Are you an essential employee?

March 25, 2020
Pictured here, workers with the Oklahoma State Department of Health prepare to administer coronavirus tests at a drive-up testing clinic in Ponca City March 25. (Photo by Jordan Green/Journal-Tribune) Pictured here, workers with the Oklahoma State Department of Health prepare to administer coronavirus tests at a drive-up testing clinic in Ponca City March 25. (Photo by Jordan Green/Journal-Tribune)

Are you an essential employee?

Questions abound over who will be able to continue working in the event of a mandated stay-at-home order. State and federal officials use the following list of jobs, called the “MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE,” to determine who needs to keep working.

This list is prepared by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Cyber Infrastructure.

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule,” Christopher C. Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said.

The following jobs are deemed critical by the federal government.

This list is lengthy, but it is broken up into section heads. Navigate the list to find your career area.


• Workers providing COVID-19 testing; Workers that perform critical clinical research needed for COVID-19 response

Caregivers (e.g., physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, speech pathologists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists)

Hospital and laboratory personnel (including accounting, administrative, admitting and discharge, engineering, epidemiological, source plasma and blood donation, food service, housekeeping, medical records, information technology and operational technology, nutritionists, sanitarians, respiratory therapists, etc.)

Workers in other medical facilities (including Ambulatory Health and Surgical, Blood Banks, Clinics, Community Mental Health, Comprehensive Outpatient rehabilitation, End Stage Renal Disease, Health Departments, Home Health care, Hospices, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Organ Pharmacies, Procurement Organizations, Psychiatric Residential, Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers)

Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical gases, pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products

Public health / community health workers, including those who compile, model, analyze and communicate public health information

Blood and plasma donors and the employees of the organizations that operate and manage related activities

Workers that manage health plans, billing, and health information, who cannot practically work remotely

Workers who conduct community-based public health functions, conducting epidemiologic surveillance, compiling, analyzing and communicating public health information, who cannot practically work remotely

Workers performing cybersecurity functions at healthcare and public health facilities, who cannot practically work remotely

Workers conducting research critical to COVID-19 response

Workers performing security, incident management, and emergency operations functions at or on behalf of healthcare entities including healthcare coalitions, who cannot practically work remotely

Workers who support food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, such as those residing in shelters

Pharmacy employees necessary for filling prescriptions

Workers performing mortuary services, including funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemetery workers

Workers who coordinate with other organizations to ensure the proper recovery, handling, identification, transportation, tracking, storage, and disposal of human remains and personal effects; certify cause of death; and facilitate access to mental/behavioral health services to the family members, responders, and survivors of an incident


Personnel in emergency management, law enforcement, Emergency Management Systems, fire, and corrections, including front line and management

Emergency Medical Technicians

911 call center employees

Fusion Center employees

Hazardous material responders from government and the private sector.

Workers – including contracted vendors -- who maintain, manufacture, or supply digital systems infrastructure supporting law enforcement emergency service, and response operations.


Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores and other retail that sells human food, animal/pet food, and beverage products

Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations - Carry-out and delivery food employees

Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging

Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically

Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs

Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers

Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail

Company cafeterias - in-plant cafeterias used to feed employees

Workers in food testing labs in private industries and in institutions of higher education

Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments

Employees of companies engaged in the production, storage, transport, and distribution of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids

Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants, renderers, and associated regulatory and government workforce

Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products

Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution


Electricity industry:

Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore, or are involved in the development, transportation, fuel procurement, expansion, or operation of the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, reliability engineers and fleet maintenance technicians

Workers needed for safe and secure operations at nuclear generation

Workers at generation, transmission and electric blackstart facilities

Workers at Reliability Coordinator (RC), Balancing Authorities (BA), and primary and backup Control Centers (CC), including but not limited to independent system operators, regional transmission organizations, and balancing authorities

Mutual assistance personnel

IT and OT technology staff – for EMS (Energy Management Systems) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, and utility data centers; Cybersecurity engineers; cybersecurity risk management

Vegetation management crews and traffic workers who support

Environmental remediation/monitoring technicians

Instrumentation, protection, and control technicians

Petroleum workers:

Petroleum product storage, pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport, road transport

Crude oil storage facilities, pipeline, and marine transport

Petroleum refinery facilities

Petroleum security operations center employees and workers who support emergency response services

Petroleum operations control rooms/centers

Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting, and retail for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing

Onshore and offshore operations for maintenance and emergency response

Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them

Natural and propane gas workers:

Natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations

Underground storage of natural gas

Natural gas processing plants, and those that deal with natural gas liquids

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities

Natural gas security operations center, natural gas operations dispatch and control rooms/centers natural gas emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural gas leak calls

Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feedstocks for chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation

Propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including propane leak calls

Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centers

Processing, refining, and transporting natural liquids, including propane gas, for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing

Propane gas storage, transmission, and distribution centers


Employees needed to operate and maintain drinking water and wastewater/drainage infrastructure, including:

Operational staff at water authorities

Operational staff at community water systems

Operational staff at wastewater treatment facilities

Workers repairing water and wastewater conveyances and performing required sampling or monitoring

Operational staff for water distribution and testing

Operational staff at wastewater collection facilities

Operational staff and technical support for SCADA Control systems

Chemical suppliers for wastewater and personnel protection

Workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting water and wastewater operations


Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel)

Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.

