What Types of Jobs Did Irish Immigrants Get?


Irish immigrants faced discrimination and low paying jobs due to their lack of knowledge of more advanced skills. The Irish often came over to America without any money or working knowledge of American culture. The immigrants often took jobs that others did not want to perform. The Irish immigrants wanted what every American wanted, which was to live the American dream of peace and prosperity.

Domestic Jobs

  • Female Irish immigrants took on jobs such as chambermaids, cooks and running errands for rich city dwellers. If the rich people in the city did not have a black servant, they often had an Irish one. Irish women often saved what little money they received from these jobs to donate to the Church or send home to relatives. Irish women were considered good servants by the rich because they were hard workers who would not require a lot of pay.

Servant Jobs

  • Irish men often became man servants and personally cared for the man of the house or the horses in the stables. The Irish men also worked as kitchen staff, gardeners, horse groomers, stable muckers and caring for animals. The men would work long, hard hours doing jobs for less pay than other city residents.

Railroad Jobs

  • Irish men helped to build the railroad and would go away from family and friends to construct the railroads in the west. They would send their money home to the families that live in the east or overseas in Ireland. The Irish men would stick to themselves in the railroad camps and did not often mingle with others of different nationality.

Bridges and Construction

  • The Irish often worked dangerous and low paying jobs creating roads and bridges across the country. The Irish workers would follow the construction jobs across the country, and they would work long hours in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Many Irish Men would often work jobs that even black slaves were not allowed to work, because the black slaves were considered valuable property. Irish men were not valued as property and allowed to perform more dangerous tasks.The families would stay in cities or follow the men as they worked.

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