August 12, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Recession-Proof Jobs For All Skill Levels

In uncertain economic times, it's comforting to know there are jobs that tend to remain stable regardless of the broader financial landscape.

Whether you have a Ph.D. or are just starting in the job market, there's likely a recession-proof career waiting for you.

Let’s explore some of these jobs, their duties, and why they remain steadfast during economic downturns.

1. Healthcare Professionals

A nurse helping a patientpikselstock, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: Varies widely. Registered nurses (RN) might earn a median of $75,000 annually, while physicians can earn upwards of $200,000+.

Job Duties:

  • Patient care and diagnosis.
  • Medical record updates and maintenance.
  • Collaboration with other healthcare professionals.

Why it's recession-proof: Whether the economy is booming or busting, people will get sick and need medical care. 

The aging population also demands more healthcare services, ensuring continuous demand.

2. Utility Workers

Two utility workerston2530, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: Median wage of around $54,000.

Job Duties:

  • Maintenance and repair of public utility systems.
  • Routine inspections to ensure safety and efficiency.
  • Responding to emergency outages or breakdowns.

Why it's recession-proof: Everyone needs basic utilities like water, gas, and electricity. 

These services are fundamental, and their maintenance is a priority regardless of the economic climate.

3. Public Safety Officers (Police and Firefighters)

Emergency Servicesmario beauregard, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: The median wage is around $65,000 for police officers and $50,000 for firefighters.

Job Duties:

  • Responding to emergency calls and ensuring public safety.
  • Conducting investigations, enforcing laws, and maintaining order.
  • For firefighters, combating, and extinguishing fires.

Why it's recession-proof: Crime and emergencies don’t halt in a recession. 

Cities and towns prioritize safety, so these jobs often remain secure.

4. Education Professionals (especially in K-12)

Teacher teaching, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: Starting salaries for teachers hover around $40,000 but can grow with experience and additional qualifications.

Job Duties:

  • Delivering lessons and educational content.
  • Assessing and grading student performance.
  • Engaging in professional development and school-related activities.

Why it's recession-proof: Education remains a priority, and while there may be budget cuts in times of recession, the need for qualified teachers remains.

5. IT Professionals

Man working on, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: An IT manager might earn a median of $146,000, while IT support can start around $54,000.

Job Duties:

  • Maintenance of computer systems and networks.
  • Ensuring cybersecurity and protecting data.
  • Offering technical support to staff and clients.

Why it's recession-proof: The digital age demands IT professionals. Even in downturns, businesses require computer systems, networks, and cybersecurity.

6. Funeral Directors

A couple talking to a funeral directorLisa F. Young, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: Median wage of around $58,000.

Job Duties:

  • Managing funeral ceremonies.
  • Preparing the deceased for burial or cremation.
  • Handling paperwork and legal compliance.

Why it's recession-proof: It might sound morbid, but death is inevitable. 

People will always require the services of funeral homes, making this profession relatively recession-resistant.

7. Accountants and Auditors

Group of people sitting around a desk looking at a computerJonoErasmus, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: Median wage of about $71,000.

Job Duties:

  • Reviewing financial statements and ensuring they comply with laws and regulations.
  • Computing taxes owed, preparing tax returns, and ensuring prompt payment.
  • Inspecting account books and systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures.

Why it's recession-proof: Every business, large or small, needs to manage its finances, especially during economic downturns. 

Accountants and auditors help companies navigate through financial challenges, making their skills always in demand.

8. Public Transport Operators (Bus Drivers, Train Operators)

A bus driverSyda Productions, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: Median wage around $42,000 for bus drivers and $62,000 for subway and train operators.

Job Duties:

  • Transporting passengers to and from destinations.
  • Ensuring vehicle safety and routine maintenance.
  • Handling passenger inquiries and managing schedules.

Why it's recession-proof: Public transportation remains essential, especially in urban areas. 

Even during recessions, people need to get to work, school, and other vital places.

9. Grocery Store Workers

Two grocery store workersJacob Lund, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: For cashiers and clerks, the median wage is around $25,000. Store managers can earn significantly more, often exceeding $60,000 depending on store size and location.

Job Duties:

  • Assisting customers with their shopping needs.
  • Stocking shelves and maintaining inventory levels.
  • Handling cash and operating cash registers.

Why it's recession-proof: People still need to eat and buy essentials, even during economic downturns. 

While luxury or specialty retailers might suffer, grocery stores often remain stable or even see increased business as more people opt to eat at home.

10. Mental Health Professionals (e.g., therapists, counselors)

A woman and a therapistIlona, Adobe Stock

Approximate salary: Depending on qualifications and location, therapists and counselors have a median wage of around $46,000, with potential for much higher earnings with advanced degrees and specialties.

Job Duties:

  • Evaluating clients' mental and emotional health.
  • Developing and implementing therapeutic treatment plans.
  • Offering coping mechanisms and strategies.

Why it's recession-proof: Economic downturns can increase stress and anxiety levels, leading more people to seek counseling and therapy. 

Mental health is a growing concern, and the need for qualified professionals in this area remains steady regardless of the economy.


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