What you need to know about risk tolerance during a recession


Written by:


Investing is a lot like riding a roller coaster. Some love the thrill of taking big risks with the possibility of getting even bigger rewards. Others get anxious with every market dip and downturn.


Knowing yourself and your risk tolerance is an essential part of investing. Of course, it’s good to have a diversified portfolio built with your financial goals in mind. Still, the products and strategies you use should ideally fall within guidelines that make you feel comfortable—emotionally and financially—when things get rough.


Otherwise, you might resort to knee-jerk decisions—selling at a loss or abandoning your plan to save—that could cost you even more.


Related: How rising inflation affects mortgage rates

What is Risk Tolerance?

Risk tolerance is the amount of risk an investor is willing to take to achieve their financial goals. Risk tolerance level comprises three different factors: risk capacity, need, and emotional risk.


Recommended: What Every New Investor Should Know About Risk

Risk Capacity

Risk capacity is the ability to handle risk financially. Unlike your emotional attitude about risk, which might not change as long as you live, your risk capacity can vary based on your age, your personal financial goals, and your timeline for reaching those goals. To determine your risk capacity, you need to determine how much you can afford to lose without affecting your financial security.


For example, if you’re young and have plenty of time to recover from a significant market loss, you may decide to be aggressive with your asset allocation; you may invest in riskier assets like stocks with high volatility or cryptocurrency. Your risk capacity might be larger than if you were older and close to retirement.


For an older investor nearing retirement, you might be more inclined to protect the assets that soon will become part of your retirement income. You would have a lower risk capacity.


Additionally, a person with a low-risk capacity may have serious financial obligations (a mortgage, your own business, a wedding to pay for, or kids who will have college tuition). In that case, you may not be in a position to ride out a bear market with risky investments. As such, you may use safer investments, like bonds or dividend stocks, to better protect your portfolio.


On the other hand, if you have additional assets (such as a home or inheritance) or another source of income (such as rental properties or a pension), you might be able to take on more risk because you have something else to fall back on.


The next thing to look at is your need. When determining risk tolerance, it’s important to understand your financial and lifestyle goals and how much your investments will need to earn to get you where you want to be.


The balance in any investment strategy includes deciding an appropriate amount of risk to meet your goals. For example, if you have $100 million and expect that to support your goals comfortably, you may not feel the need to take huge risks. When looking at particular investments, it can be helpful to calculate the risk-reward ratio.


But there is rarely one correct answer. Following the example above, it may seem like a good idea to take risks with your $100 million because of opportunity costs — what might you lose out on by not choosing a particular investment.

Emotional Risk

Your feelings about the ups and downs of the market are probably the most important factor to look at in risk tolerance. This isn’t about what you can afford financially — it’s about your disposition and how you make choices between certainty and chance when it comes to your money.


Conventional wisdom may suggest “buy low, sell high,” but emotions aren’t necessarily rational. For some investors, the first time their investments take a hit, fear might make them a little crazy. They may lose sleep or be tempted to sell low and put all their remaining cash in a savings account or certificate of deposit (CD).


On the flip side, when the market is doing well, investors may get greedy and decide to buy high or move their safe investments to something much more aggressive. Whether it’s FOMO trading, fear, greed, or something else, emotions can cause any investor to make serious mistakes that can blow up their plan and forestall or destroy their objectives. A volatile market is a risk for investors, but so is abandoning a plan that aligns with your goals.


And here’s the hard part: it’s difficult to know how you’ll feel about a change in the market — especially a loss — until it happens.

Types of Risk Tolerance

Generally, investors fall into one of three categories regarding investment risk tolerance: aggressive, moderate, and conservative.


While the financial industry tends to use labels like conservative, moderate, or aggressive to describe risk in the context of investments and investors, those terms are subjective. What they mean to you may differ from what they mean to someone else.


It can put things into better perspective to think of a potential loss in terms of dollars, not percentages. A 15% loss might not sound so bad, but if you think of it as having $10,000 one month and $8,500 the next, that’s a little more daunting.

