9 Jobs That Will Not Exist in 2020

Jan 31, 2019

Remember that old saying about buggy whip makers being driven out of business by the automobile? Guess what? There are not only people who still make buggy whips, but entire buggies for Old West theme parks.

There are also people who still set metal type by hand, print books on handmade paper and bind them – for the collector’s market. That does not mean that some jobs are not in danger. The speed with which technology and societies are changing will soon make several fields become obsolete. Here are the nine disappearing jobs in 2020.

1 Paper currency forgers

Not only is the worldwide economy becoming increasingly cashless, what currency does change hands has become so sophisticated that it costs a forger more to fake that the face value is worth.

More: 8 Lucrative Jobs You Don’t Need a Degree for

As for the underground economy, not only is the technology for telling genuine from fake bills readily available, trying to pass bad paper with people like that is simply not worth the risk.

2 Electronics repair

It is easier – and cheaper – to replace any electronic device rather than try to repair it.

Even sub-specialties such as data recovery will disappear as cloud storage becomes more readily available and cheaper.  

3 Indexer

By the end of the decade, the number of books published in hand copy only will be vanishingly small.

That means that text searching will supplant the old art of indexing.  

4 Map makers

Between global positioning systems and publicly available satellite imagery, the need for maps made the traditional way will disappear.

That is not to say that surveyors will be out of work – determining property boundaries will still be required, for example. But the technology has advanced to the point where it will not be necessary to be a civil engineer to handle the task.  

5 Shoe repair

Not just shoes, but almost any type of leather or cloth goods. Unless it is an heirloom hand-tied carpet or a treasured briefcase, it is just easier to buy new.

Handmade shoes, bespoke suits, and designer dresses will continue to be made for the upscale market, but the rest of us will buy off the hanger and not care, or even notice.  

6 Telephone switchboard operators

Jobs that were once dedicated to forwarding calls to the right desk, operating the photocopier, typing letters, and hand-entering data are just about gone. They will not be missed.

Even if this job position will survive another year, it will definitely disappear in the nearest future.  

7 Government mail carriers

Benjamin Franklin had a good, even an important, idea at the end of the 18th century. Having the full strength and support of the federal government guarantee that the mail would get through was vital to the nation.

Now, the majority – the great majority – of mail handled by the U.S. Postal Service is composed of commercial catalogs and sweepstakes offers. The rest will soon be handled by private companies, and for smaller fees, too.  

8 Fighter pilots

The aircraft have become so sophisticated – and complicated – that it takes years (and millions of dollars) to train their pilots.

Who is going to risk that sort of investment when a cruise missile or drone can sneak in under the radar at a fraction of the cost and without risk to a human asset? The Pentagon has already strongly hinted that the new F-35 is probably the last manned fighter that will be built.

9 Hamburger flipper

The cost of finding, training and keeping employees at fast food franchise restaurants has been prohibitive for years – far out of balance with the prices that the public will pay for the food. The astroturfed demonstrations for $15.00 per hour wages for fast food workers were not really the breaking point.

Plans for automating three quarters of those jobs has been in the works for several years. This will also be a blow to the “would you like fries with that?” punchline industry.