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Home 10 Jobs That Are Being Replaced By Machines

3rd February, 2014

10 Jobs That Are Being Replaced By Machines



In the future, it’s very likely that many of today’s jobs, from cashier to teller, will be automated and the need for real people to take on these roles won’t be needed as technology will catch up and take on these responsibilities,” says Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor community expert.

Themes people should be aware of include low-skilled jobs being likely replaced by automation first, such as telemarketer or typist, whereas jobs requiring creativity or a social aspect to them are not as at risk.

He adds: "Wedding planner, for instance, is not as at risk of being completely automated because of the creativity, communication and multi-tasking required to get the job done.”

1.     Bank Teller

When was the last time you used the services of a human bank teller? Chances are, unless you had to perform a complicated transaction, an ATM got the job done. Mark Gilder, director of distribution strategy at Citibank, told MarketWatch recently that "at least 85% of the things you can do at the teller, you can do at the ATM." Citibank is experimenting with video-based tellers and ATM-based loan applications in Asia.

Nevertheless, the Bureau of Labor Statistics saw little or no change in overall number of teller jobs through 2022. Some 545,300 people were employed as bank tellers in the U.S. in 2012.

2.     Cashier

Cashier seems like an obvious example of an occupation that can be replaced by a machine. If you've been to a grocery store recently, you've doubtlessly noticed the rise of self-checkout machines. Indeed, the number of self-checkout machines may be as high as 430,000 worldwide — more than quadruple the number in 2008.

The case isn't that clear-cut, though. Supermarkets Big Y and Albertson's pulled their self-checkouts after consumers complained and Ikea did the same in the U.S. Nevertheless, the BLS rates the outlook for cashier jobs "slower than average" at 3%.

3.    Receptionist

Thrifty companies can now avoid hiring someone to answer the phones thanks to software programs Virtual Receptionist, while others are being outsourced by the likes of Davinci Live Receptionist. Meanwhile, in Japan, some have also experimented with actual robots. As consumers know, though, getting your call routed to a machine is off-putting, which is one reason receptionists aren't being replaced en masse — yet. The BLS reports that receptionist jobs are growing at about 14%, which is about average.

4. Telephone Operator

Telephone operators — defined as people who answer phones for companies and overnight call service like doctors and so on — are a vanishing species thanks to outsourcing and ubiquitous automation. Yet predicts a slight increase in jobs in the category over the next few years.

5. Mail Carrier

Email is causing the overall amount of snail mail to drop — there were 171 billion pieces delivered in 2011 vs. 2010 the year before — and the U.S. Postal Service is having major financial problems. The combination has prompted the BLS to forecast a 28% decline in mail carrier jobs through 2022.

6. Travel Agent

Years ago, there was no Expedia or Orbitz. To book a flight somewhere, you had to visit a travel agent, who would presumably get you the best deal possible. These days, many view the occupation as superfluous, which is why the BLS is forecasting a 12% decline is such jobs by 2022.

7. Typist

Can you picture a modern CEO telling his secretary to "take a letter"? Perhaps. But in these days of blogging CEOs and voice-recognition software, the notion is increasingly antiquated. The BLS still predicts typist jobs will increase 6% over the next eight years.

8. Newspaper Reporter

Blogs plus aggregation services like Google News are making the average consumer less reliant on newspapers. As a result, the number of newspapers is dropping...

Software can also be used to create articles. For instance, The New York Times uses semantic web technology to write its wedding announcements. All of this leads the BLS to conclude that such jobs will shrink by 13% through 2022.

9. Data Entry Associate

Software has also mimicked data entry, obviating the need for humans to perform the job.

10. Telemarketer

Few will mourn their passing, but telemarketers are increasingly being replaced by robocalls, which can do the job 24/7 and maintain their perkiness no matter how many times consumers hang up on them.


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