Survival skills: Side jobs that will help you earn money after SHTF
By Zoey Sky // Oct 07, 2021

When SHTF, you will benefit from knowing various survival skills and trades. Aside from using these skills to stay alive by growing or making supplies like food or clothing, you can use them for side jobs to earn money for your homestead. (h/t to


Side jobs for a post-SHTF world

If you already have a full-time job with a steady income, starting a side job after SHTF can help you earn more money for supplies or the maintenance of your homestead. The following are some of the side jobs that can get you extra cash after SHTF.

Angler instructor

If you're an experienced fisherman, after SHTF you can offer your services to other preppers who want to learn how to fish with a rod and line.

Teach others how to find the best fishing spots and the basics of fishing.

Apothecary operator or herbalist

Preppers with a garden can manage an apothecary and sell remedies made with natural ingredients like herbs and medicinal plants.

Note that rules may vary by state. There is not usually any type of licensure associated with becoming an herbalist, as long as you don't offer medical advice or claim that any of the herbal products you sell are a treatment. Check reference books or articles for guides on how to make dried herbs, herbal infusions, beauty products, ointments, salves, soaps and tinctures.

Automotive mechanic

If you are knowledgeable about cars, when SHTF non-preppers will require your services. Brush up on your skills so you can earn money by repairing gas cars, gas-powered pickup trucks, diesel pickups, large trucks, tractors and other farm equipment.


As a beekeeper you have several options to earn extra money after SHTF. You can continue to cultivate bees to sell honey and wax.

Another option is to rent out your beehives to farmers and gardeners to help them naturally pollinate their crops for a better garden yield. You can also "breed" bees and sell to customers.


Blacksmiths still exist in modern times and they continue to make a good living creating many useful and decorative items. After disaster strikes, you can sell cookware and interior and exterior home decorative items with your blacksmithing skills. (Related: 3 Skills that will help you survive TEOTWAWKI.)

If you live in a rural area, preppers and farmers will still need your services for their horses. You can also make and sell metal tools, hinges and cookware.


If you plan to work as a butcher after SHTF, you can offer your services to anyone who needs help butchering livestock and wild game during hunting seasons. You should also learn how to butcher using simple hand tools so you can keep working even without electricity and modern powered equipment.

Candle maker

Many people will need candles, especially if your area frequently experiences long-term power outages. Consider learning how to make candles if you already have bees since the wax from beehives can be used to make long-burning candles.


Woodworking is a skill that is always in demand. Throughout the year people will need help with home construction and repairs or making cabinets and furniture.

Farmer or rancher

If you're a farmer or rancher, you can sell meat producing animals to customers for butchering, eggs, wool and other animal byproducts. With a backyard or only 10 acres or less of land, you can still raise smaller animals like chickens, ducks or miniature goat breeds.

Fiber spinner

With a small foot pedal spinning wheel or a manual hand spinner you can spin wool sheared from sheep, mohair from goats, or lapin from rabbits into yarn. Sell the yarn as is or use the yarn to knit or crochet outerwear gear, decorative items or toys that you can sell after SHTF.


With a home garden you can grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs. You can also sell excess crops after SHTF to earn extra money.

Even if disaster doesn't strike, fresh produce will always be in demand. Sell your crops at area groceries and at a farmer’s market. Aside from fruits and vegetables you can sell seed packets, plant starts and home canned goods.

Here are some of the most profitable crops that you can grow in your home garden:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cantaloupe
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lima beans
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Watermelons
  • Winter squash

Greenhouse operator

With a home greenhouse you can cultivate seeds and plants almost year-round. Another option is to offer on-site general gardening, seed starting and storing classes.


A gunsmith will be a valuable part of any area with preppers who want to protect their families and properties after disaster strikes.

Note that in most states, there is no particular license needed to become a gunsmith. However, it's better to check all local laws before investing your time or money into gunsmithing.

Hunting instructor

If you have knowledge of local terrain and hunting lands, offer your services to people who want to learn how to hunt. You also need to invest a bit of money marketing your service online and at local community bulletin boards to get some customers.

Homeschool tutor

When SHTF, some parents will need help homeschooling their children so offer your services as an at-home tutor in one or several subjects.

You can also offer to teach useful and specific skills like gardening or baking. Start a homeschool co-op and provide space and hands-on activities for a fee on a weekly or monthly basis.

Knitting or crochet artist

If you love knitting or crochet, turn your hobby into a profitable side job. Make custom and original designs for various garments like gloves, hats, scarves, socks and blankets, then sell your products locally and online.

You can also teach others how to knit or you can sell knitting supplies.

Livestock breeder

Starting a livestock breeding operation will help increase the amount of meat raised on your homestead and earn you more money. You can also breed livestock used for transportation or hauling like horses, mules and donkeys.


As a potter you can create pottery decoration and functional homesteading cookware and bakeware. This trade will require a workroom but not a lot of expensive equipment.

Get a manual pottery wheel so you can continue to work even if the power goes out.


Offering your services as a seamstress is another good way to earn money if you are passionate about creating clothing and fabric accessories. Invest in a quality home embroidery or embroidery and sewing machine.

If you're worried about power outages, get an old-fashioned treadle foot-powered sewing machine. Stockpile patterns and learn how to measure, trace and make your own patterns in various sizes as well.

Soap maker

Making soap is another lucrative trade that can help you earn money after SHTF. If you have space in your kitchen and a semi-outdoor work space, you can work with lye and essential oils for your soap-making business.

If you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, you can gather wood ash for lye. Make herbal and decorative soaps using natural ingredients and sell your products to your neighbors or at local markets.

Before SHTF, invest in a side job to earn more money while doing what you love.

Sources include:

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