15 responses to Odd Amish Jobs
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    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 18th, 2012 at 06:21)

    I can only imagine how short this list would have been say 40 or 50 years ago, with the word “farmer” being right at the top of that list. Richard

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    Lee Ann
    Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 18th, 2012 at 08:24)

    It’s sad to see that so many must work outside of farm or woodworking jobs. But its also interesting to see the variety of jobs that are held by the Amish.

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      Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 18th, 2012 at 08:39)

      I don’t know Lee Ann, I don’t really see it that way.

      Amish society might idealize farming as an occupation, but I know Amish who would be close to miserable if they had to farm. Some people just aren’t built for it.

      I’m glad if people can find something that suits them better. The outside-the-mold occupations can allow for family life and involvement as well. Of course not all do though.

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    Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 18th, 2012 at 10:44)

    None of the uncles on my Dad’s side of the family were farmers. They excelled in shop work like horse shoeing etc.

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    Comment on Amish occupations (April 18th, 2012 at 11:31)

    Amish occupations

    Hi Erik,
    I don’t remember if these occupations came up in the last discussion,but I have done business with an Amish sharpening shop – they sharpen scissors, chain saws, push and gang reel lawn mowers and more. I also bought some linen and sewing thread from an Amish fabric store. These businesses offer high quality products and services at a good price.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on When in a bind... (April 18th, 2012 at 14:39)

    When in a bind...

    “Book rebinding” brought a smile to my face! I wonder if they use some of the same techniques and materials libraries use (I work in a public library)? I can imagine an Amish man (or woman, as binding often requires sewing) hunched over an ancient copy of the Bible or Martyr’s Mirror (I think that’s the title), repairing it for another few generations’ worth of use. It’s a dying art, but still a necessary one, as long as we still value books (I do own an e-reader, but refuse to give away my books!).

    I’m pretty surprised about the plumbing/HVAC job for the Amish—at least the HVAC part!

    That’s an interesting & thought-provoking list, Erik!

    Alice Mary

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      Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 19th, 2012 at 08:44)

      Alice Mary I don’t know much about bookbinding techniques, but here is a piece by Brad Igou on an Amish bookbinder he knew: http://amishamerica.com/abner-the-bookbinder/

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    Carolyn B
    Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 18th, 2012 at 18:11)

    Loved seeing the book re-binding myself. Would love to know where and to what capacity a person can become a dispatcher or a nursing assistant. Erik, any elaboration would be appreciated.

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      Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 19th, 2012 at 08:39)

      Good question Carolyn–I’m not sure what “dispatcher” actually means in this case, though I’m assuming it’s probably for some sort of commercial company. “Nursing assistant” is also vague, I wonder if it has to do with midwifery or work in a nursing home. That appears a couple of times.

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    Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (April 19th, 2012 at 07:32)

    Where I live I see Amish roofers and contractors. I wish I could hire an Amish handyman to fix things around my house.

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    Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (May 20th, 2012 at 23:33)

    Kind of odd to see electrician considering they don’t use electricity.

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      Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (May 21st, 2012 at 06:04)

      I thought someone might notice that Christine 🙂 Sometimes Amish develop a proficiency in an area they may not be completely free to accept into their own lives. As another example I once had an Amish alternator/engine place do some work on my pickup.

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    Comment on CNC Technician (May 1st, 2013 at 07:19)

    CNC Technician

    I missed this the first time around. Does anyone have any idea what a “CNC Technician” is?

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      Comment on Amish and CNC machines (May 3rd, 2013 at 06:35)

      Amish and CNC machines

      Alice Mary is on to it, the CNC machines are used to create highly precise parts and components for various industries. For instance there is one business I am aware of where an “Amish engineer” uses one to create specialized tools which are then used in manufacturing vinyl products.

      As you can imagine these have been a point of contention for Amish due to their computerized nature. I’m not sure how many have accepted them at this point. Old Order Mennonites have more readily accepted them. Kevin Kelly (who will be speaking at the Amish Tech conference) writes about them in a Mennonite shop in a post for his blog here: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/02/amish_hackers_a.php

      “…they manufacture very precise milled metal parts for pneumatic motors and for kerosene cooking stoves, an Amish favorite. The tolerances needed are a thousand of an inch. So a few years ago they installed a massive, $400,000 computer-controlled milling (CNC) machine in his backyard, behind the horse stable. This massive half-million dollar tool is about the dimensions of a delivery truck. It is operated by his 14-year old daughter, in a bonnet. With this computer controlled machine she makes parts for grid-free horse and buggy living.”

      Also Kraybill and Hurd discuss their acceptance by some Old Order Mennonites vs. the Amish in “Horse and Buggy Mennonites”: http://books.google.pl/books?id=3xipnM7PArIC&pg=PA328&lpg=PA328&dq=cnc+machine+amish&source=bl&ots=ox6WJ99wI-&sig=GV8wocY2B-Qv0Ayzq0CbXigDvNY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Yp2DUb-KI829ParJgaAN&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=cnc%20machine%20amish&f=false

      That book is almost 7 years old and I do know that this issue has been in the mix for Amish in the past few years. I’m just not sure if and how many Amish have permitted these at this point; I wouldn’t be surprised that they would be accepted by the more change-minded Amish. They are computerized but are a back stage element of Amish life, don’t pose the same threat that internet-equipped cell phones or laptops do, and could be justified for their business applications.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Odd Amish Jobs (May 1st, 2013 at 17:12)


    “Computer Numerical Control”–that’s what a Google search yielded (though I could probably think up a few of my own 😉 !

    Alice Mary

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