Learn English Vocabulary 50 Common American Job and Career Titles

If you are learning English and wanting to know more about careers in America, this list of 50 is a perfect list to study. This list includes some fo the most popular careers, or jobs in America. The English words for careers will be useful to you if you study English by watching television or shows. 

If you aim to live or study in America you will meet many people with the careers on this list and understanding the qualifications necessary and the pay will help you in English conversation.

Most careers in America pay higher when they require more education and experience. So a doctor that goes to school and studies medicine for eight years will make much more money than a customer service representative with only a high school degree. Also when jobs in corporations are a “manager” and the person is in charge of several people or more, they will require that you have three or more years of experience. 

The great news for those of you learning English, is that you already speak a second language fluently. Jobs in the United States that require you to speak English, also highly value a second language. These posititions in America are typically called bilingual. There are many bilingual positions in government and corporations that do business globally. 

1. Cashier

A cashier is the worker at a store that scans the items you bought, and takes the money and puts it into the cash register. 

A cashier job does not require lots of experience or education.

 

You will make a low wage per hour if you are a cashier, but it is an easy job. 

2. Customer Service Representative

A customer service representative usually will handle customer complaints, or issues with an order for a product or service. 

In the United States many customer service representatives work over the phone.

 

You may make slightly more money than a cashier at a customer service representative job, but it still doesn’t require much work experience.

3. Janitor

A janitor, or sometimes called a custodian, works in a building or a school and their job is to keep the different areas clean. 

A janitor’s job is very physical and hard work, they will have to do things like mop, sweep, and sometimes paint or fix things in the building they work in as well. 

A janitor’s job is not always completely desirable because you have to clean up after others, but in general in America we try to respect those that do work. 

 

Sometimes janitors make decent money in the United States depending on where they work. But it is a job that requires little skill or any education to do.

4. IT Manager

Moving onto jobs that require more education, typically a college degree, let’s talk about an IT Manager. 

Any job that is in a manager role will be in charge of other workers. 

IT stands for information technology. 

Within a business or organization an IT manager is in charge of how information is sent, stored and retrieved on the computers, or using the internet. 

An IT manager is in charge of several or many workers that support the technology at a company. 

 

Any management role will require at least three to five years of experience and at least a college education. The pay in a management role will be a larger salary.

5. IT Support

IT support workers, will be managed by an IT Manager.

If you are having a computer or network problem at your job you will call an IT support worker to fix it. 

An IT support job will require a year or more of experience, and some college education. 

 

This job pays a good salary that you can live comfortably off of.

6. Secretary

A secretary is the person who answers many phone calls, emails and sets appointments for a business or organization. 

A secretary is an important person within a company, they keep the day to day operations organized. 

This job requires someone that is organized and good at talking to people.

 

The job pays a decent livable wage, but doesn’t always require much education or experience.

7. Bookkeeper or Accountant

A Bookkeeper is a less formal way to say accountant. 

A corporation would typically refer to the person who is in charge of keeping financial records an accountant. 

Accountants do many different types of work for companies, like calculate expenses, send invoices, taxes, payroll, and help make other financial decisions. 

 

Accountants and bookkeepers must be very good at math, or dealing with numbers. Being an accountant at a corporation will pay a good salary and requires a business degree.

8. General Manager

A general manager is in charge of one part of business. 

Sometimes general managers are in charge of an entire store, or part of a business. 

They oversee many employees and talk to customers when there are problems. 

General managers usually start at a company and work their way to a manager position after many years at a company. 

 

General managers are usually paid a higher salary at a company.

9. Human Resource Specialist

Large corporations have a division called “human resources”

Human resources is in charge of hiring, and training of the personnel at a company, and they are also in charge of handling any conflict between people at company. 

Specialist is often seen in job titles, it means that the person focuses on that part of the business. 

A Human Resource Specialist is in charge of hiring people, firing people, and handling the conflict in the office. 

 

You typically need a college degree to be a human resource specialist and the job pays a decent salary.

10. Market Research Analyst

When we use the word market in English it typically refers to buying and selling goods and services. 

Research means to read or study information to learn more about something. 

And an analyst, which is a word that many job titles use, is someone who observes something, and tries to explain or interpret it. 

A market research analyst is someone who conducts research on what people want to buy from a company and how much they want to pay. 

 

A good market research analyst will help a company make more sales, and earn more money. So this person could be very valuable to a company and make lots of money.

11. Salesman or Saleswoman

In the United States many companies hire salespeople, which is the gender neutral term for salesmen, and saleswoman. 

A salesperson will try to convince you to buy a product.

A car salesman would try to sell you a car. They would try to get you to buy a car. 

 

Salespeople are generally paid by commission, they make a portion of the money of the sales they make, so if you are a good salesperson you will make more money.

