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These Are America’s Least Common Jobs


In the following graphic, Visual Capitalist’s Pallavi Rao ranks and visualizes the least common American jobs by number of employees, as per the latest estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Annual surveys from business owners are used to model employment numbers and wage data for each year. Thus, these figures do not include the self-employed, owners of unincorporated firms, or household workers.

The least commonly-held job in America is “wood patternmaker,” with only 260 employed by a business country-wide. According to the BLS, wood patternmakers “plan, lay out, and construct wooden unit or sectional patterns used in forming sand molds for castings.”

Technological advancements have caused job declines in the industry for the last decade. It is also likely that this occupation has more self-employed individuals, explaining their low numbers.

Clock and timer technicians (not watchmakers), farm labor contractors (460), and furnace and kiln repair technicians (540) are the next three least commonly employed American workers.

Ranked fifth, prosthodontists (570) are the second-highest paid occupation ($240,750) on the uncommon jobs list.

In the same vein, pediatric surgeons are the 10th least common occupation in America, with only around 1,100 in the entire country.

NPR reports that while pediatric programs have increased in the last 10 years, the number of trained MDs going into pediatric surgery has steadily decreased. Per STAT News, close to one-third pediatric residency programs did not fill their positions in 2024.

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