Knowing the amount of education that current workers have is a helpful guide in determining the amount of education that aspiring workers need. For example, as shown in the chart below, about 80 percent of Carpenters' Helpers have just a high school diploma or less and fewer than five percent have a bachelor's degree. It's pretty certain, therefore, that a diploma is sufficient qualification for those who also demonstrable technical skills.
Finding BLS Education Data
Complete BLS data on education requirements is available to download in Excel files. The easiest source for information on specific occupations is the Career OneStop website.
As well as the educational attainment data discussed here, the BLS also provides their own assessment of the education requirements. I disagree with many of these assessments and explained why in a previous post.
Finally, over seventy percent of Biomedical Engineers have a bachelor's or higher degree. This is a clear indicator that students need a bachelor's or higher degree to be competitive. People working in the field without a bachelor's degree are probably in some helper or technician role, not considered on a par with engineering school graduates.
Additionally, we know that education requirements in many occupations are rising and having more qualifications can make an applicant more competitive. Attaining an additional degree might be a good choice, but it is often less expensive and just as valuable to earn an industry certification.
The chart below summarizes educational attainment levels in career clusters. The majority of workers in the Architecture and Construction cluster have a high school diploma or less — most of these workers are involved in the actual building process. But about 10 percent of workers in this cluster have a bachelor's degree or more. They are employed primarily in construction design. In the Information Technology cluster, on the other hand, about 70 percent of workers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
The sixteen charts below provide information on the education requirements for each career cluster. For each cluster, I selected ten promising occupations — ones that are projected to growing rapidly or have many job openings over the next decade.