Are There Really “Recession-Proof” Jobs?

The Great Recession put a sense of fear in most people that still lingers. From 2007 to 2009, there was extensive unemployment, home foreclosures and people couldn’t get consumer financing. While we’re beyond that point now and the economy appears to be doing well with record-low unemployment, what happens when there’s another recession, especially in terms of jobs security?

We see that recessions impact some areas of the country more than others, but also some industries and job sectors.

While there’s no way to protect yourself against the effects of a future recession completely, some careers do tend to fare better than others. Those essential jobs, even when people might be slashing spending, are the ones that are most likely to be described as recession-proof, although there’s no guarantee.

The following are some of the closest things to recession-proof jobs you’ll probably find.

Truck Driving

The truck driving industry continues to grow, as do available truck driving jobs. It’s tough for the industry to find the workers they need, which is why they’ll often offer perks like signing bonuses. Even when there’s a recession, goods still need to be transported which is why truck driving tends to come with a certain level of job security.

As is the case with a lot of other nearly recession-proof jobs, truck driving isn’t necessarily glamorous, but with security and stability, some people may be willing to accept that.


Accounting and the role of Certified Public Account have taken hits in recent years because of the growth of tax preparation software, but these jobs are still important, especially for people who are business owners or who have more complicated tax situations.

No matter what’s happening in the economy, you still have to pay the IRS, which is why there is a certain sense of job security in accounting.

In some cases, accounting can be more in-demand during economic downturns because businesses might need to find ways to cut their tax bill and improve their cash flow.


Healthcare jobs, including doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants,and others are rarely affected by recessions. Healthcare is the most rapidly growing job sector in the U.S. workforce. Even with only an associate’s degree, you can make a great salary, and if you have a higher-level degree, even more so.

If you’re not yet in the healthcare industry,but you’d like to be, you may be able to find education funding from employers who need qualified candidates.

A few other things to know about working in healthcare:

  • Since 2017, healthcare is the largest source of jobs in the United States
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates healthcare jobs will grow by 18 percent by 2026
  • Eight of the top fastest-growing jobs are in healthcare
  • The U.S. population is aging rapidly, so it’s likely the need for healthcare providers will remain strong regardless of what’s happening in the economy

Software Development

Software developers are likely to continue to be in-demand, regardless of the economy. Most employers do prefer you have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but in exchange, the median salary for a systems software developer was $107,600 in 2017. For application software developers, it was $101,790.

The number of available jobs for systems software developers is expected to grow by 11 percent by 2026. For application software developers, expected job growth is 31 percent.

Utility Workers

Utility workers tend to enjoy a high level of job security because even when the economy is down, people require the basic services they provide and maintain. Utility workers can be a broad term, however. When we think of utility workers, we most often think of line workers in the energy sector.

Utility workers may help with things like building, repairing and maintaining electrical grids. There is a lot of physicality in these jobs, however, such as climbing and workers are outside most of the time, which are things to be aware of.

Many energy and utility companies will offer in-house training programs for potential employees.

Along with traditional energy sector companies, working for green energy companies may help you avoid the impact of the recession as well.

Finally, mental health professionals often actually do better in business during a recession. It’s an unfortunate reality that during recessions and times of financial stress, people’s mental health can suffer, leading them to seek the services of mental health providers such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. If a mental health care provider accepts insurance, they tend to have even more job security during challenging economic times.

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