Cleaning out gutters, fixing toilets, getting up at the crack of dawn to sell newspapers, it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it, right? Turns out, maybe not! While we thought these standby gigs would be around forever, it appears that isn’t anywhere close to being the case.
While some career paths may be thriving today, the same can’t be said for every job out there. Regardless of what industry you’re involved in, one thing is for certain, the future is coming and it may just be bringing a resume that outshines yours! These 20 jobs are on the verge of total extinction — is yours on the list?
1. Fast Food Workers: Though there’s been a lot of talk about fast-foot food worker wages in recent years, employees may have a bigger problem. As Americans have begun shifting toward healthier diets, 27,000 fast food jobs are soon expected to be on the back burner.
2. Operators: Sure, phone operators still play a key role in managing the influx of calls that major companies receive daily. But with computers gradually replacing call centers, nearly 21,000 operators will soon be unemployed.
3. Steel Workers: Countries like China and Japan are beginning to outpace the U.S. as a top producer of steel. Combine this foreign demand with increased industry automation, and American steel workers will soon be searching for a new career path.
4. Cashiers: With the rise of self-checkout stations and cashier-less stores like Amazon Go, giving the right change will be the least of these workers’ worries. While it’s hard for us to imagine any kind of store without cashiers, it looks like that’s the way we’re headed!
5. Photo Processors: Today most printers can produce images of similar quality from the comfort of one’s home, making the photo processing profession as good as dead. The massive rise in digital photography doesn’t help either.
6. Bank Tellers: Thanks for nothing, ATMs! The industry is estimated to lose 5,200 employees a year for the next eight years, leaving our dollars in the hands of highly intelligent robots. What could go wrong?
7. Meter Maids: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that they’ll be out of a job within the next ten years. Thanks to smart technology, drivers can simply add time to their meters from their smartphones and avoid hefty fines.
8. Seamstresses: Back in days of old, a ripped dress or torn shirt called for a trip to your local seamstress. Today, however, the rise of automated clothing factories and savvy do-it-yourself sewing machines threaten to put nearly every remaining seamstress out of business.
9. USPS Workers: Due to increased competition from independent delivery services like Amazon and UPS, nearly 65,000 postal jobs are expected to disappear by 2026. Which begs the question, who will the dogs chase then?
10. Computer Programmers: Despite the overwhelming digitization of our world, computer programmer jobs are becoming harder and harder to come by. With outsourcing and the hiring of remote foreign programmers, homegrown techies can expect the loss of 21,000 jobs.
11. Assembly Line Workers: Though a number of major manufacturing companies have made an effort to bring factories back to the U.S., outsourcing remains a serious threat for skilled laborers too. Combine that with increased factory automation and you’re looking at layoffs of nearly 145,000 American workers.
12. C-Suite Executives: Those in CEO, CFO, and other c-suite positions may have to sell a mansion or two to prepare for their own upcoming layoffs. As companies begin to combine c-suite roles, 12,100 bigwigs are expected to take a significant pay cut.
13. Correctional Officers: Keeping inmates in line is a tough job, but things may get even tougher for correctional officers within the next eight years. According to the BLS, criminal incarceration is at its lowest since 1996, leaving an estimated 34,500 officers unemployed.
14. Pre-Press Technicians: It’s a sad fact, but it’s true — print is dead. But while digital publications have carried over most of their business models from their physical-copy days, this transition has left pre-press technicians on the bubble. By 2026, 6,900 of these talented men and women are expected to be jobless.
15. Respiratory Therapy Technicians: This news surely won’t come as a breath of fresh air. Because respiratory therapists are becoming more hands-on with how they treat patients, these techs will likely all be laid off by 2026.
16. Executive Assistants: Though company executives may have a lot of work on their plates, it looks like they’re doing a pretty good job of handling it themselves. That’s why by 2026, an estimated 321,000 executive assistants will be back on the job market.
17. Locomotive Firers: Though riding in a steam-powered train has become somewhat of a novelty in today’s world, locomotive firers sure won’t be happy to know that their livelihood is at stake. The 1,200 firers remaining in the U.S. will soon be shoveling resumes into their mailboxes.
18. Airplane Assemblymen: Like assembly line workers in other factories, the men and women responsible for constructing airplanes are now being replaced by highly advanced machines. If this trend continues, 41,800 workers will be without jobs within the next ten years.
19. Data Entry Keyers: Another industry that’s gradually being taken over by technology is the data entry field, with the keyers responsible for data verification and delivery prep being the ones most affected. The BLS estimates that 43,200 jobs will be made obsolete by the incoming wave of do-it-all supercomputers.
20. Mine Shuttle Car Operators: As the U.S. moves toward cleaner forms of energy, fuel sources like coal are falling into disuse, leaving mine workers in a difficult position. Shuttle car operators will be taking the biggest hit, with nearly all of them expected to vanish within the next decade.
It’s crazy to think that our ever-changing world also means that our careers have to change too. Here’s to hoping your job isn’t on this list.
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