15 Jobs That Will Be as Extinct as Dinosaurs in the 2030s

AI is coming, and it's claiming these 15 professions as its victims.

young smiling female sales clerk
Updated July 18, 2024
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Imagine if, instead of Dave desperately trying to get HAL to open the pod bay doors in 2001: A Space Odyssey, he was begging the rogue computer to read his resume.

As more and more companies lean on AI to scan applicant resumes, it’s becoming more challenging to land an interview and get a job that will help you get ahead financially.

As we approach the next decade, the following professions could be on their way to the dustbin of history, or at least look a whole lot different, thanks to advancements in AI.

Assembly line jobs

Gorodenkoff/Adobe female electronics factory workers in blue work coat

Blue-collar workers unionizing to stand up to their bosses at the plant is a source of endless inspiration. Unfortunately, AI doesn’t care.

Traditional assembly line tasks that involve repetitive manual labor and basic product assembly can be performed by AI-driven machines.

They already have been for decades, in fact. Advancements in automation have created new job sectors for the humans that oversee them… at least for now.

Data analysts

DragonImages/Adobe programmer in eyeglasses concentrating on working with coded data

It is unlikely that good ol’ human data analyst jobs will be eradicated by AI, but they sure are going to look different.

AI can analyze large datasets and generate insights, making data analysis more efficient and potentially reducing the need for manual data analysts.

However, humans still play a critical role in defining the objectives, interpreting the results, and providing context.

Bank tellers

New Africa/Adobe happy african american woman counting money in bank window with male cashier inside the cabin

Ask yourself when was the last time you physically needed to go into a bank.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), teller positions are projected to decline significantly by 2031 due to automation, resulting in a loss of over 43,000 job openings.

Between ATMs, online banking, and automatic paycheck deposits, the need for in-person banking services has sunk like a stone.

Data entry clerks

Burlingham/Adobe woman working on computer at the office

Data entry is a highly repetitive task ripe for being replaced by AI that doesn’t get as bored as humans do.

AI algorithms can efficiently process and input data with high accuracy, eliminating the need for manual data entry.

Machine learning models can learn from patterns and perform repetitive tasks without errors or butter fingers.


Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe cheerful shop assistant using digital device for payment

Over 3.3 million people are employed as cashiers in America, so this job will not be replaced overnight.

However, cashier positions are projected to decline by 10% by 2031, primarily due to automation. That’s around 335,700 jobs gone.

Self-service kiosks already let customers select and pay for items without human interaction, though the machines still need us if we dare to put a little too much weight in the bagging area.


All king of people/Adobe successful and handsome man in suit outside with his expensive car

While drivers are currently in high demand, the future of this profession faces an uphill battle.

The emergence of automated vehicles poses a potential, though not immediate, threat. Their increasing sophistication could reduce the need for human drivers.

Although this transition may not happen quickly, it’s a possibility that could significantly impact the job market for drivers in the long run.

Fast-food workers

BlueSkyImages/Adobe restaurant worker serving two fast food meals with smile

Labor shortages and rising wages have fueled the push for automation in the fast-food sector.

Self-service kiosks allow customers to place their orders and make payments without us pesky humans. Even food preparation tasks can be automated.

White Castle, for instance, is implementing Flippy, a burger-grilling machine, in select outlets. Delivery services can also be taken care of by AI-powered robots or drones.

Medical diagnosticians

rocketclips/Adobe medical woman reading x-ray results of a brain

Will robots become our doctors? Probably not, but AI can quickly analyze vast amounts of medical data, identify patterns, and make accurate diagnoses.

It can also help detect diseases, interpret medical images, and predict patient outcomes. However — and this is a big one — trust matters.

While AI can enhance diagnostic accuracy and efficiency, human expertise and judgment are paramount in healthcare decision-making and patient care.


DragonImages/Adobe pretty Vietnamese receptionist

Receptionists can be found in every industry — but perhaps not for long.

Despite most of us muttering, “How do I get a human?” when we call somewhere to make an appointment, chatbots and virtual assistants are already widely used.

AI automation tools can streamline administrative tasks like document management and scheduling.

That doesn’t mean AI will actually listen to you, empathize, or come up with a solution to a complex problem. As such, it will be hard for AI to replace receptionists fully.

Taxi dispatchers

kucherav/Adobe call center worker in headphone is working at modern office

While fans of Taxi will surely be disappointed, the future of non-emergency dispatchers is bleak. AI can replace them with advanced algorithms and automated systems.

Instead of relying on human operators to manually assign taxis to customers and manage logistics, AI can analyze customer locations, traffic patterns, and vehicle availability to match passengers with the nearest and most suitable taxis.


bnenin/Adobe smiling businessman using headset when talking to customer

This job is already pretty much dead. As of May last year, fewer than 100,000 people hold a telemarketing job, according to the BLS. And robocalls have been annoying all of us for years.

Voice recognition technology lets AI handle customer questions and efficiently make outbound calls.

Chatbots can have interactive conversations, answer FAQs, and deal with customer requests. And web-based advertising reaches more people and lets companies target users based on their browsing history.

Tollbooth operators

Rick Henzel/Adobe paying toll fee

Other than watching tollbooth workers help drivers who decide to try brazenly plowing through E-ZPass lanes without a transponder, how often do you interact with toll operators?

AI can replace toll workers with automated toll collection systems. Instead of having operators stationed to collect fees and manage transactions, technology can be used to automate the entire process.

Algorithms can handle vehicle IDs and toll amounts and process payments (or fines).

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Drobot Dean/Adobe woman in eyeglasses using laptop

Typists are practically an endangered species. Fewer than 42,000 people held the job as of last year, according to the BLS.

AI transcription tools already convert speech into text quickly and accurately, eliminating the need for manual typing, and virtual assistants can help create and format documents.

AI algorithms can also learn and predict typing patterns, make suggestions, and auto-complete words and sentences, as you’ve probably experienced in your web browser.

Warehouse workers

StratfordProductions/ADOBE forklift driver sitting in vehicle in warehouse smiling

Amazon has been using robots to sort and move products for over a decade. Bain & Co. found that 70% of warehouse jobs could be lost to automation.

And the Brookings Institute found that 92% of forklift drivers’ tasks and 80% of packers and their tasks could be taken over by automation.


AntonioDiaz/Adobe female author writing on a diary

As the Writers Guild strike that erupted in May showed, writers don’t want to be replaced by AI like ChatGPT for movies and TV shows. And they’re afraid the C-suite suits will do just that.

AI has the potential to replace writers through natural language generation algorithms, but it struggles to replicate human creativity, emotions, and subjective analysis.

Bottom line

peopleimages.com/Adobe boardroom and portrait of a black woman with a tablet for training

Advancements in AI and automation will continue to reshape our jobs and how we do them. Some careers are at risk of going extinct by 2030, forcing people to tap into a new source of income.

But while this speculation can be entertaining, it also serves as a reminder of the need to adapt and embrace the evolving nature of work in an era of rapid technological progress.

In the end, who really knows what will happen? Hopefully, it will be more Star Trek: The Next Generation than The Terminator.

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Will Vitka

Will Vitka is a D.C. area reporter and writer. He previously worked for WTOP, The New York Post, Stuff Magazine, and CBS News.