68 Recession-proof jobs in 2024

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Contents

  1. What are recession-proof jobs?
  2. 68 recession-proof jobs
  3. What are recession-proof skills?
  4. What jobs are most at-risk during an economic downturn?
  5. How to build recession-proof skills
  6. Recession-proof your future

In recent years, factors like the economy, COVID-19, sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI), have transformed — or threatened to transform — the workforce. It’s natural that many workers, then, are interested in recession-proof jobs.

According to a 2023 study, 85% of American professionals(opens new window) are thinking about their job security. And 78% predict the United States will experience an economic recession in 2024. Rising inflation and interest rates(opens new window) have also caused many workers to reevaluate their salaries and look for higher-paying jobs.

The good news is that the economy is cyclical—it goes through periods of high and slow growth. Although there isn’t one industry or profession that’s completely recession-proof, some high-demand careers have more job security than others.

If you’re thinking about your next career move, we’ll dive into the best recession-proof jobs for 2024 and how to future-proof your skills.

What are recession-proof jobs?

You don’t need to be an economics expert to find a recession-proof job. However, understanding basic economic concepts can help you identify the careers most likely to provide long-term security.

The National Bureau of Economic Research(opens new window) defines a recession as a significant, widespread decline in economic activity lasting more than a few months. Experts use many indicators to identify economic recessions, including employment and consumer spending.

Recession-proof jobs remain in demand even when the economy shrinks and inflation rises. Typically, recession-proof careers meet these criteria:

  1. Essential products and services - Consumers may eliminate luxuries during tough economic times but still need essentials like groceries and healthcare.
  2. Desirable skills - Organizations consistently need highly skilled experts in cybersecurity, data science, and medicine.
  3. Adaptable industries - Some industries and companies thrive more than others during economic uncertainty.
  4. Diverse customers - Many sectors have broad client bases, such as insurance, logistics, and pharmaceuticals.

68 recession-proof jobs

No one can predict the future, but recession-proof jobs may offer more financial security than other career paths. Also, 37% of workers(opens new window) prioritize job security when making a career change.

Fortunately, there are many careers with high job security. Here are 68 recession-proof careers to help you plan for your future.

1. Software Engineers and Developers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job openings for Software Developers to increase by 26% between 2022 and 2032(opens new window). Because software engineering jobs are versatile, they offer excellent job security. All industries—from healthcare to tech—employ Software Developers.

Along with a positive job outlook, Software Engineers and Developers often appear at the top of the highest-paying jobs lists. For example, the average salary for Software Engineers ranges from $162,000 for more specialized, senior roles to $78,000 for more general roles like Web Developers.

There are many exciting Software Engineer career paths to choose from, including:

  1. Back-End Developer
  2. Data Engineer
  3. DevOps Engineer
  4. Front-End Developer
  5. Full Stack Developer
  6. Game Developer
  7. Mobile App Developer
  8. Security Developer
  9. Site Reliability Engineer

Software engineering is one of the highest-leverage careers to break into. Unlike other high-paying careers, you don’t need a college degree. Many professionals start with a bootcamp or apprenticeship program, like Multiverse, which is an ideal option when there’s economic uncertainty.

Unlike college, which is expensive and takes you out of the workforce, Multiverse’s software engineering apprenticeships are tuition-free. Plus, you’ll earn a competitive salary as you learn to code and gain other essential skills.

2. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is one of the highest-paying and most recession-proof jobs. All industries must protect valuable data, so the demand for cybersecurity experts is high.

There are over 570,000 cybersecurity job openings(opens new window) in the U.S. The BLS categorizes cybersecurity as Information Security Analysts(opens new window) and expects jobs to grow 32% over the next decade.

At this rate, cybersecurity is the fifth fastest-growing career(opens new window) in the U.S. In addition, the median salary for cybersecurity professionals is around $112,000, with senior roles earning more.

Cybersecurity professionals must have a solid grasp of computer science concepts, such as data structures and operating systems. They also use programming languages like Python and PowerShell to automate security tasks, identify threats, and respond to incidents.

