productivity maze

According to an Oxford study, 47 percent of human jobs will be replaced by robots by 2035. That is nearly half of all jobs gone! Regardless of how you feel about that prediction, we clearly have a huge economic shift ahead as robotics, computers, and artificial intelligence turn jobs in industries like manufacturing, transportation, food service, lawn care, and construction are replaced by non-humans.

A new tool from Leisure Jobs gives you predictions on whether your job will vanish in the next 20 years or if you have better odds on staying employed. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular jobs so you know if you’ll be able to robo-outsource or need to up your job skills before your job goes on the chopping block for good.

Driver – high chance of replacement

Uber and Lyft are popular side hustles, as most people already have a car and can turn idle hours into an income stream. Postmates, Prime Now, and other delivery services are other fun income streams. But there is an entire industry of taxi drivers, UPS drivers, and other delivery related positions that spend most of their time driving from one place to another to deliver people or items to their destination.

In case you hadn’t heard, drivers are going away. Self-driving cars are on the road from coast to coast. 21 states have passed legislation regarding autonomous vehicles. Google’s Waymo, Uber, and other companies are in a race to get self-driving cars on the road to capture an entirely new economic opportunity. But for people who earn a living driving, you’re in for a tough time ahead.

  • Delivery driver – 69% chance of replacement
  • Taxi driver – 89% chance of replacement
  • Postal worker – 68% chance of replacement
  • Bus driver – 89% chance of replacement
  • Truck driver – 79% chance of replacement

Service workers – high chance of replacement

There’s a trend here. Jobs that do not require a specific college education are more likely to be replaced than others. Some service jobs have a human element, like customer service. Bartenders and restaurant servers offer personality and an experience, in addition to the food they deliver. But that doesn’t mean they are safe from the robots.

Restaurant workers and low skill hospitality jobs like housekeepers have a very, very high chance of going away. At some restaurants, you can already order your meal and pay your bill yourself with a small computer on the table. Before you know it, a robot assembly line will create your meal, drop it on a delivery robot, and drive it to your table. No humans required.

Interestingly, some specialized service positions, like flight attendant, are estimated at a low likelihood of replacement. After all, they do a lot more than pour drinks and drop off those little boxed meals. They are a vital part of airline security and have special training on FAA protocols.

  • Bartender – 77%
  • Waiter/waitress – 94%
  • Chef – 96%
  • Housekeeping – 69%
  • Flight attendant – 35%

Analyst – low chance of replacement

I’m a former financial analyst, and I’m proud to say that my analyst brethren are safer than most from job loss. Of course, much analysis will be taken over by computers over time and various analysis scenarios will become faster and easier. But at the end of the day, a person needs to tell the computer what to analyze and for what purpose. Plus, these jobs require a high degree of education and specialization. Because it is not a task that is repeated again and again, it is hard to automate.

Not all finance jobs will fare as well, as accountants are at high risk. And certain types of analysts are at high risk as well, such as budget analysts who simply compare spending to the budget. It is the people who make the budget and direct future budgets that are safest from the robot overlords job takers. It seems that with analysts, it is about how the queries are created that determine if your job will survive.

  • Computer systems analyst – 0.65%
  • Management analyst – 13%
  • Finance manager – 6.9%
  • Market research analyst 61%
  • Credit analyst – 98%
  • Budget analyst – 94%

Creative – safer than most

While computers are able to write research reports, which is kind of crazy to think about, they cannot take over creative pursuits. After all, creativity requires a certain level of humanity. This topic was deeply explored in Star Trek: The Next Generation as character Data, an android, struggled to become more human. It is interesting to see that applied to modern life outside of a science fiction TV show!

Writing, music, art, and related occupations are very unlikely to be replaced by robots. There is always a small chance, but they are mostly safe. Many of these jobs are in the marketing and advertising side of the house. If you’re a Mad Men fan, you know these jobs and roles well. Like the analyst jobs above, many of these are specialized and require a higher education.

  • Writer/author – 3.8%
  • Advertising manager – 3.9%
  • Musician/singer – 7.4%
  • Art director – 2.3%
  • Artist – 4.2%

More jobs

Teachers are generally safe to assume they will be needed in the future, and we should not expect police to be replaced by Robocop anytime soon. Here is a list of some more jobs and their likelihood of robotoziation in the coming decades:

  • Secondary school teacher – 0.78%
  • Police office – 9.8%
  • Architect – 1.8%
  • Retail assistant – 92%
  • Security guard – 84%
  • Insurance agent – 92%
  • Florist – 4.7%

If your job is not likely to be around, you have a few good options today, but don’t delay as some jobs may vanish sooner than others. Start saving and building a nest egg in case your job is eliminated and you need to live on savings while finding a new job. Then, start working on new skills to move into a job that a computer can’t do in your place. That is the only real path to job security for the future.

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer originally from Denver, Colorado living in Ventura, California. When away from the keyboard, Eric he enjoys exploring the world, flying small airplanes, discovering new craft beers, and spending time with his wife and baby girl. You can connect with him at his own finance blog Personal Profitability.

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