12 Jobs That Will Definitely Survive the Next 20 Years (and Even Be in Demand)

Workers in these fields are likely to remain employed regardless of economic conditions or automation trends.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Many people worry that someday soon, a robot will steal their job.

Technology will inevitably make some jobs obsolete in the future. However, other jobs simply cannot be performed by a machine.

Some careers also will likely remain in demand regardless of economic ups and downs. People in these industries may need to adjust workplace practices or make room for new technologies, but they can count on work for years to come.

Following are 12 jobs that will definitely survive — and may even be in high demand — over the several years. If you want to boost your bank account over the long haul, these may be careers to consider.

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Nurses

auremar/Adobe nurse doing bandages on an old lady on wheelchair

Several different types of nurses are expected to be in high demand throughout the decade ending in 2031, according to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Employment in health care occupations overall is projected to grow 13% over the course of the decade, significantly faster than the average for all occupations.

Nurse practitioners — as well as nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives — will be in high demand, according to the BLS data, with overall employment expected to grow 38% over the decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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Electricians

auremar/Adobe female electrician checking a fusebox

Most of us still need to call an electrician when the lights go out. These workers install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and other systems.

Electricians can most likely count on work for years to come. Employment in the field is expected to grow around 6% faster than the average for all occupations through 2032, putting it on pace with all occupations across the U.S.

Plumbers

Monkey Business/Adobe plumber sitting on the floor fixing a bathroom sink

The projected job growth for plumbers across the U.S. is lower than the average across all occupations, at just 2% faster than the average for all occupations. through 2032.

However, as with electricians, most of us need to call an expert when a sink is clogged or a pipe is leaking. It’s also unlikely that we’ll trust robots to fix such a critical part of our homes anytime soon.

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Marketing managers

Gorodenkoff/Adobe project manager makes a presentation for a team

Marketing managers help advertise, promote, and generate interest in certain products, services, and companies. They will be in high demand over the next decade, according to the BLS.

Overall employment for people in advertising, promotions, and marketing management is projected to grow a faster-than-average 6% faster than the average for all occupations through 2032.

Construction managers

goodluz/Adobe construction site manager with young people in training period

Construction managers help plan, coordinate, budget for and supervise construction projects.

The BLS projects the need for these workers will grow 5%  through 2032, faster than the average across all occupations.

Mental health counselors

loreanto/Adobe psychotherapy session

Mental health counselors advise people on a range of issues, from alcoholism and other addictions to depression and more.

This career field is projected to remain in high demand, with expected growth at a whopping 18% much faster than the average for all occupations through 2032, 

Data scientists

Joseph/Adobe software developer working on his computer

Data scientists use analytical tools and techniques to collect insights and data for their companies. This information may drive marketing strategies or even lead to product upgrades.

This is another gig where employment is expected to grow on a massive scale over the decade, surging 35% through faster than the average for other occupations through 2032.

Personal financial advisors

rh2010/Adobe couple talking with woman as sales manager

In addition to being a well-paying gig — with a median salary of more than $949,80 a year — personal finance advisors are expected to be in high demand over the next decade or so.

BLS statistics suggest that job growth for personal finance advisors — who help individuals manage their money and plan for their futures — will rise a much-faster-than-average 13% through 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations

Truck drivers

troyanphoto/Adobe woman truck driver talking by radio inside the cabin

Work for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers across the U.S. is expected to remain fairly steady over the next decade or so, with a projected job growth of around 10% through 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

For those interested in the driver lifestyle — which requires workers to be on the road for long stretches of time and to work non-traditional hours.

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Lawyers

DW labs Incorporated/Adobe man and woman converse on the steps of a building

People are not likely to stop needing lawyers anytime soon, given how often lawyers are brought in to mediate everything from real estate contracts to divorce proceedings.

Employment of lawyers is projected to grow a faster-than-average 8% over the decade.

Computer support specialists

Nina Lawrenson/peopleimages.com/Adobe male call center representative

With pretty much everything done on computers these days, the demand for people who know how to set up and fix these machines is projected to stay steady over the next decade.

Employment for workers who maintain computer networks and/or provide technical help is expected to grow about 5% through 2032.

Software developers

BalanceFormCreative/Adobe programmers and software developers working on a new project

Software developers can expect many opportunities to come their way through 2032, with job growth spiking 25%.

Those numbers translate to around 153,900 new openings for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers each year over the decade.

Bottom line

Prostock-studio/Adobe woman unpacking box at new workplace

The rise in automation does not necessarily mean jobs will disappear in massive numbers. And for the 12 jobs on this list, opportunities are likely to abound.

So, if you are hoping to find an in-demand job that allows you to move beyond living paycheck to paycheck, these career paths are worth considering.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.