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Best Careers for Living Off the Grid – 57 Ideas for Making Money

Best careers for living off the grid! If you are anything like me, the word “career” will make you shudder!

The main allure of creating an off-grid life was ditching the “9 til 5” office job, but that does not mean we don’t need money. We can grow, make, barter, and swap most things, but occasionally cold hard cash is required.

So, most of us living off-grid do need a career!

But this is not a career in the traditional sense – living off-grid means you really get that feeling that you are working for yourself.

You see the benefit and potential of every cent earned, and the frugal lifestyle means you shouldn’t need to be tied down to a full-time job.

Let’s look at how people make money when they live off-grid!

Best Careers for Living Off the Grid

kate-outdoor-office
The author’s outdoor office

1. Become a Media Star

It does sometimes feel like everyone seeking an alternative lifestyle starts a blog, vlog, or podcast, but there is a good reason for this – it is a great way to make money from something you love!

The public appetite for social media content focused on off-grid living is ever-increasing, and many off-gridders successfully make a career from producing videos and social media content

By building a large audience, you can generate income from advertising networks and affiliate links. A strong social media presence can also help to boost the profile of your own business or products.

The best way to get started on your social media career is to look at other popular content to see what people enjoy.

Think about what your unique selling point is – what would appeal to others about your lifestyle?

Here are the most popular social media careers for living off the grid: 

  • Host a YouTube channel or podcast series – these tend to be popular with audiences who still live a “normal” lifestyle. Your video content will provide some escapism for people who enjoy viewing the off-grid life from their comfortable homes.
  • Start a blog – popular with both on- and off-gridders, your blog can be educational, entertaining, informative, or all three! Check out Food Blogger Pro to learn how to set up a blog from scratch, or Pinch of Yum’s “How to Monetize Your Food Blog” for great learning resources.
  • Social media – it is not as easy to make money from social media such as Facebook and Instagram, but they are a great way to raise the profile of your off-grid life. This can be helpful if you want to start selling products, experiences, or skills, as you’ve got a ready-made market!

We are relatively new to social media in our off-grid life, but we had an exciting/surreal experience recently when we rehomed a rooster from a lovely couple who turned out to be YouTube superstars.

They gave us a little mention and our Instagram followers nearly tripled overnight!  

Rooster-kate-chalmers
Mary the Brahma rooster, who came from a home with nearly 300000 subscribers on YouTube!
Food Blogger Pro - Make Your Blogging Dreams a Reality!

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We take you step-by-step through the entire blog creation process –– from getting your domain to setting up WordPress (and everything in-between!).

Grow your traffic!

Get your recipes seen on social media, via search engines, and through email with our tested strategies for maximizing blog traffic.

Earn more money!

Turn your creativity into cash and run your blog as a business. Get our top tips on earning money, managing your work, and diversifying your income.

Learn How With Food Blogger Pro!
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

2. Paid Jobs for Off-Gridders

There are many careers out there suited for living off the grid, and the joy of a paid position is that you don’t have the pressure of running your own business.

On the downside, you may be restricted to the hours your employer requires, so it is not always as flexible.

Living off the grid gives you a unique skill set that many employers find attractive.

Off-gridders tend to be resilient, adaptable, and hardworking people who can turn their hands to anything!

These are some great examples of some of the best careers for living off the grid:

  • Farmworker
  • Park ranger
  • Firefighter
  • Trekking guide
  • Campsite support staff
  • Rafting guide
  • Forestry work
river-trekking-kate
What better way to share your love of the great outdoors than as a trekking guide! This magnificent view is on the Zêzere Grand Route which runs for 370 km through Portugal. Photo by the author. 

3. Share Your Off-Grid Knowledge and Skills

Whether you have been living off the grid for years or are just starting out, we have all got skills and knowledge to share.

Most off-gridders share this knowledge freely with each other, but if you need to bring in some cash then teaching your off-grid homesteading skills to other people can be a great way to do this.

kate-poly-tunnel
Have you learned a new skill such as how to put up a polytunnel? Sharing this knowledge is a fun and easy way to make some money! Photo by the author. Sharing your knowledge is one of the best careers for living off the grid.

