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30 Dying Professions to Avoid Like the Plague

Travel Agent

A median salary of $36,460 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for just a high school diploma doesn’t sound too bad, but this career is quickly disappearing. With the rise of online searches and bookings, the need for travel agents has been slowly dying out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suspects that this trend will continue, projecting a 12% decline in this job by 2024.

Postal Worker

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that postal workers make a median of about $56,790, which isn’t bad for a job that doesn’t require a college diploma. However, this may not be a very viable career for much longer. The BLS projects a 28% decrease in this career by 2024 thanks to the automated sorters and systems.

Newspaper Reporter

Extra, extra! Read all about it! Newspaper reporters usually have to have a bachelor’s degree, and even then, it’s growing harder and harder to actually find reporter jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be a 9% decline by 2024. Not to mention, the pay isn’t great, especially for someone with a degree, coming in at about $38,870.

Radio or TV Announcer

Similar to a newspaper reporter, radio and TV announcers aren’t doing so great either. Thanks to the consolidation of stations and the rise in streaming services, tv and radio announcers are seeing shrinking audiences. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts a radio or TV announcer making around $32,383 and a bleak projected decrease of about 10% by 2026.

Textile Machine Operator

Another career that doesn’t require a college degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates you can make about $27,227, which is on the lower end of the spectrum, but even if it’s something you want to do, this job seems to be disappearing fast. The BLS expects over 21% of those remaining textile operator jobs to be gone by 2026. This job is increasingly becoming outsourced overseas or automated by machines.

Photo Processor

Okay, here’s a question that’ll take you back several years: when was the last time you went to get a roll of film processed? With the rise of cell phones and digital cameras, it’s becoming easier for people to print pictures from home, leaving the jobs of photo processors to fade into obscurity. Kiplinger estimates that photo processors only make about $27,000 and about 20% will be gone by 2026.

Door-to-Door Salesperson

Honestly, who would want this job, anyway? Door-to-door salespeople are some of the most despised people ever (right behind telemarketers, probably). Sure, you don’t need a college degree, but you’re barely making over $21,000 a year, according to Kiplinger. Kiplinger also projects that this job will shrink by about 20% by 2026, thanks to more efficient mass marketing strategies.

Jeweler

All you need is a high school diploma and some on the job training to be a jeweler, and just with that, you’ll make about $38,200, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, most of these jobs are being sent overseas for cheaper labor, and the BLS estimates that jeweler jobs will decline by 11% by 2024.

Taxi Driver

Taxi drivers aren’t guaranteed to make much anyway, about $28,450, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now that automated cars are on the rise, we expect to see the need for taxi drivers shrinking even more. The LA Times estimates that five million jobs will be lost to these autonomous cars in the coming years.

Mortgage Brokers

After the Great Recession of 2008, jobs for mortgage brokers have just never been able to really recover. Sure, you make an average of about $55,000 (according to AmoMedia), but the job outlook is bleak. The expected decline for this job is 15.9% over the next decade, so it might be wise to look elsewhere.

Bookkeeper

This one isn’t quite as bleak as many of the others on this list, but it’s definitely not the most viable career out there. According to AmoMedia, bookkeepers make a median of $39,240, but the number of jobs is expected to shrink by about 1% over the next decade. Sure, that’s not that bad, but it will steadily increase with the rise of technology, making it easier for everyday consumers to access their own bank information without a bookkeeper.

Embalmers

Oh, the irony. You’d think that embalmers would have a steady rate of employment, seeing as hundreds of thousands of people die every day. However, that’s just not the case. Kiplinger reports that jobs for embalmers are expected to grow but only 0.4%. Over the last decade, however,  the number of embalmers has declined by over 50%. A lot of this is due to the rise of cremation, a much more affordable option for most people.

Pharmacy Aide

Yet another job that only requires a high school diploma, and you make just over $26,000, according to Kiplinger. However, these jobs have been hit with massive losses. Kiplinger reports that over the last decade, the number of pharmacy aides in the U.S. has decreased by 29.3%, and the growth rate has flatlined. It’s just not really worth it.

Floral Designer

This job almost sounds kind of fun, who doesn’t like flowers? But maybe it’s just not worth it, even if it does only require a high school diploma. Kiplinger reports that the number of floral designers will shrink by about 8.3% over the next decade. Guess no one wants to stop and smell the roses anymore.

Forest and Conservation Worker

You’ve probably heard about Smokey the Bear, right? Too bad he’s going animatronic now. Most jobs that a forest and conservation worker conducts can now be done by new technologies, which cuts the cost for employers. Kiplinger estimates that numbers for this job won’t decline, but it’ll only grow by 2.1% over the next ten years.

