Demise of Career Fields

There are three methods or means which technology displaces people and their jobs. The first is Direct where a machine or technology is brought in that directly displaces the worker and does his job. The second is Oblique where a machine or technology is brought in that allows a single worker to do the same work that several others, or even dozens of others, had been doing. Finally there is Indirect where various machines and technologies displace people from the peripheral of a career field, and those displaced people then migrate into the career field to work, thus displacing others.

Each of the below career fields are careers that I’ve personally witness displacement or have knowledge of from my experiences. This is far from being a complete list by any means, it’s just jobs that I’ve witnessed displacement by technology. In parentheses is the class or type of displacement as defined above. Note that some are a combination of the above three methods.

Machinist (direct)

Clerk/Typist (oblique/indirect)

Draftsmen (oblique)

Attorneys - Lawyers (indirect)

Building Trades (oblique/indirect)


                        plaster lathing

            Plastic pipe

                        copper - galvanized water

                        cast iron - clay sewer

            Prehung windows

            Prehung doors

            Cabinet modules

            24 - 16 inch cc standard fit

            Latex paints

Insurance agents

Musicians (oblique)

Steam Locomotives (direct)

            Boiler makers




            Sheet-metal smiths

            Pipe fitters

Retail shop owners/workers (direct)

TV-radio repairmen (direct)

FCC 1st class commercial radio operators (direct)

            Transmitter operators

            Electronic technician

Wheat farmers (direct)

            Displaced Indians, but within a generation they too were displaced - mechanized farmers

Publishing (oblique/direct) Publish on demand

News Media (oblique/direct)



Ships - Navy has program to reduce crew size by 20% on new designs

Automotive Parts Suppliers (oblique)

Railroad Workers (oblique/direct)

Automotive Assembly Plants (oblique/direct)

Just in Time Inventory Systems

Agriculture (oblique/direct)

            Early America 97% workforce, start of my career 3%, now down to 2%

Chemical, Petroleum and Industrial Processes (PLCs)

Stevedores {modal carriers} (direct)

College Adjunct Professors (Indirect)