7 Recession-Proof Career Paths That Don’t Require a College Degree

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Negosentro.com | 7 Recession-Proof Career Paths That Don’t Require a College Degree | Practically everyone in the world is experiencing some fallout from the unprecedented events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, it appears that a recession is looming. Things aren’t at all “usual” for most people. There’s no way to accurately predict the outcome of all this. So, for students who are graduating from high school within the next couple of years, what may have been a well-thought-out plan might now seem like quite the conundrum. This is the question: is what you’ve been considering doing in the “real world” going to be sustainable long-term? 

In 2008’s recession, the U.S. unemployment rate hit 10%. Now, it’s halfway through 2020 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that approximately 14.7% of Americans are currently unemployed. So, this is definitely something to take into account when considering your transition into a profession. With a recession comes mass layoffs, less hiring and a much more competitive job market. So, no career field is going to be 100% recession-proof. However, some fields tend to be more recession-proof than others. Among those that don’t even require a college degree are:


If you enjoy traveling, you’re a safe driver and motivated, truck driving is an excellent career choice. Normally it’s considered to be a recession-proof field since businesses around the world rely on commercial trucks to transport their goods and materials. Go to truck driving school and get your CDL license and you’ll be ready to hit the road. Many trucking companies offer free training and a guaranteed job afterward. You can choose to drive Over-The-Road (OTR), regionally or on local routes. An OTR driver can be on the road for weeks at a time, while a local driver will probably be home every night. A large number of truck drivers are approaching retirement age; the average age of truck drivers is currently 55, so younger commercial drivers are needed to replace them.

Automotive Services

A recession may mean a decrease in driving, but for most people, a car is still a necessity. People may be out of a job or working less or working lower-paying jobs. So, while car sales might be down during this time, someone who might have normally purchased a new vehicle may find it more cost-effective to keep the one they have instead. However, it will still require maintenance and repairs. 

Public Transportation

People will always need some type of transportation. Unfortunately, during a recession, many people can’t afford their vehicles. So, especially in bigger cities, public transportation becomes a necessity. Also, there are many jobs in public transportation (e.g., bus drivers, ticket booth attendants, engineers and mechanics).

Public Safety

Public safety workers are often more in demand during a recession. After all, crime isn’t going away. EMTs, paramedics and firefighters are always in demand. 


Crime doesn’t stop, so a job in the corrections system should be secure. Correctional officers, probation officers and parole officers are just a few of the opportunities. There’s a lot of turnover in this field, which makes it more secure for anyone who has a clean record.  


Whether the economy is good or bad, everyone still needs utilities such as electricity, water, and waste management for day-to-day life. Similar to the trucking industry, the age of these employees tends to be older, so younger people are needed to take their place. 

Senior Care

The senior population is rising as Baby Boomers get older. So, assisted living facilities and nursing homes will always need dependable, caring employees. Home health care and hospice work are also options. Many of these jobs and career paths don’t require a degree; some only require training and certification (e.g., certified nursing assistant).

2020 may be a recession in the making. So, if you’re looking for a new career give some thought to fields that are necessities to people’s day-to-day life. Some jobs aren’t so negatively-affected by economic downturns as others. Always keep an eye on the job market and be proactive about finding and keeping employment. It’s unrealistic to expect guaranteed stability from a job anytime, especially in 2020, but every bit of recession-proofing will help to keep your mind at ease. 

Know more about various career paths here on Negosentro.com