Five Dying Industries: Ways to Get Out and Move On

moving on If you're knocking on doors looking for work, there are some doors you may want to skip. The economy continues to show signs of rebounding, with increases in consumer spending and a jobless rate that has declined to 9 percent. But, be careful.

While career opportunities are predicted to grow in thriving industries like health care and technology, the flip side is that some industries have a lot of occupations that are becoming obsolete.

The majority of these dead-end positions are in manufacturing, production and administrative support, all of which are affected by automation technologies and lean business practices, which reduce the need for workers in plants, factories and traditional office environments, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The limited job openings expected in these sectors won't necessarily come from job growth, but from the need to replace employees who will transfer to other industries or retire.

So how can you tell if you are in a dead end job? Here are five of the sectors that are expected to decline between now and 2018, according to the BLS. We asked career experts to discuss how to take the skills you may have acquired in these industries, and leverage them to make the leap to a more sustainable position.




1. Manufacturing

moving on Sewing machine operators, textile winding machine setters, and cut-and-sew apparel makers will experience the sharpest declines in employment opportunities in the next decade, with as much as a 40 percent drop in number of those employed, according to the BLS.

Dorothy Tannahill Moran, an Oregon-based career coach, says textile industry jobs often have the same or similar counterparts in many manufacturing companies. A person moving from the declining textile industry should spend time researching job requirements in other industries to find companies needing comparable skills, such as those in automotive manufacturing.

The automotive industry is now experiencing some growth thanks to the introduction of alternative fuels and increased investment by foreign automakers in U.S. facilities. Assembly workers can expect to make over $16 per hour, according to online salary database PayScale.com.




2. Sales

moving on Door-to-door salespeople and telemarketers may soon go the way of the milkman, with declines of 14 and 11 percent respectively for each occupation. The good news is that communication and people skills transfer very well to other industries, such as retail, which is expected to grow by 8 percent over the next 10 years. Sales associates in the retail industry can earn between $7 and $12 per hour, not including performance bonuses, according to PayScale.

Larry Stybel, executive-in-residence at the Sawyer Business School, at Suffolk University in Boston, says that when you're leaving a dying industry, it's best to keep the focus on you when talking to a prospective employer. "Your mission is not to change other people's views about your old company or industry. Your mission is to differentiate yourself from the public perception of that company or industry. Talk about what you accomplished and how you were different."




3. Office Support

moving on File, mail and information clerks and other administrative support staff can expect double-digit declines in employment by 2018. Fortunately, the BLS predicts that executive assistants, receptionists and bookkeeping clerks will still be in demand, especially in the health care industry, where medical records clerks can earn over $11 per hour, not including bonuses.

Angela Martin, owner of Defining Success Coaching, advises job seekers to highlight universal skills, such as time management, attention to detail, and effective communication that will translate from office to office.




4. Computer Technology

moving on Data processors and computer operators, who manually maintain a log of computer system errors, aren't safe, as the latter occupation is expected to shrink by more than 18 percent by 2018. On a positive note, computer skills are a good jumping off point for moving up in the information technology industry, where the field of computer software engineering is headed for growth. An associate's degree may be the only thing standing between you and earning $57,800 per year.

Before making the leap to a new career, Stacey Hawley, principal and owner of Credo, a career counseling and leadership development firm, recommends developing your resume using an executive summary that highlights your key competencies and areas of expertise, honors, awards and accomplishments.




5. Management

moving onFirst-line supervisors or production managers and workers can expect to be phased out with lean manufacturing practices, but success in those jobs depends on a capacity for leadership and inspiring teamwork. You can take that job title and move from the factory floor to an office environment where office managers can expect 11 percent growth and a median annual wage of $37,200 per year.

Additionally, career coach Paula Gregorowicz reminds those looking to switch industries that if you are a diligent employee, learn quickly and have strong management know-how (abilities she considers innate and "not teachable the way that skills are"), you'll be valuable in nearly any job.



Next: Companies Hiring This Week


Stories from CNN Money




Source: Salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. All median hourly and annual salaries are for full-time employees with 5 to 8 years of experience. Annual salaries include any bonuses, commissions or profit-sharing.

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Emmanuel

THE OUTSOURCING OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS ARE ONLY HITTING THE BIGGER FIRMS. SMALL FIRMS WILL LESS LIKELY OR NOT OUTSOURCE THERE PROGRAMMERS. THIS IS A TIP FOR PEOPLE THAT STILL WANT TO PERUSE A CAREER IN COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. YOU CAN SURVIVE IN THIS FIELD IF YOU WORK FOR A SMALL COMPANY. AVOID BIG COMPANIES. SMALL COMPANIES CAN'T AFFORD TO OUTSOURCE THEIR PROGRAMMING JOBS TO INDIA AND THEY STILL NEED PROGRAMMER STAFF. ANOTHER TIP FOR PROGRAMMERS IS MOVING UP IN THEIR CURRENT POSITION LIKE PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

"COMPUTER PROGRAMMER JOBS ARE SAFE IN A SMALLER COMPANY"

August 04 2011 at 4:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lowtolerance

Hmm. Let's see. A slight bit of intelligence would indicate that shrugging off manufacturing is the fundamental reason this country is going down like a lead balloon. Not debt, not a housing crisis, not a financial crisis, as all these are symptoms of the disease.

Keep drinking the kool aid though.

June 09 2011 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
usapaydirt

If the Government would apply the proper tariffs , instead of allowing products made in other countries , by workers making pennies a day ,to be dumped on our soil, then there would be manufacturing jobs , Our own Government is suppressing American jobs through unfair import policies--!!! Since they won`t help , Just Don`t Buy Foreign , and be part of the solution---!!!

June 08 2011 at 8:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
eteeuwe

You also might like to add "AOL Journalist" to your list of dying industries. As HuffPo continues to turn AOL into the Internet version of the Socialist Peoples World, there will be no need for vocal dissent from centrists or those with rational ideologies.

June 08 2011 at 6:24 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
strippes13

You don't want a job at the postal service. Automation has taken over and has cut the number of jobs by over 50%. The machinery is made for speed, not for safety of the clerk that is operating it. The U.S.P.S. handles only 15% of the mail volume. With the internet growing and companies offering discounts for going "paperless" the post office will no longer be a good service to people.

June 08 2011 at 3:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
norby1729

printing should be on list lol

June 08 2011 at 1:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
starfishking28

Forget about computer programmer jobs....they are only hiring people from India on contracts.

June 08 2011 at 12:41 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to starfishking28's comment
Emmanuel

Well not all computer programming jobs are going to India. the outsourcing programming jobs are many hitting the larger companies. Small companies don't outsource their programmers. so small companies are safe for computer programmers since they don't need to out shore or outsource since its a small company.

August 04 2011 at 4:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dollwitchy

Add being a Postal employee to the list!

June 08 2011 at 12:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
bajaraider3

jobs shipped overseas =no jobs and no money to buy products made overseas.The gov.allows mamufacturing to leave our country,not smart

June 07 2011 at 10:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
carymel

real smart fellas those leaders of industry cutting their costs by exporting their manufacturing
perhaps they have shot themselves in the foot
the people who are expected to buy their product are out of work
and aren't spending

June 07 2011 at 9:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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