Recession-Proof Jobs For a Bad Economy

Life can be stressful for everyone in a recession, but exponentially so if you lose a job. If it’s something that concerns you, here are some jobs that should fare well in bad economies.

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Recessions-Proof Jobs

Finding a job is hard enough, but finding one that will leave you secure when the economy goes south is even more difficult. There’s no such thing as 100% recession-proof job. But there are jobs that are more likely to hold up during poor economic conditions.

Let’s also be clear, we don’t recommend picking jobs just because you might fare better in bad times. You always want to find a career based on what you like doing. A great career can last a lifetime, whereas a recession is a short term problem. Never sacrifice your long-term happiness for something that may or may not happen.

But if you check this list, and you find something your passionate about, but also happens to be a good job during a recession, you have a win-win scenario.

We tried to nail down some criteria for a recession-proof job, but the reality is there are all kinds. From jobs that only require a certificate, to those needing a master’s degree, you will find jobs that do well in poor economies.

Related: What To Do Next With My Life

Recession-Proof jobs & Careers

As the average age of baby boomers continues to grow, so does the job security of most people in the medical profession. Because of this growth, and the growing number of medical capabilities in general, this is a great job in a recession.
While it’s likely there will be growing pressure on the salaries of some doctors, the averages are still good. If you want to make the big bucks, look into specialty degrees.
Median Salary for General Practitioner: $201,100
Education Level: Doctoral Degree
Ok, so this one didn’t shock anybody after our top pick. Nonetheless, it deserves its spot near the top of this list. Where there are needs for doctors, there are needs for nurses. Actually, there’s even more need for nurses across the country than doctors.
From Registered Nurses to Nurse Practitioners, and so many more, there is a huge need. Most of the people that need a nurse will have that need regardless of whether we are in a recession.
Median Salary for Registered Nurse: $71,730 (varies for different types of nursing)
Education Level: Bachelor’s, Associates, or Certificate Degree
The need for social workers is large as they assist with many different issues. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 707,400 social workers in the United States.
In a recession, we actually see an uptick in many of the issues social workers address. Coupled with the fact that these jobs are typically government-funded, it leaves them largely untouched.
Median Salary: $50,470
Education Level: Bachelor’s, Associates, or Certificate Degree
Because of the growing dependence on computers in business, computer programming is essential. So many companies now depend on computer systems and other high-tech jobs both for sales and operations. They simply can’t let those systems go completely in the case of a recession.
While this profession will certainly see a downturn in most recessions, it’s not likely to be as steep as others.
Median Salary: $86,550
Education Level: Bachelor’s Degree
As with social workers, psychologists are likely to see an increase in demand. With the stress a recession brings on many people and families, their services are in high demand making it one of the most recession-proof jobs on the list.
As with many professions in a bad economy, they may see downward pressure on their salaries, but overall demand will remain.
Median Salary: $100,770
Education Level: Master’s Degree
Another job that is almost completely funded through tax dollars and remains in need during a recession. In fact, crime can see an uptick during times of economic heartache leading to higher demand in this area.
Law Enforcement is a great option for people who don’t want the office setting. And if college isn’t for you, it also allows you to avoid the 2-4 years of college required for some jobs.
Median Salary: $61,380
Education Level: High School Diploma
While some accounting outfits might see a reduction, many of these jobs are resistant to recession. People still need their taxes done, and business still need accountants to crunch the numbers.
If you really enjoy numbers, then considering a degree in accounting is a no-brainer.
Median Salary: $70,500
Education Level: Bachelor’s Degree
Jobs that are required to maintain critical infrastructure are typically good in a recession. Regardless of the economy, we’ll need to keep the lights on and the water running. At the same time, mother nature and other causes of utility issues will continue.
That leaves the demand largely unchanged for Utility workers and other critical skilled trade jobs.
Median Salary (electrical power-line Installers): $70,910
Education Level: High School Diploma
Fires happen in the best and worst of times. No doubt, this job takes a certain kind of person, and it’s not for everyone. If you’re a person who typically runs toward danger where others instinct is to run, being a firefighter might be a good fit for you.
Median Salary: $49,620
Education Level: Certificate-degree
As with Doctors and Nurses, Medical Assistants should see sustained demand in a recession. The offices and facilities that service the ill will continue to operate and need staff to function.
If you want to get into the medical profession, but don’t want to spend as much time in school, check out this profession. Not only is it one of the best jobs in a recession, but demand is going to continue rising for years to come.
Median Salary: $33,610
Education Level: Certificate-degree
While the number of personal financial advisors might decline slightly in a recession, most will remain. People that use these services often have more savings, and seek financial advice in economic downturns.
No doubt these clients will attempt to control costs, so fees may suffer. But the overall impact on this profession is lower than most.
Note that Personal Financial Advisors also often have a flexible schedule and landed a spot on our list of work from home jobs.
Median Salary: $88,890 
Education Level: Bachelor’s Degree
While the number of procedures people seek for pets does decline, it never disappears. Even in a recession, people are going to continue getting basic treatment for animals under their care.
While overall office staff may be reduced, the need for veterinarians will remain strong in most economies.
Median Salary: $93,830
Education Level: Doctoral Degree
It might not be a pleasant topic, but death is inevitable, making this a very recession-proof job. Funeral homes and those that manage them will remain in demand.
The average expenditure on a funeral service may see a reduction in a recession, affecting overall pay and benefits. But the functional need for Funeral Service Managers should remain strong.
Median Salary: $79,180
Education Level: Associate’s Degree

The Bottom Line

Recessions are inevitable, and it’s hard to find a job that is completely protected. That said, there are many jobs that have more job security than others.

Those that fare best are often in the government, medical, and critical infrastructure fields. This makes sense as all of these services need to continue regardless of the economic conditions.

As we discussed at the beginning of the article, choose your job based on passion. But if you happen to find your passion aligns with one of these careers, it can’t hurt to explore it further.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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