Popular cybersecurity career paths include:

  1. Chief Information Security Officer
  2. Cybersecurity Analyst
  3. Cybersecurity Engineer
  4. Incident Responder
  5. Information Security Analyst
  6. Security Administrator

3. Finance

Finance jobs can be surprisingly recession-proof. Financial professionals help individuals and organizations manage money and investments. During economic fluctuations, businesses and individuals rely on financial experts to minimize losses and maximize profits.

The BLS predicts that over 911,000 new business and finance occupations(opens new window) will be created annually from 2022 to 2032. Some finance careers have a higher growth rate and salary expectations. For example, Financial Analysts earn a median salary of $96,220, while Accountants earn $78,000.

The skills you need to land a finance job vary depending on the role, too. Financial Analysts learn advanced analytics to interpret financial data and forecast future trends. Portfolio Managers use risk management tools to make strategic investments.

The finance industry has a broad range of career opportunities to choose from, including:

  1. Financial Analyst
  2. Quantitative Analyst
  3. Financial Manager
  4. Investment Banker
  5. Personal Financial Advisor
  6. Portfolio Manager
  7. Private Equity Associate
  8. Stockbroker
  9. Accountant
  10. Actuary
  11. Credit Analyst

4. Government jobs

Approximately 24 million people(opens new window) work for local, state, and federal governments across America.

Historically, government jobs have offered high job security during economic downturns. These positions generally get paid from tax revenue, so they’re usually more recession-proof than jobs in sales-driven industries.

Also, laws and unions may protect certain government workers from unexpected layoffs and budget cuts. For example, Reduction in Force regulations(opens new window) may require the federal government to offer employees a different position if their current role gets eliminated when a recession hits.

Government positions may offer six-figure salaries. To the point — the average federal salary(opens new window) is $101,000, and employees received an average pay raise of 5.2% starting in January 2024.

Government employees work in areas like administration, education, public welfare, and recreation. Here are a few government jobs with high job security:

  1. Air Traffic Controller
  2. Auditor
  3. Border Patrol Agent
  4. Compliance Officer
  5. Firefighter
  6. Logistician
  7. Patent Administrator
  8. Securities Compliance Examiner
  9. Utility Worker

5. Healthcare professionals

The healthcare industry employs an estimated 17 million Americans(opens new window). The BLS forecasts that there will be over 1.8 million healthcare job openings(opens new window) yearly from 2022 to 2032.

Healthcare workers provide essential services, so they typically have more job security during economic fluctuations.

The aging population will also contribute to the rising demand for healthcare services in the coming decades. Between 2020 and 2040, the number of Americans aged 65 and older(opens new window) will grow from 55.7 million to 80.8 million—a 40% increase.

Healthcare professionals earn a median salary of $77,760. However, highly skilled workers can achieve much higher wages. The median salary for Physicians and Surgeons is more than $229,000, while Pharmacists make an average of $132,570.

Popular healthcare jobs include:

  1. Dental Assistant
  2. Health Information Technologist
  3. Home Health Aide
  4. Pharmacist
  5. Physical Therapist
  6. Public Health Data Analyst
  7. Registered Nurse
  8. Social Worker
  9. Speech-Language Pathologist
  10. Veterinarian

6. Law

Legal professionals help corporations and individuals understand and comply with laws and regulations. Those who work in law deal with issues that happen no matter the economic climate—civil rights, crime, divorce, intellectual property rights, and more.

The BLS projects around 92,000 job openings for legal professionals(opens new window) each year, and law occupations pay an average salary of $95,170.

Career paths in the legal sector include:

  1. Court Reporter
  2. Criminal Defense Attorney
  3. Judge
  4. Lawyer
  5. Legal Assistant
  6. Mediator
  7. Paralegal
  8. Police Officer

7. Education

Education careers tend to have lower earning potential than others on this list. However, this sector has one of the highest rates of job security because education is an essential service. Teacher unions also offer job protections for many educators.

The education industry(opens new window) will add around 857,000 jobs yearly over the next decade.

Administrative and university faculty careers can offer high salaries. For example, Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals earn an average salary of $101,320, while Postsecondary Teachers make $80,840.

In addition, those working at private rather than public institutions tend to earn more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also fueled a surge in demand for online learning. Between 2024 and 2028, the online education market(opens new window) is projected to grow by 11% and reach over 82 million users in the United States. Online educators need strong communication skills and the ability to adapt traditional teaching methods to new formats.

