The most valuable a zombie apocalypse.

Out of these options. It’s a zombie (Solanum) apocalypse, you can’t always get what you want!

So it’s a Class 4 undead outbreak, complete social and government breakdown. You’ve been keeping a small group of your friends, relations and well-wishers out of zombie hands. Food and essential supplies are running low.

Monitoring your battery powered HAM radio from your latest safehouse you pick up a number of distress calls from surrounding towns (broadcasting their jobs and locations - and they’re all men so don’t feel pressured to save the lady). You only have enough fuel to find and pick up one, necrotic post humans will likely devour the ones you don’t save.

Who do you want for your group?

Let’s see, I have a decent supply of firearms and ammo, the ability to reload ammo, am okay with a bow, melee weaponry needs work, I have a basic gardening knowledge, and basic livestock husbandry skills, i have emergency food, water, and water purification gear, where I fall short is medical knowledge

I’d save either a doctor or veterinarian…

A vet would be helpful for livestock care and could probably do basic human medical care.

I’d save Herschel, but tell him to leave the god crap behind, he’s welcome in my group, “god” isn’t.

Surely that would depend upon what skills the current group already possesses?

But high on the list would be skilled manual tradesmen (carpenters, builders, and the like), medical workers, and farmers.

I don’t know what type you’d hang around with in an outbreak! Or your own skills, for that matter. You’ll have to make the judgement on what skill you’ll need to supplement your good friends and family in the group.

What, no S-Mart sales clerk?

I’d think that a knowledge of wild plants and fungi might be useful. Being able to forage away from cities and towns would let you live much further from the reach of the undead.

If you can, at least, temporarily sustain yourself in the wilderness and help others survive, you can start a new settlement of the living out there.

Ability to perform field surgery and meet other medical needs wins. Repairing stuff is not an issue at this point. When something breaks, you scavenge another. You need somebody who can handle emergency medical needs from the get-go. As people group up, the other skills may eventually regain value too.

Just thought I’d add that the USMC private has no value when the problem is that we have too many brainless killers.

Was that necessary?

My first thought was the paramedic or the vet to help with medical emergencies. But zombie apocalypses have their own unique problems - people who get wounded fighting zombies turn into zombies. It’s not a crisis where normal medical care is helpful.

But it is a crisis where staying on the move is important. So I picked the car mechanic. Being able to keep vehicles in service will be critical.

**Paramedic **- They’re pretty useful, injuries will be common in the wilderness and urban jungle, and they’d have the practical skills to keep people going with very little medical equipment. They are also accustomed to horrific situations and making difficult on-the-spot decisions, so they’ll be reliably sane. On the downside, they might think a zombie bite is sterilisable, and that could quickly turn sour.

**Carpenters - Barricades are key to keeping the zombies out and no one is better at building them then a carpenter. They’ll probably be handy with an axe, and safety conscious, preventing idiotball accidents.
Civil Engineers
- They’d at least have the theoretical knowledge to build barricades, and they’d be useful in rebuilding if we reached safety. Still, in a life-or-death situation, they can wait.

**Farmers **- Farming is useful, but we’d be sure to find more living farmers in the countryside, what with their isolation and shotguns. Sorry mate!

Police Officers - The zombies can’t be reasoned and police aren’t the best of shots. Still, they might help us find sanctuary at a fortified police station.

**Marine **- Decent wilderness survival skills, though their tactical and firearm skills are more useful against armed live opponents than zeds.

**Psychiatrist **- The more experienced they are, the less effective a general physician they’ll be. I’d definately pick a paramedic, or a GP over them, or even a psychologist or social worker, as they better understand how to keep people’s morale up without drugs.

**Pharmacist **- Not so useful, people would already know what medicines they need when looting a pharmacy. Their scientific and medical knowledge might be useful post-apocalypse.

**Professional Athlete **- Maybe a Olympic grade shooter might be useful, but other than that, they’d be worse than useless without their creature comforts.

**Gunsmith **- Assuming they have their tools, it’d be useful to have someone who can easily manufacture simple ammo for us.

