119 Jobs That AI Won’t Replace


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Artificial intelligence has many great applications in the workforce, from automating customer service workflows to quickly processing large scientific data sets. But AI systems can’t do everything.

When a job requires skills like emotional intelligence, critical thinking, creativity, or problem-solving, a human is the best option.

Let’s take a closer look at 119 professions that simply can’t function without human workers—now and in the foreseeable future.

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Health care and well-being

AI technologies can’t replace one-on-one human interaction or the interpersonal skills that health care professionals possess. From providing bedside care to supporting mental health, people will remain an essential part of health care.

That said, health care isn’t immune to the impact of AI. Generative AI in health care has a number of uses—including helping professionals with some repetitive tasks like transcribing clinician notes or organizing data sets in Excel.

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Health care jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. General practitioner
  2. Surgeon
  3. Nurse
  4. Midwife
  5. Therapist
  6. Psychologist
  7. Psychiatrist
  8. Counselor

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Creative and artistic fields

Many creative endeavors involve crafting something with one’s hands; those imaginative and inventive undertakings will be hard to replace with any form of AI. Even computer-based creative work, like that done by writers and graphic designers, is unlikely to be fully replaced by machines.

While AI tools—like an AI image generator —may appear to create unique creative or artistic content, they’re actually just recombining elements that they’ve been fed through training data.

The output produced by an AI tool is always predictive, based on algorithms and what it’s been exposed to so far. This software simply isn’t able to experience unique creativity the way the human mind does.

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Creative jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Sculptor
  2. Painter
  3. Jeweler
  4. Dancer
  5. Stage actor
  6. Watchmaker
  7. Glassblower
  8. Blacksmith
  9. Circus performer
  10. Live musician
  11. Muralist
  12. Fashion model
  13. Social media influencer

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Skilled trades and construction

An AI chatbot might be able to tell you information about how to properly install a pipe or wire an outlet—but it can’t actually carry out the necessary tasks! There will always be a need for humans with experience in skilled trades, construction, engineering, and other disciplines related to building homes or infrastructure.

These professionals may turn to AI and automation for help with processing data, sending invoices, and managing customer accounts, but people will still be doing the hands-on labor.

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Skilled jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Roofer
  2. Bricklayer
  3. Electrician
  4. Plumber
  5. Carpenter
  6. Builder
  7. Pipe fitter
  8. Machinist
  9. Stonemason
  10. Civil engineer
  11. Architect
  12. Mechanic

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Academia, education, and training

While AI is certainly a helpful research and study tool—even a language practice partner—it can’t replace instruction led by a knowledgeable individual. Learning directly from someone with experience in a specific field can give you insights that you won’t get from interacting with AI, reading a book, or watching a film.

Humans will also continue to be a vital part of academic research. Because generative AI tools can only pull from existing data sets, they aren’t able to find new information (or conduct an archeological dig, for that matter).

While academics may use an AI platform to help them organize notes, plans, or findings, we’ll still need people to work jobs in education and research.

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Academic jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Classroom teacher
  2. Education administrator
  3. Professor
  4. Special education professional
  5. Scientific researcher
  6. Historian
  7. Archeologist

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Service and personal care

From planning and overseeing events to cutting hair or cleaning a home, countless service and personal care jobs will continue to require a human touch.

Some of these professionals may use AI technologies to help them collect data or carry out tasks like planning schedules and creating marketing materials. In the end, though, all of these jobs will still require a person’s experience—and empathy.

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Service jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Hair stylist
  2. Makeup artist
  3. Tattoo artist
  4. Massage therapist
  5. Veterinarian
  6. Pet groomer
  7. Animal trainer
  8. Event planner
  9. Wedding planner
  10. Caterer
  11. Housekeeper

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Business management and legal fields

Embracing the power of generative AI is an indicator of potential business success—our Work Innovators report found that 41% of the most innovative companies have a training program for AI adoption in place. These innovators are also 2.2x more likely to be building and training large language models today.

But while AI software can help business innovation, it can’t replace human leadership and emotional intelligence. Researchers at MIT found that AI models may make harsher judgments than humans would.

This indicates that people, who can see nuance that training data sets may not provide, are critical in business, HR, law, and other fields where balanced decision-making may be required.

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Business and legal jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Chief executive
  2. Human resources manager
  3. Business strategist
  4. AI strategist
  5. B2B salesperson
  6. Judge
  7. Lawyer
  8. Legal mediator

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Sports, fitness, and recreation

Back in 2020, COVID-19 put a pause on live sports—so the National Hockey League aired televised esports matches in which professional hockey players tried their hand at an NHL video game. Fans watched the games but, unsurprisingly, were more than happy to have live action sports back later that year—as were the athletes.

