Punk Rock Jobs

a working punk rocker

Punks hate The Man and love DIY projects. You know, "Eat the rich" and all that anti-capitalist stuff. But the truth is, when you start getting older, living in a squat or punk house with 7 other housemates starts to become less appealing to a lot of folks. (Hats off to the old punks who are still living in punk houses!)

Less housemates means more rent, which means the possibility of a full time job. Lame! So the transition goes, from bondage pants to business suites.

There's a great podcast (that no longer seems to be making new episodes) called Killed By Desk where punks interview other punks about their day jobs. It's a really cool format that lets you learn about different careers, but the people telling you about the careers aren't boring recruiters or whatever. They're cool people who might have played in a band you know and love.

I was curious to see what kind of jobs the 77 or so people that were interviewed on Killed By Desk held. So I made a little list and organized it by general category.

Are you a young punk looking for your first job? Take a look at this list and see what other punks ended up doing to survive (and thrive).

The Punk Jobs List

Arts and Entertainment

Business and Management

Skilled Trades and Craftsmanship

Health and Wellness


Media and Communication

Technical and Engineering

Hospitality and Food Service

Sports and Athletics

Government and Politics

Transportation and Logistics

Science and Research

Religious and Spiritual Services


Best Punk Jobs

It seems like many of these jobs have three common characteristics. I would say they are: doing good, independence/freedom, and being creative. I would claim that these are things most punks care about, so it's not surprising that most of these jobs have at least one of these characteristics.

Doing Good

Punk has always tried to achieve social change. It's been at the forefront of veganism, pacifism, anarchism, and other social justice movements. So many bands have political lyrics.

It's not surprise that a lot of the punk jobs listed above seem to have a strong focus on making the world a better place. Look at how long the Health and Wellness and Education lists are. You're not going to be a high school teacher or pet care professional if you want to make lots of money. You do those jobs because you are passionate about making the world a better place.

Same with those working in politics and social services.

Having a higher purpose can help you feel more fulfilled at your career.

Independence and Freedom

Punks don't like authority. We have independent venues, independent labels, DIY projects, communal decision making, etc. So it only make sense for punks to look for jobs that give them a high level of independence.

That often means finding work where you are not being micromanaged by a boss. A skilled tradesperson, an artist, a writer, and an athlete all have a high level of independence in the work they do.


Working in art and entertainment is a great way to expand on the creativity you find in the punk scene. That might be why that section has the longest list of punk jobs.

No matter what you do for work, consider these three characteristics as a good starting point for finding a job that you won't hate.

And if you do have a job that you hate, you can at least write songs about why it sucks.