Top 8 recession-proof jobs

As economists and business consultants worldwide debate whether we are actually in a recession, one metric says it all: 59 percent of Americans believe we are in a recession. Savings are declining, prices are rising, layoffs appear to be increasing, and the hunt is on for jobs that are recession-proof.

 The job market during a recession can present a conundrum. You want to find fulfilling work and wake up each day with passion and purpose, but certainty is a deep human need, which means you also want a recession-proof job. Focus on improving your skills, and you can have both.

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What makes a recession-proof job?

No job is entirely safe from a recession, but specific industries tend to do better than others, and these have three things in common:

  • Their demand is not tied to the economy. Recession-proof jobs are often essential services people need regardless of the economic climate. Often they are taxpayer-funded.
  • The public is willing to pay for them. When people experience immediate pain points like life-threatening emergencies or being the victim of a crime, they typically know who to turn to – and they’re willing to pay.

They require specialized skills. Not everyone can jump in and perform many recession-proof jobs, meaning the labor force may be limited. That translates into job security for those with the right skills. There’s another school of thought on what makes a job recession-proof – one that focuses on the last point above. When you develop high-income skills, you can make almost any job recession-proof, irrespective of the industry.

How to make any job recession-proof

It’s always possible to change course and find a fulfilling career, but there’s no need to limit yourself to jobs that are recession-proof. Instead, turn yourself into a recession-proof employee.

Know your X factor

The X factor is something Tony Robbins often talks about at his Business Mastery events, but it also applies to individuals. Your X factor is something unique to you that no one else has and sets you apart from a sea of other candidates. So how do you find it? Determine your strengths, then learn to articulate what you contribute in a specific and easy-to-understand way.

Provide more value than anyone else

Ultimately, recession-proof jobs create value for others. Regardless of industry, you can use this concept to provide more value than anyone else. Instead of asking what your job can give you, ask how you can create value for your employer. Be reliable and on time. Come up with creative and innovative ideas. Work on your professional development and get advanced certifications. When you make your employer look good, you look good.

Make the right connections

The best jobs during a recession won’t just fall in your lap. It’s essential to surround yourself with the right people, network, and take advantage of the power of mentors, especially during a recession. If you already have a job you love, that’s great, but keep your connections going – connect others with what they need or want because when you need something, you’ll have some leverage.

Be your own champion

One of the most essential steps to getting anything you want is also the most straightforward: just ask. Many of us have limiting beliefs that hold us back, such as thinking we don’t deserve a fulfilling, recession-proof job. People-pleasing or perfectionistic tendencies can also be limiting barriers. A recession is a time to speak up, take on new projects and step into new roles. Raise your standards and ensure your efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Top 8 jobs that are recession proof

There are skills anyone can develop to become recession-proof. Some industries also tend to fare better than others during downturns.


Medicine is always at the top of the list of businesses that thrive in a recession. This category includes doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, dentists, nurses and even veterinarians. Pharmacy technicians and hospital aides are also excellent recession-proof jobs, as are therapy, veterinary, and physician’s assistants.


Caregivers are adjacent to the medical profession but work in different facilities. Senior and elder caregivers, hospice care, home health aides and social workers fall into this category. Like healthcare, the need for these services never stops, even during a recession.

Public Safety

Communities always require safety workers, especially when crime rises during a recession. Law enforcement officers, corrections officers, security guards, paramedics and firefighters are always in high demand.


Like public safety, education is an essential service for the community. From elementary school teachers to college professors and administrators, education offers some of the best recession-proof jobs. Many are also unionized, which helps protect jobs and salaries.

Utilities and Trades

When the power goes out, the pipes burst, or your car won’t start, you have no choice but to call a professional. That’s why utility workers in waste management, gas and electricity supply, and tradespeople such as plumbers, HVAC workers, electricians and mechanics are typically good jobs during a recession.


Law may be one area where demand increases during a recession. Crime, divorce and bankruptcy require lawyers, judges, and legal support staff. Paralegals, legal assistants, courtroom reporters, bailiffs and security workers are good jobs during a recession.

Financial services

Money can be tight during a recession, which is why demand never wavers for financial professionals like accountants, bookkeepers, and auditors. These recession-proof jobs also require advanced skills and certifications, which helps keep the labor pool tight.


While it’s true that demand for insurance can dip during a recession, many types of insurance remain essential. Actuary work is one of the best recession-proof jobs within this category. Actuaries determine the risk of providing insurance to a specific person or business. It’s easy to see why they’re in high demand during a recession. Better yet, this is often a six-figure job.

Like many aspects of life, the best jobs during a recession depend on your perspective. Explore the industries listed above, work on your professional and personal growth, and become recession-proof. Whichever you choose, remember: An economic winter is temporary, but the skills you develop to survive it will last forever.

Ready to make yourself recession proof?

A Tony Robbins Results Coach can help you ask the right questions – and get better answers on finding a fulfilling and recession-proof job.