We did a survey of over 4,000 readers of this website on March 18, 2020. We wanted to know how their income is changing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Some jobs are doing well financially right now compared to the average in the economy. Other professions like dentistry are approaching financial crisis.
Even though the jobs below are secure financially compared to most, that doesn’t mean there aren’t people in every profession struggling from loss of income, including the ones I listed.
I was also blown away by the spirit of generosity I saw from how many folks with stable finances are trying to help out family, friends, and their communities that have been harder hit.
Here’s our list of the top 10 most financially stable jobs right now during the pandemic recession according to our survey. I’m also including anonymous comments to paint a picture of what people are going through right now since a lot of the stress is not financial.
Percent of Teachers with Unchanged Income: 76%
While a lot of K-12 teachers are struggling through lessons via Zoom, most are still getting paid.
That makes sense, as local governments employ the largest number of teachers. Those employed at private schools seem to be suffering the most.
No impact at this time because the state is paying all educators for 4 months. If this extends 12-18 months and I am no longer employed, my house will be lost
My district is trying to teach online, and we are working out the kinks and so I’m not really on the same 7:30-3:30 schedule that I was, but I am still getting paid my contract wage for my contract hours (not necessarily identical to corona hours)
Percent of Architects with Unchanged Income: 81%
Admittedly I’m no expert, but an architect’s job seems to be one that is more doable from home using software programs than say someone in construction.
Here’s what architects told us:
As an architect living abroad, the situation is scary. My company has stated for the time being we are ok, but it’s possible that our boss will ask some of us to take unpaid leave or sick days if our work load decreases a lot.
I work for an architecture firm. Our projects rely on the flow of money and large loans. When the money stops circulating and loans are hard to come by, so is the work. We’re hopeful that with such low interest rates the projects will continue, but my worry is more with the economy as a whole.
Percent of Clergy with Unchanged Income: 81%
Even though many communities of faith cannot physically worship together right now, tough times like this cause the spiritual need to be greater, not less.
Across the board, rabbis, imams, priests, pastors, missionaries, and other religious workers seem to be relatively unaffected financially from the pandemic.
Hopefully that continues, as every person of faith needs direction right now from their religious leaders.
The slop has not hit the fan yet for church workers in my state. Ask me again in 3 weeks. We announce today that there will be no church services in our area — indefinitely.
We’re currently paying for daycare even though we’re keeping our kids at home. Current pay structure for our daycare workers doesn’t support time off or pay interruptions, so we’re currently paying for child care we’re not receiving to help them.
Percent of Nurses with Unchanged Income: 82%
We need as many nurses as can work right now. One thing to remember is that nurses have a wide variety of job functions. Some might be specialized in specific areas of medicine that have less demand.
Perhaps that’s why we didn’t see close to 100% of nurses saying that their income had not changed. There might be some areas of medicine that have cut back significantly.
I’m a nurse and currently I’m working. When (or if, if I’m lucky) I get sick, I’m concerned about my ability to have enough sick leave and still rely on other family members for childcare as a single parent.
Trapped in private loan hell. If I didn’t have a healthcare job I would default on these loans, so I can’t imagine how people are managing in fields where they are mandated not to work.
I’m a nurse in the OR. Elective cases are getting cancelled and we’re incredibly slow. Unclear yet if this will mean redeployment to other areas of the hospital or possibly staying home paid by our own PPL time, probably depends on skills and PPL availability.
6. Corporate Employee
Percent of Corporate Employees with Unchanged Income: 83%
Many small businesses have shut down, but workers at large multinational corporations have a lot more financial stability, according to our survey results.
Zoom allows many meetings to continue virtually. IT workers, project managers, and sales reps can continue most of their work from home.
Disruptions in supply chains and sagging consumer demand seem to be the main headwinds for workers in Corporate America right now. That said, most do not feel the pinch yet.
The Coronavirus panic is affecting my mental health and my stress levels are sky high, which in turn, is affecting my ability to focus on work. Business feels steady (I work for a software company that doctors use), but how long will we be okay for and how long do we need to be okay for?
I am fortunate that I have a job where I can work remotely with little disruption. (I am a Senior Project Manager for a development company). So at the moment, I feel secure about my job and income, although that could always change depending on the situation.
Feeling very lucky that my income is stable. Also feeling a responsibility to use the money from my reduced spending to support local businesses/independent workers.
5. Nurse Practitioner
Percent of Nurse Practitioners with Unchanged Income: 83%
Nurse practitioners have advanced training and often perform primary care type functions. Depending on the state, they have differing levels of autonomy to make healthcare decisions for patients.
It makes sense that NPs show up on the list of most secure jobs right now. They’re extremely busy.
Nervous about mandatory quarantine and using all of my sick/vacation days but also about dying (not necessarily financially related, crazy times!)
I am currently pregnant. I was given the option to either go in the clinic and see patients face to face or stay out and use my PTO. I don’t want to feel pressured to put myself or my unborn child in danger at this time. Luckily the switch to telephonic encounters appears to be on the horizon soon for our clinic and may be the answer. Everything is so uncertain and I am feeling the strain.
Percent of Lawyers with Unchanged Income: 87%
As one of my lawyer friends told me this week that “if there’s massive numbers of bankruptcies, you’ll need lawyers to process them all.”
There are new laws and regulations coming out at breakneck speed, businesses scrambling to raise cash, and perhaps even more strain on civil and criminal courts than there usually is, so it seems natural that lawyers would be doing well financially compared to other professions.
