5 Career Options if You Don’t Want to Work at a Desk

Not everyone wants to work in finance or marketing — and that’s totally fine. Those kinds of careers aren’t the only ways to get rich either. There are more adventurous vocations out there where you can use your hands and don’t necessarily need a college degree if traditional education isn’t your bag. 

Many of the careers below can be achieved through apprenticeships, internships, or self-learning and setting up on your own. If you’re sure that office life isn’t for you, explore some alternative options that will still earn you a more than decent living.

1. General Contractor

Coordinating building projects is a tough job — there are so many moving parts to keep track of. Timescales, budgets, and the workforce all need to be accounted for, and things get changed or delayed every day. You have to be a tough boss, but the reward is handsome. General contractors can make upwards of $90,000 per year.

To work up to becoming a general contractor, start as an apprentice or laborer on a building site. Then, get your state-specific license such as a general contractor license in SC. Note that you’ll need different licenses to work in each state.

2. Chef

If the way to your heart is food, why not make it your career? Top chefs can earn plenty of cash and accolades once they’re established. It’s best to pick a cuisine, master it, and make it your own. 

There are plenty of culinary schools out there, or you could start as a junior and work your way up to running your very own kitchen. Next thing you know, you own a restaurant and are on your way to earning a Michelin star. Gordon Ramsay who? 

3. Personal Trainer

It’s pretty easy to become established as a personal trainer, especially in the digital age. Start out training at a local gym — you don’t need any formal qualifications for this besides being passionate about fitness, but nutrition and personal training certifications will give you a leg-up — before building your client base. 

You could then strike out and work for yourself, taking on any type of clients you want, from bodybuilders to celebrities. Many PTs also now run successful YouTube channels and offer digital training sessions, so you can work with clients all over the globe from your home, garden, or gym base. 

4. Photographer

Photography is another vocation you can chase without any formal qualifications. If you’re handy with a camera and are keen to delve into the technical side of photography, you can establish yourself and gain clients quickly. 

Wedding photography is particularly lucrative if you enjoy taking portraits, while nature and landscape photography is a fine art that people love to hang on their walls. You can look into selling prints and even sell stock photographs to big image databases. Basically, good photographers are never out of work. Sure, this job involves some desk-time — editing your images — but it’ll never be the bulk of your day.

5. Healthcare Practitioner 

As of 20210, the World Health Organization estimated that the world needs 6 million more nurses. While nursing isn’t known as the best-paid job in the world, it sure is one of the most necessary. However, this isn’t the only role needing to be filled in the broad field of healthcare. 

Radiologists, dentists, psychologists, midwives, pharmacists, surgeons… you name it, there is always a need for these jobs. You can quickly scale a career in healthcare and can easily find jobs wherever in the world you want to be. If you enjoy working with people and want a rewarding career, healthcare is one you should definitely consider.

Bottom Line 

The above suggestions are just a drop in the ocean for how many jobs you could do that don’t involve sitting in one room all day. If you crave adventure, the outdoors, and changing scenery every day, start researching the non-desk job that suits you now.



Power & Money

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I work as a full time hair stylist but love writing about life. I hope to become a full time writer one day and spend all my time sharing my experience with you!

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