Software-generated sporting matches can’t compete with watching trained professionals play the game in person. So it’s unlikely that we’ll see AI replace professional sports players, trainers, adventure tour guides, or anyone else involved in skilled (and potentially dangerous) physical activity.

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Sports jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Professional athlete
  2. Coach
  3. Personal trainer
  4. Adventure sports instructor
  5. Scuba diving instructor
  6. Surf instructor
  7. Sailing instructor
  8. Snorkeling tour guide

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Environment, agriculture, and conservation

Farmers, conservationists, and environmental advocates often do hands-on work, from visiting forests and rivers to tilling soil and planting crops. This kind of work can’t be fully replaced by machine learning and automation—someone needs to be collecting samples, interacting with locals, and exploring new discoveries.

That said, AI tools can help conservationists monitor migratory patterns, watch for poachers, and limit illegal smuggling or logging. AI technology may also help farmers monitor crops and livestock health.

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Environmental jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Park ranger
  2. Environmental conservationist
  3. Agricultural scientist
  4. Botanist
  5. Farmer
  6. Fisherman
  7. Landscaper
  8. Arborist

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Public services and community work

Jobs that require close interaction with the community—including saving lives—will continue to require a human presence as well. From firefighters to NGO workers and mail carriers, a whole range of jobs involve skills like manual labor, decision-making, and empathy … all things that machines aren’t able to replicate.

Don’t be surprised to see these professions using AI technology to enhance their work, though. As in academia, conservationism, and other fields, public service workers may turn to AI to optimize parts of their job—such as finding the best delivery route or scanning coastlines for ships in distress.

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Public service jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Firefighter
  2. Paramedic
  3. Police officer
  4. Search and rescue worker
  5. Social worker
  6. NGO worker
  7. Community organizer
  8. Parks and recreation manager
  9. Trash collector
  10. Mail carrier

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While we may see large portions of utility operations guided by AI in the future, system oversight and hands-on repair work will still require a human touch.

For example, a natural gas company may use AI and automation to monitor pipelines and scan for leaks. If the AI detects the potential for risk, human experts can then examine, fix, and secure the portion of the infrastructure flagged by technology.

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Utility jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. ineman
  2. Gas inspector
  3. Solar panel installer
  4. Public utility administrator
  5. Nuclear power plant manager
  6. Hydroelectric plant operator

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Religion, ethics, and philosophy

Once again, the lack of empathy found in AI means that it’s unlikely to replace jobs related to religion, ethics, and philosophy. Unlike humans, machines can’t feel empathy or sympathy for another being and can’t consider morals during complex decision-making.

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Religion and philosophy jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Priest
  2. Pastor
  3. Monk
  4. Nun
  5. Spiritual guide
  6. Ethicist
  7. Philosopher

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Media and communication

Mainstream and niche media platforms are filled with chatter about ways to use AI technology in research, journalism, and even video production; however, AI won’t fully replace all media and communications related jobs.

While an investigative reporter might use AI to help them organize their notes or a seminar leader may rely on AI to transform speeches into new material, people will still do the bulk of these roles.

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Media jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Investigative reporter
  2. Editorial columnist
  3. Photojournalist
  4. TV news anchor
  5. On-location TV reporter
  6. Talk show host
  7. Awards show host
  8. Motivational speaker
  9. Seminar leader

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Food and beverage

The food and beverage industry has many jobs that won’t be replaced by AI, either.

Sure, chefs, bakers, and brewers all may use AI to help them organize recipes, develop new combinations of ingredients, and plan menus. But many of the core tasks done by these professionals can’t be handled solely through automation, machine learning, or even robots.

In the future, a trained human professional will still need to be the one sautéing, icing, taste testing, distilling, and more.

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Food and beverage jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Chef
  2. Baker
  3. Pastry chef
  4. Brewer
  5. Vintner
  6. Sommelier
  7. Chocolatier

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Other industries

These aren’t the only jobs that are unlikely to be replaced by machines in the future. The human touch will continue as a fundamental requirement in many other industries and roles.

From the skills required by diplomats handling international relations to tasks done by home inspectors making sure that homeowners are making sound purchases, plenty of careers won’t be guided by AI.

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Other jobs that won’t be replaced by AI

  1. Realtor
  2. Home inspector
  3. Politician
  4. Diplomat
  5. Humanitarian aid worker

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Find work, with or without AI

Whether you’re interested in working with AI or are navigating a job market that’s unlikely to see much of an impact from machine learning in the future. From recipe development and health care management to deep learning and AI jobs like chatbot engineering, you can find all your needs.

This article originally appeared on Upwork..com Resource Center ((Upwork is a company that helps businesses find talent and people find workand was syndicated by MediaFeed.org. 

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