As a litigator, I am seeing business increase. Companies are scared about business income interruption and employment law concerns.
Torn between spending more and helping the local businesses I care about in my community, and saving enough for darker times. Income currently is stable, but worried that that could change during a prolonged crisis.
I’m a lawyer at a larger firm, and though I have a relatively strong salary, I work in M&A and am very worried about losing my job, not immediately, but in the next 12 months.
3. Physician Assistant
Percent of Physician Assistants with Unchanged Income: 90%
It comes as no surprise that only 1 in 10 Physician Assistants report a drop in income right now.
While some PAs have specializations in surgical areas that might be on hold currently, it seems that the majority have all the work they can handle.
I do wound care for the elderly. I’ve noticed families are scared and taking their loved ones home due to COVID-19 since visiting hours have been banned. My income will take a slight dip but should bounce back due to higher cases of elderly people getting sick or current patients developing wounds due to activities being cancelled, nursing staff being overworked, and patients subsequently getting more skin break down and falls.
I’m a rural family practice PA. I’m working a lot more hours since one of our doctors is off work awaiting COVID-19 testing. I am not able to see many more patients physically and the volume of bullshit (phone calls, med refill requests, etc has more than doubled). I am definitely concerned about burnout.
Percent of Physicians with Unchanged Income: 91%
My wife is a physician. She does elective surgeries for older women with pelvic disorders. She might be getting pulled to cover shifts in the emergency room. Right now, hospitals have an “all hands on deck” approach to physicians.
It’s worth noting just because physicians might be doing fine financially, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t physically or mentally spent while battling on the front lines and risking their lives. Of course, that’s the case with many of the healthcare professions listed on this list.
Being forced to take 2 weeks unpaid quarantine due to an occupational exposure.
Two physician house. Still paying multiple preschool tuitions (I don’t mind, worried about teachers more than us). But now we have to look for a nanny. We don’t know our hours (which may be significant as we are called to serve more), and we feel bad about exposing a nanny to us. We feel we are ok financially, but at the highest risk for serious illness or death, which would obviously be a much larger burden.
Honestly I’m worried about what will happen when I contract COVID-19 and can’t work. I’m also super worried about my parents and having to take over financially if they get sick (I already help).
I am not spending money because I am working 100+ hr weeks
I am a sole practitioner and while I am able to do Telemedicine, I’m seeing a decline in patients seen as we aren’t emergent care. While income is still present now, I am concerned about the coming months as my practice is not insurance based, but cash based.
Percent of Pharmacists with Unchanged Income: 93%
According to one prominent pharmacist I spoke with, “people are flocking to pharmacies not just to get their prescriptions ahead of time, but trying to buy everything and anything, so staff is being asked to work extra hours.”
Some pharmacists work in drive through pharmacy settings and might have less exposure than other front-line healthcare workers. However, others face more patient contact and have significantly more risk.
It’s worth noting that just months ago, we wrote an article about the struggling job market in pharmacy. Things have changed very, very fast.
I work at an independent pharmacy. Many medications seem like they will be on back order soon if they aren’t already. If we can’t fill medicine, we don’t make money, and I don’t get paid. So far it isn’t an issue, but it’s uncomfortable to think about.
Actually making more money because I work in the pharmacy. We are all doing overtime, but I feel really tired and stressed about workload.
The hospital I am working in is developing contingency staffing plans. I will be working many more hours but as a salaried employee will unlikely see additional compensation.
For me personally in this time I am thankful, but also fearful to have a job in the healthcare field on the front lines. It provides me with job security that I am relieved to have during this hard financial time, and it allows me to help others. However, my parents own a family owned restaurant that they have had to close, and I am very fearful for them and how this whole crisis will affect small businesses.
One of the Worst Hit Professions: Dentistry
Right now there’s a huge divergence between professions doing well financially and those that are getting killed.
Dentistry is in financial crisis right now.
Percent of Dentists with Unchanged Income: 31%
Dentists tell me if we surveyed them in a week that they think 100% of dentists would report a huge drop in income.
In the survey we did on March 18, 2020, 3 in 10 dentists said that they no longer had an income at all. Only 31% reported that their income had not changed, and many of those who said that seemed to work in military dentistry or in very rural areas.
Here’s some of what we’re hearing from our dentists readers right now.
Never been so uncertain about my finances. My job has cut my hours from 36 hours a week to 9 hours of emergency patients per week, cutting my pay by 75% for the next three weeks
Being a small business owner, feeling responsible for the well being of my family, patients, and team members is what’s taxing me the most. I’m helping financially where I can, but the uncertainty of an endpoint is truly concerning.
Practice loan repayment is a concern. Not sure how banks will react and help.
My boss (dentist) is not going to pay staff while our office has to be closed. I am able to work reduced hours if I want, but I ultimately feel it is unsafe. Additionally, many patients are canceling.
Jobs Ranked From Most to Least Secure During COVID-19
Here’s the full survey results below of major professions. I restate the top 10 and show dentistry as a reference point.
While many workers in the professions above are doing ok financially right now, not all are.
As some of the comments mentioned, you might be getting a steady paycheck but you might also be risking your life and the lives of your family.
While these are scary times, financial markets and the economy will survive this. Most of our readers are not that worried about their student loans right now compared to their overall finances, but if you do need a plan we can help.
If you wanted to share what you’re going through with the economic fallout of Coronavirus, just comment below and share.
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