Farmers and Ranchers

This one probably doesn’t surprise you all that much. Farmers and ranchers usually make a pretty decent amount of money, with AmoMedia reporting an average of $69,620. However, the expected job decline is up to 8%, due to landowners replacing human employees with machines that can up production for a fraction of the cost.

Flooring Finisher

This is a fairly niche job that just requires on-the-job experience and will make you about $29,929 a year, according to Kiplinger. However, the outlook for this job is pretty grim. Kiplinger notes that flooring finisher positions were cut by 51% over the past decade, and it’s projected to shrink another 5.5% over the next decade.

Logging Worker

Loggers make a decent amount of money for just needing a high school diploma, making a median of $36,573, according to Kiplinger. However, just like many other production jobs, the need for logging workers is falling thanks to the rise in cheaper, more efficient technology. Kiplinger projects the need for loggers will fall by 17% over the next decade.

Prefabricated Home Builder

You probably know these more as mobile home builders, but they’re quickly becoming obsolete. Mobile homes make up an ever-shrinking portion of the U.S. housing market. Since the late '90s, the need for mobile homes has shrunk consistently. Therefore, the demand for those that build them is shrinking as well. Kiplinger projects that the need for prefabricated home builders will fall by about 7.8% over the next ten years.

Watch Repairer

Forgive the pun, but time is running out for this profession. People are turning to more high-tech options or simply using their smartphones, and actual watches are just too expensive. Kiplinger has found that watch repairers only wind up making around $25,203, and the number of them is projected to shrink by 27% over the next decade. If this is your dream career, you might want to reconsider.

Casino Cashier

This job almost sounds fun, right? I mean, what’s more glamorous than working at a casino? However, AmoMedia shows that this job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With an average annual salary of only $22,300 and a projected job growth rate of only 2%, it’s almost not worth it. Most casinos are choosing to cut the cost of employees and invest in machines instead.

Middle Management Positions

So for anyone a little confused by this one, middle managers are the people who sit between the senior and junior managers. Typically, they’re the ones who usually handle paperwork and act as a channel of communication within an organization. However, they’re slowly dying out. Sure, you can make an average of $62,913 a year, according to AmoMedia, but software is quickly replacing this job. 

Semiconductor Processor

This one is actually kind of surprising. Technology-based jobs are booming right about now, so what’s causing this one to flounder? Simple: robots. Most semiconductor companies now run primarily on automation instead of human hands, and this trend is expected to continue. Fairy Godboss estimates that this job will see a 27% decline by 2022.

Data Entry Clerk

A $39,240 paycheck is nothing to turn your nose up at, but according to AmoMedia, data entry workers just aren’t that needed. AmoMedia projects that the jobs for data entry workers will decline by 5%, mostly thanks to the rise of technology. The same source also estimates that by 2020, almost 16,000 of these workers will have lost their jobs.

Telemarketer

Let’s be real here, is anyone really upset to hear about this? Telemarketers are insanely annoying, and thanks to the rise in online marketing (not to mention the now ubiquitous caller ID on your phone), telemarketers will soon be a thing of the past. According to Fairy Godboss, this job has seen an 18% decline since 2015.

Detective

Looks like Sherlock Holmes might have to find himself a new career. AmoMedia says that detectives make an average salary of $62,960, which is a pretty impressive amount. However, with the rise of surveillance, spyware, and databanks, this job is shrinking, and right now, there’s only a projected growth rate of about 7%, according to AmoMedia.

Projectionist

Now, this is a super old-timey job. It seems that fewer and fewer people are going to the movies, especially with the wildly high prices of tickets and food. So those manning the equipment, like projectionists, are quickly finding themselves out of a job. Kiplinger estimates that projectionists don’t make much anyway, only around $22,000, and the number of these jobs is projected to drop by 6.4% over the next ten years.

Lawyer

This one is probably the biggest surprise on this list, right? Who doesn’t dream of being a lawyer at one point or another? Especially with an average salary of $119,250, according to AmoMedia. However, the projected growth rate just isn’t great, sitting at a measly 8%.

IT Support

This is another surprising technology career that seems to be shrinking quickly. AmoMedia says that IT support workers typically make an average salary of $81,100, which is nothing to turn your nose up at. However, the projected growth rate is only 6% due to a lot of smaller companies outsourcing to save money.

Primary Care Physicians

Yeah, this one was really surprising to us, too. AmoMedia states that PCP’s typically make an average of $208,000, which is the highest salary on this list. The projected growth hasn’t been measured, but it’s suspected that there will be a major decline in this profession. According to AmoMedia, more and more people are turning towards smaller doctors and those who can make house calls, so that they can save the expensive trip to the hospital.