IS YOUR CAREER ENDANGERED?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. employment is predicted to increase 6.5 percent during the decade spanning 2014-2024. That’s an increase from 150.5 million jobs in 2014 to 160.3 million jobs in the year 2024.

BLS reports that there are two categories that occupations fall under these days: occupations projected to grow, and occupations projected to decline. While overall employment and wages are on the rise there are jobs that are going extinct much like the black rhino, as such, we’ve put them on an endangered list.

Occupations in Danger of Extinction

Trends have shown that healthcare and technical careers are on the rise, however BLS indicates there are about 200 careers that are estimated to see diminished levels of employment.

“Two major occupational groups are predicted to see employment downturn: production occupations and farming, fishing, and forestry occupations. Collectively, these two groups are forecasted to reduce 339,300 jobs throughout [2014-2024],” according to the BLS site.

Those of you working in those fields shouldn’t feel like we’re out to ruin your day though, we bring this to your attention so we can equip you with information, to ensure you have everything you need to endure rough waters ahead or to make a career change.

Alternative Occupations

To that end, we are highlighting 15 professions that the BLS have deemed as “fast declining” and have seen noteworthy job losses. Along with each declining field we also put forward roles that employees may want to consider transitioning into that are projected to be on the rise.

We realize and appreciate that many of the positions in danger have required certification and years of on-the-job training however the alternative positions, even if not obviously translating your current skill sets and may entail some training and a career pivot, can lead you to effectively open a new chapter in your life. For example, employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 25 percent from 2014 to 2024, much quicker than the average for all occupations, and the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $31,630 in May 2015. While you may have never considered working in this field, you may find you are more than capable of performing the job requirements, making it an interesting direction to explore.

Endangered Occupation Species List

The following occupations appear to be approaching extinction. If you currently find yourself on a career path toward them or have already dedicated yourself to them, you should perhaps consider a new direction for the long term.

1. Locomotive Firers

Job Description: Monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. Watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineer in railroad yard.

BLS Projection: Loss of 69.9% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Truck driver, Industrial maintenance

2. Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles

Job Description: Install, diagnose or repair communications, sound, security or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.

BLS Projection: Loss of 50% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Wind turbine service technician, Solar photovoltaic installers

3. Telephone operator

Job Description: Provide information by accessing alphabetical, geographical or other directories. Assist customers with special billing requests, such as charges to a third party and credits or refunds for incorrectly dialed numbers or bad connections. May handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls.

BLS Projection: Loss of 42.4% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Customer service representative, Call center representative

4. Postal service mail sorters, processors and processing machine operators

Job Description: Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Examine, sort and route mail. Load, operate and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches and sacks; and other duties related to mail handling within the postal service.

BLS Projection: Loss of 33.7% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Lyft driver, Shipping coordinator

5. Switchboard operators, including answering service

Job Description: Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

BLS Projection: Loss of 32.9% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Call center representative, Executive Assistant

6. Photographic process workers and processing machine operators

Job Description: Perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. May perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints.

BLS Projection: Loss of 32.9% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Photographer, Phlebotomist

7. Shoe machine operators and tenders

Job Description: Operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce or finish shoes and shoe parts.

BLS Projection: Loss of 30.5% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Shoe sales associate, Designer

8. Manufactured building and mobile home installers

Job Description: Move or install mobile homes or prefabricated buildings.

BLS Projection: Loss of 30% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Solar photovoltaic installer, Contractor

9. Foundry mold and coremakers

Job Description: Make or form wax or sand cores or molds used in the production of metal castings in foundries.

BLS Projection: Loss of 27.7% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Cartographer, Solar installer

10. Sewing machine operators

Job Description: Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or non-garment products.

BLS Projection: Loss of 27.1% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Home health aide, Personal care aide

11. Pourers and casters, metal

Job Description: Operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.

BLS Projection: Loss of 26.6% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Metal worker, Truck driver

12. Postal service clerks, postmasters, superintendents and mail carriers

Job Description: Perform any combination of tasks in a post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage.

BLS Projection: Loss of 26.2% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Shipping coordinator, Customer service supervisor

13. Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators and tenders

Job Description: Set up, operate or tend machines that knit, loop, weave or draw in textiles.

BLS Projection: Loss of 26.2% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Phlebotomist, Interpreter and translator

14. Fabric and apparel pattern makers

Job Description: Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

BLS Projection: Loss of 26% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Fashion designer, Stylist

15. Watch repairers

Job Description: Repair, clean and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks. Includes watchmakers, watch technicians and mechanical timepiece repairers.

BLS Projection: Loss of 25.7% of jobs from 2014-2024

Alternative Jobs: Computer technician, IT support

For more information on finding your perfect job, try contacting a professional staffing agency. And if you’re in IT and looking for work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Maxsys Solutions is one of the area’s exceptional IT Staffing Agencies.

Source: Fastest declining occupations, 2014 and projected 2024 data, and job descriptions are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.