18 Jobs That Are Most Likely to Be Killed off by Computers

Phonlamai Photo / Shutterstock.com

The Terminator is coming … for your job, quite possibly.

In an economy seemingly obsessed with automation, artificial intelligence, and self-driving this and that, millions of workers are at risk for being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence.

Money Talks News has documented this trend in stories like “10 U.S. Jobs That Are Disappearing Fastest” and “20 Jobs That No Longer Exist.”

The Brookings Institution also recently conducted an analysis across all economic sectors to determine which occupations are the most, and least, likely to be affected by artificial intelligence (AI).

Specifically, the nonprofit looked at scores that indicate how exposed a job is to AI applications in the near future, when compared to the average job.

So, jobs with negative AI exposure scores are less threatened by artificial intelligence than the average job, and jobs with positive scores — like the jobs in this story — are more threatened than average.

Following is a look at the positions that the institution found have the greatest relative exposure to artificial intelligence, meaning they are most vulnerable to AI.

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

Man doing market research on white board
alphaspirit / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.03

Despite many of these jobs possibly being threatened by artificial intelligence, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 20% growth in employment from 2018 to 2028.

These workers, who mainly analyze market conditions for potential sales of new products and services, are paid a median of $63,120 per year or $30.35 per hour, according to the BLS.

Physicists

Lia Koltyrina / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.14

Hit the books — you’ll most likely need a Ph.D. for this job, which typically involves studying how matter and energy interact and which informs new developments in areas like scientific research, electronics, communications and medical technology.

The years spent earning a doctorate could be worth it, however — physicists make a median yearly salary of nearly $120,000.

Transportation inspectors

Washington DC subway
Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.15

Transportation inspectors make sure various modes of transport are safe. Folks in this occupation can expect to earn a median wage of about $36 per hour and are most likely to be based in Texas and California, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational therapists

ALPA PROD / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.19

Hurt on the job? These workers help get you repaired and rehabilitated so you can get back to work.

The educational requirement is typically a master’s degree — and the pay is good, as Money Talks News recently reported in “The 11 Most Meaningful College Majors — and How Much You Can Earn With Them.”

Buyers and purchasing agents of farm products

TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.19

This particular type of buyer and purchasing agent buys agricultural products — such as grain, cotton and tobacco — for further processing or for resale, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Buyers and purchasing agents as a whole earn a median pay of $32.50 per hour or $67,600 per year.

Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers

Mircea Moira / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.27

Fielding 911 calls from distressed folks can be stressful, and dispatcher shifts are all hours of the day, sometimes lasting 12 hours.

The upside is you don’t necessarily need any college education. A high school diploma and some on-the-job training can get you going in many places.

Medical and clinical laboratory technologists

Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.33

These workers, who perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue and other materials, make a median hourly wage of more than $25 per hour and about $52,000 per year.

Typically a bachelor’s degree is required to obtain this position.

Agricultural equipment operators

By Jason Finn / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.34

The majority of these workers are in California and Texas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Iowa, though, has the largest percentage of its population working these jobs.

Expect to make about $16 per hour in this job.

Nuclear technicians

Dmitry Lobanov / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.69

You only need a two-year degree to land this job, as we detail in “20 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a Two-Year Degree.”

Nuke techs can make more than $80,000 for this work, which entails assisting physicists, engineers and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production. You can learn more about jobs and certification here:

Locomotive engineers

Cineberg / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 3.9

In the summer of 2019, a 30-car freight train traveled 48 miles over a variety of terrain and doing every operation a freight train normally does — operated entirely by computer.

The “Zero-to-Zero” test was a resounding success. It revealed that the days of driverless trains are coming down the tracks.

Administrative law judges, adjudicators and hearing officers

sebra / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 4.04

These decision-makers are paid a median wage of about $48 per hour — about $100,000 per year.

Most are located in California, New York and Texas, but high concentrations are found in Arkansas, Oregon and Maine.

Gas plant operators

curraheeshutter / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 4.08

The vast majority of these workers ply their trade in Texas, although Wyoming has the highest concentration of its job force in this occupation.

The median yearly pay is $71,070 and the hourly wage is $34.17, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

LMspencer / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 4.23

This important job helping to ensure airline safety can pay nearly $70,000 per year.

You’ll need an associate’s degree in engineering technology or vocational-technical training in computer programming or robotics and machining, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some schools may even help you get work experience while you train.

Chemical engineers

industryviews / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 4.26

In Money Talks News’ ranking of “The 25 Most Lucrative College Majors of 2019,” this profession ties for 19th.

These workers conduct research and establish safety procedures and design equipment. They can make upward of $127,000 by the middle of their careers.

Civil engineering technicians

Columbus, Ohio
Randall Vermillion / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 4.4

You only need an associate’s degree to get this gig, which paid a median hourly wage of $25.28, or $52,580 per year, as of 2018.

Civil engineering technicians assist civil engineers in planning, designing and building infrastructure such as highways and bridges, among other jobs.

Political scientists

Washington, D.C.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 4.49

If you can get into this career, you could earn more than $117,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But you most likely will need a master’s degree. Openings aren’t widespread, and the BLS says there were only 6,200 political scientists employed in the field nationwide as of 2018.

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

gameanna / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 4.53

If you don’t mind working around sewage, this job could be up your alley.

You might only need a high school diploma. Training, though, could be lengthy. But if you have a passion for purification, get started in your career: The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 5% decrease in the number of these jobs from 2018 to 2028.

Locomotive firers

locomotive
Tomas Kulaja / Shutterstock.com

Artificial intelligence exposure score: 6.75

Don’t let your kids grow up to be firers, because there eventually won’t be any jobs for them.

Money Talks News reports that there were just 560 locomotive firers working in the entire country in 2018. The pay is decent — a median hourly of $33.19 — if you can land work.

Do you work in one of these fields? Tell us your thoughts in a comment below or at Money Talks News on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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