15+ Recession-Proof Jobs And Best Skills For Career Stability

Recession-Proof Jobs.
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While layoffs can be due to bad leadership and business decision missteps, they often happen due to economic storms that lead to a recession. 

And though it can be a scary time for your job security, there are recession-proof jobs and skills that can help protect you during that period. Naturally, there is no guarantee of financial peace during layoffs, but it does give you a better shot at some safety. 

Below you’ll find jobs that are recession-proof and top skills to help ensure you have some career stability, no matter what the market is doing. 

What Makes A Recession-Proof Job?

Although it would be awesome if all jobs were recession-proof, it’s just not the reality. So what makes a job more stable than others during bad economic climates? 

It typically comes down to three key areas: 

  • Your job is part of an industry that is essential to keep society functioning properly. (i.e. healthcare, public utilities, etc.)
  • You have specialized training, degrees, and experiences that are also essential to everyday life. (i.e. accountants, lawyers, etc.)
  • You work in an industry and field that solves a common and necessary problem for people.

Best Recession-Proof Jobs and Careers

Recession-proof jobs are ones where demand is strong, even when the economy is unstable or uncertain.

These are career fields that can typically withstand challenging times and have the best chance of avoiding layoffs when a company has to let people go. 

Of course, it doesn’t mean you are completely safe. But there is a high probability that you’ll have job security and might even thrive more when the economy struggles. 

1. Healthcare Professional

Healthcare careers like a nurse, physicians, etc. are usually very safe during a recession. People need essential health services and the economy does not change that need. And job stability is one of the top contributors to stress, which can lead to increased health issues. 

2. Federal Employee

No matter your view on politics, the government is still an important function no matter the shape of the economy. And whether that seems fair or not, federal jobs typically are quite safe when other industries are struggling.  

3. Law Enforcement

Another recession-proof job can be something specific within law enforcement. Think of jobs like the police, FBI, investigators, etc. It’s been shown that crime rates tend to rise during recessions, although more from a financial side than violent crimes. 

According to some crime trends, during 1980, 1990, and 2008 recessions, fraud offenses increased between 5% and 10%. Historical data also suggested that insurance claims and fraud skyrocket during times of recession.

4. Software Developer

Although the tech industry can get hit hard during recessions, some jobs within these companies tend to withstand layoffs. 

And being a software developer is one of those jobs. Mainly because they are helping maintain systems, products, and fixing other software issues that are still important for a tech business to function.  

5. Cybersecurity

No matter what industry today, companies are vulnerable to hacking and other cyberattacks. It’s a huge problem that creates various disasters to an organization’s finances and reputation. 

And it’s why cybersecurity professionals are in high demand and tend to keep their jobs during layoffs. This is sometimes a job you can find as a remote or hybrid option. 

6. Pharmacist

Similar to other healthcare professions, pharmacists also are great recession-proof jobs. People still need their medicine and other prescriptions, which are life-saving for some. There is always a demand for pharmacists and typically this field continues strong in tough economies. 

7. Education Services

Just like some of the others on this list, education continues even when times are tough. It’s an essential part of our lives that keeps society functioning. This career field can include teachers, professors, school administrators, special education, and more. And there is an opportunity for some of these roles to be remote, like virtual teaching. 

8. Utility Services

Public services are always essential, even during recessions. These are people that ensure your electricity, water, and waste management are operating smoothly. There are a whole array of jobs in this field including electricians, utility managers, and many more. 

9. Physical Therapist

While you can bucket this under healthcare, it’s also somewhat different. While the physical therapist isn’t diagnosing or prescribing medications, they are helping people recover back to normal. 

Usually, this is after surgery or other injuries to help get people active again. This career also does not stop during recessions as the demand is strong. 

10. Public Transit

Public transit, like buses, subways, and trains continue to be in demand during recessions. For one, there are still people going to work who may not use their own vehicles. And second, if high inflation is also an issue, it can be cheaper for people to use public transportation over their own car (gas, maintenance costs). 

So those jobs like bus drivers, maintenance and repair teams, conductors, etc. have job security.

Other Recession-Proof Jobs To Consider

11. Insurance Providers 

12. Social Worker

13. Judiciary Professionals

14. IT Specialists

15. Financial Services

16. Veterinary 

17. Delivery Worker

18. Mental Health Professional

Recession-Proof Skills

So what if you don’t technically fall into a recession-proof job field? Is there still hope to keep your job during these times? There is! 

By enabling and working on the right skills, you can ensure you stand out as an essential employee. Showcasing these skills gives you more power and opportunity in the eyes of management. 

Here are some essential recession-proof skills to master. 

  • Communication
  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Adaptability  
  • Positivity 
  • Self-management 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Organizational 
  • Technology skills 
  • Analytical thinker
  • Project management
  • Multitasking
  • Strong ability to collaborate

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More Tips to Help Make Yourself Recession Proof

No matter what career field or skills you have, there are a few more tips you can do to help keep your job during a recession. 

  • Be visible among various teams – Engage, share work, and offer to help where they need it. 
  • Speak up and share ideas – Don’t be afraid to share ideas, thoughts, or things you’ve noticed with co-workers and managers. 
  • Show your work before being asked – You don’t want a manager or company leader to always ask you about projects, tasks, or results. Be proactive and deliver ahead. 
  • Provide solutions when things go wrong – Not every part of your job goes perfectly. Instead, call out what didn’t work, why, and your proposed solution to improve. Much better than hiding or having no answer. 

You don’t need to suck up to the boss, nor should you. That may save you a little if the manager takes a liking to you, but that will only get you so far. 

Have self-worth and prove your value if you want to maintain your position during unstable economies. 

Even with these above tips, there is no guarantee of job safety. I’ve unfortunately been at companies where great people doing awesome work are still let go. But it all will give you a better chance to avoid being laid off. 

Final Thoughts

Is any job or career really completely recession-proof? Not quite, but there are jobs, industries and ways to ensure you better protect your job security in unstable economies. 

And if you have lazy coworkers or those not willing to plan ahead, you will have a better chance of weathering the storm. Hopefully, the above jobs and skills help you adjust or improve your career. 

Looking to find a recession-proof job and work remotely? Check out The Remote Work Junkie Job Board and discover your next golden career opportunity.

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About Todd Kunsman

Todd is the founder of Remote Work Junkie and has been featured in numerous publications like Business Insider, HuffPost, CNBC, and more. He’s been a remote work advocate for close to a decade and has been working remotely full-time for 5+ years. He’s also a marketing, personal finance, and music nerd 🤓

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