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Workers with depression and frequent mental distress (FMD) have lost work productivity. Limited systematic comparisons exist for the prevalence of depression and FMD across occupational groups.Using a state-added question for occupation coupled to measures of depression and FMD on the Washington State (WA) 2006 and 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, we estimated the prevalence and odds ratios (ORs) among the 20,560 WA workers.The prevalences of current depression and FMD were 5.2% and 7.5%, respectively. The prevalence varied considerably across occupations. Compared with Management occupation, Truck drivers had significantly increased odds for both current depression [OR = 6.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.52–15.16] and FMD (OR = 1.85, 95% CI: 1.01–3.41). Cleaning/Building services (OR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.11–3.40) and Protective services (OR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.19–3.27) were associated with increased FMD.These findings demonstrate the need for research on possible sources of the differences for current depression and FMD across occupations. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:893–903, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.