What is a specialty occupation?

Posted by Camilo Espinosa on July 20, 2017

Specialty Occupations

In order for a US company to employ a graduate level worker from a foreign country and for US immigration to allow them to apply for an H1B Visa, one of the criteria is that the occupation fall under the category of a specialty occupation. What exactly is a specialty occupation? Read further to learn more.

A specialty occupation is a job in a highly-specialized field in which theoretical and practical application is required and a Bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) is needed to enter the occupation.

The qualifications for positions in a specialty occupation include:

  • The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree.
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

Specialty occupations are very common among the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) because they usually require at least a Bachelor’s Degree and often higher levels of education. Below you'll find a list of occupations that fall under these categories:
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Architects
  • Biologists
  • Budget and Management Analysts
  • Chemists
  • Civil Engineers
  • College and University Educators
  • Database Administrators
  • Data Communication and Network Administrators
  • Economists
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineers
  • Financial Analysts
  • Graphic Designers and Artists
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Sales and Distribution Managers
  • Software Engineers
  • Statisticians
  • Surveyors
  • Systems Analysts and Programmers
  • Teachers, Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Therapists


If you want to ensure that your job is a specialty occupation, do not hesitate in contacting us for a free 1-hour consultation.

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Topics: H1B Visa, Immigration