Top 10 Most Prevalent Jobs in America

Airmen from around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, help stock shelves inside the base commissary.
Airmen from around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, help stock shelves inside the base commissary prior to its opening for the day, March 24, 2020. (Wesley Farnsworth/U.S. Air Force photo)

The Department of Labor recently released a report detailing jobs in America with the most employees. Unsurprisingly, the top 10 are all paid below the average wage with the exception of registered nurses.

This list does not indicate how many positions within these industries are currently open, or how long these trends are likely to remain. However, because these jobs feature such high numbers of people, there are likely to be a higher number of open positions than many other industries. While some may make for sustainable careers, these jobs may be the ones to search for if you need to pay rent next month.

1. Retail Sales Associate

Retail work isn't easy, and the earnings aren't stellar. Some make a career out of being a sales associate, but to be truly successful requires a company that pays commission, and a lot of hard work. However, this may be a great opportunity for someone who needs to make ends meet while they look for something long term, or for someone interested in climbing the ladder in a retail environment. Average salary: $21,410

2. Cashiers

Cashiers do very similar, if not the same, work as retail sales associates. The main difference is that instead of driving sales, they solely operate the register while sales associates work the floor. Cashiers tend to have fewer hours, but can lead to opportunities in the future. Average salary: $18,970

3. Food Preparation and Servers

Food prep and serving might lead to future positions in the food industry, but this usually requires training and work on the side. If you love food and want to pursue working in a kitchen as a career, this may be the place to start. Average salary: $19,300

4. Office Clerks

Offices tend to require certain specialists in order to run. These clerks are often the backbone of a functioning office as they maintain the environment so everyone can be effective in their jobs. Whether it's sorting mail, stocking the fridge or working the front door, these individuals keep the gears turning. Average salary: $27,470

5. Registered Nurses

Registered nurses are currently doing fairly well in America. Their pay is squarely above the average and provides for a decent lifestyle in most areas. Registered nursing positions require post-secondary education, but the benefits tend to outweigh the debt incurred. Average salary: $65,470

6. Waiters

Working on your feet all day and running between tables and the kitchen is physically demanding, and playing nice with a litany of strangers can be emotionally taxing. Although seated patrons only see an individual pop up and smile in front of them while scribbling into a notepad, a lot of effort and energy goes into being a successful waiter. Average salary: $18,540

7. Customer Service Representatives

Customer service personnel are, sometimes, the first faces to a company that a customer sees. These individuals must know the brand and the product, and have excellent interpersonal skills. Because people tend to go to them with complaints, customer service representatives usually field a long list of complaints for the better part of their days. Average salary: $30,580

8. Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers

If you're physically fit and don't mind lifting heavy loads all day, this may be a great job for you. The pay can be pretty solid, and if you show up on time and perform in a timely manner, employers will want to retain your services. Average salary: $22,970

9. Administrative Assistants

Administrative assistants work directly with office personnel to ensure that they have the tools necessary to complete their jobs. This can involve ordering lunches for large meetings as well as controlling who gets what software licenses. Average salary: $35,330

10. Janitors

Although typically portrayed as miserly elderly gentlemen, all manner of individuals are qualified to be janitors. While the work is inherently dirty, consistency and professionalism can lead to future opportunities. Average salary: $22,320

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