4. Sell, Sell, Sell! 

The off-grid community is great at swapping, trading, and bartering produce – there is no better feeling than swapping your excess produce for something you need.

However, swaps don’t bring in cash, and most hardware stores don’t accept eggs as payment!

Off-gridders can sell their products in a range of different ways – the simplest of these is a stall with an “honesty box” system at the farm gate.

Local farmer’s markets are a useful outlet and selling through social media is also effective.

Box schemes are increasing in popularity, and you may be able to collaborate with other local homesteaders to create an amazing box of locally grown produce.

Sell Your Excess Produce

de-groente-kar-vegetable-roadside-stall
“De Groente Kar” (Vegetable Cart) operated by the editor’s cousin from Hoogeboom Groente.

The easiest option is to sell your produce “as it comes” – without any processing or fancy packaging. The best things to start with are eggs, honey, fruit, and vegetables.

The only problem with selling fresh produce is that many other homesteaders will have a glut of eggs/apples/beans at the same time as you, so try growing unusual or heirloom varieties to beat the competition.

One homesteader near us has a great system for selling his vegetables – rather than pricing each item individually, he charges a flat rate per kilo of veg.

His customers fill a cardboard box with produce from the farm and he weighs it when they’ve finished. Nice and simple!

If you want to diversify, then selling excess seedlings, plants, and firewood can also be an easy way to bring in some money. It may not be exactly a ‘career’ for living off the grid, but it can still bring in a nice income.

Learn how to grow high-value items like edible mushrooms or vermicompost!

To save time, taking plant cuttings can give you a sturdy, healthy plant ready to sell in no time! 

Sign at a local farmer's market - small business

Add Value to Your Produce

If you have got time on your hands, then processing your produce to create a more valuable product is the way to go. These types of products sell well at farmer’s markets and can be used to add value to vegetable box schemes.

Suggestions include making cheese from excess cow, sheep, or goat milk, and preserves and jams from surplus fruit.

Products such as goat’s milk soap are increasing in popularity, and if you’ve got a lot of herbs try making dried teas or ointments (like Nicky’s Comfrey Ointment) to sell.

Learn to craft and sell your herbal medicine with The Herbal Academy’s courses. For a preview, have a look at their free Becoming an Herbalist course!

Enroll in the FREE Becoming an Herbalist Mini Course and discover your herbal path

Sell Your Creations

Have you got a crafty flair?

Homemade handcrafts always sell well, particularly at fairs and markets. You can also sell online through outlets such as Etsy.

Making seasonal decorations and gifts is a fun way to bring in some extra money, and the best thing is that you can often turn things lying around your homestead into something beautiful!

People also love personalized gifts, like these great chicken coop signs

5. Start a Business

Running your own business might sound daunting, but it can be remarkably simple.

The hard part can be figuring out what you have got to offer – this may be time, experience, facilities, or produce.

You don’t necessarily need a large investment to set up your own off-grid business either – start small and see what happens!

If you’re into fitness, why not run yoga classes or start a personal training business! Learn photography (check out this Tasty Food Photography ebook!) and offer your services as a photographer, or start a backyard beekeeping business

Packed-Nursery-Plants
The editor’s plants, packed and ready for postage!

6. Animal Husbandry and Breeding

Use your spare land to bring in some extra money by raising and selling baby animals, such as poultry, piglets, lambs, or kids (of the goat variety – please don’t sell your children!).

Look for something different or special you can offer – this might be a certain breed, or you could send your baby animals to their new home with a care package to help first-time owners.

Look into ways to help other animal owners – you could offer dog walking services or set up a boarding kennel or cattery.

Other homesteaders might also need a hand with their livestock from time to time – a farm-sitting service might be just what they’re looking for! Helping others get started with their off grid or homesteading life would be a lovely career for living off the grid.

7. Utilize Your Spare Space

Christmas-Tree-Farm

One thing that many off-grid homesteads have in common is lots of space!

Have a look around your plot to see if you can find a use for that neglected corner you always forget about.

Growing and selling Christmas trees is an easy way to use your spare land. Bamboo is one of the fastest plants you can grow for an income.

Spare buildings and secure areas can be rented out for storage.

