Jobs

Jobs Going Away Due to Automation

Automation Software Technology Process System Business concept.
Alexander Supertramp / Shutterstock.com

Are we all going to be replaced by machines? No doubt, more and more of our jobs are being performed by machines as artificial intelligence and automation are taking up increasing shares of certain industries — but not all.

To determine the jobs going away due to automation, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on projected employment change from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections program. Detailed occupations whose factors affecting occupational utilization include automation were ranked based on projected percentage change in U.S. employment from 2022 to 2032. Data on the percentage of workers 25 and over with at least a bachelor’s degree in each occupation are also from the BLS EP and are for 2021. Supplemental data on average annual salary and total employment are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program and are for May 2023.

The BLS projects that total employment is going to grow by nearly 3% from 2022 to 2023, with some industries projected to grow by double digits. Employment in the 40 jobs on the list, however, is projected to decline by anywhere from 3.2% to 38.6%.

While more than half of the jobs on the list indeed are manufacturing occupations, quite a few are also office based. In all, there are 18 different machine operators, setters, or tenders and 12 different clerks and other clerical jobs. While automation may play more of a part with lower demand for manufacturing jobs, artificial intelligence might be more detrimental to those who work in offices. (Also see: Cities With the Most Physically Demanding Jobs.)

Only four of the jobs on the list have a higher mean wage than the national mean of $65,470. The highest-paying job that is projected to have less demand in the future is computer programmers. Programmers increasingly use AI in their jobs, which could indeed mean fewer are needed for the same work.

Why This Matters

Large Production Line with Industrial Robot Arms at Modern Bright Factory. Solar Panels are being Assembled on Conveyor. Automated Manufacturing Facility
Source: IM Imagery / Shutterstock.com
While automation is increasingly replacing certain jobs, others are projected to be in higher demand over the next decade. Here we aim to highlight those jobs that people who enter the workforce might want to shy away from. Similarly, those working in the occupations on the list might want to learn more skills and pivot in their career path.

40. Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

Source: courtneyk / E+ via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -3.2%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 27.2%
  • Average annual salary: $49,530
  • Total employment: 241,650

39. Survey researchers

Source: Galeanu Mihai / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -3.8%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 91.2%
  • Average annual salary: $66,670
  • Total employment: 8,190

38. Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

Source: Albert Karimov / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -4.1%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 5.8%
  • Average annual salary: $44,700
  • Total employment: 52,720

37. Graders and sorters, agricultural products

Source: usdagov / Flickr
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -5.1%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 7.4%
  • Average annual salary: $34,880
  • Total employment: 23,430

36. Chemical equipment operators and tenders

Portrait of female worker wearing protective suit while operating equipment at modern chemical plant, copy space
Source: SeventyFour / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -5.5%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 27.5%
  • Average annual salary: $57,350
  • Total employment: 120,260

35. Correspondence clerks

Source: Tamarabegucheva / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -5.9%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 23.3%
  • Average annual salary: $46,940
  • Total employment: 4,650

34. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Source: unomat / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -6.2%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 20.9%
  • Average annual salary: $49,580
  • Total employment: 1,501,910

33. Procurement clerks

Source: FlamingoImages / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -7.6%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 40.2%
  • Average annual salary: $47,940
  • Total employment: 61,580

32. Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

Industrial worker in protective gear pours molten metal at steel foundry. Manufacturing process in heavy industry with furnace. Skilled laborer handles high-temperature metallurgy, safety action.
Source: Artie Medvedev / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -8.2%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.0%
  • Average annual salary: $54,340
  • Total employment: 20,870

31. Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

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  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -8.4%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 11.2%
  • Average annual salary: $42,730
  • Total employment: 844,120

30. Forest and conservation workers

  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -8.7%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 21.8%
  • Average annual salary: $36,860
  • Total employment: 5,750

29. Brokerage clerks

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants workers | Making necessary notes
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  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -8.9%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 36.6%
  • Average annual salary: $63,130
  • Total employment: 48,060

28. Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Casting, melting, molding and foundry. The most widely used non reusable mold method is sand casting a process in which specially treated sand is rammed around the pattern and placed in a support.
Source: Chongsiri Chaitongngam / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -9.1%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 6.0%
  • Average annual salary: $46,540
  • Total employment: 14,950

27. Production worker helpers

Source: Drazen_ / E+ via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -9.3%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 9.8%
  • Average annual salary: $38,160
  • Total employment: 181,810

26. Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Source: kadmy / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -9.4%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 3.9%
  • Average annual salary: $48,850
  • Total employment: 19,560

