List of Presidents of the United States by occupation

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This is a list of the occupations of Presidents before they entered politics. Often, previous career experience is minimal; however, the most common previous occupation is lawyer,[1] and many presidents did spend their younger years in college and/or the military.

Order President Previous occupation(s)
1 George Washington Land Surveyor, Farmer/plantation owner, Soldier (General of United Army of the Colonies)
2 John Adams Lawyer, Farmer
3 Thomas Jefferson Land Surveyor, Writer, Inventor, Lawyer, Architect, Farmer/Plantation owner, Diplomat, Linguist, Theologian
4 James Madison Farmer/plantation owner
5 James Monroe Farmer/plantation owner, Lawyer
6 John Quincy Adams Lawyer
7 Andrew Jackson Soldier (General of The US. Army), Lawyer
8 Martin Van Buren Lawyer
9 William Harrison Soldier
10 John Tyler Lawyer
11 James Polk Lawyer, Plantation owner
12 Zachary Taylor Soldier (Army Major General)
13 Millard Fillmore Lawyer
14 Franklin Pierce Lawyer
15 James Buchanan Lawyer, Diplomat
16 Abraham Lincoln Land Surveyor, Lawyer
17 Andrew Johnson Soldier, Tailor
18 Ulysses Grant Soldier, General of the Army
19 Rutherford Hayes Lawyer
20 James Garfield School teacher, minister, soldier
21 Chester Arthur School teacher, lawyer, collector of tariffs
22, 24 Grover Cleveland Sheriff, lawyer, assistant teacher
23 Benjamin Harrison Lawyer, journalist
25 William McKinley Lawyer, Soldier
26 Theodore Roosevelt Public Official, Rancher, Soldier
27 William Taft Lawyer, judge, law reporter, dean of law school at the University of Cincinnati
28 Woodrow Wilson Lawyer, professor, president of Princeton University
29 Warren Harding Newspaper publisher/editor
30 Calvin Coolidge Lawyer, Public Official, Vice President of Northampton Savings Bank
31 Herbert Hoover Engineer, Investor
32 Franklin Roosevelt Lawyer
33 Harry Truman Farmer, Soldier, haberdasher
34 Dwight Eisenhower Soldier, Five Star General, President of Columbia University
35 John F. Kennedy Writer, Sailor (Navy Lieutenant)
36 Lyndon Johnson Teacher, Public Official
37 Richard Nixon Lawyer, Sailor (Navy Lieutenant Commander)
38 Gerald Ford Football Player, Sailor (Navy Lieutenant Commander), Lawyer
39 Jimmy Carter Sailor (Navy Lieutenant),[2] peanut farmer,[3] writer
40 Ronald Reagan[4][5] Actor & broadcaster, President of the Screen Actors Guild[6]
41 George H. W. Bush Pilot (Navy Lieutenant, Junior Grade),[7] Businessman (Oil),[8] C.I.A. Director, Ambassador to China.
42 Bill Clinton Lawyer, Law lecturer
43 George W. Bush Pilot (Texas Air National Guard), Businessman (Oil,[9] baseball)[10]
44 Barack Obama Community Organizer, Lawyer, Professor[11]