In last week's post, 5 TEOTWAWKI Professions, I went over 5 potential occupations for a post-collapse world. We got a great response from you guys on additional end-of-the-world jobs, and I promised to give you 5 more this week.
As a reminder, we're looking at professions that are largely skill/knowledge based, and will be things that the average survivor will struggle to do on their own. If they need tools or equipment, it should largely be portable and sustainable in a no-grid scenario. If it requires raw materials, they should be readily available--common natural resources or easily scavenged materials. We're also looking at a post-collapse, TEOTWAWKI-type scenario, where we're looking mainly at smaller communities and pockets of "safe" regions.
The ability to work with metal is huge--making new tools, repairing others. A forge and anvil isn't exactly portable, but they can be built/improvised from common materials. Metal can be readily scavenged from a huge variety of sources--reebar, bed frames, leaf springs, on and on.
I've wrapped this under "engineering" instead of repair, because I think it will be just as important to fabricate and build new machines as it will be to repair them. Think Mythbuster's-esque ability to use creativity and a broad range of skills to improvise and solve problems. I'd go with jack-of-all-trades and versatility over a focus in a single area.
3. Power Generation
Electricity is pretty great, and having zero source of power will pose many problems--lighting, refrigeration, . A knowledgeable and inventive person with skills in this area would be hugely valued. I don't expect conventional fuel to be readily available, so knowledge of alternative methods for generating electricity--wind, solar, hydro, wood gas, steam and so on--would be important. Heck, just having some portable solar panels and the ability to charge portable electronics and batteries would be a valuable source of trade; you would just need to protect it!
4. Ammunition Reloader
Without outside supply, the only way to replace ammunition will be through reloading. A survival reloader would need to have the typical tools of the trade (press, scale, a collection of dies, etc.), and a supply of components, but also the ability to cast lead bullets in common sizes, as well as improvise primers or mix up black powder if things got desperate.
The average gun owner barely knows how to take apart their own firearms for cleaning, and expertise in repairing, modifying and even building firearms would be close to priceless. Basic gunsmithing tools and a collection of common spare parts can fit within a normal-size toolbox. Knowledge, experience and ingenuity will be key.