In no particular order, the following are the first batch of responses to my poll question on the best occupations or home businesses for both before and after TEOTWAWKI:
Locksmith/Home security systems installer/repairman
Small scale vegetable gardening.
Growing herbs (medicinal)
a. Recharge batteries for folks, rebuild the bad batteries, and lots of folks don’t know squat about electricity for lighting, etc. Got several methods: Solar, miscellaneous generators powered by hand, animal, wind and even the old one lung gas engine with that darn heavy flywheel.
b. Also use the above for communications when there aren’t cell phones or twisted pair communications. HF, VHF, UHF and Wi-Fi.
c. Also for Wi-Fi between homes and towns if computers survive.
2) Maintain RVs and trailers with their associated systems: furnaces, lighting, water, pumps, et al.
3) Make more Stills like the one I have and produce nerve tonic and fuel.
4) Medical: Apply those smelly herbs I find, grow and use. Not to mention sewing up the occasional cut and tear, set the odd bone and generally try to avoid surgery (Ha!) Let’s not even talk about handling boils, although that will be around too.
5) Sorta medical: Collect, cure the Knick-Knick and sell tobacco.
6) Use my HF radios to send mail to and from families far away.
7) Make leather cups for pumps when there isn’t any molded rubber around.
Growing and maintaining quality heritage based [heirloom /non-hybrid] produce for a local farmers market but also a “seed saver” program to provide quality heritage seeds for sale or barter for future gardens.
Almost anything in the medical field: EMT, Nurse, doctor
Stay at home parent
Translator – post TEOTWAWKI, there won’t be handy computer programs to help out, and there are a lot of non-English speakers in any suburb, let alone anything larger
1. Mechanic / bodywork man. People tend to hold onto cars and equipment much longer during hard times, and fix up their existing vehicles instead of buying new.
2. Handyman – Same basic idea as above. Also lots of work installing insulation, wood stoves, energy-efficient appliances, security improvements and of course repairing damage from natural disasters.
3. Musician – The guy who can play the guitar always seems to do okay anywhere where people suffer. Whether it’s in a prison, a starving country torn up by civil war, or just a campfire with a bunch of tired cowboys, people want to be able to relax and forget about the real world for a while.
Clothes and shoe manufacturing/repair
Make/sell small DC generators, and use them for charging batteries for cash/barter), as shown at The Epicenter.com
Health care (physician, nursing) is always good.
Farmer or Rancher (self-sufficient and rural)
Mechanic (keeping stuff running)
Any sort of health care provider – Doctor/Nurse/Paramedic/EMT (*the only down-side is you may get wrapped up treating endless victims though)
Leatherwork. “It is a booming business for skilled leather workers right now; people will pay ridiculously high prices for custom made goods. Being able to build and mend saddles, shoes, bags, belts, and all manner of useful items is not only a handy skill to have, but there’s decent money in it. Right now, it’s more of a luxury to most people to have leather goods custom made for them, since there are many other options on the market for our everyday needs. But once the supply of cheap garbage from China is cut off, and our technology is thrown back a couple hundred years, leather will return to its place as an essential material. And knowing how to work with leather will be a prized skill. As well as having the proper tools to do it.”
Mechanic – “An automobile or aircraft mechanic (and perhaps some other similar crafts) has developed the skills to repair a number of existing devices in addition to the devices they were specifically trained on, i.e. generator/appliance repair or gunsmithing.”
Farm equipment repairman
1. Survival skills trainer/practitioner (firearms instructor, gunsmith, hunter/trapper, adventure guide, blacksmith, carpenter (if with manual tools), plumber, cooper, potter, candle maker, stonemason/bricklayer, etc.). Skills that you can use or have value in trade, and that do not depend upon electricity are definitely the most valuable of all occupations. Having an array of these skills is the very best.
2. Physician (especially general practice, surgeon, or OB-GYN)
4. EMT, RN, midwife
5. Survival supplies dealer
6. Engineer (mechanical, electrical, civil, metallurgical/materials) – if practically oriented and skilled outside of the computer, and not management.
7. Electrician (power generation & distribution, communication
8. Army, Marine, or SpecOps military officer below rank of General (for both hard skills and leadership)
9. Engine repair / mechanic / machinist
11. Lawyer (just kidding!)
Nurseryman with perennial food plants- berries, fruits, herbs, rhubarb, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, etc.
Solar power technology business