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  1. Blog
  2. Career Development
  3. January 5, 2021

Looking for Stability? Here Are 17 Recession-Proof Jobs

Is any job ever secure?

Nurse checking the pulse of a patient
Photo courtesy of Hush Naidoo

This article is part of InHerSight's Working During Coronavirus series. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, find helpful advice here on working remotely, job hunting remotely, dealing with anxiety and stress, and staying safe at work if you have to be on-site.

The economy has taken a big hit over the last year with the pandemic still prevalent around the world. The U.S. has seen record lay-offs, unemployment claims, and business closures. Many jobs have been eliminated altogether as companies try to stay afloat and cut costs.

The truth is, no job is completely recession-proof. The economic climate can change in an instant and so can perceived job security. But, there are many careers that tend to hold up even in the face of a recession. These positions are generally essential to the functioning of society, whether medical, educational, city-based, or food-related.

Here are 17 recession-proof jobs and their average salaries in the U.S.

Read more: Ask a Recruiter: How Can a Recession or Economic Downturn Affect My Career?

17 recession-proof jobs and what they make

1. Nurse

Average salary (RN): $73,300

Most medical care positions are recession-proof, especially nurses. When the economy fails, people still need medical services and these positions are going to continue to be in high demand. 

2. Doctor

Average salary (family doctor): $213,270

The population will always need doctors regardless of the economic climate. While some procedures or doctor visits may not be a high priority for people experiencing financial hardship, the demand for medical care will remain high.

3. Elementary teacher

Average salary: $59,670

Teachers generally have recession-proof jobs, especially public school teachers who are part of a union. Unions make it more challenging for teachers to lose their positions. When the economy is seeing a downturn, public schools must remain open and teachers are essential. 

Read more: 9 Ways Teachers Can Make Money Working from Home

4. Bankruptcy attorney

Average salary: $83,721

Bankruptcy attorneys help debtors find a fresh financial start with debt discharge or restructuring. During a recession, more people tend to file for bankruptcy, so these legal jobs are pretty safe to deal with the higher demand.

5. Marriage and family therapist

Average salary: $49,610

Therapists are recession-proof since even when people are struggling financially they still need mental health services. Marriage and family therapists help families deal with relationship issues and other problems, which are often heightened in uncertain climates.

Read more: Relationship Expert: During COVID-19, ‘Project Manage’ Your Partnership

6. Accountant

Average salary (accountants & auditors): $71,550

No matter what’s going on with the economy, taxes are due each year. Even with the influx of Turbo Tax and online tax assistance sites, people still use accountants throughout the year and especially in April.

7. Pharmacist

Average salary: $128,090

Pharmacists provide medication to patients and also offer guidance on how to take prescriptions. These jobs are always going to be essential, even during the recession, since many patients’ lives depend on medication.

8. Grocer

Average salary: $35,329

While not the highest-paying career, grocers are essential to society. Many people may try to cut back on expensive habits during a recession like eating out at restaurants, sending them to the grocery store and solidifying the need for grocers.

9. Law enforcement officer

Average salary (police & detectives): $65,170

Communities across the country depend on the services of law enforcement, and these positions are still going to be in demand when the economy goes south so that cities are protected.

10. Veterinarian

Average salary: $95,460

Similar to doctors, veterinarians won’t go anywhere when times are tough. People may forego an annual exam to save money, but pets will still get sick and need care and treatment. 

11. Public transit worker

Average salary (bus drivers): $42,080

Public transportation is a reliable field because it never stops. Bus drivers and train operators keep cities moving, and in fact, more people may rely on public transit when they’re trying to save money on gas or a new car.

12. IT worker

Average salary: $80,191

Companies across industries depend on internet access and other technologies that keep things running. Network and computer IT staff are needed more than ever before as many business functions have gone remote. These jobs will be necessary even if companies have to cut back elsewhere.

13. Utility worker

Average salary: $15.71/hour

Utilities like water, garbage, telephone, and electricity are not optional, and utility workers are essential to society. These positions are recession-proof since utilities are life or death in some cases.

14. Funeral home manager

Average salary: $76,350

Even when finances are tight, people want their loved ones to have a proper send-off and will continue to rely on funeral home managers and directors to provide these services.

15. Paramedic

Average salary: $35,400

Emergencies happen every day, and EMTs and paramedics are the first responders that save lives. These are recession-proof jobs since a bad economy doesn’t mean that less people will be in need of emergency medical attention.

16. Mechanic

Average salary: $42,090

Car sales may be one of the first areas that see negative economic impacts in a recession. But, mechanics will keep their jobs as cars continue to need repairs and maintenance.

17. Corrections officer

Average salary: $45,180

Jails and prisons require 24/7 observation and management. Corrections officers will likely have job security when the economy is struggling since no one else can do the job.

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Photo of Meredith Boe

Meredith Boe

Contributor

Meredith Boe is a writer, editor, and grant writer, and a regular contributor to InHerSight. Her writing focuses on working women, self-employment, small businesses, finance, and legal, in addition to her literary criticism, poetry, and creative prose. She holds a master's degree in writing and publishing from DePaul University, and her bylines include the GoDaddy Garage, The Chicago Reader, and the Chicago Review of Books.

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