2012: The Last Jobs On Earth

When the Mayans devised their calendar ending in 2012 more than 5,000 years ago, I bet they had no idea how much end-of-world fodder they were providing for centuries of civilizations to come.

With the date creeping closer and a big Hollywood blockbuster imagining exactly how it would all go down, it's only fair to help plan for the worst - by pondering which jobs would be essential should a small group of us survive the apocalypse.

Keep in mind - this is by no way scientific - I have no research, experience or knowledge to back up these claims. Just a hunch. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

If civilizations around the world collapsed overnight, any survivors would be tasked with the rebuilding of our society. That means these professions would be essential get the ball rolling.

First up - medicine. Doctors, nurses and any first responder types including paramedics. These folks would assess the damage to our species and keep us healthy so we can begin reproducing again.

Depending on how much damage is done to our existing infrastructure, there would be an immediate need for those who can build and repair things. Construction workers, painters, engineers and architects would be essential to help get things off the ground - literally.

With the rise of villages, there would also be a need for law enforcement to keep people in check. Police officers and various private security personnel would help keep our new world safe.

Also, real estate will be a hot commodity, with all bets off and new lines to be drawn. Real estate agents, appraisers and those with banking smarts will have to get to work divvying up land and creating paperwork to establish ownership.

The United States economy is primarily service oriented, but a global catastrophe would mean resetting the world's exchange of goods and services. People will need to grow, manufacture and sell what they make. A bartering system might work at first, but money will soon begin to flow, resulting in a secondary service industry. Restaurants will need cooks, chefs, bakers, bartenders and waiters to take care of people who have been through a lot, to say the least.

As society pieces itself back together again, teachers will be needed to educate our youth (they're in for one heck of a history lesson) and counselors will have to help explain why survivors shouldn't feel guilty they're around and no one else isn't.

Finally, as things settle down and life begins to seems a bit normal again, there is bound to be some legal tiffs among the newest members of society. Lawyers will once again weave themselves into the fabric of humanity - and just when you thought the end of the world might be a good thing.

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