Social Question

jca's avatar

What do or did your parents do for a living?

Asked by jca (35976points) March 9th, 2014

What did your parents do for work, or if they’re alive, what do they do for a living? Did they have degrees?

I think people’s family histories are so interesting, and what parents did for a living is such a big part of that.

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40 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

My mother was a company physician, during her working days and my father a professor in cardiology.

Cruiser's avatar

My dad was a Realtor…my mom was a mom until my youngest sister was in high school and then my mom also became a Realtor. Real estate is in most definitely in my blood….I had a brokers license for 12 years myself.

Coloma's avatar

Mother: Translator and concert Pianist
Father: Architect

Me: Inherited my dads temperament/personality style He was INTP I am an ENTP
I’m a rational thinker, have a great eye for design and couldn’t play a concerto if you held a gun to my head. lol

johnpowell's avatar

Mother: Had a custom drape business. She did them all by hand. We are talking a few thousand per window.

Father was a mechanical engineer that owned a welding and machine shop employing over 50 people.

filmfann's avatar

My Dad was a tire man. He was a specialist, and worked on many pit crews. He was also a consultant on tires, in regards to car racing and stunts, on the movie “Bullet”.

My Mom worked in the church office, until my Father’s heart attack. She was then forced to find work that paid, so she worked in a liquor store, a school cafeteria, and did odd jobs taking care of people, until she got a job as a secretary for a Christian retirement home.

gondwanalon's avatar

My Dad was a dentist and my Mom worked many different jobs including nursing, factory work, department store security. Mom loved her security job. She was born for that work.

LornaLove's avatar

Both are now deceased, but mom was a legal sec and dad was an accountant. Great question, since looking back neither of those careers appealed to me in the least. (Although my dad was a finance manager in London for years and oddly I did a similar profession for years too).

hominid's avatar

My mother was home with my sister and I until I was 11. She worked and is still working retail since.

My father was a firefighter and painter/wallpaperer for most of my childhood. When I was a young adult, he started working for INS. He just retired.

anniereborn's avatar

My mother and father both worked at a newspaper. (that’s how they met). She worked in the composing room and he was a printer. (yes, this is back in the old days)
I believe my father only had a high school degree. So did my mom until after she retired. Then she got the degree she had always wanted. And it was in Theater Arts. She got her degree at the age of 70. I was so proud of her.

hearkat's avatar

My mother worked full-time until 70, and part-time until 72 running a non-profit organization. She now volunteers for her local hospital. She had the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, and had worked as a bookkeeper and an administrative assistant when I was a kid. I’m not sure how she landed that leadership job, as I was about 17, and self-absorbed when it happened.

My father was laid-off in his late 50s and was never able to get hired for more than temp or part-time work because of his age. He had some education and certification in what he did, but I don’t think he had a degree. I’m sure a degree is required for people who do that type of work nowadays – which actually may have been another factor in why he wasn’t able to find a FT job later in life, now that I think about it.

Mimishu1995's avatar

My parents’ job history is pretty interesting to begin with.

Both mom and dad used to be teachers, in the same school! They met each other there and you know the rest.

After their marriage, for some reason which I’m not able to find out until now, mom changed job and has become a consultant since (though she still keeps her “teacher’s instinct” and treat our learning with care).

As for dad, he founded a job for a bank at the same time mom changed job. One day that bank went bankrupted, and he was offer a job for his sister’s restaurant. He is now the vice manager of that restaurant.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Both of my parents were high school drop outs. They both got their GEDs later. He became a dairy farmer and she was a housewife. He was a very good dairy farmer until he died, then my mother went to be a teacher’s aide, which she still does today.

JLeslie's avatar

When I was very young my dad worked as a college professor teaching sociology. Most of his career he worked for the government. He approved grants to universities primarily for research in the psychology field. It entailed reviewing and scrutinizing the proposed research with peers in the field to ensure it was a valid experiment. He worked with psychiatrists all over the country who were considered top in their field. An example of the research might be for instance cognitive behavioral therapy vs. psychoanalysis for depression. Or, it could even be a study of psychiatric drugs and their efficacy.

