The Five Fastest Disappearing Jobs

It has become increasingly common, in today's day and age, for people to find themselves made obsolete by machines and a streamlined production line. Virtually every job that an individual can do has seen new technology, a new piece of software, or an innovative method to perform that job introduced to the workplace, leading to that task being performed in a faster, more economical manner.

Most of the time, people simply can’t work with the same speed and efficiency as machines can, and since many companies are merging several positions into one, the result could be fewer employees in the workplace. Depending on the position you work in, it is likely that there is a replacement that has already been found (or created) to do the job better than you can do, and for cheaper.

Of course, some jobs are in more danger than others. In a few years, many of these jobs may no longer be available to applicants. Although many employers keep employees around for these tasks at present, within the coming years, these five positions are going to decline greatly. Where they are still open to applicants, pay rates will likely be much lower than they currently are.

For this reason, there are a number of jobs that individuals should steer clear from if they want to have long-term stability. Of all the kinds of employment that are in decline, this list of five jobs includes the types of employment that are disappearing the fastest in America and abroad.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

5 Courier

A courier carries packages and delivers them to clients. Couriers are commonly used for law firms, or for other professional fields, where a package or document has to be delivered in a timely fashion. As a courier, individuals often work on bike, or can travel via other means, to deliver documents. Law firms hire couriers to deliver documents to opposing counsel, or to deliver a document to court on time. Couriers can also be used to deliver packages when the postal service would take too long. 

Depending on location, education, and experience, couriers earn anywhere from $16,000 to $24,000 annually. Working as a courier for local or federal government positions and delivering their official packages and documents, individuals can earn up to $40,000, or even higher in the federal sector.

The courier position is fast declining for a number of reasons. Guaranteed delivery dates are offered through major carriers and delivery companies. Most shipping services provide flat rates based on the package size, and with logistics in place, can get a delivery to the desired recipient in a short amount of time. Couriers are also being replaced by interesting new technology; Amazon recently announced its intention to begin delivering packages by drone. Should it succeed in its endeavors, it seems likely that other companies would follow suit, no longer hampered by wages or traffic.

4 Data Entry Clerk

This job consists of exactly what the name implies. Data entry clerks input data into charts, graphs, and word documents. They must be able to type quickly and accurately in order to work in the position. Prior to submitting the data, the clerk often must review the original document for accuracy, and correct any inconsistencies prior to submitting the work.

Working in this position, an entry level clerk can expect to earn wages between $14 and $17 hourly. In certain industries, clerks can earn a bit higher, with starting wages hovering as high as $19 per hour. At the highest end of the pay spectrum, in specialized fields, such as medicine medical or those fields where coding experience is required, individuals can earn as much as $25 to $30 hourly.

Technology, again, is responsible for the sharp decline of this type of employment. With dictation software, secretaries can do the same job for much cheaper. By speaking to a computer with the right program installed, the work of inputting data will be automatically conducted within the machine. Not only will it cost companies less, it also has great potential for greater speed and accuracy. Outsourcing, too, has contributed to the demise of this position. By going overseas, companies can hire one person to do it all. Data entry, answering phones, and offering customer support – all can be done from a remote location, where employees have low wage expectations.

3 Head Cashier

A head cashier supervises, trains, and in some stores, creates the schedules for all cashiers that work the floor. The head cashier is in charge of customer service, and for maintaining efficiency, ensuring customers do not spend too much time waiting in line. Essentially, the head cashier will have more experience than those who are regular cashiers, and will oversee the entire sales and checkout floor.

The average salary for a head cashier is about $25,000 annually. Of course, this may vary based on the retailer, hours worked, and the duties they are entrusted with. For hourly rates, individuals working in this position can expect to earn $10 to $17 hourly.

The main reason the job title is in decline is the fact that stores can simply hire more cashiers for a lower pay rate. Additionally, a general manager can do the training, and a head cashier is not necessarily an essential element in running the sales floor efficiently. A head cashier is simply a variation of the cashier title, but tags along a higher pay rate. For this reason, many stores have already eliminated the title, and others are sure to follow.

2 Photo Lab Associate

A photo lab associate assists individuals who come in to a store looking to have their photos printed. They are in charge of developing and processing images customers want to have printed out.

In most stores, associates working this position can expect to earn anywhere from $10 to $17. Of course, this depends on their title (head associate, manager, etc), and their location. The length of time they have worked for the retailer, and the store location also have an impact on pay rates. It is a lower paying job, and pay rates are likely to stay the same or decline, especially with the continued development of new technology that makes this position obsolete.

This job is nearly non-existent in newer stores, thanks to self-serve kiosks (popular in stores like Walmart and Walgreens) that allow the customer to print their photo projects themselves. By simply placing a data card into the appropriate slot, customers can edit, print, and modify their pictures, with assistance from an associate no longer required. If the customer does not know how to operate the kiosk, a regular store associate is almost always nearby and willing to lend a hand – a dedicated photo associate would be an inefficient use of resources.

1 Greeter

A person who works as a door/person greeter does just that: when customers come into the store, the greeter welcomes the customer. Door greeters also sometimes handle customer returns; they will either give the customer a receipt, or send them to the customer service center for returns. In some cases, if a store is extremely busy, the greeter may work as a cashier, or help with customer service tasks as well.

Door greeters earn a wage of about $9 to $10 an hour in most stores. Since they tend not to be an essential person in the operation of the store, they are not paid as much as cashiers. In many stores, greeters are circulated with cashiers, depending on the day and schedule.

While it can be nice to be greeted when you walk in to an establishment, the presence of a greeter is far from an essential part of running a business. New face recognition technology and wearable computing products will likely further add to the irrelevance of a greeter by offering personalized welcomes and recommendations to each shopper that enters the building. In the long run, investing in a new, highly functional piece of equipment pays off better than keeping a greeter on payroll.

More in Job & Salaries