We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Types of Jobs do Americans Have?

L. S. Wynn
By L. S. Wynn
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Americans have jobs in pretty much every sector. The country’s workforce is diverse, and so are the opportunities; there aren’t many jobs that no Americans have. Certain careers and professions are more numerous than others, but people of almost any talent or ability can find some form of employment somewhere within the United States. One way to think about the types of jobs that Americans have is in the context of census data. In the United States, the government collects statistical information on residents periodically, usually every 10 years, and this is called the census. The information is usually pretty wide reaching, but typically includes employment status and title along with things like sex, age, and family structure.

According to the 2000 census, the most common jobs for Americans are in the category of sales and office work; professional jobs like lawyers, doctors, teachers, and other subject matter experts are also popular, followed by jobs in production and transportation. People also frequently work in service, which can include things like restaurants and hotels. Management, financial, and business professionals are also very numerous, particularly in big cities. Jobs in construction and maintenance are quite common as well, and employment in the agricultural, forestry, and fishing sector usually rounds out the top categories.

Understanding Employment Dynamics Generally

Job trends in any country are often somewhat cyclical in nature, and though the US is quite large, it generally follows this trend. In periods of prosperity, jobs in service, in construction, and in manufacturing are often some of the most popular and easy to get, and professional and high-paying jobs usually also grow during these times. During recessions or economic downturns, jobs are often harder to get, and people often accept employment in sectors that doesn’t necessarily match up with their training or schooling — and sometimes they actually return to school to re-train for something that’s more in demand.

Different trends can also influence American job popularity. During the expansion of the American West, for instance, jobs on rail lines and as forestry experts were in high demand; in the mid-1990s, the high tech industry was exploding, paving the way for jobs in coding and computer technology. Location can also be a big driver, with communities that are largely rural having a stronger agricultural sector while those that are densely urban needing more in the way of services, transportation, and professional opportunities.

Graphing Trends Numerically

One of the best ways to get a snapshot of the employment trends of the country as a whole is to look at census data. The results aren’t entirely precise, and they only usually capture the most popular or common jobs. People who have more unusual work situations or who have more unique titles aren’t always reflected, but looking at the data as a whole can give a good general sense of the sorts of jobs that most Americans have, at least.

It’s important to note that the data collected isn’t usually comprehensive of Americans universally; Americans sometimes also work abroad, and the jobs they’re able to find on a more global scales are virtually limitless. For the most part, census gatherings reflect only the job trends of those living in the US. Since not everyone living and working in the US is an American, and since not all Americans live in the US, the results must be taken more as an estimate than an exact reading.

The following chart is based on published data from the 2000 census and reflects a broad view of the makeup of the U.S. workforce and American jobs. The blue component of the horizontal bars represents men and the green component represents women.

type of job number of workers
sales and office 34,621,000 sales and office jobs in the united states
professional and related 26,199,000 professional jobs in the united states
production and transport. 19,968,000 production and transportation jobs in the united states
service 19,277,000 service jobs in the united states
mgmt, financial, bus. 17,448,000 management, financial and business jobs in the united states
construction and maint. 12,256,000 construction and maintenance jobs in the united states
farming, fishing, forestry 952,000 farming, fishing and forestry jobs in the united states
America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By suntan12 — On May 13, 2011

@Anon168463 -I understand that the population is significantly higher than this, but I think that the data used in the article is based on the 2000 Census data.

I think that many Americans have government jobs. As a matter of fact, more people are employed by the public sector than work in the private sector. This is a first in the United States as the growth in government jobs has expand and the unemployment numbers for those in the private sector has increased dramatically.

I also think that the field of information technology employs a lot of people and has been a constant source of new jobs since 2000. Lately, Social Media jobs have been on the rise and people with this expertise are in demand in America.

By anon168463 — On Apr 17, 2011

these are roughly 118 million jobs, not even half the population. can you post the entirety of jobs or even put them under "other" ? this can't be all of them.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.