12. Financial Advisor

A financial advisor will help individuals make investments with the money they make. 

If you want to grow your money in your savings you will hire a financial advisor to help you make decisions about your money. 

 

Financial advisors have to have college education and must pass several tests in order to do their job. They typically make good pay.

13. Actuary

An actuary works with businesses to calculate risks. 

An actuary will need to be good at math and statistics. 

 

Actuaries need a business degree and training in order to be employed by a company. Actuaries make a good salary.

14. Truck Driver

A truck driver is an important job for the operations of a business. 

In America we typically say semi-trucks, but sometimes refer to the trucks we transport goods in as tractor trailers. 

 

Truck drivers make a decent living, but they don’t need much education, just a driving license and the knowledge of how to drive a large truck.

15. Elementary School Teacher

An elementary school teacher teaches young students.

In America you typically go to elementary school from ages 5-10, or kindergarten to fifth grade. 

Most teachers in America make a liveable salary but not a lot of money. 

 

Elementary school teachers usually teach all different subjects to students: math, reading, writing, science, history.

16. Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers teach students from ages 11-13, usually 6th to 8th grade. 

 

Middle school teachers only teach one subject typically: math teacher, science teacher, reading teacher.

17. High School Teacher

High school teachers teach students from ages 14-18. Grades 9-12.

 

High school teachers also only teach one subject.

18. College Professor

A college professor is someone who teaches college, and also has a PhD, or doctorate degree.

You will usually call a professor “professor” or Dr.

Dr. Smith or Professor Smith. 

 

We do not call high school, middle school, or elementary school teachers professors.

19. Childcare Worker

A childcare worker takes care of young children while their parents work. 

Childcare workers work at a daycare, preschool, or as a nanny in the child’s home. 

 

Childcare workers are typically paid hourly, not very much, and need only some experience.

20. Nurse

A Nurse is a healthcare worker that assists doctors. 

Nurses take care of sick and injured patients.

A “registered nurse” is a nurse that has a college degree.

 

Nurses have a challenging job but are paid a decent good salary.

21. Doctor or Physician

Doctors or more formally known as physicians are trained to give medical attention.

There are many types of doctors, with specialties. One example is an orthopedic surgeon, these doctors perform surgery on your bones. 

 

Doctors are well respected and well paid in the United States, they go to medical school for at least eight years.

22. Pharmacist

A pharmacist is a person that is trained to give medicines to people at a pharmacy.

Pharmacists in the United States prepare special prescriptions that you must get permission from a doctor to have.

 

Pharmacists need lots of education and are paid a good salary.

23. Physician Assistant

A physician assistant has more schooling than a nurse and can prescribe medication but has not had all the training as a doctor. 

Physician assistants must complete 2 years of education and training after their bachelors degree.

 

Physicians assistants are paid well but not as much as a Physician. Most medical jobs are paid for the amount of education they have and the difficulty of their work.

24. Dentist

A dentist is a medical professional that fixes the teeth.

A dentist must have eight years of education and experience.

 

Dentists make very good money, and help people have healthy teeth and mouths. 

25. Orthodontist

An orthodontist is a similar career to a dentist. 

An orthodontist does not treat the health of your teeth, they specialize in making your teeth look good. 

They know how to put on braces, and move the teeth so that your teeth are straight and there are no gaps. 

 

Orthodontists have specialized education and make a good salary.

26. Speech Language Pathologist

A speech language pathologist is a very specialized type of medical professional. 

A speech language pathologist helps children and adults with speaking or communication problems. 

An SLP may help someone with a stuttering problem, that begins to say a word and cannot finish the word quickly.

 

SPL’s make a moderate living but are well educated and help lots of people.

27. Veterinarian

A Veterinarian or sometimes called “vet” for short, takes care of sick and injured animals. 

A Vet must go to school like a doctor does, and has extra education and training to treat animals instead of people.

 

Veterinarians are paid well for the work they do and typically enjoy animals.

28. Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and  thermal devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Mechanical Engineers must be competent at math and science, and design. 

 

Engineers are well respected and require at least a 4 year degree.

29. Civil Engineer

Civil Engineers are in charge of the design, building, and maintenance of naturally built structures.

Some structures a civil engineer is in charge of the design of bridges, canals, dams, and roads.

 

Civil Engineering also requires a 4 year degree with studies in math and science.

30. Chemical Engineer

Chemical Engineering is a type of engineering that specializes in studying chemicals to create things like efficient energy, and chemical manufacturing. 

Chemical Engineers study chemistry, physics and biology. 

 

Chemical Engineers must be highly educated, and make a high salary.

31. Pilot

A pilot is the person who operates or flies the aircraft. 

A female or male can be a pilot. 

Pilots require going to flight school or learning to fly in the military. 

