How will AI impact your industry? Pew Research has answers

If you pursued higher education, you may need to watch out.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Bar chart
Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

A big concern about AI is how it will impact the workforce, specifically its potential to replace humans. However, AI is likely to affect some industries more than others, depending on the nature of the role. 

The Pew Research Center analyzed federal data to learn which workers and industries are the most likely to be replaced or aided by AI and found that a whopping 19% of Americans were in such roles. 

Also: Another major university is supporting generative AI use but with serious guardrails

To find out if yours made the list, read on. 

If your job requires a bachelor's degree or higher, you are likely on the list. The study found that workers with a bachelor's degree or higher were more than twice as likely than workers with just a high school diploma to see AI exposure. 

Specifically, the industries of high exposure, or those the most likely to be replaced or aided by AI, were budget analysts, data entry keepers, tax preparers, technical writers, and web developers. 

Pew Research Center inforgraphic
Pew Research Center

These industries are the most affected likely because of generative AI's abilities to do analytical tasks well, such as coding, writing, mathematics, and more. 

Also: The best AI chatbots

Medium exposure industries include chief executives, veterinarians, interior designers, fundraisers, and sales managers.

Lastly, the low-exposure industries include barbers, childcare workers, dishwashers, firefighters, and pipelayers. 

As seen by the results, the industries with the least amount of exposure are those that require a physical actual human, such as a barber or a dishwasher, or that require skills that cannot be recreated by AI, such as interpersonal communication needed to be a sales manager or chief executive. 

Also: Trust in ChatGPT is wavering amid plagiarism and security concerns

Interestingly, the study also showed that workers that are in the most exposed industries don't feel that their jobs are at risk, finding that AI is more likely to assist than replace them. 

Specifically, 32% of workers in information and technology said AI would help them more than hurt them, despite being in an industry that AI could heavily impact. 

Editorial standards