Feature

The most common job for women is the same as it was in 1950

Secretary still tops the list — and the feds expect America to add another half-million administrative assistants by 2020

Would you say a lot's changed since the 1950s? The Cold War. Civil Rights. Elvis Presley.

And yet, despite how different America may seem on so many levels from the 1950s, one thing remains (perhaps surprisingly) the same. The most common job for American women is — drum roll, please — secretary.

In fact, according to the U.S. Census, the top five jobs for women in 2010 changed very little from 1950. Back in the '50s, women most commonly held positions as secretaries, bank tellers or clerical workers, sales clerks, private household workers and teachers.
And in 2010? The top five jobs include secretary holding out at No. 1, then cashier, elementary and middle school teacher, nurse and nursing aide.

While it might surprise you that about four million workers in the U.S. still fell under the category of "secretaries and administrative assistants" between 2006 and 2010, it makes sense if you really stop to think about it.

"Every time a major new technology showed up, there were always predictions that this would spell the end of secretaries," Ray Weikal, spokesman for the International Association of Administrative Professionals told CNN Money. "You saw that with the development of electric typewriters, the personal computer and the internet, but every time technology gets more efficient, the amount of business increases. You continue to need people who can use those tools."

In fact, don't count administrative assistants out any time in the near future, either. According to Labor Department projections, the category will grow 12 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding approximately 493,000 jobs during the decade.

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