Other Careers for Clark Kent

I’m a Superman fan. He is literally one of the earliest characters I can remember liking, and as a moral compass probably competed other beard-bearing religious icons. But one thing I never identified with was Clark Kent as a reporter. Batman the detective made sense, Spider-Man was just trying to make buck, Matt Murdock was just being ironic, but besides the times when Clark was using his investigative abilities to actively uncover nefarious goings-on relevant to his caped alter ego I just never saw the point.

Before you accuse me of completely dismissing Kent’s noble profession, there was one really good episode of the animated series where as a journalist Clark discovers an injustice, and attempts to remedy the situation as Clark displaying an almost Durden-esque jealousy of his superheroic persona. Of course Clark was blown up so he had to save the day as Superman anyways, but it was a nice try at keeping his journalist side relevant.

So with that in mind I thought, much as Peter Parker has gone full on scientist, what are some other careers Kent could excel assuming the Daily Planet is forced to lay him off due to budget cuts.

Oh yeah, and I don’t care that he’s blogging now. I just don’t, and I won’t apologize for it. But for the record, I’d watch an entire movie of bearded fisherman Clark Kent, I have no problem with that whatsoever.


5) Farmer

He was raised in it, he clearly loves it, and he’d be great at it. Many iconic stories call Kent back to the farm, especially relevant is the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s story, “For the man who has everything” wherein Clark is psychically given his greatest desire and he winds up a farmer on Krytpon. And that was in a scenario where he was raised in a city. To my knowledge, not may city kids end up going to till the soil.  I know one who became a cheese maker, which is close but not quite there. It would be nice to spot signs of psychic ability, though. I would totally jump on that.

Furthermore, Clark would be great at farming. An acre was traditionally defined as the amount of area one farmer could cover in one day. A superacre may as well be an infinite sphere covering the whole earth. It’s a great job for a superhero. He could till everything superfast with his bare hands, get the seeds planted, then have time to go solve a crises while waiting for the seeds to sprout. Plus he could fly his crops to needy folks all around the world, sure he needs money but he can always make a few diamonds to get by in a pinch, right?

Just change that fedora ever so slightly. And a less urban color palette for the suit, more browns.

Just change that fedora ever so slightly. And a less urban color palette for the suit, more browns.

4) Academic

Clark didn’t really go to college, but if Indiana Jones has taught me anything about being an academic is that you’re basically a superhero already. Sure, you have some teaching responsibilities, but according to Indy it’s pretty simple to just blow that off. Plus what better way for Clark to continue learning about his adopted planet? I’m not sure what he’d specialize in, he’s pretty intelligent (depending on who’s writing him) but I’m not sure where his curiosity would likely lead him. But I submit that the flexible schedule and intellectual stimulation would make life on the campus a good fit for Prof. Kent.



3) Conservationist

“We would be doing a much better job of conserving rhinos if we knew how many there were.”

“Oh yeah? One sec.” … “4,880. I also saw some poacher and went ahead and melted their guns.”

“Thanks, Clark. You had lunch yet?”

“Nope, Indian buffet or just go to India?”

“Your call, I picked yesterday.”

Not the best way to keep his secret identity a secret, but I’d certainly like to have an all-powerful eye in the sky helping keep endangered species safe. Let Superman save the humans, leave the whales to Clark.

Might want to put your glasses on, and cover up that S.

Might want to put your glasses on, and cover up that S.

2) Astronaut

The United States no longer has an active manned launch vehicle to get us to space. This is a sad state of affairs but who better to help reinvigorate the astronaut corps than the baby who fell from the stars in the first place? As an alien, Clark surely has a vested interest in exploring the cosmos, and NASA could even help him maintain his secret identity. They did such a good job with the moon landing, right? Only a select few people would need to know that Clark doesn’t actually need that spacesuit, and it would be so easy to say, “Clark Kent can’t be Superman because Clark was in space when Superman was down here saving Batman from the Joker.”

