If the world will suddenly stop functioning tomorrow and all our complicated systems will fail, each and every one of us will have to rely on our own set of skills to make it through the day.
When every aspect of life is stripped down to its core, survival becomes almost impossible for the “modern man.” Only those folks that have the proper skills and abilities will rebuild the world, and they will become a precious resource for any survival community.
I believe this year will become a turning point in the lives of Americans and other societies all over the world. Due to the COVD-19 Pandemic, preppers are no longer seen as crazy or eccentric people, and we have suddenly become “people that just want to be safe.”
We should all stop and think about how all of us are dependent on almost 100% of others when it comes to basic necessities. If the supply chain stops and there would be no store to go to tomorrow, how would you procure your food? If your home will be destroyed by a natural disaster, how will you rebuild it? How about if your car breaks down? Do you know how to fix it?
These are just a few questions that most people don’t have an answer for. Until a few months ago, we were an “it won’t happen to us” nation, and preppers were essentially “blowing it all out of proportion.” There are still people out there that believe they are protected by the government or by a certain divinity.
However, as history has shown us, we will have to rely on our own strength to survive before any aid comes our way. If that helps never comes, your own set of skills should be enough to help you survive or at least join a survival community.
The following professions will become essential in a post-SHTF world:
Doctor or Nurse
We are currently seeing the effects of not having enough medical personnel to fight the current pandemic. Italy, which is one of the countries with a great health system (I believe it’s ranked 2nd or 3rd in the world), is now facing difficult scenarios. Just like in times of war, they are no relying on triage to save those with the highest survival rate. Old people and those with pre-existent health issues are being sacrificed to save others. There’s just not enough hospital beds and personnel to take care of everyone.
The human body requires a great deal of knowledge due to its complicated nature, and you can’t heal yourself without medical training. A doctor or a nurse can handle most every trauma case, and they have extensive knowledge of medicine and their use. If you have one of these professions, you will be a privileged member of any survival group.
Carpenter or Mason
All your material things will break down, and some require proper maintenance to withstand the harsh seasons. Nothing has a greater psychical impact than the lack of shelter. If your home gets destroyed, someone will have to pick up the pieces and put them together. A good carpenter is an excellent addition to any survival group. Contrary to popular beliefs, a carpenter doesn’t just nail pieces of wood together. A good carpenter has extensive knowledge and aptitudes in physics, architecture, and engineering.
A mason, on the other hand, will be able to build solid structures like walls and foundations for building and pretty much any sort of stove you can think of to help you cook your food and heat your home. You may not know how to make cement as people did in the old days, but a stonemason will certainly have this knowledge.
These are two professions that will help an individual built shelters in isolated areas, and every group will want them to improve their survival community.
Working metal is an art form, and a blacksmith will improve the quality of life when using his or her skills to their full extent. A good blacksmith will hammer a spear, a knife and any other types of tools you would need, but also cast bullets for your firearms.
Not to mention that besides manufacturing all sorts of tools, a skillful blacksmith will figure out ways to fix most metal objects. Blacksmithing has become a popular hobby nowadays due to TV shows and DIY trends that show you how to forge knives and other tools. However, this profession is much more complex than what you see in the media.
Engineer and Mechanic
While carpenters and blacksmiths can help you build or fix primitive items, there are scientific projects needed for survival that require extensive knowledge on how things function in order to build new items or repair the broken ones.
If you have to fix a solar panel, or if you need to install a windmill, build a biogas generator, or other such survival systems, you can do it yourself with the proper parts and a few YouTube videos. However, designing these systems from scratch and build or improve complex systems requires more than just a few online videos.
For example, you will not be able to convert a diesel engine to run on biofuel without engineering or mechanical experience. Knowing how to use a multitude of tools and how to improvise with the items you scavenge requires a lot of school years and practice to master.
Farmer or Homesteader
For short-term survival, even the average Joe can improvise a shelter or scavenge for items needed for survival. However, as time goes by, sustaining your survival will become difficult when you have to deal with food scarcity. People have been killing each other over food for centuries, and history will repeat itself in a world cannibalized for resources. Hunger makes people do insane and unimaginable things. You’ve seen in the news how people are fighting over toilet paper, and how they are hijacking trucks carrying these basic items. What do you think will happen when the food runs out?
A farmer will be able to produce abundant crops, even in a limited garden space. They understand the land, the weather patterns, and plan their crop cycles for the best yield. An experienced farmer is able to improve any type of soil by adding missing nutrients and improvise all sorts of gardening methods.
A rancher will be able to organize and multiply a sustainable source of livestock, and they know how to use every part of the animal for self-sufficiency. We forgot that traditional agriculture is what brought us to this point, and nowadays, we rely too much on technology in our “modern farming.” If you won’t have access to that technology, how many people do you think will be able to sustain a small garden or a decent size farm? How about raising animals to feed a few dozen?
