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Is Your Career at Risk? 15 Jobs That May Soon Be Facing Extinction

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skynesher / iStock.com

The nation’s unemployment rate is at 3.9% as of December 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The future continues to look bright for those working in leisure, hospitality, business services, manufacturing, construction and transportation.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty to all industries, but some were already on the decline before the onset of the virus, and now are only continuing to trend downward.

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However, while they’re not quite extinct yet, there are certain industries that are headed for the endangered list. Figures from the BLS show that many jobs are being automated with technology, putting more and more people out of work by 2030. Check out 15 jobs on the chopping block.

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Cashiers

Cashiers
Expected Job Loss by 2030:
336,000


You probably interact with a cashier a few times a week, but the popularity of self-checkout is starting to take over. Many retailers have plans to switch to fully automated checkout systems, with Amazon already having locations like this in place. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS predicts that the amount of cashiers will drop by 10 percent.

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Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

Expected job loss by 2030:
100,000

Similar to secretaries and administrative assistants, those assisting the people at the top are also being phased out due to technology and budget cuts that had to be made post-pandemic.

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First-Line Supervisors of Retail Service Workers

Expected Job Loss by 2030: 90,000


During the pandemic, many retail workers were put in harm’s way simply so stores could stay open. This forced many managers to be put in compromising positions, and reevaluating if this much stress was worth it for the relatively low pay. About 649,000 retail workers put in their resignation notices in April of 2021, and there is probably many more to come.

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Tellers

Expected Job Loss by 2030: 73,000


Tellers are the people behind the glass at banks who process your transactions. They cash checks, deposit money, collect loan payments and more. Employment for tellers is projected to decline by about 17% by 2030. This is due to automation technology and online banking continuing to replace more of their traditional job duties.

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Assemblers


Expected Job Loss by 2030: 84,000


Assembler jobs include team assemblers, electrical and electronic equipment assemblers, and fabricators. These workers are part of teams that are responsible for the assembly of a product — which can mean either the whole thing or a single component. Each member of the team is able to perform all the required tasks in the assembly process, so they can be rotated around as needed. The decline in assembler roles is attributed, in general, to companies becoming more efficient with technology and producing more with fewer workers.

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Inspectors

Expected Job Loss by 2030: 68,000

Testers, sorters, samplers and weighers fall into the same category as inspectors. People in these occupations inspect, test, sort, sample or weigh raw materials, parts and products to find defects. Inspectors mainly work in apparel knitting mills, foundries, textile mills, fabric mills and rubber product manufacturers.

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Office Clerks

Expected Job Loss by 2030: 60,000


Digitizing documents has made the need for someone to keep the office organized obsolete. There is no more filing that needs to be done or documents that need to be sorted, so this job is in steady decline.

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Bookkeeping, Accounting & Auditing Clerks


Expected Job Loss by 2030:
48,000


Once again, technology is taking the place of people with these jobs. There are so many apps that can do the books for businesses now, that having someone on staff to do it just doesn’t make sense.

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Shipping, Receiving & Inventory Clerks


Expected Job Loss by 2030:
40,000


Many businesses that are constantly receiving and shipping inventory have an automated system that keeps track of what’s coming in and out. Though it’s nice to have a person on staff to make sure these calculations are correct, sometimes the budget just isn’t there to make this happen, so the company relies on the technology in place.

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Retail Salespersons


Expected Job Loss by 2030:
39,000


For the same reasons retail managers are fed up, the people on the sales floor are considering leaving their post as well. The average entry-level retail salary is $11.62 an hour, and in the midst of a pandemic, many people are reconsidering if that’s enough money to keep them working in conditions where they could become infected with COVID-19.

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Data Entry Keyers


Expected Job Loss by 2030:
35,000


People in these professions perform clerical duties including typing letters, reports and forms, verifying data and preparing materials for printing. Data automation is replacing the need for people in these positions, while companies are opting to hire more skilled workers to perform analysis of the data instead, Forbes reported.

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Customer Service Representatives


Expected Job Loss by 2030:
34,000


Over the years, many customer service representatives have reported poor work environments, denied sick time, long hours, and low pay. Not to mention they’re typically dealing with angry customers all day, and many are told they’re not allowed to hang up until the person on the other end does. These make for grueling conditions that people just aren’t willing to put up with anymore.

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Legal Secretaries and Administrative Assistants


Expected Job Loss by 2030:
33,000


Though legal secretaries and assistants seem to be more in demand than other assistants, it doesn’t mean they’re immune to the power of technology. Legal offices tend to have a high workload, so having multiple assistants on staff to cover all the work just isn’t feasible, and more and more of those jobs are being cut. 

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Correctional Officers and Jailers


Expected Job Loss by 2030: 30,000


This occupational group guards prisoners in rehabilitative or penal institutions, using established procedures and regulations. Correctional officers and jailers might also guard inmates being transported between courtrooms, prisons or other locations. Although the U.S. commands the world’s highest incarceration rate per capita, the national incarceration rate is actually at its lowest point since 1995. These findings could help explain the 7% projected decline in employment for correctional officers and jailers.

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Gabrielle Olya and Charlene Oldham contributed to the reporting for this article.