Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Reading - Mechanics Needed

Someone asked me the other day what skill I thought was going to be most in demand as this long slow slide continues. My standard answer was knowledge of small agricultural production but the person in question qualified their question.

"What skill will be most in demand and be able to be learned ahead of time without investing in land and be used to make a living at as things slide?"

Hmmmm. Well aside from working for someone else right now they had me stumped for a minute. The list of useful skills is endless but which one do I think would be most in demand for say the next 10 or 20 years outside of food production?

Butcher? Certainly and there is some demand for it right now. All types of clothing, tanning, shoe making but not a whole lot of real demand for them currently.

The one I came up with after mulling this question over for a while might surprise you.

Mechanic. As far as I can tell a good mechanic can get a job in a heart beat these days. The demand for "technicians" as they are called today is a hungry beast that can never be fed and the way the numbers look the lack of techs is only going to get worse.

I know where I work and about every dealership I have contact with would gladly hire a dozen techs that walked in the door tomorrow. They are constantly stealing techs from each other and managers are losing sleep over recruitment. The manager I work for sets up trips all over the country attempting to recruit more techs.

Of course like in most industries today the pay ain't all the great and I am betting that's going to change over the next couple of years.

However I am willing to bet that during this stage of decline we are going through, which will span the next 5 to 10 years or longer, a mechanic will be worth his weight in gold. Anyone able to keep the machines running will be sought after as spare parts dry up. The most appealing aspect of this skill though is as I stated the fact that they are also in such demand right now as well. I would rank them up there in demand almost as high as medical personnel although no where near the pay scale.

If a mechanic is good enough to learn the new technology and the old he or she will prove even more valuable.

Really the more I thought about it the more I saw the endless possibilities.

What about you guys? Any other ideas on this topic?

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!


  1. Great food for thought, one that has kept me amused for many years. I do agree with you that a mechanic will be of immense use once the wheels start falling off, with one excption. Todays "technicians" are for the most part, merely readers of computer readouts saying what is the problem and what needs to be replaced, then proceed replacing said item.
    A "True" mechanic is one that can troubleshoot/diagnose a problem without aid of electronics, proceed with a repair and if need be, fabricate parts or re-build parts from other similar parts. The valuable person in the future of no wheels society will have the mind of an engineer, fabricator, with a dose of physics thrown in. In short, one who will be able to see the outcome and put together the steps necessary to turn it into reality. But that's just my view....

  2. I have been thinking that eventually the skill to rip all of the computer stuff and EPA sensors out of current machines and replace with manual systems would be in demand. Coils and condensers were once made by hand a hundred years ago, it isn't rocket science. There is a work around for just about any system.

  3. Good point Anonymous. In many cases I suspect a mechanic is not what they use to be.

    Perhaps more largely beyond mechanicing, any job that involves the ability to troubleshoot, repair, fabricate and maintain would be in demand. My logic is this: as an economy grinds down, less and less "new" items are available. A premium is placed on maintain items that currently are owned to extend their lifespan. Even the humble cobbler and tailor will have application, especially as many folks no longer practice these skills or have even seen them in operation.

  4. One of my sons is taking auto mechanics at the technical college twice a week, my other son plans on doing the same thing. They're 15 and almost 17. Neither one of them minds getting th or hands dirty. Th y are getting pretty good at diagnosising and fixing. They want. Know how and why, they aren't into a computer telling them what's wrong.

  5. i've spent the better part of the last 20 years as an industrial maintance technician...a mechanic.
    the job isn't rocket science, but it does require a great deal of deductive reasoning, and the ability to use straight line logic. in other words, simple troobleshooting...what was the last thing in the operating sequence it did right, or what was the first thing it did wrong. that's about 20% of the job.
    the other 80% is the wrench busting changing bearings, belts, motors, gears and doing preventative maintance...change the filters, oil, grease the wheels and allthe other fun and boring things that need to be done to keep things running.
    want to get into this line of work??? good luck..i don't know of any school that teaches what i do. true there's some trade schools that teach motor mechanics, and some junior colleges have courses for air conditioning and small motor repair, but that's all bits and pieces. most of the mechs i work with worked their way into their jobs and learned most of it O.J.T.....but that's just me and my experiance.

  6. You assume that there will be parts available, if and when.

    Most mechanics these days do a small bit of troubleshooting, check the decision tree on the computer, then (maybe) do a test and then replace the part specified.

    If they can't get the part, and can't check online what to fix, they can't do much.

    Not so sure that you can find the kind of mechanic you refer to. Few of them are left.

    ANd even they could only do so much without parts. Cars and engines and machinery need precision parts and electronics. Without them they are just piles of steel and rubber and plastic. THe days of adding grease and pouring babbit and filing points are gone.

  7. I am going to opt for medical carer, doctor nurse or even dentist nothing worse than tooth ache, i think they would do well even more so if they have herbal medicine knowledge

  8. You can choose whatever skill you want to develop, AND learn small agricultial production via hydroponics or aquaponics. I have a 5X5 foot area in my basement growing vegetables. Small physical space, small amount of time, but large start up cost. Eventually, ability to make food will be more important than startup cost.

  9. One of my sons is a mechanic. You're right about the low pay but when he started the job search, the garages were fighting over him. He showed up to interviews in dress clothes which REALLY impressed the bosses- so much so that they commented on it.

  10. I fixed lawn mowers as a kid for my first job, and I have used that skill time and time again over the years. Engines are engines except when computer controlled fuel injection is added and that changes the ball game. Still, a person who is capable of repairing engines can more than likely repair most mechanical devices, given parts availability. Even without parts, a good mechanic can "jury rig" parts to make stuff work. On the other hand, a knowledge of anti-biotic applications and proper uses of essential oils would be helpful.

  11. I think you have hit the nail on the head! Growing food while not always easy is pretty basic if you have seeds, sun, rain and dirt.
    But equipment that is non-electronic and repairable will need the skills of a good mechanic. Someone who does not need a computer to diagnose either.

  12. I'd look into welding or machining classes as well.



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