What Were Common Jobs in the 1950s?

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The 1950s were considered a time for the simpler life. Family values were still intact. Kids and teenagers showed respect for their parents, despite the new freedoms being introduced. Prosperity arrived after the Great Depression and a pair of world wars.

Despite the excitement of oncoming wealth and change, the rock of society continued to be the family unit. Men filled the role of breadwinners, while women were expected to be housewives and mothers. Certain jobs were common during this era.


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The need for secretarial work increased. This allowed some women to work outside of the home for extra income. The lack of technological progression made a secretarial position more challenging. The typewriter was the most advanced equipment at the secretary's disposal. Typing mistakes were difficult to deal with. Liquid paper, or whiteout, could be used but the paper still had to be realigned and reloaded into the typewriter.

Milk Man

Men commonly worked as milk delivery men in the 1950s. Local farmers would milk their cows and have jars of it delivered directly to people's front doors. Sometimes women would have containers ready as the milkman would ladle the milk into them. This milk was not refrigerated and had to be used up as soon as possible if the household did not have refrigeration available to them.

Petrol Station Attendant

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Many men worked as petrol station attendants in the 1950s. Gas stations were not self-serve back then. The attendant would come up to your window and ask how much gas you needed. He pumped your gas, but also washed your windows, checked your fluids and put air in your tires. Service was full-service, not halfhearted and it was done with a smile.


Blue collar jobs were very common. Plumbers, bus-drivers, cab-drivers, warehouse workers and construction workers were positions that men filled back then as well as in our current day. There were also a few common white-collar jobs such as: accountants, sales representatives and mid-management positions. Most jobs of today were available back then. The biggest difference can be found in the technology that has grown leaps and bounds since the 1950s.