The Fastest-Disappearing Job in Each State

Working in the office alone
Stokkete / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

The job market is constantly changing. Jobs in a certain field and geographic area may be abundant in one decade only to experience a sharp decline in the next. This can be because of many factors, including migration patterns and technological advances, that eliminate positions and industries from parts of the country.

That can make it more difficult for workers to earn and save money. With those shifts in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the fastest-disappearing job in each state.

To do so, we analyzed data for 2015 and 2019 (the latest year available) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

We filtered out any occupation for which the standard error for the estimated number of people employed in the occupation was greater than 20. We also filtered out any occupation with “other” in the title. To rank the occupations, we considered the percentage change in people employed in each occupation over this five-year period.

All data, including earnings data, comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Employment Statistics. First, we’ll cover larger trends and then share state-by-state numbers.

Office and administrative support occupations

Woman in office receives document, looks shocked.
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

Office and administrative support occupations is the hardest hit industry category in 11 states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia — as well as in the District of Columbia.

The fastest-disappearing jobs in these states include telephone operators, word processors and typists, proofreaders and copy markers, and statistical assistants and procurement clerks.

The biggest drop in this industry category came in Utah, where the number of telephone operators decreased by more than 95% in the five-year period from 2015 through
2019 — also the largest drop in the entire study. It is important to note that none of these jobs (though full earnings data was not available for word processors and typists in Mississippi) saw a decrease in average earnings in that period.

In Georgia, while the number of statistical assistant jobs fell by nearly 89%, the average earnings actually increased by more than 83%, from $28,010 to $51,400. This was the largest increase in salary for any of the jobs in this study.

Production occupations

Painter
Brett Taylor Photography / Shutterstock.com

The fastest-disappearing jobs in eight states — Alabama, Arizona, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas — fall within the industry category of production occupations.

Some of the individual occupations represented here include dental laboratory technicians in Arizona (61% decrease); painting, coating and decorating workers in Pennsylvania (74% decrease) and textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders in Alabama (75% decrease).

The fastest-shrinking job in this industry category is gas plant operators in Maryland, where the number of employees in the occupation decreased by about 80% in the five-year period from 2015 through 2019.

Arts, design, sports and media occupations

Music composer
PrinceOfLove / Shutterstock.com

There are six states whose fastest-shrinking jobs fall into the industry category of arts, design, sports and media occupations: California, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The fastest-disappearing job in five of these six states is that of music directors and composers, with declines in the number of such employees ranging from 56% in Virginia to almost 83% in Wisconsin.

In Minnesota, the fastest-disappearing job was that of set and exhibit designers, with a drop in the number of employees exceeding 70% in the five years from 2015 through 2019. Average earnings for set and exhibit designers in Minnesota increased during this time, however — albeit marginally — from $55,780 in 2015 to $56,540 in 2019.

Transportation and material moving occupations

Motorboat
freevideophotoagency / Shutterstock.com

BLS data shows that five states claim the transportation and material moving occupations industry as their fastest-disappearing jobs. These states are Florida, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio and Washington.

Some of the jobs most affected are motorboat operators in Florida and conveyor operators and tenders in New Jersey. We see the largest decline in Washington state, where the number of non-emergency ambulance drivers and attendants fell by nearly 95% in the five years from 2015 through 2019. Washington was also one of the few states to see a drop in salary for these workers over this time period, a decrease of 5.49%.

Other jobs

No workers required
AustralianCamera / Shutterstock.com

There are a number of other jobs whose workforces shrank rapidly in recent years. Some of these include:

  • Boilermakers in Oregon (part of the larger industry of construction and extraction occupations), with a 91.3% decrease in the number of workers from 2015 through 2019.
  • Nuclear engineers in Nebraska (part of the larger industry of architecture and engineering occupations), which saw a shrinkage in its workforce of 85.71% over the same five years.
  • Legislators in both Rhode Island and Tennessee (part of the larger industry of management occupations), where the five-year decreases were 64.71% and 73.68%, respectively.

The largest five-year decrease in average earnings for a state’s fastest-disappearing job was in Hawaii, where religious activities and education directors saw a salary decrease of 10.95%.

Up next, check out the stats behind the fastest-disappearing job in each state.

Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders

2015 workers: 530

2019 workers: 130

Five-year change in number of workers: 75% decrease

People with this job “operate or tend machines to bleach, shrink, wash, dye, or finish textiles or synthetic or glass fibers,” according to the BLS. The median pay for this job is $28,780.

Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rex Lisman / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: oil and gas laborers

2015 workers: 830

2019 workers: 240

Five-year change in number of workers: 71% decrease

Laborers in the oil and gas industry earn about $14 per hour, according to the BLS.

Arizona

An aerial view of Sun City, Arizona
Badger13 / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: dental laboratory technicians

2015 workers: 1,240

2019 workers: 480

Five-year change in number of workers: 61% decrease

Dental laboratory technicians “construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances,” according to the BLS, and their median pay is $38,670 per year.

Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: middle school career/technical education teachers

2015 workers: 180

2019 workers: 60

Five-year change in number of workers: 67% decrease

Middle school career and technical education teachers have a median annual pay of $60,800, according to the BLS.

California

Los Angeles, California
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: music directors and composers

2015 workers: 2,650

2019 workers: 870

Five-year change in number of workers: 67% decrease

Music directors and composers is a job category that includes “arrangers, composers, choral directors, and orchestrators,” according to the BLS. Their median pay is $49,630 per year.

Colorado

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: telemarketers

2015 workers: 7,010

2019 workers: 2,040

Five-year change in number of workers: 71% decrease

Telemarketers have an annual median pay of $25,250, according to the BLS.

Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: demonstrators and product promoters

2015 workers: 1,310

2019 workers: 330

Five-year change in number of workers: 75% decrease

Demonstrators and product promoters earn a median annual wage of $28,960, according to the BLS.

Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: physical therapist aides

2015 workers: 390

2019 workers: 160

Five-year change in number of workers: 59% decrease

Physical therapist aides “perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations” which “include preparing the patient and the treatment area,” according to the BLS. Their median annual wage is $27,000.

District of Columbia

Washington D.C.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: clerical library assistants

2015 workers: 470

2019 workers: 80

Five-year change in number of workers: 83% decrease

Clerical library assistants “compile records, and sort, shelve, issue, and receive library materials” and earn a median annual wage of $27,490, according to the BLS.

Florida

St. Augustine, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: motorboat operators

2015 workers: 1,290

2019 workers: 310

Five-year change in number of workers: 76% decrease

Motorboat operators earn a median annual wage of $48,260, according to the BLS.

Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: statistical assistants

2015 workers: 2,170

2019 workers: 240

Five-year change in number of workers: 89% decrease

Statistical assistants compile data and “may perform actuarial computations and compile charts and graphs for use by actuaries,” according to the BLS. They earn a median annual wage of $49,870.

Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: directors of religious activities and education

2015 workers: 370

2019 workers: 130

Five-year change in number of workers: 65% decrease

Directors of religious activities and education “plan, direct, or coordinate programs designed to promote the religious education or activities of a denominational group,” and earn a median annual wage of $40,810, according to the BLS.

Idaho

Idaho state capital building
Charles Knowles / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: weighers, measurers, checkers and samplers for recordkeeping

2015 workers: 350

2019 workers: 90

Five-year change in number of workers: 74% decrease

These workers earn a median annual wage of $30,180, according to the BLS.

lllinois

Chicago, Illinois
Kristopher Kettner / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: telephone operators

2015 workers: 670

2019 workers: 120

Five-year change in number of workers: 82% decrease

Telephone operators “may handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls,” according to the BLS. They make a median annual wage of $35,750.

Indiana

Indiana
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: music directors and composers

2015 workers: 550

2019 workers: 100

Five-year change in number of workers: 82% decrease

Music directors and composers is a category that includes “arrangers, composers, choral directors, and orchestrators,” according to the BLS. Their median pay is $49,630 per year.

lowa

Des Moines, Iowa
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: hand packers and packagers

2015 workers: 9,980

2019 workers: 3,330

Five-year change in number of workers: 67% decrease

Hand packers and packagers earn a median annual wage of $24,580, according to the BLS.

Kansas

Wichita, Kansas
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: music directors and composers

2015 workers: 340

2019 workers: 60

Five-year change in number of workers: 82% decrease

Music directors and composers — workers who “conduct, direct, plan and lead instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups, such as orchestras, bands, choirs, and glee clubs” — earn a median wage of $49,630 per year, according to the BLS.

Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: proofreaders and copy markers

2015 workers: 160

2019 workers: 40

Five-year change in number of workers: 75% decrease

Proofreaders and copy markers earn a median annual wage of $37,550, according to the BLS.

Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
f11 photography / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: operations research analysts

2015 workers: 1,140

2019 workers: 210

Five-year change in number of workers: 82% decrease

Operations research analysts “formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with decisionmaking, policy formulation, or other managerial functions,” according to the BLS. They earn a median annual wage of $84,810.

Maine

Portland, Maine
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: rehabilitation counselors

2015 workers: 720

2019 workers: 240

Five-year change in number of workers: 67% decrease

Rehabilitation counselors “counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, aging, or the stress of daily life,” according to the BLS. They make an average annual wage of $35,950.

Maryland

Downtown Annapolis, Maryland
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: gas plant operators

2015 workers: 250

2019 workers: 50

Five-year change in number of workers: 80% decrease

Gas plant operators earn a median annual wage of $71,070, according to the BLS.

Massachusetts

Downtown Boston, Massachusetts
Rsphotograph / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: middle school career/technical education teachers

2015 workers: 420

2019 workers: 150

Five-year change in number of workers: 64% decrease

Middle school career and technical education teachers have a median annual pay of $60,800, according to the BLS.

Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Stephanie Kenner / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: telephone operators

2015 workers: 330

2019 workers: 90

Five-year change in number of workers: 73% decrease

Telephone operators “may handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls,” according to the BLS. They make a median annual wage of $35,750.

Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota
IMG_191 / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: set and exhibit designers

2015 workers: 440

2019 workers: 130

Five-year change in number of workers: 70% decrease

Set and exhibit designers, who “design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets,” earn a median annual wage of $54,270, according to the BLS.

Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: word processors and typists

2015 workers: 350

2019 workers: 100

Five-year change in number of workers: 71% decrease

Word processors and typists earn a median annual wage of $39,750, according to the BLS.

Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Scruggelgreen / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: telemarketers

2015 workers: 7,600

2019 workers: 2,510

Five-year change in number of workers: 67% decrease

Telemarketers have an annual median pay of $25,250, according to the BLS.

Montana

Livingston, Montana
Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: secondary school career/technical education teachers

2015 workers: 190

2019 workers: 60

Five-year change in number of workers: 68% decrease

Secondary school career and technical education teachers earn a median annual wage of $60,250, according to the BLS.

Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Mark Dahmke / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: nuclear engineers

2015 workers: 210

2019 workers: 30

Five-year change in number of workers: 86% decrease

Nuclear engineers research or work on “problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal,” according to the BLS, and earn a median annual wage of $113,460.

Nevada

Reno, Nevada
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: production worker helpers

2015 workers: 1,630

2019 workers: 680

Five-year change in number of workers: 58% decrease

Production worker helpers, who perform duties requiring less skill such as “supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment,” earn a median annual wage of $26,070, according to the BLS.

New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: postsecondary atmospheric, earth, marine and space sciences teachers

2015 workers: 130

2019 workers: 50

Five-year change in number of workers: 62% decrease

These workers “teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics” and earn a median annual wage of $90,860, according to the BLS.

New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey
FotosForTheFuture / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: conveyor operators and tenders

2015 workers: 500

2019 workers: 70

Five-year change in number of workers: 86% decrease

Conveyor operators and tenders earn a median annual wage of $32,980, according to the BLS.

New Mexico

New Mexico
Baiterek Media / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: private detectives and investigators

2015 workers: 330

2019 workers: 70

Five-year change in number of workers: 79% decrease

Private detectives and investigators earn a median annual wage of $50,510, according to the BLS.

New York

New York City
Taiga / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: metal and plastic drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators and tenders

2015 workers: 420

2019 workers: 120

Five-year change in number of workers: 71% decrease

These workers earn a median annual wage of $38,910, according to the BLS.

North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sharkshock / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: word processors and typists

2015 workers: 800

2019 workers: 190

Five-year change in number of workers: 76% decrease

Word processors and typists earn a median annual wage of $39,750, according to the BLS.

North Dakota

Bismarck, North Dakota
Ace Diamond / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: procurement clerks

2015 workers: 440

2019 workers: 90

Five-year change in number of workers: 80% decrease

Procurement clerks “compile information and records to draw up purchase orders,” and earn a median annual wage of $43,310, according to the BLS.

Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
aceshot1 / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: machine feeders and offbearers

2015 workers: 5,080

2019 workers: 1,610

Five-year change in number of workers: 68% decrease

Machine feeders and offbearers earn a median annual wage of $28,510, according to the BLS.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City skyline
Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: production worker helpers

2015 workers: 6,710

2019 workers: 2,580

Five-year change in number of workers: 62% decrease

Production worker helpers earn a median annual wage of $26,070, according to the BLS.

Oregon

Bridge over Willamette River, Oregon
JPL Designs / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: boilermakers

2015 workers: 460

2019 workers: 40

Five-year change in number of workers: 91% decrease

Boilermakers earn a median annual wage of $63,100, according to the BLS.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: painting, coating and decorating workers

2015 workers: 700

2019 workers: 180

Five-year change in number of workers: 74% decrease

This category excludes artists and designers and instead focuses on those who work with “articles, such as furniture, glass, plateware, pottery, jewelry, toys, books, or leather,” according to the BLS. They earn a median annual wage of $31,050.

Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: legislators

2015 workers: 170

2019 workers: 60

Five-year change in number of workers: 65% decrease

Legislators, a category that includes only workers in elected positions, earn a median annual wage of $29,270, according to the BLS.

South Carolina

South Carolina
Cvandyke / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: office machine operators (except computer)

2015 workers: 900

2019 workers: 50

Five-year change in number of workers: 94% decrease

Office machine operators work with equipment such as “photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines,” according to the BLS. They earn a median annual wage of $33,450.

South Dakota

Rapid City, South Dakota
Sopotnicki / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: telemarketers

2015 workers: 1,020

2019 workers: 280

Five-year change in number of workers: 73% decrease

Telemarketers have an annual median pay of $25,250, according to the BLS.

Tennessee

Signs in Nashville, Tennessee
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: legislators

2015 workers: 1,330

2019 workers: 350

Five-year change in number of workers: 74% decrease

Legislators earn a median annual wage of $29,270, according to the BLS.

Texas

San Antonio, Texas outdoors
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: metal and plastic forging machine setters, operators and tenders

2015 workers: 2,110

2019 workers: 810

Five-year change in number of workers: 62% decrease

These workers earn a median annual wage of $39,670, according to the BLS.

Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
Joe Guetzloff / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: telephone operators

2015 workers: 1,310

2019 workers: 60

Five-year change in number of workers: 95% decrease

Telephone operators “may handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls,” according to the BLS. They make a median annual wage of $35,750.

Vermont

Burlington, Vermont
Eric Pasqualli / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: dispensing opticians

2015 workers: 140

2019 workers: 60

Five-year change in number of workers: 57% decrease

Dispensing opticians “design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses and frames for clients according to written optical prescription or specification,” according to the BLS. They earn a median annual wage of $37,840.

Virginia

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: music directors and composers

2015 workers: 660

2019 workers: 290

Five-year change in number of workers: 56% decrease

Music directors and composers is a category that includes “arrangers, composers, choral directors, and orchestrators,” according to the BLS. Their median pay is $49,630 per year.

Washington

Bellevue, Washington
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: ambulance drivers and attendants (except emergency medical technicians)

2015 workers: 980

2019 workers: 50

Five-year change in number of workers: 95% decrease

These workers earn a median annual wage of $25,890, according to the BLS.

West Virginia

West Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: eligibility interviewers for government programs

2015 workers: 810

2019 workers: 130

Five-year change in number of workers: 84% decrease

Eligibility interviewers assess potential applicants for “welfare, unemployment benefits, Social Security, and public housing,” according to the BLS. They earn a median annual wage of $46,020.

Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
Ian M Johnson / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: music directors and composers

2015 workers: 460

2019 workers: 80

Five-year change in number of workers: 83% decrease

Music directors and composers earn a median wage of $49,630 per year, according to the BLS.

Wyoming

People kayaking on a lake with a mountain in the background.
B Brown / Shutterstock.com

Fastest-disappearing job: oil and gas rig operators

2015 workers: 780

2019 workers: 190

Five-year change in number of workers: 76% decrease

Derrick operators earn a median annual wage of $46,990, according to the BLS.

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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