If a zombie outbreak strikes, will your job have prepared you for the harsh, chaotic apocalyptic conditions? Before you decide, consider what would likely be your main concerns should you find yourself in the midst of a world plagued by the undead.
Your main concern will be avoiding becoming a zombie’s feast, so you’ll need to be able to avoid chance encounters or engage in direct combat with zombies. As such, it’s crucial you are able to quickly and quietly navigate the environment and/or go into self-defense mode. Your access to food, water, and shelter will be compromised by a halt in resource production and rampant thievery, so having knowledge of how to produce and procure your own basic resources will seriously extend your life expectancy. And for your ultimate survival – and the survival of humanity as we know it – being able to determine the cause of the outbreak and develop a cure will be extremely valuable.
If your current job isn’t preparing you as well as it should be, and you’d rather be safe than sorry, consider these 10 job options. Each can offer you one or more valuable proactive or reactive skills that will help you survive a zombie apocalypse.
1. Emergency preparedness specialist
Health organizations employ people who are experts in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. What’s a better way to be all-around knowledgeable about how to survive a major crisis? As an upper-level emergency preparedness professional, you may even be privy to breaking news as it becomes available that will help you stay safe, respond appropriately, and help others. Even volunteering for an organization that has an emergency preparedness function can give you a great knowledge base for how to stay safe and healthy when the zombie outbreak hits your neighborhood.
2. Hunting guide
Knowing how to stealthily navigate the land, stalk wildlife, and effectively utilize a weapon will give you a huge advantage. While most people will be running around screaming and consuming all the processed food left in sight, you can dart into the wilderness and capture your own food. Plus, if you’re running with a pack, you can tap into your ninja-like sneakiness and self-defense skills should your so-called comrades turn on you.
While it can be difficult to make a career as a full-time hunter, becoming a hunting guide may be the next best thing. You’ll learn your trade so well that you’re able to explain to beginners how to do it themselves – but once the apocalypse hits, I have a sneaking suspicion you’re going to keep all that knowledge to yourself.
When you abandon the dense population centers for the sparsely occupied rural areas, you’ll have to be prepared to have fewer resources at your fingertips, including food. If hunting isn’t your forte, farming is another great option. While everyone else is perishing because they’re relying on packaged foods found on abandoned store shelves, you’ll be out identifying fertile land in which to grow your own crops. Sounds a whole lot better than the flesh you’ll eat if you get attacked by a zombie while trying to break into a grocery store.
4. Structural engineer
If you’re not the type to try to make it out in the wilderness, you’re going to want to be able to build yourself a durable shelter. How else are you going to protect yourself? As a structural engineer, you’ll know how to construct impenetrable buildings and vehicles – or, if time is of the essence, at least fortify your own home. Just remember you’ll still have a limited amount of resources, so you’re going to have to leave your fortress sometime.
Injury and disease can be expected when the world as you know it is crumbling around you. You’ll have to be ready to proactively safeguard your health without easy or plentiful access to shelter or food sources; rapidly remedy physical wounds, anything from tick bites to broken legs; and diagnose and properly treat internal ailments (think influenza, typhoid, food poisoning, you name it).
Paramedics not only have these crucial health prevention and treatment skills locked down, but they are also used to working out in the field, treating serious health conditions quickly and resourcefully under a variety of conditions. They also learn to maintain their composure through it all, and being able to keep calm will help you make smart and quick everyday decisions. Medical know-how and excellent stress management make a winning combination in a zombie plagued world.
6. Zombie actor
What’s another way to outsmart the undead? Getting inside their lifeless, decomposing brains, of course! To understand their motivations, mannerisms, strengths and weaknesses is to understand how to evade or overpower them. Zombies are all the rage, so casting calls for zombie extras are a dime a dozen.
Also, during the months of September and October, haunted houses, mazes, and running races often adopt the zombie theme and hire people who are willing to dress, walk, talk (well, moan), and act like zombies. Just don’t get too into character; remember the object is to avoid becoming a zombie. But hey, if you can look and act like one, maybe real zombies won’t be able to tell you’re human… who knows, right?
7. Military service member
Believe it or not, the U.S. military has a plan for how to handle a zombie apocalypse. While it’s designed to be a training tool rather than a legitimate crisis plan, it outlines strategies, skills, and actions that can and should be taken in the event of an outbreak, and it’s surprisingly thorough.
Aside from that, a career with some branches of your country’s military may teach you basic physical combat, weaponry, and leadership skills. Physical fitness abilities may also be a requirement, to surpass your doomed civilian peers in speed, strength and endurance, all of which will help you escape the frightening flesh-eaters. You might even get to take a leading role in strategizing and fighting the ultimate battle between the living and the dead.
Let’s face it, you can only try to outrun disease for so long before it catches up to you. Instead of playing a purely reactive role during a zombie apocalypse, be the hero the rest of the world needs by seeking out the solution. As an epidemiologist, you’ll study the patterns of an infection and trace it back to its roots. Your research can help you prevent future outbreaks. Humanity needs you! But you might want to take some survival skill classes on the side to make sure you can protect yourself while you do your important work.
9. Pharmaceutical scientist
Once our beloved epidemiologists pinpoint the cause of the zombie outbreak, the world will need people who have the skills and resources to develop a zombie virus treatment. That’s where our pharmaceutical scientists will come in. In contrast to a pharmacist, who distributes existing drugs to people, pharmaceutical scientists are involved in the research, development and testing of new drugs.
This is another job the world won’t survive without, so if you want to play a proactive role in ensuring the survival of the human race, pharmaceutical science may be the career field for you. If you come up with the cure for the zombie virus, treat yourself first if you must, but share the wealth with the rest of the world, please.
If all else fails, the only way out is up. If the decline of Earth is inevitable, and you’re determined to make it out alive, as an astronaut at least you’ll have access to the technology and spacecraft you need to launch into the great unknown and start colonizing another planet. A little far fetched, but isn’t the whole idea of a zombie apocalypse a little out there anyway? Maybe, maybe not…
Even if a zombie apocalypse is an unlikely event, pandemics, wars, and devastating storms are very real. Many of these jobs will serve you well during realistic emergencies, any they’re also actual job options that may bring you great career satisfaction. Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with a zombie apocalypse or other tragic emergency, but just in case you do, take comfort in the fact that you’ll be a little bit more prepared than the average person.
Are you already preparing for the zombie apocolypse? What measures are you taking?