Aggressive Risk Tolerance

People with aggressive risk tolerance tend to focus on maximizing returns, believing that getting the largest long-term return is more important than limiting short-term market fluctuations. If you follow this philosophy, you will likely see periods of significant investment success that are, at some point, followed by substantial losses. In other words, you’re likely to ride the full rollercoaster of market volatility.

Moderate Risk Tolerance

An investor with a moderate risk tolerance balances the potential risk of investments with potential reward, wanting to reduce the former as much as possible while enhancing the latter. This investor is often comfortable with short-term principal losses if the long-term results are promising.

Conservative Risk Tolerance

A person with conservative risk tolerance is usually willing to accept a relatively small amount of risk, but they truly focus on preserving capital. Overall, the goal is to minimize risk and principal loss, with the person agreeable to receiving lower returns in exchange.

The Takeaway

Each investor may have a unique level of risk tolerance, though generally, the levels are broken down into conservative, moderate, and aggressive. The fact is, all investments come with some degree of risk—some greater than others. No matter your risk tolerance, it can be helpful to be clear about your investment goals and understand the degree of risk tolerance required to help meet those goals.


Investors may diversify their investments into buckets — some safer assets, some intermediate-term assets, and some for long-term growth — based on their personal goals and timelines.


Learn More:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


SoFi Invest
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA  SIPC  . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA  the SEC  , and the CFPB  . PDF File, have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.

More from MediaFeed:

The least (& most) risky jobs to have during a recession


With economic downturns a regular occurrence, American workers continue to question their job security. This pandemic has brought to light that having an economic recession-proof job is rare – but is it impossible?


According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S.’s highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression was in April of 2020, with over 20 million people filing for unemployment. When the weekly bonus unemployment money ended on July 31, 2020, many people questioned the economy’s ability to bounce-back.


Is there such a thing as a group of people having recession-proof jobs or recession-proof careers? Is there a way someone can protect or prepare better for the next dip in the economy? These questions will be answered here.


It is essential to know and understand that no career choice offers one hundred percent protection from an economic crisis. In a perfect world, these jobs would exist; however, they do not. However, some career fields offer more economic crisis resistant jobs than others.


These jobs are in the medical field, first responders, teachers, public transit, utility workers, financial advisors, mail delivery and other essential workers.


We will go into more detail with each profession and the types of jobs they offer below. This article also details the educational requirements, national average salaries and retirement plans offered to each category.

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.


opolja / istockphoto


No matter how the economy is doing, there will always be a need for health care and some form of health insurance. From car accidents to people getting sick and dying, there will never be, nor has there ever been, a period in human history when medical advice and services were not needed.


While there is a possibility of work hours being cut during tough times, healthcare professionals are less likely to lose their job than other professions. The healthcare profession has continued to see steady growth during the current economic crisis and remains a top career choice regardless of economic conditions.




The amount of years required to become a doctor is between 11 to 14. To become a medical doctor, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree and attend medical school before enrolling in a residency program. Also, there are many career-related examinations to demonstrate proficiency in the student’s chosen specialty.

This education is required before given a permanent position at a hospital.

Average Salary

The national average salary of a doctor is a little over $106k per year. Doctors have a habit of retiring later in life than others in other professions for multiple reasons. Typical retirement packages for doctors include 401(k), pension plans, sound investments and traditional IRAs.




Like doctors, to become a surgeon, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree before going to medical school and completing a residency program. However, unlike doctors, surgeons must get a doctorate before starting their practice, which means more years spent in higher education and additional requirements.

Average Salary

The national average salary for a surgeon is a little over $374,000 per year. The typical retirement packages for surgeons are 401(k)s, retirement packages offered from their employer, investing and traditional IRAs.




Nurses require a shorter time in the classroom compared to other medical professionals. They require only a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Chamberlain College of Nursing is a popular school that many students hoping to be nurses attend to obtain their basic skills and certifications. Students also need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Average Salary

The national average salary of a registered nurse is over $69k per year. Typical retirement plans offered to nurses are pensions, 401(k)s and an IRA or Roth.