Although many homesteaders have become butchers by choice or by need, this is a skill that needs a lot of experience and practice. Many people can testify that this is more than a survival skill and I consider it to be a survival art. It takes a great deal of dexterity to process the game since one wrong slip of the knife, and you will spoil the entire meat.
The common belief is that a butcher only “cuts meat” and knows how to process an animal (regarding its origin), but this profession is much more than that. An experienced butcher knows how to keep the meat fresh and edible for long periods of time, and they can cure it using various preservation methods.
Cutting, grinding, and preparing meat in any type of environment, without disregarding health practices is part of the butcher’s knowledge. Even more, an experienced butcher knows how to take care of the tools used for his profession.
Gunsmith and Marksman
I see guns as tools useful for survival, and they serve a multitude of purposes (defensive, hunting, offensive, etc.) and not as “instruments of death” as some call them. Just like all other tools, your guns will require proper maintenance, and having a cleaning kit is just not enough to provide peace of mind.
Breaking down a firearm for this purpose is not a skill everyone has, but it can be learned by seeing and doing. Although there are entire books written on this topic, unfortunately, gunsmithing is a dying profession.
A skilled marksman that can use good accuracy and has a successful kill rate requires years of training in the field. He or she requires a good understanding of the weapon’s mechanics, and they have good eyesight and are in proper physical condition.
Hunter and/or Trapper
A hunter or trapper will be able to provide you with good sources of protein when grocery stores go out business. Some believe that hunting is a common skill, and everyone can hunt, and they have faith that, if needed, they will start hunting to supplement their meals.
However, this will lead to decimating the entire species, and there will be a lot of competition to deal with. Most of these so-called hunters will die long before a certain specie gets decimated, and I can guarantee that hunting in real-life is different than what you see in movies or TV shows.
Animals have certain behaviors, and some will adapt to particular environments or scenarios if their lives are threatened. You can’t take your guns and head to the woods, hoping you will bring home some meat. Animals will spot you long before you manage to spot them, and things such as your odor, clothing, items you carry, and movement patterns will scare them away.
A good hunter knows how to stalk an animal, how to bait it, and how to track its habits in order to bag it. The same goes for the trappers, and while a trapper can be a good hunter, it doesn’t work vice-versa. A trapper spends a great deal of time in setting traps and improving his techniques, and once the traps are set, he or she will be able to take care of other chores until something gets trapped.
A hunter, on the other hand, is concentrated on stalking and tracking the animal, and there’s little to no time for other activities. Not to mention that a trapper can set traps even for unwanted human guests and track fellow humans in case needed.
Every social gathering, even if it may be a short-lived one, needs a leader. Leadership becomes a greater necessity when you are trying to build a survival community, and many fail to see their utility as a post-“SHTF professionals.” This trade becomes mandatory as communities grow and develop since most folks need rules and laws to function properly. To keep all people in line and convince them to work for a more significant cause than their own survival, a set of rules needs to be put in place.
We all know that humans are difficult to be controlled by nature and that they will become a precious resource when things fall apart. A leader is needed to organize the community and “exploit” the skills of its members to everyone’s gain.
A good leader needs to be a neutral listener, a delegator, and a motivational (inspirational, if you will) speaker. Leaders need to be understanding and responsible when dealing with the members of a community, but they also have to be decisive if people don’t follow the rules. A good leader will never work alone, and he or she will need to organize a democratic system where people can speak and take action when required.
There might be the need to mention professions in the security role or those that can manufacture or repair clothes or shoes. However, we can all improvise or repair clothing and shoes if needed, and these items will be easy to scavenge for since people will have other priorities. On the security part, many preppers have a military or law enforcement background, so we can speculate that this profession will be covered in most survival groups.
The post-SHTF professions listed in this article may very well become the main trades needed to rebuild a broken society. They will stand the test of time and turmoil no matter what, and they will be needed by every survival community that plans for long-term survival, but also prosperity, in a harsh environment. If you happen to have one of these professions, there will always be a place reserved for you in a survival group, and you will become a valuable asset in any community.
William Glass | July 30, 2020
Vintners and brewers . Wine and beer will be in great demand.
Matt | July 30, 2020
Timothy Mc | January 20, 2021
makes a great sanitizing solution
Cheryl P. Weeks | July 30, 2020
Also need to add EMT’s and Paramedics. They have a great deal of medical training and knowledge.
Elaine | July 30, 2020
forgot babysitters and teachers!
vocalpatriot | August 3, 2020
In the old days, teachers and babysitters were known as parents and family. in a shtf situation we may get to know this lifestyle again.
Jimbo | September 27, 2020
Kids won’t be sitting on their idle arses playing games and watching Tik tok. The education will be on the job training, and they will go with the adults to work like they use to do. Teachers, they can go pound sand, since most of them are the cause of the problems we have today. They can go to the Democrat camps where they are all laying around drugging themselves, complaining, raping, and roaming as pillagers.
The Left will be the real life Zombie mobs. People with no skills, terrible ethics, selfish beyond belief, entitled toddlers in grown bodies, who as always will feel they are owed what someone else, (white man) “stole,”.
