8 Industries Where You Can Find Recession-Proof Jobs

The Prepped Team

May 17, 2021

7 minutes

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While an economic downturn or widespread events like a pandemic could drive up unemployment rates and wreak havoc on your job search, there is still hope to be successful

Some industries and jobs are more recession-proof than others. This means that these companies and industries are economically resistant to the effects of recession because regardless of market conditions, we still need them to operate.

What industries are recession proof?

If you’re looking for a job during an economic downturn, during a recession, or when the job market is at its lowest point, here are a few industries you might want to consider to better your prospects:

1. Health Services 

When it comes to recession-proof industries, health care is top-of-mind. It doesn’t matter how bad the economy is or if staggering numbers of people are struggling to find jobs, we will always need access to health services. People continue to get sick, need specialized care or even have babies—even with limited resources, the need for good health care is unavoidable. 

Top recession-proof jobs in health services

Nurse, doctor, medical technician, dentist, physiotherapist, psychologist, health care aid, dental hygienist, midwife, medical transcriptionist. 

Education requirements for the health service industry

The majority of jobs in health services require at least a bachelor’s degree, but higher-paid positions like physician or dentist require a graduate degree. There are also a few jobs like health care aid or medical transcriptionist that might require a certificate or diploma. Additionally, most occupations in health services require you to be certified or licenced by industry bodies to be able to practise in the field. You can check specific certifications required for your profession on the Canadian Job Bank website or the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) website. 

2. Social Work

The social work industry is considered recession proof because the demand for social workers doesn’t decrease simply because of an economic downturn. In fact, it can actually lead to an increased need for social services. Stress and financial troubles can be contributing factors to severe issues such as abuse and domestic violence. Hence, most social workers in the public sector don’t often see a big swing during a recession. 

Top recession-proof jobs in social work

Behavioural management aid, community outreach worker, human services specialist, rehabilitation caseworker, child welfare worker, behaviour analyst, psychologist, researcher, professor.

Education requirements for the social work industry

Most jobs in social work require a bachelor’s degree, while some therapy-related occupations may require a graduate degree or higher.

3. Financial Services and Accounting

Financial services are important to everyday life. Everyone needs to pay taxes and manage their money, so those working in the industry tend to hold their jobs. While taxes can be prepared by individuals, mistakes can be avoided and money saved when using a tax accountant. Even when individuals do their own taxes, auditors have a role to play. And in the business world, companies need to file financial statements and adhere to regulations.

Top recession-proof jobs in financial services

Bookkeeper, Certified Public Accountant, Accounts payable specialist, auditors, tax accountant, forensic accountant, budget analyst.

Education requirements for the financial services and accounting industry

Most fields in financial services require a bachelor’s degree and a certification or licence, but more complex financial work could require a combined legal and accounting education.

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3. Financial Services and Accounting

Financial services are important to everyday life. Everyone needs to pay taxes and manage their money, so those working in the industry tend to hold their jobs. While taxes can be prepared by individuals, mistakes can be avoided and money saved when using a tax accountant. Even when individuals do their own taxes, auditors have a role to play. And in the business world, companies need to file financial statements and adhere to regulations.

Top recession-proof jobs in financial services

Bookkeeper, Certified Public Accountant, Accounts payable specialist, auditors, tax accountant, forensic accountant, budget analyst.

Education requirements for the financial services and accounting industry

Most fields in financial services require a bachelor’s degree and a certification or licence, but more complex financial work could require a combined legal and accounting education.

4. Insurance

Insurance might not sound like the most exciting industry but insurance companies tend to operate on a “business-as-usual” mode during an economic downturn. While there might be a dip in the demand because fewer people are employed, many individuals choose to treat insurance policies (especially related to health) as a priority expense. Likewise, homeowners with a mortgage still require their insurance to keep their loan, and car owners need it to stay on the road.

Top recession-proof jobs in insurance

Actuary, claims adjuster, customer service associate, sales agent, underwriter.

Education requirements for the insurance industry

High school education is acceptable for many in a customer service role, but an actuary or underwriter would need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in an area like math, finance, statistics or business.

5. Education

You can find some of the best jobs during a recession in the education sector. We still need to learn, even during a recession. While COVID saw a brief interruption in education services, most schools are back in operation in a physical, virtual or combined setting; teachers and support staff continued to get paid even while schools were not in operation. In fact, colleges often see higher enrollment rates during economic downturns. People often take the opportunity to further their education to delay entry into the job market or switch careers entirely.

Top recession-proof jobs in education

Teacher, administrator, counsellor, support staff, professor, curriculum development.

Education requirements for the education industry

Most jobs in education require at minimum a bachelor’s degree, but teachers need an additional teaching certificate. If you want to teach in a post-secondary institution, you’ll likely need at minimum, a master’s degree.

6. Information technology (IT)

COVID taught us that technology keeps the world connected and moving. It operates around-the-clock and continues to find ways to help us operate more efficiently. While IT could see job losses, the increased reliance on technology and different applications show that there are still plenty of tech jobs during a recession.

Top recession-proof jobs in IT

Systems analyst, network administrative, data analytics, programmer, developer, web designer, project manager.

Education requirements for the IT industry

At a minimum, many jobs in the IT sector require a highschool diploma or equivalent, but more-and-more employers are requiring a bachelor’s degree, especially in management roles or, at the very least, special skills certifications. Some employers are starting to accept specialized tech boot camp graduates as well. 

7. Legal

Like taxes and the internet, the law continues to churn. Lawyers continue to be needed during a recession. There are also specific types of law that tend to be positively impacted by economic downturns. Lawyers who practice in specific areas like bankruptcy, family law and crime, could see an uptick in the need for their services when the economy drops.

Top recession-proof jobs in legal

Attorney, law clerk, judge, legal assistant, paralegal, arbitrator, compliance specialist.

Education requirements for the legal industry

Some administrative jobs—like legal assistant—require a diploma, while a specialized administrative role like in an accounting or human resources department requires a bachelor’s degree. Practicing attorneys require a graduate law degree, and some in specialized areas need a master’s to practise.

8. Funeral

Much like people always need doctors and nurses, unfortunately, a dip in the economy does not mean there is a dip in death. The funeral industry continues to operate—we still need caskets and urns, and funerals have to be planned. It’s true that financial hardship might cause someone to choose a less expensive option, but funerals cannot be avoided altogether.

Top recession-proof jobs in the funeral industry

Funeral director (also referred to as a mortician or undertaker), embalmer, administrator, cemetarian.

Education requirements for the funeral industry

Some jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent with specific course training provided by an employer, but others require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in mortuary science and could require a specific license. 

What jobs are recession proof?

The best recession proof jobs can be found in industries that are not majorly impacted during an economic downturn. As outlined above, you can find some of these jobs in industries such as health services, social work, financial services and accounting, insurance, education, IT, legal, and funeral. 

It is also worthwhile to note that while a company might specialize in something specific, like financial services, there might be opportunities for supporting occupations such as human resources.


Is it hard to find a job during a recession?

Searching for a job during a recession isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. Just because jobs are harder to find, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Especially if you focus your efforts on recession proof industries.

Remember, when applying to any job, be sure to tailor your resume to the role on offer and write an impressive cover letter. If you need some help, you can sign up for Prepped and get access to free resume templates created by true HR professionals.