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How do the Amish earn their living?

Updated on January 10, 2012

The Amish are people very much like we are they work where they can find jobs. They started like most people of their time as land holders and farmers. They disdained the advent of the modern society we live in however and instead of embracing the change, they fought it tooth and nail.

Amish is more about community and helping others in their society. At first many remained farmers but as the population increased and they had needs which were no longer being met they became innovative and started making the things they needed.

Some people started building the buggies they use to this day, other males built harnesses, the women made quilts and sold food they had grown. Basically they did what they had to, to feed their families which are usually large.

Today the women have many more choices than they did at first. Amish child care is a big seller. They are a gentle people and train their children to an obedience unseen in today’s modern society. This they do with a gentle voice and touch.

Women who are not mothers can work for about any one who will hire them. From the young unmarried they draw the teachers of Amish children. They don’t have to obey the same rules at work they do at home. They can work where there are electric lights and run electric cash registers. Their dress code however does have to be allowed by the business they are employed with. Many of the places we shopped had Amish women as employees.

Amish furniture is known country wide. The men are craftsmen of the old school. In the Amish society males build barns and houses for other members of the community starting in their teens. They learn working with wood at an early age. What they build is hand made and built to last. Some of the males go into carpentry and work for local non Amish companies.


To my knowledge there is at least one Amish supermarket. We shopped there often. What really interested me was this store was off the grid. In the store they had refrigerated food and a walk in freezer which were run by propane. The lights were all fires with propane as the fuel. They used old fashion cash registers which did not require electricity. Everyone who worked there was Amish including the owner.

There are now multi millionaire's among the Amish population. Many of them became so when they sold their farms to non Amish people. You would never know it as they still dress just like everyone in their community, to them vanity is a sin. Most of them live a life the working poor dream of, other than the fact that they live off the grid. You don't see poor Amish because the community takes care of their own from the cradle to the grave.

Some of the Amish businessmen are now going into partnerships with people who are not of the Amish faith. This way they can have electricity and all the benefits it provides including computers and phone service in the building. The Amish don't run the computers, that would be pushing their beliefs too far. They can and do however use things which are electric powered at work.

Amish built home

A marker521 Fairview Road New Providence Pa -
521 Fairview Rd, New Providence, PA 17560, USA
get directions

This was an Amish built home which has been sold to non Amish and renovated several times.


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