The dizzying development rate of modern technology has done plenty of good for our world. However, it has also turned a lot of once-thriving careers into dying professions. If it isn’t robots filling in for factory workers, it’s the newest app cutting out another middle man. In an era built for speed, many seasoned workers are scratching their heads wondering: which jobs will vanish next?
1. Casino Cashier
Once upon a time, gambling was looked upon as a vice on an almost nationwide scale. Today, things have changed. Money is flying back and forth between players, and the industry is booming like it never has before. Except for Utah and Hawaii, you can partake in gambling in some way or other throughout the whole country.
That said, we’d expect a career as a casino cashier to be a stable gig. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Technology has swooped in, introducing casinos to automated machines that can handle money and chips with few faults. They also cut the casino’s labor costs, so they are a welcomed feature.
2. Postal Workers
Within the past three decades, mail bags have noticeably shrunk in size. This has everything to do with the Internet’s swift takeover of communication and payment norms. Today, bills can all be paid for online, and a letter can be sent to someone instantly via email.
Even wedding invites are dealt with through email. Not only is email the safer option for the sender, preventing bills and letters from getting lost in the mail, but it also takes an instant to get to someone. Aside from delivering large packages from Amazon and eBay, the job’s function is becoming more and more obsolete.
3. Floral Designers
Recent statistics provided by the BLC showed that floral designers have been over the hill for quite some time now. They revealed that between 2005 and 2015, the number of floral arrangers has declined by 25.6%. What’s more, the trend isn’t expected to die down anytime soon, and is predicted to drop by another 16.6% within the next decade.
The fall of floral designers has everything to do with the thriving flower selections that can be found in department stores. They are usually sold loose, but thanks to YouTube, almost anyone will be able to learn how to arrange their own flower design.
4. Newspaper Reporters
There was a time when the newspaper meant everything. You wouldn’t know what was happening in the world if you didn’t spend a good hour rifling through the paper each morning. Those days are long gone, as the printed newspaper industry has been on the decline for years now.
Of course, the Internet is the culprit. Most people are getting their news online, from websites like Twitter, Facebook, and other media outlets. They just have a better way of tending to the current generation’s attention span. Seeing this, advertisers have kissed newspapers goodbye, setting their focus on the Web. For the papers, less advertisements mean less money to pay their reporters.
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is a slogan that can shut itself away in a history book. While jewelry is still fashionable today, diamonds aren’t exactly regarded as forever like they were once upon a time. Instead, they’re more associated with fast fashion.
Jewelers know this better than anyone, as they find themselves squaring off against crafters and hobbyists who assemble exquisite jewelry for cheaper prices. 3D-printing technology has also put jewelers in a sweat. This new advancement makes it possible for jewelry fanatics to get custom-made designs made by a 3D-printing company. By 2024, BLS sees an 11% decline on jeweler jobs.
6. Farmers And Ranchers
According to Work and Money, between 2010 and 2020, the number of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers has shrank by eight percent. This has very little to do with people eating less; on the contrary, people are eating more than ever. At the end of the day, it all comes down to farmers becoming more efficient.
They have found ways of producing the same amount of crops with fewer work hands. Most of this has to do with new machinery, chemicals, and other more expensive agricultural tools that the farmers are using. That said, the industry can always come back at some point down the road, particularly in light of the fact that the world’s population continues to grow.
7. Fast Food Cook
Technology is fulfilling its promise of slowly making low-paying jobs a thing of the past. When it comes to the job hierarchy, fast food cooks have always found themselves regarded as being on the bottom. It was given to us as an example of what we would end up doing if we didn’t work hard in school.
According to BSL, the fast food cook position has declined by 3.6% since 2010. These numbers are only expected to further dwindle in years to come, as the fast food industry becomes more automated by the day. Big name chains just find it easier to buy food pre-prepared, and have workers heat it in the store. This was a practice that was unthinkable even a decade ago.
8. Door-To-Door Salespeople
This will not be the decade for door-to-door salespeople. It’s predicted that by 2026, one out of every five door-to-door sales jobs will be gone. The main reason for this is online advertising. While we have to give credit to the guys and gals that go out facing unpredictable elements, uninterested customers, and angry house dogs, they just don’t compare to Internet efficiency.
Despite that, if one has a heart for sales, they can always find an opportunity as an insurance sales agent. While it may not possess that house-to-house element, an insurance sales agent will easily make double what a door-to-door salesmen would make anyway.
9. Telephone Switchboard Operators
Most would have expected telephone switchboard operators to have gone out with the 1960s. However, it turns out this age-old profession has been sluggishly pulling through the decades without the world even noticing it. Nonetheless, the numbers of people calling this their job have been on swift decrease since their heyday ended.
According to BSL, by the dawn of the new decade, the numbers of switchboard operators around the world will decrease by 33%. By that point, there will only be about 109,300 people working on switchboards, which is more than you’d expect! Switchboards are as good as gone, as emails, texting, instant messaging, DSL, and wireless continue to evolve, leaving this job’s purpose in the dust.
10. Private Eyes And Investigators
The days of trusty super sleuths for hire may be gone forever within the next decade. Why is that? It’s all because of the rise of surveillance cameras, security platforms, increasingly sophisticated spyware, and DNA data banks. These things have made it hard for criminals to just take the money and run.
This job, therefore, has a fair chance of declining. However, it can be saved if its employees stay ahead of the hit trends and delve into robotics and artificial intelligence. At the moment, an IT expert can be as good of an investigator as anyone. All they have to do is sniff out someone’s digital trail.
11. Photo Processors
Photo processing was still a lucrative career even fifteen years ago. Sadly, the job has been on a sharp decline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 23,853 photo processors remaining in the United States. They have grimly predicted that 17.7 percent of them will be out of work by the time 2026 rolls around.
In the looming shadow of digital photography and stock photo websites, film processing increasingly looks like a classic trait of yesteryear. If you’re thinking about taking up work as a photo processor, you might want to start thinking of a new career to latch onto.
People the world over once tuned into their favorite radio stations to hear their trusted disc jockeys introduce the masses to the next biggest hit. They also used the radio and television to hear their favorite sports and news broadcasters. Sadly, these revered job positions will soon be a thing of the past.
According to BLS, one in 10 of the 22,303 radio and television broadcasters around the United States are expected to vanish from the airwaves by the year 2026. This has everything to do with music streaming services taking off. When you consider that streaming services deliver pure music with neither commercial advertisements nor chatter, it makes sense.
13. IT Support
No one could have ever pictured a day when IT support would begin a steady drift into irrelevance. However, that day has arrived. With the world of computing becoming more Cloud-based by the day, the old office IT guy is finding himself with more and more free time on his hands.
CrediReady chief executive Nicholas C. Fiorentino doesn’t necessarily see their lack of work as a bad thing. He stated the following: “The good news is, it is creating the opportunity for programmers, freelancers, and system administrators willing to pivot to manage their client servers remotely and profitably, and at better scale.”
14. Furniture Finisher
Furniture finishers have always been a respectable bunch. Without these craftsmen and women on hand, we’d have no one to shape, finish, and refinish all our damaged chairs and tables. Sadly, big name chains like Ikea and Walmart are putting them out of work.
A few decades ago, a brand new chair could cost a decent amount of money, and taking an old one to a furniture finisher was always more financially responsible. Today, things have been reversed: instead of taking an aged chair to a finisher, it’s cheaper just to buy a new one. BLS has reported that they expect there to be 20,113 furniture finishers by 2026.
Many people can recall the days when their home phone would ring incessantly with telemarketers on the other end. Some people would quickly snap that they weren’t interested, and others would immediately hang up without a word. That old-time annoyance is completely novelty these days, and it seems it’s only going to continue down that path.
Telemarketing jobs have been in rapid decline in recent years. Most of this has to do with cell phones and caller ID, which have made their jobs almost impossible. Many people out there won’t even answer a call from an unknown number. With that in mind, these old companies aren’t quite gone yet. They are now trying to reach us through email and online advertising.
16. Motor Vehicle Electronic Equipment Installers
Back in the day, a car radio, a CD player, and a mean set of speakers meant the world. One could be expected to go for a cruise with their favorite tunes blaring down the block. So if they broke down, you would immediately cancel all your plans, and get the problem repaired by an electronic equipment installer as quickly as possible.
By today’s standards, a car doesn’t even need to have a radio or disc player. You can plug in your phone and rock out to your favorite Spotify playlist. Also, most speakers are wireless and have Bluetooth capabilities. This has put electronic equipment installers out of work. However, they can redeem themselves by mastering digital and robotic technology.
17. Textile Machine Workers
Computer technology has resulted in yet another factory job biting the dust. This time, it’s textile machine workers who are watching their jobs slip into obscurity. At the end of the day, it all comes down to robotics being able to do their job quicker, with less numbers, and with less mistakes.
A lot of the textile work that isn’t being done by a robots is being outsourced overseas. Both of those alternatives save companies a ton of money. Being able to run a very basic machine is losing its value by the day. However, mastering more complicated machines can still land someone a promising career.
18. Print Binding and Finishing Workers
Despite the Kindle’s extreme popularity, many people still enjoy reading a conventional paperback book. However, the book industry as a whole has been hit pretty hard. Bookstores across the country have closed down at an alarming rate. It can literally be a challenge to even find a bookstore in the first place.
Moreover, the print-binding industry has been hit the hardest. The industry isn’t falling as fast as some of the careers on this list, but it is still gradually going out of fashion. BLS has predicted that trait will see a 10.6 decline over the first years of the 2020s.
19. Typists and Word Processors
A typist and word processor is another job position that we all thought had disappeared a couple decades ago. The truth is, the occupation has still managed to stick around somehow. These individuals are responsible for taking audio files or written notes and typing them out.
Even in the early ’90s, some people didn’t know how to type efficiently at all. We’ve all seen our parents work the keyboard with two fingers. The typist’s role has seen a major decline in recent decades. Living in a time where nearly everyone is a keyboard master, it’s not considered a special trait to know how to type anymore.
20. Watch Repairers
Watch repairers look on in despair every time they see someone check the time on their mobile phone. While it seems strange today, there was once a time when everyone owned a watch or two. This was considered the golden age for your neighborhood watch repairman, as they’d always have something to work on.
Business is looking extremely slow for watch repairers in the 2020s. Even still, old styles are always coming into fashion. If the fanny pack could make a comeback, so can wrist watches. According to Bloomberg, hip new watch company Movado Group is making watches cool for modern youth.
21. Foundry Mold Makers
While a foundry’s mold maker position has always been a job with high risks and extreme heat, you’ll find the position is becoming cold and vacant amid American foundries. The decline of this job has everything to do with American manufacturing being taken over by workers abroad.
Despite this long stable position quickly vanishing from the map, America’s former foundry workers thankfully have plenty of job opportunities to fall back on. They can always take their experience and work at wind and solar power plants. As there’s always a need of manual laborers, so too exists the option of becoming a derrick operator, which is also in high demand.
22. Mail Sorters
If you think packages go directly from sender to receiver, you couldn’t be more wrong. Packages go through a whole process before a postal worker delivers it to your doorstep. Prior to any deliveries, a package must come face to face with a mail sorter, responsible for routing, sorting, and examining your parcel. They also have to be savvy when it comes to handling all the mail room machinery.
Sadly, the future doesn’t look so bright for mail sorters across the country. We’ve come into a time where there is just less physical mail to sort, as people are sending emails and taking care of business online. Mail sorters aren’t completely irrelevant, but they are at much lower demand.
Fallers can affectionately be called the lumberjacks of the 21st century. They travel around the country taking axes and chainsaws to our trees, and then control the direction that the trees fall in. While it seems like we’ll never stop needing products made from wood, fallers are slowly going out of style.
With all the wildfires that have happened in recent years, fallers have become very unpopular. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that the demand for forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists has skyrocketed. Demands by activists may just see fallers fall into irrelevance in the years to come.
24. Engine and Machine Assemblers
A job title that’s biting the bullet due to overseas production is the engine and machine assembly. The job is needed, as its workers are essential to the production of everything from air conditioners to cars. That said, in search of cheaper labor, companies are wasting no time migrating these positions out of America.
This doesn’t mean that trained engine and machine assemblers are going to be out of luck when it comes to finding work. According to BLS, solar photovoltaic installers are in very high demand, and having a background in machine assembly is bound to garner some employment consideration.
25. Executive Assistants
The days of executive assistants and secretaries are coming to an end. While they have always provided high-level support in the form of scheduling, researching, and corresponding, the job is facing its end date. But there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel for these hard-working individuals.