While an anesthesiologist may seem like an easy job to some, it requires a high education level. Besides receiving a bachelor’s degree, one must complete a minimum of a master’s degree, complete a residency period, and choose a fellowship to specialize in a specific medical area. Also, there are stringent exams they must pass to obtain their licenses.

Average Salary

The national average salary for this field is a little over $258K per year. The retirement plans offered for anesthesiologists are 401(k) plans, traditional IRA plans and if provided by their employer, a pension plan.


Andrey Shevchuk


The educational requirement to become an ultrasound tech depends on the location they want to work. Some states require only a sonography certificate, while others require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the same subject.

Average Salary

The national’s salary average of almost $74K per year. The retirement plans offered for ultrasound tech is a 401(k).




The educational requires to differ from state to state. However, studying is anywhere from 40 hours to eight months to receive a phlebotomy certification.

Average Salary

The national average is almost $32K per year. Due to the lower salary offered, phlebotomists must be financially conscious and actively saving for retirement through employer-sponsored retirement plans if a pension is not offered.




To become a chiropractor, one must obtain a Ph.D. degree in chiropractic studies and receive state licensing to practice. This educational period equates to three years of understudy and four years for the actual doctorate itself.

Average Salary

The national average for a chiropractor is a little over $70K a year. Retirement options that chiropractors are to have an IRA or another type of saving.


Vorapoj Visarutnart / istockphoto


In most states, the educational requirements to become a lab tech is a bachelor’s degree. However, other locations may only require an associate degree depending on the medical field’s needs in that particular state. Several certificate programs exist to make yourself more competitive if you seek a job as a lab tech.

Average Salary

A little over $86K is the national salary average for this profession. Depending on the Retirement packages offered by an employer, one could receive a 401(k) or a pension.

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.




This career requires a doctoral degree in physical therapy. The number of years it takes to get a doctoral degree will vary upon the school and program. Some schools will allow you to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously, while others do not.

It is essential to investigate the states with job openings because each state pays differently, and some may only require an associate degree.

Average Salary

The national average salary is $84K per year. Retirement options are 401(k) or 403(b) plans.




Occupational therapists require a minimum of a master’s degree. They can opt to go for the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists certificate if they want more knowledge of their field. In addition, therapists must get their state license before practicing.

Average Salary

The national average is a little over $80K per year. The retirement plan options with this career depend on the options the employer offers. Besides having an IRA and a possible 401(k), one should investigate other options to prepare for retirement.


KatarzynaBialasiewicz / istockphoto


It may be surprising, but the general minimum educational requirement to become a hospice social worker is a master’s degree.

Average Salary

On average, they make a little over $68K per year. This occupation is not emotionally easy because hospice care workers deal with death daily or weekly.

These employees are also required to help the terminally ill patient’s families navigate this traumatic time. This career’s retirement options are better than most because most hospice workers receive a generous 401(k) or pension plan.


diego_cervo / istockphoto


Besides the occupations listed above, other healthcare professions to consider are:

  • Mental health care worker
  • Physician assistant
  • Personal care aides
  • Eldercare
  • Social workers
  • Nursing aides
  • Home health aides / Assisted Living / Senior care providers
  • Support staff in Psychiatric Units




Anyone who signs up to be a first responder puts their life on the line. These jobs test a person’s mental and physical strength in ways other professions do not.

While being a first responder is not a safe job, you are normally rewarded with a comfortable retirement plan to deal with the stress levels. No matter the economic climate of the country, there will forever be a need for public service.





The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or a GED. However, some state departments may require an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Other conditions to become a police officer are being at least 18 to 21 years old (depending on the state), having a clean record and completing the entrance exam and the police academy.

Average Salary

The national average salary for law enforcement officers is a little over $65K per year. Most police officers receive a pension for their retirement.


aijohn784 / istockphoto


Like the continual need for line-level police officers, correction officers will always be needed to manage the jail and prison systems to ensure safety and security for both prisoners and the public.