Here are a few jobs in the education industry:

  1. College Professor
  2. Corporate Trainer
  3. Education Consultant
  4. Instruction Coordinator
  5. School Administrator
  6. School Librarian
  7. Teacher
  8. Teacher Assistant

8. Mental health

Mental health professionals offer support and treatment for individuals with mental illness, trauma, and substance use disorders. They also help people cope with financial stress and job insecurity during economic downturns.

The BLS predicts that over 200,000 mental health jobs(opens new window) will open annually. Some careers have a higher growth rate. For instance, the demand for substance abuse counselors will increase by 18%, while the employment of marriage and family therapists will grow by 15%.

A mental healthcare professional needs active listening skills and empathy to understand their clients’ needs. They also understand how to apply different counseling techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Recession-proof jobs in the mental health sector include:

  1. Clinical Psychologist
  2. Community Health Worker
  3. Marriage and Family Therapist
  4. Psychiatric Technician
  5. Psychiatrist
  6. Psychologist
  7. Social Worker

What are recession-proof skills?

Recession-proof skills make it easier to adapt to a new career path or industry during an economic slump. The top recession-proof skills include:

  1. Communication and sales - All industries need workers who can effectively interact with clients, and help generate revenue.
  2. Programming languages - Most organizations use software and other technology, so knowledge of popular programming languages like JavaScript and Python can make you an appealing job candidate.
  3. Project management - Managing complex projects is a universal skill that can help you excel in any industry.

These abilities are in high demand in multiple sectors and won’t lose value during a recession.

What jobs are most at-risk during an economic downturn?

Some industries feel the impact of an economic downturn more than others. These industries tend to get hit the hardest.

  1. Hospitality and tourism - Many cut down on vacations and travel to save money.
  2. Entertainment and leisure - People tend to seek inexpensive, at-home forms of entertainment during a recession.
  3. Retail - Sales of non-essential goods like cosmetics and new cars typically drop during an economic recession.

How to build recession-proof skills

Building recession-proof skills can help you prepare for the future. Plus, these abilities may lead to career advancement and higher pay during periods of economic security and growth.

1. Continuously develop in-demand and transferable skills

Industries and technology evolve constantly, so you need to continuously update your skills to stay relevant. Building versatile skills that transfer across positions and industries will help you prepare for a promotion or pursue a more recession-proof job.

Start by auditing your skills to detect knowledge gaps. Study the LinkedIn profiles and resumes of top people in your field to see which skills you’re missing. It’s also helpful to network with professionals who have your dream career.

Next, seek out opportunities for upskilling through apprenticeships, online courses, conferences, or certifications.

2. Gain work experience and build connections with apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are one of the most effective ways to develop a professional network and learn recession-proof skills.

Multiverse apprentices get hands-on training from a leading employer. If you become an apprentice, you’ll also earn a salary while you develop your skills. Because you’re working directly with a company, you’ll gain valuable work experience that bootcamps and online courses lack.

3. Freshen up your personal branding often

Your personal brand reflects your experience, values, skills, and other factors that will influence hiring decisions.

Updating your personal branding will help you land new job opportunities that appeal to you. Here are five ways to refresh your brand:

  1. Build a portfolio of projects to display your creative and technical skills.
  2. Continuously update your skills by building your knowledge through courses, certificates, and more.
  3. Delete unprofessional or irrelevant posts from your career-related social media profiles.
  4. Present at conferences in your field to establish your expertise and network with colleagues.
  5. Share your industry knowledge through your website, blogs, LinkedIn posts, email, or other media.

Recession-proof your future

While no industry or career is completely safe from economic downturns, choosing a recession-proof career can increase your long-term job security.

A Multiverse apprenticeship allows you to develop in-demand job skills that employers need even when economic conditions change. Most Multiverse apprenticeships only take 12 to 15 months to complete so that you can jumpstart your career quickly.

To get started, apply for an apprenticeship(opens new window). You’ll answer a few questions about your interests, skills, and career goals. Then, we’ll chat with you further to help you land a paid apprenticeship that strengthens your job prospects and earning potential.

Team Multiverse

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