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Top 10 Recession Proof Jobs – Do They Exist?

By Kalen Smith

psychologist jobLet’s face it. Recessions are difficult. You’ll know this best if you’re out of work and looking for a job.

But even if you’re employed, you may still feel anxiety about losing your job or you may have had to take a pay cut to keep it. Some professions are hit harder than others during a recession, such as jobs in construction and finance. This is because demand decreases for their products when the economy isn’t doing well.

However, for some professionals, demand stays constant in spite of a down economy, such as educators, health professionals, and law enforcement. In fact, such jobs may even appear to be “recession proof.”

Examples of the Best Recession Proof Jobs

A recession proof job is one that remains in high demand even through a bad economy. Though none of these great careers are entirely recession proof, they’re more stable than most others when times are hard.

1. Medical Professionals
People don’t stop getting sick just because the economy takes a nose-dive. While it’s true they may forego some medical care due to financial limitations, there remain plenty of problems, such as those requiring major surgery, that people will typically treat.

Also, during a recession, individual and family stress factors increase, such that public health in general may actually suffer more. No matter how you look at it, nurses, physicians, and physical therapists remain in high demand.

Nurses average about $50,000 a year, physicians about $175,000, and physical therapists about $60,000.

2. Mental Health Providers
Psychologists and other therapists may actually be in higher demand during a recession than when the economy does well. This is because people are stressed out about their finances, which can lead to a range of other personal and interpersonal psychological issues.

Not coincidentally, the divorce rate increases during a recession, which means that marriage counselors are also in high demand. Professionals who are dedicated to personal crisis transformation – especially if their services are covered by insurance – have job security during a recession perhaps more so than during other times.

Psychologists and marriage and family counselors average near $50,000 a year, though salaries can range up to $94,000 a year.

3. Energy
Energy is as basic to human life as food and shelter. We need energy to drive our cars, heat or cool our homes, even to take a shower. The need for energy does not go away during a recession, though people may become more interested in conserving it.

Moreover, the world continues to look for alternative forms of energy and green energy technologies. For example, the “green” industry continues to grow substantially, though demand remains high for fossil fuels as well.

Employees in the energy industry, such as engineers and technicians, will continue to find employment. On average, they make about $65,000 a year.

green energy engineers

4. Law Enforcement
Crime tends to rise dramatically when people feel desperate and experience serious financial problems. However, this field isn’t entirely recession proof. It’s more “recession resistant,” considering that recent rounds of state and federal budget cuts have resulted in the layoffs of many police officers.

However, it took three years before police officers even became concerned about their jobs. Though they haven’t entirely escaped the recession “burn,” police officers still have more job security than many other professionals.

The salary of a police officer is heavily dependent on geography. NYPD officers average about $70,000 a year, while the national average is between $29,000 and $76,000 a year.

5. Internet Professionals
Businesses must compromise their marketing budget when the economy deteriorates. This means they have to be smarter with how they spend it. One solution is to hire website designers, search engine optimization (SEO) experts, programmers, and social media marketers to promote their company.

Internet-based businesses also pick up as customers troll the web for the best deals or to save money on gas. SEO experts make about $50,000 a year, while the average PHP programmer makes close to $60,000.

6. College Professor
When the economy is bad, the unemployed often go back to school. They want to avoid a job-less gap on their resumes, improve their marketability, and preoccupy themselves while they wait for the job market to improve.

The average associate college professor makes between $42,000 and $85,000 a year. Their salary is heavily dependent on tenure, location, and their field.

college professor students

7. Senior Care Providers
As the baby boomers continue to age, the level of care they need increases. Nursing homes are looking for staff to serve this aging population, and regardless of what is going on with the economy, elderly people will continue to need care.

Even if they can’t afford it, the country still has programs in place to pay for care. In fact, the demand for senior care is expected to increase in the coming years as more boomers approach 70. A nursing care manager can make $45,000 to $85,000 a year.

8. Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
Since people continue to need medication during a recession and insurance continues to cover the expense (to some extent), there is a steady demand for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Also, more people are prescribed antidepressants and other stress-relieving medications in order to cope with tough times.

The average pharmacist makes between $50,000 and $122,000 a year.

9. IT Staff
Information technology professionals remain in high demand, regardless of what is going on with the economy. Though many jobs can be outsourced, others need to remain on-site. Plus, since companies need to become more efficient during a recession, they often seek IT services which have been proven one of the best ways to streamline business processes.

Programmers can make anywhere from $30,000 to $90,000 a year. Network administrators make about $35,000 to $70,000 a year. IT is one of the high paying jobs that don’t require a college degree.

10. International Business Professionals
Many businesses are building market share overseas and outsourcing their work to other countries in an attempt to increase revenues and cut costs. Therefore, professionals who know how to conduct business internationally are in high demand.

For example, an international human resources payroll manager makes a median salary of about $79,000 a year.

Final Word

Though every profession is likely to feel some impact from an ugly economy, those listed above will tend to offer more security than others. If you’re currently out of a job, attending school, or contemplating a career move, consider the above professions in order to find a job soon and safeguard your future.

How has the recession affected your job?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

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Kalen Smith
Kalen Smith has written for a variety of financial and business sites. He is a weekly contributor for Young Entrepreneur and has worked as a guest blogger on behalf of Consumer Media Network. He holds an MBA in finance from Clark University in Worcester, MA.

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  • http://www.squarepennies.blogspot.com Maggie@SquarePennies

    All good choices. If you are unemployed it could be a good idea to switch to a health care career, no matter what your background is in. Some health care careers take only 1 or 2 years training and pay well. It’s worth your time to do your homework on these!

    • http://onlinerookies.com Kalen Internet Marketing Guy

      Thank you Maggie! I have a couple of friends who have done this very thing. One of them was an artist but was really having a hard time paying the bills that way. She’s going back to school to be an X-ray tech now. Should get her some great opportunities later.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com Kalen Smith

      Thank you Maggie! I have a couple of friends who have done this very thing. One of them was an artist but was really having a hard time paying the bills that way. She’s going back to school to be an X-ray tech now. Should get her some great opportunities later.

  • http://www.squarepennies.blogspot.com Maggie@SquarePennies

    Kalen, I was in the hospital recently and remarked at how many young men had so many of the jobs–more than I remember in previous years at the same hospital. The nurse said many of them used to be policemen who had been laid off when municipalities had to cut their budgets. Things are changing and I applaud anyone who adapts.

    • http://onlinerookies.com Kalen Internet Marketing Guy

      I can certainly agree with that. Some people might be too stubborn or proud to change professions, but those that do will be much more successful in life.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com Kalen

      I can certainly agree with that. Some people might be too stubborn or proud to change professions, but those that do will be much more successful in life.

    • Kalensmith

      I can certainly agree with that. Some people might be too stubborn or proud to change professions, but those that do will be much more successful in life.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com Kalen Smith

      I can certainly agree with that. Some people might be too stubborn or proud to change professions, but those that do will be much more successful in life.

  • http://www.manhattancalumet.com/ Dennis The Menace

    I don”t believe that theirs any profession today that is immune from elimination. Although their are professions that are more resistant to elimination that others

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