The Evolution of American Jobs

By: Brooke Madigan


In 1955, the popular jobs were factory workers, movie theatre workers, secretary, and teachers. Most jobs required an education and some training. Most jobs also required the employees to be a certain age in order to work. Some other jobs were telephone operators, bank workers, actors, and bowling pin gatherers.

1955 Interview (Online Source, Photography + Film)

Everything in photography and film was executed manually. Every process took longer to produce. There was no special effects in movies. They used film and film reels instead of a digital camera. The photography equipment was much bigger, bulkier, and heavier to use. It made everything take 10x as long as it does today. The whole film industry has improved drastically and is always improving.


In 1985, music was big. Therefore, it made being a musician a popular job. Politicians, athletes, and stay at home parents also became more popular. Most jobs required an education. Some jobs would start you off small before moving to the biggest position at the company.

1985 Interview (Mom, Waitress)

Her experiences in the professional world taught her to be successful, she had to show initiative and not wait to be told what to do. She had to come up with her own ideas and plans. She actually learned more by doing things than studying them. She learned organizational, planning, and leadership skills. When she was successful and her ideas were recognized kept her having a positive attitude. In 1985, she used word processors and the computer, not internet to do the work. They found jobs through newspaper ads. There was no such thing as mobile.


In 2015, popular jobs are chefs, TV personality, photographer, designers, comedians, and late night talk show hosts. Jobs have gotten a lot more serious and picky when choosing their employees. A good and high education always looks good and training as an intern or something like that. Other jobs are professional athletes, male nurses, teachers, and dentists.

2015 Interview (Dad, Photographer)

His experiences have taught him that he needs multiple computers and software to do his job. As a photographer, working in 1985 and 2015, he used to have to get the film from the camera and go get it developed at a photo lab. Now, all he has to do is hook up the camera to a computer and the photos come up instantly. Therefore, jobs like photo labs have gone out of business, but the new technology has made it easier and faster to get your photos. The money that the photo labs used to make, now goes into the photographers.