Average Salary

On average, employees in corrections earn an average salary of $36k – $55k per year. Corrections workers usually have state or county managed benefits and are eligible for pensions if the jail is not privately owned.




The minimum education required to become a firefighter is a high school diploma or GED. However, some do go on to study fire science to further their career. In training, firefighters must successfully graduate from the fire academy and elect to pursue an Emergency Medical Technician certificate.

Average Salary

The national average salary for a firefighter is a little under $50k per year. Fire Fighters receive a retirement pension.


Kevin Lendio/istockphoto


The minimum educational requirement to become an EMT is a high school diploma or a GED. They must have ambulance driver training and successfully earn an EMT certificate, which can take anywhere from one to two years.

Average Salary

Their national salary average is almost $37K a year. The retirement plan offered from EMTs depends on the employer, but many will receive a pension or employer-sponsored 401(k).




Public utility careers offer both more recession and depression proof jobs because the public still needs working utilities and roads no matter which economic cycle we are in. Some people look down on some of these jobs, not knowing the protection and high income these jobs provide to the people who do them.





The primary education required to become an electrician is a high school diploma or GED. Potential electricians need an electrician certificate or associate degree either at a trade school or through the electricians union to receive training. These types of utility services will continue to be in strong demand regardless of negative economic activity.

After formal schooling, employees work in an apprenticeship status, including technical and job training. Upon completing the program, a formal electrician’s license must practice this trade in a solo capacity. On average, the schooling will last between one to five years, depending on what one’s state law mandates and the school one goes through.

Average Salary

The annual salary average is almost $50K for electricians. There is a union for electricians that can be joined for additional benefits. Retirement plans available are entirely dependent on the employer. In the case of contract work, it may be in the employee’s best interest to fund their IRA plan. Some unions have bargained for pensions, but these are quickly going away.

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.




The educational requirement depends on what the employer wants. However, having a high school diploma or GED would be the bare minimum. On-the-job training would be provided.

Average Salary

The annual average salary for a trash collector is over $41K. It can be a union job if one decides to join. Retirement plans differ from employer to employer, but a general 401(k) plan is available.




Recent high gchool Graduates are eligible to obtain a plumbing career without additional college credits. However, similar to electricians, plumbers must complete an apprenticeship that can take a few years, which is done in partnership with a plumber union or a trade association.

Average Salary

The national average of a plumber is almost $54K a year. Depending on if one is part of the league and if the employer offers a retirement plan or not, retirement options include a pension, a 401(k), or an IRA.




Even though people cut expenses during a recession, businesses will still require internet and phone services. Installing and fixing cable wires and connections will always be needed due to multiple factors, including the need for high-speed internet due to web-based remote meetings.

Average Salary

The national annual average for a cable installer is $41K, and the minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma. Individual employers may require an associate degree. Their employer may offer retirement benefits for cable installers. However, starting an IRA is highly recommended.




Different employers have different educational requirements for this position. However, they all require a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED. The local gas utility companies offer a range of jobs, but the most well known to the public is the “gas utility worker.”

Average Salary

The average annual salary for a utility worker is close to $40K per year, depending on if it is part of a union. Retirement plans depend on the employer. Pensions are still available, but employer-sponsored 401(k) plans are taking over.


Buntiam / istockphoto


Construction is another utility job that only requires a high school diploma. This job does on-the-job training for the specialty sought by the employee. Even with a changing economy and uncertain times, construction workers will continue to be needed for essential maintenance.

Average Salary

The national salary average is almost $36K per year. Retirement plans and options are offered by the union and possibly by the employer, so one will have to investigate them further for full details.

While all the jobs listed above only require a high school diploma and most are part of unions, their importance to the communities they serve is always in high demand. They may not be glorious jobs, but they pay about average compared to other jobs that require a bachelor’s degree.




Although recessions tend to eliminate jobs, it does not eliminate the need for people to get around. From getting to work to running errands around town, not everyone can afford a vehicle and insurance.

