Survey identifies childhood dream jobs among Americans.

Dream On

A survey by telecommunications company has found that in America, public service jobs such as doctors, nurses, and teachers are the most common childhood dream jobs. The survey asked 2,000 Americans aged 18-65 years old what their dream job was when they were a child. They were also asked if they ever made it to their dream job, with more than three-quarters (76 per cent) saying they never make it.

In four of the five age ranges surveyed, doctor/nurse and teacher were both in the top three most selected roles. In the 18-24 age group however, more respondents said they dreamed of being an eSports player than either a teacher or a lawyer.

The top five childhood dream jobs per age range are as follows:


18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-65
1st Doctor/Nurse Teacher Doctor/Nurse Pro Sports star Teacher
2nd Musician Doctor/Nurse Teacher Teacher Doctor/Nurse
3rd eSports player Actor Veterinarian Musician Musician
4th Teacher Veterinarian Actor Doctor/Nurse Veterinarian
5th Lawyer Pro Sports Star Musician Veterinarian Writer/Author


Public service roles also featured much more heavily in childhood dream jobs among females:

  • Female top three: Teacher, Doctor/Nurse, and Veterinarian.
  • Male top three: Professional Sports Star, Musician, and Engineer.

Just one in ten people surveyed are currently working in their childhood dream job. Of the 76 per cent that have never made it into the role they wanted as a child, 39 per cent say they regret not pursuing the career further.

16 per cent said ‘financial barriers’ was the main reason they never made it to their dream job. Almost 1 in 10 (9 per cent) said they “prioritised raising a family”, although this was significantly higher amongst women (14 per cent) than men (3 per cent).

“We set out to see how the idea of the dream job has changed over the last half a century, and it’s heart-warming to see careers with a strong sense of social responsibility performing so well through a number of generations,” said Jason O’Brien, COO of “Unfortunately, many of the people we spoke to regret not pushing harder for their dream careers. We help thousands of people build their dream business every day by removing a communications barrier. No matter your aspirations, we hope everyone is given the opportunity to pursue their dreams. And remember, it’s never too late to try!”


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