Recession-Proof Careers

Given that the economy is now officially in a recession (whoulda thunk it?), I though it would be worth talking a bit about recession-proof careers. I’ve written in the past about this topic, but I actually just ran across another article on the topic, and decided to highlight it here.

Health Care

The health care industry is expanding rapidly as our population ages. Jobs with particularly stable prospects include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, and physician’s assistants. For those without a 4-year degree,


Teachers in high-demand fields such as math, science, or bilingual education should have a relatively easy time finding and keeping a job, especially in high-growth areas of the country. College enrollment is also on the rise, which is good news for college instructors.


Layoffs in this industry are rare, meaning that police officers, detectives, private security guards, and other types of security workers have very stable job prospects. And even if you do lose your job in one of these areas, it will be relatively easy to find a new position regardless of the economic climate.

Environmental Sciences

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects opportunities in environmental careers, including positions for ecologists, hydrologists, and environmental chemists, to grow 25% over the next decade, well ahead of the average for other fields.


Firings and layoffs are much rarer in the federal government that in other sectors of the job market. Even when the economy hits the skids, the government doesn’t typically downsize.

Other Options

For those without a four-year degree, look for jobs that can’t easily be outsourced. In the health care industry, jobs as a health aid, or medical or dental assistant are solid bets. Becoming an electrician or mechanic are also solid choices.


8 Responses to “Recession-Proof Careers”

  1. Anonymous

    Just about anything service related is recession/outsource proof. Masseuses, lawn care, stuff like that. I mean, business might get a bit slower (as most services are considered luxury goods), but never truly go away.

  2. Anonymous

    I wonder why the Military was not listed? The Military has met its recruiting goal for the year. It is another choice for people who can not find work especially if you are under 37 years old.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m contracted with a major company in a recession-proof industry. Financial Services professionals will never be short on work. People will always having planning needs, will always have investment needs, will always have insurance needs, will always have estate and tax needs.

  4. Anonymous

    I think it is important to point out that these areas are not necessarily “growth” areas in a recession… just areas where it is not likely to experience heavy layoffs.

    Also your list from April 2008 included Database Administrators… is that no longer the case?

  5. Anonymous

    Oh, another careers are that are booming right now are lawyers who do divorce filing.

    According to studies, most divorce happens because of financial reasons… so I think it should be booming right now with the crisis going on right?


  6. Anonymous

    I would like to inform people that nurses do not need a 4 year degree. I am a RN with only an Associate’s Degree (ADN) and still make that same amount as an RN with a Bachelor’s (BSN). The higher the degree in nursing the more doors that open. I currently am working on my Bachelor’s right now so I can “climb the ladder” and possibly get my Master’s. I do agree with the statement that is is recession-proof and stable, RN’s here in the California make approximately 80K/year.

  7. Anonymous

    I’d have to argue that the security isn’t recession proof, at least in my area. As a security guard, your job is only as stable as the industry you are providing your services for. One of our accounts manufactures automobiles. They just shut down an entire line, and along with it goes the majority of the security guards at that site. I can’t say anything for the other security companies, but in the entire area, our company has one shift available. And by that I mean 8 hours per week. Maybe that’s just the market in this area because we’ve been greatly affected by lay-offs in the RV industry as well, but there are definitely far more people looking for security jobs than are available. If you lose your security job now, you’re going to have to fight a lot of other people to get another one.

    On the other hand, the company I provide security for just laid off a bunch of manufacturing employees but still has people interviewing for positions in research science and engineering.

  8. Anonymous

    This is why I am taking the plunge and going to grad school to get my M.Ed…high school science teachers are going to be in demand whether the economy tanks or not.

    Also, for those interested in education, there is the federal TEACH grant. If you are in undergrad or grad school for education and are willing to commit to teaching for four years in a Title One public school in a high need area (math, science, special ed, foreign language), you can get $4k a year toward college, regardless of financial need.

    Fortunately for me, nearly all the high schools in the rural county in which I live and want to work qualify for the grant.

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