Obsolete or Essential? The 17 ‘Outdated’ Jobs Proving Critics Wrong!

By Krystal Brown

The world is constantly evolving, and because of this, lots of things often become outdated, including jobs. However, here’s the thing: Some of these jobs only appear obsolete, but in reality, they’re still shockingly relevant.


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What comes to your mind when you first hear the word “blacksmith?” For most people, the mental image this word conjures is a heavyset man swinging a hammer on a sword or piece of armor in a workshop. But here’s the thing: blacksmiths actually currently play a vital role in bespoke metalwork. With duties ranging from crafting custom pieces to restoring historical items, the blacksmith job is one that will definitely not be obsolete anytime soon.


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These days, telling someone you’re a cobbler is a decision almost certain to be met by pity or condescension. This is mainly due to the fact that shoes and various other footwear are mass-produced these days. However, even with this development, cobblers still occupy a unique job space. They usually help repair and restore quality vintage and custom shoes. Beyond this, a quick market survey will also show you that handcrafted shoes are more expensive and sought after than their machine-produced counterparts.

Typewriter Repairer

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The first thing on your mind is probably, “Who still uses typewriters these days?” However, ti will interest you to know that sentimental and aesthetic appeal isn’t the only thing keeping typewriters alive. Typewriters are also still widely used in legal sectors and others that require lots of documentation.

Fountain Pen Repairer

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Fountain pens used to be quite popular before their popularity took a nosedive. Now, however, there is currently a resurgence in traditional writing tools. Because of this, there is also a resurgence in the need for experts to cater to enthusiasts and collectors with these unique writing tools. Maintaining and restoring a fountain pen requires a high level of precision and care that modern methods can’t replace.


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This might seem surprising to you, but chances are milkmen will soon become a popular sight in neighborhoods again. As the world becomes more eco-conscious, glass bottles and local sourcing are becoming more prominent. Guess what’s also making a comeback… milk home deliveries.


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Traditional library attendance rates might be dropping, but the librarian role is far from obsolete. The reason is simple: librarians don’t just care for print resources. They manage digital resources, aid research, and provide information literacy, adapting to the digital age while catering to traditional book enthusiasts.

Drive-In Movie Operator

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For a while, people preferred seeing movies in theaters; they still do, actually. However, because of the recent pandemic, traditional theaters have begun to take a backseat, with more and more people opting for drive-in theaters instead, primarily due to safety. Aside from this, there’s also the fact that drive-ins just evoke a certain sense of nostalgia that lots of people still find appealing.

Ice Cutter

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Have you ever walked into a huge party, you know, the ones with those massive ice sculptures that are just so pleasing to look at? You see those frozen masterpieces? Yeah, ice cutters are responsible for that. Today, experienced and skilled ice cutters are in high demand by five-star bars and restaurants looking to add that extra sparkle of dynamism and luster to their offerings.

Travel Agent

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These days, you can simply go on your computer and reserve flight tickets for your next trip without any hassle. However, for people looking for more personalized services and travel experiences, travel agents are indispensable. Of course, it also helps that there are several amazing perks that come with choosing travel agents.

VCR Repairer

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There are lots of great movies that aren’t available in more modern formats. Because of this, VCR binge-watching has become one of society’s favorite pastimes, especially on weekends. This rarity of certain tapes, coupled with nostalgia, keeps VCR repairers in demand


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Like shoes, technology has led to the mass production of different styles of digital watches. However, despite this digital domination, watchmakers still remain very relevant. Some watches, especially vintage ones, require a deft touch and experienced artistry for proper maintenance and fixing. This, in turn, makes skilled watchmakers indispensable, especially to luxury markets and vintage collectors.

Vinyl Record Presser

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Here’s a question for you: Have you ever seen a classical dinner party without a vinyl record on scene? In addition to this, vinyl sales are rising high at the moment, so this already tells you why vinyl record pressers will still remain relevant for a long time.


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Digital maps haven’t erased cartography. Professionals in this field provide detailed, specialized maps for various sectors like marine navigation and environmental planning, ensuring accuracy beyond standard digital options.

Telephone Booth Cleaner

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Almost everyone has a mobile phone these days, so it’s common that people feel telephone booths aren’t in use anymore. Interestingly, they are still quite vital to communication, especially in remote areas where mobile devices struggle or even fail to establish quality connections. Telephone booth cleaners help to ensure these booths are clean and ready for use at any time.


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Luthiers are skilled makers and restorers of stringed instruments. They occupy a unique role in the music industry, providing finely crafted instruments and maintenance that machine production cannot match.

Elevator Operator

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Currently, self-service elevators are quite common, but elevator operators still retain their unique charm. They offer a personal interaction perk that helps transform elevator rides into much more than just routine tasks. They also provide security and assistance to patrons who require help, such as the elderly or physically challenged


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Bookbinders preserve historical texts and create custom books by merging artistry with literacy. They play particularly vital roles in book restoration and luxury publishing, and the books they create are often sought-after by collectors.