"This building is clearly not up to code."

“This building is clearly not up to code.”

1) Community Organizer

A friend pointed out that Clark may not want to go back to the farm, that city living suits him so he’d want to stay in Metropolis even if he wasn’t at the Daily Planet. Superman also used to fight for social justice, so why not hand over those tasks to Clark? Make sure tenants aren’t getting screwed by landlords, help advocate for illegal immigrants (like himself), and just generally try to make Metropolis is a better place for the people living there beyond just preventing the latest disaster. I think this would give Clark some of the same fulfillment that he got from being a reporter, but still give him the freedom, both in terms of free time and ethically, to fly around his his tights punching bad guys. Also, to call back to my original suggestion, Clark could easily help set up some awesome rooftop farms for the low income people in Suicide Slum. Double whammy for the win.

So those are five other job paths I think Clark Kent could excel at. Obviously, he would be a great fireman or something like that, but jobs that require actual heroics don’t seem like a good fit, if only because that’s his side gig and it might be seen as disrespectful to those who actually do put their lives on the line as a part of their job. But I think my options would be fun and stimulating for a guy like Supes.

How about you? What do you tell the recently laid off Clark Kent that he should do next? The man needs your help, people. Don’t let him down.

Ryan Haupt also thinks Hawkman would make a great dentist. Hear more of his idiotic ideas come to life on the podcast Science… sort of. If the patient is being treated for the migraines, tension headaches or sinus pains and the medications or other methods of treatment given by the physician are not useful; they are often referred to a dentist from Sedation Dentistry Houston for evaluation.


  1. Clark as a farmer is a no-brainer, it’s in his upbringing in Smallville and he even hid in a Matrix farm in “Kingdom Come”. I could see him being a Astronomy teacher (telescopic vision would make it easy). I like the idea of him going around saving endangered species (reminds me alittle of “Birthright”), and the community organizer thing could make him more proactive and thus make better stories. I can’t really see the astronaut thing tho, besides the logistic problems I think it’s too on the nose, too similar to him being Superman. I’ve always wondered why news reporters are so idolized in comics, and somehow the newspaper industry is still going strong in the New 52. All that said, if I could pick Clark’s new career I’d pick something like a peace corps volunteer or disaster aid worker. Something that would get him out in the world, helping people all the time, but with opportunities to slip away as Superman. Pretty much anything besides blogging (no offense to bloggers out there).

  2. You forgot Fireman.

    Which is something Superman is actually doing right now in the future of Batman Beyond. See: Superman Beyond.

  3. Why not some kind of walking tour guide? We know he can do that!

  4. Food truck operator

    • Show your work.

    • 1. Clark is the cook of the marriage (Lois always invariably burns the dinner and ends up ordering take out in every version of their first date)
      2. The looser hours and lack of accountability to an authority figure will allow Clark to operate as Superman.
      3. Clark has a magnanimous personality which is necessary in mobile food service; half of what you’re buying is food the other half is the person who’s selling it.
      4. The ability to move his truck along different parts of the city allows him to patrol on the ground, make contacts and alibis him for being in areas where crimes are occurring.

      The only downside is that dude going to stink every time he saves someone.

  5. Nice! I wrote a piece on this back when it was announced he was leaving the Daily Planet: http://www.scpr.org/blogs/newmedia/2012/10/22/10643/clark-kent-quits-daily-planet-weve-got-6-suggestio/

    Fun to compare the suggestions; mine are a little more digital journalismy (probably since that’s what I do); love the scope in your article, Ryan.

    (TL;DR version of my piece: Tumblr blogger, BuzzFeed reporter, the next Drudge Report, social media expert, Reddit redditor or glasses model)

  6. Blogger. No set hours, occasional sanctimony is a feature not a flaw, and he can actually read and respond personally to every single comment…

  7. More Superman, rather than Clark Kent but: power source (depressing as that is). http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2305