Lifestyle

6 min read

Mar 26, 2021

March 26, 2021

Top Recession-Proof Jobs to Secure Your Career

Is your job recession-proof? While no career is 100% secure, some roles are considered more stable than others. Find out if yours made it into our line-up.

What Impact Does a Recession Have on Jobs?

As most millennials know, a recession has a significant impact on the job market. The 2008 economic downturn in the US resulted in record unemployment levels and, while the economy has since recovered, a recession is simply an inevitable consequence of the business cycle. 

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Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a similarly negative impact on the job market today. Not only are a number of jobs impossible to do remotely — resulting in many factory and service workers being laid off worldwide — but the disruption the coronavirus outbreak has had on the global supply chain means many businesses have ceased operations entirely.

While there is no job or industry that is 100% recession-proof — after all, 2020 has taught us to expect the unexpected — there are, nevertheless, a number of careers that manage to withstand economic turmoil.

Top 10 Recession-Proof Jobs

1. Teacher & Professor

The education sector is one that is resilient enough to defy — and survive in — recessions. Given that an economic collapse doesn’t affect the number of children attending school, teachers are consistently in demand — even in a pandemic! Moreover, most teachers have access to a union which makes it difficult to eliminate their roles. 

The path to becoming a professor is a little more tough — after all, a PhD is essential in most cases — but it is ultimately rewarding, as a tenure-track position brings with it significant job security, alongside work-life balance with a summer break.

2. Accountant

Whether you like it or not, taxes are here to stay. And, as a result, accountants are almost always in demand. Even in a recession — and, at times, particularly during this period — companies and individuals will need the help of an accountant to stay on top of their credit.

3. Medical Professional

Despite their immense struggles during the COVID-19 crisis, there is plenty of work available for medical professionals. As medical care is a constant in our lives, nurses, PAs, and other healthcare professionals will rarely suffer in a recession.

4. Funeral Director

Morbid as this career choice may be, the truth is that families always need a funeral director to help them perform the last rites of their loved ones. Regardless of the economic situation, closure is essential for grieving families and a funeral director plays an important role in this process.

5. Auditor

Many companies are required to perform annual audits per federal law, so auditors are always in demand. What’s more, the skills you learn as an auditor can be applied to other careers — from consulting to corporate finance to academia — so this career path offers stability in various ways.

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6. Delivery & Courier Service Worker

As online shopping becomes ever more prevalent and subscription boxes become the new norm, demand for delivery and courier services continues to rise. While the age of sending letters may be over, you can get everything from meal prep kits to wine delivered, making this career relatively recession-proof. What’s more, you don’t need an extensive, expensive education in order to be eligible for roles in this sector.

7. IT Professional

As our world becomes increasingly tech-reliant, IT professionals are enjoying higher levels of job security. In 2020 in particular, IT jobs were relatively easier to shift to a remote environment, while tech support roles also grew in demand. As businesses embrace technology to reduce other costs, IT roles are becoming more recession-proof than ever.

8. Public Safety Worker

Law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, and security guards are essential 24/7, including during a recession. While these roles can often be difficult to attain, they nevertheless provide job security.

9. Government Employee

Federal jobs are extremely stable, making them less likely to be eliminated. They also bring with them a number of benefits, including healthcare and a union.

10. Lawyer

While not all types of law are equally recession-proof, lawyers are consistently in demand. For instance, divorce lawyers and criminal defense lawyers see high demand regardless of the economic climate.

While these ten roles are not the only recession-proof jobs out there, certain roles — such as any job in which a person can be replaced by a machine — are more likely to be at risk in an economic downturn than others. 

How to Make Yourself Recession-Proof

Our picks of the top recession-proof jobs

If you want to become recession-proof, it’s important to make yourself indispensable at work. Try going above and beyond — set yourself high standards, take on additional assignments (if you can), and do your best to demonstrate that you’re the best person for the job.

Be personable and go out of your way to get to know your colleagues and managers. That personal touch will make it harder for your boss to let you go, over other employees that may seem more like a cog in the wheel in the face of your enthusiasm and hard work.

While it’s impossible to ensure your career will never be affected by a recession, there are roles with lower risks — and ways for you to ensure your own role is as secure as possible. If you’re still concerned, make sure you’re saving up in an emergency fund, paying off any credit card debt you have, and are taking the time to network.


Keertana Anandraj
Keertana Anandraj is a recent college grad living in San Francisco. When she isn’t conducting international macroeconomic research at her day job, you can find her in the spin room or planning her next adventure.

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