Since 1789, only 45 people have held the position of President of the United States. This select group of individuals held one of the most powerful positions in the entire world. Being President is one of the most challenging jobs ever. Have you ever wondered about the career paths that led these men to this high level position? What did these individuals do before they were President?
To become President of the United States, you must be at least 35 years old, a natural born citizen of the United States, and a resident of the United States for 14 years. If you meet these requirements, you can declare your candidacy for President. Then you must go through a series of state primaries and caucuses before the general election. After endless campaigning, you must be elected to the office via the Electoral College.
Once elected President, your job role is that of the Chief Executive of the Federal Government and the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces. For your hard work, you’ll earn about $400,000 per year and get lots of benefits. It’s a job that’s in the spotlight and can be very stressful for obvious reasons.
There are few professions that can prepare someone for this career path. Many US Presidents came from military, law, business, or farming backgrounds before they served as President. Regardless of their background, everyone has to start somewhere – even the President. It’s mighty interesting to take a look at the resume’s of a US President. It might not look like what you’d expect.
Let’s take a look at the variety of different jobs people help before they were President (the number next to their name indicates which President they were):
- 1. George Washington – Surveyor
- 2. John Adams – Schoolmaster
- 3. Thomas Jefferson – Lawyer
- 4. James Madison – Lawyer
- 5. James Monroe – Soldier
- 7. Andrew Jackson – Courier
- 16. Abraham Lincoln – Clerk In General Store/Bar
- 17. Andrew Johnson – Tailor
- 18. Ulysses S. Grant – Lawyer
- 20. James Garfield – Janitor
- 23. Benjamin Harrison – Court Crier
- 24. Grover Cleveland – Sheriff
- 26. Theodore Roosevelt – Rancher
- 27. William Taft – Lawyer
- 28. Woodrow Wilson – Teacher
- 29. Warren Harding – Newspaper Editor
- 30. Calvin Coolidge – Toy Maker
- 31. Herbert Hoover – Geologist and Mining Engineer
- 32. Franklin D. Roosevelt – Lawyer
- 33. Harry Truman – Haberdasherer
- 35. John F. Kennedy – Journalist
- 36. Lyndon B. Johnson – Shoe Shiner & Goat Herder
- 37. Richard Nixon – Chicken Plucker
- 38. Gerald Ford – Park Ranger
- 39. James Earl Carter Jr. – Peanut Farmer
- 40. Ronald Reagan – Circus Worker and Actor
- 42. Bill Clinton – Grocer and Comic Book Salesman
- 43. George W. Bush – Landman
- 44. Barack Obama – Ice Cream Scooper
- 45. Donald Trump – Rent Collector
Theres are always different pathways to success and the route you choose is up to you. The key takeaway from this list of jobs held before they were President is to show you that everyone starts somewhere. It doesn’t matter what your job is today as long as you are motivated and driven, you can be successful.
To learn more about what it takes to become the President of the United States, IVN.us and USA.gov are excellent resources. We scoured the Internet to find the jobs that these men had before they were President of the United States. Check out our sources to learn even more about the past lives of these powerful individuals: