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30 Jobs That Will Soon Be Gone for Good

·7 min read
BassittART / Getty Images/iStockphoto
BassittART / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The unemployment spike caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020 was devastating. More than 30 million Americans lost their jobs, and the unemployment rate spiked to nearly 20%. The good news is that jobs have been returning as more businesses reopen, and the current unemployment rate is 5.9 percent. However, there are some jobs that may never return, and it has little to do with the coronavirus itself.

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Read: Highest-Paying Work-From-Home Jobs

The evolution of the job market is a natural occurrence. Over time, as the economy grows and technology advances, some jobs simply get phased out. Automation is a constant threat to certain types of jobs, as companies are constantly seeking ways to perform tasks more efficiently and inexpensively. Other jobs fall victim to funding limitations or simple obsolescence.

Find Out: The Best-Paying, Fastest-Growing Jobs in Each State

To help identify which jobs are most at risk, GOBankingRates analyzed occupational projection data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found the jobs with the largest percentage decline in job growth outlook for 2019 to 2029. Jobs were ranked by the anticipated percentage of jobs lost over the next decade, from smallest to largest. To position yourself away from the most susceptible jobs, consider looking for an opening in a high-paying, fast-growing industry.

Last updated: August 9, 2021

EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / Getty Images/iStockphoto
EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / Getty Images/iStockphoto

30. Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assemblers

  • 2019 total employment: 43,900

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 7,600

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 17.4%

See: 15 Signs Your Employer Wants You To Retire

400tmax / Getty Images
400tmax / Getty Images

29. Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors and Processing Machine Operators

  • 2019 total employment: 98,500

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 17,600

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 17.8%

Find Out: Best and Worst Cities To Score Your Dream Job

monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images/iStockphoto
monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

28. Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

  • 2019 total employment: 19,200

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 3,600

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 18.6%

Read More: 30 Odd Jobs That Pay Insanely Well

Stoyan Yotov / Shutterstock.com
Stoyan Yotov / Shutterstock.com

27. Coil Winders, Tapers and Finishers

  • 2019 total employment: 13,000

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,400

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 18.7%

Look: 40 Legit Companies That Will Pay You To Work From Home

Kinwun / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Kinwun / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26. Nuclear Technicians

  • 2019 total employment: 6,700

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 1,300

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 18.9%

Hispanolistic / Getty Images
Hispanolistic / Getty Images

25. Pressers, Textile, Garment and Related Materials

  • 2019 total employment: 38,300

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 7,200

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 18.9%

skynesher / Getty Images
skynesher / Getty Images

24. Desktop Publishers

  • 2019 total employment: 10,400

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,000

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 19%

PixHouse / Getty Images/iStockphoto
PixHouse / Getty Images/iStockphoto

23. Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

  • 2019 total employment: 11,200

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,100

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 19%

Find Yours: Best and Worst Cities To Score Your Dream Job

JaniceRichard / iStock.com
JaniceRichard / iStock.com

22. Refractory Materials Repairers, Except Brickmasons

  • 2019 total employment: 800

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 200

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 19.3%

Corepics VOF / Shutterstock.com
Corepics VOF / Shutterstock.com

21. Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

  • 2019 total employment: 12,300

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,400

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 19.4%

AzmanJaka / Getty Images
AzmanJaka / Getty Images

20. Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand

  • 2019 total employment: 29,000

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 5,600

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 19.5%

Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com
Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com

19. Door-to-Door Sales Workers, News and Street Vendors, and Related Workers

  • 2019 total employment: 72,900

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 14,600

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 20%

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FlamingoImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto
FlamingoImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

18. Floral Designers

  • 2019 total employment: 51,800

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 10,400

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 20.1%

FG Trade / Getty Images
FG Trade / Getty Images

17. Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

  • 2019 total employment: 593,400

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 121,100

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 20.4%

Milton Rodriguez / Shutterstock.com
Milton Rodriguez / Shutterstock.com

16. Prepress Technicians and Workers

  • 2019 total employment: 30,200

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 6,300

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 20.7%

pankration / Getty Images
pankration / Getty Images

15. Forging Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

  • 2019 total employment: 16,400

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 3,500

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 21.1%

Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

14. Postmasters and Mail Superintendents

  • 2019 total employment: 13,400

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,900

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 21.9%

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DragonImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DragonImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13. Legal Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

