These Are the Most Secure Jobs in America

There’s always something waiting to be discovered


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There’s always something waiting to be discovered

Job Safety in Numbers

After two tumultuous years, workers crave job security and are in a position to get it. We’re in a moment of strong wage growth and “a severe worker shortage” as unemployment has fallen to just 3.6%. According to a recent Gallup poll, 71% of Americans say it's a good time to find a quality job, and only 15% think it's likely they will lose their job in the coming year. But feelings of security can change as the economy changes, so there's always good reason to pursue a job that is likely to stick around. We examined the percent increase or decrease in unemployment in the year leading up to March within professional categories tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The professions ranking high on our list experienced the greatest drop in unemployment and were deemed secure. Which ones came out on top? The results may surprise you.

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floor care machine

Building and Grounds Cleaning Maintenance Occupations

Job Examples: Grounds maintenance workers; janitors and building cleaners; pest control workers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 26%

Although the changing corporate landscape may mean fewer jobs in this category, America’s aging population will keep laborers in this category employed with residential work.

Related:What Really Gross, Dangerous, and Grueling Jobs Pay

High angle view of workers in construction site

Construction and Extraction Occupations

Job Examples: Construction inspectors; construction laborers; electricians; solar voltaic installers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 26%

Growth in the construction industry is driving demand for workers. Although builders are contending with raw materials shortages and supply chain disruptions, the calls for residential housing in particular are keeping this industry lively.

Related: Jobs That Have Disappeared From American Life

Profile view of young female programmer working on computer software in the office.

Computer and Mathematical Occupations

Job Examples: Computer programmers; Web developers; data scientists

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 32%

Nearly every industry needs computer scientists of some stripe. This field is set to outpace growth in other fields by 2030, with a 22% increase expected. Cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data science are particularly needed.

Luxury Clothing Store for Men

Sales and Related Occupations

Job Examples: Cashiers; travel agents; retail sales workers; real estate brokers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 32%

This diverse category has contradictory patterns at play: While continuing growth of ecommerce is expected to lower demand for retail workers, acurrent real estate boom is putting brokers to work.

Freshly baked scones

Production Occupations

Job Examples: Bakers; butchers; machinists; welders

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 34%

Although this category is showing a moderate recovery compared with other sectors, mechanization is expected to stall job growth. Experts are projecting that fewer workers will be needed in this category in the coming years.

Female Air Traffic Controller with Headset Talk on a Call in Airport Tower. Office Room is Full of Desktop Computer Displays with Navigation Screens, Airplane Flight Radar Data for the Team.

Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Job Examples: Air traffic controllers; flight attendants; traffic-trailer truck drivers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 34%

As the travel industry recovers, it pulls this job category along with it.

Firefighter protection gear on the fire truck bumper

Protective Service Occupations

Job Examples: Firefighters; police and detectives; correctional officers and bailiffs

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 35%

Although headlines say police officers are leaving the profession in droves,  labor data disproves these claims. Some cities, such as  Los Angeles, are planning to increase their total numbers for officers and firefighters.

Female architect

Architecture and Engineering Occupations

Job Examples: Architects; civil engineers; computer hardware engineers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 36%

Engineering occupations drive growth in this category. It’s thought that rebuilding infrastructure, renewable energy, oil and gas extraction, and robotics are creating demand.

Friendly female operator consulting client on hotline in call center

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

Job Examples: Bookkeepers; customer service representatives; receptionists

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 36%

Americans are back in the office — well, sort of. Even if office life as we knew it pre-pandemic  is a thing of the past, there’s still demand for support staff (some of whom may still be able to work remotely).

Friendly nurse supporting an eldery lady

Health Care Support Occupations

Job Examples: Home health aides; orderlies; medical transcriptionists

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 41%

As the health care industry continues to see staffing shortages, supporting occupations see job growth.

Financial advisor with clients

Business and Financial Operations Occupations

Job Examples: Agents; human resources specialists; tax preparers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 42%

Entering the top 10 most secure job categories in the country, this diverse field is seeing a strong recovery. These workers don’t just have job security to count on; they see a mean annual wage that’s $30,000 higher than the national wage.

Teacher helping pupils study in the classroom

Education, Training, and Library Occupations

Job Examples: Teachers; librarians; museum assistants

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 43%

The pandemic has pushed teachers to leave the profession in great numbers and  sooner than they expected. Hiring is quick and jobs are secure to keep pace with these resignations.

Asian Business man Manager sitting hold pen for signing applicant filling documents reports papers company application form or registering claim on office. Document Report and business busy Concept

Legal Occupations

Job Examples: Court reporters; arbitrators; paralegals and legal assistants

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 43%

Demand for lawyers isn’t the only thing causing this professional category to recover and grow. Firms pursuing efficiency are hiring paralegals and legal assistants. The dropping unemployment numbers in this category reflect that trend.  

Close up businessman using laptop, sitting at work desk

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations

Job Examples: Fine artists; interior designers; writers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 54%

As theaters, music venues, and movie theaters return to full operations, so too are the creative workerswho supports these physical spaces.

Chef placing finishing touches on a meal.

Food Preparation and Serving-Related Occupations

Job Examples: Bartenders; chefs and head cooks; servers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 55%

Food delivery services are waning as people return to in-person dining. Hiring in the food service industry shows it. The field is not only recovering, but growing. It’s not all about security, however, and workers in these fields fall into the lowest-paid group with their median annual wage of $28,400.

Repair service station with lifted modern cars being under maintenance and technicians on blurred background with many diode lamps. Auto service and technician concept

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations

Job Examples: Automotive body and glass repairers; heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers; wind turbine technicians

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 59%

Putting off regularly scheduled maintenance across sectors is a relic of the pandemic past, and this job category shows it.

Hairdresser in action...

Personal Care and Service Occupations

Job Examples: Hairstylists; child care workers; fitness trainers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 61% 

If you missed getting your hair cut, having your nails done, and going to the gym during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Professional care occupations are running at full throttle to make up for lost time, and they’re becoming more popular. Employment in this classification is anticipated to grow 22% up to 2030; that’s a faster rate than other job types.

Principal answers questions during orientation
SDI Productions/istockphoto

Management Occupations

Job Examples: School principals; human resources managers; sales managers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 63%

Whether they are boomerang employees — those returning to jobs after resigning — or being rehired in positions eliminated during the pandemic, managers are streaming back into the workforce. A positive economic outlook is also leading organizations to launch and expand, another factor causing this  professional category to grow.

There’s always something waiting to be discovered

Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations

Job Examples: Biochemists and biophysicists; economists; agricultural and food scientists

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 65%

Growth in biomedical research, psychology, and environmental protection fields drives job growth here, and there’s good news for job seekers in these fields: The annual median wage was above $72,000, about $27,000 higher than the national average.  

People participating in corporate teambuilding or rehabilitation session activity

Community and Social Service Occupations

Job Examples: Health education specialists and community health workers; marriage and family therapists; social workers

Percent Decrease in Unemployment: 78%

With counselors and social workers in high demand, it’s no surprise this category has seen a hefty drop in unemployment claims. The field is expected to continue to grow at 12% up to 2030 — a faster clip than other professions.

Related: Most Satisfying Jobs That Also Pay Well