If you are near a busy road or highway then approach advertising agencies to rent out sign space.

8. Bring in Visitors

Glamping

Many people want to experience the off-grid life, so why not open up your lovely plot of land to them?

You could host events on your land such as wedding receptions and birthday parties.

Opening a small campsite is also a great way to bring in extra money, and if you can get permission for small cabins or yurts then you can offer “glamping” packages as well.

9. Online Jobs

Working online is the favorite choice of many homesteaders and off-gridders. Many online jobs give you the flexibility and freedom to pick and choose your hours of work.

I do about 20 hours per week working online, but I can do this when I want – normally on a rainy day when I would rather be inside anyway!

Here are my top picks for online jobs for off-gridders and homesteaders.

Copywriting

OK, I admit I put this first because this is what I do – I get paid to write articles and blogs on topics that I am passionate about!

Whatever your passion or niche, there will be someone out there who wants you to write about it.

kate-outdoor-office
My copywriting ‘office’ – certainly beats a desk in a city tower block!

Teaching

This is another popular choice with off-gridders, and an easy job to get into.

There is a huge demand for people to teach English online to students in other countries. Companies who run these courses normally provide all the teaching materials you need, and off you go!

Check out companies like Preply for online language-teaching jobs and TEFL for teacher qualification courses.

Virtual Assistant

In this digital age, the popularity of virtual assistants is on the rise.

A virtual assistant helps with administrative tasks for companies and business people, such as processing incoming emails, managing social media, and marketing.

Take a look at, for example, Time Etc., which is always hiring new VAs.

Create an Online Course

Have you got skills or knowledge you wish to share?

Creating an online course is not as difficult as you may think!

eLearning has massively increased in popularity in recent years and course providers are looking for skilled professionals to assist with creating course content.

Become a Programmer

Programming skills are becoming more and more in-demand as the world is moving online.

If you have a knack for computers, you can learn to program from home and make a great income helping people with their websites, or even programming your own app!

Become a Life Coach

Help people create their best life possible by becoming a life coach!

You can coach people from your own home or travel to theirs – or travel to workplaces! Life coaching is a great, flexible job for off-gridders.

Check out the Coach Training Alliance for online Life Coach courses.

Don’t Ditch Your Old Career Just Because You’re Going Off the Grid

You might think that you have left your old career behind you, but do not write this valuable experience off completely – could you use it to bring in some money?

10. Consultancy work

Many off-gridders generate income by working as consultants based on their previous careers.

In my former life, I was a veterinary nurse and I occasionally do some online consultancy work for educational centers and veterinary corporations.

It is great being able to utilize my skills and knowledge, whilst having the freedom to pick and choose which projects to take on!

kate-chalmers-1
Me with 31-year old Stanley

11. Writing

Depending on your former career, can you bring in some extra cash by writing about it?

Use your knowledge to write materials for trade and industry magazines and websites, educational establishments, and business websites.

12. Keep Your Old Job

Now, don’t run screaming from this idea!

You might think that returning to your old career is the last thing you would want to do, but there is a big difference between working full time and just picking up a few hours a week to pay the bills.

The joy of living off the grid means having lower bills and overheads, so one or two shifts a week may be all that is needed to keep the finances healthy.

A Word of Caution

It is important to check that you are complying with any local regulations and laws before starting a business or selling your produce.

Make sure that you have insurance or legal cover in case of accidents or problems.

Also, see what other people are doing or selling locally – your eggs will not sell well if your neighbors sell them cheaper! 

Speaking from experience, having a career while living off the grid is not necessarily a bad thing. I certainly enjoy my work a lot more now that it feels like a choice rather than a necessity.

It also means that we don’t need to break into a sweat when a vital piece of machinery needs repairing, or the car breaks down! 

Resources for Off Grid Careers

  1. Food Blogger Pro - Make Your Blogging Dreams a Reality!
  2. Food Blogger Pro - Make Your Blogging Dreams a Reality!

    Start your blog!

    We take you step-by-step through the entire blog creation process –– from getting your domain to setting up WordPress (and everything in-between!).

    Grow your traffic!

