There’s no mistaking the rapid growth of AI during the last several years. Generative AI chatbots and other forms of automation are becoming more prominent as technology advances. While AI showcases fascinating glimpses of what the future may bring, it also raises concerns about job security.
Take ChatGPT, for instance. It can answer written or spoken prompts by sifting through and interpreting thousands of existing knowledge banks on the internet and then creating new content. Many people fear that this type of technology could replace creatives in fields like marketing or journalism. Others in analyst positions whose work consists of repetitive but important tasks share the same fears.
AI and automation might boast impressive capabilities, but they haven’t been proven as legitimate replacements for important career roles. Even so, AI-proof jobs have become the subject of much discussion as they carry a low risk of being automated. These are the types of jobs that require the human touch of creativity and originality, as well as intricate social and technical skills that can’t be easily replicated by AI or robots.
This blog post will guide you toward careers that are resistant to automation. It will cover various AI-proof jobs and their benefits, requirements, and potential earnings. This information will be essential to those seeking to future-proof their careers.
Top AI-Proof Jobs to Consider
Certain types of jobs across a variety of sectors are more resistant to automation than others. The most AI-proof jobs are usually found in the following disciplines:
- Creative professions
- Social work
- Skilled trades
- Sales and customer service
Teaching has had an invaluable place in society for hundreds of years, and current AI technologies won’t soon replace the need for real people in the classroom. Why? Teachers are often the source for student inspiration and regularly employ interpersonal skills to impart knowledge and skills to learners.
The requirements for a teaching career vary by state and region. Most often, students are expected to complete a bachelor’s degree in a specific field of teaching and apply for teaching certification. Certain master’s programs in teaching can also prepare students for teaching licensure.
The projected growth of teaching jobs in the U.S. varies mostly by grade level taught. Jobs for elementary school teachers are projected to grow by 4% from 2021 to 2031, with a projected 5% increase for high school teaching jobs and a projected 12% increase for postsecondary teaching jobs during the same time span.
The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in May 2021 was $61,400. For high school teachers, the average in the same period was $61,820, and for postsecondary teachers during that time, the average was $79,640.
Nurses are trained to care for, empathize with, and administer to their patients—actions that AI and robots can’t authentically simulate. Nursing careers tend to be resistant to automation because they call for specialized medical knowledge, complex decision-making, and genuine, nurturing human interaction.
Education requirements for nurses vary from state to state. To become a registered nurse qualified to work in hospitals or clinics, students need to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing and then complete their licensure. Typically, nursing assistants aren’t required to complete a degree program but instead enroll in a state-approved education program and earn state licensure.
Creative careers can encompass many different types of work, from music and art to writing and design. These professions require a high level of originality, innovation, and imagination, which are not so easily replicated by AI. It can be argued that creativity itself is fostered by the human mind and condition—things that automated technologies simply don’t have.
Education requirements for creative professions vary by discipline. In some cases, formal education isn’t required at all, while in others, individuals may choose to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in their preferred art. Though WGU doesn’t have a formal college for creative disciplines, it offers several degree programs that could prove beneficial, including a bachelor’s and a master’s in marketing great for helping students use their creative skills in the field of marketing.
While it’s difficult to pinpoint a single percentage indicative of projected growth for creative careers, there will always be demand for artists, writers, designers, editors, and photographers who offer value through creativity.
Earnings for creative professionals vary widely depending on education and skill level. Craft and fine artists, for example, earned an average annual salary of $49,960 in May 2021. The average annual salary for graphic designers during that time was $50,710. Writers and authors earned an average annual salary of $69,510 during the same period of time.
Careers in social work require emotional intelligence and involve compassionate human connection. For example, marriage and family therapists deal with complicated relationship dynamics. Psychologists help patients understand and cope with their emotions. All types of social workers strive to be a comforting, reassuring presence to those they serve. AI technologies would be hard pressed to competently replace these professionals.
Those looking to become social workers usually need an accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work. Clinical social workers are almost always required to complete a master’s degree and earn state licensure. WGU offers degrees that could help prepare students for a career in social work, including a bachelor’s in health and human services and master’s degrees adjacent to public health.
Skilled trades require physical dexterity coupled with technical knowledge. Electricians, mechanics, technicians, carpenters, and even athletes are just a few examples of skilled trade positions that are resistant to AI. These professionals rely on their extensive training, hand-eye coordination, and intuition—a unique combination of skills that AI programs and robots can’t fully match.
While some skilled tradespeople might complete a bachelor’s or even master’s program in a field related to their specialty, most attend trade or vocational schools that provide job-specific training, grant certification, and prepare students for immediate entry to the workforce. WGU offers a number of bachelor’s degrees in business that could benefit those looking to work in a trade service or even start their own company.
Experienced tradespeople will always remain in demand as long as technology continues to change and evolve. Salaries for trades like masonry, plumbing, and carpentry typically range anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000. Some of these vocations offer further earning potential through commissions.
Sales and Customer Service
Social skills are always at play in sales and customer service jobs. Salespeople rely on persuasive, compelling pitches to win over their clientele. Customer service representatives appeal to others’ needs by answering questions and offering solutions to their problems. While AI may have the capacity to do the same, it takes a real person to forge more meaningful connections and build more lasting relationships.
Many positions in sales and customer service require at least a high school diploma. While a college degree isn’t always required, a bachelor’s or master’s in marketing or business management can open doors to increased earnings and higher-level positions.
The projected growth of various types of sales and customer service jobs tends to be about as fast as the average for all occupations. For example, employment of insurance sales agents is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031. Just over 389,000 openings for customer service representatives are projected each year on average over the decade.
Though AI is prevalent across many industries and is continuing to evolve, plenty of promising roles are available for those deciding on their degree and beginning their professional careers. Regardless of advancing technologies, the human touch is largely irreplaceable by AI now and in the foreseeable future.
To better navigate today’s job market, consider earning your degree with WGU. WGU offers more than 75 programs that can prepare you for a futureproof career in business, IT, healthcare, and education. Our programs are online, accredited, and competency based, so you can earn a respected degree at a pace that’s right for you.