See which jobs will survive the next recession

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More than 8 million jobs were lost during the last recession. Although no one is expecting the next downturn to be that severe, it pays to prepared.

While no jobs are completely sheltered from an economic fallout, there are certain industries which will be impacted less when a recession hits, including healthcare, government, education and accounting, according to Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.

"Historically, there are industries and occupations that have been less correlated to business cycle fluctuations, like recessions, than others," he said. "If you are looking to reduce the risk of losing your job during times of a recession, we know that in the past jobs in healthcare, education and utilities have not suffered as many job losses as in other fields during a down cycle."

To be more specific, Glassdoor compiled a list of the jobs that will be safest from cuts during the next downturn.

Here are the top jobs, in no particular order, that are nearly recession proof.

— By CNBC's Jessica Dickler Monday, 10 Oct 2016


An English teacher gives a class at Evergreen High School in Evergreen, Colorado.
Anya Semenoff | The Denver Post | Getty Images

Median base salary (national average): $45,263

Having the summer off is nice, but having nearly guaranteed employment takes the cake. While job growth in this industry has held pace with the national average, security is the key to this gig.

Whether it's working in private or public schools or at the elementary or high school level, "communities will always need schools, so you are never going to see steep drop off," said CareerCast content editor Kyle Kensing.

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Funeral Director

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Median base salary: $41,000

Admittedly, this job isn't for everyone, but if (human) history is any guide, it's one of the more reliable careers around. "You will always have that need for funeral homes and services," Kensing said.

Pros typically have an associate's degree in funeral service or mortuary science and do work some nights and weekends, often on call.

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Physician Assistant

A physician assistant is among the fastest-growing jobs for 2020, with a projected 31% growth rate, that offers flexible work options.
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Median base salary: $93,090

Requiring just a master's degree instead of an MD, physician assistants examine, diagnose and treat patients, often alongside physicians and surgeons in private practice as well as in hospitals.

They basically do the job of an MD up to a certain point, said Michael Cooke, a partner at The Execu|Search Group, a recruiting firm specializing in healthcare, accounting and finance – without the often hefty student loan tab from medical school.

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Students in auditorium with professor
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Median base salary: $114,134

This prestigious position does entail long hours developing coursework or grading papers, but it is decidedly unstressful and pretty picturesque. Most professors work with college students on campus or on their own independent research.

However, this type of gig doesn't come easy. Tenured positions are highly competitive, hard to find and require a post-secondary degree or, in some cases, a doctorate.

Employment of post-secondary teachers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

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Median base salary: $50,000

Accountants work with individual clients and large and small organizations to prepare financial records and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time. Overtime hours are typical at certain times, particularly during tax season and at the end of the year. Still, it's a job that is in high demand and, despite the stress around deadlines, pays well and has plenty of employment opportunities.

"It's one of those areas that you can't beat in terms of being relatively recession proof," Cooke said. "There are never enough people for audit or tax."

The unemployment rate among accountants and auditors is just 2.2 percent — less than half of the national average.

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Median base salary: $56,330

Similarly to accountants, auditors ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Auditors also assess a company's financial operations to make sure it is run efficiently.

"In this world of increased regulation, post-Enron, it's very important to have strong financial controls in place and that has led to increased hiring," said Cooke. "Name the bank and they are trying to beef up their audit department."

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Tetra Images | Getty Images

Median base salary: $51,460

As a "jack of all trades" at a hospital or doctor's office, nursing positions have a great job growth outlook, according to CareerCast's Kensing, particularly with the expansion of outpatient care and urgent care.

It's also a profession that pays relatively well, regardless of geographic location. To be employable, most nurses either have a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree in nursing or a diploma from a nursing program, all of which require significantly less time than becoming an MD.

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Utility worker

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Median base salary: $62,011

Utility workers can specialize in electric power, natural gas, steam or water supply and sewage removal – all areas that have seen increased investment at the national and local level.

"There are many companies that focus on infrastructure and they're growing significantly," said Andy Decker, a senior regional president at Robert Half. It's highly technical, so the competition for talented candidates is stiff. As a result, most command a high salary and are not at risk of being downsized any time soon.

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Median base salary: $62,011

Actuaries use math, statistics and financial theory to analyze risk and help businesses and clients develop policies to minimize the cost of that risk. "Those specialty areas are certainly in very high demand," Robert Half's Decker said.

Actuaries must have a bachelor's degree and pass a series of exams to become certified. At that point, there are plenty of jobs available, often with insurance companies.

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