Fastest Declining Occupations (below -2% growth rate, average is +7%)

Switchboard operators, including answering service

Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls or taking messages as necessary.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -33%

salary median: $27,440

 

Photographic process workers and processing machine operators

Perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. May perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -33%

salary median: $26,590

 

Shoe machine operators and tenders

Operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -31%

salary median: $25,190

 

Manufactured building and mobile home installers

Move or install mobile homes or prefabricated buildings.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -30%

salary median: $30,050

 

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Examine, sort, and route mail. Load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks; and other duties related to mail handling within the postal service.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -28%

salary median: $56,740

 

Postal service clerks

Perform any combination of tasks in a post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -28%

salary median: $56,790

 

Sewing machine operators

The sewing machine operator is a person highly skilled in sewing clothes, maintaining good quality and standard of clothes produced. He/she makes use of the sewing machine to decorate and perform connected sewing operations in the manufacturing of garments and other materials.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -27%

salary median: $22,550

 

Postmasters and mail superintendents

Plan, direct, or coordinate operational, administrative, management, and supportive services of a U.S. post office; or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in assigned post office.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -26%

salary median: $70,640

 

Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders

Set up, operate, or tend machines that knit, loop, weave, or draw in textiles.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -26%

salary median: $27,220

 

Watch repairers

Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks. Includes watchmakers, watch technicians, and mechanical timepiece repairers. Repair or replace broken, damaged, or worn parts on timepieces, using lathes, drill presses, and hand tools.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -26%

salary median: $34,750

 

Fabric and apparel patternmakers

Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

education requirement: High school diploma or Bachelor’s Degree

growth rate: -26%

salary median: $43,900

 

Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders

Set up, operate, or tend machines that cut textiles.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -26%

salary median: $25,490

 

Locomotive firers

Monitor locomotive instruments and watch for dragging equipment, obstacles on rights-of-way, and train signals during run. Watch for and relay traffic signals from yard workers to yard engineer in railroad yard.

education requirement: High school diploma, on the job training

growth rate: -25%

salary median: $48,470

 

Prepress technicians and workers

Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.

education requirement: High school diploma or Associate’s degree

growth rate: -25%

salary median: $38,270

 

Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Set up, operate, or tend machines to extrude or draw thermoplastic or metal materials into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -24%

salary median: $33,120

 

Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders

Operate or tend machines to bleach, shrink, wash, dye, or finish textiles or synthetic or glass fibers.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -24%

salary median: $26,340

 

Patternmakers, metal and plastic

Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

education requirement: Post-secondary certificate

growth rate: -23%

salary median: $40,960

 

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -22%

salary median: $32,840

 

Model makers, metal and plastic

Set up and operate machines, such as lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects. Includes template makers.

education requirement: Post-secondary certificate

growth rate: -22%

salary median: $45,980

 

Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders

Set up, operate, or tend machines that wind or twist textiles; or draw out and combine sliver, such as wool, hemp, or synthetic fibers. Includes slubber machine and drawing frame operators.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -22%

salary median: $26,870

 

Desktop publishers

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that are printed or published online.

education requirement: High school diploma, on the job training

growth rate: -21%

salary median: $39,840

 

Parking enforcement workers

Patrol assigned area, such as public parking lot or city streets to issue tickets to overtime parking violators and illegally parked vehicles. Patrol an assigned area by vehicle or on foot to ensure public compliance with existing parking ordinance.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -21%

salary median: $36,530

 

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Set up, operate, or tend milling or planing machines to mill, plane, shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic work pieces.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -21%

salary median: $38,250

 

Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Set up, operate, or tend forging machines to taper, shape, or form metal or plastic parts.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -13%

salary median: $35,070

 

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -13%

salary median: $29,340

 

Telephone Operators

Provide information by accessing alphabetical, geographical, or other directories. Assist customers with special billing requests, such as charges to a third party and credits or refunds for incorrectly dialed numbers or bad connections. May handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -9%

salary median: $35,880

 

Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment in telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and other industries.

education requirement: Technical college, voluntary certification

growth rate: -4%

salary median: $31,360

 

Pourers and casters, metal

Operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -3%

salary median: $33,850

 

Postal service mail carriers

Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -3%

salary median: $58,280

 

Foundry mold and coremakers

Make or form wax or sand cores or molds used in the production of metal castings in foundries.

education requirement: High school diploma

growth rate: -2%

salary median: $32,680

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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