Barbie's careers though the years

From fashion designer to robotics engineer, how Barbie's resume evolved through nearly 60 years.

Bridget Carey
Bridget Carey is an award-winning reporter who helps you level-up your life -- while having a good time geeking out. Her exclusive CNET videos get you behind the scenes as she covers new trends, experiences and quirky gadgets. Her weekly video show, "One More Thing," explores what's new in the world of Apple and what's to come. She started as a reporter at The Miami Herald with syndicated newspaper columns for product reviews and social media advice. Now she's a mom who also stays on top of toy industry trends and robots. (Kids love robots.)
Bridget Carey
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Barbie makes her debut in 1959

Barbie came into the world rocking a stripped bathing suit and looking fabulous. But alas, to keep up this lifestyle she needed to join the working world.

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Fashion Designer (1960)

Barbie got her first big break as a fashion designer.

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Flight Attendant (1961)

In 1961, Barbie became a flight attendant. But she also took on two other jobs that year.

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Registered Nurse (1961)

Registered Nurse Barbie in '61 came with a medicine bottle, a hot water bag, diploma -- and a wicked cool cape.

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Ballerina (1961)

Barbie also found time to pursue her dream of becoming a star ballerina.

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Tennis Player (1962)

Before Billie Jean King faced off against Bobby Riggs, the first battle of the sexes was Barbie vs. Ken.

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College Graduate (1963)

Four years after her debut, Barbie earned her degree and became a college graduate. 

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Career Girl (1963)

With her freshly printed college degree, Barbie began fashionably working her way up the corporate ladder.

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Astronaut (1965)

Barbie joined the space race in 1965 as an astronaut -- four years before man walked on the moon! Who says ballerinas can't be rocket scientists? 

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Surgeon (1973)

Surgeon Barbie shows us that you don't need pants to be an awesome doctor.

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Olympic Skier (1975)

Barbie competed in her first Winter Olympics as a skier and took home the gold.

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Fashion Model (1977)

Modeling was a natural fit for Barbie. No Photoshop necessary. 

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Aerobics Instructor (1984)

Leg warmers. Headband. Scarf belt. Barbie was the ultimate '80s aerobics instructor. 

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Veterinarian (1985)

Veterinarian Barbie came with a pawsome outfit.

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Astronaut (1986)

Barbie was quite the stellar '80s space cadet. Her fuchsia and silver metallic bodysuit rocked big puffy shoulders, knee-high pink boots -- and she could change into a matching mini-skirt for space dance parties!

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Barbie and the Rockers (1986)

When Jem and the Holograms got popular, Barbie went hard on the hairspray and eyeshadow to form a rival girl band: Barbie and the Rockers. 

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Air Force Pilot (1991)

In the '90s, Barbie cut her air and enlisted in the military. She flew jets as an Air Force pilot.

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Naval Petty Officer (1991)

Barbie also served in the Navy as a petty officer. 

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Marine Corps Sergeant (1992)

And the following year she became a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. That's one tough doll.

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Business Executive (1992)

In 1992 she shattered the glass ceiling and got a corner office with her all-pink suit. 

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Rapper (1992)

1992's Rappin' Rockin' Barbie was so fresh, she even had a working boombox. 

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Police Officer (1993)

The next year Barbie joined the force as a police officer. 

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Army Medic (1993)

Barbie left the force to join the Army and put her medical training to use as a medic.

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Firefighter (1995)

Barbie continued to save the day in 1995 as part of the Barbie Fire Rescue unit.

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Gymnast (1996)

Barbie can't resist the Olympics. She got back in the games in 1996 to become a gold-medal-winning gymnast. 

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Dentist (1997)

Barbie started her own dental practice in the late '90s. Rinse. Spit. Good job, here's a little Crest toothpaste sample.

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Soccer Player (1998)

Barbie gets bendable knees and suddenly becomes a soccer superstar. Go figure.

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Nascar Driver (1998)

Years of training with Hot Wheels paid off when Barbie became a Nascar driver in 1998.

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MLB player (1998)

Barbie and friends started a league of their own in '98 when they became the first women to play in Major League Baseball.

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WNBA (1999)

The WMBA began in 1997, but Barbie didn't join until 1999. Wait... Dallas? I thought she was more of an Los Angeles Sparks gal.

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Airline Pilot (1999)

She may have started out as a flight attendant, but in 1999 she became a pilot -- with matching suitcase!

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Working Woman (1999)

The Working Woman Barbie found a way to have it all on the go with her flip phone. 

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Presidential Candidate (2000)

Barbie began her political career in 2000 in her first run for president.

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Olympic Swimmer (2001)

Barbie racked up more gold medals on the US Swim Team. 

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Art Teacher (2002)

How did she wear such great clothes while teaching art class to toddlers?

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Presidential Candidate (2004)

In 2004, Barbie ran for president once again. This time, she went for the pantsuit.

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American Idol (2005)

After running for president, going into reality TV is a natural next career step. So Barbie auditioned for American Idol.

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TV Chef (2008)

Barbie was also a TV chef with her own cooking show.

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President (2008)

Barbie ran for president once again in 2008, but this time she didn't cut her hair.

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Newborn Baby Doctor (2009)

Only Barbie can rock a short skirt in the maternity ward.

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News Anchor (2010)

Barbie was breaking news and breaking hearts as a TV news anchor.

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Computer Engineer (2010)

In 2010, Barbie showed the world her programming skills as a computer software engineer. She worked primarily in binary and had a Bluetooth earpiece that made geek look chic.

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Architect (2011)

In 2011 Barbie leaned into her math skills again as an architect.

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Fashion Designer (2012)

Barbie went back to her very first job as a fashion designer -- but this time her sketches were saved on a tablet.

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Mars Explorer (2013)

Barbie became the first woman to walk on Mars in 2013. Looks like she had some fuchsia metallic spacesuit material left over from 1986. 

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Entrepreneur (2014)

Barbie started her own business as an entrepreneur, armed with her iPhone and iPad loaded with bar charts. Get it, girl.

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Game Developer (2016)

Barbie went back to the programming world in 2016 as a game developer, blending her creative art side with technology and math. 

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President and Vice President (2016)

Barbie didn't just run for president in 2016, she also ran for VP. The first all-woman, all-Barbie ticket!

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Scientist (2017)

Barbie dived into more STEM jobs. She strapped on her goggles, brushed up on her periodic table of elements, and worked in the lab as a scientist.

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Astronaut and Space Scientist (2017)

Astronaut Barbie teamed up with her rocket scientist friend in this double-doll-pack of space heroism adventures.

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Palentologist (2018)

Mattel's dino-digging Paleontologist Barbie comes with a headlamp and digging tools. Mattel also made a paleontologist Barbie in 1996. (Whenever Jurassic Park is trending, life finds a way to bring us Paleontologist Barbie.)

Robotics Engineer (2018)
Robotics Engineer (2018)
52 of 52 Sarah Tew/CNET

Robotics Engineer (2018)

Barbie took her programming to the next level as a robotics engineer. (Artificial intelligence and voice recognition abilities not included.) Watch the video above to learn more.

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