4 Jobs That Might Go Extinct in Singapore in the Near Future


Joanne Poh



Dinosaurs, the dodo and dumbphones have one thing in common: they’re gone and they’re never coming back.

But the same could be true of your job. Thanks to the relentless march of progress, some jobs and industries are on an unstoppable decline.

If you are working as one of the following, you might want to use those SkillsFuture credits and train yourself for another job before it’s too late.


Property agent

Unless you’re already a multi-millionaire star agent with an entire team under your wing, your life as a property agent is going to get a lot tougher in the coming years.

Even without taking into account the years-long property slump that has been brought about by the cooling measures and has been eating into agents’ fees, property agents’ jobs are threatened by the fact that Singaporeans are now more and more inclined to DIY their own property transactions.

Thanks to the ubiquity of property listing websites, buyers and sellers no longer need agents to link them up with interested parties.

And now that HDB’s Resale Portal has been launched, agents will no longer be needed to handle the bulk of the paperwork and timeline monitoring in HDB transactions.


Taxi driver

Driving a taxi has long been middle-aged Singaporeans’ back up plan after getting retrenched from their jobs.

But right now, you yourself probably no longer take taxis thanks to Grab and Uber.

Competition from the ride sharing apps has forced more taxi drivers to give up their jobs or go over to the dark side by joining Grab and Uber themselves.

For those who don’t have a taxi driver’s vocational licence, it is no longer worth the time, effort and money to obtain one when you can become a Grab or Uber driver in less time. (Grab claims you can get the Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence in 3-5 weeks, while a Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence typically takes 6 weeks.)


Travel agent

It’s surprising quite a few travel agencies are still (barely) hanging on, because their services are about as obsolete as MSN Messenger.

Singaporeans are now very used to doing their own travel research online and booking their own accommodation, flight tickets and activities independently. Not only can you find better deals on the Internet, they’re cheaper too, as you won’t have to pay a cut of the agents’ fees.

The struggle is real for many travel agencies in Singapore, with a few high profile closures that have left travellers in a lurch.

That doesn’t mean the travel industry is completely dead though, as online agencies like Zuji seem to be doing well. But the traditional model of brick and mortar agencies who put together packages for their clients is one that will be soon laid to rest.


Bus driver

Singapore aims to become a pioneer in driverless technology, and based on the driving standards on local roads, I can’t say I’m complaining.

But there will be some casualties. Because once driverless buses become the norm in Singapore, there are going to be a lot of retrenchments.

The vast majority of Singapore’s public bus drivers being foreign, this may not be such a big problem for the local workforce, but career drivers might want to consider looking for work in other areas instead.

Are you worried that your job will be become obsolete? Tell us why in the comments.

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.