15 Worst Jobs If You Want Good Job Security

Though the unemployment rate is low, some jobs are dicier than others.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Since January of this year, the U.S. unemployment rate has remained steady at around 3.7%. While that’s good news for American workers overall, not every sector is stable.

As employers prepare for a potential recession, layoffs have rocked certain industries. In other words, it has been dicey out there for many job seekers.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects some of the following jobs to grow over the next 10 years, they all are subject to instability and may best be avoided.

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standret/Adobe group of actors in dark colored clothes on rehearsal

The entertainment industry has always been a tough nut to crack, and while it’s recovering from the pandemic, it remains so.

Most actors struggle to find steady work. Many do something else to pay the bills while they search, and even fewer become stars.

Entry-level education required: Some college, no degree

10-year projected job growth: 8%

Event planners

pressmaster/Adobe event planner using checklist

Being a meeting, convention, or event planner is definitely for the highly organized social butterflies out there. They’re in charge of every aspect of events and professional gatherings.

Event planning is demanding and requires people to be meticulous about deadlines.

Entry-level education required: Bachelor’s degree

Job growth over the next 10 years: 18%

Bill and account collectors

sirichai/Adobe accountant using calculator

Bill and account collectors recover — or at least try to recover — money people owe on overdue bills.

It doesn’t pay well, the market is shrinking, and, as one can imagine, it becomes very stressful when people get angry and confrontational about their debts.

Entry-level education required: High school diploma or GED

Job growth over the next 10 years: -10% (Decline)

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Flamingo Images/Adobe waitress laughing while working in a trendy restaurant

Cashiers have a fairly thankless job. They’re there to ring you up after you’ve collected all the goods on your shopping trip. They can also be tasked with janitorial work for a store.

The pay is usually pretty bad, and the market outlook is grim.

Entry-level education required: None

10-year projected job growth: -10% (Decline)

Child care workers

lordn/Adobe pre-school teacher and little girl

People in child care help foster the development of future generations, but it’s difficult work, and the pay leaves much to be desired.

Sometimes, they work in dedicated centers, sometimes from their own homes, and the schedule can be all over the place.

Entry-level education required: High school diploma or GED

Job growth over the next 10 years: -2% (Decline)

Construction workers

sculpies/Adobe carpenter working on roof structure at construction site

Being a construction worker means hard hats and hard work. It’s a demanding, physical job.

Not only are they constructing the buildings people live, work, and play in, they do it in every kind of weather, at every time of day, under time constraints.

Entry-level education required: Usually none, but varies depending on the position

10-year projected job growth: 4%


xartproduction/Adobe chef cooking in the kitchen restaurant at the hotel

Every time you sit down for a delicious meal, thank a cook. If it’s on the menu, they can make it.

The job entails everything from making sure the ingredients are fresh to the tasty end result.

They also arrange the plates and clean the kitchen.

High stress is common and restaurants were hit hard by the pandemic.

Entry-level education required: Usually none, but varies depending on the position

Job growth over the next 10 years: 6%


fesenko/Adobe female bartender preparing cocktail and pouring it into glass

Bartenders are booze royalty. They can work at pubs, hotels, restaurants, or anywhere that has a liquor license.

Unfortunately, the pay is awful, schedules can be hectic, and the pressure ramps up quickly when business gets busy.

Entry-level education required: None

Job growth over the next 10 years: 3%

Flight attendants

Svitlana/Adobe flight attendant serving food and drinks

Along with restaurants, airlines were pulverized by the pandemic, but they’re on their way back. Since attendants take care of passenger needs on each flight, it can be demanding.

There’s stress, the inherent dangers of turbulence, and long periods of standing. Flight attendants spend a lot of time away from home as well.

Entry-level education required: High school diploma or GED

Job growth over the next 10 years: 11%

Hand laborers and material movers

Gorodenkoff/Adobe retail warehouse full of shelves with goods in cardboard boxes

Hand laborers and material movers are another critical part of the supply chain. They manually move the freight and stock that eventually makes it to store shelves.

The work is physically demanding, low-paying, repetitive, and, since shipping never stops, a round-the-clock affair.

Entry-level education required: None

Job growth over the next 10 years: 6%

Unemployment rate: 5%

Office clerks

insta_photos/Adobe female accounting analyst checking bills

Office clerks are tasked with everything from answering phones to filing records to typing up documents. They do a little bit of everything.

Clerks work in just about every industry imaginable, but the pay isn’t particularly great and the market is shrinking.

Entry-level education required: High school diploma or GED

Job growth over the next 10 years: -7% (Decline)


Gorodenkoff/Adobe photographer holding the camera

Being a professional photographer is about more than just taking photos, and it can be extremely difficult. It requires a lot of creativity, technical knowledge, and a bank account that can handle buying a lot of equipment.

The pay isn’t great if you’re starting out, and some assignments can even be dangerous.

Entry-level education required: High school diploma or GED

Job growth over the next 10 years: 4%

Recreation workers

rh2010/Adobe workman in uniform mounting swing on the playground

As the name implies, the goal of a recreation worker is to make sure people have fun while staying active and fit.

They design and lead programs in lots of places like parks, schools, and care facilities. Unfortunately, the pay is not good.

Entry-level education required: High school diploma or GED

Job growth over the next 10 years: 5%

Restaurant servers

Monkey Business/Adobe waiter serving group of female friends

Restaurant servers are the link between the kitchen and its patrons. They get your food, they get your drinks, and they do what they can to make sure people have a good experience.

The job can be hectic and stressful with an unpredictable work schedule, and the pay is predictably terrible.

Education required: None

Job growth over the next 10 years: -3% (Decline)


ty/Adobe male call centre operator

There is a nonzero chance you’ve blocked a few numbers on your cell phone. That’s emblematic of telemarketing as a whole, where workers solicit potential customers by phone.

Even worse, the pay is terrible, the market is rapidly shrinking, and people simply don’t like getting unwanted calls.

Entry-level education required: None

Job growth over the next 10 years: -20.6% (Decline)

Bottom line

insta_photos/Adobe office worker analyst sitting at desk

A good job doesn’t just help you stop living paycheck to paycheck and keep you happy, it also needs to be steady — something you’re not in fear of losing.

Downsizing and market volatility can hit every profession, but these jobs tend to take a bigger hit than others or are simply less reliable. If you’re looking for employment that will last, be careful with the jobs on this list.

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Author Details

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.