How to identify your ancestors' occupations and find more information their employment history.
Welcome to the State Library Victoria's guide on researching occupational records.
Occupational records can be a valuable family history resource. You can use them to trace an ancestor's working life, help to determine where they lived and to indicate their social status. Records can often provide useful personal information such as dates of employment, salary and qualifications. By evaluating the dates and locations of their places of employment, you can also plot out your ancestor's movements – within Victoria, interstate or overseas.
On the next page you will find information on how to identify the occupation of an individual. Each additional pages focus on specific occupations or industries and includes a range of known resources that may help you with your research.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all occupations and although it focuses primarily on Victorian records, similar record collections may be available for other states and territories. It is also a work in progress. If you find errors, or if you can suggest other information sources or approaches to the topic, please contact me.
For more family history information please consult our research guides, which appear on the right hand side of this page. For detailed research queries please use the Ask a Librarian service or talk to staff in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms.
Workers at the Central Telephone Exchange, Melbourne, H25298.