What Careers Are Recession Proof?

No matter how confident you are about the future of the economy, it’s clear that the average consumer is feeling nervous. A June 2022 survey from MagnifyMoney found that 70% of Americans think a recession is coming. 

But a recession affects everyone differently, and there are some professions that tend to thrive even when the economy dips. Read below to learn about the 10 most recession-proof careers.

Top 10 Recession-Proof Jobs

When a recession occurs, the economy shrinks and businesses suffer. Many industries start laying off workers, sometimes in huge droves. But not all jobs are similarly impacted during a recession.

Some fields are temporarily destroyed, like those in hospitality, tourism or other industries that depend on consumers having excess income. Other fields are left mostly unscathed. Keep reading to see which jobs are recession-proof. 

Nurses

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the nationwide nursing shortage has only gotten worse. And as the Baby Boomer population ages, nurses will continue to be in high demand.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners have a 28% job growth rate and are one of the fastest growing fields in the country. Registered nurses have a 16% projected 10-year growth rate. 

Teachers

As the teaching industry continues to see huge shortages, current teachers can rest assured that their jobs are recession-proof. Even if individual districts consolidate and lay off teachers, it should be fairly easy for a teacher to find another job in a different district. 

Child-Care Workers

Nannies, daycare center employees and other child-care workers are in one the most in-demand industries. Many daycare centers closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, and almost every state reported a childcare worker shortage in 2021. As people return to the office, daycare centers continue to recruit new employees. According to the BLS, the 10-year job growth rate for childcare workers is 8%.

Accountants

Accountants are necessary for any business and can work in a variety of different industries. Even a struggling business still needs accountants. If you are laid off from an accounting job, it can be easier to find a new role in a different field. The BLS says that the 10-year job growth rate for accountants is 7%.

Physical and occupational therapists

Most healthcare-related jobs are recession-proof because the economy doesn’t have a strong impact on people’s need for medical care. And as the Baby Boomer population gets older, the need for both physical therapists and occupational therapists will continue to increase. 

The 10-year growth rate for physical therapists is 21%, while the rate for occupational therapists is 17%.

Physician assistants

Crossed between a doctor and a nurse, physician assistants are among the highest-paid healthcare professionals who don’t need a medical degree. They’re also in high demand, with a 31% job growth rate. 

Software engineers

It seems like software engineers have been in demand for decades, but that demand is still growing. While some tech companies have started layoffs, the overall 10-year job growth rate for software developers, quality control analysts and testers is 17%. 

Respiratory therapists

As Covid-19 created and exacerbated breathing problems in millions of people, the need for respiratory therapists has only become more dire. Between 2020 and 2030, the growth rate for respiratory therapists is 23%. You only need an associate’s degree to become a respiratory therapist. 

Veterinarians

During a recession, people still need vet care for their furry friends, so the demand for veterinarians doesn’t decrease. The BLS reports that the 10-year job growth rate is 17% for vets – much higher than the national average.

Social workers

The need for social workers doesn’t decrease during a recession, and in some cases, social workers become more vital as people’s finances dip. According to the BLS, social workers have a 12% growth rate. 

How to Recession Proof Your Job

Even if you don’t work in one of the industries mentioned above, there are ways to protect yourself from future layoffs.

If you’ve been working at the same company for years, your skills can stagnate. If you’ve been in your current role for a while, you should do some research and see if there are any skills you need to learn. 

Take a look and see if there are any classes you can take to refresh your resume. Your company may even reimburse you for these. You can also attend conferences to learn more about your industry and network with potential future employers.

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile if you haven’t done so in a while. Add your latest projects to your professional website or portfolio. Start scheduling coffee or lunch meetings with other people in the industry. 

Register for any local meetups or association meetings where you can meet more people. If you do get laid off, it will be easier to ask for help finding a job if you’ve already been planting the seeds for a few months.

If you can work on the side consulting or freelancing, that is also a good way to diversify your income and build new connections. This way, if you are laid off, you can increase that work or at least have something to do while you look for a new job.

Don’t start slacking at your current job, even if layoffs seem imminent. While being a hard-working employee won’t make you immune to layoffs, it will be easier to get a good reference letter or recommendation from your boss. They may also be more likely to recommend you for a position if you’ve been a good employee during all this time.

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Zina Kumok
Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins. More from Zina Kumok

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