It’s a brave new world these days and our world is changing so fast there’s really no good way to predict what it’s going to look like in a decade, never mind a century…
Things have changed so much in the past 100 years that there are tons of jobs that were once easy to get that are now non-existent because entire industries have just disappeared.
What professions are next on the list? These people weighed in!
1. That’s what satellites are for.
Land Surveyors. In my State (USA), there were stats put out a few years ago that there were about 2,600 licensed surveyors in the State and about 40% of those were above the age of 60.
It’s an incredibly important field, but no one talks about it as a “career” when you’re in high school. Depending on which sector you get into, you can make the same amount as civil engineers would but with way more job security.
2. There’s no need.
English teaching in Asia. No money in it anymore.
I can speak about Korea, 90% of the teachers make about the same as 2008. about 2000$ USD a month to live on. I would say 50% of the teachers don’t even make it a year cause the schools fire them to avoid paying them.
Teaching in Korea is a huge scam that is not that well known in the west.
3. Hope you don’t need to use cash.
Parking lot attendants and toll booth operators.
Went to a doctors office with paid parking the other day and was shocked that the only way out was via an attendant. Feel like it’s become 1 of several options with machines as the more common option.
4. Carpet is gross.
Believe it or not, carpet installers.
Sure people still put carpet in, but a lot less.
With the rise in popularity of things like LVT, and trends changing, people are remodeling or building new with less and less carpet. In a typical residential setting, you’re lucky if the bedrooms have carpet.
This means there is less work available overall, and what there is available is only small rooms. The installers are needed less, and they make less. This has been goin on for a few years, and it’s getting harder to get guys to come in and install the stuff.
5. Failure to adapt.
Journalism is on its knees, it failed to adapt in the last 20 years and they’re hoping there will be a revival like vinyl.
Source: was a journalist and replaced with free graduates who provided content over quality to get bylines.
6. Everyone is getting screwed.
I’ve been doing door dash part time. Doesn’t seem sustainable. I think a the delivery apps won’t last more than 5 years. The drivers get screwed the customers get screwed restaurants get screwed.
People commit fraud. I think it will be a ghost kitchens and regular sit down soon
7. A computer can’t do that.
I used to be a hotel concierge.
My knowledge of who to see and what to do in our city was replaced with the likes of Google Reviews and Trip Advisor.
I remember a guest wanting to go somewhere to eat, I suggested an authentic place, which they turned down as “Yelp” rated it 3 stars. They opted to go to a 5 star one. I had never heard of it.
Then came back to complain the restaurant was a £30 taxi each way, as it wasn’t in the city and the restaurant was actually a take-away. But Yelp knows better..
8. Digital is great!
Traditional art. I just got into it, looking forward to improve, but now, it seems there’s more digital than traditional.
I wish to make comics and posters with handwriting, sketching, but in digital, this can be done without time constraints.
9. It’s no safer than it ever was, though.
Not sure why you put NSFW, that profession will only die out with humanity itself.
The jobs are dying. It’s literally unsafe for work.
10. It’s not like they’re ever there anyway.
Airline desk attendants who help you reschedule your missed flight.
Some airlines now have mobile apps that let you book your own flight and even divert to a different airport. They’ll show you which ones are available and your choice will immediately go into their computer system.
And chances are if you have a basic knowledge of which airports are where and their transportation options, you’ll do a better job than them.
11. Everyone wants to be special.
Internal medicine and it’s really problematic for people with a broad diseases that affect multiple parts of your body.
Doctors are increasingly specialized and it’s nearly impossible to find a good internist who isn’t beyond swamped.
As a medical student, I think the main issue stems from the fact that the ridiculous cost of tuition for medical schools make physicians feel like they HAVE to specialize in order to make enough money to live comfortably and pay off loans. I’m already 100k in debt as a second year.
12. They never get it right anyway.
The weather service. When I joined weather service in 1970 there were around 600 meteorologists and hundreds of technicians who did various jobs. The satellite imagery and radar were infrequently available and nothing like the resolution that we see nowadays. The weather charts were all plotted by hand as the data came in over teletype and then the meteorologists analyzed the charts again by hand. We only forecast for today and tomorrow, nothing any further out because to be fair we were basically extrapolating. There were a large number of weather offices at that time each covering a relatively small area.
The first computerization was pretty well that instead of typing the forecast out on a manual typewriter and having the teletype operators retype it and send it, we were typing on dumb terminals. We were then transmitting the forecast as well so the teletype operators pretty well got lost at that point.
Over the several decades that I worked for the weather service more and more things became automated. The weather charts themselves were plotted on what looks like very fancy plotters, so the technicians who manually plotted the charts went at that point.
In the late 1980s the entire radar network was massively upgraded, I was part of that process and I assume it’s still going on although I’ve been retired but clearly there are more radars and they’re much higher resolution. At first numerical modeling started out to be pretty unreliable but it did allow us to forecast out further and further in time. Of course the modeling became more and more detailed and useful as time went on and by the time I left the embedded AI was printing out the first draft of the weather forecast.
