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Summary Report for:
47-2061.00 - Construction Laborers

Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

Sample of reported job titles: Construction Laborer, Construction Worker, Curb and Gutter Laborer, Drain Layer, Drop Crew Laborer, Helper, Laborer, Post Framer, Skill Labor, Union Laborer

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information


  • Control traffic passing near, in, or around work zones.
  • Clean or prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards.
  • Signal equipment operators to facilitate alignment, movement, or adjustment of machinery, equipment, or materials.
  • Read plans, instructions, or specifications to determine work activities.
  • Load, unload, or identify building materials, machinery, or tools, distributing them to the appropriate locations, according to project plans or specifications.
  • Measure, mark, or record openings or distances to layout areas where construction work will be performed.
  • Dig ditches or trenches, backfill excavations, or compact and level earth to grade specifications, using picks, shovels, pneumatic tampers, or rakes.
  • Mix, pour, or spread concrete, using portable cement mixers.
  • Tend pumps, compressors, or generators to provide power for tools, machinery, or equipment or to heat or move materials, such as asphalt.
  • Erect or dismantle scaffolding, shoring, braces, traffic barricades, ramps, or other temporary structures.
  • Provide assistance to craft workers, such as carpenters, plasterers, or masons.
  • Lubricate, clean, or repair machinery, equipment, or tools.
  • Position or dismantle forms for pouring concrete, using saws, hammers, nails, or bolts.
  • Smooth or finish freshly poured cement or concrete, using floats, trowels, screeds, or powered cement finishing tools.
  • Operate jackhammers or drills to break up concrete or pavement.
  • Install sewer, water, or storm drain pipes, using pipe-laying machinery or laser guidance equipment.
  • Operate or maintain air monitoring or other sampling devices in confined or hazardous environments.
  • Mix ingredients to create compounds for covering or cleaning surfaces.
  • Grind, scrape, sand, or polish surfaces, such as concrete, marble, terrazzo, or wood flooring, using abrasive tools or machines.
  • Position, join, align, or seal structural components, such as concrete wall sections or pipes.
  • Tend machines that pump concrete, grout, cement, sand, plaster, or stucco through spray guns for application to ceilings or walls.
  • Spray materials, such as water, sand, steam, vinyl, paint, or stucco, through hoses to clean, coat, or seal surfaces.
  • Apply caulking compounds by hand or caulking guns to protect against entry of water or air.
  • Mop, brush, or spread paints, cleaning solutions, or other compounds over surfaces to clean them or to provide protection.
  • Perform site activities required of green certified construction practices, such as implementing waste management procedures, identifying materials for reuse, or installing erosion or sedimentation control mechanisms. Green Task Statement
  • Apply weather-stripping to reduce energy loss. Green Task Statement

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Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk Revit Hot technology
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Hot technology
  • Project management software — Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Hot technology

