Dec 06

Most Relevant Jobs After T-SHTF

To be sure if T-SHTF there will be an initial period of extreme turmoil. Those who will have prepared in advance for the collapse will spend most of their time focusing on day to day survival activities. Securing and maintaining shelter, rationing food and water in addition to defending themselves from those who did not make adequate preparations will all be part of the new reality. Communities will form and eventually thrive as the turmoil subsides and society moves into a reset phase. The timeline for this all to occur is anyone’s best guess, it could be 3 months or 3 years depending on the scenario and severity of the damaged caused. Throughout all of this there will still be a need to fill many job functions, the relevance of each depending on how far past the collapse society has progressed. What follows is a list of the most relevant jobs which will exist after T-SHTF, notice that none of them involve sitting in a cubicle while sending emails out for 8 hours per day.

Blacksmith: A heavyweight in the post collapse community, every town will definitely have the need for a skilled Blacksmith. Someone who can work with wrought iron and steel, forging the metal into tools, weapons, farming equipment and much more. The Blacksmith can also produce horse shoes which are sure to be a “hot” commodity post collapse.

Carpenters: A valuable skill before the collapse, the need for skilled carpenters will increase many times over after T-SHTF. Buildings will have to be maintained, re-built and modified to support a more rustic lifestyle. New homes/barns will have to be constructed and the furniture which will go inside of them will have to be fabricated as well. Early on in the collapse carpenters could be essential in the building of barriers or other fortifications.

Masons: Stone masons and brick masons will compliment the work of the carpenter and be just as valuable. Their collective knowledge with the tools of their trade (mallets, chisels, trowels, jointers) will be useful in building walls, fireplaces, ovens and even homes.

Engineers: Individuals who are skilled at acquiring and applying scientific knowledge. Designing and repairing machinery which can do work or produce power (steam engine, water wheel) to those in electrical and mechanical engineering who could bring back basic conveniences if the grid was knocked out (solar and wind energy).

Mechanics: People who understand the use of tools in order to build and fix machinery, every community will have a need for one or more of these individuals. From large machines (boilers) to simple ones (bicycles), knowing how to “turn wrenches” will always be a valued skill.

Doctors: Near the top of the food chain when it comes to being in demand, especially during the initial stages of collapse when many will fall victim to life threatening injuries which will require surgery.

Nurses / EMT: While not as skilled as Doctors these individuals will still be in high demand. They can tend to most wounds, even some major trauma cases (compound fractures, heavy bleeding). They can start IVs, conduct blood transfusions and assist in helping to remedy many forms of illness.

Moonshiners: Let’s face it, the need for spirits will never go away. While most preppers do stock quite a bit of alcohol that supply is finite so being able to produce more will be a valued skill, especially after the dust has settled and the reset begins.

Law enforcement: Each community will no doubt have their own security forces but as time goes on expect to see the equivalent of a town Sheriff (and deputies). These individuals will be necessary to keep law and order, to keep looters from stealing supplies and assist in resolution of personal disputes (or to carry out trials).

Farmers/Ranchers: Knowing how to grow crops and raise animals which will be used for food production have their obvious benefits. Being able to do this without the assistance of modern technology will be an even bigger bonus. While current farmers and ranchers produce for thousands, expect to see very small operations which support one or two communities after T-SHTF.

Butchers: Initially after the collapse the need for a butcher might not be that apparent but once the reset phase hits it will surely make a resurgence. With the absence of retail supermarkets and just in time delivery systems the skills to slaughter and dress animals while minimizing waste and turning out cuts of meat for consumption will be in high demand in local communities.

Merchant Traders: Trade/barter is as old as time and will continue even after a major collapse. These individuals will venture out from community to community trading valuable commodities. They may even set up small trading posts where people can gather to conduct transactions.

Clergy:  Last but not least, keeping the faith and ministering to the flock will be of utmost importance throughout the entire shock and subsequent recovery period after T-SHTF.  Men of God will always be relevant no matter what the circumstance.  Prayer for the sick, counseling for the brokenhearted, presiding over weddings, baptisms and funerals, all tasks which require Clergy.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Be Sociable, Share!


Skip to comment form

    • Ranger W on December 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM
    • Reply

    I agree with this list. I think the main thing people need to do is more than just get a book on a topic. Take a class at a vocational center, shadow someone, just figure out some way to get some hands on experience in one of these fields.

    I will be moonshining and farming.

    • jason on December 7, 2012 at 11:50 PM
    • Reply

    i think a barber will still be needed. might not be the first job needed but 2 months after shtf people will be sick of their hair in their faces

      • PJ on December 8, 2012 at 12:26 AM
      • Reply


      I agree totally! I did have an “honorable mention” list which included a barber, but I chose not to include it. Thanks for the comment. Personally I plan on going for the Fabio look…

    • Eric on December 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM
    • Reply

    How about a seamstress, someone that can sew, make or mend clothing will be needed as well. I also like the list but just as a reminder its not just knowing the craft but also having the tools to perform them. What good is a blacksmith without a forge, or a doctor without medical supplies? Someone that can fix electronics and a gunsmith will also be a nice addition as well, I know a couple of electrical Engineers and they couldn’t fix a radio if their life depended on it (and it might) only because trouble shooting a problem isn’t their strong point. Great list though 🙂

      • PJ on December 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM
      • Reply


      Great points you mention, there are always other factors to consider. You mention Doctors without instruments and that is precisely why I try to stockpile as much as I can in the way of surgical tools (and supplies). I obviously do not know how to use any of those things but if I needed a surgeon hopefully I would be able to barter for his/her services.

