10+ Recession-Proof Jobs: The Safe and Volatile Industries


No job or industry is guaranteed safe from a recession. But it’s a fact that some of them are more stable than others. Learn more about them...

It’s more accurate to describe them as resistant. 100% recession-proof jobs don't truly exist, unfortunately. 

No job or industry is guaranteed safe from a recession. But it’s a fact that some of them are more stable than others. One sector could be at risk of significant losses whereas another could begin to experience sudden demand. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t protect your career though. 

There are things you can do to prepare yourself, which is what we’ll also be going over in this article. 

What Makes a Job Recession-Proof? 

A job described as recession-proof means it’s generally stable despite the impacts of an economic downturn.

Here’s what the qualities of such jobs look like:

  • Businesses need them to help keep up with the demand
  • Enables organizations to continue functioning 
  • Society wouldn’t be the same without these roles

In other words, they’re jobs with long-term importance that companies will always need. 

Without having a skilled professional to carry out certain responsibilities, it leads to gaps in the workplace. It then becomes difficult to maintain quality service for customers and clients. 

And that’s a key point. 

On top of the jobs themselves, it’s also important to understand how well an industry gets by during times of a recession. Not all types of companies do well. Some may grow whereas a vast majority will struggle and even decline in growth. 

That said, here’s what a recession-proof industry looks like: 

  • It serves basic essential human needs
  • Has a considerable effect on the quality of everyday life
  • Allows organizations to continue to operate and function 

The List of Recession-Proof Jobs and Industries

Here are the industries that are more resistant to recessions: 

  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Education
  • Legal 

After an industry has been listed, we’ll go through a few jobs within that sector. 

1. Healthcare

The healthcare industry is generally considered to be resistant to a recession. As hospitals and clinics continue to operate, they’ll need medical professionals. 

Appointments could get canceled or postponed. It’s reasonable since expenses are high. Still, people are going to be paying for medical care and treatment. Good physical and mental health is crucial for a better lifestyle. 

Recession-Proof Jobs  in Healthcare 

  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Surgeon
  • Therapist
  • Pharmacist

2. Finance 

Taxes are here to stay. Personal and business finances too.

Organizations are still earning and spending money one way or another. They’ll need consultation on budgeting as well as financial decision-making. 

Asset management and investments are also important. Both individuals and companies will need help managing their portfolios and strategy. All the more reason to work with a finance professional

Recession-Proof Jobs in Finance

  • Accountants
  • Actuary
  • Financial analyst
  • Tax preparers

3. Information Technology (IT)

In the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic, organizations began to rely more on technology. 

Virtual meetings and online conferences replaced in-person meetings. People can now work remotely without having to commute to the office. Global team collaboration is becoming more common, AI is being integrated to work processes, and the list goes on. 

In other words, digital transformation. The forecasted global spending on digital transformation is in the realm of more than $1 trillion

Recession-Proof Jobs in IT

  • Cloud architect
  • DevOps engineers
  • Information security

4. Education 

There are still going to be students attending schools and universities. Professionals in education will be needed to guide them. 

However, the education industry doesn’t just relate to formal institutions. 

It also relates to online education platforms like Coursera and Udemy. In fact, the global e-learning market is projected to reach nearly $400 billion. This means there’s opportunities for course creators and online coaches. So if you’ve been thinking about doing a side hustle, this might be one worth considering. 

Recession-Proof Jobs in Education

  • Teachers
  • Private tutors
  • University professors

5. Legal

Society will always need law enforcement workers. 

Concerns for personal safety and belongings would arise if there was no one people could turn to. This doesn’t change during an economic downturn. 

Recession-Proof Jobs in Law Enforcement

  • Police officers
  • Firefighters
  • Lawyers

What Makes an Industry or Job Vulnerable in a Recession?

If they have the opposite qualities to one that’s recession-proof. So that means:

  • It doesn’t serve an essential human need
  • Minimal impact on the quality of everyday life
  • Doesn’t help organizations maintain how they operate

There’s a higher risk if the job is something that could easily be replaced, e.g. manual labor tasks being automated with AI. Or if it’s something a business could survive without, then the job may get cut to reduce expenses. 

4 Industries Affected the Most by a Recession 

We’ve gone through a few jobs and industries that tend to get by through a recession. How about the opposite? 

Here’s a list of volatile industries and jobs which usually get hit the hardest. 

1. Bars and Restaurants 

According to the National Restaurant Association, the sales revenue of this industry in the last recession ended $240 billion under the initial estimated forecast.