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Adjustable forks — Brick carrier forks; Forks
  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Air compressors
  • Air samplers or collectors — Air monitoring equipment
  • Asphalt finishers — Asphalt mops
  • Axes
  • Bandsaw wheel — Bandsaws
  • Belt conveyors
  • Bituminous material distributors — Oil distributors
  • Blades or tooth or other cutting edges — Stump cutters
  • Blow torch — Liquid propane torches; Oxygen/acetylene torches; Torches
  • Boring or sinking machinery — Electric boring machines; Hydraulic boring machines
  • Burners — Kerosene burners; Smudge pots
  • Calipers
  • Caulking guns
  • Cement pumping units — Concrete pumpers
  • Chip Spreaders
  • Cold chisels
  • Combination pliers — Fencing pliers
  • Compactors — Walk-behind compacting equipment
  • Concrete mixers or plants — Concrete mixers
  • Concrete spreaders — Laser screeds; Screeds
  • Coring equipment — Coring machines
  • Demolition equipment kits — Demolition saws
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Remote pipe cameras
  • Drain or pipe cleaning equipment — Robotic pipe cleaners; Sewer rodding machines
  • Drilling machines — Drill presses
  • Dump trucks
  • Explosive initiators — Dynamite blasters
  • Floats
  • Forklifts — Masonry forklifts; Rough terrain forklifts
  • Gas detectors — Gas leak detection devices
  • Gas generators — Generators
  • Gin pole and accessories — Gin poles
  • Graders — Motor graders
  • Grinders — Hand grinders
  • Hammer drills — Rotary hammers
  • Hammers
  • Hand sprayers — Stucco spray guns
  • Hand trucks or accessories — Hand trucks
  • Hazardous material protective apparel — Protective suits
  • Hoes — Mortar hoes
  • Hoists
  • Hole saws — Hole cutters
  • Hydraulic rock drills — Wagon drills
  • Hydraulic truck cranes — Hydraulic booms
  • Impact hammers
  • Impact wrenches
  • Instrument tripods — Tripods
  • Kettle exchangers — Asphalt kettles
  • Ladders
  • Laser measuring systems — Laser guidance equipment for pipe placement; Laser measuring devices
  • Leak testing equipment — Smoke testers
  • Level sensors or transmitters — Transit levels
  • Levels — Carpenters' levels; Laser levels; Spirit levels; Water levels
  • Lifting hooks — Bale hooks
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Pickup trucks
  • Manlift or personnel lift — Bosun chairs; Manlifts; Swing chairs; Swing stages
  • Measuring rods — Surveying rods
  • Measuring wheels for distance — Measuring wheels
  • Micrometers
  • Mowers — Mowing equipment
  • Mud pumps — Mud jacks
  • Paint sprayers
  • Paving breakers — Pavement breakers
  • Picks — Mattocks
  • Pipe or tube cutter — Robotic pipe cutters
  • Plasma arc welding machine — Plasma cutters
  • Plaster or mortar mixers — Mortar mixers; Plaster mixers
  • Plumb bobs
  • Pneumatic drill — Air drills; Pneumatic drills
  • Pneumatic hammer — Jackhammers
  • Pneumatic sanding machines — Sandblasters
  • Post hole digger — Post hole augers
  • Power buggies
  • Power chippers — Chipping guns
  • Power drills — Electric drills; Hammer drills
  • Power grinders — Bench grinders; Disc grinders; Pedestal grinders
  • Power nail guns — Nail guns
  • Power sanders — Floor sanders
  • Power saws — Circular saws; Hydraulic track-guided wall saws; Reciprocating saws; Walk-behind saws (see all 13 examples)
  • Power screwguns — Power screwdrivers
  • Pressure or steam cleaners — Pressure washers; Steam cleaning equipment; Steam jennies
  • Pry bars — Crowbars
  • Pullers — Wire stretchers
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts — Punches
  • Rakes
  • Remote reading thermometers — Temperature probes
  • Respirators
  • Rollers — Road rollers
  • Rotary tiller mixers — Paddle mixers
  • Safety harnesses or belts — Fall arrest systems
  • Saws
  • Scaffolding
  • Scarifiers
  • Scissor lift or lift table — Scissor lifts
  • Screwdrivers
  • Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Shielded arc welding tools
  • Shoring equipment — Hydraulic speed shoring equipment
  • Shotcrete spraying equipment — Guniting machines
  • Shovels
  • Skid steer loaders
  • Slings
  • Sludge or sewage handling trucks — Sewer cleaner vactors
  • Snowplow attachments — Snowplows
  • Space heaters — Salamanders
  • Spades
  • Sprayers — Weed sprayers
  • Squares — Carpenters' squares
  • Staple guns — Pneumatic staplers
  • Stonemason hammer — Brick hammers
  • Tampers — Earth tampers
  • Tape measures
  • Theodolites
  • Threading taps — Tappers
  • Tongs — Brick tongs
  • Track loaders — Crawler shovels
  • Trenching machines — Trenchers
  • Trowels — Tuck pointers
  • Two way radios
  • Vacuum cleaners — Ride-on vacuum cleaners; Sidewalk sweepers; Suction sweepers
  • Vibratory plates — Vibratory plate compactors
  • Water samplers
  • Water trucks — Jet trucks for cleaning sewer lines; Water spraying equipment; Water tank trucks
  • Welding masks — Welding hoods
  • Wheel loaders — Loaders
  • Winches
  • Wire and cable pulling device — Cable pullers

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  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Work Activities

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Direct vehicle traffic.
  • Clean work sites.
  • Signal equipment operators to indicate proper equipment positioning.
  • Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
  • Move construction or extraction materials to locations where they are needed.
  • Load or unload materials used in construction or extraction.
  • Mark reference points on construction materials.
  • Measure work site dimensions.
  • Install plumbing or piping.
  • Test air quality at work sites.
  • Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
  • Operate pumps or compressors.
  • Compact materials to create level bases.
  • Dig holes or trenches.
  • Pour materials into or on designated areas.
  • Spread concrete or other aggregate mixtures.
  • Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
  • Assist skilled construction or extraction personnel.
  • Dismantle equipment or temporary structures.
  • Clean equipment or facilities.
  • Maintain construction tools or equipment.
  • Position structural components.
  • Smooth surfaces with abrasive materials or tools.
  • Position construction forms or molds.
  • Apply paint to surfaces.
  • Apply sealants or other protective coatings.
  • Clean surfaces in preparation for work activities.
  • Finish concrete surfaces.
  • Install green structural components, equipment or systems.
  • Break up rock, asphalt, or concrete.
  • Install masonry materials.
  • Protect structures or surfaces near work areas to avoid damage.
  • Remove worn, damaged or outdated materials from work areas.
  • Install insulation in equipment or structures.
  • Prepare explosives for detonation.
  • Operate heavy-duty construction or installation equipment.
  • Prepare hazardous waste for processing or disposal.

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Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 76% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Physical Proximity — 34% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 35% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 59% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 32% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 46% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 40% responded “Important results.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 39% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 64% responded “40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 30% responded “About half the time.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 25% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 37% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 31% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title 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 Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
70   High school diploma or equivalent Help
23   Less than high school diploma
6   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Interest code: RC   Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2018) $17.21 hourly, $35,800 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
Employment (2016) 1,217,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Faster than average (10% to 14%) Faster than average (10% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 145,300
State trends Employment Trends
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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