Jobs That Are Going Extinct In Front Of Our Eyes

When blacksmiths were fitting shoes to horses and long distances were traveled by horseback and buggy, it was a good bet that their profession would be safe for a long time. Then came the industrial revolution and soon cars far outpaced buggy sales with added convenience. In 2018, we are faced with a similar situation as technology replaces some jobs while others are outsourced overseas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics warns that the following jobs are likely to witness drastic declines by 2026.

Parking Enforcement Is Poised For Some Big Layoffs

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The United States is home to 263.6 million vehicles and that equates to a whole lot of parking tickets. In Los Angeles alone a dedicated team of parking enforcement officers dole out about 2.5 million citations every year. Many jobs in the space could soon be removed because of technological advances.

Expected Job Loss by 2026 is estimated at 3,300. This isn’t just an issue involving self-driving cars and Uber rides. The Bureau of Labor Statistics points to smart meters which are allowing drivers to check on their available time left from their smartphone. Running out of time? Simply pay for a longer stay.

Wait until you see the job that is expected to lose more than 30,000 jobs by 2026.

Photo Processors Face An Uphill Battle Against Digital Tech

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There will likely always been a market for photo processors. The most talented of the bunch are able to develop film with a masterful level of precision and beauty. These experts of the craft are artists as much as technicians.

4,900 people working in this space are expected to lose their job by 2016. Not convinced film is a dying breed? Only 2% of the markets 960 million rolls are now processed since hitting a peak in 2003. Throw in the decline of DSLR’s as many people now use their smartphones to take pictures and the field is looking pretty bleak.

Metal and Plastic Workers May Soon Watch The Industrial Revolution Go Tech

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Skilled trades are at the top of our list for those that might soon be replaced by advances in technology and a shifting jobs landscape. Metal and plastic workers are responsible for operating and maintaining machines that drill and bore, forge, and more. They also are responsible for the roles of pourers and casters of metal.

Expected job losses could hit 68,500 workers by 2026. Despite tariffs currently levied against international competitors, workers are still faced with growing global demand for foreign steels and plastics. China now produces more steel than any other country. Computer-controlled machines are also replacing many jobs in this space.

Pre-Press Technicians Could Have Their Jobs Disrupted In Some Big Ways

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A prepress technician and other workers in the space are responsible for formatting typeset, printing plates, and handling other jobs that require an artistic eye, an attention to detail, and the ability to understand a publication’s needs. They could soon face an uphill battle thanks to technology that makes it easier than ever to get that work completed online.

By 2026 the desktop publishing and digital printing software spaces could disrupt the job security of 6,900 prepress technicians. Throw in plummeting print publication numbers and it’s easy to understand why this job is going the way of the dodo bird.

Switchboard Operators

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In 1983 Susan Glines left her job as the last switchboard operator to monitor a hand-crank phone. Today’s telephone and switchboard operators no longer manually insert cords into jacks but they do provide directory services.

By 2026 the BLS expected 20,500 switchboard operator positions to be fully replaced. The reason for the switch? Many businesses are starting to ditch the landline in place of electronic communications. Employees often follow a BYOD (bring your own device) policy for work. Law offices and some other businesses may hold on but the switchboard operator is quickly disappearing.

Cashiers Are Already Being Replaced

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Cashiers have served an important function at retail and other locations for more than 100 years. However, their jobs are quickly being replaced by self-checkout lanes and stories that skip checkout all together, most notably, Amazon Go locations.

As Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and other big box retailers continue to downsize their cashier departments it’s going to be a painful experience for workers in that field. The expected job loss for these employees by 2026 could reach 30,600.

This isn’t good news for cashiers but at least their jobs are safer than the profession coming up shortly.

Bank Tellers Are Being Pushed Out By Technology

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The role of bank teller has been a struggle in recent years. Many bank branches have closed down less trafficked areas and banking regulations have made it less profitable to run certain banking centers. The bank teller job is also being hit hard by technology.

By 2026 a total 41,800 bank tellers could find themselves looking for new employment. That’s a total of 5,225 employees losing their jobs every year for the next eight years. They are under attack by banking automation technology and online banking which are becoming increasingly popular.

USPS Jobs Are Expected To Decline Rapidly

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For hundreds of years, postal workers in the United States have enjoyed job security. Decent pay, benefits, and job security have caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee into the postal worker field. Those workers are now experiencing a lot of downsizing thanks to government involvement and increased competition, despite 149.5 billion pieces of mail being processed every year.

Electronic mail has been replacing good old-fashioned letters for years and that, along with a messy pension program, has forced many smaller regionalized postal centers to close or downsize. By 2026 the BLS expects 65,300 postal jobs to disappear.

Assembly Line Workers Are Being Outsourced By Technology And Cheaper Labor


Assemblers take on many roles when putting together products. Some assemblers put together an entire product and others work on an assembly line, building single components that go into a finished product.

By 2026 a total of 145,000 American workers on assembly lines across the country are expected to lose their jobs. Technology through robotics is playing a big role while some companies are also finding ways to make their processes more efficient which requires less workers to perform the same high-level of output.

Mine Shuttle Car Operators Are Quickly Vanishing


Mine shuttle car operators were once a sought after position by generations of families. Today, the job is starting to falter. Between 2016 and 2026 the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 300 jobs will disappear. That might not sound too bad but it’s 21.9% of the entire U.S. industry.

