The Bachelor franchise has been an American pop culture staple for over two decades. Even with its recent decline in popularity, it’s still a large part of the cultural zeitgeist.
One thing that never fails to cross the minds of viewers is what contestants do for a living. How did they manage to get so much time off work? Why are there so many nurses and salesman? Who has time to go through that audition process? Is it really worth all of that for a chance of falling in love or starting a career as an influencer?
It turns out that there are career trends for contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, after all. While it plays only a small role in how successful you are on the show, the experience can open the door to a career as a social media influencer.
The Most and Least Common Jobs on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
Judging by the past three seasons of The Bachelor (Zach's season, Clayton's season, and Matt's season), job trends among contestants are fairly clear. Multiple contestants work in healthcare (mainly as nurses) or in marketing. There are also a few realtors in the mix. In Zach’s season, seven women worked in healthcare, and four worked in marketing. In Clayton’s season, eight women worked in healthcare, two worked in real estate, and two worked in marketing. In Matt’s season, seven women worked in marketing, and three worked in healthcare. Jobs like sales, professional dancers, nannies, and stylists often only have one or two contestants working that job per season.
When it comes to contestants on The Bachelorette, jobs are more spread out. Analyzing the first 19 seasons of The Bachelorette (excluding Charity’s season), the four most common jobs among the male contestants are sales, banking or finance, athletes, and real estate. According to The Hustle, “Around 16% of all contestants work in some form of sales. These men hawk all kinds of goods: pharmaceuticals, software, solar panels, oil-field equipment, cell phones, liquor, and surgical skin. Another 8% work in banking and finance-related fields, the favored bro career path.” In Charity's season, four men worked in sales, two were athletes, and one worked in real estate.
Former athletes are one of the most common jobs, with some of the most famous athlete contestants being Jordan Rodger from JoJo’s season (who ended up marrying her) and Colton Underwood from Becca’s season, who went on to become the lead on The Bachelor before coming out as gay. What’s interesting about athletes on The Bachelorette is that it’s one of the least common jobs in America, but it’s well-represented on the show. According to The Hustle, “men who are, or formerly were, professional athletes … represent 7% of the show’s contestants, despite only making up 0.01% of all American workers. That means athletes are over-represented on the show by a factor of 700x. These athletes have ranged from pro surfers to drag racers. But the largest contingent is former NFL players.” While nobody is entirely sure why this happens, it could have to do with women being attracted to athletes – they’re usually muscular, tall, coordinated, and competitive.
Of the 22 winners in 20 seasons, four athletes have won, and three other winners worked in sales. The least successful jobs on The Bachelorette are CEOs, lawyers, and those in marketing.
How Production Uses Social Media for Casting and the Casting Process
While most contestants for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette either apply to be on the show themselves or have a friend or family member nominate them, some contestants are actually recruited via Instagram. During a 2019 appearance on the Chicks In The Office podcast, former contestant Dylan Barbour revealed that he received an Instagram DM suggesting that he should apply. He initially said no but later applied, made it onto the show for Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, and was eliminated before hometown dates. He then went on to Bachelor In Paradise, where he got engaged to Hannah Godwin, and the pair got married in September 2023. Barbour went from being a tech entrepreneur to an Instagram influencer engaged to his future wife in a span of a few months, all thanks to a DM he received from a recruiter.
The first step is an application that asks basic questions about your personal information and past relationships. This is followed by a video application and a more detailed questionnaire that includes giving specifics on your exes. After this step is complete, potential contestants must sign a confidentiality agreement, promising not to spoil anything if they get on the show.
Next, potential contestants meet with casting directors and producers, often spending a weekend in Los Angeles. During this weekend, they’re isolated from other potential contestants, engage in longer interviews, get evaluated by a psychiatrist, do a background check, and participate in a physical to check for STIs and drugs. After this weekend away, the potential contestant must wait several weeks before finding out if they’ve been cast or not.
With an audition process this long and involved, it’s clear that someone who is applying to be on the show has a decent amount of free time, or the willingness to walk away from their current job. Going on the show will require you to take anywhere from a week to two months off work, likely forcing many potential contestants to choose between their jobs and the show. This doesn’t mean that those with time-consuming jobs like doctors or lawyers can’t be on the show, but it makes sense why those jobs aren’t seen as often.
A nurse can generally find another job as there are countless hospitals and they are nearly in constant demand, and a retired NFL player has the time and flexibility. Furthermore, a marketing specialist or realtor may even find that the company they work for would encourage them to be on the show to increase their visibility and possibly even sales down the road. Their schedules may also be more flexible if they work from home or earn based on commission.
The Bachelor to Influencer Pipeline
The Bachelor franchise is infamous for many things, but one of the most prominent is that contestants go on the show as a launching pad for a career as an influencer. While the decline in the show's popularity has made this more difficult, it was clear that many contestants were willing to abandon their “real jobs” to try to launch their influencer careers on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.
Even at its height, Instagram fame wasn’t always guaranteed. While leads like Kaitlyn Bristowe and Hannah Brown and popular contestants like Ashley Iaconnetti and Jason Tartick have made brands and careers off the show, those who have either been eliminated on the first night (or even within the first two weeks) and don’t get the chance to go on Bachelor In Paradise don’t gain enough followers to become an influencer. What’s interesting about this is that one of the most beloved contestants among fans was eliminated on the first night of Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette – Joe Amabile.
Before going on The Bachelorette, Joe Amabile was a grocery store owner from Chicago. Fans were heartbroken to see him go home after the first night because of his sense of humor and sweet disposition, leading him to join the cast of Bachelor In Paradise. He left that show in a relationship with fellow contestant Kendall Long but broke up after a few years.
He later went on another season of Bachelor In Paradise and got engaged to contestant Serena Pitt, whom he married in September 2023. He now has a social media career with over a million Instagram followers and hosts the official Bachelor Happy Hour podcast with Serena. This goes to show that if the viewers like you enough, you can gain a large following and start a social media career even if you didn't connect with the lead right off the bat.
Even though many have defeated the odds to become influencers after going on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, the risk of quitting your job to go on the show is a big one. There’s no guarantee that you’ll make it far or that viewers will even like you. For some, the experience has even backfired once they were labeled the "villain" by fellow contestants and viewers, potentially making a career even more difficult to obtain after heading home. In the end, we'd say that the risk outweighs the reward, especially with the show’s declining popularity.
The Bachelor franchise is one that fascinates and intrigues many. It exists in the real world but appears to be a fantasy land of influencers who fall in love in gorgeous locations. If you're a nurse, marketing specialist, or realtor, you may find the flexibility of your career to allow for time away in order to take this huge leap. But although some prominent figures have made the post-show lifestyle appear glamorous and worthwhile, the reality is that most of the cast will go home to their real jobs and normal lives with nothing more than an interesting story to tell their kids someday.
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