Nearly all H-2B workers are employed in a small number of occupations: Top 10 H-2B occupations by number of USCIS-approved petitions, fiscal year 2021

H-2B Rank Major group SOC code Occupation Initial approval Continuing approval Total approvals Share of total H-2B approvals
1 37 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 56,388 6,960 63,348 48.0%
2 51 Production Occupations 13,087 2,674 15,761 11.9%
3 45 Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations 10,692 2,057 12,749 9.7%
4 35 Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 6,744 3,262 10,006 7.6%
5 39 Personal Care and Service Occupations 8,785 1,149 9,934 7.5%
6 47 Construction and Extraction Occupations 7,270 1,052 8,322 6.3%
7 53 Transportation and Material-Moving Occupations 4,512 576 5,088 3.9%
8 N/A N/A 3,191 1,424 4,615 3.5%
9 49 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 512 101 613 0.5%
10 27 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 520 22 542 0.4%
Totals for the top 10 111,701 19,277 130,978 99.1%
Totals for top 10 occupations excluding N/A 108,510 17,853 126,363 95.7%
Total H-2B approvals, all occupations 112,546 19,555 132,101 100%

Note: SOC stands for Standard Occupational Classification, which is a system of job classification created by the U.S. Department of Labor, see https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_stru.htm#47-0000 

Source: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, H-2B Employer Data Hub, fiscal year 2021 data file.

View the underlying data on epi.org.