13 jobs that will disappear in 20 years

Technology is one of the greatest forces of change in our lives. By all accounts, we can expect even more progress in the future.

On the one hand, it should be great for consumers. But technological advancements are sure to shake up the economy – and that could mean the end of some jobs.

Here are 13 careers that could disappear in the next 20 years. If you work in one of these areas, don’t panic. However, it might be time to start looking for other ways to earn money in the future.

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1. Travel agencies

Technology has undermined the role of the travel agent. Internet search engines from Google to Bing allow people to make their own travel plans. Sites like Tripadvisor also offer advice. You can even tell your phone to book a flight or hotel for you.

The power is now in the hands of the consumer. There’s no reason to use a travel agent when internet research will help you make decisions.

2. Cashiers

With more than 3.3 million people working in this capacity, the cashier profession is not about to disappear. However, the number of people in this position is expected to drop 10% by 2031, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Automation is a major reason for the expected decline. Customers can take whatever they want off the shelf and pay for it at a kiosk – and they never need to speak to a single person.

3. Bank tellers

Cashiers are another job set to decline through 2031, losing more than 43,000 openings as automation grows, according to the BLS.

If you need cash, you probably head to an ATM – literally a “automatique ATM. You can check your balance online or on your phone. Paychecks are usually automatically deposited into your checking account. We just don’t go to the bank anymore unless we need a specialized service.

Pro Tip: Bank teller jobs may disappear, but the job of keeping your bank account filled with cash never ends. Look for ways to cut costs and pay off debt so you can build an emergency fund to deal with an unexpected job loss.

4. Drivers

Drivers are in demand today, so this is another job that won’t go away quickly. However, people in this position can expect a tougher road in the long run.

Automated vehicles will eventually arrive. And when they do, they may reach a level of sophistication that means there will be less need for drivers.

5. Newspapers

Egon Spengler, played by the late Harold Ramis in 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” succinctly predicted, “Print is dead.”

And that’s true. The rise of digital media has been devastating for newspaper publishers. There will always be a need for reporters and editors, but print media as a whole is a ghost town.

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6. Fast food workers

Labor shortages and rising wages are accelerating the trend towards automation in the fast food industry.

There’s already Flippy, a burger grilling machine that White Castle plans to use in select locations. Delivery robots are also on the way.

7. Telemarketing

Telemarketers are another sales-focused profession that is expected to decline over the years.

The main reason is web advertising. Digital ads reach more people and allow companies to target users based on what they search for, based on their browsing history, according to BLS.

8. Warehouse Workers

Warehouse jobs will be among the first to disappear as robots take over. According to management consultancy Bain & Co, at least 70% of warehouse jobs could be lost due to automation.

The Brookings Institution predicts that 92% of forklift operator jobs and 80% of package handler jobs could disappear.

9. Accountants

This one seems a little out of the way, but the software increasingly handles the role of basic accounting, as well as bookkeeping and payroll.

It’s not much use having a human around when computers and algorithms – or even an Excel spreadsheet – can do it for you. However, accountants will always be needed for more complex tax matters.

10. Typists

Data entry and typing jobs are still around, but they probably won’t be for long. Chances are these roles will be automated as voice recognition and dictation software improves.

This is a career path to avoid. Or if you’re already in it, find something else.

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11. Taxi dispatchers

Hailing a cab used to be common in big cities like New York or Chicago. Now Uber and Lyft have taken over, and traditional taxi drivers are struggling.

Dispatchers who send these taxis to where they are needed are also in less demand.

12. Machine workers

Men and women who install and operate machines that cut and shape metals and plastics are at high risk of being replaced by robots.

According to the BLS, the labor market for machine workers will shrink by nearly 46,000 through 2031.

13. Postal Workers

The motto of the US Postal Service is that nothing will stop the mail from getting through, but automation could put a damper on postal employment.

According to the BLS, USPS “will likely need fewer workers because new mail sorting technology can read text and automatically sort, transfer, and process mail.” Overall employment in the Postal Service is expected to decrease by 6%.

At the end of the line

There is no stopping technology. He will continue to move forward. Some jobs will be abandoned, either because automation has replaced workers or because the jobs are simply no longer needed.

But the human touch will always be needed. Just try to avoid the jobs above if you want to stay relevant and earn enough money to go beyond a paycheck.

According to the BLS, the four fastest growing job categories are:

  • Nurse practitioners

  • Wind turbine maintenance technicians

  • Ushers, Lobby Attendants and Ticket Takers

  • Cinema projectionists

Heck, who doesn’t love a good movie?

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