Relative value of professions
Some professions are near useless as reliable sources of gold. Others are reliable money makers. Here is a quick overview.
Best: Herbalism, Mining
Variable to good: Fishing,1 Jewelcrafting, Inscription
Bad to variable: Alchemy, Skinning
Lousy2: Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Tailoring, Leatherworking3, Engineering3
1Fishing can be a great “afk activity.” It can be done very effectively while doing another passive activity because it does not require movement.
2There are always exceptions. After big patches when availability of certain patterns is limited, nice profits can be had with these professions. During settled times, however, they revert back to the ratings above, largely because so many people possess the patterns that they offer little premium beyond mats.
3I can’t truly speak to leatherworking or engineering, but both probably can be tossed into the “waste of time” bucket – from a gold-making perspective.