    Get your recipes seen on social media, via search engines, and through email with our tested strategies for maximizing blog traffic.

    Earn more money!

    Turn your creativity into cash and run your blog as a business. Get our top tips on earning money, managing your work, and diversifying your income.

    Learn How With Food Blogger Pro!

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  3. Learn Woodworking From the Pros
  4. Learn Woodworking From the Pros
    $1 for the First Month ($6 After)

    Learn woodworking from the pros - get access to premium woodworking videos and learn the skills you need to improve your woodworking.

    Learn More at Woodworkers Guild of America

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  5. Life Coach Training and Certification (Online)
  6. Life Coach Training and Certification (Online)

    Are you one of the unique and talented individuals who possess the special traits needed to be a great life coach? There’s a quick way to find out…

    Take the Quiz at Coach Training Alliance

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  7. Creative Live - Do What You Love!
  8. Creative Live - Do What You Love!
    From $12.42 a Month

    Learn the skills you need to live your dreams in career, hobby, and life.

    CreativeLive offers 2000+ classes, taught by the world's top experts. New classes are added every month - from crafts, music, and graphic design to self-improvement, entrepreneurship, and wedding management!

    Learn More at CreativeLive

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  9. How to Monetize Your Food Blog E-Book
  10. How to Monetize Your Food Blog E-Book
    Free Download

    Yes! You can make an income from a food blog!

    Created in 2014, How to Monetize Your Food Blog contains tips on setting up ad networks, making the most out of affiliate programs, and landing those elusive sponsored post gigs.

    We show you how to optimize your ads and share detailed instructions on how to set up backfill to maximize your ad revenue.

    Get It From Pinch of Yum

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  11. Learn Tasty Food Photography E-Book
  12. Learn Tasty Food Photography E-Book
    $29

    Be proud of your food photos!

    Over 13,000 people have taken their food photography to the next level using Tasty Food Photography.

    Packed with tips, tricks, and video tutorials to learn how to take better food photos for your blog or business.

    Get It From Pinch of Yum

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  13. Grinfer - Learning New Skills Has Never Been So Easy
  14. Grinfer - Learning New Skills Has Never Been So Easy

    Full access to 1200+ courses, taught by the world's best experts. One-on-one video sessions, live webinars, master classes, and free chat with authors and other students.

    Huge range of courses from mobile app design to web design to illustration and graphics.

    Check It Out at Grinfer

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  15. Become an Online Tutor
  16. Become an Online Tutor

    Get paid to teach online!

    Connect with thousands of learners around the world and teach from your living room.

    Learn More at Preply

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  17. Yes Chef
  18. Yes Chef
    $15/month (billed annualy)

    Learn the recipes, techniques, and secrets of each chef!

    Unlimited access to an ever-growing library of cooking classes, with new lessons being released weekly.

    Get More Info

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  19. TEFL Institute - Become a Qualified Teacher
  20. TEFL Institute - Become a Qualified Teacher

    Founded in 2017, the TEFL Institute offers over 30 years of experience from its senior staff. Independently regulated and a significant provider for distance learning, our focus is on bringing you academically high-quality internationally recognized certifications.

    The TEFL Institute will assist you to become a fully qualified and internationally recognized TEFL teacher.

    Learn More at the TEFL Institute

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

I hope you are feeling inspired by the many ways to make money and have a career while living off the grid!

Do you have any great ideas for off-grid careers? If so, we would love to hear them!

Read more:

Author

  • Kate moved to Portugal last year and lives with her husband, two cats, six hens, and a glorious Brahma rooster called Mary. Earlier this year they purchased a half-hectare ‘quinta’ – traditional terraced land with olive trees, grapevines, and a house to renovate. They are currently living in a small campervan which is a challenging but fun experience! Kate has over 15 years of experience in the UK veterinary industry and is also a passionate gardener – turning a grassy field into a productive vegetable patch in just three months. Future plans include more animals, particularly sheep and goats for milk production to make cheese, butter, and yogurt! Kate and her husband are aiming to create a self-sufficient off-grid life on their quinta, fulfilling a life-long dream.

Alison

Thursday 23rd of June 2022

Lots of great ideas

Elle

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Thank you Alison, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!