    • Lobo on January 2, 2013 at 4:32 PM
    • Reply

    I would like to point out that Doctors do not do a lot of things nurses do. Most doctors, barring trauma, do CPR on a regular basis. Medicine is a very specialized field and just because you have a doctor doesn’t mean they can cover as much as you think. Example, you have an oncologist in your group. They are not going to be effective at treating injuries as say a trauma surgeon is. At the same time, the trauma surgeon wouldn’t be as good at diagnosing a patient like a general practitioner would be. The general practitioner wouldn’t be good at sedating a patient as an anesthesiologist would be. Nurses also can become incredibly knowledgeable in medicine to a point that they will be more useful than a doctor in a lot of areas. It takes all kinds of folks doing different jobs and specializing to make it work. Good list though and I agree with the logic on the choices.

      • PJ on January 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM
      • Reply


      Great points and thanks for clarifying. My only association with the field of medicine is minimal (as you can tell), my wife is the subject matter expert. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, I’ll stick to basic first aid and field trauma.


      • Pogo on October 28, 2014 at 4:04 PM
      • Reply

      I know many nurses that would disagree.

    • Bulldog jim on December 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM
    • Reply

    The survivors will be the ones with these types of skills and these survivors must be willing to share their knowledge with others who are willing to learn. We must also be prepared to take on the responsibility of learning from other tradesmen so that more than one person can weild a hammer or repair a drain or electrical outlet. In other words we will all need to become handymen and women.

    • Some Prepper on June 27, 2014 at 9:04 PM
    • Reply

    This is a good list. I would like to know what you think about the media? It may be quite irrelevant at the beginning of a crisis, but when things start to return to normal, or at least calm down a bit, there might be a need for some kind of mass media like community newspaper to spread information to people.

    • Bruce on September 26, 2014 at 8:06 AM
    • Reply

    Media, especially a scribe. Journals kept of the hardships and ways they were overcome. Communications through radio network will also be a key element. Knowledge of surrounding areas and what is going on there, especially warning intell of rogue groups and their direction of travel. Knowing the needs of other communities will allow the establishment of trade between areas. I believe that a scribe working with the comm officer, will be crucial for morale.

    • Chuck on May 23, 2015 at 10:36 PM
    • Reply

    Just found this article and spent the last hour thinking and rethinking my SHTF plans. One other skill that comes to mind is Welders/metal fabricators. Of course they would need the tools to do the job so having a good supply of welding equipment as well as Oxy/acetylyne tanks on hand in the community would be important but most small towns, especially in farming areas have a welding supply shop to service ranchers and farmers.

    • Steve on October 30, 2015 at 11:33 AM
    • Reply

    Great list. I live in a rural area in TN and have made plans already, including most of yours. Luckily we have farmers, cattle, chickens, cows, and even pigs, plus lots of deer, fish, and rabbits. I am retired law enforcement and have a valid plan for security, which will be amongst the highest priority. Thanks for your plan and site!

  1. I like your list. I think we will all become more generalist in our skills. I know my skills have grown out of my initial skill of living in the woods with my parents. I learned to identify and eat wild plants, hunting, fishing, started no dig gardening
    organically, added native plants to my
    garden, cooking, preserving, chickens (butchering and eggs), knitting, sewing. I want rabbits(butchering and fiber),
    honeybees, winemaking. I am growing Orris Root in large quantity now, a perfume fixative and want to make perfume. I have plant dyes for fibers. I majored in art and plant biology. I worked as a paralegal.

  2. I would like studying herbal cures, I grow a lot of medicinals in my garden, always have.

    • bushflyer on December 3, 2015 at 9:27 AM
    • Reply

    Good start with this list. Most construction type work experience valuable i think. Clearing, grading, excavating, small bridge building, water control and storage, the key being equipment and fuel supplies.

    • Betty on April 1, 2017 at 11:48 PM
    • Reply

    Making liquid silver will be a valuable skill. It can be used in most medical/sickness episodes, it can be used for plants, animals and water. A small amount of silver goes a long way.
    Also a water distiller will be valuable.
    A little power with low wattage appliances would be nice.
    Dvds for entertainment.
    Food/seed preservation knowledge and equipment
    Battery chargers

  3. Some really prime posts on this web site , saved to bookmarks .

  4. Folks who understand renewable energy will be highly valued. Solar, wind, water power – all very possible is items have been protected. Someone needs to know how to plan for, set up, and importantly, maintain, this equipment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.