Being an executive assistant means being skilled in a number of roles. One job that would really be perfect for a former executive assistant and put their skills to the test would be working as a project management position in sales. Their organizational skills and communications expertise would definitely thrive in the role.
This one we’ll truly be sorry to see go — even if we’re secretly still terrified of being shushed! The way of the paperback book is becoming a chapter in history — which itself be purely digital. The tradition of book printing, just the same as newspapers, is going away, replaced by the more and more ubiquitous sight of the Kindle.
That means public libraries are facing some pretty tough cuts, or even employing just volunteers to staff them. As libraries and the service they provide become a way of the past, the friendly (or not-so-friendly) characters who were once an expert in helping you locate the novel you need are finding themselves out of a job.
What was once a very widespread profession is slowly but surely creeping towards extinction as the new millennium progresses. While the checkout guy/girl has become a well-known cultural staple, and we might even look forward to that pleasant bit of conversation with them, theirs could well become a dying job.
Western countries are more and more toying with the idea of becoming cashless societies. As the idea catches on, automated machines scan your items at the checkout area of the store, and payment services like Apple Pay and similar models mean transactions can be completed with the tap of a finger.
As the technology behind instant replay becomes more and more refined, the need to have a person physically situated on the field is gradually becoming less. What’s more — and not to insult the referee’s eyesight — but instant replay has also proven to be more trustworthy than the human eye and memory.
Today’s referees are earning less, and as the older ones retire, fewer people are willing to step up and fill that role. But the question lingers on: seeing as it’s been a proud tradition for so long, if this role is filled by something that isn’t even human, then who will we yell at during sports matches now?
29. Computer Programmers
Yes, you heard that one right. Even though computer programming has become one of the most hotly-sought after jobs over the past few decades, there’s one aspect of it in particular that means it’s not the most stable job market to try to break into.
In the technological era, the nature of high-tech work evolves at a dizzying pace. In large part because of the impersonal nature of the job, more and more companies are waking up to the fact that it can be easier to outsource this kind of position. Moreover, there’s a tempting financial incentive to doing that: by outsourcing, these companies don’t have to pay as high wages.
30. Sewing Machine Operators
Once upon a time, a family or business getting a Singer sewing machine was an occasion to be celebrated. Its next stage of evolution was in factories, where operators managed the job of stitching on a larger scale. Yet being in charge of sewing machines is a position that’s dwindling — and fast.
Like so many other dying jobs, this function is being taken over by cutting-edge advancements in technology, and that includes robots. While they may not have love in every stitch, robot-managed assembly lines can miraculously complete this task far faster than the average human worker. Perhaps we’ll start to see clothing tags stating: “Made By Bot”?
Have you spoken on the phone to a dispatcher recently? It depends on what sort of job you have. If the essential function of that job is driving, then you’re dependent on someone telling you where to go — whether you’re a taxi driver, a police officer, or a sandwich delivery person.
Even as delivery services themselves are seeing a decline because of technology making their function more and more obsolete, so too these dispatchers are on the way out. The humans directing their drivers and giving them destinations are fast being replaced by automated services. Does this mean the end of tipping as we know it?
32. Travel Agents
Several decades ago, it wasn’t too uncommon for families to have their own personal accountant, their own personal family attorney, and their own personal travel agent. Yet what was once a thriving business in the pre-Internet age is swiftly becoming a dying job.
The answer for this is straightforward. When you’re considering taking a trip somewhere, what’s the first step you take? Chances are, calling a travel agent, booking a meeting, or physically going to the travel agency office are low on your list of priorities. Going to online metasearch travel sites whose algorithms help you find the best deal is far more convenient.
33. Parking Enforcers
You rush out of the building, suddenly remembering what time it is. But as you arrive at your car, it’s already too late, and even if you keep shouting “Wait!”, chances are, it won’t do much good. You’ve already got a ticket on your windshield. Meet the parking enforcement officer — you may only yet be acquainted for a short while.
As technology becomes more sophisticated, digital meters are beginning to replace the traditional coin-based parking meters we’re used to. What’s more, these meters don’t need a professional to come and look at them in person. And let’s face the facts: the digital meters don’t care and won’t respond no matter how much you yell at them!
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