Before they were commanders in chief, they were haberdashers, teachers, geologists and police officers, among other occupations.
The Constitution lists three qualifications for the job of president of the United States: One must be a natural-born citizen who is at least 35 years old and has lived in the U.S. for a minimum of 14 years. Unlike many jobs, a college degree isn’t even required — Harry S. Truman never earned one, for example.
Truman had vast professional experiences before becoming president, of course, including some offbeat jobs. He was a drugstore clerk at 14, then a railway timekeeper who lived in hobo camps along the Sante Fe line, served in the military in World War I, opened a haberdashery business and became an elected judge.
Truman’s successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a night supervisor at the Belle Springs Creamery in Kansas before accepting an appointment to West Point. Lyndon B. Johnson was a teacher. Richard Nixon worked at his father’s grocery store. Gerald Ford was a boxing coach at Yale, and Jimmy Carter had a peanut farm.
Here are some other occupations presidents had before holding the highest office, according to CareerCast:
• Ronald Reagan: actor
• Barack Obama: community organizer
• George W. Bush: corporate executive
• Herbert Hoover: geologist
• William Howard Taft: judge
• Theodore Roosevelt: police officer
• Woodrow Wilson: university professor