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The Most Popular Jobs In Every State Since 1978

Flickr / raymondclarkeimages

Much like Todd Rundgren, what your kid lacks in work ethic they make up for in banging the drum all day. It’s hard enough getting tiny humans to understand what a career is, let alone which ones are out there, how that has changed, and why Dad won’t shut up about STEM. That just got a little easier thanks to NPR‘s latest interactive map that shows the most common jobs in each state since 1978. Thankfully, none of them are percussionists.

The tool uses U.S. Census data to visualize the increasing and decreasing popularity of jobs across the country over nearly 4 decades.  By either selecting a year on the timeline or pressing the play button, you can see a number of patterns unfold, such as the spike in secretaries in the 80s. Over the years, farmers and machine operators literally fall off the map, while truck drivers win one of the only popularity contests they’ve ever been in. NPR points out that part of the reason for this is because truck drivers and delivery people are lumped together, which may inflate their prominence slightly. This may make your kid want to drive a truck more than they already did, and since their industry has been protected from globalization, you can sort of see their point now.

Teacher positions have increased in popularity, but their salaries have been eroding for years and the Economic Policy Institute reports that they make anywhere from 11 to 17 percent less than comparable workers. If you’re not ready to give up on your youngster’s STEM potential, you might want to keep an open mind about mormonism as well. The map shows that Utah has turned into one hell of a hotbed for tech jobs. Your kid likely already has that magic underwear thing covered.


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