Some things like groceries must be brought in from out of state, and some business activities require traveling from one side of the country to the other. Here are just some of the public transit positions that are still needed during a downturn of the economy.





To be a bus or truck driver, the minimum education requirement is a high dchool fiploma or a GED. However, the most critical form of education is the successful passing of the Commercial Drivers License (CDL) test to obtain a CDL. It can take between three weeks to six months to obtain, depending on how long an applicant wants to study and how well they perform on the test.

This license must be renewed every five to eight years. The cost of schooling and how much the permit will cost is dependent on the state. However, the average cost of this education ranges from $3K to $7K.

Average Salary

A CDL truck driver’s national average salary is $66K, while a CDL bus driver makes $42K. A retirement plan for any CDL driver is dependent on the retirement options offered by the company.

The company may offer a retirement pension or package. If they do not, then one has the possibilities of a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.


Smederevac / istockphoto


When you think of public transportation, an air traffic controller job may not be a career you think of. However, they are the extra eyes and ears that pilots rely on to travel safely.

The educational requirements to be an air traffic controller requires one to attend the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative program where students must complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and pass exams set forth by the Academy of Federal Aviation Administration.

Besides the educational requirements, one must also pass a background check, a medical physical, and be a U.S citizen. Air traffic control is one of the most stressful careers one can have.

Average Salary

The pay may make it worthwhile for an air traffic controller’s national average salary of $123K per year. There is a retirement pension offered.




To become an airline pilot, you need a bachelor’s degree in aviation or some other related field and complete at least 1,500 hours of flight experience.

Average Salary

How much a pilot gets paid depends on various factors like experience and job title. However, the nationals average for a commercial air pilot is $175K per year.

Many pilot jobs are union jobs, so what kind of retirement options one has varies. One may be offered a retirement pension from one employer while a different employer may give others a 401(k).

While the educational requirements for these public transit workers jobs have a wide range, the dedication of providing an available service is still there. There will always be a demand for these positions to be filled.




In a world filled with technology, everyone still relies on the postal services to receive their packages. No matter how much we rely on paperless billing and paying bills online, there are some things that computers cannot do.





A career with the United States Postal Service is a government job with great benefits. The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma. The job’s minimum requirements are proof of citizenship, having a clean driving record, and passing a background check.

The hardest part of getting a job with the post office is passing the Virtual Entry Assessments, previously known as Postal Exam 473. A minimum passing grade of 70% or higher is required before an in-person interview. The higher the score, the better your chances of landing a job.

Average Salary

The annual national average is $58K. The retirement plan that postal workers are offered is a retirement package called the Federal Employment Retirement System. A postal worker can also draw from Social Security.




The minimum educational requirement to work for FedEx is a high school diploma. Still, they prefer to have a bachelor’s degree in logistics, business, or related fields.

Average Salary

The national average salary is a little over $35K per year. FedEx offers a 401(k) for a retirement plan.




There is no minimum educational requirement to meet when going for an entry-level position.

Average Salary

The national average salary for a UPS driver is over $83K per year. UPS offers a 401(k) retirement plan.




During a recession, personal finances can be significantly impacted. However, the financial industry continues to thrive during these economic cycles. Tax season does not stop, nor does the preparation it requires. From individual and business tax filling to people needing to file bankruptcy, financial services will continue to be needed.



Pattanaphong Khuankaew / istockphoto


There is no definite required minimum education required to become an entry-level tax preparer; however, there are college certificates and tax preparation courses available to take.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now requires a paid tax filer to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number

. Depending on the job you are seeking in the tax field, you may need additional education, such as a Certified Personal Accountant designation.

Average Salary

The annual average salary for a tax professional is $39K per year. It depends on the company if they offer a retirement plan or not. Most can expect to have a 401(k), a traditional IRA, or a Roth IRA.




To get into an entry-level job as an accountant, you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Some states also require you to pass the certified public accountant exam as part of their educational requirements.

Average Salary

The national average for an accountant is an annual salary of over $70K. Accounting companies may offer retirement pensions, but most do not. The best option would be to start a 401(k), a traditional IRA, or a Roth IRA.




