Jobs With The Best (And Worst) Job Security

By Chris Kolmar - Feb. 11, 2021

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When daydreaming about their desired career path, most people wonder how much money they’ll be making or the exciting responsibilities of the position.

In an unpredictable market, though, another essential element in committing to a career is understanding a job’s security or lack thereof.

Job security refers to the solidity of a role, regardless of external factors that limit less stable positions.

It’s a probability that states how likely it is that individuals in a particular role keep their jobs long-term. A job with a high level of security would present a low probability that professionals in the field would be dismissed due to no fault of their own.

A position with low security is susceptible to downsizing and fluctuations, putting its employees at constant risk of potential termination. Jobs with low security have the highest rates of unemployment.

Why Is Job Security Important?

Job security is equally important for employers and their staff alike to feel the effects of a secure work environment. For the employees, it provides them with the reassurance that their job is not in jeopardy, allowing them to focus all their efforts on doing their best work.

Inversely, employees need a team that feels secure in their position because it ensures that their energy is concentrated on fulfilling their responsibilities. It’s bad for business to rely on a staff that has one foot out the door because they don’t feel that their role is protected.

Job security establishes a comfortable, professional environment because everyone involved is free to work without worry of termination due to layoffs. While the possibility of unforeseen circumstances can always arise, some certain jobs and industries are known for having stellar or poor job security.

Ten Careers With the Best Job Security

  1. Nurse midwife

    Average salary: $83,570

    The number of jobs: 6,250

    Unemployment rate: 2.9%

    Projected job growth: 45%

    Approximately four million babies are born in the United States every year. Nurse-midwives are some of the people responsible for giving these new humans a safe and smooth entrance into the world.

    In addition to helping mothers through the birthing process, nurse midwives provide support and advice throughout the entire pregnancy and for a few months during post-partum.

    A nurse-midwife builds a bond with expectant mothers to ease the stresses of pregnancy and birth, as well as providing medical treatment. This unique role is becoming more sought-after by expecting parents, making it a job with the enormous predicted growth in the future.

    Find Nurse midwife jobs near me

  2. Substance abuse counselor

    Average salary: $42,000

    The number of jobs: 319,400

    Unemployment rate: 1.7%

    Projected job growth: 25%

    Substance abuse in any form is an epidemic in the United States that obliterates more families every year. As substance abuse continues to rise, mental health counselors with expertise in the area become more needed, establishing the position with a lot of security and job openings.

    Substance abuse counselors work to evaluate, treat, and support addicts on their path towards sobriety.

    The job of a substance abuse counselor offers job security to cope with the increasing number of individuals affected by drugs. The field is expected to grow another 25% in the next ten years, which is a huge leap in position availability.

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  3. Public relations director

    Average salary: $88,000

    The number of employees: 88,000

    Unemployment rate: 2.5%

    Projected job growth: 9%

    Companies need to control their public image to present themselves positively to potential clients. To help them in this endeavor of marketing themselves properly, they turn to a public relations director.

    Their job tasks are comprised of developing unique strategies to grow and maintain a brand.

    In addition to building a public face for businesses, public relations directors act as the filter of communication between them and their customer base. It’s a large responsibility, but it comes with a lot of perks.

    Another advantage is that there’s an endless stream of companies who need the assistance of a PR director, giving the position a lot of job security. As of 2019, it’s also projected to have an extremely fast growth period over the next ten years.

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  4. Criminal investigator

    Average salary: $53,000

    The number of employees: 103,450

    Unemployment rate: 0.7%

    Projected job growth: 8%

    There are plenty of TV shows that show the exciting career of a criminal investigator in the most dramatized way.

    Becoming a criminal investigator, in reality, is less thrilling than it’s made out to be in Hollywood, but still provides a unique work circumstance.

    Their job involves inspecting crimes that have already been committed and bringing criminals to justice.

    Unlike patrol police officers whose main focus is to stop a crime from happening in the first place, criminal investigators look to solve the unknowns in offenses committed. There are more requirements for becoming a criminal investigator than other occupations.

    However, this pursuit is rewarded with a high level of job security. Just like there are always people who need nurses when they’re sick, there is a constant stream of crimes needing to be solved.

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  5. Registered nurse

    Average salary: $63,000

    The number of jobs: 2,982,280

    Unemployment rate: 1.3%

    Projected Job Growth: 7%

    When someone gets sick and needs empathetic care, registered nurses are the people who provide it.

    Registered nurses work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities to provide a personal and knowledgeable touch to patient monitoring. They often act as emotional support for families as well.

    The nursing field provides a high degree of job security because, unfortunately, illness and injury always exist. We need attentive and organized people to care for us when that happens. Considering the events of the past year, registered nurses are more in-demand than ever.

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  6. Probation officer

    Average salary: $42,000

    The number of employees: 91,800

    Unemployment rate: 3.8%

    Projected job growth: 4%

    Individuals who commit crimes are often put on probation in lieu of or after incarceration to monitor their lifestyle and assist in keeping them on the right track. The people who supervise them in various ways are probation officers.

    The overall objective for every probation officer is to help the people they watch over towards establishing a productive life away from crime.

    The responsibilities of a probation officer require staying up to date on all aspects of their probationer’s lives. This involves visiting their homes, getting familiar with their families, and providing professional recommendations to the court.

    It’s a demanding position that comes with high job security and a fairly low unemployment rate.

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  7. Real estate appraiser

    Average salary: $44,000

    The number of employees: 75,100

    Unemployment rate: 0.6%

    Projected job growth: 3%

    Have you ever been browsing through a real estate website, looking at expensive properties, and wondered who decides their value. No need to wait any longer; the answer is real estate appraisers.

