Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Jobs most in danger of being automated

  • Jobs most in danger of being automated

    In September 2013, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne from Oxford University published “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?” In this paper, the authors used a new methodology to rank 903 professions based on how likely they are to become completely automated—ultimately noting that 47% of jobs in the United States are at risk. The methodology entailed the researchers hand-labeling jobs based on whether the tasks were fully automatable and whether obstacles stood in the way to computerize the associated tasks. Then, each job was plugged into an algorithm that would ensure the results they found were accurate.

    Stacker has compiled a list of the 25 jobs from the paper most in danger of being automated—whether the automation process has already been in place for a long time, as with engravers and etchers, or whether it's just beginning, like with umpires and other sports officials. Data was based on algorithms developed by Frey and Osborne that show the probability of computerization for each job. Although rankings in the Frey and Osborne report were calculated based on more precise numbers generated by the algorithms, in the listings below probabilities are given without decimals.

    Further information about the careers listed in this slideshow, including median earnings, number of jobs, and projected job-growth rate were pulled from the April 19 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. In addition to this information, we have provided explanations regarding the culprit of the looming automation, other relevant news about the state of the job, and if necessary a brief job description.

    Read on to see what careers are most at risk of going automated, and which jobs are already past the automation point of no return.

    You may also like: 50 jobs that no longer exist

  • #25. Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $36,080
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 1 million
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: -9% (decline)

    These employees set up, operate, and maintain the machines that shape metals and plastics. Automation is simplifying and streamlining processes in the career, but the industry doesn't expect the job to go away. Instead, it says these positions will remain as a way to teach the basics and fundamentals of the job to newer workers.

  • #24. Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $28,860
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 3.1 million
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 4% (slower than average)

    These clerks prepare shipments, send them out, track the progress of each shipment, and receive them. As the system gets more automated because of computer programs that do most of the work (like automatic-sorting systems and computer-directed trucks), the industry will open up more job opportunities for people who have the computer skills to manage the programs.

  • #23. Procurement clerks

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $41,910
    - Number of jobs in 2016: Not available
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: Not available

    Procurement clerks work with suppliers and vendors to obtain the information and records needed to draw up purchase orders and then often follow the course of the sale from order to delivery. As the position becomes more automated, procurement clerks are now more hands-off, instead running procurement management tools to manage every step in the process.

  • #22. Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $30,160
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 383,000
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 1.7% (slower than average)

    This job has a very specific purpose: to operate or maintain machinery that solely prepares packages to ship or store. But as the machines become more and more automatic, the employees themselves are no longer necessary, except to solve issues or conduct initial setup—which can often be done via a touchscreen interface.

  • #21. Etchers and engravers

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $31,330
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 10,600
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 0.9% (little or no change)

    Decorative work on wood, metal, or other surfaces are already being described as the most automated jobs in the country. The majority of the processes have been taken over by computer programs, specialized printers, and robotic machinery. Although changing in nature the work of etchers and engravers remains; workers now run software programs that means it takes less time and manpower to do the work, for the same amount of money—or more since they have time to take on more clients.

  • #20. Tellers

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $29,450
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 502,700
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: -8.3% (decline)

    The role of bank tellers has been in decline for years. These front-line employees are responsible for your withdrawals, deposits, and payments—all things that online banking systems can do. The amount of jobs has already decreased by more than 8% since 2017.

  • #19. Umpires, referees, and other sports officials

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $27,020
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 21,100
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 7.6% (as fast as average)

    Some sports fans may disagree (especially if a call allows their team to win the game), but a lot of sports industry leaders are pushing for automated or robotic umpires, referees, and sports officials. In baseball, in particular, there's a push to get rid of the home plate umpire in favor of an automated strike zone robot umpire, so one person's judgment doesn't unfairly cost a team a game.

  • #18. Insurance appraisers, auto damage

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $65,670
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 328,700
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: -1% (little or no change)

    In the past, when you got into a car accident, someone had to come out and physically survey the damage to the vehicle. No more, though; insurance appraisers for car damage are increasingly being replaced by systems where drivers just send photos of the damage and an AI program evaluates it.

  • #17. Loan officers

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $63,040
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 318,600
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 11.4% (faster than average)

    Most loan officers work for banks, mortgage companies, or other financial institutions. They evaluate and give the go-ahead or no-go on loan applications for individuals and businesses. Large amounts of the loan-officer process are expected to be digitized and automated soon, but industry leaders don't believe the job will be completely replaced. Instead, they say, loan officers will take on a more advisory role with clients while monitoring the automated processes.

  • #16. Order clerks

    - Probability of becoming automated: 98%
    - 2018 median annual wage: $33,510
    - Number of jobs in 2016: Not available
    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: Not available

    Order clerks accept and process orders for items in every industry, follow the order progress to be sure of any issues, and communicate with the client. Thanks to the internet, online order forms and progress reports, the work of an order clerk is rapidly being replaced with automated processes; however, some expect that will eventually open more positions to oversee the work being done.

2018 All rights reserved.