As the United States moves toward clean energy, it’s only a matter of time before market forces remove even more of these position from the workforce.

Even one of America’s best paying jobs that require a lot of white collar skill is at risk of experiencing master declines as you’ll see discover.

Executives Are Doing Without Their Executive Assistances

There are a lot of classifications of executive assistants these days. Whether you’re an administrative assistance, legal secretary, or an executive-level assistant, your job could soon disappear. If you’re a medical secretary we have some good news though — your field could actually experience some nice growth!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 17% of the workforce in this field could disappear by 2026 and numbers have been declining since 2016. Around 321,200 jobs are expected to vanish as managers start to work cross-departmentally, allowing for less support employees to be utilized.

Fast-Food Workers Are Not Safe

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Cooks at McDonald’s, Burger King, and other fast-food restaurants are in danger of losing their employment in the coming years. It’s technology and better cooking products in general that are threatening their work status.

There are a lot of reasons for the decline in 27,100 jobs expected by 2026. Among those reasons is the increase in food prep automation. Also, a factor is the number of Americans who appears to be shifting towards a healthier diet which hits the bottom line at fast food restaurants.

Correctional Officers Are On The Outs

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It’s no secret that the penal institutes in America are overcrowded. Right now, correction officers and other people working in the penal field are gainfully employed to watch over prisoners and maintain the daily operations of correctional facilities. Guards are also utilized to transport prisoners to new facilities and to bring them before the court as needed.

An estimated 34,500 correctional officers and prison administrators could lose their jobs by 2026. BLS notes that the incarceration of criminals is actually at its lowest point since 1996. A declining prison population is largely the reason 7.7% of workers in the field are expected to lose their jobs in the next eight years.

Seamstresses Could Be Handed Their Pink Slips By 2026

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The job of seamstress involves sewing together clothes, curtains, and other fabrics. These artists of their craft use sewing machines to hand-stitch thousands of garments and other items every year. Technology, however, is coming for their jobs.

Automated machines that can work at a much faster pace and for a fraction of the cost are starting to rock the seamstress industry. Expected job losses by 2026 are estimated to reach 25,700. When 21 robotic lines can product 1.2 million t-shirts every year it’s hard to compete with a 71% increase in production.

Computer Programmer Jobs Are Expected To Decline

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It’s hard to imagine a world in which computer programming jobs are on the decline. These titans of industry build the desktop, mobile, and tablet apps we all rely on. They work in defense, leisure, and various other fields. However, even their highly-skilled jobs are in for a pretty major shift.

An estimated 21,300 computer programming jobs are expected to be lost by 2026 according to the BLS. An increasing number of companies are hiring remote workers from outside of the United States and outsourcing is expected to cause a 7.2% decline in U.S. based programming jobs.

You might be surprised that the last job on our list, coming up soon, still exists in modern times.

The C-Suite Won’t Seem So Sweet By 2026

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The C-Suite refers to anyone at the highest executive levels of a company. This includes CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, and others. While they may run companies, there is an increasing movement to eliminate at least some of those jobs.

By 2026 an expected C-suite decline of 12,100 is expected. That number equated to a 12.1% decline from 2016 and 2026. Many companies are starting to combine roles such as COO and CFO while others are simply working with a more lean executive team.

Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, And Systems Assemblers

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Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging and systems assemblers are at risk of losing their jobs by 2026. These individuals are tasked with the important job of assembling engines and other parts of the very safe aircraft we fly on for work and pleasure.

An estimated 41,800 workers in this field are expected to be displaced by technology and automation by 2026. The industry as a whole, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to drop by 17.4% of the total workforce from 2016 through 2026.

Data Entry Keyers Are Going Away

Data Entry Keyers are responsible for operating data entry devices, such as a keyboard or photo composing perforator. Their duties typically include verifying data and preparing materials for print or electronic delivery.

The Bureau of Labor statistics expected this industry to lose 43,200 jobs between 2016 and 2026. With new technology to assist in the industry an estimated 21.2 percent of the workforce will be unemployed.

Respiratory Therapy Technicians Are Not Among Safe Healthcare Jobs

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Respiratory therapy technicians are expected to watch their industry plummet from 10,800 jobs in 2016 to 4,700 in 2026. This comes at a time when healthcare jobs seem to be in high demand at various levels of the industry.

The 56.3% shift in this industry will mean fewer people to diagnose breathing issues at the technician level. On a positive note, physicians who specialize in this field are expected to add 23% more jobs during the same time period.

Locomotive Firers Still Exist But Will Go Through a Major Decline

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 14: Racegoers arrive by the historic Merchant Navy class Penisular and Oriental steam train at the Cheltenham Racecourse station for Ladies Day on March 14, 2018 in Cheltenham, England. Thousands of racing enthusiasts are expected at the four-day festival in Gloucestershire which opened yesterday. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Locomotive firers are still working in the United States, about 1,200 of them in total as of 2016. By 2026 that number is expected to decline by 78.6% to around 300 remaining positions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that this part of the train crew monitor railroad tracks for obstacles or other safety hazards. Their workload will be picked up by computer-assisted monitoring and employed conductors who are already working on the railroad.