Which Careers Are in Demand During a Recession?

Jobs can be hard to come by in an economic downturn, but certain careers are in demand during a recession. Read on to discover which careers you may want to pursue to increase your chances of remaining employed in any economic climate.

Careers in Demand During a Recession

The web site PayScale.com identifies five fields that tend to survive economic downturns and thrive during a recession. The following private and public sectors include careers that are in demand during a recession.

Recession-Proof Jobs

Registered Nurse Federal Administrative Worker Environmental Scientist Software Designer Medical Equipment Sales Professional
Average Salary $69,790 $85,343 $72,050 $76,140 $156, 783
Entry-Level Education Associate's degree High-school diploma or equivalent Bachelor's Bachelor's and/or strong programming skills Bachelor's
Job Outlook 19% -13% 15% 22% 10%
Work Environment Hospitals, medical offices, or patients' homes Office Office, laboratory, or in the field Office Office or on-site visits

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington Post, CBS News, PayScale, USNews


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. are in the field of healthcare. People need medical attention regardless of the economy, so healthcare careers remain in demand. Medical assistants, home healthcare aides and registered nurses are among those who could see steady growth even during a recession.

Federal Government

The federal government employs about two percent of the total U.S. workforce. Federal workers seldom lose their jobs during difficult economic times. Areas in the public sector that might see little effects of a recession include transportation, police, military and homeland security.

Clean Technology

Research and development in such fields as oil and gas exploration, solar energy and nuclear energy is expected to grow. Related careers that are likely to remain in demand during a recession are recycling, wastewater treatment and environmental cleanup.

Information Technology

Increasing dependence on technology means information technology (IT) careers will continue to be in demand during a recession. Recession-resistant IT jobs include database administration, software design, web site development and network administration.

Sales and Marketing

During a recession, companies rely on their sales force and marketing departments to keep their products moving and their services visible. According to PayScale.com, companies that do business in the four previous fields, such as those that create energy-efficient products or manufacture healthcare equipment, are expected to do well during a recession.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. Next »