  • 2019 total employment: 171,800

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 38,000

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 22.1%

Viacheslav Nikolaenko / Shutterstock.com
Viacheslav Nikolaenko / Shutterstock.com

12. Manufactured Building and Mobile Home Installers

  • 2019 total employment: 2,900

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 600

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 22.3%

Future Artist / Getty Images
Future Artist / Getty Images

11. Timing Device Assemblers and Adjusters

  • 2019 total employment: 1,300

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 300

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 22.3%

Daxus / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Daxus / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10. Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

  • 2019 total employment: 69,900

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 15,700

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 22.5%

bluecinema / Getty Images
bluecinema / Getty Images

9. Electronic Equipment Installers and Repairers, Motor Vehicles

  • 2019 total employment: 10,400

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,400

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 23.2%

Ridofranz / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Ridofranz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Data Entry Keyers

  • 2019 total employment: 172,400

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 42,400

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 24.6%

Check Out: 30 Ways Offices Are Changing as Companies Plan To Reopen

RossHelen / Getty Images/iStockphoto
RossHelen / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7. Travel Agents

  • 2019 total employment: 82,000

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 21,300

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 25.9%

sturti / Getty Images
sturti / Getty Images

6. Telephone Operators

  • 2019 total employment: 5,000

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 1,400

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 27.9%

Bill Oxford / Getty Images
Bill Oxford / Getty Images

5. Cutters and Trimmers, Hand

  • 2019 total employment: 9,800

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,900

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 29.9%

Ondacaracola / Shutterstock.com
Ondacaracola / Shutterstock.com

4. Watch and Clock Repairers

  • 2019 total employment: 3,200

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 1,000

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 32.3%

Also See: 10 Essential Jobs Across America With Big Paychecks for Employees

Kinwun / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Kinwun / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

  • 2019 total employment: 5,300

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 1,900

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 35.7%

Kenneth William Caleno / Shutterstock.com
Kenneth William Caleno / Shutterstock.com

2. Parking Enforcement Workers

  • 2019 total employment: 8,100

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 2,900

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 36.2%

PeopleImages / Getty Images
PeopleImages / Getty Images

1. Word Processors and Typists

  • 2019 total employment: 52,700

  • Projected change from 2019 to 2029:

    • Number of jobs lost: 19,200

    • Percentage of jobs lost: 36.4%

FluxFactory / Getty Images
FluxFactory / Getty Images

What This Means for You

Although this may seem like a long list of disappearing occupations, the truth is that the economy is constantly reinventing itself. While any number of catalysts may contribute to job losses in particular fields, the flip side of this is that other industries are rapidly expanding. In fact, many of the jobs that are falling by the wayside are lower-paying, while many of the fastest-growing jobs are in high-wage industries.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid falling victim to a dying industry:

  • Get an education

Many of the jobs that will vanish due to automation are lower-skill jobs that don’t require a college education. Generally speaking, occupations that require a bachelor’s or master’s degree are more resistant to job loss due to automation.

  • Research job trends

Although it can happen, industries aren’t generally wiped out overnight. Typically, jobs will show years of steady decline before they are completely obsolete. Consult statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to understand which industries are on the way out. Get ahead of the curve by looking for another job first.

  • Choose a high-paying, fast-growing industry

BLS statistics don’t only show which industries are dying; they also show which jobs are on the upswing. If you’re looking to avoid potential job loss, consider hopping over to an industry with increasing demand.

More From GOBankingRates

Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: In order to find jobs that will disappear this decade, GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational projections and worker characteristics dataset to find the occupations with the largest (1) projected percent decline in employment for 2019-2029. Once these jobs were identified, GOBankingRates also found the following factors for each occupation: (2) 2019 total employment; (3) total employment change projection from 2019-2029; (4) 2019 median annual wage; (5) typical entry-level education required; (6) work experience in a related occupation required; and (7) typical on-the-job training required. All data was sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is up to date as of Sept. 4, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 30 Jobs That Will Soon Be Gone for Good