Jobs in Decline: Think Carefully Before Pursuing These Careers

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Many articles have been written on high demand jobs, both on this site and elsewhere. But students and career changers should also be aware of jobs that are declining in growth. Although there are still job opportunities in these career fields, they are not as plentiful and may continue to decrease. A few careers you might want to cross off your potential careers list:

Postal Service Workers – 28% decline

Automated sorting machines and budget cuts have reduced the number of postal service jobs. Retiring employees will be the main source of job openings and competition for the small number of new openings will be great. Postal service workers earned a median annual pay of $53, 100 in 2012.  According to projections, there will be 139,100 fewer jobs though 2022 and a 28% decline.

Reporters and Correspondents – 13% decline

Fewer people are turning to their local news stations and newspapers, and instead choosing to get their news from the Internet. One website can reach millions more people than a local paper or news station. This shift in technology has lead to a decreased need for reporters and correspondents. Many newspapers have had mass layoffs in recent years, and new job openings are rare. There will be stiff competition for the few spots that are available. Reporters and correspondents earned a median annual pay of $37,090 in 2012. A decrease of  7,200 jobs is expected through 2022 with a 13% decrease in demand.

Travel Agents – 12% decline

With the increasing popularity of online booking websites, people are planning their own vacations rather than turning to travel agents. Travel agents plan itineraries and book accommodations for individual travelers or groups of travelers. A twelve percent decline is projected through 2022, with 8,900 fewer jobs expected. Travel agents earned a median annual pay of $34,600 in 2012.

Jewelers and Precious Metal Workers  – 10% decline

Due to off-shoring, more jewelry production is done outside of the US. In addition, more buyers are turning to online retailers rather than traditional jewelry stores. Although a loss of 3,200 jobs is expected through 2012, there should be opportunities for highly skilled jewelers with experience. Jewelers that create custom jewelry and know how to market their skills can expect good opportunities as well. Jewelers earned a median annual pay of $35,350 in 2012.

Should you completely avoid the careers above? Not necessarily. If you really have an interest in a declining career, talk to those working in the field to learn more about the job market and how to gain a footing in the field. There will still be opportunities, but you should be aware of the challenges you might face finding and keeping a job.

*All statistics and salary information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook

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