What is a Job Zone?

You may see the term Job Zone used in various places throughout the site. A Job Zone indicates the amount of preparation (school, training, etc) needed for an occupation. Lower numbers mean less preparation while higher numbers mean more. It is a term that was created by O*NET and is defined by grouping occupations that are similar in:

  • how much education people need to do the work,
  • how much related experience people need to do the work, and
  • how much on-the-job training people need to do the work.

The five Job Zones are:

Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed

Education: Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Related Experience: Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Job Training: Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed

Education: These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Related Experience: Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training: Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Related Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Job Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed

Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Related Experience: A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Job Training: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed

Education: Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Related Experience: Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training: Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

For more information on Job Zones, please visit the O*NET Website.

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