The Best Careers for Living Off The Grid

by Oliver Guess | LAST UPDATED August 10, 2021

Best careers for living off the grid
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Living off the grid means a lot of different things to many people. Some see it as a way to connect with nature; others see it as a way to minimize their dependence on the government and the utilities that it provides. Some people simply enjoy living in rural areas.

Whatever the reason you’re trying your hand at homesteading, the end goal is always the same: to make your property as self-sufficient as possible.

However, while you can take your home off of the grid by simply disconnecting the public lines and using wells and solar panels for your utility needs, the off-grid lifestyle doesn’t pay for itself, regardless of what you may have heard that says otherwise. We'll dive into the best careers for living off the grid.

Careers off grid infographic

Finances

Sustainable living isn’t the same as free, and off-grid homes generate costs just like any other standard house. You’ll indeed be paying a lot less for electricity and water if you generate it yourself, but there are still costs around the house that need to be considered.

The house will occasionally need a fresh coat of paint, you’ll need to buy tools and materials if you’re planning to work on your property, and even though solar power is green, the solar power units and their parts don’t exactly grow on trees.

We’re trying to say that you’ll need a job to help cover all of the costs that we just mentioned and the ones that we didn’t. Luckily, there are plenty of jobs that are compatible with this way of life, and we’re going to take you through some of what we consider to be the best careers for living off the grid.

Online Jobs

A man working on a laptop

Online jobs have two significant advantages: you can do them from virtually anywhere, and there are plenty of different career paths that you can choose from.

When it comes to the location-independent aspect of online workplaces, all you really need to do a certain job—in most cases, or rather most of our examples—is to have a decent laptop and a serviceable internet connection. This means that you don’t have to go to any office and stay in a cubicle for eight hours each day.

The online job conditions are so easy to meet that you don’t even need a landline for the internet on your property. As long as you can use your cell phone hotspot, you should still be able to do pretty much any job that we have on our list.

Speaking of jobs, you’ll be able to find, pick and choose. The sky’s the limit when it comes to online work opportunities, and as long as you have skills, there will be people that would like to use those skills in exchange for monetary compensation. You could go for your own YouTube channel; you could become a virtual assistant. You get the gist.

Additionally, you can also choose whether you’ll be employed long-term or short-term. You can negotiate a standard sort of contract if you want to stay with a specific company for a time, or you can simply change clients weekly; it’s entirely up to you.

Writing

Writing is probably the first thing that a lot of people think of when it comes to online work, and for a good reason. There are many different fields of writing, which means that there is bound to be a field that’s just perfect for you and your skillset.

The two most common types of writers that you’ll find online are copywriters and content writers. Both of these jobs center around working for clients and writing articles for them based on their requirements, but there’s a slight difference in the goal of the articles.

Copywriters usually advertise a certain product or service directly, while content writers create informative articles and sprinkle in links to the services or products they’re meant to advertise indirectly.

Aside from these two jobs, you can try and become a published author; you can become a blogger and write about any topic that might interest you, like off-grid homestead prepping or self-sufficiency tips. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try and write poetry and have it published. But, again, it all comes down to your specific affinities (and skills).

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another pretty well-known online occupation that a lot of people favor. The main reason for this is that the job isn’t demanding and doesn’t require any formal training or education before starting. As long as you read up on it a bit or watch an informative video, you should be all set to jump into this business.

What affiliate marketers do is serve as third-party publishers that companies or private clients hirecareerTheto increase the number of visitors that they get daily. Affiliate marketers accomplish this by implementing indirect advertisements for certain services or products that lead people to the company’s website.

Your pay will be the commissions that you earn from each product or service that you advertise. This means that the height of your pay is going to vary from week to week, but you should still be able to make a good amount once you’ve taken on a few products.

As for the marketing itself, there are plenty of ways to insert links that lead to the products. For example, you can place links in your posts on social media, in the descriptions of youtube videos, or somewhere on your own site.

Affiliate marketing and content writing usually coincide and a reliable way to advertise products is to create articles on your site.

Teach English

There are many qualified English teachers who can’t find work in schools due to no openings or because many other people apply for the same position.

That said, you might be surprised to learn that there is actually a shortage of English teachers online even though there are plenty of work opportunities for everyone.

You can easily find companies and sites that are looking for people to hold online classes and either hold one-on-one private tutoring sessions or speak to multiple students at once in group calls.

A lot of openings don’t even require any teaching experience or a degree for you to apply. However, you will most likely be required to at least have something like a TOEFL certificate to prove that you have the knowledge that’s necessary for the job.

If you’re interested in making money off of teaching English, then you might want to read our guide on teaching English online, since it can tell you exactly where to go to find employment.

Self-Employment

Starting your own business seems like a natural thing to do if you’re trying to live as self-sufficient as possible. You won’t have to go to any office (virtual or otherwise), you don’t have to keep to a schedule aside from your own (relatively speaking), and you don’t have to answer to any bosses or colleagues.

