10 Jobs That Are Safe From the Robots

Audiology
Audiology

Are you worried about robots taking your job? Is your occupation safe from automation? The odds of your job being automated might be greater than you think.

Forty-seven percent of U.S. jobs are at risk of automation in the next 10 to 20 years, according to Oxford University researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne. Their 2013 paper, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?” looked at the probability of automation for 702 occupations. Their research showed that higher-paying jobs requiring more education were less at risk.

Not every white-collar job has a solid occupational outlook in the age of robots. In short, the jobs that are most at risk are the ones that involve repetitive work that a robot (or a software program) can perform more cheaply than a human.

If you’re contemplating a career change, and want to pick an occupation at low risk of a robot takeover, your best bet is obviously to pick one that humans do better than machines. Specifically, you might want to target jobs that involve what Frey and Osborne identify as three “computerization bottlenecks”:

 

10 Jobs That Are Safe From the Robots

These jobs had the lowest chance of being automated in the next decade or two, according to the research. Note that they each include at least one of the bottlenecks described in the paper – dexterity, creative intelligence, or social intelligence.

 

10. FIRST-LINE SUPERVISORS OF FIRE FIGHTING AND PREVENTION WORKERS

Firefighter
Firefighter | iStock.com

People in this occupation manage and direct firefighters and related workers. This job typically requires a postsecondary nondegree award and on-the-job training.

 

9. ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEONS

How To Get Dental Degrees In Canada
How To Get Dental Degrees In Canada

These dental specialists diagnose and treat defects in the face, jaw, and mouth. This occupation requires significant education: typically, four years of dental school and four to six years of residency.

 

8. HEALTHCARE SOCIAL WORKERS

Home Health Care Services
Home Health Care Services

Healthcare Social Workers often work in hospitals, performing case management and helping patients and families navigate the healthcare system. These jobs typically require a master’s degree and licensure.

 

7. ORTHOTICS AND PROSTHETISTS

ORTHOTICS AND PROSTHETISTS
ORTHOTICS AND PROSTHETISTS

People with these jobs create artificial limbs and other medical devices to help patients regain mobility. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this occupation is growing quickly in part because “the large baby-boom population is aging, and orthotists and prosthetists will be needed because both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the two leading causes of limb loss, are more common among older people.” A master’s degree and certification are required in these jobs.

 

6. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS

Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapist

OTs, help patients regain and maintain the skills required to live as independently as possible. This fast-growing occupation typically requires a master’s degree and licensure.

 

5. AUDIOLOGISTS

Audiology
Audiology

Audiologists diagnose and treat hearing loss and related problems. This high-paying, fast-growing occupation also requires a significant investment in education. Audiologists need a doctoral degree and licensure to practice.

 

4. MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SOCIAL WORKERS

Psychologist
Psychologist

Social workers typically need a master’s degree and licensure – a lot of education for a job that can be grueling and not particularly remunerative. However, the job offers a chance to make a difference to people who need it most.

 

3. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTORS

Emergency management directors
Emergency management directors

This job requires a bachelor’s degree plus experience in disaster planning or a related field. Emergency Management Directors coordinate between agencies, non-profits, and officials in emergency situations.

 

2. FIRST-LINE SUPERVISORS OF MECHANICS, INSTALLERS, AND REPAIRERS

Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

People in this occupation might work in a variety of industries, including automobile repair/dealers, local government, electric power generation, natural gas, and construction. These jobs typically require a high school diploma and on-the-job training.

 

1. RECREATIONAL THERAPISTS

Speech Therapists
Speech Therapists

These therapists create and administer recreation-based programs based on arts, sports, music games, etc. They typically work in hospitals, retirement communities, and parks and recreation departments. Most recreational therapists have a bachelor’s degree and many are certified.

 

 

If you’re contemplating a career change, and want to pick an occupation at low risk of a robot takeover, your best bet is obviously to pick one that humans do better than machines. Specifically, you might want to target jobs that involve what Frey and Osborne identify as three “computerization bottlenecks”:

  • Perception and Manipulation – Finger or manual dexterity, or the necessity to work in cramped spaces/awkward positions
  • Creative Intelligence – Originality and fine arts
  • Social Intelligence – Social perceptiveness, negotiation, persuasion, and caring for others