 

Most pilots are paid well and are typically considered middle class.

32. Flight Attendant

A flight attendant is the person that ensures the safety and comfort of passengers on the airplane. 

Flight attendants can be male or female.

Flight attendants used to be called stewards or stewardesses.

 

Flight attendants are not highly paid, and spend a lot of time traveling away from home.

33. Lawyer or Arrorney

The words lawyer and attorney are essentially interchangeable. 

In the United States an attorney is a lawyer that has passed our certifying exam called the bar exam. 

 

Lawyers can potentially make a very high salary depending on the type of law that they practice.

34. Paralegal

Paralegals do not have as much training and education as a lawyer does, their duties include things like filing, correspondence, and research. 

 

Paralegals earn a moderate salary.

35. Judge

In America a judges’ duty is to maintain order in the courtroom and assign punishment 

Judges give the verdict, or decision of innocent or guilty to the court. 

 

Judges are experienced lawyers and are paid a high salary.

36. Security Gaurd

A security guard’s job is to protect a building or person. 

You will often find security guards in buildings that need to be protected from theft or damage. 

 

Celebrities hire security guards to protect them from large crowds.

37. Fireman or Firewoman

Sometimes called firefighters, respond to fires in houses, buildings and car accidents. They try to stop the fire and help people in danger of fires. 

Firefighters also have some sort of medical training.

Firefighters are required to have good physical fitness. 

 

Firefighters are paid a median salary.

38. Paramedic

A paramedic is trained to take care of critically injured people before they can get to a hospital. 

Paramedics try to stabilize people’s health before they can get them to a hospital. 

 

Paramedics have to have good education and training in order to help people. They are paid a median salary.

39. Construction Worker

A construction worker performs physical labor with the help of tools and machinery in order to build and repair buildings. 

Construction workers would build walls for a house with wood. 

 

Constructions are paid a decent hourly wage.

40. Landscaper

A landscaper is another job that requires physical labor. 

Landscapers are in charge of maintaining the outside of buildings, and making the grass, flours, bushes, and trees look beautiful. 

 

Landscapers are also paid a decent hourly wage.

41. Architect

An architect is in charge of drawing what building will look like and designing the structure.

You can study architecture at college if you want to be an architect. 

An architect designing an apartment building will decide how many units it will have and where the windows will go. 

 

An architect’s salary will vary based on the type of work they are doing.

42. Realtor

A realtor’s job is to market, or sell houses and buildings.

If you want to sell your house you will hire a realtor to market the house and find someone to buy it. 

Realtors will also help you find a house that you want to buy and will do the paperwork needed to make the purchase. 

 

Realtors are paid on commission, if they sell many homes they will make more money.

43. Plumber

Plumbers fix and build pipes that carry water in buildings. 

For instance if your sink is not draining, or emptying properly you would call a plumber to fix it. 

Plumbers sometimes work independently, or for a company. 

 

Plumbers are paid a high hourly rate and attend trade school, which is different from a University, but teaches highly skilled “trades” or jobs.

44. Handyman

Many people hire handymen, (although you can be a woman in this profession) to fix and install things in their houses or businesses. 

A handyman may fix a broken door, or floor tile in your home, but specialized tasks like fixing pipes would require a plumber. 

 

Handymen are paid hourly, and will make more or less money depending on the amount of work they have, and how skilled they are.

45. Electrician

An electrician’s speciality is fixing electrical equipment. 

Electrical equipment provides power to our homes and buildings. 

 

Electricians get paid a good hourly wage, and have to attend trade school to gain their skills.

46. Mechanic

A mechanic’s job is to fix cars and other machines

Mechanics are trained in trade school to fix cars and other machines. 

 

Mechanics are paid hourly and make a decent wage depending on their skill.

47. Dietitian

A Dietitian’s job is to determine which food people need to eat based on their health needs. 

Dietitians study chemistry and other sciences to learn about how food affects the body. 

 

A dietitian can work in many different settings like hospitals and medical clinics.

48. Chef

A chef’s job is to cook delicious food. 

Some chef’s attend culinary school in order to obtain their cooking skills, but some just learn from experience.

 

Chef’s get paid according to the type of restaurant that they work at. The nicer the restaurant the better they will be paid.

49. Waiter of Waitress

A waiter is a male, and a waitress is a female. 

Their job is to serve the food and drink to your table at a restaurant.

In the United States restaurant workers are paid based off the tipping system. If you enjoyed your experience and feel like your waiter or waitress worked hard you tip more. 

 

A general rule is to tip at least 15% of the amount that your food and drink costs to your server.

50. Host or Hostess

Another restaurant job is the host, or for females hostess. 

Their job is to greet customers at the door and assign them a table to sit at.

 

Hosts and Hostesses are paid hourly, and are usually not tipped like waiters are.

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