After he retired from the government he started a book business buying and selling used books. He still does it today.

My dad has a PhD in sociology. He went to college immediately after high school finishing his bachelors in four years. He finished his PhD around age 30 while teaching college.

My mom stayed home to raise us until my younger sister started school. Although, during that time when we were very little she did do Welcome Wagon for a short time, but that might have been volunteer, I don’t know. Once we kids were both in school my mom did work part time doing administrative stuff at the Epilepsy Foundation.

Later, when I was around 10 years old, she started working full time in percurement at the National Cancer Institute at NIH, she was there for many years. She basically ordered the materials needed by researchers for cancer research. Her boss studied the “female” cancers. Later she worked for the FDA. I don’t know her whole jobs there, primarily it was administrative. Initially she worked in medical devices. I know she sat in on meetings when they reviewed medical devices being tested for market. Also, she was either in meetings or saw documents looking at medical devices under scrutiny for adverse effects that were already on the market. Later she worked in vaccinations, or maybe she did both at once, I am not sure. Part of her job there was recording adverse side effects of vaccinations.

My mom has a BA in History and just a few credits short of a major in Sociology. She went to college immediately after high school.

tedibear's avatar

My dad was mostly in sales after World War II. (He enlisted at 18.) He sold Kirby vacuum cleaners, various farm animal food for Purina, insurance and then went into banking. He was very successful in all of those careers. If he was alive today, he would tell you that his most successful job was selling Kirby vacuums because that’s how he met my mom. :-)

My mom worked as a receptionist/assistant for a couple of doctors right after high school. For one of them, she also lived at their home and worked as their maid and cook. That was pre-WWII. After she married, she was a stay at home mom for about 20 years. When I turned two, she went to work for Fisher-Price on their assembly line. She did a lot of different things, but I remember specifically one thing she did was to put the “moo” sound makers into the Fisher-Price barns. She took this job because my dad quit his job. Two years later he went from selling insurance to banking, and she left Fisher-Price. She didn’t want to, but my dad had a big ego and didn’t want “his wife” to work. When the economy went to hell in the mid-70’s, she went back to work in a precision parts machine shop. They may teeny tiny parts for various machines. She learned how to use micrometers and read blueprints. She left that job when I was a senior in high school because my grandma need full time care. Taking care of grandma was her last official job.

Neither of them had college degrees. My dad had thought about being an engineer, but decided he needed to get right into working to help his parents. My mom wanted to be a gym teacher, but again, money was an issue for her parents and she needed to help them.

ucme's avatar

My Mammy used to be a security guard at Toys R Us, she was forced to resign after an unfortunate incident with a boy named Billy, a space hopper & an over zealous parent, people got hurt.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Dad is an engineer
Mom manages a theater at a university
Both have multiple degrees

cookieman's avatar

My mother was in Customer Service. Worked for MIT for a number of years. First the MIT Press then telecommunications.

My father worked in Aviation. He was on an aircraft carrier in the US Navy during Vietnam. He worked in aircraft parts and supplies. When he got out, he continued that into civilian life.

My mother, to her credit, earned her Associates Degree later in life (after she had me). My father never went to college.

Aster's avatar

Dad: engineer for 46 years, RCA; Mom: housewife.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Bio-dad was in Air Force, then Deputy Sheriff, then manager at Zenith until the plant closed, then worked at an express company until retirement.

My mom went to college to be a missionary, after a tumultous career path, she has worked for the last decade at our local NAMI branch.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Both were originally personal training instructors in the Navy which is how they met. When my dad left the Navy after over 25 years of service he went on to be a tennis umpire for the big events like Wimbledon, Stella Artois etc and then the tennis department manager for a University Sports centre. He now runs his own tennis events company where he organises tournaments.