25. Plating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Galvanized steel sheet for background.Group of steel sheets for industrial materials Construction engineering products Factory equipment, pipes metal, industrial warehouse,steel plate structure
Source: saweang.w / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -9.4%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 6.0%
  • Average annual salary: $42,550
  • Total employment: 31,970

24. Metal and plastic grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders

Source: Visivasnc / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -9.5%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 4.3%
  • Average annual salary: $44,450
  • Total employment: 75,260

23. Bill and account collectors

Source: Natali_Mis / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -9.6%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 18.1%
  • Average annual salary: $46,020
  • Total employment: 190,910

22. Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders

Source: sbayram / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -10.5%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.6%
  • Average annual salary: $37,880
  • Total employment: 15,980

21. Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders

Indonesian worker using a cutter - a large machine for cutting fabrics - in a asian textile factory, he wears a chain glove
Source: Kzenon / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -10.8%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.6%
  • Average annual salary: $37,040
  • Total employment: 9,760

20. Metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders

Digital die cutter machine cutting corrugated cardboard box for packaging. Industrial manufacture.
Source: Itsanan / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -10.9%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 3.7%
  • Average annual salary: $44,260
  • Total employment: 179,230

19. Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Source: Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -11.0%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 4.4%
  • Average annual salary: $49,290
  • Total employment: 24,750

18. Computer programmers

Source: skynesher / E+ via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -11.2%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 72.9%
  • Average annual salary: $107,750
  • Total employment: 120,370

17. Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

Source: dusanpetkovic / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -11.6%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 26.5%
  • Average annual salary: $45,490
  • Total employment: 1,785,430

16. Gas plant operators

Source: curraheeshutter / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -11.7%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 13.5%
  • Average annual salary: $83,020
  • Total employment: 15,930

15. Utilities meter readers

  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -12.2%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 5.2%
  • Average annual salary: $53,610
  • Total employment: 19,900

14. Metal and plastic milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders

Cnc milling machine. Processing and laser cutting for metal in the industrial. Motion blur. Industrial exhibition of machine tools.
Source: RUl8let / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -13.9%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 3.9%
  • Average annual salary: $50,020
  • Total employment: 13,990

13. Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Forging press. Manufacturer of wrought iron decorative items for pneumatic forging machine
Source: ArtSvetlana / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -14.6%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 4.4%
  • Average annual salary: $47,350
  • Total employment: 9,170

12. Sewing machine operators

Source: andresr / Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -15.2%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 7.6%
  • Average annual salary: $35,000
  • Total employment: 116,130

11. Hand sewers

Source: LauriPatterson / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -15.8%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 19.7%
  • Average annual salary: $33,860
  • Total employment: 3,390

10. Print binding and finishing workers

Source: johnnyscriv / Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -16.4%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.2%
  • Average annual salary: $40,860
  • Total employment: 38,880

9. Payroll and timekeeping clerks

Source: Q_Saba / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -16.4%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 26.5%
  • Average annual salary: $54,690
  • Total employment: 157,230

8. Order clerks

Source: Chaay_Tee / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -18.2%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 23.3%
  • Average annual salary: $43,530
  • Total employment: 91,830

7. Metal and plastic drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders

Source: Evkaz / iStock / Getty Images Plus
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -18.3%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 3.9%
  • Average annual salary: $47,490
  • Total employment: 5,740

6. Hand grinding and polishing workers

Source: Visivasnc / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -19.5%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 5.4%
  • Average annual salary: $41,490
  • Total employment: 12,290

5. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Source: DragonImages / iStock via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -21.1%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 42.7%
  • Average annual salary: $73,680
  • Total employment: 483,570

4. Switchboard operators

Source: VioletaStoimenova / E+ via Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -25.1%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 17.4%
  • Average annual salary: $40,020
  • Total employment: 43,830

3. Data entry keyers

Adult Caucasian man works as accountant or auditor sits at table with monitor and laptop, fills out tables and makes entries in workbook calculating profits and taxes located in open space office
Source: Studio Romantic / Shutterstock.com
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -26.0%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 24.3%
  • Average annual salary: $40,130
  • Total employment: 154,230

2. Telephone operators

Source: Wavebreakmedia / Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -26.6%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 18.7%
  • Average annual salary: $42,100
  • Total employment: 4,600

1. Word processors and typists

Source: Goldmund / Getty Images
  • Projected employment change, 2022 to 2032: -38.6%
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree: 22.3%
  • Average annual salary: $47,170
  • Total employment: 37,200

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