9 surprising jobs that have been around since 1850
Americans who worked as daguerreotypists or matchmakers once upon a time might have difficulty finding stable work today, but there are plenty of jobs that have passed the test of time, surviving tidal waves of economic change.
In some ways, consumers have become nostalgic for ways of olde. Just take a look around Brooklyn; its artisanal vibe harkens back to the 19th century, with a culture that supports homegrown, hand-crafted, limited-edition products, as Benjamin Wallace depicts in New York magazine. Whether it's 1850 or 2013, this scene shows that there will always be a place for certain niche occupations.
To find the jobs that have survived for more than a century, we combed through the U.S. Census of 1850, which is the first year the government collected data on what Americans do for work. We then compared it to today's Census list of the Standard Occupational Classifications, which is revised every decade and identifies 31,000 occupations in America.
Several jobs make the cut. While some have shown predictable stability -- dentists, bankers, engineers -- others are more unexpected. Here are nine surprising jobs that have been around since 1850:
1. Armorers: In the past, an armorer was someone who made personal armor. Today, it is someone who maintains and repairs small arms and weapons in the military or police force.
2. Charcoal burners (2012 median annual pay is $35,530): Someone who makes charcoal.
3. Cotton ginners (2010 median annual pay is $18,970): An agriculture worker whose job consists of operating machinery and doing physical labor to produce cotton.
4. Cordwainers (2012 median annual pay is $24,310): A worker who operates and tends machines used in the production of shoeware.
5. Cork cutters (2012 median annual pay is $31,430): Someone who operates cutting machines to cut roles or slices of materials.
6. Enamellers: An artist who uses enamel paint to make jewelry and other decorative pieces.
7. Gold beaters: Someone who hammers sheets of gold into gold leaf.
8. Map makers (2010 median annual pay is $37,900): A technician that assists surveyors and cartographers in collecting data and making maps.
9. Riggers (2012 median annual pay is $42,660): A person that specializes in lifting and moving heavy objects with a crane or derrick.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
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Vivian Giang runs the Careers vertical at Business Insider. She's fascinated by the evolving office, growing industries and how technology, education and the rise of freelancers play a role in the future workplace. Previously she freelanced for Dan Rather Reports and worked in public relations in Colorado. She's had internship stints with CBS, CNN and TBS. Vivian has an M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University and a B.A. from the University of Georgia. She resides in Chinatown and is working on a collection of short stories.
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