Mass transit workers

Workers responsible for operating dispatching passenger, commuter and freight trains and maintaining rail infrastructure and equipment

Maritime transportation workers - port workers, mariners, equipment operators

Truck drivers who haul hazardous and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions, and services

Automotive repair and maintenance facilities

Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations

Postal and shipping workers, to include private companies

Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers

Air transportation employees, including air traffic controllers and maintenance personnel, ramp workers, aviation and aerospace safety, security, and operations personnel and accident investigations

Workers who support the maintenance and operation of cargo by air transportation, including flight crews, maintenance, airport operations, and other on- and off- airport facilities workers


Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and levees

Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues

Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences

Support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications

Support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and hazardous waste



Maintenance of communications infrastructure- including privately owned and maintained communication systems- supported by technicians, operators, call-centers, wireline and wireless providers, cable service providers, satellite operations, undersea cable landing stations (including cable marine depots and submarine cable ship operators), Internet Exchange Points, and manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment

Workers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering and reporting

Workers at Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations, and Network Operations staff, engineers and/or technicians to manage the network or operate facilities

Engineers, technicians and associated personnel responsible for infrastructure construction and restoration, including contractors for construction and engineering of fiber optic cables

Installation, maintenance and repair technicians that establish, support or repair service as needed

Central office personnel to maintain and operate central office, data centers, and other network office facilities

Customer service and support staff, including managed and professional services as well as remote providers of support to transitioning employees to set up and maintain home offices, who interface with customers to manage or support service environments and security issues, including payroll, billing, fraud, and troubleshooting

Dispatchers involved with service repair and restoration

Information Technology:

Workers who support command centers, including, but not limited to Network Operations Command Center, Broadcast Operations Control Center and Security Operations Command Center

Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC & electrical engineers, security personnel, IT managers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers, and database administrators

Client service centers, field engineers, and other technicians supporting critical infrastructure, as well as manufacturers and supply chain vendors that provide hardware and software, and information technology equipment (to include microelectronics and semiconductors) for critical infrastructure

Workers responding to cyber incidents involving critical infrastructure, including medical facilities, SLTT governments and federal facilities, energy and utilities, and banks and financial institutions, and other critical infrastructure categories and personnel

Workers supporting the provision of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computing services (incl. cloud computing services), business infrastructure, web-based services, and critical manufacturing

Workers supporting communications systems and information technology used by law enforcement, public safety, medical, energy and other critical industries

Support required for continuity of services, including janitorial/cleaning personnel


Workers to ensure continuity of building functions

Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures

Elections personnel

Federal, State, and Local, Tribal, and Territorial employees who support Mission Essential Functions and communications networks

Trade Officials (FTA negotiators; international data flow administrators)

Weather forecasters

Workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting other critical government operations

Workers at operations centers necessary to maintain other essential functions

Workers who support necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations for transportation workers

Customs workers who are critical to facilitating trade in support of the national emergency response supply chain

Educators supporting public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing other essential functions, if operating under rules for social distancing

Hotel Workers where hotels are used for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures


Workers necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply chains, and for supply chains associated with transportation, energy, communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base. Additionally, workers needed to maintain the continuity of these manufacturing functions and associated supply chains.


Workers at nuclear facilities, workers managing medical waste, workers managing waste from pharmaceuticals and medical material production, and workers at laboratories processing test kits

Workers who support hazardous materials response and cleanup

Workers who maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting hazardous materials management operations


Workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services (e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; and capital markets activities)

Workers who are needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, and to move currency and payments (e.g., armored cash carriers)

Workers who support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations centers


Workers supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chains, including workers at chemical manufacturing plants, workers in laboratories, workers at distribution facilities, workers who transport basic raw chemical materials to the producers of industrial and consumer goods, including hand sanitizers, food and food additives, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and paper products.

Workers supporting the safe transportation of chemicals, including those supporting tank truck cleaning facilities and workers who manufacture packaging items

Workers supporting the production of protective cleaning and medical solutions, personal protective equipment, and packaging that prevents the contamination of food, water, medicine, among others essential products

Workers supporting the operation and maintenance of facilities (particularly those with high risk chemicals and/or sites that cannot be shut down) whose work cannot be done remotely and requires the presence of highly trained personnel to ensure safe operations, including plant contract workers who provide inspections

Workers who support the production and transportation of chlorine and alkali manufacturing, single-use plastics, and packaging that prevents the contamination or supports the continued manufacture of food, water, medicine, and other essential products, including glass container manufacturing


Workers who support the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military. These individuals, include but are not limited to, aerospace; mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers; IT support; security staff; security personnel; intelligence support, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers

Personnel working for companies, and their subcontractors, who perform under contract to the Department of Defense providing materials and services to the Department of Defense, and government-owned/contractor-operated and government-owned/government-operated facilities