Post Apocalypse Jobs

Everyone should have a role post-apocalypse. In an ideal position, your pre-apocalypse skills should inform what you end up doing after the worst has happened, but it might not. I mean, I sit on my arse and make stuff up write, so what on earth can I do? Well, if I was in a job interview, I’d tell you I could think outside the box and come up with creative answers to problems, but post apocalypse it’s really the nitty gritty everyday stuff we need.

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I’ve decided to list some of the most common jobs and tasks you’ll need people to perform post apocalypse. I’m ignoring things like farming and scavenging as they require more detail than I can give in list format, and everyone knows about them (and if they don’t, they deserve to die).


This might seem like a weird one to start with, but it’s really important. Your post apocalyptic community is likely to be quite closely packed, but you’ll still want contact with other survival groups; or what if you’re inhabiting the disparate parts of a half-destroyed city? Messengers can get important information, requests for food and medicine to others quickly. And in a world without phones, email or readily available paper and pens, the messenger could ensure your survival.

Obviously, there are downsides- messengers can be captured by enemy groups or killed on long journeys, so they need to be well-compensated for the risks.  But ultimately, they’re well worth it.

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Required skills?

Speed and endurance, honesty and an ability to stand up under pressure. A good memory.


Right now you’re thinking ‘well obviously. Of course, we need people who guard things. Everyone does their guarding bit, and we’re fine’. Well, yes, to a certain extent. But I’m not talking exclusively about the people who guard your borders, food stores, water supply or weapon stash and talking about guarding the people.

Stick a load of people together in cramped, stressful circumstances and things are going to happen. Thefts, assaults, murders, rapes. And with the Government, Police Force and Legal System gone, you’re going to have to do something to keep people feeling safe- which is where the Watchman type guard comes in.

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They walk around your survival compound and are available for people to report crimes to, stop crimes in progress and arrest or punish the criminals. Without a structured legal system or government they are an absolute necessity.

Required skills?

Honestly, a good understanding of human nature, unshockable, trustworthy.


If you’re anything like most of the people I’ve met, you’re thinking ‘what the hell is a genealogist?’. Very simply, a Genealogist traces your family tree. Sure, an amateur can do it, but they usually get it wrong.[1. I have to admit to bias on this. My mum is a professional genealogist.] You need one for a very simple reason: You need to keep track of who’s having babies with who to avoid inbreeding. To do that, you need someone who can keep details, file them effectively and check parentage at short notice.

You may not think it;s necessary now, but there’s a reason most governments require that births and marriages are registered- so they can make sure that inbreeding doesn’t happen. I shouldn’t need to tell you the negative results of inbreeding.  You might assume ‘people can just remember’ but they can’t keep track of it past two generations now, how much more chaos when people are constantly on the move/dying?

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Required skills:

Writing, reading, good memory, neat handwriting, organisation.

7 thoughts on “Post Apocalypse Jobs

  1. The Genealogist role kills me! I imagine the family trees they’d be dealing with in the beginning would be more like saplings than trees, though.

  2. Funnily enough, I’m reading WARDAY by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka. The novel was published in 1984 and is a fictional oral history (kind of like World War Z) written five years after a nuclear war. Strieber and Kunetka are characters in the book, traveling across the US to tell the story of how the country is recovering. At the part I’m at, they’re in California and have run into an old friend of Strieber’s who is working as a detective, tracking down peoples’ l(hopefully living) relatives.

    1. Nothing wrong with goat-milking duty.

      Without you, there’d be no goat milk, and people would be suffering from calcium deficencies.

      1. You make an excellent point. Also there would be a lack of cheese, butter and yogurt. All very important things. Especially when baking cakes or making pizza in the apocalypse.

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