I am retired now and have been for some time but I’m guessing that a lot of the weather forecasts are just reviewed by the weather forecasters. It seems to me highly likely that there will be very few humans actually doing the daily forecast. At the moment I think they’re mostly responsible for watches and warnings although I couldn’t swear to that.
By the time I retired there was only about 180 active (desk working) meteorologists left and I assume the number is even lower now as I know that a number of weather offices in the country have shut down. Even while I was working several offices closed down with the forecasting being done out of the larger more central offices.
Most repairing professions are in trouble, especially repairmen for retail use machines.
We are becoming an ever wasteful society with departure from right to repair.
14. It would have been such a fun job, too.
Movie theatre projectionist. I wouldn’t say dying so much as dead.
Tl;dr: digital projection made the projectionist obsolete within just a few years.
This post is a little on the long side for anyone who is interested in how this profession became obsolete.
Prior to the conversion to digital in the 2010s, the true movie theatre projectionist was already mostly obsolete. Most multi-screen theatres started using a platter system in the 1980’s. This allowed the multiple reels of a movie to be assembled into one really long reel which could be played from start to finish without any action from a human. This eliminated the need for a dedicated projectionist since just about anyone could be trained to thread the film through the projector and press start. Of course this had a negative impact on equipment maintenance and presentation quality. But it save a fair chunk of money since dedicated projectionist usually belonged to a union and were paid much more than other theatre staff.
Still, you needed a human to build up the movie (assemble the reels) and tear down the movie (disassemble the reels), and a person had to thread the projector and periodically check it to make sure there were no problems. I can tell you from personal experience that cleaning up a thrown or tangled film print is one of the most frustrating and time consuming things to deal with.
Through the early 2000s the theatre industry was slowly starting the process of rolling out digital. It proceeded very slowly as technology was improved. By the mid to late 2000s the technology had improved to the point where a 2048 x 1080 resolution projection system was roughly comparable to the quality of the average 35mm release print. This started the transition, but was mostly confined to a few screens in the biggest theatres.
Around this time studios started to release digital 3D movies. At first it was just a handful of releases, with mixed results. Then Avatar was released in 2009 in 3D and it totally changed the game. The success of Avatar in 3D, in part due to the up charges, made many movie theatres realize they were leaving money on the table by not being able to show 3D. This resulted in the first big wave of conversions where theatres were racing to get a couple 3D capable auditoriums.
Within a year or two the studios started seeing the cost savings in not having to produce 35mm, so they entered into agreements with movie theatres to help fund the full conversion to digital via payments called Virtual Print Fees – essentially they paid the theatre for the cost savings of not having to produce 35mm prints (about $1000 per print). By about 2012 the conversion had accelerated to the point that it was now an existential choice to convert or go out of business. By around 2015 the number of 35mm prints for any given movie had decreased to no more than a dozen or so, with many movies not having any.
Today the average movie theatre projection system is completely automated. It requires no human action besides turning on equipment in the morning and turning it off at night. Working on the digital equipment is more like working on a computer than a film movie projector.
Today the only place you will find projectionist is a handful of repertory theatres which are playing film prints from a vault – either a studio or private collection. And there are a handful still working in Hollywood and handling the projection for the few directors who still shoot on film.
As someone who spent 25 years working in movie theaters, I understand the nostalgia for people who appreciated the art of film projection. As a theatre manager (until 2 months ago) I greatly appreciated the flexibility and simplicity that came with the conversion to digital. As a movie watcher, I really appreciate the consistency of presentation from digital. No more prints with scratches and dust spots.
15. A growing shortage.
We are wildly short of truck drivers. The media is talking about it now, a little, but I learned the job a little over two years ago and in training we were shown a map of the US where we had more freight to move than drivers who could move it.
The entire map was solid red, not a spec of white on it.
The driver shortage predates Covid. Best I can figure is people: A) don’t want to be gone all the time, B) Don’t know you can drive locally and be home daily while still making good money, C) share in the negative stigma that exists around truckers these days, D) some combination of the above.
But there is a growing shortage, and with drivers aging out and younger people not replacing them, the problem is set to get much worse. “Everything you own arrived on a truck,” but what happens when no one is driving the trucks?
16. What a cool job.
Scientific glass blowing! I work in a lab that uses tons of custom glass parts for our sampling flasks and analysis racks, and anything that breaks needs to be repaired quickly and precisely!
Young people go into glass blowing to make bongs and sculptures and chandeliers but never the technical stuff. All the scientific glass blowers in my area are 70+ with health issues and they can’t find apprentices. Crazy thing is that you can charge $15k for a cannabis film still and it’s only about $2k in raw glass parts, so there’s a huge untapped market out there.
And shipping glass long distance is obviously risky so we need these guys localized and knowledgable.
17. It’s all digital.
Printing press repair.
One of my friends travels the country repairing presses and is one of only a handful in the industry.
18. A really sad one.
Artisans of various type.
