The Most Popular Professions in the United States

Retail workers are some of the most popular professions in the United States.
Retail workers are some of the most popular professions in the United States.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common professions in the United States are found in the retail Industry, and this is consistent in 33 out of the 50 states. The American workplace includes about 4.5 million retail salespersons and 3.5 million cashiers. Jobs in the fast food industry is also very common in the United States. Given that unemployment is an important issue, it is useful to know where the bulk of the workforce is mainly found. Below is a list of the most common jobs in the United States.

Retail Salespersons

This is the most common profession, and includes about 4.5 million salespeople across the country. It also ranks as the most common occupation in the majority of states. Various factors contribute to this popularity, such as few requirements or qualifications requirements, and low job competition. This type of job is equally common for both men and women.


There are about 3.3 million cashiers in the United States, which makes it the second most common job. There are few requirements or qualifications needed.

Office Clerks

Office clerks compose approximately 2.7 million employees across the United States. Clerical tasks can include filing, answering telephones, envelope stuffing and mailing, along with other administrative duties required within an office environment.

Food Preparation And Serving Workers

The food industry provides a significant employment opportunity for millions of Americans. There are about 2.6 million workers in this field. This type of work is often part-time and most common in urban areas. Additionally, about 2.2 million waiters and waitresses who also work in this industry.

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives handle customer queries by telephones or mail. There are more than 2 million customer service representatives working for various companies and agencies across the United States.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses coordinate and provide patient care, educate the public on various health conditions, and provide emotional and medical advice to patients. With more than 2.7 registered nurses across the country, nursing ranks among the top ten most common professions in the US.

Other Popular Professions in the US

Of the top ten most popular professions, all of them are considered ‘low-paying,’ except for registered nurses, who earn close to $70,000 in annual income. The mean annual income level for all occupations in the US is $46,000.

The least common profession falls within the field of prosthodontics. Prosthodontists are dentists who specializing in prosthetic teeth. According to a 2010 report released by the American Dental Association, there are 3,372 prosthodontists practicing in the US.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most common government job at the federal level is postal service worker. In state governments, the most common professions include correctional officers. Teaching is the most common profession at municipal level.

However, there are other uncommon not mentioned in the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Most of the common occupations in the retail industry are not as high paying as some of the rare jobs, such as prosthodontists, which require considerable education and training. Additionally, informal work makes up a significant part of economy, but these jobs are not reported or taxed, and therefore underrepresented in official data.


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