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What Are the Most and Least Common Jobs in the US?

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We all know how tough finding a job can be. But finding certain ones may be a whole heck of a lot easier than others.

Using data from 2011, Forbes has created a list of the most and least common jobs in the US. The publication analyzed numbers culled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which focused on information from 1.2 million businesses around the country, covering 800 different fields.

So, what’s the rarest job out there? Board member of the meter maid appreciation society? Spokesman for Lindsay Lohan’s Oscar campaign? Matchmaker for Manti Te’o? Well, it’s actually private household chef. There are only about 370 of them in the country. That edged out the second most uncommon job – prosthodontist, which is so rare you probably don’t even know what it is. That’s someone who creates oral prostheses to help people with missing teeth or other oral issues.

As for the most common jobs, there’s a definite theme – customer service and helping others. Retail sales dominates the list, with 4.27 million folks working in it, easily outdistancing the runner-up (and fellow customer service job) cashier. Registered nurse and nursing aide also cracked the list.

Here are the most uncommon and most common jobs, along with the number of them that exist in the country:


1. Personal household chef – 370
Fishers and related fishing workers640
4. Fabric menders (except garment)760
5. Patternmakers (wood)820
6. Farm labor contractors960
7. Timing device assemblers and adjusters1,000
8. Mathematical technicians – 1,060
Radio operators – 1,220
Mathematical science occupations (all other) – 1,260
Industrial-organizational psychologists -1,230
Segmental pavers – 1,330
Wood model makers – 1,370
Geographers – 1,430
Animal breeders – 1,460


1. Retail salespeople4,270,550
2. Cashiers3,314,870
3. General office clerks2,828,140
4. Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food2,799,430
5. Registered nurses2,724,570
6. Waiters and waitresses2,289,010
7. Customer service representatives – 2,212,820
Janitors and cleaners (except maids and housekeeping cleaners) – 2,068,460
Laborers and freight, stock and material movers2,063,580
Secretaries and administrative assistants (except legal, medical and executive) – 1,955,570
General and operations managers1,805,030
Stock clerks and order fillers1,782,800
Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks1,643,470
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers1,508,620
Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants1,466,700


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