**Mechanic **- Useful, but others are better.

**Fisherman **- Can zombies swim/go underwater? If not escaping on a boat is a good idea.

**Vet **- Like a human GP, but even better at thinking outside the box. A solid pick.

**Moonshiner **- Very useful, Molatov cocktails will make a hot party for any zombie brainless enough to bother us. Does our car have a flexible fuel engine? If so, turning sugar into fuel would be a rather useful ability, especially in the mid-term when we’ve secured a place to grow crops.

Bill Murray - Just as long as no clowns are zombified.

Longer term; Blacksmith.

I went with Psychiatrist. They are doctors first and you’ll need a doctor. Everyone one else is going to be about the same when it comes to fending off the zombies. If you have kept alive through the initial outbreak you and your group are good enough to keep going, probably. You need some long range planning.

My second option was a vet. Sewing up cuts and setting broken bones are pretty much the same whatever the patient is. They also probably have way more experience with various operations than most non surgical doctors.

I never miss a chance to show the jarheads a little love.


I picked the moonshiner but I’m probably biased since that is my apocalypse profession. Booze is handy for a variety of things from sterilization to fires and of course the previously mentioned Molotov cocktails. Plus who wants to fight zombies sober. On top of that we’ve hand built all of our equipment and so have most of the other craft distillers so there is a basic level of handman built in.

My second choice was the vet. They can take care of both people and animals and are used to working in worse conditions then your basic doctor. I’d want some one who’d already preformed surgery in a barn when I’m getting cut up in a mud hut.

Veterinarian is my pick. Eight years of formal training plus hands on with a variety of animals and a variety of conditions.

  1. Medical skills beyond that of a paramedic, probably as good as a Special Forces 18D Medic, and really, anything that requires more than basic care or minimal surgery is going to kill the patient anyways.

  2. Skilled at keeping animals healthy and dealing with livestock.

  3. Has a good working knowledge of pharmacology, chemistry and other useful sciency type stuff (remember, vets can and do prescribe medications, some of which can be pretty heavy duty).

You get all the necessary medical skills, none of the more unnecessary ones (since there’s no way to treat anything much more advanced than minor wounds and even the simplest surgery is life and death). You also get a lot of good general science knowledge and useful knowledge of animal husbandry. I mean, Where you gonna get an MRI, an X-Ray or blood work done? Nowhere, that’s where. We’re back to the early 20th century when it comes to medicine. People are going to die of appendicitis, gangrene or infection from a minor cut and even the flu.

In short, they deliver the widest skill set for post apocalyptic medical treatment and general survival/farming/animal husbandry. It’s a two-fer-one deal.

You got a vet, and can get a simple farm with chickens going, you have a real shot at longer term survival.


I’d be more inclined to save the pharmacist. I would expect one of the biggest medical problems in the post-apocalyptic world would be infections and chronic conditions. People can tell pretty well when they have an infection (even if not as good as a physician) and many people are already going to know that they need, say, insulin for diabetes or glomphinoline for crazy hypotenuse syndrome II. Hopefully the pharmacist can help identify existing supplies in the charred wreckage of civilization or even use their chemical knowledge to start some type of synthesis. E.g. aspirin can be made with willow bark and vinegar, iirc. Maybe some eye of newt and toe of frog too…

True. Farming would certainly be an important skill to have, but if I am expecting to flee the charred cities for a new life in a remote hollow of West Virginia, I’m going to find a lot of farmers there already. There won’t be as many doctors or civil engineers out there. A few, sure. A lot, not so much.

No, they **were **doctors first. Immediately at graduation, they are not significantly worse than other specialities. But psychiatry is mired in pseudoscience and significantly different from general medicine, so the more experienced they get, the more useless they become.

They also have a horrible tendancy to kill themselves over trivial things.

That being said, mental health issues are important, especially in such a traumatic environment, but I don’t think psycho-pharmacology is the best way to get over it, as it is best used to treat innate problems and relies on a steady supply of drugs, other mental health professionals would be better.

Good point about the sterilisation and morale effects. Moonshiner and vet were my first and second choice.

Yes, vets are definately in the top two, they’d very useful, especially in the long term.

I’m unfamiliar with American pharmacists, do they really make their own pills?