The early settlers might have earned income by cutting trees from lots for other people, ridding land of stumps, roots and boulders, cutting and selling firewood or working on the docks of Halifax. Blacksmiths made anchors for the fisherfolk. Bernadine MacMillan's Grandfather Mason had a blacksmith shop in Prospect. She said all the men from East and West Dover and Terence Bay would come to Prospect to have anchors and anything else they needed made by him. They came by boat and stayed until everything was finished. He was the blacksmith for the whole area.

Boat building was an occupation for some. Roadwork generated employment also over the years of development. In the late 1800s, railway construction employed some men. In 1858 there were 236 employed in railway work, 80 of whom were Catholic Irishmen.

Besides the extensive fishery in these villages in the late 1800s and 1900s and selling of fish in Halifax (a trip by horse and wagon that took 6 hours each way in the 1920s), other occupations were available to the residents. Many families travelled to Halifax where they stayed in residence during the winter. The men would work as craftsmen installing drywall for example or as stevedores on the docks. They might work at the sugar refinery, grist mill, saddler or tannery in the city area. Some were lighthouse keepers.

Women were seamstresses, telegraph operators, nurses, storekeepers, postal workers, teachers, cooks, and housekeepers. Women also worked in the catalogue department of Sears in Halifax in the 1900s. Connie Slaunwhite's Grandmother Cathleen and Jovita Doherty Slaunwhite of Upper Prospect worked for Sears. Some worked as typists in Halifax or packed chocolates at Moirs like Glenna Slaunwhite of Terence Bay did in the 1940s. Charles Coolen's Aunt Margaret Tanner moved to Halifax at the age of 16 to work as a telegraph operator. Both men and women were involved in teaching school over the years.

Telephone poles were placed along the South Shore in 1898. Residents from the communities were hired to dig holes and place poles along the roadway. Telephone operators in the communities would monitor the phone service. At one time a cannery operated employing workers from the villages of Lower Prospect and Terence Bay. In the 1920s Connie Slaunwhite's father in Lower Prospect raised cattle and livestock and sold his meat in Halifax.

Since 1938 in Terence Bay, the Sisters of Charity supervised a cooperative and taught carpentry, handcrafts, weaving, cooking, home economics and housecleaning. Employment in the village was thereby generated to supplement the fishery. The profits went to the workers and this industry lasted until it was interrupted by World War II. Many young girls dreamed of becoming a nun like Bernadine MacMillan of Prospect in the 1940s.

After delivering goods door to door for many years, Carl "Flash" Crow did the milk run in Terence Bay and Prospect at first with horse and wagon and later on with his truck. Each community had a shopkeeper and post office. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, a postmaster earned $24.50 per year! There were also in these villages those employed as masons, carpenters, fish processors, shoemakers, and traders. Some had portable sawmills and they were hired to cut lumber, staves, shingles and boards for people.