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14 Professions That Are in Decline

The new economy has caused a steady decline in the number of job openings in many of the traditional occupations as digital technology and automation continually replaces these workers. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these occupations are requiring less and less workers on an annual basis. This information is accurate as of 2016 – 2026. 

Administrative Assistants

Surprisingly, general administrative assistants and secretaries are in decline by as much as -6.5 %. However, if the administrative assistant specializes in the legal, medical, or executive fields, those occupations are still increasing. But, for executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants the decline is worse and is projected to decrease by -17.4%. 

Legal secretaries are also facing a declining occupational outlook with a projection to 2016 of -19.1%. Other traditional occupations are also facing similar occupational declines.

Bank Tellers

The steady rise of global online banking has had the effect of reducing the need for traditional bank tellers. Today, with a banking app or telephone call, the bank customer can deposit checks, transfer funds between accounts, use direct deposit for fund, and use ATMs to withdraw cash 24 hours per day. 

Customers can also open checking and savings accounts online all without the aid of the bank teller. 

However, becoming a bank teller is a great way to start your career in the banking industry. 

Postal Service Operators

The adoption of email is one of the major factors in the decline of internal postal workers. Postal service mail sorters and processing machine operators are projected to decline by -16.5%. 

Postal service processors are also a part of the -16.5% decline in those occupations. Mail carriers are a separate occupation who also facing a similar decline projection of 12.1% in their jobs.

Word Processors and Data Entry

Technology even replaces jobs that were technological in nature. For instance, word processors who replaced typists are themselves being replaced by computer voice dictation, online templates, and knowledge bases. Data entry workers are also in the same decline of occupational growth. Their decline occupational rates are projected at -33.1% and -21.2% respectively. 


Machine assemblers of all types are facing replacement by computerized machine assembly and robotic assemblers. Specifically, team assemblers and electrical and electronic machine assemblers both are having fewer job openings to fill. -12.8% of team assemblers will have fewer projected jobs in 2026. Similarly, the machine assembler will face a loss of -20.8% in 2026. 

Switchboard Operators

Rarely is the term “POTS” mentioned anymore in mainstream conversation. This acronym stands for plain old telephone system. Likewise, switchboard operators and answering services are becoming an occupation of the past. 

Presently, pre-recorded answering services is the norm as well as customer service operators. Switchboard operators’ occupational outlook faces a projected decline of -19.9%.

Office Clerks

General office clerks and file clerks are traditional occupations in decline as well. By 2026, their jobs are projected to decline by -1.0% and -10.4% respectively. 

There are other occupations in decline as well beside these previously mentioned. 

Although, these occupations are in decline, they will still be available for employment. It does not matter if there are less of these types of jobs. There will always be a need for experienced people who can get the job done.

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