To become a bankruptcy attorney, a person needs to graduate law school and pass the bar exam before practicing law. To be a successful lawyer, you must have good communication and negotiation skills and a great understanding of current laws.

Average Salary

The national salary average for a bankruptcy lawyer is $119K per year. For a lawyer to prepare for retirement, they should enroll in a 401(k), a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.

Other occupations that would fall under finance that could be interesting would be network administrators, finance specialists or budget analysts. If someone is good with numbers, working in the finance industry could be a temping recession-proof job career change.




There is a wide range of teaching positions within the education system that can ignite your passions.

There are two things you must think about when narrowing down what grade you wants to teach. The first is to decide what age range of students you would enjoy teaching.

The second is what subject you enjoy and would like to instruct. Once these questions are answered, the information below will give further details of a possible career change.



monkeybusinessimages / istockphoto


Each state has minimum educational requirements to become an elementary school teacher. Some states only require a bachelor’s degree while others go a step further and require a master’s degree.

Average Salary

The national average for an elementary teacher is $59K per year. Elementary teachers receive a state pension when they retire after an average of 30 years of service, as well as a 403B option.




A bachelor’s degree is required to become a high school teacher, along with additional educational certificates.

Average Salary

The average national salary for a person who teaches at a high school level is a little over $64K per year. Teachers receive a pension as a retirement package and a 403B option.


diego_cervo / istockphoto


The minimum educational requirement to become a college professor is a master’s degree. However, many universities require a Ph.D.

Average Salary

The average national salary of a college professor is $155K per year. Most colleges and universities provide a pension to eligible instructors.

Be sure to research the minimum requirements required to become a teacher in the state you live in. Also, many states pay their teachers and professors well under the national average, which also means a low pension in retirement.

While having a teaching position is more recession-proof than other jobs, it does not guarantee an easy career.




This pandemic has brought to light the importance of which jobs are deemed necessary for the public’s survival. The revelation of which jobs survived during the shut down reveals which jobs will more likely survive a recession. No matter the economy, people still need to eat, get to work, and, unfortunately, people continue to die.



Deposit Photos


Every grocery chain has different requirements for the range of positions they offer. The minimum educational requirement they all desire is a high school diploma or a GED.

Average Salary

The national salary average for a grocery store worker is $25K per year. Mangers, of course, make slightly more. Retirement plans for grocery workers depend on if or what the employer offers. The best options would be a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.




The minimum educational requirement to become a vehicle mechanic is a high school diploma or equivalent. Depending on the shop you want to work at, and what type of vehicles you enjoy fixing, the requirements may vary.

Some dealers require additional vocational education and manufacturer-specific certifications, which must be renewed every few years.

During tough times, people drive older cars rather than new ones. This increases the need for mechanics.

Average Salary

The national salary average for this profession is a little over $40K per year. The shop owner may offer retirement plans; however, creating an IRA or Roth would be the best bet if no retirement plan is provided.




Fast-food workers may not be the first choice for many people. It is not the most glamorous, but it is more secure since people will always need to eat. Fast food is a cheap way to feed a family and continue to thrive even in economic downturns. The minimum educational requirement for most fast food positions is a high school diploma.

Average Salary

The average national salary for a fast-food worker is $23K per year. It depends on the employer if any retirement plans are offered. Having an IRA or a Roth is recommended.


Credit: lisafx / istockphoto


The funeral industry will continue to thrive, regardless of how the economy is doing. The minimum educational requirement to be a funeral director is an associate degree; however, some locations may require a bachelor’s degree.

Both degrees must be in mortuary science. Once undergraduate courses have finished, the next step is to complete an apprenticeship before taking the state exam.

Average Salary

The average salary for a funeral director is $49K per year. If a director becomes part of the National Funeral Directors Association, retirement plans like a 401(k) and pensions are available.

No matter what a chief economist says, essential jobs will be needed throughout the country during the recession’s highs and lows. These jobs are not fancy and do not strike excitement on a resume, but they pay the bills.