Some bars and restaurants were even forced to shut down as a result. 

During times like this, it’s normal for consumers to be more careful with their budgets and earnings. They’re less likely to go out and spend money. This doesn’t just apply to restaurants. But local retail and brick-and-mortar stores too. 

Vulnerable Jobs in Restaurants 

  • Bartender
  • Chef
  • Waiter/waitress

2. Travel and Tourism 

As people refrain from spending money, it means putting travel plans on hold. 

To be specific, up to 120 million jobs in tourism were put at risk during the last recession. 

Although budgeting becomes more serious, it doesn’t entirely stop some people from enjoying a vacation. What it does affect though is how long they stay and where they choose to stay.

Vulnerable Jobs in Travel and Tourism 

  • Flight attendant
  • Tour guide
  • Travel agent

3. Construction 

The effects of a recession are heavy in the construction industry. 

Projects are delayed as funding slows down and can even get canceled altogether. Not only is the contractor affected. Everyone else involved that’s needed for the project is affected too. 

Vulnerable Jobs in Construction

  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Site managers

4. Automotives

The automotive industry is another place where people cut back on spending. 

One exception is when it comes to repairs and maintenance. Compared to paying for a new vehicle, this is common as it’s a lot less expensive and more manageable. 

Vulnerable Jobs in Automotives

  • Motor vehicle salesman
  • Car manufacturing worker

Does This Mean It’s Time to Change Jobs? 

Don’t start writing a resignation letter for a new career path just yet. 

Even if you’re in any of the “safe” jobs or industries listed earlier, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be affected. While it’s true that some sectors perform better than others, there are ways you can prepare yourself to help ease job concerns. 

5 Things to Focus On to Help Ease Job Concerns 

1. Improve Your Skill Sets 

Always show up. Be the person responsible for getting valuable results. Constantly overachieve and exceed the company’s expectations. Doing each of these things on a regular basis can position you as a professional they can’t easily replace. 

This is why it’s important to become the best at your craft. Keep learning new skills and developing your technical knowledge to increase your value. 

2. Make a List of Potential Companies to Work For

Having a plan B helps in times of uncertainty where nothing is guaranteed. 

In this instance, making a list of potential companies to apply to and work for would be good to take into account. So then if worst comes to worst, you’ll know what you need to do and you’ll have a list of places to look to secure your next interview faster. 

3. Freelancing

Is there a skill or area of work you excel in that businesses would be willing to pay for? 

If so, offer it as a service. As more companies want to cut down on expenses and hire those who specialize in certain fields, it’s common to turn to freelancers. 

Based on research, it was projected that around 50% of the U.S. workforce will be made up of freelancers within the next few years. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the freelance market will be here to stay. 

People also want to be their own boss and have more flexibility, which is another reason for being a freelancer. The great resignation itself pushed workers to become freelancers too.  

4. Grow Your LinkedIn 

The more people you know and the bigger your network, the more job opportunities you could come across. 

In your spare time, focus on growing your LinkedIn. Make connections with different people in your industry and get active in the community. Recruiters who find you and are hooked by your LinkedIn profile may end up reaching out. 

Alternatively, you could be referred to for potential job openings. 

5. Update or Create a New Resume

To prepare for your job search at any given time, how to update resume

Or you might be better off how to write a resume. Either way, tailor it to the company’s job description and showcase your achievements. Have one ready at all times because you’ll never know when you might suddenly need it. 

Use AI for Free to Secure Job Interviews Faster

Recessions come and go. Not your skills or knowledge. 

The most recession-proof jobs are the ones where workers tend to be specialized. Being the best at what you do is one of the most effective ways to improve job security and protect your career. 

It’s why it’s always worth increasing your professional value by learning or developing new skills. 

All that being said, communicate your value effectively to the company you’re applying for. Tailor your resume and follow the best practices. 

If you’re looking to boost your job search, ai resume builder. It’s free and designed to:

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Prepare Yourself to Weather the Storm

Recessions are worrying times for many. 

But there are things within your control that you can change. Try doing more of the things we’ve mentioned earlier on a regular basis. Learn new skills, grow your LinkedIn network, and even consider going the freelance route. 

It’s also a good idea to have a customized resume ready to speed up the job search process. 

Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley

Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania is a career writer and editor who has helped hundreds of thousands of job seekers build resumes and cover letters that land interviews. He is a Rezi-acknowledged expert in the field of career advice and has been delivering job success insights for 4+ years, helping readers translate their work background into a compelling job application.

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