15 Dying Professions You Should Avoid Like the Plague

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Kayla Heisler1.16k
April 12, 2024 at 7:12PM UTC

Whether you’re freshly out of college or looking to make a career transition, prospects for certain jobs are better than others. Putting in time and energy to build a career only to have it ripped away is a scary situation. Make the most out of your time by avoiding these dying professions:

1. Travel Agent

Now that online reservation systems can make anyone a travel insider, this career is on its way out. While having a travel agent could save you megabucks back in the day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of travel agents will decrease by 12 percent over the next decade.

2. Broadcaster

Music streaming services and industry consolidation are causing these careers to disappear. Both television and radio announcers are finding their livelihoods on the chopping block.

3. Mail Carrier

As more people begin paying their bills online, staying in touch through social media, and relying on email to communicate, the volume of items sent via snail mail is becoming increasingly scant, meaning less workers are needed to transport it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of mail carrier positions will decrease 28 percent over the next seven years.

4. Mortgage Broker

During the Great Recession, the number of traditional mortgage brokers decreased by a staggering 80 percent, and even those who kept their jobs were faced with an average salary drop of 30 percent. It's not looking too good for brokers. 

5. Casino Cashier

Think twice before making a big move to get cash in Sin City. Though more states are legalizing gambling, many of those casinos are reducing labor costs by using automated machines.

6. Case Researcher

If you’re looking for a career in law, you’re better off focusing your energy on an area that relies more on human emotion and less on technology, such as witness profiling. Much of the information we once relied on case researchers to find is now being collected by advanced algorithms.

7. Semiconductor Processor

While fields related to technology continue to boom in many areas, the number of those fabricating microchips and circuits is diminishing. Semiconductor factories now rely more on automation than human hands, and the number of large plants relying on automation is expected to increase so sharply that the number of people working in factories is predicted to drop 27 percent by 2022.

8. Middle Management Positions

Instead of relying on an extra boss, companies are replacing these positions with enterprise software programs such as Oracle.

9. Photo Processor

Thanks to the ubiquity of phone cameras and digital cameras, the number of film processing jobs has experienced a sharp decrease. Currently, there are less than 25,000 photo processors in the United States, and that number is expected to decrease by 19.7 percent by 2026.

10. Data Entry Clerk

Many tasks that were once delegated to assistants are being taken over by word processing software and other technological advances. The recession sparked the decline, and 15,900 clerks are expected to lose jobs by 2020.

11. Telemarketer

Thanks in part to the advent of online marketing via spam (and, also, caller ID),  jobs in both telemarketing and door-to-door sales have experienced an 18 percent decrease since 2015.

12. Telephone Switchboard Operator

This one doesn’t likely come as a shock, as this job has been on the path to obsolescence for quite some time. The last manual switchboard was replaced in California back in 1991, and the Data USA predicts the number of operators in the United States will decrease by 33 percent over the next ten years.

13. Newspaper Reporter

According to the Pew Research Center, Sunday circulation has reached their lowest numbers since 1945 when the United States had a far smaller population. Most Americans now receive their news from online publications, which has led to a steady decline of print-only newspaper positions over the last 18 years.

14. Jeweler

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an 11 percent decline for jeweler jobs by 2024. Though having experience with computer-aided design will make these positions easier to obtain, the outlook is still grim due to jewelry manufacturing occurring mostly overseas.   

15. Textile Machine Worker

This is another example of a career seeing many jobs shipped overseas. While the lower levels of basic machine working is on the decline domestically, there is a bright spot: more advanced machinists are expected to experience a 13 percent uptick by 2026.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets anthology. When she's not writing poetry, she's writing about women in the workplace.

What professions do you think are declining and should be avoided? Share your thoughts and advice in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members.

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