17 jobs that are quickly disappearing in the US

These jobs will be all but obsolete in the next ten years or so.

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These jobs will be all but obsolete in the next ten years or so.
source
Back to the Future/Universal Pictures

The most promising jobs of the future have great prospects, with good pay and an optimistic outlook. Others, not so much.

By 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than a 20% decline in employment for 17 jobs, resulting in almost 162,000 fewer positions than 2016.

Some jobs, like locomotive firers, are being phased out as their duties are performed by other workers. Other professions, like postmaster, may be all but obsolete in the not-so-distant future thanks to technology including email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Based on BLS occupational outlook data, here are the 17 jobs that could be on their way out, as well as what these people do on a daily basis, according to O*NET descriptions of the jobs.


17. Hand-grinding and -polishing workers

They grind, sand, or polish using hand tools or hand-held power tools, a variety of metal, wood, stone, clay, plastic, or glass objects.

Projected decline: 20.5%

Median annual pay: $28,720

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 26,600

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 21,100


16. Coil winders, tapers, and finishers

source
Thomson Reuters

They wind wire coils used in electrical components, such as resistors and transformers, and in electrical equipment and instruments, such as field cores, bobbins, armature cores, electrical motors, generators, and control equipment.

Projected decline: 20.6%

Median annual pay: $33,940

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 14,100

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 11,200


15. Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers

source
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/flickr

They assemble or modify electrical or electronic equipment, such as computers, test equipment telemetering systems, electric motors, and batteries.

Projected decline: 20.7%

Median annual pay: $31,310

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 218,900

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 173,600


14. Postmasters and mail superintendents

source
Robert Couse-Baker/flickr

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.

Projected decline: 20.9%

Median annual pay: $71,670

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 14,200

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 11,200


13. Data entry keyers

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wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

They operate data entry devices, such as keyboards or photo composing perforators.

Projected decline: 21.1%

Median annual pay: $30,100

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 203,800

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 160,800


12. Electromechanical equipment assemblers

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Ian Waldie/Getty Images

They assemble or modify electromechanical equipment or devices, such as servomechanisms, gyros, dynamometers, magnetic drums, tape drives, brakes, control linkage, actuators, and appliances.

Projected decline: 21.3%

Median annual pay: $33,350

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 45,700

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 36,000


11. Mine shuttle car operators

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Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

They operate diesel or electric-powered shuttle car in underground mine to transport materials from working face to mine cars or conveyor.

Projected decline: 21.9%

Median annual pay: $56,450

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 1,500

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 1,200


10. Telephone operators

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highwaysagency/flickr

They provide information by accessing alphabetical, geographical, or other directories.

Projected decline: 22.6%

Median annual pay: $37,000

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 9,100

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 7,000


9. Computer operators

source
Thomson Reuters

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

Projected decline: 22.9%

Median annual pay: $42,270

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 51,500

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 39,700


8. Metal pourers and casters

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REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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

Projected decline: 23.4%

Median annual pay: $36,180

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 8,400

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 6,500


7. Foundry mold and coremakers

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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

Projected decline: 24.0%

Median annual pay: $34,790

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 12,500

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 9,500


6. Motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers

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Reuters/Jim Young

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

Projected decline: 25.2%

Median annual pay: $32,220

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 12,100

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 9,000


5. Watch repairers

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Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

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

Projected decline: 28.7%

Median annual pay: $36,740

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 1,800

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 1,300


4. Word processors and typists

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Flickr / Matthew Allard

They use a word processor, computer, or typewriter to type letters, reports, forms, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording.

Projected decline: 33.4%

Median annual pay: $38,740

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 74,900

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 49,900


3. Parking enforcement workers

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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

Projected decline: 35.3%

Median annual pay: $37,950

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 9,400

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 6,100


2. Respiratory therapy technicians

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Medill DC/flickr

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

Projected decline: 56.3%

Median annual pay: $49,780

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 10,800

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 4,700


1. Locomotive firers

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Flickr/SP8254

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.

Projected decline: 78.6%

Median annual pay: $58,230

Number of people who held this job in the US in 2016: 1,200

Predicted number of people who will hold this job in 2026: 300