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Stardew Valley: Best Professions for Each Skill

As you play through Stardew Valley, you’ll start to level skills as you farm, forage, mine, fish, and more! And as you level up these skills, you’ll have the opportunity to choose professions that affect the mechanics in the game and give you certain advantages.

So what are the best professions in Stardew Valley, and what path should you choose? We’re here to help — here’s our guide on the best professions for each skill in Stardew Valley.

Let’s get started!

Best Farming Professions in Stardew Valley

Best Farming Professions in Stardew Valley -Harvest Time Pumpkins and More - Best Fall Crops in Stardew Valley
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Let’s start off with the Farming skill. Stardew Valley is a farming sim, after all!

In several of our Stardew Valley guides, we’ve talked about crops and how you can use them to make money, earn friendship, and progress through the game. That’s a big part of farming, and planting and harvesting crops is a great way to level up the farming skill. However, there’s another big part of farming — livestock.

Once you have Robin built a Coop or a Barn, you can buy various livestock from Marnie, and you can raise them on your farm. You can then befriend these animals, and in turn, they provide you with products you can use or sell. With this in mind, what professions should you choose to make the most of farming, no matter how you do it?

Farming Professions Table

At Level 5, you should go with the Tiller profession. Even though the bonus isn’t as much as the Rancher profession, crops require less work than raising animals. And if you use sprinklers and scarecrows, then it becomes a great source of passive income, especially if you plant multiple harvest crops in the Greenhouse or Ginger Island. Earning money passively is a big deal, as it means you have more time to focus on the rest of the game.

At Level 10, though, you should go with the Artisan profession over becoming an Agriculturalist. Artisan goods already earn you quite a bit, so a 40% increase in value is pretty substantial. On top of that, this ability benefits both types of farmers, as animal products and crops are both used to make artisan goods.

Rancher (Level 5)Animal products worth 20% more.
Tiller (Level 5)Crops worth 10% more.
Coopmaster (Level 10/Rancher)Befriend coop animals quicker. Incubation time cut in half.
Shepherd (Level 10/Rancher)Befriend barn animals quicker. Sheep produce wool faster.
Artisan (Level 10/Tiller)Artisan goods (wine, cheese, oil, etc.) worth 40% more.
Agriculturalist (Level 10/Tiller)All crops grow 10% faster.

Best Mining Professions in Stardew Valley

Best Mining Professions in Stardew Valley - Best Professions
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Next up is mining, another profitable activity in Stardew Valley. Not only do you get useful ore and other materials, you also have a chance to find geodes and gems!

Once you reach Level 5, choosing the Geologist profession is a no-brainer. Gems make great gifts for several villagers, and they also earn you a good bit of money.

At Level 10, you should go with the Gemologist profession, which makes gems worth even more. On top of that, you can use crystalariums to replicate gemstones, generating passive income and villager gifts. That’s pretty nice.

Mining Professions Table

Miner (Level 5)+1 ore per vein.
Geologist (Level 5)Chance for gems to appear in pairs.
Blacksmith (Level 10/Miner)Metal bars worth 50% more.
Prospecter (Level 10/Miner)Chance to find coal doubled.
Excavator (Level 10/Geologist)Chance to find geodes doubled.
Gemologist (Level 10/Geologist)Gems worth 30% more.

Best Foraging Professions in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Best Professions - Foraging Table
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Foraging is essentially just walking around and collecting stuff you find. This involves chopping down trees, collecting tree syrups, and picking berries and other forageables. That last one can make you richer than you can possibly imagine, as long as you do it right.

First off, you should go with the Gatherer profession once you reach Level 5, as it has a chance of doubling whatever you’re foraging. This is particularly helpful during blackberry season in fall, as it can help you pick more berries and earn more money.

At Level 10, you should go with the Botanist profession, which makes everything that you harvest iridium quality, making forageables worth even more money. If you want to take this to the next level, you can plant and grow wild seeds, which count as as both forageables and crops. This means you’ll get the benefits of both the Foraging and Farming professions, letting you earn even more.

Foraging Professions Table

Forester (Level 5)Gain 25% more wood when chopping.
Gatherer (Level 5)Chance for double harvest of foraged items.
Lumberjack (Level 10/Forester)All trees have a chance to drop hardwood.
Tapper (Level 10/Forester)Syrups worth 25% more.
Botanist (Level 10/Gatherer)Foraged items are always highest quality.
Tracker (Level 10/Gatherer)Location of forageable items revealed.

Best Fishing Professions in Stardew Valley

Best Professions - Fishing Table
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Fishing in Stardew Valley can be pretty hard. If you’re good at it and enjoy it, go ahead and take Fisher at Level 5 and double down with Angler at Level 10. You can earn quite a bit of money that way!

If you suck at fishing (like me), that’s totally fine. There are other ways you can level up the fishing skill and make bank along the way. All you need are some crab pots, and they’ll do the fishing for you. Just struggle through fishing until you reach Level 3 (all the seaweed you catch counts, too), and then you’ll be able to buy and craft crab pots. Once you get them, stick them in the water and put some bait inside, The next morning, something will be inside, and you’ll level up your fishing skill in no time.

Fishing Professions Table

To make the most of this crab pot method, you should go with the Trapper profession at Level 5. This makes crab pots more accessible. At Level 10, go with the Luremaster profession, which will cause crab pots to no longer need bait. This means that you can just leave them in the water, and every day, there will be crustaceans and mollusks (and trash) waiting for you.

This is just another way you can make passive income. As you use crab pots to level up the fishing skill, you’ll be able to get a nice rod and some decent tackle, and your poor fishing skills won’t matter quite as much.

Fisher (Level 5)Fish worth 25% more.
Trapper (Level 5)Resources required to craft crab pots reduced.
Angler (Level 10/Fisher)Fish worth 50% more.
Pirate (Level 10/Fisher)Chance to find treasure doubled.
Mariner (Level 10/Trapper)Crab pots no longer produce junk items.
Luremaster (Level 10/Trapper)Crab pots no longer require bait.

Best Combat Professions in Stardew Valley

Best Combat Professions in Stardew Valley
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Finally, there’s combat, and like the name implies, this skill is all about violence and bloodshed. Or, if you want to turn a blind eye to the moral ambiguity of your violent actions, think of it as self defense. So what professions should you go with to help you fend off monsters?

While the best professions might be clear for the other skills, it’s a little more ambiguous for combat. I personally favor the Fighter profession at Level 5 and the Brute profession at Level 10 because of the damage bonus (it also stacks).

However, crits can also give you quite the advantage, and if your primary weapon is a hammer, the Level 10 Acrobat profession comes in handy. Honestly, this one is up to you. Do you want to maximize your damage output, or would you rather have a crit buff?

Combat Professions Table

Fighter (Level 5)All attacks deal 10% more damage.
Scout (Level 5)Critical strike chance increased by 50%.
Brute (Level 10/Fighter)Deal 15% more damage.
Defender (Level 10/Fighter)+25 HP
Acrobat (Level 10/Scout)Cooldown on special moves cut in half.
Desperado (Level 10/Scout)Critical strikes are deadlier.

Statue of Uncertainty

Statue of Uncertainty
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Now, maybe you’ve already selected your professions, and you want to change them. No problem! Just head to the Sewers. If you haven’t gained access to the Sewers yet, all you need to do is donate sixty items to the Museum and Gunther will give you the key.

Then, talk to the dog statue there. This is the Statue of Uncertainty, and for just 10,000g, you can select a skill and change your professions. Now you can have the profession you need whenever you need it!

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Happy gaming!

Related Reading: Farming Guides for Stardew Valley


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