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37 jobs that are quickly disappearing in the US

Based on the BLS's occupational outlook data, here are 35 jobs that could be on their way out of the US.

 

By Rachel Gillett and Andy Kiersz

[post_ads]Thanks in part to email, Facebook, and Twitter, mail carriers may be all but obsolete in the not-so-distant future.
By 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 28% decline in postal-service jobs, about 136,000 fewer positions than 2014.
But mail carriers aren't the only ones whose jobs are disappearing. Technology and market shifts have affected a variety of fields.

Based on the BLS's occupational outlook data, here are 37 jobs that could be on their way out:

37. Computer operators

They monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data-processing equipment to process business, scientific, engineering, and other data according to operating instructions.

Median annual pay: $42,270
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
61,100
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
49,500
Projected decline:
19%

36. Respiratory therapy technicians


They provide respiratory care under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.

Median annual pay: $49,780
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
10,700
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
8,700
Projected decline:
19.2%

35. Metal and plastic heat-treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend heating-equipment like heat-treating furnaces, induction machines, and vacuum equipment to temper, harden, anneal, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.

Median annual pay: $37,180
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
21.3
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
17.2
Projected decline:
19.6%

34. Metal and plastic lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

Median annual pay: $38,480
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
42,900
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
34,300
Projected decline:
20%
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33. Metal and plastic layout workers

They lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces like sheets, plates, tubes, castings, or machine parts for further processing.

Median annual pay: $45,820
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
13,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
10,700
Projected decline:
20.1%

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


They set up, operate, or tend drilling machines to drill, bore, ream, mill, or countersink metal or plastic workpieces.

Median annual pay: $36,410
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
17,800
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
14,100
Projected decline:
20.5%

31 (tie). Metal and plastic milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders 
They set up, operate, or tend milling or planing machines to mill, plane, shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic workpieces.

Median annual pay: $39,840
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
22,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
17,8
Projected decline:
20.6%

30 (tie). Metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.

Median annual pay: $31,280
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
192,200
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
152,700
Projected decline:
20.6%

29. Parking-enforcement workers

They patrol assigned area, such as public parking lot or city streets to issue tickets to overtime parking violators and illegally parked vehicles.

Median annual pay: $36,530
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
9,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
7,400
Projected decline:
20.8%

28. Desktop publishers

They format typescript and graphic elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.

Median annual pay: $39,840
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
14,800
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
11,700
Projected decline:
21%

27 (tie). Metal and plastic model makers

They set up and operate machines like lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects.

Median annual pay: $45,980
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
6,200
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
4,900
Projected decline:
21.5%

26 (tie). Metal and plastic forging machine setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend forging machines to taper, shape, or form metal or plastic parts.

Median annual pay: $35,070
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
21,600
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
17,000
Projected decline:
21.5%

25. Textile-winding, -twisting, and drawing-out machine setters, operators, and tenders


They set up, operate, or tend machines that wind or twist textiles, or draw out and combine sliver, such as wool, hemp, or synthetic fibers.

Median annual pay: $26,870
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
26,000
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
20,300
Projected decline:
21.7%

24. Metal and plastic grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders
They set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic workpieces.

Median annual pay: $32,840
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
71,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
55,800
Projected decline:
21.9%

23. Metal and plastic pattern-makers

They lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

Median annual pay: $40,960
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
3,800
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
2,900
Projected decline:
23.4%
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22. Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders

They operate or tend machines to bleach, shrink, wash, dye, or finish textiles or synthetic or glass fibers.

Median annual pay: $26,340
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
11,700
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
8,900
Projected decline:
23.9%

21. Metal and plastic extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend machines to extrude or draw thermoplastic or metal materials into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

Median annual pay: $33,120
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
73,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
55,500
Projected decline:
24.4%

20. Prepress technicians and workers

They format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed.

Median annual pay: $38,270
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
36,500
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
27,500
Projected decline:
24.6%

19. Metal and plastic molding, core making, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or core-making machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.

Median annual pay: $29,340
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
129,500
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
97,200
Projected decline:
25%

17 (tie). Watch repairers

They repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks.

Median annual pay: $34,750
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
2,700
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
2,000
Projected decline: 25.7%


17 (tie). Textile cutting-machine setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend machines that cut textiles.
 
Median annual pay: $25,490
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
14,300
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
10,600
Projected decline:
25.7%

16. Fabric and apparel pattern-makers

They draw and construct sets of precision master-fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

Median annual pay: $43,900
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
5,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
4,000
Projected decline:
26%
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12 (tie). Postmasters and mail superintendents
Justin Farley / Getty

They plan, direct, or coordinate operational, administrative, management, and supportive services of a US post office, or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in an assigned post office.

Median annual pay: $70,640
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
17,300
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
12,800
Projected decline:
26.2%

12(tie). Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders

They set up, operate, or tend machines that knit, loop, weave, or draw in textiles.

Median annual pay: $27,220
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
27,900
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
20,600
Projected decline:
26.2%

12 (tie). Postal-service clerks


They perform any combination of tasks in a post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of a mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage.

Median annual pay: $56,790
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
69,600
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
51,300
Projected decline:
26.2%

12 (tie). Postal-service mail carriers

They sort mail for delivery and deliver mail on an established route by vehicle or on foot.

Median annual pay: $58,280
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
297,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
219,400
Projected decline:
26.2%

11. Metal pourers and casters

They operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.

Median annual pay: $33,850
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
9,800
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
7,200
Projected decline:
26.6%

10. Sewing-machine operators


They operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.

Median annual pay: $22,550
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
153,900
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
112,200
Projected decline:
27.1%

9. Foundry mold and core makers

They make or form wax or sand cores or molds used in the production of metal castings in foundries.

Median annual pay: $32,680
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
12,000
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
8,700
Projected decline:
27.7%
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8. Manufactured building and mobile-home installers
 
They move or install mobile homes or prefabricated buildings.

Median annual pay: $30,050
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
4,000
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
2,800
Projected decline: 30%


7. Shoe-machine operators and tenders
 
They operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.

Median annual pay: $25,190
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
3,500
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
2,500
Projected decline:
30.5%
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5 (tie). Photographic-process workers and processing-machine operators
 
They perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. They may also perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints.

Median annual pay: $26,590
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
28,800
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
19,400
Projected decline:
32.9%

5 (tie). Switchboard operators, including answering service
 
They operate telephone business-systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

Median annual pay: $27,440
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
112,400
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
75,400
Projected decline:
32.9%

4. Postal-service mail sorters, processors, and processing-machine operators
They prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. They also examine, sort, and route mail; load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery; keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks; and perform other duties related to mail handling within the postal service.

Median annual pay: $56,740
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
117,600
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
78,000
Projected decline:
33.7%

3. Telephone operators


They provide information by accessing alphabetical, geographical, or other directories. They assist customers with special billing requests, such as charges to a third party and credits or refunds for incorrectly dialed numbers or bad connections. May handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls.

Median annual pay: $35,880
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
13,100
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
7,500
Projected decline:
42.4%

2. Motor vehicle electronic-equipment installers and repairers

They install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, security, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.

Median annual pay: $31,360
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
11,500
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
5,800
Projected decline:
50%

1. Locomotive firers

They monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. They also watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineers in railroad yards.

Median annual pay: $48,470
Number of people who held this job in the US in 2014:
1,700
Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2024:
500
Projected decline:
69.9%

Jacquelyn Smith contributed to a previous version of this article.

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Career Advice: 37 jobs that are quickly disappearing in the US
37 jobs that are quickly disappearing in the US
Based on the BLS's occupational outlook data, here are 35 jobs that could be on their way out of the US.
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