On the other hand, starting and maintaining a business is a lot of hard work and will take a lot of hustle to get off the ground in the starting stages. As the owner, you’ll be responsible for every aspect of the business and all of the headaches that come along with that territory.

However, if you manage to get something off of the ground and let it gather steam, then you’ll be able to work however you want and do what you believe is best for your business. It’s true that it can be a lot of pressure, but it’s also very rewarding when you manage to accomplish it.

Sell Your Creations

Everyone has their own skillset, so there is no limit to what the term creations can mean. Drawings, portraits, music, wood carvings, clay figures, and so on; this is just a very brief list of the sort of DIY homemade items that you could produce and sell by yourself.

After you create something, all you have to do is simply go on Etsy, eBay, or any other similar platform, potentially create your online store and list your products. Of course, if you have private commissions, all you need to do is send the items to your clients directly.

Realistically, you’re also going to need social media accounts and/or a website where you can post images of your creations as well as information on your rates and all of your contact details for any interested clients.

Since you’re making the products yourself, you’ll have to stick to one client at a time or—at the very least—keep your backlog and orders manageable. SupposeMany qualified English teachers can’t start getting too overzealous with the number of orders you take on at any one time. In that case, you run the genuine risk of either overworking yourself or disappointing and losing clients by missing deadlines or not meeting the expected quality.

Additionally, the only other issue you might run into is unreliable clients who might try not to pay you or insist they didn’t get what was promised. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to spot these sorts of customers, but eventually, you’ll develop a better sense for people, and the communication phase of the job might get a bit easier.

Sell Your Produce

One of the best careers for living off the grid is obviously going to be farming. As a homesteader trying to be as self-reliant as possible, you’ll more than likely try and grow your own food anyway, so you probably already have the land and the equipment.

You don’t exactly need a full permaculture setup or 100 acres to be able to produce enough food to sell, but you’ll need a decently sized chunk of land. Alternatively, you can focus on making sure that your food stores are well stocked and only sell whatever amount of produce you think you might not need.

As for how you can sell your products, you can either get a stall at your local farmers market or sell to people directly. Of course, the farmer’s market will generate more revenue since a lot more people will be able to come to your stall, but the private selling method is more viable if you don’t have all that much produce to sell.

People trust homegrown vegetables and fruits more than they trust the things they find in a grocery store, so you’re going to find interested buyers regardless. The exact selling method that you go for will simply come down to how much food you have to unload and whether or not it’s worth renting a spot in the market for it.

Part-Time Jobs

Part-time jobs

The sort of part-time work that we have in mind is a bit different from the standard half-shifts that you might be thinking of. Instead of finding a standard job that runs for 4-5 hours a day, you can simply continue to work for yourself and lend out your services to people that need a helping hand.

We’re mostly thinking of jobs like a farmhand, an electrician, or a plumber, but you could do anything that fits within the purview of your skillset. Of course, people are always looking for a helping hand or a reliable handyman, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding work, but you’re obviously going to need a bit of know-how for certain jobs.

For example, before you advertise yourself as a handyman, it’s a good idea to have at least had some formal training in that field or to have held down a full-time job as an electrician or plumber.

Speaking of advertisements, you’ll need licenses and permits to open a business of any kind. Still, you can always just classify yourself as a freelancer and make sure that your clients know that’s what you are at the beginning of your working relationship with them.

Landlord

Being a landlord isn’t exactly the first thing they think of when they think of “best careers for living off the grid.” However, this is a great way to generate quite a bit of passive income without even heaving to buy land or properties.

The standard way to become a landlord is to buy a house or an apartment in a city and live off the rent people pay. This, of course, means that you’ll need to cover all of the property taxes, the maintenance fees, and any property damage that might need to be fixed after you buy the properties or when you don’t have any tenants.

However, as a homesteader, you might already have land that you could rent out to potential clients. You can either build a small house on a property that you own and charge people a specific fee for lending it out, or you can rent out the land itself for campers that travel in mobile homes.

Since you probably built the property, you’re going to face faceless red tape and regulations, but you still won’t be able to charge people for renting out something that looks like a treehouse and has about the same amount of utilities and comforts.

Airbnb is a thing, so you’ll need to provide reasonable prices to compete with them. This doesn’t mean that you need to have a five-star resort in your backyard, but rather that you might want to consider not overcharging your renters.

Conclusion

The reason why the title of this article is the best career for living off the grid is because there are a lot more that can help you make enough money to sustain your lifestyle. Although we chose the ones that we think fit the off-the-grid lifestyle, you can try as many different vocations as you want. We hope that we gave you some ideas for the one that suits you the most.

Oliver Guess
Oliver is an off-grid living enthusiast currently residing in the mountains of New Mexico. His interests in sustainability originally lead him down the path of an off the grid lifestyle. When he's not tinkering with his broken solar panels, Oliver enjoys searching out hot springs, whittling and cooking.

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