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10 Old School Jobs That Will Not Be Easily Replaced by AI

What started as an idea to improve daily operations, turned into a trend that took the workplace by storm, artificial intelligence appears to be here to stay. TechTarget defines artificial intelligence (AI) as “the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.” 

To rephrase, artificial intelligence is human-like computer technology used to automate daily processes in all areas of life. Automation, particularly in the workplace, is so helpful that 97% of enterprise IT professionals agree it’s a vital part of digital transformation. 

Digital transformation is an important part of professional development because it helps build a more organized and effective workplace. Without it, keeping up with industry competitors becomes rather difficult, thus making it hard to retain and build clientele. 

However, not every industry will benefit from automation as much as the others. In fact, there are some careers, like the ones mentioned in this guide, that are difficult to completely replace with artificial intelligence. 

1. General Contractors and Subcontractors

While certain tasks may be automated, the need for contractors won’t be going away any time soon. General contractors rely on manpower to foresee day-to-day duties. 

However, this doesn’t mean AI isn’t used, rather it isn’t used (or needed) as often. Experts believe that as of now, AI won’t replace the physically demanding duties of being a general contractor. 

Instead, machine learning is used in construction to manage customer and company data. Specifically, contractors can use AI to mimic their busy work tasks like data entries, some aspects of customer service, inventory control, and order management. 

2. Mechanics

Vehicle manufacturers hopped on the automation trend with the launch of self-driving cars and electric vehicles (EVs). Despite this continuing momentum in production, internal combustion engines (particularly diesel) won’t be completely replaced in all industries. Hence, there will always be a need for skilled automotive mechanics to maintain newer vehicle engines and keep old or remanufactured engines running. 

Despite the rare need for automation in the automotive industry, it still comes in handy from time to time. Despite most mechanics disapproving of AI in car repair, some still use it to help with mundane tasks, like insurance appraisals. 

Certain auto shop owners reported in a Wired article that, “they’re spending much more time haggling with insurance companies to determine the correct price for a repair — time for which they’re not compensated.” The lack of compensation could deter mechanics from seeking face-to-face interactions with appraisers and instead use automated systems to build estimates to send to insurance companies. 

3. Carpenters

Carpenters are skilled in areas that, for the time being, are difficult for AI to precisely replicate. AI isn’t needed to help alleviate strenuous tasks like building house frames or wooden structures. 

Instead, systems like computer-aided designs (CAD), which are often assisted with AI, are used to help carpenters design furniture and other projects. Once the collaboration is finished, it’s up to those skilled enough to execute the plans to bring them to life. 

4. Electricians

Performing electrical work from tall heights, having strong manual dexterity, and lifting heavy objects are only a few of the necessary hard skills needed to become a good electrician

In addition, electricians report to a variety of cases in vastly different settings, which requires a high level of knowledge and adaptability. Even though electricians can anticipate working alongside AI for certain tasks, the technology isn’t capable of handling the physical labor and the wide array of electrician work.

5. Plumbers

Like electrical work, plumping is a very hands-on career. Common duties of a plumber include:

  • Installing and repairing water pipes in commercial and residential areas;
  • Maintaining water flow in homes, businesses, and communities;
  • Maintaining and repairing plumbing systems in commercial and residential areas.

Because plumbing involves so much physical labor, it’s very unlikely plumbers will be replaced by artificial intelligence at any point in the future. If plumbers were to use AI, it would be to aid them with everyday tasks, not take them over entirely. 

Plumbers could use automation to assist with data entry and customer service communication. Even then, using this software isn’t always necessary. 

6. Other Maintenance and Repair Workers

Those with careers in maintenance, such as HVAC repair or a general handyman, don’t have to worry about being replaced by robots any time soon. General repair and maintenance work requires the precision of human hands to accomplish nuanced tasks. 

Consider the idea that the need for general handymen may increase alongside the continuous rollout of automated machinery in the workplace. After all, AI won’t be able to — or will at least find it difficult — repair itself when maintenance is needed. Only those who possess the necessary skills can do the job efficiently. 

7. Healthcare Workers

In a Harvard University article on recent applications of AI in the medical field, the author dives into a few reasons why automation is ideal for medicine. For instance, AI applications are wonderful for managing clinical data. 

However, there are some aspects of healthcare that AI simply cannot achieve — like emotional connections. Having an excellent bedside manner is one of the many crucial skills owned by healthcare workers worldwide. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to provide the proper care patients need (and deserve). 

8. Landscapers

Technological advancements didn’t escape the world of landscape. Computer software is evolving the landscape industry in a variety of ways. Water-smart landscaping technology and lawncare monitoring systems are just a few of the technological tools that have changed the way landscaping is done. 

While schedule-packed landscaping jobs can be eased with technology, the industry still needs skilled landscapers to deliver and direct said tools. Besides, a well-done landscaping task requires the personal touch of a landscaper who loves their job and has the creative mind to see their projects to fruition— which is yet another sentiment AI can’t recreate. 

9. Farm Workers

Just as with automation in the food industry in general, the nature of farm work is expected to change with the continuing rollout of technological tools. However, agricultural robots were created to help farmers, not replace them. 

A few ways AI can potentially relieve farmers’ workloads include:

  • Using machine-based surveillance systems to monitor crops;
  • Combining data sets used for optimizing crop yields;
  • Improving yield mapping with supervised learning algorithms. 

Don’t worry, farmers are here to stay. Without their help, the future of our food supply becomes bleak. If anything, implementing digital automation will allow farmers to be more successful during the farming season. 

10. Vocational Teachers

A vocational teacher is an individual who provides education to public and private institutions in nuanced areas. Example courses vocation teachers instruct include:

  • Allied health;
  • Auto repair;
  • Computer technology;
  • Welding.

The way these instructors implement AI depends on their area of expertise. For example, welding instructors may use AI to solve complex equations or to educate the use of robots in arc welding. Regardless, having real instructors is necessary for students to learn to their fullest capabilities. Without that human connection, the value of a lesson may get lost in translation. Consider this story on a high school student rebuilding an engine — if they were taught solely by AI, the result of their rebuild may not be as successful.

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