Jobs Robots Are Taking Right Now

We’ve seen plenty of predictions of the kinds of jobs robots will probably take over — or, in some cases, the tasks they’ll relieve humans of doing.

But a new report gives us the list of jobs being taken over by robots right now.

There are some surprises on the list. We’ve seen models, tax accountants, retail workers, and warehouse workers on just about every list over the past few years, and these jobs aren’t on the new list at all.

Instead, we see robotics engineer, perhaps the last job people have been expecting to see done by robots.

Here’s the list:

  • Engravers’ jobs are already about 74% automated. However, the report expects a decline in available engraving jobs of less than 3%. Maybe this field has already declined as much as it’s going to.
  • Farm laborers who work with crops, such as people picking cotton or sowing flowers, have also seen their jobs automated at about 74%. We don’t think anyone will miss these jobs, but the availability is expected to decline by a little more than 9%.
  • The jobs of insurance claims examiners are about 73% automated now, with a 3.3% decline expected.
  • Travel agents’ jobs are about 70% automated, and an 11% decline in the number of these jobs is expected. Many readers will be surprised because they thought this job was already extinct.
  • Mail sorters at the post office have jobs that are about 68% automated, and the number of these jobs is expected to decrease by one third.
  • Lab techs’ jobs are currently about 67% automated. They’re likely to see a 14% decline in available jobs.
  • Telephone operators, another job many of us thought was extinct, are doing jobs that are about 66% automated. The expected decline in availability is over 42%.
  • Air traffic controllers’ jobs are about 65% automated. This job category will decrease by nearly 9%.

In many of these jobs, automation has made each worker far more productive. It takes fewer people to sort that mail, so there will be fewer workers. It’s not so much that a robot will take over a human job as that the job is more about running a machine, and it doesn’t take as many people to sort the mail as it used to.

In several of these examples, only a small decline is expected. If you dream of being an insurance claims examiner when you grow up, you can probably still fulfill that job.

Telephone operator wanna-bes aren’t so lucky. In fact, the level of decrease expected is so large that there will probably be telephone operators losing their jobs.

Note that manufacturing jobs aren’t on the list.

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