This summer I picked up a copy of the 2010 Michigan Amish Directory, which lists most of the Amish settlements in the state. Amish directories vary; some can be little more than an address listing, while others include historical background, maps, and more.
The Michigan guide, like a few other directories, contains a chart listing the occupations of household heads. While the survey is not perfectly scientific, the clear winner is farming, with over 400 respondents picking this category. Farming is followed by construction-related jobs, and then woodworking (more on Michigan Amish furniture).
It’s always interesting to see the less-common occupations as you go down the list. Among Michigan Amish respondents, we find one Beekeeper, along with a single Casket Maker. Seven Auctioneers responded to the survey, as did two Counselors. Two claimed “Printing” as their field of choice, four described themselves as Horse Trainers, and five work in the field of Refrigeration.
A single respondent was found for each of the following: Wind Turbines, Chiropractic, Engineering, Archery, Candy Maker, Healing Care (and another for “Health”), Grain Inspector, Mail Order, Granola Mfg, and, confusingly, “Taxi” (would that be yellow horse-drawn?).
This is far from the full list of uncommon Amish livelihoods. To this tally (to start) we’d need to add Bookkeeper, Health Supplements sales, Real Estate, Podiatry, and Horse Dealer, all of which are occupations you can find being practiced by the occasional Amish person in one settlement or another (If you can add any to this list, please do!).
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