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10 Jobs That Are Disappearing Fast

These once-common careers are fading away due to changes in technology and the workplace

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Occupations familiar to many are shrinking fast. Blame technology, for the most part, though the pandemic has also hastened the demise of some once-common careers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following 10 jobs are among those projected to lose the most positions by 2030. Many workers in these fields already have switched careers, but a quick look at this list offers some insights into how earning a living has changed over the years. The figures for employment, job losses and wages have been rounded.

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1. Parking enforcement workers

Total 2020 jobs: 7,900 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 5,100 positions

Job loss: 35 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $22.40

Many things have changed since the first parking meter was installed on July 16, 1935, in Oklahoma City. While parking tickets won’t be going away anytime soon, there will be fewer workers handing them out. Digital parking apps have made it easier to spot which meters are running low, creating less need for parking enforcement officers on patrol.


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2. Telephone operators

Total 2020 jobs: 4,800 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 3,600 positions

Job loss: 25.4 percent 

Median 2021 hourly wage: $18.09

Once upon a time, telephone operators were essential workers. Instead of calling another phone directly, you needed an operator to connect you. For many years, it was a booming profession — especially for women — with as many as 235,000 operators in 1930.

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3. Watch and clock repairers

Total 2020 jobs: 2,800 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 2,100 positions

Job loss: 24.9 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $21.27

With most people using their cellphones or other digital devices to tell time, the demand for watch and clock repairers is ticking away. Watches do continue to be popular as luxury items and heirlooms, though, so these jobs may not disappear entirely.


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4. Door-to-door sales workers

Total 2020 jobs: 54,000 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 41,000 positions

Job loss: 24.1 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $14.13

Demand for workers in this profession is falling fast due to the rise in direct marketing through email and the internet. But talented salespeople certainly can still find work in other related professions.


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5. Floral designers

Total 2020 jobs: 42,300 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 33,800 positions

Job loss: 20.1 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $14.37

The COVID-19 pandemic hit this industry with a double whammy. First, many flower-friendly special events such as weddings were postponed for two years, drying up demand. Then labor shortages and supply chain issues limited the supply of flowers available. BLS projections are not optimistic on these jobs’ returning to full bloom.


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6. Executive secretaries/Administrative assistants

Total 2020 jobs: 538,800 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 438,200 positions

Job loss: 18.7 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $29.84

More businesses are streamlining their operations, using improved office software to handle many of the duties that executive assistants and secretaries perform. These workers may, however, be able to find opportunities for gig work as virtual assistants or work-from-home contractors.


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7. Telemarketers

Total 2020 jobs: 119,700 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 97,800 positions

Job loss: 18.3 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $13.90

Telemarketing was always a job that had some frustrations. Now that more people have abandoned landlines and can screen and block calls on their cellphones, telemarketing is a calling that could soon be disconnected.


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8. Bank tellers

Total 2020 jobs: 432,500 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 359,400 positions

Job loss: 16.9 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $17.46

Since the moment the first ATM opened on Sept. 2, 1969, in Rockville Centre, New York, the career prospects of bank tellers have been gloomy. With more people using banking apps and cash apps such as Venmo, PayPal and Apple Pay now, that means even fewer people are going into banks to make transactions.


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9. Pharmacy aides

Total 2020 jobs: 38,900 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 33,200 positions

Job loss: 14.7 percent

Median 2021 hourly wage: $14.39

While pharmacies continue to do well overall, they are employing fewer pharmacy aides. These workers don’t fill prescriptions — pharmacists do. Instead, aides help manage supplies, organize files, answer phones and assist customers — duties that increasingly can be handled by technology.


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10.  Shoe repairers

Total 2020 jobs: 8,700 positions

Projected 2030 jobs: 7,500 positions

Job loss: 14 percent

Median 2021 annual wage: $15.12

As new shoes have become more affordable, fewer people are taking their old shoes in for new heels or other repairs. The pandemic may have taken this industry one step further in the wrong direction. According to one research firm, the shoe-repair industry lost more than 20 percent of its revenue during 2021 when many people worked remotely in their slippers.

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