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Future careers and their cost to insure.

The future of work is a double-edged sword. Sci-fi films and TV shows paint a world of automation and space travel, and they depict a number of ways in which careers can evolve. With these potentially drastic changes to job roles, our experts at The Insurance Surgery have predicted what some of these dangerous jobs may be in the future.

In addition to predicting what these jobs might be, our experts have also estimated how much it might cost to insure each of them and utilised AI to create what these jobs might look like. 

Interstellar Spaceship Deckhand.

1 Interstellar Spaceship Deckhand

In a space-age future, travelling from planet to space station will require transportation. This transportation will likely be in the form of spaceships, and like all forms of ships, they will need a crew, including a deckhand. 

Interstellar travel will likely be very similar to offshore working such as working on boats, as both involve spending long periods of time travelling vast distances using advanced technology.

The role of an interstellar spaceship deckhand would most likely be very similar to that of today’s ship deckhand. They would be required to provide basic support for the spaceship’s docking and undocking. General housekeeping and cleaning, as well as everyday safety processes like keeping watch for poor travel conditions (such as unexpected meteor showers!). Additionally, on commercial liners, deckhands may be required to provide customer service to assist passengers onboard. Loading, unloading, and overseeing cargo would also play prominent roles for an interstellar spaceship deckhand.

Estimated life insurance cost: £7.50 per month

Life insurance payout: £250,000


Habitation Sanitation Specialist.

Habitation Sanitation Specialist

If our waste habits in the future are anything like they are today, this role will likely be crucial both on Earth and in any intergalactic colonies we establish. In 2008, Disney’s Wall-E depicted a waste-covered planet manned by robotic waste disposal units. Even with robotic assistance, human decision-making is imperative to oversee the maintenance of disposal robots and ensure that things are being processed as planned.  

The role of a habitation sanitation specialist would be very similar to that of a modern-day sanitation specialist: maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in various locations. The biggest difference to this job role would be the conditions and environments that the specialist would need to maintain. 

In a worst-case scenario, a habitation sanitation specialist may oversee repairing Earth and transforming it back into the life-sustaining planet and ecosystem that we know today. In a better-case scenario, the job role would be to simply maintain the sterile environments that are needed for human health and habitation. 

Estimated life insurance cost: £33.92 per month

Life insurance payout: £333,000


Planetary Conservation Officer.

Planetary Conservation Officer

In a future where humans may have populated distant and strange new worlds, one job role that may emerge would be that of a planetary conservation officer. Every planet has its own ecosystem, and to prevent humans from damaging or altering that ecosystem to a point of no return, conservation officers will be a must. 

Today’s equivalent would likely be a role such as a countryside ranger, and whilst the jobs are fundamentally similar, this futuristic version will no doubt involve greater risks. When dealing with another planet’s ecosystem and alien organisms, there is an increased danger of encountering unknown and unpredictable threats. From the lifeforms that may currently exist on the planet to the very nature of the planet (potential volcanic activity, naturally acidic or alkali plantation, rock beds), when dealing with the unknown, there is always an increased risk. 

In addition to ensuring that both the ecosystem and the people inhabiting it are safe, a planetary conservation officer would also act as security for historical, heritage or ecological purposes. The officer would need to ensure that trespassers cannot access the secured areas in order to preserve them. 

Estimated life insurance cost: £44.96 per month

Life insurance payout: £250,000


Orbital Freight Pilot.

Orbital Freight Pilot

In a distant space-aged future, one job that will likely never be replaced is that of a freight operator. Individuals previously named lorry drivers will likely take over intergalactic travel and be responsible for space shuttle freighters, transporting goods such as life-sustaining produce and settlement supplies. 

An orbital freight pilot would be responsible for navigating exported merchandise to and from planets, settlements, and space stations, ensuring that it arrives at its intended destination in good condition as well as in a timely manner. 

Orbital freight pilots would likely spend most of their time commuting, not unlike today’s lorry drivers, and as a consequence, would be more at risk of travel-related accidents and incidents, such as collisions or robberies. 

Estimated life insurance cost: £57.75 per month

Life insurance payout: £400,000


Vacuum Welding Specialist.

Vacuum Welding Specialist

The job of a welder already carries dangers, and the risks associated with being a vacuum welding specialist are likely to be even greater. Similar to hyperbaric welders, whose role involves bonding metals together to repair deep-sea structures, a vacuum welding specialist would also be required to fuse metals at extreme pressures and temperatures. The role would likely include working on planet-side pipelines, space mining rigs, and spaceships. Those in this role would need to use specialist welding and astronautical equipment, including heat-proof spacesuits and vacuum-proof tools.

Space welding is a critical element of space travel. The need for effective bonding techniques in weightless conditions was something that became apparent in the 1990s, as the intricately designed International Space Station was launched. 

Following this, in-space welding became necessary in repairing damage to hulls, which was often caused by space debris, as well as to re-strengthen structures which had been weakened through long periods of use.

The role would require specific skills and training in a number of specialist techniques, including but not limited to friction stir, ultrasonic stir, and handheld laser welding. The techniques and specialist equipment needed for this role, when accompanied by low or zero gravity, make the job extremely dangerous. 

Estimated life insurance cost: £54.07 per month

Life insurance payout: £400,000


Astronaut Security Officer.

Astronaut Security Officer (ASO)

Even the most idyllic towns and supposedly squeaky-clean cities aren’t immune to crime, so why would the vast expanse of space, with its isolation and potential for resource conflicts, be any different?

With humanity taking to the stars, it’s to be expected that crime will also increase in space. Whether it be petty thefts, galactical disputes, or shuttle collisions, an astronaut security officer will undoubtedly be a popular job of the future.

The role of an astronaut security officer would likely involve dangers similar to those working in armed forces as it requires physical fitness and endurance, concentration skills and fast reactions as well as an ability to listen to and follow orders. 

An astronaut security officer would likely implement and enforce security measures onboard spacecraft and space stations. They would need to maintain a constant state of awareness to identify and mitigate potential security risks, respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies, and ensure crew safety in hazardous situations.

Estimated life insurance cost: £50 per month

Life insurance payout: £3,433,608


As these job roles are theoretical futuristic careers, there is no certainty that should they become a reality, these insurance costs and payouts would be an accurate reflection of the future.

These estimations have been made by Andy Mellor, the Managing Director at The Insurance Surgery, based on current careers of a similar nature. It is worth noting that a case-by-case nature determines accurate life insurance costs and payout, and there are many contributing factors to what an individual may spend and receive at the point of payout, such as an individual’s age and medical conditions, as well as many other factors. 

The future is limitless, and space exploration will create an abundance of new jobs. While these are only some of our predictions, the possibilities are, in fact, endless. It is important to remember that as the human race and society continue to advance, many of the jobs we see today will likely only change to adapt to the advances rather than become obsolete. Comparing these careers to those of today can help give us an understanding of what the future might bring and what to expect as science progresses.