For some people, sitting behind a desk and having to perform very little physical action is highly appealing. But for others, it’s a death sentence.
It can be stifling to have to sit at a computer for long hours every day when you prefer to work with your hands, alongside others, as well as to move about. But you don’t have to be stuck in a sedentary career if it gets you down.
Plenty of high-paying jobs with easy entry requirements are out there, which you can do to get away from the desk. “The U.S. workforce has gradually shifted to office-based work due to the rise of the professional services economy and productivity gains associated with information technology,” Rosemary Heafner, chief HR officer at CareerBuilder, told Forbes.
“But some of the healthiest areas of job growth year-after-year are in middle-skill occupations that don’t require workers to sit in front of computer monitors and phones for 40-hours a week.” If you’re in the market for a high-paying, comfortable job that goes beyond desk work, why not think about some of these eight options?
- Electrical Power Line Installers and Repairers
As the name states, you’ll spend a lot of time working with your hands: installing and repairing cables, wires, and transformer boxes that are integral to the electrical power and distribution systems. It’s not the safest or easiest job, but you can earn more than $30 an hour with minimal paperwork!
- Transportation Inspectors
If you don’t mind heavy lifting and working around machinery, a transportation inspector could be a great job for you. Your duty will be to ensure safe transport of cargo or people on rails, ships, or other forms of major transportation. The hours can be long and the work hard, but the median hourly wage is around $31 an hour . . . not bad for minimal educational background.
- Warehouse and Forklift Operators
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into storage and distribution of goods and services, so it garners considerable respect, especially on the corporate level. Every company that produces products on a mass scale needs someone to operate its warehouse and heavy machinery. With a little managerial experience and a valid license to operate a forklift, you could make $45 per hour at this job.
- Fitness Trainers
If you’re a person who likes to spend a couple of hours in the gym every day, you might as well make a living from it. Once you’ve defined your specific area of passion — such as weight lifting, aerobics, yoga, or personal training — you can start your own business or get hired at a gym. Trainers make between $30K and $70K per year, which isn’t bad considering the work involves shorter hours, reduced stress, and significantly healthier lifestyle compared to a typical office job.
- Massage Therapist
This is another healthy career choice that will have you working directly with people. Massage therapy can be physically taxing, especially on your fingers, wrists, and elbows, but as long as you use proper technique, you can minimize potential injuries and ensure that you’re in great shape for the job. Your median salary for this position — whether you start your own business or work within an established business — will be just above $17 per hour.
- Alternative Energy Technicians
There’s a lot of money in alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power, and as a result, the workers in each branch are compensated fairly. Wind turbine technicians install and repair turbines all over the nation for about $24 per hour. Solar photovoltaic (or panel) installers make about $19 per hour doing the same thing with solar panels. There’s usually a lot of travel involved with this position, but the work is fairly straightforward and you’ll get to be part of one of the most rapidly growing industries in the nation.
- Landscape Architects
Let your green thumb show for just shy of $70K per year as a landscape architect. It will be your job to turn mundane spaces in both the private and public sectors into works of art. You’ll work directly with clients on planting, hardscaping, space planning, and even a little construction. The work is fun, and you’ll have a nice paycheck in hand for your efforts.
- Surveyor Work
You’ve probably seen these workers parked alongside highways, wearing orange vests and setting up strange-looking tripods. Their job is to survey roads and other sections of land to increase efficiency and productivity of a particular region. They can be employed either publicly and privately, but the average salary is just over $61k.
Desk jobs can be dull and uncomfortable, especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to sit still for long. Any of the above positions can address your financial needs while fulfilling your desire for something a little more physically demanding.