I’m Italian and my country is full of artisans and artist that can’t just survive with the income of their product selling. The only few that are surviving are guided by young entrepreneurs that use internet and social media to export abroad.
In this way we’re losing a lot of traditional workers and works and here in Italy it’s actually a problem.
19. Cheaper to buy new shoes.
Up until a couple years ago I was a cobbler. It was my favorite job I ever had.
When I left they shut it down(they also sell shoes and boots there) because it takes quite a long time to teach someone the skills.
20. Not so artsy anymore.
Engineering drafting, I’ve seen my job change from drawing with pencils to becoming a full time 3D modelling career.
It’s not a bad thing since the job has changed and no has lost work but it’s sad in the context that drafting is art and the old school drafting before computers is absolutely beautiful.
21. Even professional photogs don’t need them.
Photo Lab Technician. I’ve worked in a few different photo labs and with the move to digital there really isn’t a need for people who work with film.
Edit: I should have clarified I was talking about wet labs specifically. I personally haven’t seen any new places pop up for developing film and I’ve lived in big and small cities over the years. I definitely agree with the people saying its a niche market. I can’t see it ever being has popular as it once was and I definitely do see it completely dying out as technology continues to advance at such a fast rate. That being said, I do hope I’m wrong.
Working in a lab to this day is the best and most rewarding job I’ve had.
22. I’m not sure I agree.
That’s not a sarcastic, edgy comment. They are legitimately being replaced by content creators. The advertisements don’t even read ‘Journalist’ or ‘Reporter’ 60% of the time.
The distinction is important too, because the job of a Journalist is to report the truth, whereas a Content Creator simply matches a brief suited to the publications biases, alignments and interests.
23. Automation everywhere.
Sewing machine technicians.
The two older gents that service mine are amazing, been doing it most of their lives. They’re lovely people and extraordinarily knowledgeable but they’re wanting to retire and there’s no one to take on their business.
They’ve tried to find apprentices but no one is interested despite them being in pretty high demand.
The precision engineering in my industrial and domestic machines is extraordinary and it makes me so sad that if they go wrong I might never find anyone to fix them.
24. They’re the worst.
Every single person/profession who got replaced by an answering machine “if you were stupid enough to call here and waste your time and energy, please press 1”
Gawd I hate these….
25. MTV already killed this, yeah?
I work in radio and it’s definitely radio.
he thing is radio kinda further killed itself by basically being a playlist on repeat. Most people I know stopped listening cause it was super annoying to hear the same songs 10 times a day. They should go back to the days of having an actual person that is knowledgeable about music and curates what they are playing.
26. It’s all smartwatches.
I can’t think of the last time I saw a watchmaker workshop. I used to see 2 – 3 in every town when I was younger.
Usually Jewelers double up now. There’s one in my small town and usually one per mall.
27. Nothing to repair.
Video player repair people.
Any kind of electronic repairs really. No-one repairs anything any more.
A good friend of mine, the man is a computer genius, and literally anything electronic he’s learned how to repair and work them. Sometimes I go to his garage, he helps me repair my laptop, and tells me how he used to make more money in a week, repairing stuff for people than he would in a months salary.
Sadly over the years, with shit being cheaper to buy new than to repair, he barely makes anything. He has his regular job, in a library, but his skills are really underappreciated and he could be doing something way better. He’d make a fantastic teacher but at his age I don’t think he really up for it.
28. Some things aren’t so sad.
Shoe shiners. Cobblers. Tailors. The knife sharpener guy that used to drive around neighborhoods sharpening housewives knives.
Door to door encyclopedia salesman or vacuum cleaner salesmen.
29. A whole fantasy.
Bookbinders. I always wanted to become one but it’s all done by machines now.
Bookbinding as a profession has other benefits as well. Then you have an excuse for owning a locking airtight plexiglass room because you need it to store and work on the rare books in proper humidity.
But really that room could hold a small orphan boy, or maybe that cute aspiring writer you have been stalking.
30. Congrats I guess.
Volkswagen air-cooled mechanics. In my small city, there were three shops specializing in them only a few years ago. Now there is only one but not for much longer. He’s retiring today.
Yes, it’s me! Finally free.
31. Except for kitschy writers.
Typewriter repair…. well its already dead, but I’ll share this anyway
Old enough to have a friend who had a typewriter repair business. Into the late 80s before a PC was on every office desktop, IBM Selectrics and competitors were big business and it kept him and a couple employees busy
Very resourceful guy. He was also selling the typewriter supplies so as the typewriter business died down, he started selling full office products. Had maybe 10 or more people working for him.
Then the big stores came around and killed the small office products guy.
But he was doing his own PC work. networking and software. Bought a small software package that was fully customizable.
Since he had small business contacts from typewriter and office product sales, he started getting jobs for PC, Networking and Applications
Was able to leave office products and go full networking and computer solutions for small businesses.
Built that up to 10 or more employees
and then was able to sell it, while retaining a job.
Sorry to ramble.. never really thought about this until now
They make some pretty decent arguments, I’m not going to lie.
What would you put on this list? Drop it on us in the comments!