When tough times hit, many people look for other sources of income. From side gigs, pursuing a secondary degree, or change careers, it’s natural to look for a change that will make our lives financially more stable.



bedo/ istockphoto


Computer coding is continually being sought after by tech companies as a needed specialized skill. If you have the ability to master this programming language, doors will open for you in the world of software development as a software engineer in the tech industry.

Primary coding languages are HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Python and JavaScript. The best examples of completed HTML coding are in emails and Office Word documents with the bold lettering, italics, underlining and enlarging or shrinking of font size. Users see the finished product front end and not the detailed coding language behind the scenes.

CSS is another coding system that allows HTML to be read and changed to specific web design requirements. JavaScript enables websites to update with new information continuously. The languages get more complex, the higher up the web development chain you go.

To learn all the different tech skills, additional vocational or computer trade schooling may be required. Website development is one of the careers you can land if you have coding skills.

Average Salary

The national salary average for a website developer is almost $70K per year. However, there are other jobs or side gigs available to tech-savvy people. These jobs include:

  • Freelance writer
  • Coding Teacher
  • Software application developer
  • Database administrator
  • Computer programmer
  • WordPress developer

Now that we have gone over jobs that are recession-resistant and possible side gigs that can help make ends meet, we will now go over the risky jobs during tough times. These jobs only do well when the economy is doing well.


Deagreez / istockphoto


This list comprises some of the less recession-resistant jobs which may be more likely to be cut.



fizkes/ istockphoto


This topic has a wide range of careers within the entertainment industry, and with good reason. The theater has actors, dancers, costume dressers and designers, sewers, wig techniques and the back and onstage positions. Then there are the people who sell the tickets and ushers who take people to their seats. The list goes.

From Broadway, photoshoots, fashion shows, music concerts and more, these jobs rely heavily on tourism and the economy doing well enough for people to go on vacation. When the people stop coming, sales slip, leading to hours being cut and then finally shut down.


Deposit Photos


Travel agents are another industry that relies heavily on tourism and people traveling.



RossHelen / istockphoto


Getting one’s nails done becomes expensive if one follows the rules of getting the nails filled every one to two weeks, and the nails themselves being replaced every month. This is before adding any extra decorative things to the nails.

Depending on where one is going and how often they go to the nail salon, one can be spending hundreds of dollars of month.

As a nail technician, this is a great business, but when a recession hits and customers can not afford to pay the same amount of money, the company takes a nosedive.


Andrii Borodai


Cosmetologists and hairstylists have the same problem that nail stylists do. When the economy is good and the money is flowing, people are more than willing to try new hairstyles. However, when money is tight many will dye their hair at home and find a cheaper, simple haircut.



Sofia Zhuravets / istockphoto


Sales at clothing stores plummet when a recession hits. Many retail clothing stores end up closing permanently during tough times. A negative in the retail industry is involves the return policy. People will try to return clothes they have not worn to get some money back, and they are not willing to splurge on a new outfit when rent is due.

Unable to sell clothes at full price, many stores resort to having more sales than usual and intentionally selling their items for less than what the cost was to have them made. This lost revenue leads to employees’ hours being cut and even job loss.




When the economy is on fire, the drinks flow. When people can afford to go to the clubs, shows, parties, and fancy restaurants, bartenders do well.

People do not mind spending money on alcohol and giving big tips when the financial belt is not so tight. Bartenders can survive a recession; however, they may need a side gig or two to survive.





All countries, no matter how well established, will have periods of recession. Before this pandemic, the previous recession was in 2008-2009. Economists report that the U.S.’s growth since 2009 had been one of the best bounce backs in this country’s history. Unfortunately, the 2008 recession collapse is said to be the worst economic dip since the Great Depression.

Hopefully, you’re in a financially stable position. If not, check out one of the recession-proof jobs listed above to give yourself the best chance of a quick recovery.

This article originally appeared on ArrestYourDebt.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.






istockphoto / perinjo


Featured Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.