Top 10 Jobs that will (most likely and least likely) Be Outsourced

Nancy Folbre is an economic professor at the University of Massachusetts and by all-accounts, she is one smart cookie. Case in point, she did a report on “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the US Labor Market” that said (among other things) that “Employment growth is ‘polarizing’ into relatively high-skill, high-wage jobs and low-skill, low-wage jobs.” Oy! In other words, the more skilled you are, the more likely you are to keep working.

Okay, so no big revelation there. But consider something else she says in her report, “Key contributors to job polarization are the automation of routine work and the international integration of labor markets.” in other words… outsourcing.

This had me thinking on a few things. First, why are some jobs (or rather, so many jobs) outsourced? For short attention spans, here is the gist…

Reasons why jobs are outsourced:

  • It can be automated.
  • It does not require physical proximity or person-specific skills.
  • It is considerably cheaper to produce somewhere else.

Okay, so after thinking that, I began to wonder if there was a list of jobs somewhere that show you what occupations are most likely (and least likely) to be outsourced? I mean, if you had a list like that, it could go a long way towards helping you adjust your career. I mean, why knock yourself out getting a degree or training in a job that might be shipped to India one day? And if its hard now to get a job doing what I do, how much harder will it be to work later (even when the economy comes back) when nobody in the country needs my skills? Ugh!

Okay, so I looked around and I found out that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics put together some research that answered my questions. I decided to share the data here because… I can. So, there you go. Below are the top 10 results of jobs that will most likely, least likely be outsourced and the top 10 jobs that are in between. I have also included the actual report from the BLS below as well in case you want to go through it yourself. (Hey, if you are a US Citizen, your tax dollars paid for it! So go ahead and consume the data.)

Hope this helps!




  1. Computer Programmers
  2. Pharmacy Technicians
  3. Parts Salespersons
  4. Telephone Operators
  5. Billing and posting clerks and machine operators
  6. Computer Operators
  7. Data Entry Keyers
  8. Word Processors and Typists
  9. Tax Preparers
  10. Medical Transcriptionists


  1. Financial Managers
  2. Training and Development Managers
  3. Training and Development Specialists
  4. Meeting and Convention Planners
  5. Loan Counselors
  6. Health and Safety Engineers, except Mining Safety Engineers and Inspectors
  7. Mining and Geological Engineers, including Mining Safety Engineers
  8. Food Scientists and Technologists
  9. Sociologists
  10. Urban and Regional Planners


  1. Logisticians
  2. Database Administrators
  3. Operations Research Analysts
  4. Aerospace Engineers
  5. Computer Hardware Engineers
  6. Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
  7. Microbiologists
  8. Chemists
  9. Historians
  10. Film and Video Editors

Click here for the full BLS report


This article was written by Jim Stroud. For more job hunting tips like this, check out the latest issue of The Searchologist MagazineHow to Prospect The Hidden Job Market.


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