Steer Clear of These Careers on the Verge of Extinction
The Future Looks Grim For Some Occupations
Remember those men who went door-to-door selling vacuums, encyclopedias and other wares? Today, they are thing of movies and memories. The simple fact of the matter is some careers are fleeting, and aren’t good bets for the future. Whether made obsolete by innovation or invention, it’s important to take what information we currently have an apply it to the future when making decisions that will have lasting impacts.
With that in mind, here are six jobs and careers about to go the way of the dodo and the door-to-door.
6. Travel Agent
When’s the last time you booked a trip somewhere using a travel agent?
Once upon a time, this was a career that was really taking off. But these days, everyone can play travel agent and it doesn’t cost you an extra cent. All you need is a computer, wi-fi and some time to navigate and do some comparison shopping.
It should be no surprise that helping people find transportation and lodging is on the decline. Over the next decade, the number of people booking flights and hotel rooms for clients is expected to drop by 12 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, all is not lost for people in this line of work. If you’re still interested in this field, the prospects are best for those “who specialize in specific destinations or particular types of travelers, such as groups with a special interest or corporate travelers,” according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Diamonds are forever. Jewelers, not so much.
The skilled position of jeweler or precious stone and metal worker is expected to see a 10 percent decline, and the outlook for those who pursue the career is that there will be “moderate competition for skilled positions, and strong competition is expected for lower-skilled manufacturing positions,” according the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
All of which means, if you plan to pursue a career crafting rings, earrings and necklaces, you’d better be among the most precious in the profession.
Take a look at jeweler salaries here.
4. Switchboard Operator
Thinking of being a switchboard operator? If this is your calling, well, you may want to switch career choices. With the continued use of automated systems to answer phones, as well as easier and more efficient ways to communicate like email, there’s just not as much need for switchboard operators anymore.
By 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 13.2 percent decline.
Take a look at switchboard operator salaries here.
3. Semiconductor Processor
If you thought working in the computer industry was a shoe-in for success in the future, well, you’re probably right. But you need to choose that career wisely.
Because if the job you’re looking at is semiconductor processor, you may need a reboot. The number of opportunities is expected to drop by 27.1 percent by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So why is this profession, which makes the microchips and circuits so crucial in operating electronic devices, falling by the wayside?
It’s fairly easy to compute. It’s because of increased automation at semiconductor factories, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The number of fabricating plants “is expected to grow, so fewer workers will be needed in this occupation.”
2. Mail Carrier
Can you think of something that arrives at your house every day that’s quickly becoming irrelevant? It’s not the newspaper, we’ll get to that in just a minute.
We’re talking about the mail. With more people getting their bills online and interacting with friends on social media, there’s really not much reason to run to the mailbox these days. That means the outlook for a career in the U.S. Postal Service, once considered a plum federal job because the pay was fairly good and only a high school diploma is required.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a drop of 28 percent over the next seven years for postal service jobs with some, including postal clerks and mail sorters, seeing the steepest loses at nearly 50 percent.
“Automated sorting systems, cluster mailboxes and tight budgets will adversely affect employment,” the federal handbook warns. The number of applicants almost always exceeds the available positions.
Not exactly a stamp of approval.
Take a look at mail clerk salaries here.
1. Newspaper Reporter
If you’re in the news reporting business, the news is, well, not good.
According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in reporting industry are expected to decline by 13 percent from 2012 to 2022.
It’s a profession that requires a high degree of education – at least a bachelor’s and in some cases a master’s. The annual national median salary is not very good, especially when compared to the level of education required.
And now, with media company consolidations, the need is shrinking. “Declining advertising revenue in radio, newspapers and television will negatively impact the employment growth for these occupations,” according to the bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
For the record, that’s bad.
That combination of high expectation, low pay, and declining opportunity would put reporter at pretty much atop any list of occupations to avoid in 2015 and beyond.
Even If You’re in a Failing Job, You Can Still Negotiate
So you’re in a career that doesn’t look great. That’s unfortunate. But whether you’re planning on leaving or staying, you might as well get paid as well as possible. And for that, Salary.com can help you get paid fairly what you do.
The first thing you should do is research, so you’re able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what’s a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.
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