15 Most Common Jobs in America in 2020


In June 2020, there were 142.18 million employed people in the United States. They work in hundreds of industries earning from $7.25 per hour to over $200,000 a year. Some occupations don’t require employees to graduate high school, while others demand a college or university degree.


In this article, we will discuss the 15 most common jobs in America, which account for almost 22% of total employment. Learn about the number of workers in the industry, average hourly wage, and primary responsibilities to be aware of the latest labor market trends.

The most popular jobs in America
The average hourly salary and the employment rate are on the rise in America. Every day thousands of new job openings are posted, which gives employees an excellent opportunity to find an occupation that matches their taste. After getting familiar with a popular list of careers in the USA, you’ll definitely have some good options from which to choose.

Considering the popularity of these occupations, potential candidates should take the employment process seriously. Don’t forget to write a cover letter adapted to the chosen position. Get familiar with a secretary, manager, or flight attendant cover letter example to understand what employers want to see.

1. Retail salesperson
Total employment: 4,155,190

Average hourly earnings: $10.81

A retail salesperson is the only occupation with more than four million employees. Their primary responsibilities are finding requested products and completing payments. Retail workers occupy a variety of industries, from selling shoes to tech devices. Usually, no diplomas or certificates are required. Candidates only need to complete a training program.

2. Cashier
Total employment: 3,354,170

Average hourly earnings: $9.92

Cashiers work in retail locations where customers pay for items and services like shopping centers, restaurants, and gas stations. Sometimes cashiers need to greet customers and check their IDs. No education is required, and cashiers train in place.

Unfortunately, expectations are that employment in this role will be cut by 4% due to the growing popularity of automated checkouts.

3. Food preparation and serving (including fast food)
Total employment: 2,692,170

Average hourly earnings: $10.64

Wondering what is the most common job in the United States? Have a look at the growing industry of fast foods and cafes. Leaders in annual revenues include:

●        McDonald’s with $37 billion

●       Starbucks with $13 billion

●       Subway with $10.8 billion

●       Burger King with $10 billion

●       Taco Bell with $9.8 billion

Americans love fast food, and the workforce in the industry is almost 2.7 million people. It doesn’t require education, which makes the occupation an attractive opportunity for graduates, foreigners, those switching careers seeking part-time work.

4. General office clerks
Total employment: 2,789,590

Average hourly earnings: $13.37

Office clerks are employees who complete a wide range of tasks within schools, hospitals, and government institutions. They answer phones, do bookkeeping, and any related work assigned by an employer. Usually, the only requirement is a high school diploma because this market job significantly depends on skills and experience.

5. Registered nurses
Total employment: 2,951,960

Average hourly earnings: $29.82

A registered nurse is one of the most popular careers in America and quite rewarding. These employees perform tests, keep medical records, monitor patients, and provide care in hospitals. To become a registered nurse, you need to have a corresponding degree, pass an NCLEX-RN exam, and obtain a state license.

6. Waiters/waitresses
Total employment: 2,244,480

Average hourly earnings: $6.94

Waiters and waitresses work anywhere from food courts to luxury restaurants. They take orders, clean tables, and make sure that customers feel satisfied and happy. Even though the average hourly wage is low, waiters and waitresses work for tips. So earnings significantly depend on their skills and friendliness.

7. Customer service workers
Total employment: 2,146,120

Average hourly earnings: $14.22

Customer service workers are among the most common professions in the USA. The total workforce in the industry exceeds two million. This position suggests working at front desks or call centers and answering questions of customers. It is required to have a high school education and strong problem-solving and communication skills.

8. Cleaners and janitors
Total employment: 2,058,610

Average hourly earnings: $15

More than two million people in the country make their living conducting small repairs, performing property maintenance, and cleaning. No specific skills or diploma are needed, so this occupation is a perfect starting point, which in perspective can lead to promotion.

 9. Administrative assistants and secretaries
Total employment: 1,841,020

Average hourly earnings: $17.98

This is one of the most common jobs in the US and abroad. Workers in this industry perform a large number of tasks from scheduling meetings, doing clerical work, and ensuring that other employees have everything they need.

10. General managers
Total employment: 1,708,080

Average hourly earnings: $44

The income of general and operational managers in the US significantly varies and may reach $80 per hour. These specialists are responsible for the company’s operations and ensure that the costs are low while the incomes are high.

11. Bookkeeping and accounting clerks
Total employment: 1,675,250

Average hourly earnings: $17.24

These assistants perform many duties of accountants and ensure that financial data is accurate. The only requirement is a high school degree, but completing training programs and earning certificates may significantly increase your chances of being hired. Proficiency in tax software or MS Office is a big plus.

12. Elementary school teachers
Total employment: 1,485,600

Average hourly earnings: $18

Elementary school teachers are responsible for educating and developing children’s core skills from kindergarten to sixth grade. This occupation requires at least a bachelor’s degree, teaching license, and sometimes certification for particular grade levels. While the average yearly income of elementary school teachers equals $62,000, it may reach $80,000 in California and New York.

13. Nursing assistants
Total employment: 1,451,090

Average hourly earnings: $15

Nursing assistants help patients with daily activities like eating or bathing. They also prepare medical equipment. To work in hospitals and nursing homes, these specialists need to obtain state certification.

14. Bus and truck mechanics
Total employment: 1,222,770

Average hourly earnings: $22.04

Bus and truck mechanics diagnose and repair trucks and buses and maintain and fix diesel engines. They are employed in a variety of industries, including transportation, local government, and merchant wholesalers.

15. General repair and maintenance workers
Total employment: 1,217,820

Average hourly earnings: $15.09

General maintenance workers ensure that machines, buildings, and equipment are running the way they should. Such specialists don’t require any education, but businesses usually prefer college degrees with certifications in specific areas. Repair workers should know plumbing and carpentry.

Final Thoughts
In this article, we have provided a list of the most common occupations in 2020. Now that you know their average salaries, responsibilities, and requirements, you are better prepared to search for your perfect option. Decide what you’d like to do in the future, determine your strengths, and start a brilliant career.

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15 Most Common Jobs in America in 2020
Want to know the most common jobs in the United States? Learn the top 15, including such professions as cashier and accountant.
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