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What jobs can survive a recession?

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In times of economic decline, we would all like to protect our families and our incomes by seeking the right profession.

Not all careers are equally protected against the hardships of an economic downturn. Fortunately, recession-proof jobs are surprisingly diverse, spanning areas such as IT services, healthcare, and utilities.

Read on for tips on what interesting and meaningful careers you can find among traditionally recession-proof jobs, how much they pay, and how to get started.

15 Best Recession-Proof Jobs

A good list needs a solid methodology. We chose jobs that met the following requirements:

  • Above average salary
  • Education beyond a bachelor’s degree is generally not required
  • Potential for professional growth after more experience, education or training

Read on for our alphabetical list of the fifteen best recession-proof jobs right now. Keep in mind that some careers may require going back to school. Check out our guide to finding a job during a recession for tips on leveraging your strengths in tough times.

1. Accountant

Median salary: $77,250

Accountants prepare and maintain different types of financial records, such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.

Becoming an accountant typically requires a bachelor’s degree in commerce or an accounting degree and takes three to four years. Some employers prefer accountants who hold the Certified Public Accountant certification.

Bookkeeping is a relatively safe line of work in tough economic times. Individuals and businesses always need accountants to organize their financial records and help them file their taxes, regardless of the economic climate.

2. Automotive Mechanic/Technician

Median salary: $46,880

Automotive mechanics (or technicians) inspect, maintain and repair cars and light trucks. To become an auto mechanic, you usually need to attend trade school and then obtain industry certification.

Car maintenance work can be considered recession proof as most people depend on the car to get around. When people have car problems, they usually hire a professional mechanic to fix them rather than trying to fix them themselves.

3. Electrician

Median salary: $60,040

Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical power structures, such as lighting and household electrical systems.

To become an electrician, you usually need a high school diploma. You must also complete a four to five year apprenticeship, which you can arrange with a trade school.

Electrician services are always necessary to maintain the power supply structures that our society relies on, regardless of economic conditions.

4. Financial Analyst

Median salary: $81,410

Financial analysts advise businesses and individuals on how to invest their money profitably. To become a financial analyst, you usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, usually with a focus on financial analysis.

Financial analysts are safe in a recession because many people rely on their advice regardless of economic conditions.

During a recession, businesses and individuals turn to financial analysts for advice on how to invest safely and effectively.

SEE: What does a financial adviser do?

5. Funeral Service Worker

Median salary: $58,900

Funeral service workers oversee funeral-related duties and functions. These professionals typically work in funeral homes or mortuaries and hold a two-year associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science, as well as a state license.

People will always need these professionals to properly organize funerals that honor their loved ones, even in times of recession.

6. IT Manager

Median salary: $159,010

IT managers plan, direct and oversee the technological development of organizations, including network security, online operations and IT budgets.

Typically, these managers need at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a related computer science degree.

Since businesses rely on their IT infrastructure running smoothly, IT management is a recession-proof career path. Even in tough economic times, nearly every organization needs trained professionals to maintain and protect the computer and network systems they use.

7. Head of Medical and Health Services

Median salary: $101,340

Medical and health services managers plan, direct, and supervise all administrative and business activities of health care providers. They often work in hospitals, inpatient clinics and assisted living facilities.

They usually hold at least a bachelor’s degree or an MBA in healthcare management.

Medical and health service establishments must continue to function and function properly in times of economic prosperity and recession as an essential service. Their operation requires trained medical and health service managers.

8. Occupational Therapy Assistant

Median salary: $61,520

Occupational therapy assistants help patients recover and rehabilitate from illness or injury while helping them develop independent living and coping skills after recovery.

To become an occupational therapy assistant, you can usually go to a trade school to get an occupational therapy associate.

People who have suffered accidents or are living with a chronic illness need help getting back on their feet, making occupational therapy a recession-proof career path.

9. Operations Research Analyst

Median salary: $82,360

Operations research analysts use math and logic to help organizations solve problems and develop long-term strategies.

They typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in operations research, applied mathematics, or a similar discipline.

The specialized skills of operations research analysts in applied mathematics make them useful to organizations regardless of economic conditions. Their skills become even more valuable during a recession because of how they can help companies mitigate organizational issues.

10. Personal Financial Advisor

Median salary: $94,170

Personal financial advisors advise individuals on managing their money and planning for their financial future.

Typically, this career path requires at least a bachelor’s degree in business, with a concentration in financial management. These professionals typically work in the financial services industry or are self-employed.

In times of economic decline, personal financial advisors may see their business grow as people access their help to avoid financial trouble and budget more effectively.

11. X-Ray Technologist/Technician

Median salary: $61,370

Radiology technicians (or technologists) specialize in the use of X-ray and CT scan machines, creating medical images used by doctors to create treatment plans. To become an X-ray technician, you typically need an associate’s degree in X-ray technology from a trade school, community college, or four-year institution.

Medical imaging professionals are specialized healthcare workers who fulfill an essential role. Regardless of economic conditions, hospitals and clinics need these professionals to operate complex medical imaging equipment.

12. Registered Nurse

Median salary: $77,600

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, assist physicians in their duties, and educate the public about medical and health issues.

To work as a registered nurse, you generally need at least a bachelor’s degree, although it is possible to take alternative routes to licensure with only an associate’s degree or a post-secondary degree.

RNs, while not as well-educated as nurse practitioners, are indispensable health care providers regardless of the economic climate.

13. Respiratory Therapist

Median salary: $61,830

Respiratory therapists help people recover from and manage symptoms of lung and respiratory diseases. They often operate machinery such as fans and heated humidifiers.

To become a respiratory therapist, you need at least an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy, which takes two to three years to earn.

As with many healthcare workers, the demand for respiratory therapists remains stable even in times of economic decline. These skilled workers provide essential therapy to many people.

14. Social Worker

Median salary: $50,390

Social workers help people overcome obstacles to live their lives to the fullest. They often work in non-profit and government organizations, clinics and hospitals.

To become a social worker, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or public health and complete supervised clinical hours or an internship.

Times of economic hardship make social services particularly important. People can turn to social workers for help in times of financial crisis.

15. Software Engineer/Developer

Median salary: $110,140

Software engineers and developers design, build, and test software applications for computers, leading teams of programmers coding below them.

To work as a software engineer, you usually need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a degree in software engineering.

Since individuals and organizations use software on a daily basis, software engineering is an essential and recession-proof career path. The work of software engineers involves a higher level of expertise and computer knowledge than that of programmers or web developers.

Salary data is from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to August 11, 2022.

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