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Decades ago, getting an average paying job didn’t require higher education, and it meant making enough money to get by. Workers who lacked specialized skills still had a wealth of opportunities.

But those jobs are becoming more and more scarce by the year. And some, today, require higher education credentials.

A new study from CareerBuilder points to an alarming trend of the middle-class job market: opportunities are shrinking.

According to the survey, a total of 121 occupations in the U.S. will experience a decline in jobs by 2023; middle-wage occupations will account for 58 percent of the loss.

As middle-class jobs dwindle, more Americans at risk of displacement

As middle-class job growth slows, competition for placement will increase. In return, this could heighten education requirements, necessary skill sets and the risk of displacement and underemployment.

“Workers across all job levels will need to continually pursue opportunities to upskill in order to maneuver around accelerated shifts in labor demand,” says Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. “This is a particularly pressing issue for middle-wage workers who are at greater risk for becoming displaced and workers in general who want to move up into better-paying jobs.”

Middle-wage jobs that are decreasing include those with hourly pay as high as $23.05 and ones that require higher education degrees.

The main lesson? Middle-class workers should keep their skills sharp and consider making a career move before competition gets tighter than it already is.

Here are 10 of the most surprising middle-class jobs that are shrinking.

1. Desktop publishers

Jobs in 2018: 14,078

Predicted jobs in 2023: 13,450

Predicted percent of jobs lost: 4.46 percent

Median hourly earnings: $21.70

Typical entry level education: Associate’s degree

Desktop publishers are responsible for arranging graphics and type for print-ready products. As an increase in online publication continues, more of these jobs will be sourced through graphic designers.

2. Computer operators

Jobs in 2018: 53,288

Predicted jobs in 2023: 50,704

Percent of jobs lost: 4.85 percent

Median hourly earnings: $21.55

Typical entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Developing technology will continue to automate operator jobs. Computer operators could consider a switch into programming or other problem-solving professions.

3. Legal secretaries

Jobs in 2018: 187,335

Predicted jobs in 2023: 173,524

Percent of jobs lost: 7.37 percent

Median hourly earnings: $21.51

Typical entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Being a legal secretary involves specialized skills, but legal firms have been cutting back on employing them since the recession. As new lawyers who are trained to type work themselves, this occupation will continue to decrease in available jobs.

4. Correctional officers and jailers

Jobs in 2018: 432,044

Predicted jobs in 2023: 421,921

Percent of jobs lost: 2.34 percent

Median hourly earnings: $20.93

Typical entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Because of a large risk of injury on the job, prisons have high turnover rates for correctional officers and jailers. Related lines of work include other branches of the criminal justice system, like police officers and transportation security screeners.

5. Parking enforcement workers

Jobs in 2018: 10,703

Predicted jobs in 2023: 9,371

Percent of jobs lost: 12.45 percent

Median hourly earnings: $18.76

Typical entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

As technology helps make ticketing more efficient, it’s likely that fewer workers will be needed for parking enforcement. Current parking enforcement workers could consider other government professions to keep their benefits.

6. Word processors and typists

Jobs in 2018: 88,919

Predicted jobs in 2023: 79,589

Percent of jobs lost: 10.49 percent

Median hourly earnings: $18.68

Typical entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Technology has helped automate transcription, so expect word processor and typist jobs to continue to dwindle in the coming years. Because this profession doesn’t require post-high school education, current workers might have to consider heading back to school to gain credentials for their next career.

7. Reporters and correspondents

Jobs in 2018: 43,757

Predicted jobs in 2023: 41,418

Percent of jobs lost: 5.35 percent

Median hourly earnings: $18.37

Typical entry level education: Bachelor’s degree

As local news outlets continue to shutter, the demand for reporters and correspondents continues to decline. The print publication industry can expect a continual struggle to compete with online publications.

8. Radio and television announcers

Jobs in 2018: 31,086

Predicted jobs in 2023: 29,154

Percent of jobs lost: 6.22 percent

Median hourly earnings: $16.54

Typical entry level education: Bachelor’s degree

Improving technology makes it easier for stations to get more done with less staff, making an already competitive industry even less attainable.

9. Data entry keyers

Jobs in 2018: 198,359

Predicted jobs in 2023: 185,916

Percent of jobs lost: 6.27 percent

Median hourly earnings: $15.08

Typical entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

Data entry has long been an accessible, flexible field of work — but jobs are quickly disappearing. Similar jobs to consider include medical transcription and administrative assistants.

10. Assemblers and fabricators

Jobs in 2018: 1,320,688

Predicted jobs in 2023: 1,274,418

Percent of jobs lost: 3.5 percent

Median hourly earnings: $14.83

Typical entry level education: High school diploma or equivalent

As assembly lines become more automated and efficient by technology, the need for workers will continue to decline.

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