    A real estate appraiser specializes in either commercial or real estate property and uses their knowledge to determine a fair market price for the land, building, or house.

    The skills of real estate appraisers are utilized throughout various parts of the home buying process, beginning from pre-sale assessments to when it’s evaluated during tax season.

    Since the capabilities of real estate appraisers are depended on so heavily throughout a property’s financial lifespan, it gives the position a high level of job security and a low unemployment rate.

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  8. Accountant

    Average salary: $52,000

    The number of employees: 1,280,000

    Unemployment rate: 1.4%

    Projected job growth: 4%

    Both individuals and businesses rely on the insight of accountants to drive their financial decisions. Usually, accountants choose an area of expertise to specialize in, such as corporate finance and risk assessment.

    As there are many disciplines an accountant can focus on in their career, there are also many different types of employers for their industry. For example, an accountant could work for a government agency or a not-for-profit organization.

    Due to the versatile nature of the accounting field, going after a job in this sector comes with a fair amount of job security. There are a lot of options for accountants to work within their skill set.

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  9. Truck driver

    Average salary: $51,000

    The number of jobs: 3,500,000

    Unemployment rate: 5%

    Projected job growth: 2%

    For people who enjoy long drives and solitary work days, being a truck driver could be the right career choice for you. Truck drivers transport goods and materials between locations, usually a far distance away.

    While driving from one city to another sounds uncomplicated, being a professional driver is no easy feat and requires a lot of safety knowledge.

    Truck drivers can drive up to 14 hours in a duty period by law, which is a long shift, to say the least. While committing to a career as a trucking career requires a particular type of personality and lifestyle, it awards employees with strong benefits and job security.

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  10. Postal service mail carrier

    Average salary: $52,000

    The number of employees: 339,650

    Projected job growth: -14%

    Many people take the bills, letters, and packages they receive at their house for granted. The individuals behind the successful collection and delivery of various items are postal service mail carriers.

    These employees specifically work for the United States Postal Service, giving them the title, benefits, and security of government workers.

    Much of the daily responsibilities of a postal service mail carrier are tedious, but the position provides a decent amount of job security in exchange.

    The United States mail system is an organization that must continue to keep the country functioning. Attaining a job with the postal service means your role is required as well.

    Despite seeing a recent dip in projected job growth as a postal service mail carrier in the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it’s still considered a secure job because its workers are considered federal employees.

    Find Postal service mail carrier jobs near me

Ten Careers With the Worst Job Security

  1. Cook

    Average salary: $27,000

    The number of jobs: 2,571,700

    Unemployment rate: 9%

    Projected job growth: 10%

    The role of a cook is to create and prepare exceptional meals for customers to give them a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. In compliance with food safety regulations, a cook maintains the functioning of their kitchen and provides delicious food. It’s a position that supplies creative freedom, but it has some of the worst job security.

    Even before the catastrophic year that 2020 brought upon businesses, cooks still had a fairly high unemployment rate.

    While the field is projected to have some new job creation over the next ten years, it’s nothing enormous enough to cancel out the high unemployment rate among cooks.

    Find Cook jobs near me

  2. Cashier

    Average salary: $24,000

    The number of jobs: 3,600,900

    Unemployment rate: 7.3%

    Projected job growth: -7%

    The role of a cashier at a store is to assist the customer in their purchasing process. Traditionally, cashiers ring up all items, provide a total for the shopper, and process the transaction. The position mainly involves handling money and requires an eye for detail to ensure the store doesn’t suffer any losses.

    The position of cashiers is becoming a much less secure job for several reasons. The biggest one is that the check-out process at many stores is becoming overwhelmingly automated and machine-based.

    This reduces the need for cashiers and has contributed to a projected dramatic decline in the industry over the next ten years.

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  3. Photographer

    Average salary: $49,000

    The number of jobs: 133,500

    Unemployment rate: 6.7%

    Projected job growth: -4%

    Photographers use their skills with a camera to capture images of people’s events, places, and products. Usually, they lean towards a particular niche that suits their interests, such as wedding or portrait photography. While their job begins by shooting the particular event, people, or objects, it doesn’t end there.

    A photographer’s job also involves building strong communication with clients to determine their needs and editing afterward to perfect the photos.

    Most photographers work freelance, and their business is more susceptible to outside forces. This means that there’s no guarantee that the work keeps coming in and job security is low.

    Another troubling aspect of a photography career is that it’s expected to decline over the next ten years.

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  4. Construction laborer

    Average salary: $24,000

    The number of jobs: 1,643,900

    Unemployment rate: 16.6%

    Projected job growth: 5%

    The job of a construction laborer relies greatly on the employee’s physical capabilities. Their daily tasks involve preparing work sites, moving materials, and performing construction work. In all the tasks they complete, construction laborers must be mindful of their safety and everyone around them.

    In addition to being physically taxing, a career as a construction laborer isn’t very secure. The industry is currently experiencing a record high rate of unemployment. While there’s some hope for job growth in the field over the next ten years, the position still doesn’t have great job security.

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  5. Actor

    Average salary: $65,311

    The number of jobs: 70,100

    Unemployment rate: 19.3%

    Projected job growth: 3%

    Almost everyone has been to a movie as a child, only to leave with a sense of newfound wonder at the idea that you too could become a famous movie star.

    The responsibility of taking a character on paper and turning it into a rendering in reality on a screen or a stage is indeed an exciting career. However, the life of an actor in the real world is often far less glamorous than our imaginations tell us it is.

    Being an actor has next to nothing when it comes to job security. The enticing nature of becoming an actor draws in a lot of hopefuls for a much smaller fraction of available jobs.

    Additionally, acting jobs are almost exclusively contracted positions making it difficult to maintain work in the long-term.

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Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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