Using O*Net For Career Exploration
Joe Tucibat, Assistant Director For Career Development
MTSU Academic Support Center, KUC 324
Updated August 2006
O*Net is the Department Of Labor’s new resource for career exploration. In this worksheet,
we’ll use their Interest Profiler to learn what your career interest type might be, and then use
more O*Net and DOL resources to learn about the careers that match your interests. The Interest
Profiler is a PC-based application. After completing it you’ll print out a report to use on O*Net’s
website. O*Net’s Interest Profiler software is installed on PCs in LRC’s computer lab.
Let’s Get Started
Open the O*Net Interest Profiler and click on “Click to Start.” After clicking through a few
information screens, click the “Start my O*Net Interest Profiler now” button. The program
will ask you to input your name (or you can just skip that step). The next few screens will ask
you if it’s your first time taking the inventory, and will fill you in on what the inventory is all
about as well as give you instructions for completing the inventory. It will take you through a
short demo on how to answer the questions.
When the actual inventory questions are presented, answer as you did in the demo and work
through all 180 items. When you finish #180, the program will ask you if you want to review
your answers. If you select Yes, you will be able to look over your answers to all 180 items. If
you select No, you will see your inventory results. Follow the directions to read more about your
results. Write the names and a description of two or three types you scored highest in:
(Example: Social—likes helping people, giving advice and teaching)
You will see a button that allows you to print out your results and descriptions of the interest
areas. You now have the option to print these out, but wait for a few more screens, and then
you’ll have the option of printing out the scores and the names and code numbers of jobs that
“match” your interest areas. So, go right on to the Interests + Job Zones=Occupations part below.
Interests + Job Zones = Occupations
The program will ask you to specify a level of training (a Job Zone) to use to filter out jobs that
you would be over/under-qualified for given the Job Zone you choose. The program will explain
all Job Zones and guide you in your choice. If you plan on getting a bachelor’s degree, choose at
least Job Zone 4 as your Future Job Zone.
After you’ve chosen your Job Zone and gone through the information pages to follow, you’ll
reach a page where you can click on the button labeled, “Search now, please.” The screens that
follow will explain how to interpret the information about job matches. Choose “Print Report.”
The report will include job titles and O*Net-SOC code numbers. We’ll use them in the next
Hit The Web!
Now, with your O*Net Interest Profiler Occupations Report in hand, go to the O*Net website
(online.onetcenter.org). When there, click on the Find Occupations link.
In the box under the words “Keyword or O*NET-SOC code search” enter the O*NET-SOC
code from your Interest Profiler Report for occupations you want to research. You don’t have to
put in the dashes or dots—you may just enter digits such as 19303102. Hit Go, and the name of
the occupation will appear as a link on the next page. Click on the name of the occupation and
read at least these sections about your researched occupation: Tasks, Knowledge, Skills, Work
Activities and Work Values.
At the very bottom of the page, use the drop down menu in the Wages And Employment Trends
section to choose a state for which you’d like to see the prevailing wage for your occupation. On
the page that follows after you hit Go (the page is America’s Career InfoNet, by the way), notice
the Median—it is the exact middle of the range of all salaries reported for that occupation in your
Up towards the top of the page on the right is a dropdown menu box saying Find Related
Content. Select Occupation Outlook and hit Go. You’ll go to the Occupational Outlook
Handbook site where you can get more info on the occupation and find out what kinds of
education can help qualify you for the career. Pay special attention to these sections: 1. Nature
Of The Work, 2. Training, Other Qualifications, And Advancement, 3. Job Outlook and last,
Tell About What You Found Out!
You should be able to address these questions. Sometimes you may have to “read between the
1. What are the primary tasks of someone in this occupation?
2. Are there different kinds of careers in this occupation (for example, chemical engineers,
3. What majors and degrees are recommended for the occupation?
4. What would be a typical salary, and is the occupation growing or declining?
Use the Back button on your browser to navigate back one page to America’s Career InfoNet.
Watch the “Career Video” if one is offered on the page about your chosen occupation. Use your
Back button to navigate back to O*Net, or if you close out your browser window by mistake, just
go back to online.onetcenter.org. Repeat this search process from online.onetcenter.org to
research as many occupations as you’d like, or however many your instructor has recommended.
If you have questions about career development or you’d like to follow up with career counseling,
call my office at 898-2339 and ask the receptionist to set up an appointment for us to talk!