My mum left the Navy when she fell pregnant with me and has had a string of jobs since. When I was a kid she was a travel agent for a long time as well as a PE supply teacher and dinner lady at my primary school. She now works as a receptionist in a hospital.

I did not inherit my parents love of sport!

ucme's avatar

@Leanne1986 Your dad was an umpire at Wimbledon? “You cannot be serious!!”
I’m more impressed than I probably should be, but there you go.

DominicX's avatar

My mom was a homemaker for all the time I was alive; she did a lot of volunteer work, but that was it.

My dad is a venture capitalist and was for most of my life, though he worked for an energy company around the time I was born.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ucme I am serious! When I was a little girl I used to watch him on the telly and everything!!!

ucme's avatar

@Leanne1986 “That ball was on the line, chalk flew up!”
Respect to your dad, I think that’s fantastic.

Brian1946's avatar


“My father worked in Aviation. He was on an aircraft carrier in the US Navy during Vietnam.”

I was also in the USN during the Vietnam war. In what years did he serve and did he support the war?

I served from July 1, 1968 until June 19, 1972. I did NOT support the war at all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Both of my folks were born into sheer poverty. Dad went into the navy, and from there he got his EE degree on the navy tuition they provided him. He eventually rose through the ranks at Boeing to become a high level manager. He used to like to say that his name was “mentioned” when they were looking for a new president.

Mom was a stay-at-home-mom. When they divorced, however, and she moved back to Washington state, dad got her a job as an executive secretary at the Boeing plant there.

I don’t think any one supported that war @Brian1946.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ucme what’s the story with your mom??

cookieman's avatar

Hey @Brian1946: My dad was in from 1966 to 1970. He was on the USS America (66). I’d say he did not support the war. He had no intention of joining until a buddy of his at the local recruiting office told him he was slated to be drafted into the Army. Said he could misplace his letter for a day. Same day, my father and another buddy joined the navy together — requesting to be assigned together (which they were, but the ship was so huge, they barely saw each other).

He said he chose the Navy because it seemed the safest and “I had no interest in killing or being killed”.

He did really like his job on the ship though. Loved working with planes and being out to sea.

ucme's avatar

@Dutchess_III Err, that was me just fooling around.

Coloma's avatar

We’re such a neat group of people. I love hearing others stories. :-)

downtide's avatar

Both my parents are retired and neither of them had a degree. My father left school at 15, joined a printing firm as an apprentice in 1952 and stayed with the same company til he retired 50 years later. When he started it was done with lead type in wooden trays. By the time he finished it was all digital. During his later working years he was also a professional wedding photographer on the side.

My mother did not work for most of her adult life but after my sister and I had both left home, she took part time work as a classroom assistant in the local primary school, with children aged 4–7. Most of this work involved helping them with reading and art-related activity.

There is a strong tradition of art on both sides of my family. My father’s father was a signwriter; he would paint signs for shops and pubs. His sister was an architect’s draftsman (draftswoman?). My mother’s uncle was a professional fine-artist in London. Here is an example of one of his works. He mostly painted scenes of London and various Italian cities. My mother has a painting of his, of St Pauls Cathedral at sunset. It is hideously orange and I hate it.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ucme Thanks, I was so proud of him as a kid!

ucme's avatar

@Leanne1986 You should’ve been a ball girl, maybe.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ucme My dad would have loved that but sport isn’t my thing and I steered well clear!

ucme's avatar

@Leanne1986 You like football though, bad as it is at Fratton Park ;-}

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ucme Well, you see, I started supporting Portsmouth (where I was born) because my dad is a die hard Southampton supporter!!! It was a joke initially but then I actually started to care how they were getting on!

ucme's avatar

Serves you right then :p

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yep, dad got the last laugh!!

Smitha's avatar

Both my Mom and Dad have Bachelors degree. My Dad is an Industrialist and Mom home maker.

prairierose's avatar

My Mother never worked outside of the home. My Dad was a rancher. My Dad had a knack for making money and knew exactly when it would be a good time to sell the yearlings.

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