Fastest-shrinking jobs in America and alternative careers




Some jobs are seeing major growth...and some are seeing the opposite.
America's economy looks very different today than it did, say, twenty years ago. A major shift in technology and the inner workings of international trade and shipping has left workers with different futures than we may have seen for ourselves when we were first setting off in our careers.
And according to CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. data,* there are a number of jobs that are quickly shrinking, as well as jobs that are quickly growing, which can leave you with some interesting options that include better career security. Here are three major areas of change that we see opportunity in.

Digital and Physical Publishing
It's hard to say that libraries and bookstores were eagerly anticipating the technological overhauls that the new millennium brought. Along with e-books, browsing more content online and a cultural preference for consuming news on television and the Internet, there's been a national conversation about the future of writing and printing industries. Some occupations that focus on entering data and producing it are seeing quick decline, while opportunities abound in alternative occupations that embrace web and other tech skills and are in more lucrative industries that also need communication materials.

Shrinking occupations with a negative projected growth rate for 2011-2020
  • Printing Press Operators (-12 percent)
  • Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders (-13 percent)
  • Data Entry Keyers (-13 percent)
  • Print Binding and Finishing Workers (-14 percent)
  • Reporters and Correspondents (-16 percent)
  • Word Processors and Typists (-16 percent)
Alternative occupations that are projected to quickly grow 2011-202
  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists (34 percent)
  • Web Developers (30 percent)
  • Archivists (20 percent)
  • Technical Writers (18 percent)
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers (17 percent)
  • Media and Communication Workers, All Other (15 percent)
  • Library Assistants, Clerical (14 percent)
Snail Mail and Door-to-Door Sales
Online shopping; two-day deliveries; email, text and instant messaging…how we purchase materials, have them delivered and have our own correspondences delivered is primarily dependent on private suppliers like Internet service providers, online stores and private shipping and logistics companies. Door-to-door sales workers and postal service workers are facing shrinking jobs as our needs have changed, but if you're drawn to these occupations due to their high rate of physical activity, being a part of the community or having the opportunity to earn more, there are alternative options that can capitalize on those preferences.

Shrinking occupations with a negative projected growth rate for 2011-2020
  • Postal Service Clerks (-19 percent)
  • Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators (-18 percent)
  • Door-to-Door Sales Workers, News and Street Vendors, and Related Workers (-18 percent)
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers (-15 percent)
  • Postmasters and Mail Superintendents (-12 percent)
Alternative occupations that are projected to quickly grow 2011-2020
  • Social and Human Service Assistants (26 percent)
  • Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs (22 percent)
  • Exercise Physiologists (21 percent)
  • Athletic Trainers (21 percent)
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists (20 percent)
  • Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors (20 percent)
  • Sales and Related Workers, All Other (17 percent)
  • Sales Representatives, Services, All Other (16 percent)
Textile and Apparel Production
America's dependence on importing more and more commercial goods that are produced overseas is unsurprisingly affecting the number of workers who are needed to fill those production roles. While there's a major decline in the number of textile and apparel setters, operators and tenders, there are similar occupations that also require fine motor skills, attention to detail and contribute to manufacturing and production.

Shrinking occupations with a negative projected growth rate for 2011-2020
  • Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders (-41 percent)
  • Textile Bleaching and Dyeing Machine Operators and Tenders (-36 percent)
  • Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders (-29 percent)
  • Textile Winding, Twisting, and Drawing Out Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders (-23 percent)
  • Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders (-22 percent)
  • Sewing Machine Operators (-21 percent)
  • Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers (-17 percent)
Alternative occupations that are projected to quickly grow 2011-2020
  • Bicycle Repairers (27 percent)
  • Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders (27 percent)
  • Mechanical Door Repairers (27 percent)
  • Machinists (17 percent)
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers (11 percent)
  • Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders (11 percent)
Staying ahead of economic trends can ensure that you're not left in a tight spot when the tides turn, or other economic struggles emerge. By beginning to research alternative jobs, and how you can bring your skills to those occupations, means that you're taking charge of your career, as well as your security and wellbeing.

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