The 10 Most Endangered Careers of 2014
The verdict is in: Some careers are inevitably on their way out, according to CareerCast’s report on the 10 most endangered jobs of 2014. The jobs to be wary of? Anything paper related. The decrease in paper can be attributed to several factors, including people reading the news on their tablets and smartphones, in addition to using email and social media to stay in touch rather than writing letters, per Forbes.
CareerCast’s endangered jobs were calculated using data from its 2014 Jobs Rated Report, in addition to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ready to see if your job is endangered? Here are 2014’s most at-risk careers.
1. Mail Carrier
With a hiring outlook of -28 percent, things don’t look great for mail carriers. Why? Mainly due to the increased use of online communication and the immediate accessibility it offers. As more people continue using the Internet to communicate, the decline in postal jobs over the coming decade is expected to be severe.
“Employment will be adversely affected by the decline in first-class mail volume due to increasing use of automated bill pay and email,” according to the CareerCast report.
Technology is quickly replacing farmers, as it’s able to accomplish a lot more using fewer resources. And it shows. The report gave this career a hiring outlook of -19 percent. “The farms are getting larger and each farm is specializing in certain areas,” Brad Kohlhagen, an ANR extension educator, told Wane.com. “So they may be reducing the labor force thanks to technology in that sense.”
3. Meter Reader
Technology is causing this job’s extinction, too. Utility companies are now implementing remote-viewable meter readers. This lets them compile usage data without needing a worker to visit the site, resulting in a -19 percent hiring outlook. As more companies start to utilize this technology, there will be fewer meter readers needed in upcoming years.
4. Newspaper Reporter
With a hiring outlook of -13 percent, business is not booming for the newspaper industry. The report attributes its negative hiring outlook to declining subscriptions and dwindling advertising sales. Some newspapers aren’t able to hire anyone new, while others have had to cease operations altogether.
Unfortunately, as people continue to shift from traditional newspapers to online outlets, things don’t look good for those hoping to snag a job as a reporter. Layoffs and furloughs are now fairly common, in part due to advertisers cutting their print budgets by nearly 30 percent since 2009, per CareerCast’s report.
5. Travel Agent
Many travelers are nowplanning their vacations themselves, mainly by using self-serve online companies. As a result, fewer travel agents are needed, causing a hiring outlook of -12 percent. However, Salary.com predicts that if travel agencies can evolve, they’ll be OK. Agencies hoping to survive should live in a niche. What exactly does that mean? You can secure your career by specializing in something specific, such as adventure-foreign travel or special event packages.
Things have definitely looked better for this steadily declining job. With an annual median salary of $24,340 and a hiring outlook of -9 percent, lumberjacks may want to consider a career switch. CareerCast says that technological advances in the logging industry are causing a need for fewer lumberjacks. In addition, less wood pulp is needed for paper-based products, resulting in industry demand being down.
The Guardian reports that in 2012, lumberjacks were at the top of CareerCast’s most endangered jobs. “Unemployment for lumberjacks is very high, and the demand for their services is expected to continue to fall [until] 2016,” CareerCast said. “And while working outside all day may seem like a great job perk, being a lumberjack not only is considered the worst job, but also one of the world’s most dangerous.”
7. Flight Attendant
The recession has been hard on airlines. Cutbacks on the number of flights offered, as well as airline mergers, threw this industry for a loop — flight attendants have a -7 percent hiring outlook. In CareerCast’s 2013 report, in which flight attendant was ranked as the No. 10 worst job, the firm said: “High stress, low pay and a shrinking job market all contribute to flight attendant’s inclusion among the worst jobs of 2013. The BLS projects virtually no change in job prospects, as airlines continue to consolidate and reduce staff.”
8. Drill-Press Operator
A drill-press operator is responsible for setting up, operating, or tending drilling machines to drill, bore, ream, mill, or countersink metal or plastic work pieces, according to MyMajors. What’s causing this career’s dismal -6 percent hiring outlook? According to CareerCast’s report, gridlocked manufacturing hiring has impacted the job market for drill-press operators. On top of that, technological advances means fewer people are needed.
9. Printing Worker
It’s not a good year for those who work with paper. As more people go digital, less paper is needed, causing a decline in paper-related jobs. This is especially prevalent for someone with a career as a printing worker, which requires producing print material in three stages: prepress, press, and binding and finishing. Unfortunately, a career in this industry has a hiring outlook of -5 percent.
10. Tax Examiner and Collector
Rounding out the top 10 most endangered careers is tax examiner and collector, with a hiring outlook of -4 percent. “Budget reductions in recent years have resulted in decreased hiring for the agencies that employ these workers,” according to the CareerCast report.
Like many other jobs on the endangered list, fewer people are needed to fill these roles, as much of this work can be streamlined through technology. Why pay someone to do something technology can do faster and cheaper?