When the wheels come off, which looks more and more inevitable, I will not allow many former Democrats past the admittance screening. Teachers, if allowed in at all , will be given labor jobs and if they can’t hack real work, out they go.
Susan Everett Breton | September 28, 2020
Jimbo, I was a math and science teacher 25 years ago, and I was no democrat. I still am not. My students learned SKILLS: how to plant and raise crops, weather watching and forecasting, scoping an area, building bird blinds (observation), building and improving solar ovens, which we used for our lunches at least once per week, Kitchen chemistry, and many other practical skills. They also learned state mandated stuff while doing these things, which was useful for real-life as well as tests. This included BOTH Math and Science. They got NO democrat doctrine. Please don’t dump all teachers in the same boat. Thank you.
Susan Everett Breton | September 28, 2020
By the way, thieve were 1st through 9th grade students.
Susan Everett Breton | September 28, 2020
These were first through nineth grade students.
Comment above is what I get for typing without my glasses!
Jimbo | January 20, 2021
You said the optimum phrase right off the bat.
…25 years ago…”
Cedric Lodge | January 21, 2021
The Leader section is probably the most important. A disparate group cannot function without effective leadership. What skills the group have would need to be applied to the situation they faced.
Bear Grylls ‘Desert Island’ series demonstrates this.
It’s going to fun in Jimbo’s camp!
RIC | August 1, 2020
Counselor and therapist will be needed as well. Also sailors and fishermen, chemists, veterinarians can keep live stock and even people going as well as pets and guard dogs. Tailors and people that know how to sew. The list could keep going for days. We don’t know what we may need but we may need a skilled person no one has considered.
Jimbo | September 27, 2020
Counselor and Therapists? Are you kidding? Those types are the first rejects of any survival group I would put together. My team has no room for non workers. You work or you do not eat.
I will take counsel of the group members who have skills.
The rest of your list are welcome.
While on the topic, it is also important to know who not to select or add.
90 percent of the population are pretty much nothing but a burden and trouble. Malcontents, lazy, greedy. Milleniels who can’t put their phone down and are ignorant and have zero practical skills. People on psych meds or addicted to drugs, alcoholism and even nicotine will go through withdraws and be a major pain n the ass.
Id add comunications, radio specialists, like HAM operators. Farmers and also the humble laborers, since all the skilled talent will be to busy to dig, hoe, weed, chop wood, gather firewood, build fence and collect stone.
Paul | January 20, 2021
What would you do with the disabled??
Tom | August 3, 2020
Mechanics and other trades yes, engineers NO.
Bobbie | September 27, 2020
Agreed. Ive known many. Most can’t do squat but think they know it all.
NO architects. They are even worse than engineers.
Peter | January 20, 2021
You got that right…
In fact, Id say in these times a college degree is a STRIKE against someone, not a resume enhancer, unless it is productive science like agriculture.
Old one | September 28, 2020
Mother Earth News and Countryside magazines for now.
Bill In Idaho | January 21, 2021
YEAH ! Mother Earth News put out More Bad or Useless Information than Any Other Publication that I can think of.
lonewolf | August 9, 2020
there is only one occupation post SHTF and thats putting food on the table.
Frances B. | September 27, 2020
Good article! Gives one good for thought. We can all bring something to the table if we work together. Bring light instead of darkness if you can. I cannot fight like a soldier, but I can feed and bring comfort.
Dale | September 27, 2020
“Hunter and trapper” is a non-starter. Every wannabe Billy Bad-Ass thinks he’s going to be a Great White Hunter and survive by his hunting and trapping skills. FORGET IT! First off, humanity has done a pretty good job of wiping out the vast majority of earth’s wildlife, already. We’re not living in the Pleistocene, anymore, where the entire human population (which consisted of only a few hundred thousand individuals at that time) could survive by hunting and gathering. The planet is covered with cities, roads, parking lots, farms, golf courses, etc. 99% of “the wilderness” is gone. There’s enough “game” in the few, remaining, wilderness areas that are well-managed by states’ wildlife departments, to support annual hunting seasons. But, unless whatever SHTF scenario that comes to pass kills off the majority of the human population within a few days or weeks, there will be, literally BILLIONS of people swarming into every forest, park, game reserve, you name it; armed with guns, bows and arrows, spears, clubs, nets, fishing poles . . . And, they’ll be killing and eating everything that walks, flies, crawls, or swims. What little wildlife is left on Planet Earth will be extinct in a matter of weeks! Better learn to garden and forget about hunting and trapping!
Janice Collins | September 28, 2020
Bob, your posts are concise and to the point. The items are so informative and understandable that anyone can count them as a start for their library on survival. Many emergencies are common no matter where you live. One must identify what can happen, then use this information to make a base plan or ‘what if’. You are making this easier. Keep up the good work.. JLC
Bill In Idaho | January 21, 2021
AMEN ! Keep going just like you are.