is "by Bright Outlook."

"Bright Outlook" occupations:

  • Are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years
    (a projected employment increase of 29% or more over the 2010-2012 period), or
  • Are expected to have large numbers of job openings
    (a projected increase of 100,000 or more job openings over the 2010-2012 period), or
  • Are new and emerging occupations.

To ensure that only the "best of the best" occupations are displayed, we didn't include "new and emerging occupations" unless they also qualified in one of the other high-growth categories.

Once we determined the best occupations, we then used another O*NET organizing method, "by Career Cluster," to determine the appropriate Career Cluster for each occupation.

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